Photo by Nicole Tarpoff
Since high school, I’ve always known what the Lord was calling me into—ministry, worship, and music. I always knew that His promises for me were big ones. But along the way, I got distracted by pride, greed, jealousy, boys—you name it. I got so distracted that eventually my worth and identity were found in worthless things.
When I was a freshman in college, my boyfriend, who I thought I would be with forever (go ahead and raise the red flag here) suddenly broke up with me because “God told him to.” Instantly, the lies were accepted in my heart that God wanted me to suffer. That I wasn’t actually worth anything to Him. The Jesus that I used to sing about didn’t actually love me and that He died for me out of obligation. That nobody would ever love me and that I was alone. My own desire to be separated from God and the pain I thought He was causing, led me into self-deprecating thoughts and actions. I began hurting myself and concocting ways that I could possibly end my life, and I began to hear voices in my heart that encouraged me to do so.
A professor at the college I attended, by what I believe to be divine inspiration, started noticing me. I was making sure that I was covering up my pain both physically and emotionally, but still, she saw me. She gave me words of encouragement about how she has dealt with depression. To not give up on God. That there was hope. It was like water to my arid heart. Through her words, some particular wounds began to heal and I was at least able to pray again and allow Him to replace some lies with His truth. But still there were other lies that were deeply rooted in my heart about His affection toward me.
Fast forward eight years, and I thought that particular part of my life had been healed. I was pretty much satisfied with the way things were going. I had gotten married to a wonderful man, been actively involved in my church in Lexington, and was going through an intense interview process to be on staff at that church. The morning of my second interview, I looked at myself in the mirror and the Holy Spirit said to me, “They’re going to ask you about your past and you’re going to tell them about your freshman year.” Instantly, tears were streaming down my face with the desire to keep that part hidden. I didn’t want to admit how much I had been deceived into thinking the thoughts that I did. I had never shared this part of my life with anybody and now I would share it with people that I was trying really hard to impress.
I wanted to appear to be the perfect candidate, but through faith, I obeyed. I cried through the whole thing and it was still painful and felt shameful. So later that night I went out for a drive and I just cried out to God and said, “I still feel so ashamed!” and His voice pierced my heart with a choice. He said, “You don’t have to be ashamed.” He showed me that what I thought were my weaknesses and losses could be brought into His strength and victory if I would let Him—that my worship could be more powerful coming from a once broken place than a place that’s never known His power and healing.
And from that place I’ve seen Him do wonderful things. I’ve seen Him cultivate vegetation where it was once dry, dead, and cracked. I’ve seen Him produce fruit! Now when I sing and worship, it comes from that place. Not just by what I’ve heard about my Father, but what I’ve experienced of His love! It’s by His power and His presence that my heart has been made new, and it can sing again! What I used to hate about my past has now become very precious to me, but only because God has done something through it! I’m just so thankful.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.