I had a conversation with a girlfriend the other day over an email exchange.  In looking back at it there are parts I wanted to share with all of you. I feel like this is for someone out there and I want you to know there is an answer.

So here are a few excerpts from that email:

I know how difficult this place in life is. It’s hard managing things with our kids in a divorce situation – the coming and going that takes place – not having them around when we want them – them being independent and not always needing us – us feeling like visitors in their lives at times instead of their mothers. It’s hard being alone every night and not having someone who has our back during the day. It’s hard knowing others perceptions of who they think we are. It’s even harder admitting how we feel about ourselves. It is hard to admit to ourselves that we secretly wish we wouldn’t wake up after going to sleep because it would just be easier. It is hard to feel like you are so far down in a dark pit there is no possibility of seeing light at the top and crawling our way out of it. Trust me because I’ve struggled with all of this and fight it every day in my own situation.  But no matter how painful and difficult and challenging it is finding a fix in another person (insert what your medication is) will never be a fix.

Here are some truths at some point we all have to face and accept:
– you need to forgive and extend the same grace God extends to you. Forgiving another does not let them off the hook for their deeds but it does release you from being the victim. It is for your healing and it is the right thing to do period.
– you need to love yourself first.
– you need to quit listening to the lies that have formed in your head your entire life. Guilt, shame, unworthiness, unlovable, someone who can be used, someone without value… did I strike a nerve yet…..these are just some of mine
– you need to know that God loves you more than anything and until that relationship is right – meaning an intimate love with him – nothing else will ever satisfy you or make you feel complete.
– you need to know that you are so loved, so cherished that He chose YOU before He even formed the world. He is so jealous and passionate in His love that it consumes Him and will consume you. That there is nothing that can separate you from His love nothing you’ve done in your past or will do in your future will change that.
– you need to know that no matter what mistakes you have made or no matter what someone has done to you it does not equal your identity. It is NOT who you are or all you can be.
– you may be having a tough time in your life because you are being prepared to do more … examine your heart, what are you being asked to do in this life…what is your purpose? If I get involved with _______ again, will it keep me from my purpose? from my art? from healing? from healing others?
– you need to realize that you are so beautiful, so unique, that you are lovely just how you are — that you are loved. that you can be all that you want to be. that you were chosen. that you have always been held through the fires and trials and pains and abuses in your life … He has been there holding you and absorbing the pain right along with you when others you have loved betrayed you. He has felt every pain with you. He has never left you.
– you need to know that there is no performance, no work, no rules, no anything that will make God love you or not love you. He just wants you to love Him back and be one with him.

You can fill in your own blank with your personal struggle. The blank is usually how we are medicating (relationships, alcohol, drugs, work…).  The struggle is always the lie we are believing (unworthiness, shame, guilt, unloved, brokenness…). You see those feelings that the lies created are not WHO we are or WHO we have to be.  The lies keep us bound.  They keep us a prisoner.  The Truth is this…God loves us and covers us in grace.  He is constant despite our epic fails, our weakness, our turning away, our betrayals to Him.  You see – He chose YOU.  YOU!  Jacked-up, mistake making, crazy, boyfriend junkie, addict of everything, divorced, broken, penniless, dirty old YOU.  He so madly in-love He is relentless.  Why are you running?  Everything and I mean everything you have desired to fill you up completely you are running from.  Stop. Turn around. And, be embraced in the loving arms of Jesus.  See the radiant love pour from His eyes when He gazes upon you.  Feel the overwhelming love, protection and perfection roll off of him onto you.

You will never be empty again.  Once you have had an encounter with God, You will never walk the same again.

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