Character-forming wounds happen early in life. Their imprint filters into our behavior. I’ve lived this truth. After years of childhood sexual abuse, I mentally disconnected.
I swallowed the agonizing pain of my past and discounted the repressed anger and hypersensitivity welling up inside of me. I pressed forward. Independent and fascinated with this new power to shape my own life, I mastered the art of pretense and perfectionism.
A workaholic, I drowned myself in details. I pushed beyond all limits and became a classic overachiever. Rewarded with recognition, accolades, and promotion, I ignored the trauma of earlier years.
My career excelled. Life was good.
That is, except for my lack of authentic intimacy—I spent my first forty years in failed relationships. I lost count of the heartbreaks. A healthy, intimate relationship requires trust and my father had stolen that years ago.
Ashamed, I cloaked my private multi-layered pain, keeping people at a safe distance. No one could penetrate the protective walls I constructed to keep people from knowing “the real me.”
The lies I harbored manifested in my life decisions. I made countless poor choices stemming from wounded self-esteem.
Then, I met Jesus.
For the first time, I felt a glimmer of hope. Finally—someone who loved me unconditionally. Someone who accepted me in spite of my past. I recognized myself in many of the women Jesus befriended. There are women like me. Women who understand what I’ve been through. With these newfound emotional connections, I embraced this uncontaminated Jesus-relationship.
Why did I so readily connect with the women of the Bible who encountered Jesus? I finally felt known. These women had been abused or suffered great loss. Divorced women. Tainted women. Battle-scarred women. I longed to be understood—and these women had been there.
Shadowed by Jesus, I learned the importance of community. As the stories of hurting women unfolded through the pages of the Bible, I found myself.
Excerpt from Write Where It Hurts: Writing as a Healing Tool.
Jo Ann Fore is an author, speaker, and writing coach. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of other women. Most noted for her authentic vulnerability, Jo Ann captivates her audience with faith-filled messages caramelized with a powerful promise of hope. Visit Jo Ann at www.JoAnnFore.com and www.facebook.com/WriteWhereItHurts.
One thought on “There Are “Women Like Me””
I can’t begin to tell you how much community with you through WWIH has impacted my life. There is something incredibly freeing about connecting with other women who have been in the same trenches I’ve trudged through, women I can now comfort with the same sweet grace God extended to me through Jesus. I will ever be grateful to you for your warm welcome, and I will think of you each time I welcome another in the spirit of shared healing–of wording our pain, releasing it to the God of All Comfort, and walking together in His perfect peace. I love you.