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Tender Hearted and Loved

Dishes were done, lunches were packed, counters had been wiped, and babes were sleeping in their beds. He stood in the kitchen and I leaned my head against door frame. This is just how it’s going to be for me, I said. I will always struggle with this.

For many, many years I have struggled on and off with my mental health in a variety of ways. At best I consider it a unique way of seeing the world, at worst I’ve believe that I am defective. When I’ve let that lie color my life I start to think that others are blessed, and I am not. I see myself as a leper, vile, and cast out. It can be so easy to let the inner dialogue run amok.

The truth is, in the last few months, I’ve had a flair up of sorts. I saw where things were headed because I’ve been down this road before. Again, I stop and I say, If you wish, you can make me clean, because I know He can. I know complete and total healing this side of Heaven is possible but not probable. The reality is, I have tools in this life to ease the burden, and I will find blessing in the tender heart I’ve been given that is wounded deeply, but loves deeply, and knows what it is to need someone to sit with you in the dark mess.

When Jesus healed that leper, He crossed a societal divided that kept the clean on one side and the sick on the other. Can we be Christ to each other? Can you reach across the divide and love someone on the margins? Will you allow yourself to be loved even when you believe you don’t deserve it?

Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.

17 Comments

  • Reply
    Nancy
    January 11, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Take heart, I love you just as you are, sister in Christ. Reach out to us when you feel you are a dark mess as you said. I’m in. God loves you where you are even when you can’t feel him, he won’t forsake you. He has promised us that even when we feel like we don’t deserve it. Thanks for your honesty and words of wisdom. It is inspiring. I pray your burden will be lightened.

  • Reply
    Debbie Wentworth
    January 11, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Wow. Jacqueline, thank-you for “going deep” with your sharing. It is very powerful and has given me much to ponder.
    I have heard it said that when God takes something of our human self he replaces it with spirituality. Your spiritual gifts are evident. Blessings.

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 11, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Thank you for sharing in a very real and open way where you are struggling today. I wanted to share a book that has been speaking real grace into my life in the area of my brain and what a wonderful thing it can be. It is called ” Switch on Your Brain” The key to peak happiness, thinking and health by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She writes from a christian perspective and it comes at you in an incredibly encouraging way. One of the first section just spoke relief for me “For now, rest in the assurance that what God has empowered you to do with your mind is more powerful and effective than any medication, any threat, any sickness, or any neurological challenge. The Scripture is clear on this: Yo do not have a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).”

  • Reply
    Angela McNabb
    January 11, 2018 at 8:30 am

    You have no idea how much I needed this message today….

    • Reply
      Sandee Bishman
      January 11, 2018 at 11:28 am

      It has and always will be hard for me to allow myself to think that I am loved. With so many people, my family included; NOT MY DAUGHTER, however, always being critical and wanting to control me; I ask God why I’m not loved!??

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 11, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Absolutely beautiful.

  • Reply
    Joyce
    January 11, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Thank you….I am not alone.

  • Reply
    Angela Werner
    January 11, 2018 at 9:21 am

    I believe that the message is very good. Mental health and motherhood is not always talked about honestly. I believe that we need to keep reminding ourselves that we are doing the best we can and that God is always there to “make us clean.” Thank you for sharing your message with us!

  • Reply
    Annonymous
    January 11, 2018 at 9:34 am

    I too have a tender heart that is wounded deeply, and is easily wounded. Would love to hear more about the tools you use to ease your burden.

    I’ll pray for a lighter load for all of you who experience this type of burden.

    • Reply
      Jacqui
      January 11, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      Prayer has been the first step for me, and I don’t just mean prayers for relief, but I pray for my family and those who will help me. I have found therapy to be a great source of healing for me. I have had the benefit of working with a Catholic therapist, but I have also had success with non-Christian therapists. At different points in my journey medication has been helpful, but (for me) not always a necessity.

  • Reply
    Christi Weber
    January 11, 2018 at 10:09 am

    I agree with Angela…. I, too, have been wounded deeply. But how much more am I able to love, with this gift of suffering. There are days that the lies are too much to bear, and in those times, I run to Jesus in the adoration chapel. There, I can lay my head on his chest and just allow him to hold me. He is my hope. He is my truth. He is my healing….. Thank you for sharing this today.

  • Reply
    Kendra
    January 11, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Beautiful post. I have some mental struggles as well and have had thoughts similar to what you described. Thank you for being so open. I will say a prayer for you.

  • Reply
    Adora
    January 11, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    God bless you, sister! Praying for you

  • Reply
    Christa
    January 11, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    As someone who battles anxiety, the feeling of being broken and unloveable to embracing that we see the world with a different lens is a very real struggle. Some days, worse than others. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Kendra
    January 11, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Beautiful post. I have some mental struggles myself and have had similar thoughts like what you described. You are not alone. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Reply
    Juana Newberry
    January 11, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Ty!!!!

  • Reply
    amorelerose
    January 12, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I might just be one voice of many, but this really reached a part of me that’s been pulling my soul away from God. I’ve never thought that others thought of themselves as ‘defective’, but you’ve given me a new mantra for when those feelings start creeping back in. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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