I was talking to someone about the abuse she received as a child and how her abuser convinced her that she deserved what she was getting. We talked about how as an adult she logically knows that that isn't true, but emotionally the little girl inside her struggles to not believe that message.
Whether we were abused, abandoned, neglected, hurt in some way, it is hard to let go of the message we felt for years and years. I have really struggled with loving myself even though I received a clear message from my Father in Heaven that He loved me. I knew that my family loved me, but loving myself, well, I wasn't sure I was worth it. My friend was struggling with this same issue, she wasn't sure even God loved her. I assured her that he did and then I sent her this quote from the book Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Mathew Lin, Sheila Fabricant & Dennis Lin about a woman named Linda who had received a lot of abuse from various family members:
As Dennis and I (Sheila) began to pray with Linda, we asked her to return in her memory to a time when she was sexually abused and then invite Jesus into her memory. We thought Jesus' priority would be to help Linda forgive her relatives. Although Linda was able to recall a memory and invite Jesus into it, she remained stuck in being able to forgive. So I tried to listen to how Jesus wanted to love Linda in her memory of sexual abuse. What I sensed in Jesus' heart was not first of all concern that Linda forgive, but rather outrage at what had happened to her. I sensed that Jesus was angry on Linda's behalf, as angry at the desecration of her body as he was over the desecration of
God's temple (John 2:13-17). I told Linda what I sensed, and then we asked her to see Jesus driving out the people who abused her just as he drove out the money changers who desecrated the temple. At this, Linda began to cry for the first time in fourteen years of psychotherapy when we asked her why she was crying, she said, "that Jesus would get so angry for me . . . that he would love me so much. He just wants to share all of me. If I am crying he will cry. If I am happy, he will be happy."
It is true that Jesus wanted us to forgive, but there was also a point where He said enough is enough as he did with the money changers. So to my friend I say the she is loved and that God loves her and is on her side, enough is enough on believing her abuser's message, it is okay to get angry and throw out their messages as the Savior threw out the money changers. Learning to love ourselves and believe in ourselves means having to throw out old mistaken beliefs so you can embrace new and better ones, namely that you are loved!