~Search through the drawer in your heart. Are there memories that shaped your self image? Write about a time when your feelings were hurt. Why do you think you still remember the incident? How does that help you understand yourself better?
I thought this assignment would be easy. I mean I've written a lot about the trials, lessons, hurts I've experienced from schoolmates, and such... I kept thinking, that if I wrote about those same things, that I'd be cheating. I'd be plagiarizing myself.
Then it hit me.
I knew what I should write.
But how? It still hurts.
I'd been preparing a YW lesson and was combing through my old journals.
I've often wondered why I've stayed strong to my faith, even at a young age, even when things at home were terrifying.
When I started reading through my own words I realized that I survived because at a young age I discovered that though unconditional love and acceptance weren't part of my family life, that God always loved me... even though.
God loved me even though I accidentally broke a ceiling light playing with my brothers. God loved me even though my brothers, thinking it was funny, purposely broke one. God loved me even though I was punished for my mistake, and then again because I was somehow responsible for the actions of my younger siblings. I was in elementary school. I knew God felt I was more important than a ceiling light.
Being betrayed at a young age made me realize that there wasn't anyone I could depend on. If the people closest to you can destroy your self-image and hurt you emotionally and physically, then who can you depend on? This affected my dating life. Even though I was dating someone, I still didn't trust I was good enough. I couldn't figure out why they would want to date me. I though it was a joke. My mind was sick. Thank heavens I met my husband. He made me feel accepted, just as I was, even though. Also, I think I was blessed with faith to stick through all that craziness.
I had the kind of faith that when people who are supposed to love unconditionally, and provide that safe haven, tell you how selfish, ungrateful, unworthy, evil... and then physically take out their anger on you... the faith that God loved me even though I didn't feel lovable right then.
It is because of that faith that I am where I am today. It would have been easier to become self-destructive and lead a life much more unhealthy than I live today, but I didn't. I didn't because of that faith. Faith stronger than familial relationships. Faith more hopeful than depressing situations. I've realized that with Faith I am stronger.
I have faith that God will help me through this. That He will help me heal. It's taken me 31 years to face the realities of my youth. So the scars are still raw. It's hard admitting an imperfect childhood, when all you ever wanted was a perfect Norman Rockwell like one, and when you're surrounded by what you think are perfect, lovable, giant Mormon family reunions.
Because of my childhood I am adamant not to do those things that I knew hurt me. I still remember how it all felt and I am grateful that I don't have a desire to do those things that made me despair at times.
I know I am not perfect. I'm pretty messed up. But I'm willing to reveal my weaknesses to allow the Lord to strengthen me. I have faith that if I turn my issues over to Him, he will make me something glorious. Isn't that why we're here?