LEARNING MY TRUE IDENTITY
*trigger warning – sexual assault and suicidal ideation*
As a child, I was a victim of incest. I was never allowed to talk about it or seek help for fear of retaliation. I was so afraid of being at home, but I knew Jesus was with me, even in the bad times. I felt very out of place, unloved, and insecure. I had very low self-esteem. I lived a life of isolation because I was being hurt at home and couldn’t talk about it to anyone. My family and I were faithful church goers, every time the doors were open, we were there. That’s where I learned about Jesus. I would see pictures of children sitting on Jesus’s lap, and I learned how much He loved them. Getting to know Him saved my life.
About seven years ago I was in a bad place emotionally, and felt that I didn’t want to live anymore. I had raised my three children and I was done dealing with all the pain. I severely suffered with suicidal ideation. When I found a Care Group at Eastside it changed my life and gave me hope! Since then, I have been leading the Mental Wellness Program for Women.
I learned my true identity: “Your true identity, who you really are, is based on what you mean to God. Circumstances and struggles do not define who we are, God does…You are not chasing holiness; He has already made you holy.” (Quotes from the Mental Wellness for Woman’s book, Thrive, by Grace Alliance)
Since I’ve been in the group, I’ve felt loved, accepted, and understood. I’ve learned to step out of isolation, connect with others, and share my feelings without being judged. It is a safe place for us to share what we’re going through with others who understand. It is the perfect place to feel safe and heal!
To anyone suffering with mental wellness – be proactive in your own healing! No one can do the work for you. You have to be the one to take the steps and care for yourself. Trust me, God will meet you there!
If you or someone you know is in a difficult season, we invite you to check out the Care & Recovery groups at Eastside. We don’t have to navigate these seasons alone. There is a caring community of people that have walked the path to recovery and would love to walk beside you on your journey to hope and healing. There are so many groups to choose from. Check it out here: eastside.com/care.