Find Hope

Would do anything for approval.

I didn’t know if God loved me. I was just so desperate. I started to try to find my identity in relationships with guys.

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I actually was bullied by a few of the kids in my class. They made fun of my appearance and they told me that I was ugly. I started to try to find my identity in relationships with guys. I had more shame than I knew what to do with. So when I was a kid I use to actually count on my fingers the number of mistakes that I had made, every single day. And I would get up to like forty-five, as a five or six year old. My dad worked a lot when I was a kid. He works a lot now but he worked a lot when I was a kid and so he wasn’t home a whole lot. So, as a child, most of my memories of my Dad are of him coming home and disciplining me. So, I believed that he was continually upset at me and he never really wanted anything to do with me. So I believed he didn’t love me. By the end of my sixth-grade year, my Mom told me she wanted me to go to this youth camp with my church. Well, I didn’t want to go. I thought it was stupid. But I’m at this youth camp and I hear this man tell us that Jesus loves us. We’re important to Him and He loved us so much that He paid for all of the things wrong that we’ve done. Well, this is who Jesus is. This is how he loves me. And I began that relationship with him and I fell madly in love with Him, all of middle school. But yet I still struggled with this idea that I’m not, I’m still not good enough as a person. And I started a new middle school. I had very few friends. I actually was bullied by a few of the kids in my class. They made fun of my appearance, and they told me that I was ugly. I felt like nobody wanted to have a friendship with me. I was the loneliest I had ever been in my entire life. I remember one morning I cried to my Mom and I said, please don’t make me go to school. I can’t be around those kids anymore. I can’t face people and the fact that they don’t like me. I didn’t know if my dad loved me. I didn’t know if God loved me. I was just so desperate. I started to try to find my identity in relationships with guys. So I fell into physical sin with these guys, and I was so desperate for their approval. I would give them anything. I would tell them anything so that they would like me and love me and tell me that I’m pretty and I’m not ugly anymore like I heard in middle school. And they would tell me that I was lovable. But I was miserable. I was incredibly empty. I hated myself. I had more shame than I knew what to do with. I remember calling my Mom one day and just crying on the phone and telling her about how I felt. I didn’t know what to do and my Mom started talking about grace. This concept of grace, this unmerited favor with the Lord. And she said, “Hannah, you do not receive grace from God. You do not let the Lord love you.” I didn’t know what she meant by that. I wasn’t trying to have a spiritual conversation with her, I was like, “Mom I don’t want to talk about God.” God began to soften my heart during the fall semester freshman year. My relationship with my boyfriend changed at the time. I told him I didn’t want to have that physical relationship anymore and I didn’t know why but I wanted something different. I wanted the Lord and I didn’t even realize it. And it’s been so beautiful because I think that the thing that God has shown me the most about Himself is how faithful He is. I am the most undeserving person of God’s love and His grace. And I have chosen so many other things apart from Him. And God just continues to show me, “Hannah, you are precious to me. You are my daughter. I love you. I’m not your Dad. The perception you have of your Dad, that’s not me.” I’m gentle and I’m kind.” And out of that have come so many beautiful things. I have completely walked away from physical sin, from sexual sin. God a hundred percent delivered me from that. My relationship with my Dad is great. Like, we’re starting to grow closer to each other and understand one another. And it’s beautiful. Like, I didn’t know I could love my Dad the way that I do. And I didn’t know I could forgive the way that I have. As I allow the Lord to come and see my heart and have my heart, then my actions begin to change.

Hannah - Would do anything for approval.

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