I joined the Army in 2012. Before I left home for basic training, my relationship with God began to flourish and I was excited about my journey ahead…
Exactly one day before basic training ended, I found out that I had been selected to advance to the next rank. God blessed me tremendously during the few months I was in training. Because of this, I thought that my journey in the military was going to be easy, but as soon as I graduated reality hit.
I started to lose focus. I decided to get into a relationship that God never told me to be in. This guy would constantly point out my flaws. The fact that I’m skinny, my face wasn’t clear, or my hair simply wasn’t styled the way he wanted it to be never seemed to depart from his mouth. After I had ended the toxic relationship, I fell into a deep state of depression.
In addition to this, I had to deal with everything that came with being a Soldier. Although I personally never stepped foot on a battlefield, I was at war—spiritually. As I dressed myself in the camouflaged uniform everyday, somehow I also managed to hide from the reality of my pain. Over the years, I would take the hits. I always knew that I would have a boyfriend or something/someone to fall back on, but during this particular time I had no one but God.
God wanted to get me alone to show me that I was damaged on the inside. When I left home, I assumed that since I gave my life to Christ I was completely healed. The truth of the matter is, God’s reason for taking me away from home was so I “can” be healed.
I found out quickly that in order for me to move forward with my life in Christ, I had to first allow Him to heal me from my past. I spent 18 years holding on to the pain of being raped, fatherless, the feeling of rejection, and abandonment. I had internal issues and God knew exactly how to bring them to surface.
During this time, my face broke out in cystic acne. After all of the medication failed, I decided that I was going to do research. I wanted to find out how to get rid of acne for good. Over a period of time I learned that acne is not such a bad thing after-all. According to my research, it actually is a warning sign, showing something is off balance in our internal system. In other words, it is a physical display of an issue which can’t be seen.
After taking the medication, my face would clear up, but over a short period of time the acne would come back much stronger. Shortly, I learned that all of the medications I used was only designed to get rid of the appearance of acne (treat the symptoms), not solve the problem. Knowing this was the case, I realized I had been doing things backwards. In order to get rid of the acne, I had to first find the root of what caused it in the first place. It wasn’t until I found the root of the internal issue, I was able to deal with it and get rid of acne for good.
Parallel to this, God showed me what my issue was spiritually. The fact that I was depressed, having premarital sex, and getting in relationships that weren’t purposed for me to be in was not the ultimate problem. All of these things were just symptoms. In order for me to heal, I had to get to the root of the issues, which were rape, rejection, abandonment, and growing up without a father in my life.
I DIDN’T FEEL BEAUTIFUL
One night I was headed to my room when a guy in my Unit had stopped me. He was walking with some of my coworkers down the hallway. I could tell that he had been drinking whenever he began to talk, but I didn’t walk away. I decided to listen. He said, “You are so beautiful. Not because of your looks, but because of your heart.” He then proceeded to tell me not to change who I am.
I wanted to cry, but I held myself together. As we went our separate ways I started to tear up, not because he told me I was beautiful… but prior to us talking in the hallway, I was in my room wondering what God thought about me during this time of my life. I didn’t even know I had all of these unsolved issues on the inside. As He was healing me I wanted to know if I was still “good enough to Him” I know He was allowing me to go through all of the things I went through, but at the time I didn’t understand the purpose behind it all.
I loved God, but I didn’t feel too good about myself while dealing with all of these things. It appeared to be an ugly situation and I found no beauty in it.
God used someone who was impaired to remind me that He was not like all of those temporary things and relationships I used to make me feel good about myself. Even though He knew my flaws and what I went through in life, all of these things are what He was attracted to. Not only was He attractedmy flaws, but my heart towards Him as well.
He Showed me that no matter what I was going through or how I felt, I didn’t have to be insecure for any reason. He decided over 2,000 years ago to die for not only myself, but for every imperfect person. I realized He chose love me for who I am before I even stepped into existence. Because of His faithfulness, character, and simply being who He is; I can rest in His unconditional love.
Once I accepted the truth concerning beauty and love, my perception began to change. I understood that everything I experienced was all was apart of why God purposed for me to be here.
BEAUTY FOR ASHES
For those of you who are battling with depression, insecurity, and the imperfections of your past/present, I simply want to encourage you to cling tight to God in this season of your life. Know that both you and your imperfections are attractive to God and its all apart of your divine purpose in Him.
You don’t have to turn to things and/or people that only bring you temporary happiness and satisfaction. Give the weight that you carry in your heart to God. My prayer and deep desire is that you will come to realize that God is there with you. He is attracted to your situation. God finds beauty in your pain. During this season of your life, don’t walk with your head held down. Instead, look to Jesus. (Psalm 121)
Remember what Jesus suffered here on earth. He was rejected and beaten to the point of being unrecognizable, but God found that His heart for us and the world was simply beautiful. In essence, His pain was apart of God’s purpose.
Push through depression! Jesus says” I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” -John 16:33, NIV
Since you’re in Christ, just as He overcame the world and all of its trouble, you will also overcome.
If you are not saved and/or lack a personal relationship with Christ, I want to encourage you to give your life and heart to Him in exchange for the new life He died for you to have.
” If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”-Romans 10:9, NIV
If this piece of my testimony has encouraged you, please share it in hope that others will also be encouraged.
I love you always,