I’m not entirely sure where I first got the idea that I was unlovable, but this thought permeated every ounce of my existence from a very young age. When my mom died in 1993, I blamed myself for her death. I carried that blame for almost twenty years. My childhood journals are filled with elementary scrawl detailing my loneliness and failings, and on my twelfth birthday, I remember crying myself to sleep and wishing I could just disappear forever. That same year, worthiness interviews began at church, and I began to feel more and more weighed down by the fact that I just couldn’t be good enough. I wasn’t worthy of anything, let alone love.
I spent the first twenty years of my life always, at least casually, wishing I could die. I had a myriad of reasons, but the reason that always topped the list was that “nobody loves me.” The systematic emotional abuse that I endured for all of those years took a toll, one that I began to fear I would never recover from. When I reconnected with the love of my life, I just knew that I would get better. That I wouldn’t be governed by my feelings of inadequacy and lack of ability to be loved. I KNEW he loved me as much as I knew the sky was blue. But it didn’t change. I didn’t change. In fact, in the years that followed, my confusion about how he could possibly love me flourished.
As the years went by, my subsequent battles with postpartum depression left me feeling more beleaguered than ever, and my extreme inadequacy in being able to express love to my children and husband filled me with more self-loathing than ever before. (No need to discuss all of this here, I’ve detailed it time and time again in the posts that preceded this one.) I’d reached my absolute breaking point. My heart was shattered into a million pieces.
Just to be completely clear about this-through all of these years, I was suicidal nearly every day. We’re talking nearly two decades of suicidal ideation peppered with self-harm and attempts on my own life.
Then I found Jesus.
I thought I knew Jesus. I spent my entire life learning about him! But one day, by the grace of God, and surely without any other explanation, I started to realize that there must be more. That Jesus had to be more than I knew him to be. I was reading my scriptures and praying every day, but I started reading more. Praying more. The answers I found shocked me. The path that illuminated before me broke my heart and beckoned me forward. So I stepped to the ledge, and with reckless abandon, I jumped into Christianity. I poured out my heart in prayer and gave my life to Jesus. I promised to follow no matter how dark the days might seem, no matter what (or who, as I later discovered) it meant I might lose. And for the first time-
I felt loved.
It’s been a year since I was born again, and by all counts, one of the hardest years of my life. There have been sleepless nights, and months of therapy. There have been children in the hospital, and lonely months. But there have also been times of immeasurable joy, precious laughter, blessings we could have never imagined, and love like I’ve never known.
And I can count the number of days I felt suicidal on one hand.
For the first time in my life, I’m free.