I am immature.

Spiritually and emotionally.

Why is that such a hard sentence to publicly proclaim?

We live in a society that tells us to “toughen up.”

As a whole we value the illusion of independence and see strength in pretending that “we are okay”.

However, on the inside, most of us are falling apart.

We are deeply damaged from our pasts, burdened by shame and too ashamed to even admit it.

I remember trying to hash out my brokenness after the end of a failed relationship. I was weighted down by the thought that this relationship falling apart was entirely my fault. If he isn’t capable of loving me it must, somehow, be a result of my own brokenness.

I was broken, but not from this relationship.

See the roots of shame extend back a lot further than we care to acknowledge.

I was sexually abused on and off for over a year when I was nine years old.

I began to believe that this was my doing. That somehow I deserved this. We would play outside and my fourteen year old abuser would exclude me from games of basketball. In my mind the entirety of my abuse and my exclusion in front of others was all one event that only confirmed that I was dirty, unwanted and entirely unloveable.

I brought this “baggage” into each and every relationship I entered into, romantic and platonic.

I built my house with these lies.

I laid a foundation full of fear.

I allowed my tower walls to grow so high and so wide that no one would ever be able to hurt me again.

I held these feelings in my heart for five years, afraid to speak the reality of what was taking place behind closed doors.  This seed of shame was festering and growing every day, every month and every year.

This unwarranted exposure to sexuality instilled a belief that in order to love, I had to perform. I had to always give, but never take. I learned to be whatever anyone wanted me to be. I believed that sex was something that was expected not something I should ever want.

And once these relationships fell apart; I blamed myself.

By the time I met Jesus at 18 I had a gapping wound and a whole lot of bandaids over it… I was fine/ I was okay/ I was healed from being abused/ Abuse was just something that happened to me in my past and it wasn’t effecting me anymore.

I had enough lies lined up in my arsenal to convince everyone around me that it was true.

By vowing to never let myself get hurt again, I unconsciously vowed to never allow myself to love someone and in return I ran away from allowing anyone to love the real me.

But I did fall in  love, but not with a person, but who I handcrafted them to be in my mind.

I didn’t acknowledge their brokenness, I only saw their light.

I fell in love with the good and when the bad poked its ugly head up, yet again I assumed this was my fault.

In my mind, everything was black and white.

I formed an unrealistic list of traits and qualities I wanted to find in a partner.

I refused to accept anything but this fraudulent story the enemy so carefully crafted.

And in turn I broke a lot of people in my path to finding Mr. Right.

To love anyone, you have to love their past.

You have to love who they are.

You have to love their faults.

When all you see is your own flaws and brokenness you start to believe that you are somehow responsible for everyone else’s issues.

As backwards as it sounds this is the way I’ve lived a massive portion of my life.

I’ve come to realize I have a long road ahead of me. It is important for me continue to create from this place of brokenness. To be transparent and unafraid to open up about all of my brokenness, not just the part of it that people can easily digest.

I am still weeding out the enemies lies, but I have found so much redemption in the Lord.  Somehow being a Christian makes admitting that I am broken even harder to admit. So many of us believe that being in “the Church” means we should be perfect whole people.

It is okay to admit-

that you are not okay/

that you are still in pain/

that you are broken.

There is an unshakeable strength in the truth which is why the enemy bind our shackles with lies. Be bold. Be honest. Trust in the Lord and His process, even when it is messy.

I promise you will be loved, wholly and without compromise.