Everyone has felt unloved or unwanted (or both) at one time or another. Someone leaves (through choice, incapacitation, or death), a relationship ends, and our hearts break. For some of us, it’s more than our hearts that break. For those who had fragile self-esteem before the heartbreak, we feel irreparably damaged.
For those of us who were wounded by the people who brought us into this world, and who should have protected us, we add to that irreparable brokenness a sense of being unworthy of love or any other good thing—ever.
If we’re resilient enough, we keep our heads down, work harder than the average person in order to earn acceptance, and try not to draw any attention to our broken, unworthy, unlovable, stupid, ugly [add your own adjectives here] selves.
We adapt, adjust, we get by, and we work really, REALLY hard to “act normal” and not let anyone see how wounded we really are… that is until we meet Jesus. When a broken person discovers that there is a God Who calls Himself “Love” and Who knows all about our brokenness yet loves us anyway, healing of the soul begins to take place.
As if that weren’t enough, this God called “Love” adopts us into His own family, gives us His name, and surprises us with the fabulous news that there is actually a good plan for our lives, a plan for which we were perfectly created and equipped.
This all sounds great until we remember the stupid decisions we’ve made, the really wrong, ugly things we’ve done, and the terrible places we’ve been. All the “good plan stuff” sounds great until we come to our senses and recall that we’re living in the consequences of all the yuck that happened before this great news. How in the world could there be any recovering from all this? There’s too much water under the bridge. That’s when He promises to work everything that’s happened to us together for our good. It sounds too good to be true.
I never believe “too good to be true,” except in this case. There’s only upside. There’s no downside. What do I have to lose by clinging to the muck of my former life. What would it hurt to dare to believe this fantasy for a while? I could always go back to the muck. The muck will always be there. If God, Who calls Himself “Love” wants to take all my broken pieces and put them together in such a way that I’m happier than I’ve ever been or ever thought I could be, what the heck?! What do I have to lose? Who wouldn’t want that?
It turns out that the way that God works all things together for our good is by developing in us character traits and coping mechanisms that help us get through tough times. It turns out that we don’t learn courage, tenacity, and determination during the good times. Those, and many more, valuable characteristics are learned in the painful times. What we learn in tough times is precisely what we need to find and fulfill His awesome plans for our lives.
I made the decision to become a Christian many years ago, and what do I have to show for it? I have an amazing life. Truly. There’s not a smidgeon of muck. If I told you how good my life is now, you’d think I was lying, bragging, or delusional. I’m grateful that I took a “flyer” on this God called Love. Now I’m spending every day of the rest of the time I have on earth trying to show others how to get rid of the muck, because the awesome news is that this same offer is available to anyone who will take Him up on it. There’s a good plan for everyone, regardless of where you’ve been or what you’ve done. In fact, the fulfillment of the good plan will be done because of what you’ve been through!
About the author: Rhonda Sciortino, author of Successful Survivors , used the coping skills from an abusive childhood to achieve real success which she measures by good relationships, good health, peace, joy, and financial prosperity. Through her writing, speaking, and media appearances, she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to their real success. Rhonda can be reached at [email protected].