By Freda Emmons
Growing up in the midst of daily physical and sexual abuse, I had no concept of self-value. My body felt raw, like a chunk of meat pressed through a grinder. I hurt everywhere, inside and out. I became a part of the violence I abhorred and hurt those I longed to love. I felt tangled, like I was in a spiraling maze to nowhere.
The healing of my body and soul has been a lifelong pursuit. I chose to set aside self-destructive behaviors, as well as no longer allowing my past to affect my present and future. What I have found is that I have intrinsic value that was built into my DNA from the moment of my conception.
This sense of self-value is not dependent on my accomplishments, nor is it connected with how I am known or how well, or not-so-well I am thought of. It is a gift, from the One who fashioned my body and spliced it together with this thing called my soul. This value is not limited by time; it is eternal and will continue with me long after this mortal body loses its steam.
Oh, how I encourage you to embrace the intrinsic value that you have, for you too, have been given this gift! It is the foundational strength that you can build a lifetime of confidence upon. The value of your life is immeasurable; when you strip away all of life’s concerns – financial difficulties, health issues, educational aspirations, career objectives, and even beauty – the essence of who you are and the great value of your life, shines forth.
How can such a gift make such a difference in a person’s life? When I learned that my value was not based on what I did, or what happened to me, but on the fact that God loves me and created me to reflect His love and that He gave me this great value, all based in love. This is a love that is bigger than I’ve ever known, broader than even my deepest pain.
There was once as knot deep in my gut, a knot of such immense pain that I buried it and tried with all my might to forget it. I had been forced, as a young, pregnant victim of incest, to kill the baby that had been conceived by my own father. That reality stayed hidden, until I had matured enough to process the pain; then it rose to the surface with a vengeance and I had to struggle with all the implications. The most horrendous was that a human being was killed and I felt like I was a part of it, even though it was thrust upon me.
This last week, some 50 years later, there was a transformation of that knot of pain. The power of God’s love took the hard knot and miraculously molded it to be something of beauty. As He was doing so, He spoke over me, that if I was willing, the absolute worst of my pain would become a source of great beauty. Even the truth that this daughter of my extreme youth, the truth of her life – which continues even now with God – will be a part of this beauty. It is a beauty of voice, not of hiddenness, but of open disclosure, of the awful things of suffering and the boundless love of God.
I am willing, to have this love of God flow over me, filling me up so much that the overflow goes way beyond myself. This is the purpose, that you may see this intrinsic value that God has given you, which is not dependent upon your actions, or your abilities, but simply your willingness to acknowledge it and embrace it. God saw all of the world and knew that in the entire world, there was the need for one, as unique and blessed as you are. No one else, in all of history, is like you. Your value is beyond measure. When you choose to embrace that fact, life is complete, satiated in the great love of God.
Author and Inspirational Speaker
1. Flame of Healing: A Daily Journey of Healing from Abuse and Trauma
2. Resurrection Hope
3. Millennial Hope
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