In the Mending {a series}

To this day, he doesn’t know how profoundly he changed me in that moment.

A room full of peers surrounding us, and me in my pieced-together Halloween costume, eager to be the next chosen in the game of charades. I felt pretty. I had a black wig, an old kimono from my mother’s closet (a benefit to growing up in a foreign country is always having great dress-ups at an arm’s reach). I had spent no less than an hour on my makeup and I had the sense that this was going to be a night where people loved me.

I was a graduate student, and I felt pretty good about life. I was always the one who brought the laughs, often at my own expense. But nonetheless, I knew I was liked. Which, in my insecure mind, meant the world was right.

We were playing charades. I still remember the word I pulled from the jar and the relief I felt over how it was going to be a cakewalk to act out. I ran to the front of the room, waited for the official timer to start, and went to town.

Unfortunately, nobody knew what I was doing. It went from bad to worse, and in about 30 seconds I went from totally confident to panicked. Everyone was staring at me.

My boyfriend shouted out something that humiliated me. He said I was awful. But he didn’t say it that nicely. I froze.

All I could see were the eyes, staring at me. The costumes, and all these people who I make laugh and who I thought loved me. And they were mocking now. They were ridiculing me and I had time left on the clock to stand there and take it.

I wouldn’t say there was a conscious realization in that moment, but it hit me later that night as I laid in bed and cried. I was too tired to take off all my makeup and the pillows were smeared with sadness.

From that day forward, I never ran for the spotlight. More than that, I became terrified of it. I would talk to you at a party, invite you to coffee, or spend time in semi-social situations, but I would NEVER have the desire to be the center of attention again. Not because I didn’t want to be loved, but rather because the potential to be humiliated was now a distinct possibility. One that I simply couldn’t risk.

There was mending that needed to be done-that still needs to be done. I pray constantly that the Lord will take away my fear of failure and disappointment and remind me that He has given me opportunities to speak because of what HE wants from me.

And yet, in so many situations, I’m digging deep into a glass bowl and praying I won’t walk off in tears.

We’re going to be talking about mending in the coming weeks, and I’m going to be asking you to contribute. Today I want to ask you this:

Can you think of a conversation you had where someone spilled words into your life that are still fighting for attention in your mind? Be as detailed or vague as you like in your comments, but please know that I will be praying for those words to lose their power in your life. We do not have to be defined by what others have spoken over us….but the power of words….ahhh, they carve deep wounds.

Let’s start mending them today.

Your turn…

Love,

Angie


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  • jody

    It’s funny how things can carry with you through life. For me it was starting junior high (and that was 22 years ago). All through elementary school I was outgoing, being in front of people didn’t bother me – I always tried out/signed up for leads in school plays, etc. To this day I don’t remember exactly what was said, but it was enough that I never again was comfortable being in front of people and it has held me back all these years. I am very reserved and can come across as being snobby, but that is far from the truth. I am afraid of being made fun of or talked about. Good to know I am not the only one who feels this way.

  • http://kregerhouse.blogspot.com Rikki

    I remember running out of high school and a senior (I was a freshman) shot me with a water gun and yelled, “There’s that ugly {maiden name} girl!”. I just smiled and walked on but I STILL think about that and I hate that I do.

  • sarahmoseley

    YES! words have always had a great deal of power in my life. especially growing up. I still can hear/remember things my Dad said to me when I was young and I’m 39 now. I’m sure he doesn’t remember and I doubt he meant them to hurt me like they did. Through the Lord’s grace and the help of professionals, I have worked my way through what eventually escalated to verbal and psychological abuse – but YES! Words are powerful. What I’m learning too is that THE WORD is more powerful. I grew up memorizing Scripture but in my adult years not so much. Then when I went through a bout of intense anxiety recently, I worked on some verses again, and the power of God’s Word was just amazing to calm my mind and my heart. Looking forward to the rest of this “mending” series! :)

  • http://amandamaddox.blogspot.com/ Amanda M.

    I got pregnant when I was 16 years old. My dad said things to me ~ out of anger, shame and disappointment ~ that still follow me around to this day. I’m not suite sure I have ever fully forgiven him for that. It truly shaped the woman I would become…..and not necessarily in a bad way. It made me a better person, a better mom because I had so much to prove wrong. But it’s something that stays with me, almost 18 years later.

  • Kelley

    I’ve spent years trying to analyze why the words of one boy that I went to High School with still ring within my brain today (25-30 years later). My dad left home between my Junior and Senior year and life was so very different in my home. I began to gain weight back then but, quite honestly, at the time that he said something, I hadn’t really even noticed it myself; my clothes still fit though they were getting more snug. I certainly didn’t think that anyone else noticed. And then, one day, he was walking behind me and said to his friend, “she gets bigger everytime I see her”. Funny….I didn’t stop getting bigger then and I still haven’t. That has become a lifelong (since then anyway) battle of mine.

  • Ashley

    My husband and I have had some pretty powerful word fights, especially in the first year of our marriage and I still remember some of his words that cut me to the core. Of course I have forgiven him but I’m afraid I will always remember those hurtful words.

  • Kate

    My high school counselor told me I would never be smart enough for university. I’d be community college at best.

    My father in law told me I’d never be thin, I just didn’t have it in me.

    My best friend in grade school told me I looked ugly when I sleep. Always hate to wake up and see my husband watching me because I don’t want to ever be ugly to him.

  • http://ashleywb.blogspot.com AshleyB

    Two people stick out in my mind – both from elementary school (over twenty years ago). Two bullies. One boy. One girl. One was dealing with emotional issues at the time, I know that now, but it doesn’t help that his words hurt me then. One was supposed to be a friend, but in hindsight, she was treating me the way her older sister treated her. Knowing that now doesn’t erase the memories of words and deeds that accomplished their intended result.
    That saying, “sticks and stones . . . .”? Couldn’t be further the truth, could it? Words are indeed powerful.

  • Alisha

    For me it was a high school boyfriend (20 years ago)! He was insecure and wanted me to feel that way too! He would say ugly things to me and call me fat. I was never fat and still am not but I feel like I am everyday! Those words have stuck with me forever.

  • JustMeJen

    I grew up in an abusive family. One of the earliest lessons of my life was that I was never to complain of pain or illness. Because you can’t avoid these things and sometimes they were worth mentioning I spent my childhood being called a hypochondriac and threatened with dramatic, untrue medical procedures if I complained. A broken finger that wasn’t treated and which was painful for a while as it should have been set resulted in my father telling me that if I kept complaining he’d have a surgeon take me to an OR and smash it with a hammer to get it to heal. I stopped complaining then. I was 9. Several years later I broke my ankle in a fall at a cross country meet. I never complained, ran on it 2 days later and learned of the fracture 22 years later when I tore ligaments damaged by the fracture. As an adult I nearly was hospitalized with sepsis when I ignored an abcessed tooth because the dentist had warned me it might be sore for a few weeks after a filling, then showed so few signs of pain that he thought it was nothing until he saw the infected, angry mess. This is one thing I just can’t move completely beyond for some reason.

    I am having a hysterectomy in 3 weeks. I am afraid of hiding pain from the nurses and therefore not having it be treated.. I had surgery a year ago that was a bunch of procedures to try to fix things without a hysterectomy. This time my dr. is trying to help but all I can think is using them means I’m a hypochonriac. I also had a hard time because I hide pain so well and the nurses did not believe I was in as much pain as I said. But all I know is hiding. So I knit or pretend to read when I am hurting and then they think I can distract myself so I am fine. They don’t know I’m turning my brain off.

    (and to end my sad story I’ve been eagerly looking forward to seeing Selah. The date is 9 days post-op. So right now I’m focusing all sadness aind all the ignored pain into praying that I’ll be well-enough to hande the drive and the sitting through the concert. And then I fear if I don’t go those who’ve heard me talk about it for so long will think….hypochondriac. Of course.)

  • Katie Vick

    In high school, I raised my hand in a social studies class with a young, male teacher to answer a question. He called on me. I spoke for a few minutes, trying to explain my thoughts. When I was finished, I asked if that made sense. He looked around the room with a smirk on his face, his eyes meeting those of the “popular” kids. “Not really” was his reply before the laughter started. I put my head down on my desk, face burning. Since that day, I have rarely raised my hand in class. He held so much power in my eyes because he was young and handsome and a teacher, just like I wanted to be. He probably doesn’t even know that his words hurt so deep, but they did. I didn’t realize until years later that he had changed so much in that moment. But I, too, am afraid for attention because i might be laughed at.

  • Vicki

    A couple of things stand out to me. The first is from high school. I’ve always struggled with my weight, and though I would give a lot to be the weight I was when I was 16, at the time I was bigger than all of my friends. One day at lunch, a group of us was talking about marriage and children, and I said that I wanted 3 or 4 kids. I heard one of my “friends” say to another one something like “well she better lose weight if that’s ever going to happen.” Thankfully the Lord gave me a husband who loves me no matter what, but I still think of her words so many years later.

    The other situation involves my mom, and she has no idea that she ever hurt me. I have always loved to sing, and for years, we were in the choir together. One evening, on the way to choir rehearsal, I put in a cassette (yes, I’m old) on which I had recorded myself singing with a Christmas accompaniment track. After just a moment of listening, my mom said “who is this…she doesn’t have a very good voice.” I just stumbled out some kind of “oh I don’t know” kind of statement, and put in another tape. I know that my mom would never had said something like that if she had known it was me on that tape. I wanted an honest opinion and I got it. The problem is that now, even though I’ve had some voice lessons, I don’t really believe it when my husband tells me that he loves to hear me sing. He says it’s not just because he loves me, but it’s hard for me to trust that, and I feel like maybe he doesn’t realize that’s part of it for him.

    In reading through the other comments, I see a lot of hurt that lingers, so I’ll be praying for each of you!

  • Ktb

    At 12 my grandmother made a series of very derogatory remarks about my appearance in front of the whole family. I never fought feeling inadequate or insecure til that moment. I still hear those words in my head. I battle weight and self image. Then I heard words used to describe me thought my teens that were not true. They drive me deeper in to solitude and silence. As a 40 year old woman I know those things are not who define me, Christ is. The tapes still play in my head and I still struggle to climb out of the blanket of lies and be free from it and just live to the fullest.

  • K

    These comments break my heart. I hate that words have the power to stick around the way they do.

    My Dad told me a few years back that he didn’t remember wanting children. My mom just ‘ended up pregnant’. And I think/know it compounds with other issues in our relationship, but it just broke me. Had a profound impact on my identity. Everyone wants to feel wanted! Those stupid words play in my head a lot.

    I’m thankful for a Father that I KNOW wanted me- set me apart before I was even born and knows the hairs on my head. That’s more than enough for me.

  • http://twitter.com/marylenaburg Mary Lenaburg

    When I was a senior in high school I won a scholarship to the local junior collage. I had to pay my own way through college so I was so excited that I wouldn’t have to pay for tuition just the books. The night of the awards ceremony, my name was called, I happily skipped to the stage and received my award. After the ceremony my mother hugged me and told me how proud she was of me. I was NOT the best student so this was a pretty big deal. I had worked so hard for that award. When I turned to my Dad, I expected the same praise. Instead he simply said “Of course you got it. I expected no less.” My brothers were worse “It’s just a junior college. No big deal.” My heart broke. There were many other moments in time where I struggled feeling smart “enough” for whatever situation I faced. I became and overachieving people please who has spent decades chasing perfection desperate to earn that love and praise. Recently there has been a mending taking place and forgiveness has begun to fill my heart for those who wounded with their words and rejection. No more…I am enough in God’s eyes…I am as he made me to be. May I honor Him all the days of my life…

  • Charise Meeks

    My dad didn’t claim me as his child for the first 21 years of my life. I’m only 23 and that has had a profound effect on me. He always told me when I was younger how stupid I was and how I wouldn’t ever amount to anything and how fat and ugly I am. he has since apologized for it all, but we have a very dysfunctional relationship. I know his words will probably effect me for years to come and that his words/actions were a contributing factor to choices I’ve made in my own life as far as relationships go. I don’t blame him fully, but I know that If I’d had a father who was invested in showing me my spiritual value in Jesus, that my choices would’ve been drastically different.

  • Inkling

    I remember giving my heart to someone I knew wasn’t a wise choice. We got engaged…..twice. I got rejected….twice. But the second time, he told me that his best friend and his pastor told him that I had a “Jezebel spirit”, and that’s why he had to break up with me. Ten years later, I’m married to someone else who really does love Jesus, and I’ve done a load of counseling and a load of praying. But that label still threatens to define me. Sometimes, I get so sick of fighting the enemy of our souls who would love to see a label like that stick.

    And then there was the well-meaning Christian counselor whom I trusted. When I excitedly told her about the person I’d know for 15 years as a friend and encourager deciding to ask me into a courtship, she told me that I should take a long, hard look at why I was an “emotional slut”. I was in my 30′s, and while I knew I’d given my heart (and body) away in ways that didn’t honor Jesus, that label was just too cruel. She didn’t know this man. She didn’t know our history. She didn’t know how he reflected Jesus to me for 15 years. She didn’t know that for the first time my family and friends were actually excited about my choice. I went back the next week, certain she’d be repentant and apologize. But she stood her ground and told me she saw nothing wrong with calling me that. I told her that I would no longer be trusting her guidance. Even as I got married to that incredible man a few months after that conversation, it echoed in my head.

    Yesterday, after an important meeting with a powerful person who has the ability to give me the opportunity I long to have in my birth trauma work, I struggled with feeling worthless. This woman had totally affirmed me, but I felt like she must be “just saying” all those nice things, and that I was probably just a drain on her time.

    Realizing those thoughts made me stop and ask myself where I got the idea that I’m such a horrible person, where I lost sight of what God says about me as His daughter and masterpiece. I don’t quite know. So many names, so many labels over the years have come together to speak lies and cruelty. But I don’t know where it began, or how to overcome that and start believing the truth. I don’t know how to start treating myself (and really meaning it) like the way I treat the beautiful women I serve through birth trauma work. But you can bet that I’m going to find out. Somehow.

    Words matter. So much.

  • Tara

    Today I was at a resturant on a date with my 2 yr. He was scared about sitting on a bar height stool with no back. A young businessman, likely 25 or so came over to me and asked me I I knew there were smaller stools for babies. Come on sir, you will make a great dad and husband some day. Thank you for seeing my dear son as a child and not a sissy. You made my day and your words of kindness will stick with me.

  • Jenny

    I am a mommy to eight, and I have been writing a blog about our daily lives for the last 4+ years. I have always loved the friendship and encouragement I’ve received from the wonderful women I’ve met through my blog. Recently, I received my first piece of “hate email” in regard to my blog, and I was absolutely devastated. The email accused me of being dishonest and flaunting my “in-your-face-spending” all over my blog. It hurt so much because it was just not true, but I began to wonder and question how others saw me, and I now find myself rewriting and omitting things from my blog posts that I wouldn’t have thought twice about before. I’ve even told myself that I would simply give up my blog if I had to……. not something I take lightly as I have a daughter that suffers from endometriosis, and I use my blog to share her story so that others can learn from our struggles and not make the same mistakes. I try to tell myself that this woman was obviously “crazy” but that isn’t very comforting and doesn’t even begin to erase the doubt I know face.

  • chrissybills

    My husbands family has had a hard time with me in the family for well….our whole relationship. We have been together for 19 years this Nov and married for 16 years. I struggle with why his Mom is such a wonderful attentive grandparent to all her grandkids…but mine. I have voiced my concern that it hurts that she doesn’t call or check on them and it was turned around that I was a mean and hateful person and judging her. One of his sisters said she wished he had married someone else. I hurt daily for the lack of relationship with his family and the hurtful things they have said about me and to me. I want to be accepted and loved but don’t think it will ever happen. I need to learn to move on and be thankful I have a wonderful Christian Mom and Dad who pray for my situation with me, but that still doesn’t help the sting of rejection from my in-laws.

  • BrandiTruitt

    “I think you’re great, but I can’t be more than your friend.” Spoken by the person I care about most in the world. I love him dearly, but these words have impacted every potential relationship since. The words “I think you’re great” are pretty hollow when the silent ending to the sentence sounds like “but not great enough.” anytime I meet someone new, I’m left thinking that I’m not good enough. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough. All because one sentence convinced me that it’s true.

  • C

    Ever since my mother had me and my two siblings, she has struggled with her weight. I remember being about 5 years old and hearing my dad say to her, “I didn’t marry you so you could gain a bunch of weight.” I’ve never told anyone that I even remember this, much less that it pierces me still at age 31.

    While I’ve never struggled with eating disorders or serious self-image issues, I did made a silent vow at a young age to never become overweight. Those words are burned into my heart and I think it effects the way I relate to men that I date now – although I never let on, I really question how they perceive me. I’m scared to death of getting married and my husband being disappointed by me physically – all because of one comment I overheard when I was five!

    It makes me shudder to think of the damage I’ve probably done with my words that I’m not even aware of.

  • Cyn

    Oh Angie, I so have words etched to my soul. My mother had cancer and was in the hospital on Easter Sunday when I was seven and in the second grade. My dad had recently left our family and somehow I assumed his leaving was my fault. I was scared and confused but someone was taking me to see my mom so I dressed in my new to me easter dress. I walked into her room confidently and longing at the same time. She turned to me and said why are you here I don’t love you who could. I remember walking out and running to the bathroom crying. To this day I can picture her room, my dress, and the hallway like it was yesterday. More than thirty years after those words were spoken, I still feel so incomplete and not worthy.

    • Cindy in GA

      I am so sorry that you were so hurt this way; that is beyond awful. I hope that your mother’s disease and/or the treatments she was going through and the emotions that must have gone with it all were at least partially to blame for her awful words to you. Hugs.

  • EEdwards

    My goodness, satan can really wound our hearts through the words of others. I just want to encourage all of us to rebuke these lies in the powerful Name of Jesus! He can bring wholeness and healing from these lies, because He loves us so much!!

  • malloryjones

    I’m living in the aftermath of one of those situations right now. Remember how I was in Nashville at the beginning of April? (And yes, I’m still sad we couldn’t meet up.) Well, I ended up getting baptized at a worship service my friends took me to on April 5th. A 20-year-old guy named Brennan who was part of the ministry team at the service, and afterwards, he gave me his phone number and told me “Call me anytime you need someone to talk to or pray with. I don’t care if it’s 4 in the morning, if you need me, I’ll be there.” I come with a long history of trust issues, but I somehow immediately felt at ease with him, and I believed him when he said he’d be there no matter what. When I returned to NC the next week, I ended up in the hospital with pancreatitis, and he called or texted just about every day to see how I was and what he could be praying about. Over the next few weeks, he was there for me just like he said he would be, so I got comfortable. I told him everything, because he said he wanted to know. There are things I told him that I’ve told MAYBE five people in my life, because I trusted him that much. And when I told him about my past, and how I needed him to be honest with me no matter what, he reassured me “You have nothing to worry about. There’s nothing you could do to make me leave.” I learned more about Jesus from him in the month of April than in the rest of my life before that.

    And then he left. In the midst of some horrible family drama and no friends around or available to help, I got dead silence for two weeks before an abrupt “I need space” text. Three weeks later, on June 14, the day before my birthday, I called him and we talked. I apologized as best as I knew how, and he told me this wasn’t about an apology to him. It felt almost too good to be true; because of my past, I expected him to take the first opportunity he had to leave me for good and tell me it was all my fault. But he didn’t, and I was just so relieved to have my friend back I didn’t even realize he was placing the blame squarely on my shoulders.

    Fast forward to the end of July, and the exact same thing happened again. Except this time it was worse. He accused me of being in love with him and trying to replace Jesus with him. Neither of which were true; I was clear from the beginning that I was coming to him for spiritual guidance that he freely offered the night we met. I thought he knew me so well, and then I realized he’d basically misinterpreted everything I’d ever said to him.

    But those words, they cut me deep. They hit me so hard because he knew exactly the effect they’d have when he said them. He knew I really did used to be that girl, the girl who tried to fill a God-sized hole with guys. He knew how hard it was for me to trust Christians after my experience at my hometown church. He knew how crucial honesty was for me to continue confiding in him like he seemed to want because of my history with bullies and being backstabbed by “friends.” He knew that the past few months were the first time in my life that I’d ever truly made God a priority in my life. He knew how hard I’d been trying, but with those words, he knew he’d make me question everything I’d done since we met.

    Hearing that from someone I 100% let all of my walls down with, the first person I’d done that with in years, made me want to turn back into that scared little high school girl who didn’t talk to or trust anyone. It made me scared to trust the Christian community I finally have around me now because I don’t want to be hurt like that. It made me scared that no guy is ever going to truly care about me, not even on a friendship level (because my feelings for Brennan were never romantic).

    So here I am a few weeks later, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t relive those three and a half months of talking to him. In fact, there’s rarely an HOUR that goes by that I don’t think about him. I know in my heart that I am God’s child and I am so loved, but right now, this boy has my tears, my pain, and most of my thoughts, despite the fact that I know the only one worth this much of my heart is God. I know I can’t retreat like I talked about because if I hadn’t come out of my shell in the past couple years, I wouldn’t have even been in Nashville to get baptized in the first place. But it’s hard, and I’m scared, and I’m tired of getting hurt.

    • Rachel

      Bless your heart! I know that is difficult and hurtful. I’ve been in that place with a guy friend as well. Since my own experience I’ve come to believe that an intimacy like that with opposite sex friends is nearly impossible. One or the other is eventually going to start feeling something else or reading things wrong. I would give you a hug if I could! But I do encourage you to find some godly women to surround yourself with! Even if you can’t find the friends in your age range, some of the best friends, and spiritual encourages in my life have been ladies who are older than myself. They have wisdom, and experience on their side, and many will love on you like you’re their own!

      • malloryjones

        Thank you, friend. I am grateful that I do have some women, some of whom I’ve even met through this fantastic blog world, that I can trust and turn to for advice; a few of them have even helped me process and deal with this heartbreak. You’re not the first person to tell me “an intimacy like that with opposite sex friends is nearly impossible” so I’m thinking that’s a lesson I need to be holding onto. It’s just that because all of the emotional abuse I dealt with in my teenage years was handed out by guys, this one hit particularly hard because it’s the first time something like this has happened since I got out of that streak of abuse, and I have to deal with all the scars from the old stuff and keep from returning to my bad habits. I know I am loved, that’s no question, I have plenty of amazing friends who I know would do just about anything to help me. It just seems that as humans, we have a much easier time focusing on the one who rejects us than the many who welcome us with open arms.

  • Ally

    I have been scared by people’s words from last October. They are slowly losing power over me, but I do not run for the center of attention anymore either, and would much much rather pull the curtain to the show rather than be in the spot light, and somehow God keeps asking me to be in the spotlight and it is PAINFUL, mostly because of the words thrown at me last year, so incredibly hurtful.

  • L

    I have some serious hurt from our pastor’s wife. She said things to me that have cut me to the depths of my soul. I could cry, just thinking about her words. Sadly, now I don’t even feel welcome at church. My husband and I are praying about finding a new church. I just hate to leave because of her. However, I don’t even feel free to worship.

    • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

      We are living parallel lives at the moment. Please know I am praying for you.

    • inTN

      I wish you could come to our church! We go to Lindsay Lane Baptist in Athens, AL! I have no clue where you live but I will be praying for you!

      • Tina

        Awesome witness for your church! I’m in Decatur , Al!

        • inTN

          Hi Tina! Nice to hear from you! I really love our church! Funny thing is I never thought I’d feel welcome at a really big church, but just the opposite has been true! My hubby just got a job in Decatur {Alpha Pet, Inc} on Finley Island Rd! Lots of good things happening for us right now! If you would like to visit sometime email me! conley_mia@yahoo.com and you can check out me blog also! http://www.teamconley.blogspot.com Love to hear from you!

  • Sarah

    My moment was during our elementary school talent show. I was always the tallest girl in our class (and looking back, I was super skinny to boot), so while dancing with my two best friends on stage, I overheard our class bully make a comment about my size/weight compared to my two petite pals. I did not hear everything he said, but it was enough to stop me cold in my outgoing/living in freedom ways. I still remember the feeling being there on stage and just wanting to run off and hide so I could cry. I had never thought of myself that way before, and hearing him say things out loud about me (and he said things about everyone at some point or another) just caused me to believe what he said was how everyone else saw/thought of me. I still struggle with self-image today. I will be praying for you all, thanks for sharing your stories!

  • Shauna

    My heart is breaking for everyone’s stories. Words are SO powerful and I definitely don’t think people realize this. I am also praying for the people I may have unknowingly hurt in my life with my words. I desperately hope I haven’t, but there could have been a point where I have.

  • Sue

    In elementary school, a girl made fun of my laugh and said I sounded like woody woodpecker. I never forgot that and then I stopped laughing out loud (it turned to a sort of creepy, silent, vampire laugh). Now I don’t care, as much, but it’s still in the back of my mind.

  • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

    Wow. Does it count when you couldn’t hear the words? I have gone my entire life since eighth grade thinking that people don’t really like me, they just tolerate me.

    We were doing a Kris Kringle and I folded my paper with my name on it very small, so I could see who got my name. I don’t like not knowing. I kept an eye out to see who drew my name. The rules were that you couldn’t trade the name you drew unless of course it was your own. Sarah drew my name. I saw her unravelling my paper. Then I watched her face fall, and then sneer in disappointment. She leaned over and showed the girl next to her, who motioned to her to go up and try and swap it. So Sarah stood up, walked to the front and asked the girl holding the hat of she could swap. Nicole looked at the name, looked at Sarah in sympathy but shook her head, no.

    Knowing I wasn’t worth a 5 dollar gift was devastating. Since then, i’ve held people at arms length. I have friends, but struggle to let them all the way in. To really know me. Because The real me is not enough. I’ve had comments come back to me “you’re an EGR person” (extra grace required) is one that stood out. This same person also commented to my husband that I was “the most closed off person they’d ever met”. (no kidding) I’ve had someone jealous of my ministry tell me “you shouldn’t be so expressive in your praise, it puts people off” quoting that Matthew verse about not eating meat. The next sentence out of her mouth was “I don’t come to church to see the Adam and Jenny show” (we were the only ones up there!) So many words (including others I can’t say here) that tell me I’m not good enough, and that makes me feel like no one really likes me. My insecurities spill over into things like twitter, where of people don’t respond to me, but do others on the same topic I think they’re ignoring me (though I *know* this isn’t true. I miss replies myself sometimes). Often I feel like that girl in highschool tht was just “there”, trying to be included.

    • JD

      (((((((((((((((((( Jen )))))))))))))))))))))) I’m so sorry that people have made you feel this way, intentionally or otherwise, Jen — I close my eyes and think back to Bloom days, of so many people being drawn to you and loving you and the light you bring into life… you are loved, beyond measure.

      • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

        JD, you are amazing. Thank you for your love.

    • Milli

      oh, precious friend—I am so sorry that happened to you!!! ((hugs))

  • Cindy in GA

    It makes me so sad to read these posts. How I wish that I could have been a friend to stand up for each of you when these things happened. Just reading them helps us to recognize when others need us to stand against hurtful words.

    My own – a sister telling me I was ugly in so many ways, and I believed her until I was well into my adult years.

  • Sarah

    My husband said something to me a few years ago, after I had our first child, that he didn’t find me attractive anymore. He has apologized to me countless times since then, but I still have trouble believing him when he pays me a compliment, and I never think I’m “pretty enough” anymore. It’s a sad place to be. I’m praying for God to get rid of those words and speack His truth into me.

    • Connie L Amato-Mahle

      Sarah,
      It is difficult to hear such devastating words especially from those we love and trust most. May God help heal your heart, and may he help you find beauty and peace within. Godspeed!

  • http://www.faithfullyyours1989.blogspot.com/ Faith

    Thanks for sharing. My love language is “words of affirmation” so when someone says something negative or hurtful towards me, it takes a really long time to get over it. One of the most recent things that upset me was a girl from my church told me I obviously wasn’t a Christian because I had anxiety problems. Then she basically said that “those types of people aren’t welcome in the church.” Instead of asking why I was having anxiety, or encouraging me like the body of Christ is supposed to, she basically shunned me. I wish I could say that people from my Sunday school class took up for me, but instead, they just sat their with their mouths shut. When I needed people to show me Jesus the most, they weren’t there. Now, just a few months later, I have a hard time going to church aka, I don’t really go anymore. I love Jesus a LOT, and I know there’s a reason he’s having me face some of the issues I am, but those words hurt deeply.
    –faith p.

    • Kristen

      I’m so sorry this girl has made you feel this way and no one spoke up in your defense. We’re all broken; none of us is perfect. That’s why we need Him. My only advice is to go back and, as hard as it can be, don’t let this girl’s words wound your heart forever.

  • Michele

    FYI- I would have LOVED to be your friend then!
    Words are so powerful and can be used for good or bad easily. I pray that I can become more intentional with all my words and use them

    In junior high I was made fun of for my weight by my group of friends – who needs enemies right??? Funny thing then is I was a size 5. Since then I have struggled with my self image and see myself much larger than I really am. It even went as far as exercise bulimia in my 20′s. Now that I am in my late 30′s with two ‘littles’ under 2, I feel completely immobilized about getting the pregnancy weight off. I can still hear the words ringing in my ears about no matter what I do I will always be fat and disgusting. I know the Lord’s truth but still struggle with this almost daily.

    • Michele

      *use them for building others up instead of tearing them down.

  • http://twitter.com/kasmith03 Kristin Smith

    It was 6th grade and a popular girl M.W. was having her first “boy/girl” party and everyone was going. I wasn’t invited though and I so desperately wanted to go….wanted to belong. My friends who were all invited wanted to get me there so they helped me find the perfect outfit to wear to a football game that next weekend…so when she saw how cool I was she would invite me. So I wore this cutesie and quite summery outfit for a cold football game one October evening. I wouldn’t even wear a coat because it would cover up my outfit. I froze that night but knew it would be worth it. Except the invite never came and the following Friday when everyone else was at the party I was at home…it wasn’t the words that were said that hurt…it was the silence. The understanding that came at that moment that I would not ever be enough. And that I didn’t “belong”.

    It is crazy how those situations have such an impact. As a parent I am very purposeful about teaching my kids to include everyone …to not keep other kids out. When my 15yr was 7 he had his first birthday party at our house. I told him that he had to invite ALL the boys or he couldn’t have the party. I think we had 10+ 7yr olds running around our house that day. It was crazy. When it came time for the parents to get their kids one of the moms approached me and said that this was her son’s first birthday party….that he had never been invited before and that he was so excited about it that he slept all night in his best church clothes in anticipation of the party.

    I knew how that little boy felt because I would have probably done the same. And hopefully if even for the few hours he was at the party…he felt like he belonged.

    I am excited about this series….but even more excited about the book. I just love that God has taken your brokenness and by His mending…has given you a platform to walk others down the same path. He is good that way isn’t He?

    Blessings to you friend….I can’t wait to hear you speak at WOF in ST Paul!! :)

    • http://onegirl-itjusttakesone.blogspot.com OneGirl

      such a great story, I love how the unspoken words didn’t carry over into yours sons’ life with his friend

  • Marissa

    One of my best friends from high school and I ended up living together for a year in college. After weeks of build up she told me that I was “a tyrant and all of your ‘friends’ said that behind your back’”. The next day I found a book conveniently placed by our coffee table titled “How to Deal with Mean People.” since then I just feel fake with everyone because obviously who I really am is tyrannical.

    • Carmen

      Ah Marissa, I so keenly know and feel your pain. People don’t realise the lifelong scars their words can leave. Praying for God’s healing in your life. You are an amazing person created in His image – and Jesus is no tyrant! May you face life head on with the knowledge of His complete love for you, sweet girl! *hugs*

  • Megan

    My sister spoke several hurtful words in our adolescence that still sometimes bring insecurity to this day, and she is my best friend now! Everything from my personality, my interests, the way that I liked to dress, and all the little details in between, were made fun of by my sister in very hurtful ways. It eventually wore me down and I became very reserved, insecure, shy, and didn’t like sharing who I was with anyone for fear of being rejected. I still went out for things at school and did things that I was interested in, but I feel like I never met my full potential in anything because the fear of rejection always held me back. It’s taken years of finding the truths about myself in God’s word (and believing them!) and prayer to finally have me in place of knowing who I am and not letting anyone else change that about me.

  • http://twitter.com/maregaro Maryellen Azarian

    My story is a little different. I was raised by my grandmother and I was an overweight child. I know it was out of love and concern but she would often say “You are going to have a heart attack because you are to fat”. It put such a fear in my life, a strong hold that satan uses to keep me living in fear.
    I still struggle with my weight and I am 52. But worse then that I have lived with a constant nagging fear of having a heart attack. I have anixety and panic attacks and I know much of them are caused by this simple thought placed so long ago in my mind. My cardiologist said I am fine and I should not worry. I would love to break this strong hold and live free of this fear. It really tells you how powerful words can impact a person forever. Thank you for your prayers in breaking this stronghold.

    • Erica Early

      This made me cry, Maryellen. You are beautiful and I am praying with you to delete the lies!

      • http://twitter.com/maregaro Maryellen Azarian

        Thank you so much Erica I can feel your prayers . . . blessings

  • http://onegirl-itjusttakesone.blogspot.com OneGirl

    “Shut up!”
    To this day sometimes I still have to force myself to speak, open up my heart, and trust that the words are wanted. A lot of that conversation has been mended in me, though I can’t say the same about the relationship. Slowly I’ve learned that not everyone wants me to shut up, and I do have words worth speaking, and a heart worth sharing.

  • Natalie

    I was in third grade and wore what I thought was a very beautiful dress to school. It was red and had a fancy design on the front and a pleated skirt. Totally amazing dress to an 8-year old! I had begged my mom to buy it for me. I was an uncertain, shy little girl and it took some courage to wear it, but I was so excited to wear that dress to school. A classmate approached me and asked, “Is that a new dress?” I replied, “Yes” and beamed. Then she kind of made a face and said, “Don’t you think it’s kind of tacky?” I didn’t say anything and wasn’t sure what tacky meant, but I knew it wasn’t good. I was embarrassed and couldn’t wait to get home to take it off. From then on that dress hung untouched in my closet, reminding me of my “bad choice,” until I grew out of it and my mom passed it along to someone else. She would ask why I never wore that dress again, and I said I just didn’t like it. After that I always doubted my own judgment about what was pretty or nice and instead looked to others to make those decisions for me. I wish I was the kind of girl who had simply replied to the classmate, “Well I LIKE it. A LOT!” But I wasn’t. Not then. I am now though (at least I try to be)!

  • Shelley

    I can’t even begin to explain… Love…

  • Emily

    I’m going to be vague, but I appreciate your prayers :)

  • Carmen

    Growing up, whenever I wanted to attempt something, I was always confronted with the question: “and what will you do if it fails?”….like failure was some awful disease. I know that those who loved me most meant well (though I know now they were so very misguided) and I am praying that Jesus will be present daily as I struggle to sidestep that nagging question in everything I set out to do. I yearn to be that person who tries, despite the possibility of failure.
    Thank you for your prayers, dear friends. I am praying for all of you! xx

  • Jo

    I have always been quite shy and insecure. When I was in 8th grade (in Sweden) a quite popular boy said loudly during a lesson that “you don´t want to look like her” and also used my full namn so I could be sure it was me he was talking about.I could have died at that moment, I was so humiliated! I did not like how I look before but then..I hated it! Many years later, I am still affected by the words….I constantly compare myself with how others look, everyone is much better looking than I am. All are slimmer and prettier and better.I often hear his painful words…
    I look myself in the mirror every day and are never satisfied with what I see, but I try to work with the confidence that constantly in other situations affect my life…
    Menade du: Jag tittar mig i spegeln varje dag och önskar att

  • Kitty Cookie

    My boss told me that I was opinionated for a teenager. And that is the reason, to him, why I don’t have a boyfriend. I’m still trying to fall in Love with Jesus……. but at the same time, my only big dream is to be a mama and a wife. I still don’t have a boyfriend. I believe it’s because it’s not the right time for it. But at the same time, ever since he said that, I’ve been wondering if it’s because I am the way I am. And it always scares me when I’m around other guys……..

  • Brittany

    Ugh. Walking down the hall in the sixth grade, feeling so pretty in my navy plaid Land’s End flannel shirt and matching wool clogs (hello, 1998!). A boy called out and told me I was ugly. “Wow. You’re ugly.” Flat and matter-of-fact and seething to the soul of a middle school girl on the day she was feeling particularly pretty and confident. That afternoon took a full-throttle whack to my confidence, and on my insecure days, when I forget who I am in Him and that my worth doesn’t lie in flannel shirts and matching clogs, those words send me running.

  • Erica Early

    Just reading through your story and the comments below truly blessed my heart. I’m the middle daughter of three and people constantly label us. My older sister is the “pretty one with the good voice”, I’m the “shy one with the brain”, and my little sister is the “loud one with the friends”. We are all in our upper 20′s-early 30′s now and finally had a discussion on how those labels affected all of us. It was incredible to me to see that even though I wanted to be the pretty one, or the popular one, my sisters were dying inside trying to be the one with the brains. Grass is always greenier kinda thing. Words hurt, silences strike fear, and actions can kill us, but what a blessing it is to find on this blog that we are not alone! Thank all of you for touching my heart this morning! I needed it! :)

  • http://twitter.com/taxmegan Megan Mahaffey

    Sometimes, the words hurt, but the silence even worse. My parents divorced when I was eleven, and my father was transferred out of state soon after. We had always been close, or so I had thought, but as I got older, his absence was profound. I was a performer – I think in 4 years and at least 12 shows, most with at least 3 performances each, he came to one.
    Now, as an adult, I’ve recognized that I’m to much like my mother for him to deal well with. In a heartbreaking conversation with my sister-in-law, who is closer to my father than I have been in 20 years, I explained that I never doubted that my father loved me, but I was equally confident that he didn’t like me very much. It was healing to say it out loud, and to acknowledge that truth, but for a little girl who loved fishing and racecars with her daddy, the heartbreak of losing that is crushing.

  • Mare

    Two things: my brother calling me fat girl and my mother NOT saying anything when he would. So, naturally, this led my little mind to think “oh, I guess she agrees that I am fat and that’s why she lets him call me that.” Funny thing, growing up I always thought I was the chubby fat girl and now, 25 years later, I look back at pictures…I was a rail! So thin!
    Words hurt. Stick with us. I’m thankful for God’s Word, which tells me the truth about who I am in Christ.

  • Leslie Maddox

    When I was 18, I had a guy tell me that I was nothing special. That was 20 years ago, but I still catch myself thinking that I’m nothing special.

  • CnotK

    My mother has told me that I’m a quitter and always have been. A few years ago, when our family was going to move for a job, she told me she wanted to die and it was my fault. She apologized for the latter because her doctor told her she had to, but never for the former.

  • KW

    Words from elmentary school that I saw written on the bathroom stall…the words in high school…as a teacher, hearing the words students spoke just loud enough in the hall too make sure I heard…this week, a friend I have mentored and poured into for 9 years tell me, I am demanding and controling and mamiipulative, that she just wants a shallow friendship with me and “cannot hear or receive annything from me”.

  • Betsy

    I am adopted, and an only child. I have never felt much of a bond with my adoptive mother but since she was the only mother figure I had I desperately wanted her approval. When I was 13, she told me “she had done the best she could to raise me but she just couldn’t make silk from a sow’s ear”. I am now 54, have 4 wonderful children and 3 beautiful grandchildren, and those words haunt me and affect everything I do. I have accomplished many things in my life, but I feel like I will never be “good enough” because of what she said all those years ago. She’s still living and I still struggle with trying to love and care for her, and the feelings of hurt and resentment that I just can’t seem to let go of.

  • Jessica Griggs Brown

    In the fifth grade, I dug deep and found the courage to ask a boy in my class to the Sadie Hawkins dance. His reply haunted me for years and shaped my warped view of myself. To be honest, those words still fight for truth in my life. He said, ‘No, you are too fat.’

    That simple, yet painful reply, led to diet after diet and eating disorders.

    It wasn’t until I dove into the Word that my heart began to
    heal.

  • http://twitter.com/raechelmyers Raechel

    When I was a young teenager my Dad introduced my sister and me to our new pastor as “the pretty one” and “the smart one”. To this day, I think we both still carry baggage as “the ugly one” and “the stupid one”.

  • http://www.holmanhouseholdhappenings.blogspot.com aholman

    Not only have I been on the receiving end of hurtful words, but I’ve also been the one saying them… Even something that was not meant to hurt can sometimes hurt unintentionally. It always breaks my heart a little when I say something that hurts another person – even accidentally. No amount of apologizing can wipe it clean and make it go away. I know how I’ve been hurt by words in the past and I try so hard to choose my words wisely, but every once in a while, I mess up and say something I immediately regret. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 5 second delay to go back and erase those words before they ever hit the ears of the other person…

  • Becky

    I had a teacher make fun of something I had written in front of the entire class. Even though I became an English major in college, I always wen the route of reading and writing in response, never creating on my own. I have just started to find my own voice in writing…many years later.

  • andrea

    The first thing that came to mind wasn’t a conversation, but there were words and it came in the form of a gift. For one of my birthdays (maybe 8?), one of my relatives gave me a Precious Moments nightgown with the words “I’m Shy” written above the bashful blondie. I liked the nightgown, but was puzzled by the message because I didn’t see myself this yet. Yet, somehow, that label stuck in my head and I wondered if that was how others saw me. And now I wonder if stunted my ability to strike up conversations with strangers and even acquaintances in situations, like a party or social gathering, where there is no clear goal or role present.

    Thank you for starting this beautiful series, Angie, and prayers for your mending too.

  • Holly G-M

    Odd how God’s ways are working here. Just last night I was up until 4am writing a 5 page letter to my father. We aren’t speaking…again. He says I “hurt” him with my response to him insulting my husband. It got taken beyond me and him and over into relatives and siblings and such because of his “hurt”. This is my norm. My father was verbally and emotionally condensing for all of my childhood and a good deal of my adult life. My mom puts up with it, she doesn’t have a sense of self anymore after 40 years of him being that way. After that upbringing making me “know” that I was a failure and couldn’t do anything good enough, I went and became what was expected of me. Married into an abusive situation, lied and did things I am not proud of. Praise God I got out, and in that escape, woke up to the reality of what all those years of pain had done. I learned to look for the good in everyone, even myself. I learned to have hope again. I was blessed with a man who loved me for me…BUT, in moments like this, the pain comes back a hundred fold and I start to second guess everything. God had been writing that letter in my head for nights and it was keeping me awake. With tears I sat there on the couch, netbook and nightlight, and typed out what I perceived, what I remembered, the hurt and how it shaped the situation my father and I are in right now. I doubt I’ll be strong enough to give it to him…although what I want most in this world right now is to hear him apologize.

  • Tricia M

    I was the first of the 5 daughters to go to college. I can remember my graduation day so vividly. I stood on the stage s o proud as I received my pinning as a registered nurse. It was an associate degree graduation, but the none the less, I was a REAL nurse. I wanted him (my dad) so badly to embrace me. To offer words of support and to simply tell me “well done”. Rather, as I came off that stage beaming with JOY and I walked right up to my parents to receive their admiration- I instead received a “pep talk” from my father. It wasn’t a REAL degree, he informed me. A real degree would be once I received my bachelors (or better yet… masters). All of my JOY was immediately stripped away.

    I did go on to receive a bachelors in nursing and I’ve since repented & walked away from the hurt of my dad’s words and into the Lord’s. But, I have to admit it still tries to haunt me time to time. The lie “It’s not good enough” will whisper and linger and I have learned that I must intentionally wrestle that beast to the floor.

    It is amazing to me the power words can continue to have…

  • SandyW

    I was 11, and had 21 warts under my nose. The dermatologist had cut the first few out, then tried burning them off, and still they would grow back. So the Dr. prescribed cream, declared it a virus that would have to run its course. One day a boy I liked said he could never like or kiss me because of the warts. I felt so ugly. I hated school pictures, the mirror, and any kind of attention. Later that year, my father was driving home from work on a Sunday morning listening to a preacher on the radio. He said if anyone needed prayer for healing to pray with him. My non believing father prayed for me that day. Shortly thereafter, the warts I bore for 3 years began to slowly disappear till there was nothing but scars. Now the scars are gone, but I still think of that little girl who felt shame. Today, I’m 52, and my confidence comes from God alone. He healed me inside and out. I’m very grateful, all my experiences help shape the woman I am today. Compassionate for my fellow man. Thank you Angie. Once these words, and experiences are brought into the light, darkness no longer has power over them. Many blessings to you and your wonderful readers.

  • http://joyfulcontentment.wordpress.com/ Elizabeth Sadosky

    While growing up I always struggled with my weight. My alcoholic father would drink and say things about me being a ‘fat pig.’ I always felt as though he was ashamed of me. When I was 20 years old I finally had gotten into shape and feeling healthy after spending a year as an intern and focusing on God and not myself. Shortly after that, I married an amazing man…but after 3 children within four years and being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis the weight crept on to where I am now my heaviest. My husband and I have had very loving and encouraging talks about my weight, but for years I think I was testing him–waiting to see if he would say things like ‘fat pig’ or that I was lazy or useless…just waiting for him to leave me because of the way I look. It’s taken years for me to realize that he’s not going to leave me…and that he is nothing like my father. Words have such an impact on us for the rest of our lives. I’m still trying to break through those words and move on from the past.

  • Elizbeth

    This post evokes alot of memories in my mind! I had many of those moments as a child, teen and young married. Names and words that bit to the core and hurt beyond measure. I’m a “senior citizen” now and this post brought these things up that I hadn’t thought about in years. Teasing is a form of bullying…and I had that growing up! Name calling…well that just is beyond words for me to describe. Being put down….denegrates one to…well that’s beyond words as well. Today—-I don’t like to play games (ie cards, tennis, golf etc.) Is that fear of failing?? Don’t know! I do know “when/if” I do play something…I get extremely frustrated. I’m not a joiner of clubs! Don’t know the “why” of that neither! I prefer having coffee/lunch one on one with my friends. I think we ALL carry “something” with us from our years. Just talk to the popular, pretty girl…she’ll have something along these lines to share, I’m sure. Thank you Angie for your transparency and sharing!

  • helen

    Three months after our newborn baby died (he was born and died in April 2011 in a very similar situation to Audrey) a church elder told my husband that I was dealing with it really badly and that most people would have got over it by now. That was the first of many condemning comments from the church leadership, both verbally and in writing. We left the church feeling very hurt and I find it hard to shake a sense of shame that somehow I grieved in the wrong way. We now belong to another church where we feel much more understood but I still find those comments fighting for attention in my head! Looking forward to some mending…

  • Janice M

    I’m not sure I remember an exact moment but growing up I always felt that whatever I did wasn’t good enough in my parents’ eyes. One time I cooked a dinner by myself and after all my hard work we sat down to eat and the first words out of my dad’s mouth were “no bread?” I was so proud of what I had accomplished only to have it all cut down by 2 little words. After all these years, I still struggle in my relationship with God. I think He is looking down on me and thinking I’m not good enough which ironically is true. Trying to keep my focus on Jesus because He is Enough!!

  • Rachael

    My husband and I had been trying to have a family for four years. A year ago (tomorrow) I had a miscarriage. It was completely and utterly devastating because I thought it was finally my turn. We told mu inlaws about what had happened and my mother in law told me that it was God’s way of telling us we are going to be horrible parents and that we should just give up. Since then I have had an incredible amount of fear of having a family.

    • Denise

      I want to pray for you and encourage you not to believe this lie. I’ve had 2 miscarriages, and people can say things that hurt deeply. We tried to have a family for much longer than 4 years, and God finally blessed us with a beautiful girl…in His time. Blessings to you, Rachael.

  • Melissa B.

    I honestly don’t know where to begin. So many things have been said to me and about me over the years. It hurts. I’ve buried some hurts deeply just so I can go on with life. Sometimes though I wonder if the things that aren’t said are even worse. I feel so invisible. Does no one see me? Does anyone care? I know there is One, El Roi, the God who Sees, and that should be enough. I’ve always been average, never excelling at anything. I just want to be good at something and have someone notice.

  • Diana

    All of my siblings are skinny and I have been compared to them over the years, my grandmother said I was “stocky”, from her side of the family. My sister that is only a year younger than me, has said so many things over the years that have made me feel insecure. Since she had children before me, she has often made me feel inadequate as a mother with comments she makes. The most hurtful is the span of 6 years when I lost 4 babies to miscarriage. She would make a point to tell me about certain people we knew that were pregnant. I couldn’t understand such blatant lack of sensitivity. She often says things to make me feel like I’m not as good as christian as she is. The biggest hurt comes from the things she says to friends that we share, that make her look like a victim and me the villian. I know I am Gods girl, and He knows my heart and motives. I think it’s normal to want to be vindicated when we are wronged. Sometimes silence says more than words can. I hope so. Words can be soooo hurtful. I believe they are even more, when spoken from family and those we love. I believe I have said hurtful things as well…. especially in the teen years. I think we expect those feelings to go away when we grow up…. but, they don’t. Thank you for the prayers!

  • StacyH

    This could end up being a very long comment! So neat how God works, for just about two weeks ago I went to see a counselor about this very topic, words that have been spoken over me that I have believed for too long. I grew up in a Christian home, but as we all know, even though we are believers, we are also still sinners! Perhaps my parents still had childhood issues of their own that they had not dealt with. I am one of three and I fall right in the middle. When God created me, He gave me a strong will! Mix the strong will with a sinful little girl and you get a child that is hard to parent. I knew my parents loved me, but I knew I was a challenge. Before long instead of only believing the positive words they spoke over me, I began to believe the negative ones. I was compared to the not so great other members of the family. Sometimes I was asked why I couldn’t be more like this or that child who apparently burped butterflies! As I got older, my strong will payed off, for I am a believer and my teachers and peers knew it. Of course I was called a “goody goody” and even ridiculed for my faith. I became best friends with a fellow believer that also happened to be a boy. We were extremely close and even dated off and on. We ended up going to college at the same school. Long story short, a few years later I realized I was in love with this young man. He knew everything about me and for so long had been in love with me. I decided to even tell him at one point that I wanted to bear his children! Nice! Well, he cared for me. but did not feel the same. Which equals, a very broken girl, with a very broken heart. Growing up I thought my value was in what others thought of me, even though I believed in the One who loves me sooo ridiculously that He gave up His Son to die for me! I tried dating another guy, only to be told that I was awesome but that I was a time bomb waiting to go off! One thing I did learn from the short relationship from this young man was that not only should I not believe in the bad things that others said about me, but also the good things! What an amazing new pattern of thinking! It should only matter what He thinks, and He thinks I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” “I know that full well” but the damage was done and the wounds were still there. About a year after all of this, the Lord brought this amazing man into my life, who I now call my husband! But three kids and years later, those old lies are getting louder and the wounds are beginning to weep! I know the truth, and I know what I should be doing, but somehow I just seem to hear the evil one’s lies more than my Savior’s truth. So, now I am just trying to figure out how to love me for me and how to raise my children to only hear His truths! I am also trying not to “punish” my husband for what others have said to me or about me. It has been a HARD road, but one that will hopefully strengthen my relationship with my Jesus, my husband, and my children.

  • Laura

    I was in the 6th grade and looked totally different from any of the other kids in my school. I was shy and just socially awkward. A boy passed me in the hallway at school and looked at me in disgust and blurted out, “God your ugly!”….it was horrible. I am now 43 years old, and I can still see the look on his face and the shame and hurt I felt.

  • Ella

    Once, a friend at church told me I looked pretty. This lady is so lovely, I really appreciated the compliment. I went home and told my husband, and he said, “Yeah, I bet that was like throwing raw meat to a hungry dog.”
    A few years later, I went to a Christian counselor as I was trying to find the courage to leave this alcoholic, abusive, adulterous man – and she told me I was a bad mother because I had not left him already. Of all the things anyone could ever had said to me, that wounded me the most deeply, because the only thing I cared about at that point was being a good mother.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=570351614 Melissa Douthart

    How do I even begin? My grandmother, my father’s mother, seemed to have it out for me from day one. She never liked my mother, Mom just wasn’t Grandma’s choice for her little boy, and since I was their only child, she was never fond of me either. Grandmother was very religious and believed that her religion was the only religion out there. She would often tell me that my beliefs on Faith and Jesus were wrong. She would tell me there was no way I was going to Heaven and go out of her way to confuse me spiritually. I suppose now, looking back at it, I don’t think the woman set out to confuse me. I think she was just blunt and truly believed the doctrines that she preached. It extended in how girls out to dress and carry themselves – things I did not and do not still agree with (single ladies should only wear dresses? Um, I like my jeans thanks). But even to this day, I find myself questioning my very faith and what the Word of God says far too often. So many seeds of doubt were planted at a young age.

    She was also blunt, telling me I would wind up being fat one day, it was in our genes after all – she seemed to take great glee in announcing that to a room of people. She would comment on other things as well. Strange, honestly, how the miserable enjoy infectious disdain. :)

    She passed away a few years ago and I fully admit that I have some issues with her death. There are so many things that I wish I could have said to her – things that I wish that I could have politely but firmly corrected her on. But mostly? Mostly at this point I just feel sad for her – to live an entire life that bitter, entrapped in those chains? Man, I wish she would have discovered FREEDOM. But I don’t think she ever did.

  • Emily S.

    I was 20 and home from college for the summer. My mother had been at work during the day and left me a list of things she wanted me to do before she got home. I did them to the best of my ability. However, there were a few dishes I pulled from the dishwasher. I wasn’t sure where they belonged. Rather than put them somewhere wrong and risk a verbal lashing later, I left them on the counter, so I’d remember to ask her about them.

    There is not enough time or words to explain the dark depression my mother was in at that time, but it often resulted in her lashing out with verbal berating and belittlement, so we walked on eggshells around her.

    She came home in a terrible mood. She immediately saw the dishes and demanded why they hadn’t been put away. I tried to explain, but all she could see was that she’d asked me to do something and it hadn’t been done. She walked in and out of the room I was in, muttering ‘to herself’, but loud enough for me to hear, things like “So lazy”, and “She can never finish what she starts” and “Why do I even try”, etc. etc. I had experienced years of these words, but I was rapidly reaching my breaking point.

    Finally, I heard her mutter, “She never does ANYTHING!”, and I snapped. I grabbed my keys, held them up to her face and said, “You want to see me do something? I’ll leave!” and I walked out the door.

    As I was walking down the driveway to my car, already wondering if I should turn around and go back in, I heard her yell out the kitchen window after me, “I DON’T CARE IF YOU EVER COME BACK!!!”

    I stayed at a friend’s house that night and returned the next day. My mother and I have had many a conversation since then and our relationship has gone through a lot of healing, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget those words, and her labels for me, i.e. lazy, never finish what you start, etc., follow me to this day into my marriage and parenting. Words are so powerful and can do so much damage and drat, now I’m crying.

  • http://profiles.google.com/csigler7 Michelle Sigler

    oh yes, words. That old saying about sticks and stones breaking our bones? I’ll take a broken bone any day! I’ve been the victim of painful, deep hurting words from someone I love dearly and it’s a struggle to not let the devil use them as a foothold. I’ll pray for you too, Angie. And I will especially pray as you speak at WoF this weekend. I’ll be there and I look forward to hearing God work through you.

  • http://twitter.com/aruss27 Allison Russell

    I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 3 years ago (totally cancer free today!), but this diagnosis came almost a year after my weight just kept creeping up and up. I had just had my second baby and had lost all the pregnancy weight and then it all came creeping back on. So, in many ways, the knowledge that my thyroid had stopped working was a relief. At least we now knew why I kept gaining weight. It was during this time that I bought a bathing suit. It’s really more an outfit than a bathing suit (it involves a skirt kind of like a tennis skirt), but I felt comfortable in it. And that’s a rare thing for me. I remember showing it to my mom in my excitement that it covered all my “problem” areas and she remarked that this time next year it would probably be too big for me because all this weight “would just fall off” now that we were getting my thyroid levels back on track. Well that was three years ago and that bathing suits still fits me. The good news is I stopped gaining weight, but I haven’t lost any either. I’ve been told I’m going to be one of those thyroid patients that will always just struggle with my weight. Even though I know my mom likely doesn’t even remember making this comment, I still feel like a failure every time I step into my 3 year old bathing suit that was supposed to be too big for me.

  • Beth Ann

    A little over 5 years ago, I was a senior in college. I was a month away from graduation and I was engaged to my boyfriend of two years. He was a great, creative guy. He would always make me feel special(ie.ask me out on dates in creative ways, asked me to marry him by sending a two by four in the mail). It was kind of the fairy tale romance that all girls dream of. After being engaged for seven months, he called me one day(we didn’t go to the same school) and said we shouldn’t talk for a week. At the end of the week, he told me he didn’t love me anymore and he broke the engagement. It was the hardest thing i’ve ever had to go through. The shame and hurt I felt was horrible. To this day, his words still effect me. I’ve dated since then, but i hear the words “I can’t see a future with you” and all the feelings that I’m not good enough come flooding back. I know there is more to life than having a husband, but it is so hard because I was so close to it and then it was gone. It has made me realize that you can’t always make your dreams come true. It has also also affected my relationship with others. I find that i shrink away from friendships or other relationships because if they really got to know me like my fiance did, then they’d walk away like he did too. I know it is all lies and I’ve gone to counseling and experienced a lot of healing from the Lord, but it still affects my life. It is fitting that I read your blog today as I went to a wedding today and weddings are hard for me. They just always seem to stir up alot of emotions. Angie, I really love your blog and your words. I feel like a lot of what you write speaks right to my heart. For that I’m thankful to you and the Lord.

    • mrschangstein

      Oh sister. All I can think is ‘my heartache has a purpose’. I know – I KNOW – exactly where you’re at. I was engaged to be married and 10 days before the wedding, he called it off. One of the hardest things I’ve lived through. (Big back story here) Nearly had a nervous breakdown. Walked away from the Lord for 8 years. 8 years. Giving God the bird & trying to do it my way. He was waiting for me to come back. My life is complicated – I can never really get away from this past, as both of my brothers married women who are closely related to my former fiance. Let me tell you, Beth Ann, you ARE good enough. God has a purpose, I promise you that. Even better, He promises. He loves you, He hurts with you, He wants to be your everything. Keep on working at the healing, and know that you’re not alone. I don’t make friends easily, I’m cautious in the friends I make, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You will never be the same, and you can thank God for that. He is doing His transforming work, and will continue it to the end. I don’t know if you’d be encouraged to know, but God brought HIS man into my life – and I married him 10 years almost to the day later. Funny thing is – he’s very similar in personality – but miles ahead in character. If you need an ear – from someone who has the t-shirt – contact me. If this google id thing doesn’t work, post a comment, and I’ll leave you my contact info.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh Angie, praying for your healing. As for my story, well… my first year of teaching, I took the job where I felt like I was needed. It was an incredibly difficult inner city school, and I struggled as many first year teachers do. I went to the principal to ask for help. His response was to come into my classroom and announce *in front of the students* that my classroom management was “abysmal” and that I refused to listen to his suggestions (a complete lie). Later he told me that I would be terminated at the end of the year because I “just couldn’t seem to get it right” and “nothing” would ever make me a good teacher. I have never forgotten that, and though I have had several successful teaching adventures since then, part of me always wonders what I’m doing wrong, if the success is all in my head, if I’m helping my students or hurting them. The confidence I had going into my first year of teaching is gone, and I’m not sure I’ll ever have it again.

  • Michelle Mowat

    In junior high, I vividly remember reaching into my purple lunch bag, seeing a note, and anticipation flooding me – was this a note from a boy? I quietly snuck it back in my bag, ate my food and ran to the bathroom to read it. My anticipation slowly turned to utter, sick-to-my-stomach pain. Instead it was a note from my friends telling me that they didn’t want to be my friend anymore because they wanted to join the “cool” group. I was devastated, and still to this day question friendships. It is crazy how one moment can change your life forever. My husband teases me that I have such a poor memory of my past, but that is one event I will never forget. I went through the rest of my junior high and high school years fighting acne, glasses, braces, etc…and trying to hard to lose myself in school work and hide away from people. Hide away from pain. But all these walls have distanced myself from people and made it hard to make friends. Hard to trust, hard to really open up to people. I have come a really long way, but I have so far to go….

  • marlen816

    I was a daycare provider years ago and made the decision to homeschool my two oldest children due to issues they were having in middle school. Since they were older I was confident I could do both, but was nervous about what one of my daycare moms would think. It was very intimidating and had become very critical of me and my oldest son. I made the mistake of not telling her right away that we would be homeschooling and she found out from someone else. She was angry and pulled her sons from my daycare while convincing another family to leave as well (she was the assistant principal at the elementary school where my children attended and the other family’s mom was a K-5 teacher there as well. She was sure if she didn’t pull her children her job would be in jeopardy). The mother was so harsh in her words to me as she left the daycare, not paying me for the remainding time as she was contracted to do so and saying that my oldest son would be in prison and on drugs later in life. Due to poor choices, my son has been in prison and may be headed there again next week (he has a courtdate – please pray for God’s will – ) and is addicted to drugs. I let her words haunt me to this day and even have nightmares about the situation. I want to be free and mended from them! And I want to see my son healed, being a father to his children and a functioning Christian citizen. He is only 21 years old and has a 2 year old son and 3 mo old daughter. Thanks for praying, Angie!

    • Debbie

      Praying for you, your son and family Marlen x

  • trisha_trentsmom

    I have battled my weight my entire life. My dad never let me forget it. He said terrible things to me my entire life. He told me I would never get married because boy’s would be embarrased to introduce me to people. He told me I was too fat to get health insurance for the family. He told me I could not ride roller coasters because I was too big. He told me I should just be a lesbian so I didn’t have to worry about dating. After my first son died he told me it was my body’s way of saying a fat person could not have children. The worst though, the thing that still haunts me, the words that still have power of me…he told me I have “fat person’s syndrome.” I only have friends, I only have a great personality because I am making up for the fact that I am fat. If I were skinny I would not have to try so hard. If I were skinny people would just like me.

    • Debbie

      Understanding that so much Trisha. Words said to me about my weight have caused me to battle a number of weight related problems throughout my life. Still trying to lose and get healthier but its a painful journey and its hard to stop eating for emotional reasons when my past is full of those types of hurtful comments.

      • Millicent

        ((hugs)) to both of you! Weight is such a hard, hard battle to fight.

  • Randilyn

    I don’t remember any specific words, but the lack of words has always been my problem. I keep people at arms distance and felt constantly judged during highschool. College was better. But not being able to conceive was even harder. There were all of the hushed whispers at church and at the highschool where I now teach. Thanks be to God that after 3 years of trying to conceive and and trying to adopt, we were given our daughter to adopt at birth! But now I still feel like there are almost more judgmental whispers and words on how to raise your child when she is adopted and such a gift. Angie, I have not experienced loss like you have but I have gone through the losses of never seeing the line turn pink on the stick. It makes you feel like less of a woman. Like God made a mistake when He made me. I’ve also had to deal with the loss of adoptions falling through. None of these are anywhere near the pain your family had to endure, but your book has spoken to me and had helped me to deal with a lot of pain I didn’t realize I was holding onto. I now feel so much closer to our Lord. So thank you, Angie..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712793391 Kristi Ottmar

    I thought that when I got married I would suddenly be safe, protected, accepted, loved, forgiven, instead due to my husbands mental illness, I have never been more alone; harsh words, accusations, cutting remarks hitting to the core, seething comments about my weight, how I don’t use my college degree, accusations about how I run home to my daddy in time of need, tears that soak my pillow because my home isn’t tidy enough, or I spat back when looking away would be have wiser… when the alcohol spoke instead of the loving boy I dated…. when he humiliated me instead of defended me in front of others…. but today… today I learned something that when I can’t go on, when I know the end is near….. if I listen and draw near instead of away… I might see the well and know how to drink. PS…… pls forgive me, I was your talent runner in Spokane, instead of providing you solitude, I shared my story and spoke too much. you needed quiet and I spilled. I’m sorry. I pray as you speak at this season of WoF you will teach deeply as you touched today!

  • Rachael

    My dad was a non-existent father. He left us many many times and always came back begging for forgiveness. I’ll always remember the day that he left for good. He told me that it was my fault that his life was messed up, because I was the first born and he never would have had to marry my mom if she hadn’t gotten pregnant. From the time I was eight I have always felt a sense of responsibility for the fact that my younger sisters don’t have a father who cares enough to do more then send them a text message every three days. It’s been 16 years and I still feel the pain of those words.

  • Debra

    I have been digging into my past hard lately trying to heal from it. I can think of a million words said by my mom that hurt to the core. But oddly enough the words that hurt worst of all I don’t remember. I just happened to get the court records from a time I was put into foster care. I was bruised head to toe and had adult bit marks on me. In the process of healing, I was looking for answers. Trying to figure out who I could talk to that would be able to help me. I hunted down these court and dcs documents and when I got them started pouring over the first 50 pages. On the first page of the write up it tells who called dcs, how I was found and evaluated and then a little bit of my mom’s interview. As I read, all sorts of hard words came back to me. But when I got to the bottom of that first page, I realized my mom has always thought I was a bad person. Even as a 3 year old. She told the interviewers that I was very bad and terrorized her. And some other very nasty things. It isn’t that I didn’t know she thought that… she is very mentally ill and has been for as long as I can remember. It was more that I never had a mother who cared for me and loved me and protected me. It is very hard not to internalize that. She never really connected to me, not even as a toddler and certainly never as i got older. It has been very hard for me to shake the image of my mom saying those things about me as a tiny little child. And it hurts every day knowing that to her I will always be “bad” and difficult.

  • Mrs.hvk

    Once my dad said I was going to need a wheelbarrel to haul me around because I was gettig so fat.

    A boy on my bus used to call me shamu the whale every time I got on and off the bus daily. I can’t even begin to explain the shame I felt and still feel. To have to stand up and walk off that bus…it still bothers me.

    Words can go so deep.

  • Rebecca W

    My thoughts turn not really to words that keep replaying in my thoughts but an action. And yet the action cries out so many words. My husband of 19 years left me for another woman. Even though I know that there were words that were said that have made me feel so inadequate and unloved I don’t remember the words as much as what his walking away and how I felt at that moment. I still battle the feeling of “not being good enough”. The betrayal even though it has been 3 years still breaks my soul. The divorce is final and what is even more hard to wrap my head around is the fact that if my ex had his choice he would be back with me but still in the same “sick” condition he left in. He has spiraled down into depression and the life of “letting it happen to him” and even though I know that it is his issue and if he would turn back to God and let Him work in his life amazing things can happen that thought just makes thoughts run through my head that I am not worth fighting for. Every day I have to turn to God and know that He loves me beyond measure and He made me the person that I am (yes I have made messes of things but He is still there). I am so thankful for my Abba Father love but there are days I desire a love of a mate and then I feel that I am not worthy of this.

  • Susan

    I was always a chubby girl, kid, teenager, and now adult. There are many times that I remember being teased but none more vivid than when I was in eighth grade. There was a boy named Kevin who always said, ” What’s up sow, what’s up SUEEEEY!” My name is Susan which was perhaps the worst name to have when you are chubby!! I remember just ignoring him. I was always funny and spunky and despite my chubbiness pretty well liked. I just pretended it didn’t bother me until I was safe in my bedroom where I would sob. One day, several years later, at a party, Kevin was there. He came up to me and apologized for being so rude to me. He said he knew he was mean and hateful and that he was sorry. I accepted it and I forgave him. I appreciated that he had the courage to admit how mean he was, to my face.
    The thing is that although I appreciate his apology, his words and those of so many that said similar things continue to haunt me. It seems like I am passed it and then certain behaviors or struggles reappear in my life and I realize that there is a large part of me that still feels like that teased, chubby girl.

  • Brittany

    Growing up, I always loved kids and children. I knew I wanted to be a teacher and have as many kids as God would allow. I didn’t have many friends when I was younger either because chose to hang out with adults who had kids that I could take care of. I remember driving home one day from gymnastics practice and my mom and I were having a conversation. She was angry with me because I wasn’t performing to her standard or something like that and then she let loose. She told me that I needed to quit hanging out with adults and hang out with people my own age. She told me that if I didn’t I would end up pregnant when I was 16 and no one would want to be friends with me. Those words have stuck with me for years now. I recently got married last October and I am thankful to say I am 27 and, by God’s grace, we were both pure when we got married. I now know that God placed in my a desire and a passion for children and that is why I became a teacher and that is why I love kids. We don’t have any children of our own yet, but I know that God will bless us in the future. Thanks for sharing your heart with me! I enjoy reading your blog and I enjoy writing as well. Here is the link to our blog…www.littlhouckfamily.blogspot.com Thanks, Angie and praying for you as well!

  • http://twitter.com/SarahPead Sarah Pead

    You know, honestly, I’ve never had SOMEONE ELSE speak those types of words to me. I’ve always been surrounded by words of encouragement – and for that I am thankful. HOWEVER – the one person I know who (on a regular basis) speaks those types of words to me, IS ME.

    In just the last year, I have had to come to grips with the serious reality that I am really good at speaking death into my own life. Even though I know the truth, know that I am loved, know that I am who I am supposed to be in my Creator’s eyes, I’m never happy enough with that and I don’t believe it. Nothing is ever good enough. I’m always striving for a type of perfection that does not exist. Everything has to be just perfect. Conflict is not allowed and (apparently) it’s my job to make sure everyone is happy and all is right with the world. If I mess up, everything is ruined and I’ll never do anything great again.

    I realize this is quite ridiculous and I’m so thankful that God has finally shown me that He is here to pick me up off the ground, hold my face in his hands, wipe away the tears and say, “It’s ok. I didn’t design you to make everything perfect (including yourself). I designed you so that I could make you perfect; so that I can draw you to me; so that you can become more and more like me so that you don’t have to become more and more like the sin that so easily snares you.”

    Bah. Even as I write this, I’m being shown new things. So, Angie, if you could, pray that I continue to walk in the truth that He is guiding me in. That I would continue to trust that He has given me every spiritual blessing that I need in order to glorify Him and live my life for His glory and that I would believe His word and what He says about me.

    Thank you for asking this question. Thank you for constantly allowing God to use you to challenge the hearts of women. Thank you for being you.

  • Elizabeth

    I was just reading through all of these comments. Wow! I too have been hurt by words, by people who were very close to me. I didn’t see it coming and I never would have predicted that it would happen. The words that hurt the most are the ones that come from those who are the closest to you. Three years later I still struggle with what was said, however I love seeing how God is working to heal me. If you ask Him, He will show you who you are in Him. Every time you read through Scripture, note what God says about you, replacing any pronouns with your name or me. It helps, believe me!

  • Debbie

    When I was 7 a dance teacher told me I’d never be a good dancer because I was too fat. I never went back to her class but wouldn’t tell my mom why. I’m almost 43 now and that still hurts. Thing is I look at photos of me when I was 7 and I wasn’t fat… but I’ve struggled with weight issues ever since and am now seriously overweight. I’ve lost about 20 lbs in the last few months but its been slow especially as I suffered a miscarriage just 9 weeks ago. I’ll never forget her words… at hard as I try they haunt me and have made me feel of less worth and value as a person.

  • Debbie

    I remember many years ago someone telling me to imagine taking a piece of paper and writing on it all sorts of nasty comments and names. All the horrible things we might be tempted to say or even think. Then take the paper and tear it up into as many small pieces as you can. Take them outside on a windy day and throw them up in the air… then try to gather every single piece up. You can’t… words are like that. Once they’re out there floating in the wind you can’t take them back so be careful what you say x

  • http://www.facebook.com/latisha.vanderzon Latisha Schaller VanderZon

    My voice teacher told me that i wouls never be good. Many years later, those words have played in my head as I have gotten up to sing in church.

  • Tina

    I was adopted by a “man” who promised God, my mother and the court that he would love me as his own. Instead, he chose to verbally abuse me behind the world’s back but he forgot that he can’t hide from God. His words haunt me to this day. God is working on me and hasn’t forgot me. Thank you for the prayers!! I will be praying as well for all of us.

  • L

    For many years my husband and I have faced many issues — mainly financial. He was in an industry that was very up and down and consequently has been laid off many times. This last time he was unemployed for 2 1/2 years. We have been mocked, rejected, and made fun of all by family, friends, and church people. We’ve been told we are cursed, that we must have sin in our lives and someone actually told my husband one day that Jesus must love him more than my husband because of these issues. We spent a long time in a church where people would hardly speak to us. People have acted toward us as if we have a plague or something and if they get too close they might catch the disease. We have struggled more than anyone will ever know with not only the issues we’ve had but also with the whay we’ve been treated. Sometimes the lack of words — the utter feeling of rejection can be just as painful as the words themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/devan.griffin.31 Devan Griffin

    I am not proud to say that I got pregnant out of wedlock…but his words to me ensured that getting married would not be an option. Seven, yes…seven years into our relationship…I found out I was pregnant. I set up a cute way to tell him, pulled out all the stops…the first words out of his mouth were “Well, I guess that means I will have to marry you”. Mine were “No, you won’t”. We never married…if he mentioned it, even in a nice way, I stiffened. I stayed with him for 10 more years, had 2 more children, and became an alcoholic. I wish more than anything that I would have had the guts to leave that day…of course, I love my other two children with all my heart, so that is not really true to some extent, and I am now in recovery…but it was a long hard road, one that I would have never foreseen myself on. I am trying to regain happiness now, but he has no idea how those words scarred me in any future relationships. I have only had one other serious relationship, then the one I am in now. If he mentions marriage, I freeze.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashesforbeauty Adriane Lynee Christensen

    When I was 15, I remember having such a hunger to grow in my walk with Jesus. I saw the youth leaders in my church and looked up to them so much- I had no idea how to articulate it at that age but I wanted to be mentored and poured into…I wanted someone to see my value and potential and take the time to develop it. But since I had no idea how to put that desire into words, I spent as much possible time as I could with them…at youth group and youth events and calling them and going to a community worship night

    Well one night, 2 of the 4 of them pulled me aside after youth group and told me tha i was spending too much time with them and needed to leave them alone (my sister was also there and may be a huge factor in why she doesn’t follow Jesus). They proceeded to yell me that even the community worship night I attended and sat near them at was for college age students so we really shouldn’t even go. I was absolutely and completely devestated.

    We stopped going to that church shortly thereafter but the scars of that conversation are still visible today. Every close relationship I have had with a leader or pastor in my life has been marked by dysfunction. I am so terrified of being hurt like that again so I cling too tightly and sabatoge it…I push people away when there is even a hint of conflict because I have a hard time believing that they actually want the best for me.

    Years after that conversation happened and I had begun to experience some healing, I was recounting it to a leader in my life and she told me that she was glad they did that if my relationship with them was becoming more important than my relationship with Jesus. It was like it happened all over again…I don’t know that I ever fully trusted her again.

  • Shawna V.

    I have two that it has taking me years to overcome (Read: I have finally come to terms with one and the other still may be impacting my life). I was not a very athletic child — I enjoyed playing sports, but I didn’t have much athletic ability and carry a complete lack of coordination. Already a little insecure about that, at 12 I was berated by a male peer for my lack of athletic skill following a moment in Gym class when I missed catching a ball (due in part to a middle finger that was currently housed in a splint). His words were quiet, but not out of ear shot of a teacher who offered to talk to him (I politely passed, already fighting tears and thinking him being scolded would be even more mortifying for me). The incident was so infused into my mind that I began passing on athletic games even with friends, dreaded gym class each and every day for the reminder of my required years of it. This trend carried into college and, I realize as I write, still somewhat torments me today as I am quite self conscious even when playing sport-like games with my children.

    The second occurred during my freshman year of high school. It was late spring and I was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts. I sat down next to a male friend in science class as he remarked “Good morning Thunder Thighs.” (To be honest, I’m not certain what the greeting was, but “thunder thighs” was definitely the title.” I didn’t wear shorts again except for swimming and would not don a swimsuit without shorts over it. I would like to point out that at the time of this incident I was not overweight (not that the comment would have been justified even if I was), but I was at a fragile age and instead of thinking “what a jerk” and moving on, I took the words to heart and began a long journey of discomfort with my body that only began to ease when I decided I needed to quit letting that moment prevent me from doing things like swimming with my son. I fully overcame this moment (I think) within the last two years due, in large part, to prayer. After my daughter’s birth in 2010, I realized how important it was that she not develop discomfort with her body because she saw my discomfort with my own. So, I determined to get comfortable and began to pray. It’s been 17 years since that day my freshman year and has taken plenty of time, but progress has been made, through the grace of God, and I now no longer care if I’m seen in a swimsuit with an imperfect figure.

  • kt

    The words of my Mother saying I wasn’t pretty growing up. My neck was too long & nose too big. That will do a doozy on a teenage girls mind.

  • Kacey

    Almost, two years ago my husband of 17+ years told me he didnt like me anymore. That I had changed and that I didnt meet his needs any more. We went into marriage counseling immediately and tried to work through what he saw as my lack of loving him like he should be. I thought we were on the mend. Six month later he let me know that he didnt want to be married anymore. I later found out that he was having an affair.
    The words “I dont really like you anymore” have still resonated with me these almost 2 years later. He consequently left me and the kids and has since moved in with the woman he started the affair with. He was my best friend for over 20 years so the sting is still so real.

  • http://twitter.com/BrandibugsSmith Brandi Smith

    When my hubby and I started trying for a baby, we went the monster called infertility. I was so careful about who I shared this info with. One girl had been supportive. Out of the blue, she sent me an email saying that if we were better Christians, then she felt like we would be blessed with a child. WHAT? You are judging me on how much of a Christian I am? It hurt me so bad and made me feel like I was being punished by God. Because of that one comment, I had become even more guarded regarding our struggle and I am struggled with my faith.

  • Jenn

    I have Arthritis. I was with my Sunday school class at a rodeo but I couldn’t stand up for the national anthem because I was having back spasms. I was accused of not caring about our soliders bc I couldn’t stand!
    I’m looking for a new church !

  • Katie

    Something negative a former employer said to me has colored every work-related interaction I have had since. I try not to let those words have power over me, but every time a supervisor has anything to say about my actions, all that fear, anxiety and just not feeling up to par comes back. It’s a battle that I have to give over to God almost daily. People who say that words are not powerful have obviously not had them used against them.

  • Alexis

    Yeah, it’s happened to me too. Words have power you know. The Bible says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences” (Proverbs 18:21, New Living Translation). But I also know I’m very sensitive especially to criticism and I tend sometimes to expect too much from people. So if someone says something that’s mean I try not to let it bother me and remind myself that nobody’s perfect. But I know I also struggle with remembering the negative things said but I think prayer helps because God knows your heart and He can restore you from any sad situation you’ve endured and heal your mind from any harsh words spoken to you (whether said intentionally or not). So you’re praying for us today? Thank you! Know that I’m praying for you and your family too! You’ve been through so much (I read about it on your blog) but God has used your pain to bring Him glory and change lives and hearts for HIM! :) So when you remember the hurt (we’re all human, it happens) remember God and His promise to never leave your or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) and rest assured that He has wonderful plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). And as the song by Wayne Watson says, “He the Friend of the Wounded Heart” (see the video here-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPzOnPlIgyM). God bless you Angie!!! :) Love, Alexis

  • chelsea

    I have been battling an eating disorder for 9 years now because of words that have been said to me throughout my childhood and even up to now. I’m working on recovery right now, struggling but trying.

  • Lisa

    At the end of 8th grade, we began to prepare for graduation. We were lined up by height and practiced marching into the gym and sitting in rows of folding chairs. I was one of the tallest girls, so naturally I was seated with one of the tallest boys. He was popular, funny and the lead in all of the school plays. Somehow, he had learned about my best kept secret. I had a relatively minor birth defect that felt huge to me, and I worked hard to hide it. He teased me mercilessly every minute we sat in those rows, and I felt so small and helpless. He also knew that I was one of the “good girls.” I was wearing a new pair of shorts, and I can still remember him running his finger up my leg and saying things that were just disgusting and humiliating. I’ll always remember Deidre – a sympathetic friend in the row behind me who urged me to “elbow him…THERE!”

    That boy grew up to be a very well-known actor and every time I see an ad for one of his movies, I can remember exactly how I felt. It should be fun to tell people that “I knew him when…” and show the pictures of our graduation as my claim to fame, but instead I hear those awful words, and feel those feelings all over again.

  • j

    when my adoptive mother told me I would amount to nothing and be just like the whore my birthmother was. a few short years later when her husband became a raging & abusive alcoholic she left him… consequently taking her natural born children while leaving me with him. my mask has kept me numb. but it is now, over this passed year, that I am seeing how paralyzing & crippling those deep & somehow still open wounds are plateauing me in life.

  • Carol H

    Hey Angie:
    First of all I wanted to reach through the computer screen and hug you!! And have a cup of tea with you, (Sorry I don`t do coffee!!) so we could discuss this. It’s so hard to write out….
    Secondly, I guess the phrase that sticks out in my mind is: “not good enough, not fast enough, not tall enough”. I was a premie, I was a girl not a boy. So…I’m not smart enough, fast enough, tall enough.
    It doesn’t help that I’m an intorvert too….
    I always feel like I’m trying to catch up to the world in order to fit in….
    I don’t even know if it makes sense, but I wanted to share….

  • Shemiah

    I was told no one at my job has respect for me and that I have no management skills, even thought I have always been in a management position. I have never been so beaten down, so insignificant feeling as I have now. I do have a family and husband who loves and supports me, but working has put a shadow over me. I pray I can find a better job so I can support my family and so I can be the wife I should be.

  • KM

    Oh, man, this hurts! I want to be mended!
    The words that hurt still follow me. Are still being said to me. Often. In high school when I brought home an A- and my father said “what? Not an A?”. Everytime I talk to my mother about a hobby I’m engaged in and she says, “Oh, you should go work at the craft store, you’re so crafty”, or I should get an associates degree in fashion cuz I like to sew. Or, I should be an interior designer because my house is cute. I have a masters degree in Psychology. But, I should go work at Michaels. Or when my father asks when I’m going to get a job. I’m about to have three kids under the age of 5 and am starting homeschooling. I consider that the most important job I could have. But, you might as well stamp it on my forehead. I am not enough. Whatever I do will never be enough.
    And now I am thinking about how I treated my son today. About the things I said to him. Wondering how they will stick with him and follow him through life. And I hurt for him and I’m ashamed of me.
    I want to believe that a God exists who could change me, heal me, mend all of us. I don’t want to just believe. I want to KNOW.

    • SarahJane

      Wow, KM, I so relate to this. I heard the same comments from my father over report card marks. If I got 95%, he would ask why it wasn’t 97% – really, what’s the difference? I have just ended a long-term relationship in which I received all the types of comments about my future plans that you mention. If I had accomplished something I considered to be a success, I was always asked why I couldn’t do more with it. If I felt like I was looking particularly well one evening, he would always find something to comment on that could use improvement. The thing that really rankles, though is that as our relationship wound to a close, he said that he knew I had sometimes questioned if he loved me, and he said that he now sees that he simply didn’t love me enough. Isn’t a fiance supposed to be sure about the depth of his love for his bride-to-be? What is a girl supposed to do with that? There has been so much shame coming out of the relationship as I consider what it is about me that wasn’t enough for him to love. It is so hard not to let his words define who I am moving forward and healing is the cry of my heart.

  • candy

    …hard topic, but hopefully it will be cleansing to our souls to share. Well, I grew up with a dad who was in and out of prison all of my life. My mom, brother, and I lived beside of my grandparents. I was the apple of my grandpa’s eye. I followed him everywhere he went. He always looked after me and I really cherished him. I, as many other ladies on here, have struggled with my weight for a long time (even now). I am forty….well, about a year before he died (8 years ago), I made time to to go visit him one day. I had a really tough schedule with my job, 3 young children at the time, and my husband traveled. (Point being, that it was hard for me to get by to visit). Anyways, I walked in (there were a few other family members there), he looked at me and said something to the effect of “my gosh, how big are you going to get? you are going to mess around and just be UGLY if you don’t do something”. I don’t really know how to describe what this did to me, but for some reason it crushed me to the core. I went home and cried, and cried, and cried. It really, really hurt me for him to call me ugly. I never wanted to be over weight and to hear those words come from a man that I thought hung the moon really broke my heart. He died about a year later and he was diagnosed with liver cancer and gone 6 weeks later (he was 87). I was still crazy about him and he was about me too (regardless of the ugly things he said that day). I was by his side during those 6 weeks and standing right by him when he took his last breath. He had always looked out for me when I was a little girl, when my own dad wasn’t there. His comments on that one day didn’t change that….but the words still haunt me from time to time. I felt like his little princess and treasure growing up…and then to hear you’re going to be ugly just crushed part of my heart.

  • Robin

    There are several things that pop into my head:
    I became a Christian at the age of 12. I was very excited about my new faith and decided that I wanted to pray out loud in front of my family before dinner. (My Mother was a “Christian”. She didn’t go to church but she had a “relationship” with God. She was the only person in the family besides me. I was attending church alone and was very active in my youth group.) So I asked if I could say a blessing. I was SO nervous. I said the prayer and then closed with “in Christ’s name, amen”. Well my mother corrected me right then and there. Robin, you don’t say that, it’s in Jesus’ name. Well, that ended my praying at home before meals or at any other time. To this day, I am still scared to pray in front of other people.

    There are 2 things that stick out in my mind from my father:
    The first one was when I was 18. My parents had divorced and both had remarried. My Mother married a man that she didn’t love but who would help her to make ends meet (even though she knew he had sexually abused his daughter but he was a changed man). Skip forward five years and now my step-father was in jail for the same offenses just more victims. My Dad and his wife came over to my Mom’s house and told me that my sister and I were going to be sent to live with my Grandmother in TN. We were living in FL at the time. I told him that I was 18 and that I wasn’t leaving FL. He slapped me across the face, called me a whore and accused me of sleeping with my step-father. I know he was mad and wanted me as far away from my step-father as he could get me but waltzing in and demanding that I move away from all that I knew wasn’t going to work with me. Especially since none of it had happened if he hadn’t walked out on us to begin with.

    The last thing that jumps into my mind is when I was in my late 20′s. I was attending a couple of college classes (I didn’t get the opportunity to go to college after high school). I was taking anatomy and physiology and was doing pretty well in the class. I was talking to my dad one night after class and he asked me how I was doing. I told him I was doing ok. I told him that I got a 95 on my test. His response to me was, well next time get a 100. The very next test I did just that, I got a 100 on the test. So, feeling excited and hopeful that I just might gain his approval with my perfect 100 on the test, I called him and told him my news. His response: well, next time get a 105. Yeah, that was the last time I have ever told him anything. Now, my conversations are about the weather and what other family members are up to. I won’t make that mistake again.

  • http://twitter.com/kristaonpurpose Krista Wilbur

    This actually happened to me just yesterday after church but it’s happened in other forms and I didn’t realize how much it hurt until reading this post.

    I went to lunch with a someone I’ve been friends with for a long time, and three other girls who are friends of less than a year. One of them was talking about a political movie, and I chose to be quiet on the matter because it really didn’t seem like they would be open to whatever I had to say (which disagreed with what the girl was saying). Eventually someone made a joke about people who are Democrats, and I said, “Um, I’m a Democrat.” One girl said, “Yeah, but did you vote for Obama?” and when I said yes, she looked at me and said, “You can go sit at that table over there.”

    I do NOT want to turn this comment into a political debate — that’s not the heart of my post. And I know that she was probably trying to be funny. But it stung so bad. It makes me want to scream when people question my heart for God after they find out that I’m a liberal Christian. Dude. JESUS WAS A LIBERAL DUDE. It makes me want to scream. (I know I just said that, but it’s true. SO TRUE.)

    Also, when I was 15 I got pregnant and in fear and desperation, I chose to end my pregnancy. 14 years later it’s the biggest regret of my life and I would never council anyone that way. But the words of my Christian friends and youth leaders still echo in my mind and I’m never going to be comfortable talking about what God has been doing in this area of my life because of the pain that they caused.

  • Brittni

    Being told by people in the church that I was worthless and my story and scars dont matter. Still struggle with those words today.

    • http://twitter.com/kristaonpurpose Krista Wilbur

      Brittni, I’m so sorry someone told you this. I’m here to tell you that your story and your scars DO matter and God WILL use you — and them — for him. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jenny-J-Trock/1541074777 Jenny J. Trock

    Oh, yes, Angie, I remember. I was about 25, still single, longing to be married. I was at a BIBLE STUDY! The guest speaker made a “joke” – he said something about how there was hope for ANYbody, no matter how ugly, even YOU (as he pointed to me). Yes, I think he was joking – don’t think he would’ve said it if he really thought I was that ugly, but I can tell you I cried myself to sleep that night and many more. By the way, I am 52 now and have been married to a wonderful, handsome. godly man for almost 20 years – a man who believes I am beautiful. But I still remember those words… and they still hurt, even though I choose to believe GOD’s words for me instead – beloved, without blemish, radiant, etc. Love to you, Angie.

  • Coby

    I just want to share a testimony about how the Lord spoke directly to some hurtful words I had carried for years. When I was 12, a boy in my class walked up to me and said – out of the blue – “You are SO ugly!” I believed him. When I was 33, shortly after giving birth to my 3rd child, I saw myself bent over in the mirror, my stomach (which had only weeks before carried a beautiful baby) rolled over itself. I actually said out loud, “Gross!” Immediately the Lord spoke to me, “No, beautiful. You are beautiful. Your body is supposed to look this way because you just gave birth to a little boy who will be my disciple. I don’t ever again want you to say that you are ‘gross’ or less than beautiful.” The Lord broke the power of those words. Now, when I look in the mirror, I like what I see. :-)

    There are other words, of course, whose power over my life needs breaking, but I just really wanted to share that. Thanks, Angie, for your prayers and transparency.

  • Melissa Mc

    Like others have said, it’s amazing how much our words can affect someone. I need to remember this daily, in order to not inflict the same hurt and pain on my two children that was inflicted on me by my mom growing up. Like many others, I was told “you’d be so pretty if you would lose weight” and other not so nicely worded things from a young age. What mother would sit down with her daughters serious boyfriend and tell him that he should run away from her daughter because she was crazy and he didn’t want her? (Thankfully he didn’t listen to my mom and this year we will celebrate 12 years of marriage) Even now, I feel like anything that I do or achieve will never be enough to satisfy my overly critical mom. It breaks my heart because after reading through all of the comments I’m painly aware of the negative things that I’ve said to my daughter and son without realizing the weight that my words carry.
    There are many unspoken words that I’ve taken to heart-things that I long to talk to someone about but I’m afraid of what people will think of me once the truth is out or what I would do if they didn’t believe me. I desire to have freedom from the hold that these things have on me, to have peace about my past but yet I can’t shake the feelings that I’m too far gone to be brought back.

  • doozledoorf

    I am a single mom of
    a beautiful 3 yr old little girl – who’s father is married and has completely
    abandoned her. Mother’s day morning I got a text from a cousin that said
    “I love you and I admire you for what you do. Being a single mom is not
    easy but you do it well.” It overwhelmed me.

    After church (at
    CrossPoint.tv) a friend loved on me and told me that I was an inspiration to
    her and what a great mom she thought I was…….more tears. I got to KidzWorld
    (I volunteer) and went to get a cup of coffee and to pull myself together, a
    greeter (I don’t know) brought me flowers and a card and told me happy mother’s
    day, she told me what a great mom they all think I am doing a great job. Then another
    lady came in and said the same, gave me flowers and a card. By the time I saw
    Ally I was like please don’t talk to me,
    I can’t take it (even though she had text me this morning.) I felt nothing but
    love and support from everyone I talked to at CrossPoint.

    All of that to say, I
    told my mom when she called that night – what a great day it had been and her response was that “they all see you struggling and just feel
    sorry for you.”

    I DO NOT BELIEVE
    THAT! I did not feel any pity that day….all I felt was love. And I know that
    I am a Great Mom who loves her child more than anything! – but it still crushed
    my heart.

  • She

    What curious timing this post is.

    I’m blessed to have spent most my life surrounded by very encouraging words. And yet there’s this *one* relationship…moments of intense criticism followed by months of encouraging words followed by moment of intense criticism…the pattern goes on and on and has for many years.

    This person wonders why I “disregard” the encouragement and hold so tightly to the hurtful jabs. I’ve spent years trying to convince myself I’m wrong to feel wounded. And yet, a moment erupted just this weekend that finally made me realize that I’m *not* crazy to feel the pain of it. Those comments are just THERE. And they will come again, unless there is a miraculous change. And I cannot change them. And I gave myself permission, finally, to feel them, and not talk myself out of the hurts, and maybe–just maybe–I can bundle them up and finally take them all to Jesus instead of pretending they’re not there.

    • SarahJane

      I know just what you mean. My heart is hurting with yours – because I have finally learned too that it is OK to feel the hurt and not rationalize it away.

  • Anonymous

    My father in law didn’t want me to marry his son because of my weight. He sustained his condemnation of me for 3 years while we dated telling me or my now husband that our marriage would fail, I would die young or in childbirth, that he would cheat on me or he would turn to pornography, etc. etc. It was awful. This, after 15 years of other weight related shame, sent me into a tailspin of self-hatred. I am still recovering 10 years later. Most recently the anxiety I felt when I was pregnant and the subsequent depression have left me at my highest weight. I am still struggling to let go of these words and the rest of the words I’ve heard over the years. Mostly, I pray God would give me the strength to trust Him when I don’t always see why I should.

  • Serenity

    As I read through the comments, tears filled my eyes at how cruel people can actually be. I have never really lived a life filled with encouraging words, however, I can’t say they were all harsh, it was just how I knew life to be. Then I joined the Church I am in now, met the Pastor I have now, and understand the difference between encouraging and not so encouraging.
    I have spent the past 3 years walking towards becoming a Pastor, towards being a better person, and towards obedience in Him. It has been nothing but an uphill struggle. The enemy places obstacles in my path daily, yet I still seek Him to pull me over them. I have lost “friends,” “family,” and confidence.
    2 weeks ago, one simple sentence struck me to the very core of my soul… Had you hit me in the face with an ax, it wouldn’t have hurt as much. A member of my family looked me in the eye and said, “I do not think you are good enough to be a preacher.”
    Last week as I stood at the Altar, making history by becoming the first white woman preacher in my Church, I was reminded of those words…. They echoed throughout my head. They still do and now I fear getting behind the pulpit again. If my own blood feels that way, what must others think?
    I also realized that no matter what I did, no matter what history I made, it was never going to be good enough, now it is up to me to accept that and not allow it to affect my walk with Him.

  • April

    My husband told me he cheated 3 years ago. I found out four days later he was having an emotional affair now. He has since ended it but patience and love are coming slow. I need my heart mended to move on. I want to be together but it is so hard. Please pray for us.

    • Kim

      Praying for you, April. My husband had some indiscretions of his own recently and I KNOW beauty can and will rise from the ashes if you just give them to The Lord. Hang in there girl!
      Your Sister in Christ

  • Beth

    Two life altering occasions come to mine. The first, when I was 17. My Dad asked me to come to his pastoral office so he could have a talk with me. He said, “You say that you don’t feel loved, but the real problem is that you are unloveABLE. And I want you to know that if a young man ever thinks that he is falling in love with you, I will see it as my responsibility to tell him the truth.” (Needless to say, I never dated – anyone, ever – after that.
    The other – 35 years later – when a friend, a pastor’s wife whom I had grown close to – BEGGED me to share my past with her. I didn’t want to. It didn’t feel safe. But she was relentless, promising me over and over that there was NOTHING I could do or say to make her reject me. And so I finally shared my story. She grew distant after that, and I was hurt. And VERY scared. Finally, three months later, I gathered my courage and asked her what was going on. I got a one sentence reply by Email. “I can no longer continue my friendship with you.”

  • Tanya

    First, I want to say that I was at the Spokane WOF conference over the weekend – and *thank you* for walking through your fear to speak and share with us! I have been so blessed by your openness and by your transparency as you seek to view everything in life through the lense of God’s grace and sovereignty. You encourage me!

    I, too, have a huge fear of failing in front of people, of having my motives questioned, of being ridiculed. The fear was really brought to light as I got married and inlaws entered my life. Things that I tried to plan and do to reach out and to bless with were somehow taken to be some sort of twisted way to – I don’t know – show off, hurt, belittle? Motives that never even entered my mind were attributed to my actions – which then caused me to really start doubting the things that I did to reach out to people. So, for a long time, I stopped reaching out, in fear of what horrible thing people might think I was trying to accomplish.

    Thankfully, God never stops working! He is helping to gradually break free from the power of those criticisms – to see that HE sees my heart – and that is enough. To have the courage to act on the places I see I can try to encourage or help others. It scares me to death sometimes, though, as you said, because I’m diving in, giving a part of myself – and what if they ridicule or attribute evil to what I’m trying to do?

    A day-by-day, case-by-case process… HE is faithful!

  • Mary

    When I was in third grade, my aunt (the for whom I am named) told someone that I was a “prissy little b****”. What she didn’t know was that I heard her. She said this because her boys were tickling me and I didn’t like it. Those words haunted me for years. About 30 years, to be exact. I finally began to deal with sexual abuse from my childhood and realized that the reason I didn’t like being tickled is that I felt like I had no control, just as I did when I was being abused. My aunt didn’t know that, and still doesn’t, but that still didn’t give her the right to say those words. I’ve always felt that she doesn’t particularly like me, but I’m okay with that now. I know I didn’t do anything to deserve those words. I have been mended in so many way the last few years and being free from her words is wonderful!

  • Debbie

    Hmmm I posted this before but it seems to have been ‘lost’… so here we go again. When I was 7 my mom signed me up for ballet lessons. I was desperate to dance. I always love the idea of either being a dancer or ice skater because I loved both so much. My mom bought be a new leotard and pink nylons and I was so excited. For the first few lessons it went ok then one day the teacher told me I’d never be a dancer because I was too fat. That day I told my mom I didn’t enjoy it anymore and didn’t want to go back. 37 years later and I still remember her saying that to me… it still kills me and I wonder if it’s why I’ve had so many struggles with weight. Stupid thing is I look back at photos of me as a kid and I wasn’t fat at all but what she said made me feel worthless. I often wonder if she saw something in me that actually made her jealous. I am weirdly flexible and have fairly good co-ordination so sometimes I wonder if she saw that and didn’t want me to be better then she ever was. Either way it affected my life and it’s made me insecure. I try really hard to please people ~ even when I know that by pleasing them I’m hurting myself. I’m so scared of not being liked or being judged by my appearance. The words we say can have a profound effect on people so we need to choose our words wisely.

  • Jennifer Adams

    A young, loud laugher (and talker for that matter), I was crippled by, “Shhhh you are busting my ear drum”. She was “cooler” than my insecure self- so I thought. I was very quiet for years. Even though it wasn’t that single incident that made me insecure ( I was already there), it is always the first thing that comes to mind when asked this question.

  • jc

    as a kid, when bringing home a 96 on a test…i would hear “that’s good, maybe you’ll get a 100 next time.” when doing just about anything – a task around the house or school related or music related i would hear “that’s good, except for that…” fill in the blank. or “you almost…” my fear of failure and disappointment is wrapped up in almost/not quite hitting the mark of expectation. the woman in me knows the intent and the attempt at encouragement – to keep striving to do my best. but the little girl in me heard and still hears “you aren’t good enough. You are never enough. it’s never good enough. it has to be perfect. you have to be perfect” which as had outcomes of not trying anything that i know i can’t 100% do or accomplish. Otherrwise if it’s just got 95% assurance i can do it then i wont try b/c of that 5% risk of failure. Lord, help us shut the mouths of our child-selves who coudln’t filter the words right, who took everything to heart and who keeps us chained to the floor of fear and failure.
    Our heavenly Father loves and adores us and doesn’t condemn us when we can’t be perfect…because He knows we NEVER can. That’s why He planted the seed of the tree that would one day hold His Son who WAS perfect on our behalf. Thank You Lord that YOU are enough. Help us rest in that fact.

  • Lanchocka

    I worked with someone for years and always had a good relationship with him. He retired and after he retired he sent an e-mail to his friends. Someone forwarded to everyone. And he had written one line without naming me that stung pretty deeply. I responded to his e-mail and he didn’t even apologize….he just said I misunderstood. I work so hard at my job and do countless hours outside of work. Could one person’s words really change how someone saw me?

  • KaraK

    My husband of 11 years was the only man that I had ever loved. I never,ever doubted his love for me because he told me often and was so loving and affectionate towards me. I thought that I was the luckiest woman in the world. He was so loving to me, but really quite a jerk to the rest of the world and his employees. That was just his personality and I loved him, flaws and all. On my 34th birthday, I confronted him about a friendship that I felt was inappropriate…a friendship with a woman that was confiding in my husband about her “horrible marriage”. Instead of hearing me out on my feelings, he defended this relationship and told me that I had nothing to worry about because he loved me so much and couldn’t imagine his life without me. Fast forward 3 days…he kicked me and the children out of the house becaue I gave more money to the church without asking him. The next day while sitting with my sister in law, he told me that he hadn’t loved me for at least 5 years (our twin sons had just turned 3 two days prior) and quite possibly had never loved me and only married me out of convenience. I have never felt so worthless in my entire life. How could this man, the man that showed me what love was, how could not have ever loved me? I had always believed that Christ brought us together and that I had been so blessed to have been his wife, but those words broke my heart into a million pieces. He adamantly denied that the “other” woman had anything to do with our problems…it was all my fault. I made him not love me. I wasn’t enough. That was his only reasoning for leaving. Only 1 counselling session with pastor and he was done. After our divorce was final, 18 mos later, as he was berating me in front our children, he first told me that he left me because he knew that I was only after his money and then that he had been dating the “other” woman for quite some time, but she still wasn’t a homewrecker. He said that I was a horrible, greedy b****. That sent me into a tailspin, because I would have gone anywhere and done anything for him, rich or poor, because I loved him no matter what. To have been seen as greedy shattered my mending heart. It hurts even more to know that the woman that he is with is with him because of his money. My whole life and identity was in him and I have struggled so hard in finding myself since he left. I know that God loves me and has blessed me in so so many ways, but losing the love of a imperfect man because you weren’t perfect will sting forever.

  • Sheila Peacock

    I am angered, all the while shamed, that it stings and hurts my heart still…. nine years later…. despite the abundant happiness and love I am so fortunate to have in my life for many years with my wonderful husband and our two sweet little boys.

    Nine years ago my boyfriend of 6 1/2 years (we had been living together for several years) announced to me that he needed to ‘lose me’ to know what he had with me. He called for a separation and he told me that although he loved me he didn’t know if he loved me enough to marry me. These words crushed me… I had loved this man, my best friend, with all of my heart for so long and he didn’t even know if he wanted to have a future with me. I had consciously waited years for him (I reasoned with myself that he was worth the wait) to lose what I thought was his fear of marriage so he could make a commitment to me and our future. When he called for the separation I couldn’t understand how there could be any confusion about how he felt for me after we had spent so many years together. A few months later, I accepted in my heart and mind (thank you counselling) that our relationship was over for me… regardless of the ‘epiphany’ my boyfriend may or may not have about his love for me. I couldn’t trust him anymore with my heart or my future and I desperately needed to move on with my life. Most thankfully, my mind’s intentions and my actions aligned and I did move on with my life. I found love again with my husband of seven years and we are building a bright future with our sons. So it’s almost ludicrous to me that I still find myself wondering what went wrong, why wasn’t I or my love enough, why didn’t he love me… I am not sure what bothers me more, that I will likely never have the answers to these questions or the realization that my ‘heart’ may not have fully recovered? Does anyone else carry unwanted pain of a long ago rejection in their hearts?

  • irish

    Another mom, our daughters were friends, addressed me shortly after ignoring me for a while…when I said I was going to let it go and just wait for her to bring anything up with me that she needed to she got very defensive. It kind of unraveled when she said I was too calm about it. When she made efforts to push through her discomfort she kept turning it back on me…this has haunted me for years, wondering what I could have said differently to change the outcome of our now uncomfortable distance. Just yesterday all of our converstaions were replaying in my mind (1st day of same school) as I continue to wish I had added this or asked her why what I was saying wasn’t “cutting it” when I thanked her for her efforts, when I told her we could move on. But the one thing she said when I thought I was doing the right thing was, “this is about what I expected.” And I just can’t get rid of the thought-would it have changed things if I had asked what she meant by that or why werent we getting passed it when she said she wanted to. Sometimes I wonder if it’s Satan that plants all of the previous conversations back in my mind. That I then spen time and emotional effort on trying to heal or explain away or wonder where I went so wrong…Thank you for your prayers for this…that’s what will heal the bad memories of her yelling at me when I was too calm. i need that right now. Thank you.

  • MeganB

    When I was told by a family member shortly after a miscarriage that my husband and I should even try to have kids because we wouldn’t be able to take care of them…

    • MeganB

      Shouldn’t*

  • Tammy

    A very early one. I was five. I was the kid in Sunday school who always had the answers. I enjoyed learning, picked it up easily and raised my hand probably every time. This is what I was supposed to do. I was doing what i was told to do. One day after class as I walked to the main building for service with my teacher, she told me I wasn’t humble. I did not know what that meant so I asked. She told me that it meant that if there were only one piece of pie left I would take it for myself. I wanted to cry. I felt ashamed that my teacher thought I wouldn’t share with a friend. I didn’t understand why she would say that. I somehow connected in my childhood thinking that the teacher thought I was bad and didn’t like me very much. That was my first experience with equating trying to do well with not caring about others. I did care about others. Deeply. Sadly it wasn’t my last.

  • leigh dusek

    Wow…to be truly mending would be glorious.
    When my biological father believed a hideous lie my younger brother told him abut me…..then blamed me, outcast me and tore my heart into pieces. I was never the same again. And we no longer speak. He refuses to accept my Christian life of trust, forgiveness and endless love. It’s truly destroyed me. Every time I see a father and daughter I sob with tears of desire for something I could have had. I look to our almighty father to help fulfill that for me, but somehow it’s not always the same. Thank you for prayers. Xoxo
    Leigh

  • Kimmy

    Ill make this short because only a few words definately caused me great pain….. in 2008 I had found out i was pregnant with my second child i chose to wait and tell everyone when i felt the time was right…i never got the chance because i had miscarried at 8 weeks but somehow carried the baby until 12 weeks when it was discovered….while i had told a few family members i was pregnant but had also miscarried it was unbearable but nothing worse than hearing rumors i had got an abortion. I was absolutely devastated, i would never personally consider abortion and to have people say i had it done drilled my heart to the core. The most important thing that got me through was my son and FAITH in God.

  • http://sufficientgrace-kelly.blogspot.com Kelly_SufficientGrace

    Words are so powerful. I’ve been pondering that very thing lately. How they cut and wound and roll around in our minds. Just yesterday after feeling very vulnerable and speaking about our sweet babies in heaven in front of a local church, a well-meaning woman walked up to me and asked if I thought I would ever try to have “normal children”. A couple weeks ago, a boy I love dearly like a son, who has walked through difficult times in his young life broke my heart with words that offended me as a Christian as he threw back all the offerings I had given from my heart, leaving my life abruptly. Those are the wounds that make us want to run for cover, hide in our safe comfort zone, and never venture out. But, God calls us to do the opposite. To take His hand and go bravely back in…often when we are least wanting to do so. Mending from the wounds of words is tough stuff. Much clinging to the hem of His garment is required.

  • BrookieCookie

    I wasn’t married to the nicest guy and my family didn’t really care for him at all. They let me know it very often, too. In addition to him being mean, he also spent all of our money, every paycheck went out the door as soon as it came in.

    When I found out I was pregnant, 5 1/2 years ago, I called everyone that day. I couldn’t contain my happiness. I called my dad and his sarcastic response was, “How are you going to afford that?” I remember thinking that my balloon of happiness had been popped and that my father had done it. I know my dad didn’t like my husband but I just didn’t expect that reaction…

    It still hurts.

  • Anna

    Hi Angie,
    I know this is a bit late, but I just ordered your new book and was reading through these past few posts and found this one:
    I had a friend that was very critical of me in order to make herself feel better, it went on for years. Then she apologized and began to speak very sweet, kind, life-giving words to me in a time where I really needed it. Within a couple months, she “took back” all those good words and said that who she was in speaking those kind words wasn’t real(thus meaning to me that what she said was a lie) and completely walked away from our friendship. The bad words hurt and I remember those, but it was the good words taken back, as if I was the mistake, that hurt the most and still wound. I wish they had never been said.

    Thanks

  • Lucy

    Life can be very displeasing especially when we loose the ones we love and cherish so.
    much.My husband abandoned me and my 2 kids and said he wanted new adventures.I asked what I had done wrong but he said nothing.He continued paying our bills but moved in with another woman I was so frustrated and atimes I will cry all night because I needed my husband by my side. all thanks to Dr Osaze, I was nearly loosing hope until I saw an article on how Dr Osaze cast a love spell to make lovers come back. There is no harm in trying, I said to my self. I contacted him via email and after 24 hrs my story changed. words will not be enough to appreciate what he has done for me. I have promised to share the testimony as long as I live because he brought back happiness and joy into my life.If you having any kind of problem in your relationship and you need your man back I RECOMMEND Dr Osaze.pls do contact hm directly on spirituallove@hotmail.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.peters.7169 Lucy Peters

    Life can be very displeasing especially when we loose the ones we love and cherish so.
    much.My husband abandoned me and my 2 kids and said he wanted new adventures.I asked what I had done wrong but he said nothing.He continued paying our bills but moved in with another woman I was so frustrated and atimes I will cry all night because I needed my husband by my side. all thanks to Dr Osaze, I was nearly loosing hope until I saw an article on how Dr Osaze cast a love spell to make lovers come back. There is no harm in trying, I said to my self. I contacted him via email and after 24 hrs my story changed. words will not be enough to appreciate what he has done for me. I have promised to share the testimony as long as I live because he brought back happiness and joy into my life.If you having any kind of problem in your relationship and you need your man back I RECOMMEND Dr Osaze.pls do contact hm directly on spirituallove@hotmail.com.