I’ve started this post so many times and so many different ways. But nothing really flowed and then tonight on my walk, I suppose it kind of hit me what I wanted to share as this post is about growing even when it’s hard.

I grew up going to church first with my mom and dad, then with my aunt when I was around three. You could basically say I was raised in the church. As I got older, I like most people had my share of family drama and things I wish no one knew. I remember I would be sitting in church and thinking about everything going on in my family and feeling nothing but shame and isolation. It was awful, I remember at one point in middle school I wanted to die. I felt unbearable pain and I just didn’t want to be here anymore. Thankfully, one of my family members came home earlier that day and even though they didn’t know what I was trying to do, they stopped it just by coming home. Soon after that I started going to youth group and getting more involved in church, but I still felt captive to the shame. I remember as I got older, I got very involved in the church. I knew all the Bible stories and was probably at the church more than my home (at least that’s how it felt). I knew God loved me and I knew all the right answers but I still didn’t always feel it or connect with that truth like I think I should of.

Then I made I choice to date my ex who wasn’t a Christian and you don’t do that you don’t date someone who is unequally yoked to you, but I did and then I married him. We ended up splitting up and will be getting a divorce. We have a child together and we co-parent amazing. After we split up I went on a year of self discovery. During this year there was definitely some bad choices and self loathing going on. I definitely felt like i was reaping what I had sowed, ten folds. The greatest thing happened though, I had a conversation with a friend and then I had a conversation with God. I asked for forgiveness and then I worked on forgiving myself.

I feel like I have come a long way. When I have negative thoughts about things I’ve done, I stop and ask God to help me forgive myself in that moment and to take it away. When I have negative thoughts about myself, I stop and remind myself of how great I truly am because I was made in God’s image. I have really started working on myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have started pouring love into myself because that is what I deserve. It hasn’t been an easy journey I have many wounds still healing and a few scars to remind me just how far I’ve come.

I finally feel like not only do I know the stories of the Bible, but I’m finally able to start applying them to my life. I know God loves me, I know He is for me, I know He won’t forsake me, I know Jesus has over come the world, and now I am starting to feel it too.

I share this with you because growth is not painless and that’s okay. Growth is hard, but it is so worth it. When you are in that valley and you don’t understand why you are struggling, know that you are probably about to learn and grow and that is amazing.

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