You Are Worth the Fight


There was a time when I was on the verge of giving up. I had lost my ability to experience joy and felt like there was no way out. I had lost my sense of self worth. But worst of all, I had lost my will to fight.

It’s been five years since I have been out of an abusive relationship, and within that time period so much growth has taken place within my life. When I think back to that pitiful, broken girl I once was, it warms my heart to see how God’s grace and love has carried me right through the heavy storm.

When I first entered the relationship, my heart really wasn’t in it. I was young, vulnerable and wanted to have a boyfriend just like everyone else. Dating was apparently the cool thing to be doing. I didn’t want to feel even more of an outcast than I was, so I felt the pressure to get together with someone as quickly as possible.

I entered my first real relationship at the age of 16, and little did I know that my world would be flipped upside down shortly after. Within the first few weeks he hit me. It was like a bad dream that I thought I could escape by waking up. But this nightmare did not go away. I was a girl who had big dreams for the future. I was planning on being significantly successful in this crazy world we live in. But in that very moment when I felt the first hit, it was like all my dreams went out the window. My sense of value felt like it was meaningless. My heart was broken.

photo by bethany olsonAs much as I was afraid of being physically hurt, I was more ashamed of what I had let myself get into. I blamed myself for being in this situation, and felt that I deserved what I got. As time went by, I forgot what real love looked liked. My view of myself became distorted as I forgot about my self worth and lost my self esteem.

Over the four long years I was in this relationship, I felt more and more distant from God. Trapped, alone, and lifeless, I had lost all hope in who I was in Christ. I grew up in a Christian family and knew the promises God had spoken over my life. But with every beating that would come my way, I felt like I was stepping further and further away from God. With all the violence, abuse and degradation I received, I no longer felt that my wellbeing even mattered. In the midst of the chaotic mess, I lost an unborn child due to the violent beatings. At that point of my life, I felt that I could no longer go on. I felt even God couldn’t help me recover. It was like my existence was pointless, and He had left me.

After the relationship ended, I had no direction in my life whatsoever. I felt like a piece of really rough paper that had been screwed up and thrown out. I didn’t know how I was meant to pick up the broken pieces of myself to get on with life. My world was a jumbled mess and I had to somehow clean it up and start again. I wanted to feel alive and free again. But, instead of running into the arms of our Heavenly Father, I ran into the arms of other guys looking for love. The mix of alcohol and self harm numbed my emotional pain. I thought that if I suppressed my hurt and anger by avoiding God, eventually it would all go away. But it only led to destruction. I was choosing to be defeated by Satan’s twisted lies, so I knew that I needed to start fighting back.

I began to allow God start covering me with His love and grace. Slowly but surely, He reminded me of all the things that made me beautiful. I was no longer broken, but beginning a journey of healing through Him. I needed to start believing the power that He had over my life. I was His and no one else's. God created me in His image, as His wonderful work. Even though life’s circumstances had failed me, I could trust God with my future.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

I want to encourage each of you beautiful girls: you are of worth. Life may hit you hard, but the Lord gives us the tools to fight back. When our broken souls have been hurt, it feels like all hope has gone. We feel like we are paintings that have been ruined in the rain. But know that our past doesn’t dictate our future, and we have been given the power to rise from the ashes and keep pressing on. Your life is not over. In fact, God has something great in store for you.

…Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. -Phillipians 3:13-14 (NIV)

I was a girl who thought I had been defeated. I thought that there was no way out from where I was. I turned to the world to try and cope with all the hurt and the pain. In the end I was only making things a lot harder on myself. My soul was longing for something much greater than what the world could offer me. No matter how messy our pasts are, His love for us is unconditional. He wants us to come to Him in those times of need. He wants to cradle us in our pain and help prepare us for a fresh beginning. In the end, what was intended to bring me down only made me stronger.

Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. -Matthew 11: 28-29 (NIV)

Embrace all that God has in store for you. You are a stunning masterpiece that is precious in God’s eyes. Take comfort in His loving arms, and let Him do His work within you. You may have been knocked down and broken, but know that God’s love and healing can overcome. We all have the right to fight for our life. You are worth it all. Believe it.

// photo by bethany olson