This is one of the most personal posts I’ve shared. Please be kind in your comments!
I’ll be honest.
I’ve been hurting.
It’s just been one of those seasons when a few different personal situations have left me feeling… well, hurt.
I don’t want to feel hurt.
But I do.
Have you ever been there?
Believe me, it’s not my first instinct to share this in a post. In fact, I really don’t even want to share this at all, because it’s hard, and it makes me feel vulnerable. But I’m doing it because I’m guessing you’ve felt hurt before too. And I recently came across some stuff that has helped me figure out what to do with all the hurt. The truth is, if it helps just one of you, then sharing it is worth it.
Let’s start with the crappy stuff. Because sometimes, life is just hard.
Here are a few things that are guaranteed in life:
- People are going to stay stuff about you.
- Not everyone is going to like you.
- Not everyone is going to agree with what you do.
Over the last few months, there have been a lot of ups and downs.
I’d find myself in a great place in dealing with the hurt. (Like, maybe I forgot about it? Or, maybe I was feeling super confident for a few days, or my kids were behaving and everything felt right?) But then, something would trigger me, and all those sad emotions would come right back to the surface. I was back to square one.
One such day happened to be on a morning that I was going to Bible study. As it turned out, the lesson that day was on being criticized. (Can I get an ‘amen’ that being criticized is also hard? *wink*)
That morning, in our small group, every word that was uttered was like a gulp of cold water in a hot desert, when I hadn’t had a drink in days.
I was parched.
I was pained.
I gobbled up every word.
Eventually, I briefly shared one of my hurts with the group. I kept it pretty vague, but everyone could tell that there was deep-rooted pain behind my sterilized, surface story.
And then, like a gift from Heaven, one of my favorite ladies in the group shared something that I will never forget.
She recounted a time when her daughter was hurting.
‘Mommy, when will the hurt go away?‘ the little girl asked her mom.
‘Honey, Jesus will take away your hurt,’ her mom replied. ‘It may take time, but it will happen.’
Those simple words.
That simple thought.
Before I knew it, there were tears running down my face.
Jesus will take the hurt.
It jolted me to the core.
I don’t have to carry this heavy burden. He will do it for me.
I don’t tend to talk a lot about my faith here, and I won’t start to now. But there’s something so powerful about learning our true identity isn’t dictated by social media, or mean people, or anything in this world. Let me explain a little more.
A few days later, I started reading a book that I’d been wanting to read for about a year. (Isn’t is so funny how timing works out sometimes?)
The book is Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely, and it’s by Lysa TerKeurst. (You might remember, I’ve written of my love for one of her other books before.)
I downloaded Uninvited to my iPad in the airport, as my husband and I were headed for a kid-free trip to Costa Rica. (Because seriously, when else does a mom of young kids have time to read except on a kid-free trip? *wink*)
After we took off, our plane started soaring over the clouds, and I turned on my iPad and started scrolling. And just like that day at Bible study, every word I read was the exact cold, refreshing quenching that my parched soul needed:
“Self-rejection paves the landing strip for the rejection of others to arrive and pull on up to the gates of our hearts. Think about why it hurts so much when other people say or do things that make you feel rejected. Isn’t it in part due to the fact that they just voiced some vulnerability you’ve already berated yourself for?”
“I’m not who that guy says I am. I’m not who that girl says I am. I’m not who social media likes and comments say I am. I’m not who the grades, to-do lists, messes, and mess-ups say I am. I’m not who the scale says I am or the sum total of what my flaws say I am. I’m going to stop flirting with the unstable things of this world so I can fall completely in love with [God]. I am loved. I am held. I am Yours. I am forever Yours.”
“I don’t have to figure my present circumstances out. I don’t have to fill the silence left behind in another person’s absence. I don’t have to know all the whys and what-ifs. All I have to do is trust. So in quiet humility and without a personal agenda, I make the decision to let God sort it all out. I simply say, ‘God, I want Your truth to be the loudest voice in my life. Correct me. Comfort me. Come closer still. And I will trust.'”
And so, at 35,000 feet on that Wednesday morning (which also happened to be my 36th birthday), I prayed that prayer.
I’d asked God to take the hurt many times before, but that day… for some reason, it was different.
It sunk in.
Finally, it had happened.
All of a sudden, I felt relief. I felt peace. I felt… still.
“God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live… loved.”
And so my friends, here are a few of the awesome things that are also guaranteed in life, that we should also know:
- We are worthy.
- We are loved.
- We are not who the world says we are.
Jesus believes you are whole. You are chosen. You are loved. You are worthy.
And once I believe all those things, that is the window through which I see my world. Once I know that I’m loved and worthy and good enough, these other bad things that happen won’t rock me to my core.
Once I believe these things, I am on a Rock that can’t be shaken.
Let me keep it real. Every day since that morning over the clouds hasn’t been perfect. I’ve gotten off-track. Last night, my kids were being crazy, and I had some bad parenting moments, and I somehow found myself wallowing again.
But now, in those moments, I have a message I can return to, over and over.
He believes I’m enough.
And that’s quite enough for me.
If you’re interested in reading the book, again, it’s Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. If you buy it through my link, it doesn’t cost you any more, but I make a few pennies for sharing it.
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