Have you ever been to counseling? Even if you haven’t, you may have seen a counseling session in a movie or on a TV show. It seems that when someone goes through counseling, somehow you always end up talking about your parents. The counselor asks about how that has shaped you, things your parents have done and things your parents have said.
Think about your childhood. How was it? Were your parents encouraging or judgmental? Did they show up for you or were they always absent? Did they celebrate you or tear you down? So many people have had so many different experiences. And, the truth is that we live in a fallen world. No one’s parents are perfect.
So many things shape us when we are young, at least our perception of reality shapes us. I feel so blessed to have grown up in loving home. My mom was our biggest cheerleader and always showed up to our events, she constantly sang our praises to her friends, and she loved us so much. My dad worked hard, but we always seemed to be his priority, he too showed up for us, loved us, watched my sister and I put on shows in the living room and gave us piggy back rides around the house. My parents were there.
However, I am not naive to think that some kids don’t grow up with that. Some parents are too busy or too tired to be captivated by their little ones. They are exhausted and can’t take the time to play with their kids, to really get to know their kids. Sadly, some parents are verbally abusive or even physically abusive leaving their kids wounded. They don’t show up for their kids, never make them feel important, don’t validate them, and in turn, these children are left without value. They have learned that they are not worth much, that something is wrong with them, or that they are not important. They carry these wounds with them into their adult life.
For me, I had very few wounds from my childhood, it was when I ventured out into the big world that I encountered rejection, loss and even abuse that I had not encountered before. Those experiences, whether I want them to or not, have affected me. In some ways they have made it easier to comfort others, and in some ways they have hardened my heart, or minimized my trust in areas of life. Stasi states that our souls were not made for the heartbreak of this world and she is so right. If we wouldn’t have betrayed God’s trust in the Garden, things would be much different, but because of the Fall, there are so many more pains that we must endure while we are here on Earth.
And, so many people are in pain. Behind every smile, laugh and post on social media. People are hurting. They are hoping that someone can heal their wounded hearts. When we believe the wounds that we have received growing up, we believe that we are damaged goods. We start to feel shame and shame keeps us hiding from other’s truly seeing us. We have a hard time looking to God to validate us. If we did, we would see that he is full of grace, but instead we look to others, who in my experience are not as gracious. “We are afraid of being truly seen, and so we hide our truest selves and offer only what we believe is wanted…we refuse to bring the weight of our lives, who God has made us to be, to bear on others out of a fear of being rejected.”
When we accept our shame, we deny our beauty. We are made in the image of God and each and every one of us are beautiful, yet we allow our shame to keep us from showing His beauty through us.
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