I received this from a reader last month. Have you ever felt this way?
Ever just not want to exist for a while? I’m by no means suicidal. I love life… but I haven’t seen good days. I feel so guilty. I feel like I’m hurting so many because I have so much rage inside. I see a counselor but I’m an introvert and awful with conversations so I can’t explain myself good enough. I have so many passions. I want to do foreign and urban missions. I want to help rescue girls in human trafficking. I want to get a degree in social work or counseling because my heart literally aches for broken people. I want to write a devotional. I want to finish my book titled “finding innocence.” I want to be completely delivered from lingering temptations of a 7 year self harming addiction. I want to forgive my future husband for a crime he didn’t commit that I blamed all men for. I want to marry a man of God.. I’m torn between fearing and being rescued. I fear he will hurt me yet I will be rescued from those fears when he proves he wont. I want to fold tiny pink and yellow socks tucked away in the laundry basket. I want to hand deliver warm hugs and gifts to children in St Jude. I want to spend my honeymoon praying with my husband over needs and our marriage. I want to bring God Glory in all that I do. I want to stop hating myself.
I have had those feelings, particularly when I was walking through the excruciating part of healing in my late twenties, early thirties. I wondered (a lot) if I would ever be healed. And since I was married, I battled day after day trying to convince myself that sex was beautiful, though it (honestly) repulsed me.
You have so many dreams, and they are valid. I once heard that our best ministry happens in the places we are broken. And it looks to be that way for you. Wow. You have a lot of amazing ambitions, ones that I believe Jesus will bring to fruition in His time. On a side note: If I had started ministering to sexual abuse victims in my twenties, I would have had a breakdown. Even so, in my thirties. It’s now in my late forties that I’m able to handle the pain and stress of bearing other people’s stories. I could barely carry my own those other two decades.
God has to heal first. This is not fun work. It’s painful. It’s LONG. So long. Longer than we ever expect or hope. But it is worth it. Last month, I stood before a group of people and once again shared my story of abuse. I didn’t cry. And one audience member noticed that. That’s a small victory for me. The rape from the past feels like a very, very distant memory. Sometimes it feels like it happened to someone else.
Don’t shortchange the healing journey. Find a friend or friends to shoulder this overweight burden alongside you. This is a difficult time.
God made you. You are beautiful. You are cherished by Him. I know that’s hard to fathom, particularly after what happened in the past, but it is true. Begin to combat those lies by daring to tell yourself the truth. Nothing can separate you (even depression, even broken dreams, even fear) from God’s love.
Your self harm is NORMAL. But you need not stay there. As God changes your heart, you’ll begin to value yourself, treat yourself gently, and will want to be kind to yourself. It takes time. But the time is worth it.
I’m praying for you. I know you will get through this. You are not alone.