Have you ever had someone say something to you that was meant to slice you into little pieces?

Something so cruel that, at first, you took pause to consider if it was actually *true?*

I’ve been in that situation.

I’ve doubted my competency.

I’ve doubted my growth.

I’ve doubted my worth.

When I first graduated from college, I moved to Boston with the hope of grand things. I was going to take the world by storm.

I was going to show the world who I was.

I landed a job that felt so…cool. I was working at a publishing company one block off the Common. I would lunch on the same bench that Robin Williams and Matt Damon sat on in Good Will Hunting.

I would go to Harvard Square and eat dinner in this small hole in the wall that made me feel so bloody smart.

Then I would walk into the office and my boss would tell me and my coworkers horrible things…how stupid and disappointing we were.

I didn’t last long there…I had no reason to stay and my family needed me to go back home.

Before that, I had extricated myself from a cult where I was emotionally beaten down because I refuted their heretical teachings before most people’s eyes were opened to the truth.

Can you say nervous breakdown?

What I learned from that time is that I am so much stronger than I know.

What I learned is that God has a plan for my life that most people don’t understand.

What I learned is that I have a core group of people in my life who love and understand me and who are there for me no matter what.

Sometimes, as I’m going through life, I forget that. I’m so busy helping and serving and doing that my Martha mantle blinds me to the need to be Mary…the need to sit at Jesus feet, to allow my tears to wash his feet as he holds me and heals my wounds.

As I write this, I’m listening to Breathe by Vineyard Worship. A song that I worshipped to when I made the most difficult decision of my life…to leave the cult that had been my life.

Why am I reliving this?

I was recently saw Tony Robbins live, and at the end of that night, I had a moment. God cleaned a lot of junk out of me that needed to be removed.

It was like a giant scab being removed from my heart. So my heart is free and raw all at the same time.

If you’re reading this…do the work that is required.

Look in the mirror.

Face yourself.

Face those parts of yourself that you love and you fear and you loathe.

Learn to love all of them.

And only then will you be free from the shackles of what others say to you.

I give you permission to be free.

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