Victoria's Story

Even when it hurts like hell, I will only sing Your praise. (Hillsong United)

For those who know me, they know that my personality is super type A. I’m a lover of Rifle Paper Company agendas; I’m detail-oriented; and I’m an enthusiast for being organized. I actually have five different calendars hanging in my room right now.

True story.

And I love every moment of it. It’s in my genetic make-up. It’s my quirks. It’s where I find my –ness for those of you who have ever watched Kate Hudson’s Rom-Com, You, Me & Dupree.

I love who God made me to be. It has its perks and has brought me to where I am today.

But there is a horrible struggle that finds its way to me as I exhibit this personality: anxiety.

As I get older I realize how this was a stronghold I faced early on in my personal life.

When I was four years old, my family was hit with a devastating divorce. I don’t remember much except the fighting and the heartaches that came with it.

I’m not writing this as a victim of circumstance. I’m not writing this so somewhere along the way I can exchange hurt for sympathy. I’m writing to you, friend, as an act of vulnerability. Because at twenty-one years old, the pain is still raw and overwhelming, at times.

I always felt this self-inflicted pressure in the back of my mind to be perfect.

In a room filled with hundreds of people, I focused on gaining my family’s approval in hopes that it would bring them back together somehow. I put it upon myself to save what I felt had been taken from me.

Over the years, the Lord brought incredible friendships and mentors who have spoken life over that area of brokenness, and it has reminded my soul of the freedom found in His grace. It has brought me to realize how it’s an essential component to my walk with the Lord.

Friends, there is still hope even when it seems like the chaos is unending.

I had every reason to walk away from the church. I had every reason to distrust church leaders and pastors. I had every reason to dwell on the pain of my scars and to push friends away.

But God stepped into the story.

God saw forth that I would find my way into His loving arms…even when it hurt like hell.

I don’t think I will ever reach a point in my relationship with my family where the healing and hurting will stop. There will always be scars. There will always be disappointments and judgments.

But I’m learning that trusting reaches far past what is standing in front of me.

Trusting is a daily choice that requires a daily surrender.

What I love about the Lord is that, in His infinite mercy, He doesn’t expect for me to pretend that I’m okay.

He accepts me with arms opened wide and calls me forward to the power of resurrection.

“Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’” –John 11:43.

When the pain overwhelms me and when I find myself completely wrecked from the anxiety, I have to remind myself that Jesus is calling me out of the grave and declaring for the grave clothes over my wounds to be removed from me.

His declaration of freedom resurrects our hearts to see His glory in the midst of our deepest wounds.

 

If you find yourself in a place where you have pushed your pain aside or have felt defeated by pain, know that Jesus is working to remove away the stone (which represents years of bitterness and pain) that has been holding you down.

The Scriptures reminds us “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Daughter, lift up your head. You were not created to be a grave-dweller; you were created to live out the promise of a resurrecting life that only can be given by our Heavenly Father.

 

You are immensely and passionately loved.

With love,

Victoria Bardega

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