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Real Life Stories About How God Changes Lives
Real Life Stories . . .
A Young Woman from the UK is set free from
self-hatred and cutting herself ...
I was brought up in a loving, secure and incredibly fun family. So how come I ended up feeling ugly, insecure, alone and unloved? My life was pretty normal until I hit 16 and then I started as most people do I guess, to notice things about myself that were not great.
By the time I was 18 I had come to a place where I hated myself, I hated who I was, how I looked and how I acted. I had no confidence and was so angry with who I was. God? I was pretty sure God hated me too, why wouldn't he? Look at me! I had mastered the craft of being two people. The one that people saw where I seemed happy and just fine and the other which was when I was alone, hating myself. I despised myself so much that I totally distorted who I was and I had to punish myself for being like this. At least if I punished myself I could feel like I was paying for being such a loser. So I cut myself.
Cutting myself only lasted so long; it never made my hate for myself go away. It dulled the pain for a while but it always came back. I remember one night sat after I had just cut my arm, looking at all the scars on my arms and legs. I remember thinking to myself what am I doing? I can't keep living my life like this, I just cant, there has to be more to life than this.
I had always gone to church as a kid and young adult, but it was just something I did on a Sunday. I attended a small church all my life; no one knew what I was doing to myself, as far as they were concerned I was happy, content and at peace with myself. Around this time my friend invited me to a free church, I went with her. This was so different to the church I was used to; it was so full of life! People were happy and so friendly, but more importantly they all were totally in love with God, each other and life. To cut a long story short I never went back to my old church and was on a total high by just being around people like this. Of course people didn't know me so I was free to be me.
Of course this high only lasted a while too, and before I knew it I was back to my old self. The cutting hadn't stopped I was still this confused and lonely person, yet all these people at church were so happy. I thought I was a Christian, I mean I had gone to church all my life – wasn't that what it was all about? One Sunday my pastor was talking about first, second and third generation Christians. It was only then did I realise that I had never made my own commitment to God, my parents went to church as did I but I never actually consider my own eternity with God. I went home that night and collapsed on the floor in tears, I was totally heart broken. My scar covered arms and legs a reminder of what a mess I was making of my life. It was that night I decided that I would make a commitment to God; I still thought he didn't like me very much but he was worth a shot. I had nothing to lose, but everything to gain. That night I felt love like never before.
My life seemed to change over night, I stopped cutting and I was so happy. However this too only lasted a matter of weeks, and then I dropped again. Back to remembering how horrible I was, how ugly, annoying and useless I was. The urge to punish myself came back, I wanted to cut myself so much… I knew that helped. Something snapped in me though, and I remember thinking I can't keep living in this circle of life I can't. Something has to change once and for all I have to sort it all out.
My first thought was I need to talk to someone to get some help. I knew it had to be someone from church, no one else would understand, but it was going to be so hard. I made a decision that day that took me a long while to recover from. I decided to anonymously email my youth pastor. He was great and helped me greatly over the next months, but it became unhealthy. I began to rely on him and totally lost sight of God. I thought the pastor was the answer but he wasn't, he wasn't enough. There is only one person who is enough to help and that was God.
After a few months I stopped emailing the pastor because he was knew it was me. So I was left totally embarrassed by what I had done and felt like I was back at square one again. It took all this to make me realise that myself and God were the only ones that could solve what seemed unsolvable. The first thing I had to do was talk to God and lay it all down, totally empty myself let everything just pour out. I then had to learn to receive Gods love. He loved me as he does us all, from the beginning of creation, but I would not receive it, I didn't know how. I didn't love me, I hated me, and you can't receive people's love whilst you hate yourself, it doesn't work.
Once I had made a step and opened my life to God he came right in and started me on a journey of self discovery and a path to healing. He placed an amazing friend in my life who spoke life and truth in to me about who I was. I had to be willing to play my part and stay stuck in and read his word, find out what it was all about. The truth is even though it was hard to face all this stuff; it was easier because I was no longer doing things in my strength but in God's.
I slowly began to accept that maybe I was not that bad after all, I am not perfect to the world but to God I am an awesome creation. It says in the bible that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm139 V14) I was not a surprise to God; he knows everyday I live before I live it. He knew I would end up like I was – yet he still chose me, he still thought I was worth creating and giving a plan to.
I kept learning and growing in God, things changed slowly as God walked with me on my path to healing. I learnt so much about why I was like I was, which when you know that you can deal with the root cause. Things were beginning to look so bright. As time went by I was realising just how mighty God was, he was bigger than anything in this world. Nothing stands a chance against God. I began to trust God with my life. It says in Psalm 31 “I trust in you O Lord, I say “You are my God. My times are in your hands”. That verse of the bible totally blew me away. If I could just totally abandon myself to God and trust in him my life could become limitless. There is such a power in that verse, if we can hand on heart say that verse and mean it you are free for the rest of your life. You understand that God is God, the one and only and he is on your side.
Music was a real friend to me on my journey of healing and still is. I heard a song by Natalie Grant called The Real Me. This song so spoke in to my life. It so reminded me of where I had come from and how God really did see the real me and it is ok to be you, it is what you were designed for. God designed you to be you for a reason. I felt like this song could have been written just for me. The lyrics talked of plastic smiles, not letting anyone in and hiding my heartache. But letting God in because He sees the real us, he sees inside us, we can't hide anything from God. He doesn't see anything in us but beauty, and if we let him reveal who we are then we can be at peace with God. (Check out the song!)
My journey required me to play my part; to commit to trust in God, to learn and grow in him. God can then step in, if you make just one step God comes flooding in to your world. Gods hand is reaching out to us all we have to do is put our hand out and God will grab hold of it and never let it go.
I can say hand on heart that I am now totally and utterly content with who I am. There was no quick fix for my change, I just needed to let God in and help me. God could have just quick fixed me, but I am truly thankful for the journey he has led me on. I have learnt so much about God, myself and people; my life is full and rich. There is now a fire that burns in me that no one could ever take away, I am alive, full of energy, at peace and totally in love with God.
I once had a distorted image of who I was, I was looking at my reflection through the worlds mirror. If you dare take a look through the correct mirror, through Gods you find a life you could never have imagined living. In God is everything you will ever need in life and lots more besides. He is everlasting, never ending and he will never ever fail you!
This is not the end of my journey, but only the beginning. I can now leap in to the life that God has destined for me, I can do what I was created to do. Because I now trust God my life is limitless, there is no end to what I can do because He is in me.
I know I will still have trials ahead of me, but I have made a commitment to live my life in abandonment to God, to live each day with a heart that wants to learn and grow more. God taught me that I have to lay things down, good and bad. I can't fix things but when I let God take control things happen. If I will just trust him I will have a victorious, full of freedom and peaceful life.
Two things I always remember is that nothing can ever separate me from the love of God. (Romans 8) If I lay my life and everything in it down to God my life will never be the same again. Music is still a great helper to my world, singing songs gets thoughts, concepts and wisdom in to my life. God used to be a part of my life, now God is my Life.