Healing from Abuse and Inadequacy
Sherry’s Spiritual Journey:
>Spirituality is the core of who we are. In the formative years (teenage and especially university years), we make crucial decisions that affect the rest of our lives. For myself, I’ve learned to go for truth… to build my life on something that will not crumble in 30 years.
Before I discovered that foundation and core, I tried to define myself through excellence in sports and academics, and by trying desperately to be "normal" and "acceptable" to people.
>I had little self-esteem or confidence, so I tried desperately to prove myself in sports and school. I succeeded, competing and winning provincial shot put competitions in high school. High school graduation brought several scholarships and a place on the Honor Roll.
Despite all this, I still had few friends at school. My hard work did not achieve the end I was looking for.
>When I was little, my mom taught me things from the Bible. I thought they were cool stories like everything else.
>My abusive dad kept us scared and feeling isolated, so the concept of a concerned and loving God called "Father" seemed so foreign to me. But I kept trying to read the Bible and its’ cool stories because it gave me hope and an escape from my personal hell.
>I was 15 when I finally had enough courage to flee from my hell. After the police and Social Services delivered me to a foster home after midnight, I sat in a dark room, terrified and alone.
No family knew where I was, I was in a large scary city, I had no friends and no help except these new "parents" who I had no idea if I could trust.
>I remembered what I had been learning about God from the Bible and began to pray. "God, I know that you never change. I know that you are the God who sees me. It is just you and me now, and I really need you to help me." And He did take care of me.
>I found myself utterly dependant on God to carry me through each day. I was so scared of being used again that I could not place my trust in anyone. Then I found a Church youth group that LIKED me and accepted me. But I still only entrusted myself to the unchanging comfort of God.
>I tried hard to make myself perfect and acceptable for God. I did all I could to be good and to do things that would make others begin "voting" for me and letting me stay on the island of self-help.
>Failing to be perfect, I wasn’t able to be good enough. I didn’t understand, but have now come to realize that no matter how hard I try, or how great I may posture myself on the outside, it is only the unchanging grace and undeserved favour from God, and faith that we are saved from the our imperfect and sinful nature. By accepting Jesus’ death on the cross in my place for my sin, God sees me through Jesus and sees his perfection as mine, forgives me, and makes me acceptable to God.
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