To give another person the gift of acceptance is a beautiful thing. To give that gift to yourself, even if you never received it from another, is for some such a difficult thing to do. This truly is the best gift I have ever given myself.
I have been blessed to have people in my life who did accept me. Yet, in my early formative years where my image of self was being developed, I was not so blessed with that gift. My sense of self was disrupted in its development very early on. I was molested at such an early age that its memories were all stored in ways that I could not communicate about it nor even interpret what had happened to me. I lived with that secret and as a result had sensory challenges and a raging food addiction by the age of 16. I lived in a very religious and abusive home. My messages about God led me to believe I would never please him. He seemed angry, judgmental and abusive – much like my own father. The type of father you have in life will definitely change the way you receive God as a father.
I ran away from home and was pregnant within a few months of deadly freedom. Those few months of terror, confusion, abuse and addiction turned into 10-15 years of pain. I was on my third cycle of burning my life down through another abusive relationship when I finally cried out for God. I was willing to hope he would help me for the sake of my teenage children. I found hope, help and restoration as I connected with people who loved God very differently than those I had been accustomed to in childhood. They taught me how to love the Bible. It became a living book of promises to me instead of a rule book. I read it like my life depended on it. It really did! The lasting changes I have found, came in my understanding of the truth in its pages!
One of my favorite promises I discovered early on was found in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.”
I dared to believe that verse! That there was a new life open to me like a new chapter in a book. It did not remove the memories of the old. But faithfully over time God did what Isaiah 26:14 promises:
“They [the former tyrant masters] are dead, they shall not live and reappear; they are powerless ghosts, they shall not rise and come back. Therefore You have visited and made an end of them and caused every memory of them [every trace of their supremacy] to perish.” Amplified Classic Version of Isaiah 26:14
God visited so many places in my past and robbed them of their power to cause me to hide, to self comfort, feed addiction, and believe lies others told me. My past continues to lose its power to rule over my life – my beliefs, decisions and actions. God wants to destroy the voice of the enemy in your life! With God’s help I continue to be transformed. Yet, the greatest gift that I have received is the gift of acceptance. To know that I have been accepted by God is a gift no one else could give to me in the same way.
Ephesians 1:5-6 in The Passion Translation says the most beautiful thing about you and I!
“For it was always in his perfect plan[a] to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace—for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!”
It is Gods plan to destroy the works of darkness in your life through acceptance. The same way he feels about Jesus, he feels about us! Wait, don’t miss that truth!!! He loves you so much! When we accept ourselves as precious to God and created on purpose, our acceptance actually has the power to partner with our original design. Sometimes we are trying to change ourselves from the outside in. He changes us by accepting us in all of our sin and mess.
I began to agree with God’s value of me and it caused courage to rise up and unlock the places I had hidden away out of fear. I shared my story openly for the first time when I was 38! I told my therapist and then my daughter about the abuse in my life. They cried with me and championed me on.
Secrets are made to be kept in the dark by their very nature. Safety and acceptance are substances of light that woo a person and all their troubles into the light. I pray that you might feel the warmth of light and love as you read my story. I pray that God’s embrace would be real and tangible to you no matter what you are facing. He knows it all. He loves you so much. Knowing about his acceptance of you is key to accepting yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and say this, “You are not perfect, but I accept you just as you are today.” Hope springs up in the places where we nurture ourselves. Give yourself the gift of acceptance today!