I’m a 25 year old missionary in Denver Colorado. I grew up in northern NH with a typical christian family. But I was verbally abused by my two older sister which led to alot of insecurities. They used to call me gay, make fat jokes, and call me stupid a lot. That led to me becoming a womanizer and just sleeping around because it made me feel loved. I didn’t realize how damaging it was until after I got married. All my insecurities flooded the beginning stages of my marriage and continue to haunt me. I’ve grown so much but I still battle daily with loneliness and apathy. As a missionary I’m supposed to help others find truth and life in Jesus but yet I can’t seem to find those things myself at the moment because I’m so focused on myself. And if effects my marriage which I hate the most. I hate how my wife is the one getting hit the hardest through my struggles. I am so thankful for her and her support but I want to be a better man for her, for the kids that I minister to, to our future kids and a better man for myself. I want to be the man God has called me to be without feeling shame when I fall short. There’s a lot of other small details that add to the noise but I didn’t feel like wearing a novel.
I’m 17, so I’m not very experienced in these area, but here is why I can relate to you.
My step sisters kinda did the same things at times, except my Mom was completely fine with it,
all because it pleased the man she married. My mom didn’t really care about us, she choose the man and her daughters over us. But enough about that. The fact that you have been hurt, and damaged, helps you more in the end. Why? Because when those kids that are struggling are coming though, you can relate to them. You will understand them, which will make them listen to you more. Hell, maybe you will even create friendships that will last a long time with those children. I don’t know, I’m not a missionary, just a broken Teenager. The point is, because you are hurting, make it to where your pain can create more love, and more understanding. You won’t want to damage these Children anymore, and will want to help them.
If it helps you, keep posting
@bcomeau2012 Thank you so much for sharing all of that. I am a believer as well, and I actually live in Colorado Springs so not very far from you! I’ve battled a lot of issues with OCD and other insecurities, and one thing that the Holy Spirit has repeatedly been highlighting to me is who I am in Christ. I want to be careful with that terminology because I think we can easily be desensitized to hearing about our “identity in Christ” in church all the time, but it really is true that it makes all the difference. It is who we are.
I’ve very often been afraid of pride in my life, and I would often demean myself internally to try to keep myself humble. But I had a conversation with a mentor one time that really stuck out to me. He asked me, “Which is more prideful? Believing the Bible when it says that you’re awesome, or saying that you’re not awesome and telling God he’s wrong?” That struck me. And since then, I’ve been discovering what the Bible actually says about those matters.
Shortly after having that conversation, I was reading in Hebrews 10 and came across verse 14. It says, “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” I realized that because of what Jesus did on the cross, I am literally perfect. And so are you.
2 Corinthians 5:21 also struck me. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Because of Jesus, we don’t just have God’s righteousness, we are God’s righteousness. Want to know what God’s righteousness looks like? Look in a mirror and you’ll see! Honestly though, my genuine advice is to go look in the mirror and say, “I am the righteousness of God.” No name that you were called or past action that you committed defines God’s righteousness - only Christ does.
You are a loving man, and I can see that burning through the words that you’ve written. You care so deeply about your wife, your future children, and everyone else around you. That comes directly from God. He hears your cry, and we know that he answers his children when they call to him.
You are victorious. It doesn’t matter if you feel it, or even if you’re living like it. You are a victor in Christ. Romans 6 says three times (verses 7, 18, and 22) that you are free from sin. That’s a done deal. Even if you happen to slip up and do a sinful action, you are not enslaved to it anymore because he whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36)! And the way we are empowered to live in our freedom is by being under grace, not the law (Romans 6:14), and replacing the lies in our minds with the truth that has set us free (John 8:32). Don’t condemn yourself. That is the way of the Old Covenant, but through Christ you are no longer under it. The ministry of condemnation no longer applies to us, because we are now glorified (“from glory to glory”) under the ministry of righteousness, as 2 Corinthians 3:6-18 says.
You are free, my brother! And again, thank you so much for sharing. God loves you and sees you. He is so proud of you too.