From the Mind of the Hurt

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Last week I mentioned how thankful I am that I’ve kept journals over the years.  I’ve enjoyed going through them over the past week, and I’m amazed at the person I once was compared the the person I am now.  God hears our prayers.  Let me change that up a little: God hears YOUR prayers, so never give up on praying about anything.  God’s timing is perfect, and he wants to do something great inside of you.

One of the reasons I’m so focused on girls being confident and being certain of their identity in Christ is because I didn’t have that.  Honestly, I didn’t even know what “identity in Christ” meant.  I had never heard those words until college.  I was extremely lacking in confidence, which is probably one of the reasons I pushed myself to be the best at anything I ever tried.

I was not someone people enjoyed hanging around with because of my lack of confidence.  I know that sounds strange, but if someone around me showed a hint of confidence, I guess I felt the need to point out flaws in them in order to bring them down to where I was.  And I didn’t do it in the quiet.  I made sure to point things out when we were in a group of people.  I was a miserable person and wanted others to feel the same.  I didn’t have many friends, and I honestly don’t know how I even had the ones I did.  Bless those people!

All the times I’ve written and spoken to people from all over, I knew my earlier years had been filled with a low perception of myself, but I don’t know that I remembered how mean-spirited I was during that time.  God reminded me through these journal entries.  It appears 2002 was a year of great transformation within myself.  Although you may not know me personally, if you’ve followed anything I’ve written,  you know me well enough that you might think these entries were written by a completely different person.  I was a completely different person back then.  I’m amazed to see that God turned me into the person I asked to become.  Not only that, but I’ve written blog posts with tips on not being negative, and I’ve said some of these exact words without realizing I once prayed to have those same qualities myself.

These are just snippets from my prayers and notes from study groups that really stood out to me.  Can you relate to these thoughts? 

Journal Entries

May 5, 2002
Today I began Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado.  I want to change!  I hate how my thoughts of others are so judgmental.  It’s not just some people sometimes.  It’s all people all the time.  Lord, please help me to love myself enough to not feel the need to judge others.  I have such a lack of self-esteem that I feel I have to judge others and bring them down to my level.  Please take this away from me.  I want to be a person who looks at everyone the same and lift them up.  I want to praise them for their achievements, and I want to be happy for them when they’ve accomplished something.  Please take this immature jealousy and negativity away.  When I see the bad things of a person, please emphasize the good things so I can see them more clearly than the others.  I truly want to be more like you!  Thanks!

 **God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way.**

Aug 8, 2002
We need to learn how to accept each other the way God made us.  We are all different, so accept all of the differences.  We don’t have to understand the differences, we should simply accept them.

Who I am in Christ:
*I am a child of God
*I am accepted
*I am Christ’s friend
*I am justified
*I am one in spirit with God
*I am bought with a price
*I am saint
*I am adopted
*I am redeemed and forgiven
*I am complete in Christ
*I am secure
*I am free from all condemnation
*I am assured all things work together for my good
*I cannot be separated from the love of God
*I am established, anointed and sealed by God
*I am given a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind
*I have grace and mercy
*I cannot be touched by the evil one
*I am significant
*I am a minister of reconciliation
*I am God’s co-worker

Aug 15, 2002

Eph 2:10
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Understanding our identity is essential.  Change your perception of yourself by believing the truth.

What is my perception of myself?
I know that how I perceive myself is not of you.  My weight has been bothering me for a long time, and I ask you to please take this perception of myself away from me.  I know I’m beautiful inside and out, although I don’t always think that way.   I do see myself as a person who shuts people out often.  Please help me to not do that anymore and to see myself as a friendly person who is open for anyone who needs me to be.  Thank you, Lord, for creating me the way you did – in your image.

 

Oct 17, 2002
Identity and sense of worth are not determined by your qualities but by your character and identity in Christ.

Related Posts

You might enjoy some past posts related to this topic:
Rid Yourself of Negativity Once and For All
Our Differences: Not a Reason to Be Jealous but God’s Fingerprint on Us
Every Moment Was Laid Out

Conversation with God

I love that I journal.  I’ve done it off and on since 1991 when I was beginning the summer before 7th grade.  I’ve never really gone through any of them, but I decided to last night for some reason.  It’s interesting to see where my thoughts were in junior high, high school, college, and on into adulthood.  I’m so thankful I have these thoughts and memories to look back on.

I ran across one from Jan 31, 2004, and it was actually a short conversation I was having with God.  I know some of you may think I’m going loony tunes over here, but God really does speak to us.  He wants us to have a friendship with him where we both speak to one another.  And we all hear him in a different way. 

The thing I love most about this conversation is that I see where I am now and how I am no longer nervous to share my beliefs with others, but I once was terrified.  I don’t remember that time—well, I didn’t remember it until I read this.  And there’s one sentence (underlined) that is amazing to me as it later became the mission of my ministry to young women everywhere.  I want to share it with you because I think what God said to me may be something you need to hear as well.

Jan 31, 2004

ME: God, talk to me tonight.  Tell me what you want me to do.  Give me a word.  Thank you, Jesus.

GOD:  Why are you so afraid of what others think?  I’m the one who died for you.  Why do you feel you have to please man?  Don’t forget that man will disappoint you.  I’m the only one who will never disappoint you.  I need you to help spread the word about me.  So what if people think you’re one of those “Jesus freaks”?  What makes that be such a bad thing?  Be content with who you are and what I’ve called you to be.  I love you unconditionally.  I want you to love me the same way and don’t be ashamed.

 

Let God speak to you.  I bet you hear him often and may not even realize it.  What is he saying?  I highly recommend writing it down so you can look back years from now and see how relevant it was in your life even if it may not seem to be at the moment.

Cyberbullying: Adults are Victims Too

http://www.kidsandmedia.org/images/products/cyber-bullying-large.jpgBully – N. a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
            V.  To affect by means of force or coercion.  To be loudly arrogant and overbearing[1]

Have you ever been bullied?  Has anyone ever done this to you to get you to do what they want?  Have you encountered someone who is so dogmatic in his or her beliefs that they are blind to the fact they could be wrong?

We talk all the time about teenagers being bullied through texting and social media causing them to resort to drastic measures.  Search the web, and it’s easy to find names of kids our world has lost because they felt no other way out of the torment they received from their bullies: Tyler Clementi, Amanda Todd, Erin Gallagher, Ryan Halligan, Phoebe Prince, Angie Varona, Jamey Rodemeyer, Jessica Logan, Sarah Butler, Kenneth Weishuhn, Grace McComas, Hope Witsell, Rachael Neblett (just to name a few).[2] 

It’s Not Just Teens

People are being bullied every day, and so often it goes unnoticed.  Did you know, though, that teens aren’t the only ones facing this type of torment?  Did you also know that it’s not always a “mean girl” mentality behind the bullying?  In fact, some people bully others simply because they aren’t conforming to their way of thinking. 

Over the past few months, with an emphasis on last week, I’ve been witness to the cyber bullying of an adult by other adults who somehow feel what they are saying is helpful.  Some don’t say things with the intent of being hateful or hurtful, but it comes across that way after someone has been verbally beaten down by others on a regular basis.

Being witness to a grown woman being bullied by those she thought were her friends and mentors causes me to take a step back and look at myself.  Have I been the bully before?  If so; why?  What were my intentions?

I pray I haven’t done this to someone as an adult, but I know I did as a teenager, and for that I am truly sorry.  I wish I could take it back.  When a person is on the receiving end of constant hurtful words written about her by a specific group of people, she can easily begin to believe the things she’s hearing about herself.  What I’ve recently witnessed has shown me how easily the teens mentioned above resorted to suicide.  I’m not saying it’s an answer to any problem, but I can easily see how in their minds it ends the daily torture they feel.  My heart has been breaking for the adult I’ve seen go through this very thing, and what’s worse is that it’s her own adult “friends” doing this to her.  She has, at moments, considered the same thing as these teens.  How is it that a grown woman, who loves and is loved by many, can be pushed over the edge by a handful of people who feel the need to text, email, message on social media, or even post publically on a social media site things to attack and humiliate her?  If this is what it does to an adult, I can’t imagine what these teens and young adults must feel.

How about you?   If you take a step back to review your actions in the past and even current actions, would you find that you’ve at one time inflicted this kind of pain on someone?  More than likely we can all pinpoint at least one person we’ve done this to in our lives.  The important thing is to make sure you aren’t doing it right now.  We have to find a way to change the statistics.

  • Suicide has resulted in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.
  • Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University
  • A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying
  • According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying[3]

Although studies focus on younger individuals, I’ve learned recently this type of thing is not limited to the younger age group.   Whether you are a teen or adult reading this, you are a part of a generation full of people hurting as a result of being bullied.  Maybe the person checking out in front of you at the store is considering suicide because of what someone posted about her on Facebook (true or not true).  Maybe your classmate who appears to have it all together fears looking at her phone when she hears a message come through.   Maybe even one of your parents has to pretend to be okay when they feel like they’re dying inside because of the messages they receive from others while you’re away at school.  Maybe you’re silently screaming inside because of the messages people send to you every day.  You never know who is already in a dark place in their lives, so I urge you to choose your words wisely.  Sometimes even the most innocent, “I don’t think that outfit was a good choice,” to someone you love could send them over the edge because of the hateful words they’ve been receiving from others every day for months.

Please think before you speak, text, or message.

Check out a past post of mine called Sticks and Stones

***After letting those on my social media know what my topic for today would be, I was sent a video by an adult who wanted to tell her own story.  Please take the time to watch the story of Kez.****