I’ve debated about writing this post since I got the impression. But experience has taught me that I should say something whenever I feel this way because someone desperately needs to hear the message. Not because I’m perfect or have everything figured out, or that I’m a qualified counsellor. It is because I know some of these struggles and I know how freeing it is to be at peace. So here it goes.
It starts with a story about a young woman.
Flora is a lady that goes to my church. She has two kids and has a handicap on her arm and leg, so she limps a bit, but is very capable. Since I’m doing a project on hairstyles, I asked for permission to photograph her little girl after church, and she agreed. So they came to my place, I photographed the little girl and out of nowhere, I felt I should take a photo of Flora too. I casually asked her, as I was applying basic makeup on her, what had happened to her hand and leg, to which she said responded by saying that she had not received the polio vaccination in good time when she was little. I felt a lump get stuck in my throat because even as she said this, she was not feeling sorry for herself or looking for sympathy, she was simply stating what had happened. I was getting choked up because I’ve known Flora for maybe 5 years or so now, but I’ve NEVER asked her about herself, it’s always a quick hi and I go about my business.
This brings me to what I really have to say.
You may have wounds and scars from abuse – physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual. Yet no one has ever taken time to listen to your story and really hear you.
Maybe it’s because it is a scary place to listen to someone’s heart, it takes investing time in the process or most people are hurting themselves, I just don’t know.
You wonder why those girls ganged up on you in school, you wonder why he touched you the way he did, you wonder why mama didn’t do anything about it even when you told her, you wonder why they called you all those names. But because no one take time to really listen to you, you don’t talk about it, or you just make light of it.
Fast forward to your late 20s, early 30s.
When that insensitive, well-meaning older woman asks you at a wedding or funeral when you are getting married or having children something inside of you dies. You keep hoping that the next guy you date is ‘The One’ but he continues the cycle of abuse from your childhood, dumps you and gets married to a different girl 6 months later. You are getting desperate, the biological clock is ticking too. Once more, you try and laugh it off and don’t talk about it.
You are wondering what is wrong with you, and no one sees it but you cry yourself to sleep most nights. Outwards you are very successful, very beautiful and seemingly well-put together. You cover it all well with makeup and a beautiful smile, and once in a while you dull the pain with alcohol. Or you have developed some habits like cutting yourself and talking openly against marriage. But inside you are wilting, you are scared to hope, lest you be disappointed.
At the heart of it all you are wondering, am I CAPTIVATING? Do I deserve somebody’s attention? Is anybody looking out for me?
“We think you’ll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That’s what makes a woman come alive.”
― John Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
The GOOD news is that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in your mother’s womb. Yes, bad things have happened to you but the fact that you are alive and reading this should count for something. Your Creator knows about you, and His very heart weeps whenever you keep going deeper and deeper into despair, and nobody takes time to chat to you.
Sweet woman, whether you are married or not, have children or not, ‘successful’ in the conventional sense or not, you are loved and you deserve the best, never stop believing that. So do something about that wellspring of life, your heart. Guard it, and talk to some qualified people about those hurts so that you can forgive yourself and others and move on. You are not alone.
I will keep updating the list, I’m sure these groups will gladly help and refer you to the right people.
Open Baptist Church [for counselling]~ 318 4082 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
And Flora? She is excited about a job that she just got and in church she always has a smile and a hi for most people!