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Last week I celebrated my birthday and I’ll also be getting married in a few weeks. I’ve been thinking about the challenges I’ve faced and the things I’ve overcome. Drawing nearer to the wedding, I’m literally realising just how faithful God has been to me. I remember all those dark days I used to encourage myself and say, ‘It will get better Susan, it will get better.’ As I cried. By the grace of God and His faithfulness it has been getting better for me, internally and externally.
See here is part of my story:
Before my mother died, I cared for her at age 6 and I watched her get weaker each day, physically and mentally.
I lost both my parents to HIV – I was made an orphan.
Bullied at school.
Mentally, physically and emotionally abused by family.
Rejected by those who were family.
I was made homeless at 16 and was staying on friend’s sofas for 6 – 9 months, whist trying to complete my A-levels.
I finally got accepted for a hostel and let’s just say, at times it was better to share a bed with a friend or stay on a sofa than stay there. It was horrible.
I struggled financially. EMA was my main source of income until I found a job. The struggle was so real! The struggle was so real! Here I was at 16 holding it down for myself in every sense.
I have faced some hard things and this is just the surface (I’m in the process of writing my second book). God has brought me through some things. Mentally and emotionally there were moments I went through deep depression. Days I didn’t want to open my eyes and live, I considered suicide. I felt lonely, unworthy, like I didn’t belong and so broken, beyond repair.
There was often the questions: Will I ever be free? Will I ever experience joy and true love? Will I ever overcome this particular area in my life? Especially when you feel like you've been fighting all your life to survive. It’s hard.
How did I overcome?
Even after I got saved, I struggled. I really did. However, one thing I do know is that commitment will bring liberty.
I wasn’t perfect, I was still seeing my ex at times and doing my own thing (I’m not saying it’s right) but I continued to pursue Christ, not the activity of church (I did get caught up) but Him. I wanted God, I wanted what He possessed and that was freedom and love.
It’s all about being committed to knowing and understanding the truth of God and the redemptive power through Jesus. The commitment to daily prayer and the reading of scriptures is imperative.
Listening to sermons and reading books. I’ve also had therapy/counselling and spoken to those seasoned in the faith to help heal, develop and grow. I believe these elements are just as important.
Freedom may not happen suddenly for you but gradually if you trust Him and keep giving Him those fragile places you will begin to see a change internally and externally. There’s still things that come up that I have to work through, the work within doesn’t end, but He who has begun a great work in you, will surely finish it. (Philippians 1:6) You can truly walk free from the past. This may not be your exact story but you’ve probably faced some hard things and can relate with some of the feelings.
If you're reading this now, I want you to know that despite your history, despite what they said, despite your mistakes; God has a hope, a future and an expected end for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)
He has purposed you before you were even constructed in your mothers womb. (Jeremiah 1:5)
Your good days, your purposeful days are already fashioned before you. (Psalms 139:13-16)
You can experience peace and love. (Romans 5:5)
You don’t have to be perfect or try to earn the love of God, He has always loved you. (Ephesians 2:7-8, Romans 5:8, Jeremiah 31:3)
When you come to Him, He will not reject you or despise you. (Hebrews 4:16, Psalms 51:17)
The Lord can heal and restore what is broken and shabby. He can create a masterpiece out of your life. (Isaiah 61:3)
It is these truths that have brought me through some dark times, deep insecurities and healed some deep wounds.
You have to keep going to Him and keep giving Him your struggle. You may not have perfect days, but as long as you keep looking to Him, the author and finisher of your faith. You will overcome. (Romans 8:28-39)
God is ready to do a new thing in your life, He want you/us to continue to move forward in freedom.
But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.