Quick announcement! Congratulations to Kim Sexton who won the amazing prize bundle from last week’s mega giveaway! Now to today’s guest post from my dear Texas sister Stephanie Clayton!
I am so excited and honored to be a guest on Heather Bleier’s blog today. I love to spend time in Heather’s online space because she challenges me towards discipline in my walk with God, and discipline is certainly something this free-spirited girl needs! Thank you Heather for having me, I am honored to say the least.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31
There is something to be said for the hardest, most difficult, gut wrenching times in our life. While we are going through them, we may be numb to what is going on. Our minds have a way of protecting us and keeping us from what would otherwise be overwhelming. But when it comes to the surface, the pain is just as fresh as if it had happened that day. It is all still there. Time does not heal all wounds. Only God heals these kinds of wounds. Wounds of the heart. Wounds of the soul. Wounds of the spirit. Wounds that can only be healed by Jesus.
My wound was like this. It was one I had buried for years. It was actually quite a productive little wound. It went a long way in pushing me towards pursuing my degrees. Although, I would soon be disappointed that even after the degrees, the hurt was still there. That wounded little girl was still cowering inside. No amount of education, money, affirmation, or addiction would heal her. In fact, I spent a long time wondering if there was anything that would ever heal her, and for that matter, why my loving Savior let her get wounded in the first place.
I still don’t know if she is healed completely, or that she ever will be. I don’t have answers to all the questions, and that is okay. Like I said, the wound is part of what has gotten me to the place I am today. But…I do know that I love her, and I know that Jesus loves her too. I do know that He never abandoned her, and that she no longer abandons herself. I do know that she is beautiful. I do know that although she blamed herself for years, it really wasn’t her fault. That there is a difference between a 31-year-old woman wishing she would have made different decisions as a 15-year-old and a 31-year-old woman blaming a 15-year-old for an assault that she did not ask for. I do know without a doubt that I love her. Which, coming from someone who a few years ago wrote words to her that she would never have written to her worst enemy, is a gigantic step.
I know that God would ask us to be humble and forsake ourselves for the love of others and for Him. However, for some of us, it is easy to interpret that as, “it’s okay to hate myself as long as I am doing things for others”. And it is absolutely not okay. If it was, why would He have commanded us to love others as we have loved ourselves?
If there is a part of yourself that you have cut off, that you have buried alive, maybe it’s time to bring her back to the surface. Maybe it’s time to let her breath again. Maybe it’s time to forgive her. The road is long, and the journey is difficult, but it is worth every step. It is worth it to know that you have nothing to hide. That you can love others and God with your whole heart, holding nothing back. It is worth it to know you can love yourself again. It is worth it to hear your Savior whisper I love you in your ear and be able to whisper it back to Him knowing you have given Him all of you, faithfully, forever.
Is there something in your life you have been holing back from God? What will you surrender to Him today? We invite you to share below or leave a prayer request.
Stephanie Clayton is a writer, speaker, and counselor with a passion for integrating Bible teaching with professional counseling. She has a Master’s Degree in counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. Stephanie uses practical application and insight to help women find freedom from their past, embrace forgiveness, and move forward towards wholeness in Christ. Stephanie is the wife of a police officer and mother of two. She loves JESUS!!!! and a good skinny vanilla latte, bright colors, and fabulous shoes! You can find out more about Stephanie at: www.stephanieclayton.org.