I took a moment in my life to unravel my protected, guarded heart of tangled emotions to see who I was, what I felt, and what my purpose was… while doing this I really saw how hurt, indignant, damaged, resentful, bitter, selfish, and unloved I felt.
I left home at the age of 17 with a bitter and hurt heart toward my relationship with my dad. (we tore each other apart and left ourselves damaged) For a long time growing up, my intuition was continuously triggered telling me something wasn’t right about my father-daughter relationship. I hounded my mom to see my birth certificate and a few months after my 18th birthday, my mom revealed to me something that shocked me. I found out that the dad I was raised with all my life was not my biological father. I asked where my biological father was with a hopeful heart to meet him.. and my heart dropped when my mom told me that I couldn’t because he had passed away. My mindset was this: I was upset because my relationship between me and my “step” dad was hurtful and unloving when all the while I could have met my “real” dad who I was told came looking for me all his life until he died. Then I was hurt and angry that my mom waited until I turned 18 to tell me when I could have met him while he was alive.—and to top it off I was deeply hurt to lastly find out that my biological dad had died from committing suicide. I was mixed with so many emotions at that point because I wondered, “Why did he do that? Why didn’t he just wait and trust that one day I would find out and come looking for him and then we could have met??”
To get through it MY way, I would do my best to keep my eyes focused on the good in my life. So I was the happy friendly girl who bottled up her emotions and stuck it out tough enough to pass through the hurt and swept any feelings under the rug.
So what did these covered feelings breed in my character? –Independence in a way that was easy to cut people off in order to protect my heart. No trust- I monitored the trust I chose to give people and they had to work really hard to earn it or simply wait upon my personal choice of whom I would give it to and at my discretion of the capacity. A defensive heart– that never felt understood and felt a need to be heard, a need to be understood, and a need to be proven. An unforgiving heart– to not let anyone hurt me or those I kept close to me—an indignation of “if you hurt me or those I love, I will show you why you will never ever do that again.”
With all that being said, know that these were the impurities of my heart that I did not realize trickled down negatively. Finally, one day I made a choice to check myself as I sought out a real relationship with God. I felt that I lined up so well in many other areas of life that it was okay to feel anger and resentment because I was justified by my hurt. I felt I was in the right reaction to feel them or that “it’s just how I am” or “how I was raised”.
After building my own convictions about giving God my all, I chose to say you know what, if I am claiming to be a Christian then I need to make sure I am walking the talk. Don’t get me wrong, we are not perfect, but we all know deep down inside when we resist something and pass it off as “it’s just how I was raised” or “that’s just me” when God actually calls us higher. I had to choose to TRUST. This is a hard thing for me because of my past, but I work at it and do all I can because I know I can’t do it alone. Trusting God took baby steps, then a walk, brisk walk, and then a run… sometimes we fall.. then we get right back up after patching up our wounds.
I chose to finally digest that humble pie, and say “I’m sorry” even when I felt justified in hurting someone in return for hurting me. I had to take responsibility for the reactions that I had. I have control over how I react so it is my responsibility to not lash out or be hurtful. I took control of what I felt, let God handle the justifications, and chose to forgive without expectation. My relationships in family, friends, and even strangers have had positive outcomes as a result of this change. My mom, my dad (even if he is considered a step dad I love him and call him my dad), and I have the best relationship now than ever.
With God I had to go to uncharted territories of myself and be fearless while learning my personal growth. I always had a heart to give, but I had limitations on who and how I chose to give. God opened up some new doors in teaching me to love people fearlessly. In order to extinguish my bitterness, resentment, or anything like that, I chose not to take hurt personally. Hurt people… hurt people. So when someone begins to do something hurtful, rather than lashing back in defense, I choose to take on a mindset of compassion (which is totally not a usual habit but it had to become one as I changed for the better) and realize that there may be something this person is going through so just love the person through it.
We can easily let other things in life define us. But it is a choice to grow out of our weaknesses and sprout them into strengths. Someone once told me that a flower has to persevere through a whole lot of dirt to grow and blossom so that we can see it’s beauty. If you bury the things you are capable of growing in, then no one will be able to see your beauty and be blessed by it. We are powerful assets to each other in our growth. Growing pains don’t last forever.
Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” Trust that if you give 100% to your personal growth… with faith and perseverance, while stepping out of your comfort zone, great things will arise.