Picture this, an awkward seven year old Carla. All excited to go play with her friends when I hear my dad say, “is that really what you’re going to wear?” and It seems so little right but while he was around he managed to constantly try to “fix” things about me ranging from the way I talked, the way I laughed, the way I ate, and even what I read. Now it seems cliche but this happened a lot for me unfortunately while he was around. He left my family shortly after I turned eight and he would pop in and out occasionally but during the time he was around I truly wanted him to see me as good enough and somehow I was never good enough no matter what I changed about myself. I spent a long time after he left hating who I was literally everything about myself I got really quiet and I never really laughed a whole lot because I thought he left because of me, I thought all the things he tried “fixing” about me was the reason he left. I was only a kid so I didn’t understand and my brothers and my mom never talked about it ether but unfortunately as the years went on I internalized all of that because I didn’t know how to heal. Later on in life ended up with me trying to “fix” myself more so that people liked me or wanted to stay specifically in relationships. My taste in “Men” was questionable and my need for approval skyrocketed. We do this a lot,we,I always wanted an identity but I always placed it into things or people, I think that’s a big struggle of growing up not knowing where your true identity comes from. A huge place I tried to place my identity in was my looks, Yikes, I know seems superficial and you’re not wrong it is. Here’s the thing though I didn’t feel like I had identity if it wasn’t in the things surrounding me. I actually based my identity off of my looks because of a relationship I was in… Let me just pause and say I know crazy right? But here’s the thing I didn’t know my true identity is in Christ so I let things of this world try to fulfill that spot. When I went into this past relationship I struggled a lot because I didn’t know who I was I mean I knew I was Carla, but I didn’t see much more than that. I never healed from my childhood so I let my past and my lack of identity dictate and set the standards for how I was treated.
I struggled a lot, Specifically in my last relationship before I came to know Christ. We had dated for two years and honestly because I was letting him set the standard for my Identity I was always feeling like I wasn’t enough. It also didn’t help that he kept pictures of his ex which i’ll just give you a spoiler… I should’ve left then but here’s the thing I thought that eventually he would see me as enough to not want to keep her around. I thought I could make him see that I was worth it by changing more of who I was and trying to do everything to make him happy and filled while I was running on empty. That’s not to say I was perfect, I was far from it but I tried everything to make him see I was enough. I remember before I was saved (coming to know Christ), I would cry myself to sleep most nights feeling so worthless I mean guys, I did everything I dyed my hair cause he was more into blondes, I made my eyebrows smaller, and when my laugh was talked about I would try not to laugh as much or smile as much. I was trying to get him to see me as worthy when I didn’t even see it in myself. I remember one of the times I had been cheated on and I knew who the girl was and of course she was the opposite of me so naturally instead of walking away I would look in the mirror and be so mean to myself because I would think if I could just change these things he would stay, he would see me as enough. If I had different hair, if I had a different smile, If I had a different body type.That never happened and I could tell you a hundred other stories of how I tried to change and what It felt like but here’s the thing I look back at all those moments and I get sad because even though I’m healed and I have my identity I remember all those times. I remember how broken I was. I was there too believe me and for a long time I thought it would never get better but God is so good, when we feel no worth He pays it all for us (go listen to ‘Reckless Love’ it changed my life). I had to change my mindset and I’ll tell you this a lot of people will tell you that once you come to know Christ your identity just comes with it but for me it took time, It took completely giving it all to God and healing from those things, It took forgiving myself and those around me, It took a lot of tears. I journaled a lot it helps to get what you are feeling out on paper it’s a whole other way of giving it to God. I slowly got to the place I’m at today. I didn’t think I’d ever be in a place where I knew my identity and where I loved who God made me from the inside out but I’m telling you when you lean on God, when you trust in Him, and when you understand your identity comes from Him there is nothing that can take or set those standards for you. Remember though it’s a process, It’s never perfect there’s days where I do slip but I don’t go back to that place I reach for God instead because that’s were true healing comes from. That’s where true identity comes from. The process takes time and it doesn’t come without work. Don’t feel bad because you’re not 100% healed on day one. I sure wasn’t but i’m telling you He did it for me and He’ll do it for you too. He created you just the way you are, YOU are not here on accident.
God Is Good All The Time