"Hurt That Can Heal"
How do you summarize a twenty-one year (& counting) story of God's goodness into one teeny tiny blog post?
Well, today, ladies and gentlemen, we're about to find out, as I pronounce to you—(drum roll please)—
And, I should let you know right off the bat that I'm going to need as much grace as you're willing to give.
The truth is that I can get frustrated whenever I'm preparing to share my testimony. It's not because I don't enjoy it or because I can never find the right words. Instead, my frustration comes from the sole fact that I simply never know where to begin. I've got testimonies from the year 2010, testimonies from when I was five, from before I was even born, and if you want the truth, I have a testimony from today, even (if you count the person ahead of you paying for your meal when you know darn well you couldn't afford yours in the first place as a testimony, at least).
What I'm trying to say is that God has always been good at writing some pretty incredible stories. He knows how to take the gory, ugly details of your past and bring it together with new, sweet and redemptive beginnings. I mean, take a look at the Bible for example.
The creation of the world rebels against its Creator, so the Creator comes down and dies to redeem the creation back to Himself?
That's a pretty dang good story!
Yet, I take His storytelling pretty personal when I begin to think about the one He's written for my own life—twenty-one (almost twenty-two) years of crazy, undeserved goodness that gets better and better.
There's so much I could say because of how much He's done, but today, I only want to share a specific element of my story that I never took the time to expound on—a part of my testimony that reminded me of just how good God is at telling stories. It's a moment I shared previously before on the blog—a vulnerable moment I had at nine years old when I underwent my first round of rejection. (Long story short, another nine-year-old homegirl told a room full of 30+ girls that I was the only person there she didn't like. Let's just say I was never really good at making friends after that. You can read the full post here.) After that moment, I would clam up, stutter, hyperventilate and sweat trying to meet someone new. More specifically, whenever I would run into her again in those crowded middle school hallways, I remember always becoming extremely uneasy.
And, it was around this time last year God had shown me that out of that single moment of rejection I experienced in my childhood came the fears I wrestled the most with in my early twenties. The same questions I had at nine and ten years old—What if they don't like me? What did I do to make them not like me? How can I make them like me?—were the very same questions I had at nineteen and twenty.
And, while I spent a large portion of my healing journey generalizing those fears, only getting specific with my fear of rejection, God was kind enough to name another kind of fear that He was not okay with me keeping.
I wasn't just dealing with the fear of rejection, but I was ultimately dealing with—here it goes—the fear of female friendships.
When that girl pointed her finger at me and told the other 30+ girls in the room that she didn't like me, I began to teach myself at that young of an age and from that point on that girls were mean.
Girls were mean, and I had to protect myself.
And, in order to protect myself, I became what the mean girl wanted me to be. And, if I'm just being honest, in many cases, I didn't just become what she wanted, but—
I became the mean girl myself.
Anything to not be rejected again.
Anything to be liked.
And, while that fear was in its baby stages over a decade ago, it grew over the course of a twelve-year span and butted its way into my twenties.
But, God wasn't having it.
It was around this time last year God confronted these fears in me in a way I've never seen Him do before. He showed me how one moment of rejection translated into the fear of female friendships, how one moment taught me to reject myself so others wouldn't have to anymore and how I counted myself out of some amazing female friendships because the kid in me was still afraid.
But, He didn't just show that in me. He began to take me by the hand and walk me towards healing.
And, how exactly did He heal me?
You guessed it—
By introducing me to some really great female friends.
And, I have found that that is typically the way God works:
He'll use what hurt you to heal you.
As cheesy as this may sound, God will use what caused you the most pain to lead you into your purpose.
Can I show you how that looked in my own life?
It was May of 2021 when God showed me my wounds—my fear. By June of 2021, He allowed me to be a part of a ministry where I could not only be a good friend, but find some good friends myself. In June of last year, I received an email from Live Original—a ministry founded by Sadie Robertson Huff—saying that I was accepted to be an ambassador for the LO Sister app, a place where you can be—you guessed it—true sisters and true friends to girls everywhere.
Who knew that was the kind of story God had ordained for me before the world began? Who knew that He would take the thing that hurt me most and use it to heal me best?
Only God. Only His genius.
Only He can write such a sweet story.
And, in the same way He wrote and is still writing a beautiful story for me, I wrote this post to remind you that He's writing a beautiful story for you too.
Do not be discouraged. Do not give up. Jesus sees you in your pain. And, He has already predestined the moment for you to find Him in it. He already knows how He is going to redeem you from it. Just hold on, my friend. Your story isn't over. Trust that the same One who saw you in your childhood in the beginning is going to be the same One who sees you through to the very end.