DAY-IN, DAY-OUT FREEDOM
Like most girls, I have always wanted to feel loved and desired. Early wounds of rejection enforced lies that I believed — lies that said somehow I was disqualified from the love I longed for, which, of course, only kept the wounds alive in my heart.
In college, encouraged by feminist writings about worshiping the female body and claiming independence from men, I tried masturbation as a relief from pain. It didn’t really work. The sense of “release” only lasted for a moment, and then, instead of liberation, I felt intense shame. I actually felt more alone than ever. But after that first experience, though it never became a habit, masturbation was added to the list of “comforters” I used in my lonely, bored, or stressful moments. I kept thinking that maybe the feelings of shame and loneliness would wear off, but they didn’t.
“Encouraged by feminist writings, I tried masturbation as a relief from pain. It didn’t really work.”
A couple years after college, I embarked on an inner healing journey in which God began to break off the lies of rejection I had believed, and teach me the truth of who I am in Him. As I finally heard God tell me what He really thought of me — unfiltered by the old lies, which I had projected onto Him — I felt loved and desired in a way I had never felt my whole life. However, these healing encounters were only the beginning of my journey to actually live, day in and day out, like the daughter He says I am. I had to learn to run to Him in moments of loneliness and stress. I had to learn to fight the shame and remember who I was, even after I acted like I had forgotten.
“I had to learn to run to Him in moments of loneliness and stress. I had to learn to fight the shame.”
Like a child who runs to her mom when she falls down and scrapes her knees, I have learned to run to Jesus, and without fail, He embraces me, wipes away my tears, kisses my hurts, and tells me how much He loves me. He has freed me from shame, and He is helping me to walk in that freedom every day.
— Hannah, 31, New York