by Shari Dawson
I struggled with anger and insecurities for most of my life. It stemmed from being abused mentally while growing up. I felt unloved and misunderstood. The only words that I heard around me then were that ‘you’ll never amount to anything’ and ‘nobody will ever love you’. As a child hearing that you start accepting it, and it festers into anger and hate.
I hated a lot of persons around me and cried myself to sleep many nights because I could not understand why I was being treated that way and knew deep down that I never deserved it. I became aggressive, mainly because this was my way of feeling like I was in control of the situation and invincible. I was convinced that being aggressive towards people made me strong. I felt invincible because I believed they feared me, and since I was so beat down at home, I felt I needed that strength if I was to function in the wider world.
Yet in the midst of it all, I knew God had me. Because He is so near to the broken-hearted. I always felt Him around me, comforting me, replacing the words of hate with love and acceptance. For a long time, I struggled with the tug of war going on in my head. On the one hand, I knew that God had me. On the other hand, it felt like my life was falling apart. Truth is, I struggled with holding on to God’s promises. Yet, it was so easy to believe the words of my abusers. Eventually, I gave up and walked away from God.
But God’s still small voice never left me. One day I heard Him say “don’t be like a mule that needs a bit or bridle to control it.” I knew He was telling me to come back into His rest. However the tug of war continued and while I often felt convicted by the voice of God calling me back, self-hate made me think I wasn’t good enough to return to Him. I believed that my mistakes made me undeserving of His love.
Then one day I had a dream. In the dream, the angel spoke to me while God looked on. The words were simple but very clear: “return on to God. He has everything you’ll ever need for your life.” After that dream, I didn’t know where to start but knew it was time to let go of the past and walk back into God’s arms.
As I said before, I never knew where to start. But let me tell you when God says come He gives you what you need. He gives you divine connections that will take into your destiny.
I happened to have the privilege one day of meeting a wonderful woman of God who invited me to church. While at church I was so moved by the Holy Spirit that I found myself at the altar recommitting my life to God. God did more for me that day than I could have ever imagined. God caused me to meet this woman of God so that I could find a church home and come back to Him. He also caused me to meet her so that I could now have a family – a place I can go to for Sunday dinners, people who love up on me every chance they get, a place where I feel safe and wanted.
It was when I decided to allow God to be in control of my life and in control of changing me that my life truly started. The appetite for self-loathing, anger and aggression went. Most important, is that people now see God in and through me. And while the troubles come, I feel at ease because I know my God will see me through. I know it’s because He is working on me, changing me for the better.
I now believe that once you have reached a place of contentment, regardless of your situation, you have achieved real victory. Victory because you are no longer anxious nor are you angry at the world. Instead, you see the privilege God has given you by choosing you and setting you apart to be a displayer and carrier of His glory.
I, Shari Dawson, am a chosen vessel from God – I see that now.
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