WHEN WORDS WOUND

Kids are funny.

Being the aunt of a beautiful 2 year old has been so much fun. Especially on vacation. We now do so many things that you just don’t do as an adult “kid”: we go sledding, play in the snow, have goofy dance parties, play pretend, and run around singing “Frozen” at the top of our lungs.

But it’s just so fun seeing the world through the eyes of a little child again.

My niece is absolutely adorable. And one of the things that always is so amazing to me is how she remembers everything. And how certain events particularly stick with her.

For example, she got a flu shot several months ago, and her big thing now with her baby doll, is to give them flu shots. That experience clearly had a profound impact on her.

And it got me thinking about my childhood, and surprise, surprise…recovery.

Over Christmas, [when I originally wrote this post] it was really interesting being back in the house I grew up in.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes memories just hit you? All of a sudden out of the blue. Maybe it’s sparked by a sound, or a smell, or a place, but you remember it like just yesterday.

And that happened over break, in my parents’ powder room.

“Raising the Strong Willed Child”

That was the title of a book I discovered on my parents’ bookshelf in their bathroom when I was about 9 or 10. And like my niece’s flu shot, that book title had a profound impact on me.

For I read that title (a reasonably good book for a parent to read) and internalized the notion that there was something wrong with me. That I was defective. That the person I was, was bad.

That was the first time I can remember feeling self-conscious. And it made me angry. Made me hurt. Made me feel like, my parents were keeping this big secret: that they were ashamed of me.

I was with my mom when this memory hit me. And it definitely knocked the wind out of me. And I shared with her, for the first time, that deep wound caused by a stupid book.

And you want to know the irony here: she never even read the book. Didn’t even know it was on her bookshelf at the time.

But I fell asleep reflecting that night. And here’s what was put on my heart.

We are all reflections of our Creator. Every part of us. Even the parts that we may not be so apt to broadcast to the world.

Because they all reveal a glimpse of He who made us.

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But let’s call it like it is here: yes, I was a strong willed child.

Hell, anorexia is about as strong willed as you can get.

But that was a negative manifestation of a characteristic that isn’t negative in itself.

A strong will isn’t all bad. Without a strong will, Jesus could have just been like…Yeahhh, I’m notttt gonna go through with that whole Cross thing. Nahhhh.

  

And in my own life, my strong will has been a blessing in other things too. For example, my decision to save myself for marriage: believe me when I say it has been pretty. damn. difficult. But thank God for that personality trait.

But falling asleep that night, I was also hit with this: I am not defined by anyone other than myself. And more accurately, anyone other than God.

I think everyone has a “Strong-Willed Child” book in their past: some memory or remark made by someone that has wounded their core. Made them second guess their worth and their “goodness.”

And it was just put on my heart that none of those remarks matter. Yes, they can hurt –a lot,– and can be painful episodes to recall. But at the end of the day, you decide what you believe about yourself. You choose whose words hold merit.

And there is one person whose opinion I do value. And that is the One who made me. He tells me that I have incomprehensible worth. That I am good. That I am not defective, or messed up, or needing repair. But that I am His daughter, and it is from that single fact, that I am precious. Nothing I have done, no achievement or mistake has any influence on the fact that I am good because I am His.

 

That dumb book, that haunted me for so many years, is just that: a dumb book. I will not let a silly little “bathroom read” define how I view myself and my worth. Because if I ever have any question about that, all I need to do is look at the Cross.

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

188 thoughts on “WHEN WORDS WOUND

  1. Omg my 20 yr old daughter needs to read your article …I think she could relate.She has or should say has her battles ..she suffers from depression and it breaks my heart. if only she new her worth ..she is so loving and and such a beautiful person mind and soul like I feel you are.

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    1. My goodness, thank you so much. Yes, invite her to check it out! Twenty is such a tough age because you’re “breaking away from the best” and establish independence and finding out who you are. It sounds like you’re a great mom. She’s lucky to have you:) hugs xx

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  2. Great post! We so often let the things that aren’t important define who we are. Excellent reminder that the one who IS worth it says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made!

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  3. Tears. This has brought back memories! I wrote a similar post this week but it was more on words said by spouses. You write beautifully! Following! Denise

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  4. What a great read. The post itself provided insightful thoughts and knows insightful thoughts came from a very intelligent human being. Those very thoughts proved 3 things. Number one when God made the cross key provided way of victory to overcome any and all trials. Number 2 those thoughts prove that there is an intelligent designer that created such people like yourself. Number 3 and the final reason why I think that was insightful thoughts are the most important thing is because after reading this blog post by things you’ve all convinced us that we all want to become pink starburst. Keep writing, you do good work.

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    1. Hahha yessss pink starbursts! ☺️☺️☺️ thank you so much for these thoughtful words. Yes, God is good. And He HAS provided victory for all upon the cross. Amen to that! Thanks again for reading 🙂

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      1. Sometimes that’s the hardest part. I only came up with my title for my book well realizing one day that I was headed towards two different paths and I had to choose which direction I wanted to carry my feet in. It was until I wrote a wedding speech for my twin brother and I finally realized then my feet orange headed the way of the world any further. In fact they jay-z’s Direction all together. Isn’t it funny to see how footprints can travel no one ever really knows what direction to go in unless they look at their feet.

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      2. Then again my twin is like my hero. I would do anything for that guy. In turn he would do anything for me. That’s the kind of twins we are. If we were a sandwich would be peanut butter and jam. If we were video game characters we would be Mario and Luigi. If we were a dish of pasta he would be the spaghetti I would be the sauce.

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  5. This post also spoke to me. My “Strong willed Child” thing was my father reading my diary when I was thirteen years old and he put shame and fear on me saying my mother would be put in hospital if she read my diary. I went out hurting myself for years after. By the way I just released the post now with your tweet imbedded. It’s called “Difficult Questions in Times of Crisis”

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    1. Thank you so much for this reflection, Maris. I’m sorry that you had to endure that betrayal of trust. Know that you did not deserve that. And thanks for sharing your post. I will definitely check it out. Sending so much love and hugs to you my friend. Xox

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  6. WOW. I literally have had this same experience (maybe all parents hide their parenting books by the toilet?? idk. ;)) Although, the Lord allowed me to talk to my mom about it really soon after it happened. I am so sorry that you had to wait years for that! But, I know God had a purpose for it, whatever it may be. Thanks for sharing!!

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  7. Profound. Brought up my own memories of childhood. I was the kid everyone teased, made fun of, etc. The outcast. I “divorced” myself when I went to high school. None of the people I had grown up with were there. I took that opportunity to bury that horrible little kid with all of the mean nicknames deep, deep somewhere he’d never get out. Eventually I just became me. I forgot about all that and finally got on with life. It’s amazing, the baggage that history packs.

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    1. Hi Jeffrey. Gosh, kids can be mean. That’s one of the worst things about growing up. I always have to remember that when I pick the kids up that I nanny for. Even though I may think “oh they’re kids, what could they possibly have that makes life less than rosy?” I have to remember that kids can be mean at their age and I just don’t know what their day at school was like. I’m so glad you let it go–because you’re an incredible guy with a lot to offer. Baggage be gone☺️ and I wish I could go back and stick up for you to those cotton-headed-ninny-muggins☺️ no one messes with my friend! ☺️☺️☺️ have a great weekend Jeff

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