“For I know the Plans I have for you”

I am so excited to share my first guest post. I have some understanding of what it takes to look within yourself and share your pain with others. It is no easy thing but the blessing that comes from sharing has far greater power. I believe that faith and expectation are increased when we share our story of how God has brought us through hard times. And he truly does, maybe not in the way we would like, want or pray but he will always work things for good.

The devil can take the day off, he doesn’t need to do anything. Why? Because I do it to myself. I have been told so many times that I have failed and that I am useless, that I have come to believe it. I don’t see myself as God created me. I don’t love myself – that’s vain right? Look after myself – oh no, there is no time for that by the time I have been a mum, worker, housekeeper…… I got lost. Me, I disappeared. I lost track of who I am. I became empty inside. Don’t give me a mirror, I can already see the sorrow and shame looking back at me. My heart broke. I began to exist. I don’t matter. Why? Because I believed the lies.

Don’t pay me a complement, it is wasted! I will just add a caveat. My daughter recently told me that I am the best mum in the world….. because I gave her some spending money for her holiday. I sing in the worship group at Church and my friend recently told me that I sounded lovely…. She was being polite, I had a cold and sound all husky. What am I good at? Overthinking! I can play a conversation over and over in my head until it drives me mad!

I have been having counselling, seeing the ministry team at Church, I’ve been on Christian healing weekends. But the “still small voice” of God is over shadowed by a booming voice that says I am not good enough. One day I hope that will change. One day I hope I will be able to forgive.

What I have learnt is that I am holding myself back from God’s plan for my life. God made me in his image, He knew my name before the world began, and He has big plans for me.

Lauren 1

There is no one else like me, I am unique! There is no one else who can do the things that God wants me to do. That is really hard to believe when you have low self-esteem! It is even harder when someone is constantly reinforcing the idea that you are a bad person. I am not perfect, I don’t claim to be. I am hurt.

I believe that God has been with me on my journey – even through the really horrible times when it is hard to see Him and you cry out to Him because life is unbearable and you can’t see a way out! I believe that my loving Father was with me every time I cried, and I believe He loves me and I believe He wants more for me and my family. I believe He has already forgiven me for the very difficult decision that I had to make, the decision to split up our family. People say that God does not give you more than you can handle – clearly He has more faith in my strength and resilience that I do!!!

I don’t want anyone to feel like I did. I don’t want anyone to feel lonely or trapped in their circumstances. I want women to come together and support one another. So that is what I believe God is calling me to do, to provide a place for women to come together to do craft activities, chat, eat, and just be there to encourage each other. We have held several womens craft evenings at Church over the last 2 years, and it has been amazing to see the groups of women come together – women that would not normally speak to each other on a Sunday at Church. I have learnt that is it not about the number of women that come along, it is about WHO God called to be there. And I have grown as a person, I am finding myself again, I am rekindling my gifts of compassion and encouragement. This lost, broken, hurt woman is on the path to great things….. she just needs to believe in herself (and know that God will give her the gifts she needs to succeed).

Words can hurt, so choose yours wisely. Use them to encourage, support, apologise, and forgive. Pay a compliment – it will help someone on their journey, and one day they may be able to accept it unconditionally.

lauren 2.jpg

Lx

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