I’ve met a lot of women in my life, whether through friendships or in my day-job, who have gone through some STUFF.
And I mean, pretty hard stuff.
The kind of stuff that no one at church, or really anywhere, talks openly about because people honestly have no idea how to handle such heart-wrenching and hard-to-fathom stories.
Stories about abuse.
Stories about neglect and abandonment.
Stories about loss and grief.
Stories about deep loneliness.
Stories about never feeling loved.
What makes me sick to my stomach is often adults are sharing these stories about what happened to them as teenagers or children.
Little innocent children.
I know right now reading this, many of your have a lump in your throat.
Because this is you.
Not surprisingly, I’ve found it’s common for these women to have developed some pretty unhealthy coping skills to deal with the pain.
I say not surprisingly but it‘s NOT surprising.
If you heard the stories, you wouldn’t be shocked that they turned to drugs and alcohol, food, gambling or anything else to cope.
They didn’t have any other means to cope..
No one was teaching them a healthy way to deal with their pain.
They didn’t get the help and support that they needed and deserved.
They did what they could to survive.
So they’ve carried around with them the aches and pains that no one else could see, but they haven’t gone a day without feeling.
But gosh, it always brings tears to my eyes when I hear these people talk about how they still love Jesus.
I hear them say things like, “He’s all I have.”
“He’s the only reason I’m still alive.”
“He’s what got me through it.”
It makes me cry because man, that’s faith.
It would be so easy to give up.
It also makes me emotional because I can see the brokenness in their eyes, and I know the shame they feel because they aren’t living up to the “perfect Christian standards” that they are told they should be.
They are still smoking to deal with stress.
They still need to work on not cussing in every sentence they use.
Sometimes the pain in their wounds erupt and they explode.
Many of them just don’t feel that they fit into the “christian” world because they are a bit “rougher”.
And frankly, I think Jesus gets it.
I think Jesus, of anyone on this planet, understands why a person like this is a little (or a lot) rough around the edges.
Because He alone is the only person who lived through that pain with them.
I’m not saying that He isn’t wanting to heal them and change their life.. of course He is.
That’s what Jesus does.
But there are some wounds people experience that simply don’t just go away with time.
It scarred them to their core.
It took away their childhood.
It made their whole perspective of life so challenging.
So they’ve had to survive the best way they know how.
And that might look a little different than other believers.
But Jesus gets it.
He sees their heart.
If this is you friend, I hope you know that you are met with so much grace.
I hope you know that there isn’t an ounce of pain you’ve endured that Jesus didn’t walk through with you.
I hope you know that your rough edges aren’t too much to push Jesus away.
In fact, He’ll start to smooth those edges the more you allow His love to enter into your heart.
Just keep meeting Him at the table, and know He’s always proud to have you there.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog