Monday, July 21, 2008

you ARE normal

Sweet Friends,

One of the main questions I've been asked lately is: "Melissa, am I normal?"

Why would so many women ask me that question? Last week, I came forth and proclaimed to the world that:

I've been sexually molested and for years and years I felt shamed and dirty.

I witnessed my grandfather's stroke and it brought nightmares into my life.

My father left my home without warning for good, and it brought feelings of unworthiness and abandonment to me.

The feelings that followed, plagued me. I didn't know why, but for years, (even sometimes still!) I asked God, "Am I normal? What is wrong with me? I know I'm forgiven. I know You love me. Why can't I be intimate with my husband? Why am I so different from my friends? Or at least why do I still feel ugly...dirty...shameful?"

I can't answer these questions with solid answers. But let me share with you something....after I wrote last week's devotions, one thing I KNOW........I'm not alone. There are hundreds and hundreds of other women just like me. Violated, ruined, shamed, and disgraced. But ladies, we are not weird, strange, or abnormal. On the contrary, we are very normal.

I finally came to a point where I refused to believe anything else. My counselor really helped me to see that what I'd been through and even many of my current feelings weren't my fault. At the same time, I'm not defined by my feelings. How I feel is not who I am. I am a child of God. I am holy, righteous, and pure...I don't feel it, but I am. All because of Christ.

So, in answer to the question, "Am I normal?"

"YES, SWEET CHILD OF GOD, YOU ARE NORMAL. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. Do not allow your circumstances or your past to define who you are. You belong to God. You are His."

I will write more. I wish I had more time right now, but I don't.

I love you "Normal Friends" of mine.
Love,

Normal Melissa

8 comments:

Diane said...

Melissa,
I have been asking myself "what normal is" most of my life. I think the word normal is made up by false data. It seems that with every 5 women I talk to about this "normal stuff" at least 3 or 4 don't agree with the figures. I have at one time or the other taken those "normal sex life test" in the magazine. I really want to meet the women who thinks having sex 7 days a week is normal. How about the one takes time out of the mushed cheerios and messy diapers to talk dirty to her husban at the office. The only stastic I can honestly go by and those are only found in one place, The Bible. I believe the Proverbs 31 principles, last time I checked it did not have a prefered weigh or mandated that you have sex 7 days a week. So while I feel yucky inthe inside, I am beautiful because I am a child of God.
Diane

Running My Race said...

Melissa,
I love you my friend.

Cris

Karan said...

Melissa,
First, let me say thank you for sharing your story. Second, does any woman truly feel "normal?" I have reached a point in my life where I believe that we are all in different stages of brokeness. Some just know it, while others run from it. While it is true that my life experiences help shape who I am today, that does not mean that they have to control me. I have to fight hard some days just to keep my head above water, but I still believe that it is the same for most other women. In leading ladies Bible studies, I have found that when I am honest about my feelings and struggles, then all of the sudden others are agreeing with what I thought was "just me." God will not change our past, but He can grant us the ability to accept it and move on. I like to think of it as taking the stick away from Satan that he is beating me with and using it to help some other person who is drowning. In so doing, I have not only disarmed him, but used my struggle to help someone else. Again, thank you for your honesty in speaking the feelings that many of us feel.
In His Love and Hope,
Karan

Mari said...

I think this is what the enemy does. He makes us think we are all alone in our struggles, that we are not normal. The more we stand on the truth, the more triumphant and "normal" we'll feel. Thank you for encouraging us!

In Christ,
Mari

Joyful said...

In going to good old "Websters" to see how the world defines "normal", I discovered:
1. It's conforming to the accepted standard. YET, God doesn't want us to be conformed but transformed.
2. It "occurring naturally". YET, with Jesus living inside of us we have the "Supernatural".
3. It's the "usual state". YET, God says we are "unusual" - a "peculiar people".
4. It's "average" and "ordinary". YET, God sees us as anything but average because we have an extraordinary God!!!

So, if we're looking at it this way, I don't mind at all if I'm not what the world defines as "normal". In fact, I don't want to be normal. And all the things that have happened in my past are the very things that are now giving me ministry and life. Would I have asked for them? NEVER. But God can use what the world sees as "abnormal" to make us extraordinary for Him.

Love ya my very precious friend,
Joy

Anonymous said...

Melissa,
Thank you for your devotion today about feeling normal.
I have asked myself for years also I'm I normal? Why can't I feel like other wivies do with their husbands. I get angry at my abuser for taking that apart of my life away from my husband. Sometimes I feel my husband would be happier if we were not together. This is how I planned my life with my husband to be.

I bought the book "His Princess Love Letters From Your King".

John 15:16 You didn't choose ME, I chose You. I appointed You to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give You whatever You ask for, using my name.

I love the part "You didn't choose Me, I chose you." God choose me even before all the abuse started. Before I felt dirty and ashame. He thought I was beautiful before and still thinks I'm beautiful now.

I'm a daughter of the King and my hope and trust is in God to heal my broken life.

Lynn Cowell said...

Melissa,
In my quiet time today, I read about Jesus turning the water to wine. It occurred to me that Jesus set a precedence by making his first miracle one where He used ordinary water jugs to be used to perform His miracle. I think that means He can use "ordinary" or normal people like us to do the same!

Lynn

momsal13 said...

Melissa:

Thank you for your wonderful ministry and sharing your story. You should be commended for having the strength to be so open with the world with what happened to you, and know that by sharing YOUR story, you are helping others heal.

Please know that God chooses what we go through, but we choose how we go through it. He chooses what people do to us, but we choose how we react to those things. This can be difficult to remember in times of abuse (been there!) but when we remember that God does not want us to suffer...only to grow stronger, or to help others grow stronger, we can realize that the struggles we have gone through are part of the journey. This journey of life is not the destination. The destination is eternal life through Him. The choices we make, the attitudes we have, whether or not we forgive others, that reveals who we are and can be...it also reveals whether or not we are becoming the person God truly wants us to be.

Each day, try to remember "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13.