by Toni McKinley
Since I can remember I have struggled with believing I could be loved. The sexual, physical, and emotional abuse left a scar on my soul and an empty hole in my heart. Trying to fill that hole with unhealthy coping mechanisms only deepened my lack of love and respect for myself. It wasn't until August of 2010 that I began to seek healing for the abuse that was done to me and the abuse I did to myself and others. Despite my efforts to learn new coping strategies I struggled to believe, truly believe, that I can be loved. One year later, I attended a Celebrate Recovery summit at Saddleback Church in California. On the last day of the event; small note cards where handed to each of us. We were to write on that card something we were in denial about. I was told by my therapist that God loves me. I just couldn't seem to internalize that. So I wrote on that card, “I'm Lovable!”
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
We were instructed to nail our card to the cross to symbolize the act of giving our hurt to God. It took me a while but I eventually made it to that cross. I was handed the heaviest hammer I have ever felt in my life! I nailed that card to the cross and once I began hammering I couldn't stop. I nailed that long nail almost all the way through. Tears of joy streamed down my face! For the first time in my life I said, “I am lovable!” And I believed it!!!
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
I will never forget that day when I released that burden to God. Everyday I can say to myself that I am lovable! And I can mean it because God says it is true! It brings me such joy to know that I have a Father who loves me more than anyone could. He knows my innermost being, he knows the days of my life, he knows the number of hairs on me head, he knows all my defects, he knows what is in my heart; and he still loves me. For those of us who have been abused; believing we are worthy of love is one of the toughest things to accept.
The text of Matthew 5 (NIV) states as follows:
-Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)
-Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Verse 4)
-Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)
-Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)
-Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)
-Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8)
-Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)
-Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)
Letting go of the lie is difficult, but you must allow your heart to follow truth! Let God be the lover of your soul. He wants to fill that empty hole in your heart. Let Him heal your scars. Coming out of denial is the first step to healing. Tell God the depths of your hurt and sorrow. Let him know that you no longer want that burden anymore! Because of His love I can be reasonably happy in this life which gives me the hope that I will be supremely happy in the next! Give it up and know that you have never been unloved! -
I am a mother to four children. I am a survivor of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. I currently volunteer to lead teens through recovery for abuse, chemical dependency, and other issues. God has blessed me with a non-profit organization called Crowns of Hope. I began this venture during the first year of my own healing process. I raise funds to help other females pay for therapy from sexual abuse. My desire is for everyone to receive healing through Biblical counseling using God's word.
© 2011 All Rights Remain with the Author