I didn't meet my biological father until I was 18 years old. Even though I never should have felt this way, I always felt like his leaving was somehow my fault. That he left because he didn't want me (which was probably partly true at the time). Because I felt this way for so long, I dealt with a lot of emotional issues for most of my life. I've suffered with insecurity for a very long time. I always felt like I wasn't good enough and never would be. Even though I had boyfriends and, now, a wonderful husband that always told me how beautiful they thought I was, I always found flaws when I looked in the mirror. Even though I had a lot of friends, I always felt like an outsider--like no one liked me.
It took me a long time to realize the reasons behind the way I felt. It took me a long time to realize that it wasn't normal to feel that way.
My sophomore year of college, I went to a place called the Ramp in Hamilton, AL. A very dynamic man by the name of Damon Thompson was speaking that night. He spoke about Thomas from the Bible. Thomas was always referred to as "Doubting Thomas" because he showed doubt when Jesus returned after his crucifixion and resurrection. Most people view Thomas in a negative light because of this. Damon, however, caused me to see Thomas totally differently. He said that Thomas didn't doubt just because he didn't believe.. he doubted because he was hurt. It hurt him when Jesus was crucified, and he doubted He had come back because he didn't want to get hurt again. He talked about how we have such a hurting generation. Yes, our generation is rebellious, and yes, our generation needs Jesus severly, but all of this is attributed to pain.
The divorce rate in America is astronomically high. The suicide rate is crazy. The number of teenage pregnancies, abortions, and abandonement is ridiculous. Drug addicition has ruined countless lives. Why? Because our nation is hurting and searching for a remedy for the pain.
God remedied my pain that night. I've never once felt guilt or shame in regards to being abandoned. I'm still a work in progress, naturally, but I have come so far from where I was. I still struggle with insecurity, but God is helping me. I struggled with bitterness for a long time, but God brought me out.
God is the healer of the wounded and the restorer of the broken-hearted. Pain is a huge stronghold to have in your life. God is the only one who can break those chains. God gives beauty for ashes. He catches every tear that falls from our eyes, and he knows the story behind every one.