I don’t talk about it much, but growing up I had a bit of a rocky childhood. Not necessarily the best circumstances, but I kind of plowed through and closed the door on that chapter of my life when I left for college.
Well, recently at the prompting of a wise friend I have been seeing a counselor to unpack some of this baggage from my childhood. (Holy cow, I just admitted to you that I’m seeing a counselor – yikes!) I really didn’t realize how much I had carried with me. I thought I was bigger than those circumstances. I thought it was trivial to blame my past for the challenges of the present. I figured everyone has a tough childhood, so don’t let yourself wallow in it. MOVE ON!
Trouble is, I thought I was moving on but I was really on a treadmill going no where. I was moving but I wasn’t making progress.
Revisiting the pain of some of the circumstances of my childhood just plain SUCKS! I’m learning how my perceptions in those days have shaped how I view life and the relationships around me these days.
Up until a few weeks ago, I so thought I had it all together. But, no. Not even close. There is so much I am relearning about:
- God’s unconditional love for me
- The value of who I am because of who God made me and not what I do
- That others like me, even love me, for me and not for what I do
Revisiting pain has not been fun, but I know that God is doing bigger things in my heart because of it. I would encourage you to consider if there is some pain that you have buried, closed the door on, stuffed out of sight.
Do you need to revisit it and allow God to heal you?
Jenni, I’m praying for you during this painful process. I’m so proud of your courage and honesty. I’ve always admired your character and integrity. Your story is going to help so many others heal and gain the strength to seek help.
We do love you for you and appreciate your caring heart and sweet spirit.
Thanks for sharing.
I read in tears this morning, Jenni… You are one of the most beautiful people I have ever known…
Wow. We do have a lot in common.
I had this bias toward counseling for the longest time.. you talk, they listen, nod periodically, ask me how that “feels”.. it didn’t seem productive.
You’ve motivated me to look back into it so I can push beyond some of the things I think I’ve been allowing to hold me back.
I’m sure this was a tough post to write, Jenni. Thanks for sharing.
As I know a teeny bit about your past I have always marveled at how you have carried yourself and let your love for others overflow; despite your childhood circumstances. I will be praying for you as you confront these issues and applaud your choice to seek help – it’s not an easy thing to do. We are blessed to have you in our life and LOVE you for who you are and for what you mean to us. You are a treasure – one of those rare finds of beauty – inside and out! Good luck on your journey!
Oh Jenni, I can so identify with your challenges in this area. And I know we have talked a little about some of this stuff. I, too “dealt” with the pains of childhood by telling myself to get over it, and that others had it far wore than I. At my age today, it seems silly to be upset about things that happened over 20-30 years ago. But I was shaped by those experiences, and not only am I having to deal with the ramifictions today, but now I have daughters of my own to help guide through childhood.
Where I didn’t seek God’s help before, I now see He was with me whether I ackowleged Him or not. And today He is helping to surround me with people who are truly encouraging and supportive and AUTHENTIC. I have a long way to go, but it helps to know I have people like you to journey with!
Thank you all for your sweet comments and encouragement! You’re amazing!
Jenni, I thought I’d closed the chapter on lots of things, until recently. Our community group studied consecutively, Charles Stanley’s, The Gift of Forgiveness and Wayne Jacobsen’s, He Loves Me. I found out there were many things I hadn’t allowed God to deal with in my life.
We are praying for you.
Thank you for sharing and for the great reminders. I love the analogy about the treadmill and definitely find myself in that situation regarding some painful experiences…now only to get off 🙂
Thanks for being a leader that’s willing to do the hard things, and thanks for being vulnerable enough to share.
Funny, when I first moved here I moved in w/my friend (who is a counselor!!!) and he and his wife talked me into going to one….. I thought, THEY are crazy….I’m OK!!!! But….I went….. and to this day, I thank God that I did…that’s been 15 years ago and guess what, I STILL see that counselor …. I LOVE HIM! And KARL sees him… so I am ECSTATIC for you (you won’t feel that now, but one day you will)… and some words of wisdom (if I may) “It always gets worse before it gets better”… and that is meant in the sweetest way possible because when it FINALLY gets better …. it’s SSSSAAAAWWWWEEEET!!!!!!!!!!
LOVE YOU SO MUCH GIRL!!!!!! (fo’shizzle)
I go to a professional counselor and love it. It keeps me sane. My wife and I will go together sometimes just to go. If I had the money, I would go every week. I know it is painful at first but it also births A LOT of freedom! See you guys soon.
Jenni, you know my story so you know I’ve spent about 2 years in counseling. I applaud your willingness to seek help and your honesty in sharing about it. Your authenticity will help you and others as well.
As for my own pain, I am not hiding much of it anymore, although there’s probably something somewhere. Being so broken for 2 1/2 years sort of stripped me bare………now I talk much more openly about things that I used to not want to look at.
Praying for your healing and freedom. Much love!
I hope I can keep learning through you 🙂 Not that I wont have to DEAL someday too….I love you and your the BEST!
I am so proud of you, and so touched in my heart to consider what you might be going through and feeling as you revisit. I know that it is absolutely the best thing for you and will impact everyone you reach, today and forever. Praying for you!
this makes me even more excited to meet you in february. would love to just sit and chat with you.
im very proud of you jenni!
YOU ARE AMAZING !!
I love this post. I went to visit my childhood best friend back in April. She asked me some questions that I don’t think anyone else could that got me to revisit a lot of areas I simply shut down. I used to think that if I closed the door, they did not effect me…I was so wrong. I am learning to open up and let God in and let him heal those areas. Glad you are finding Him in it all!
i’m so proud of you…for having the courage to take these steps and for being willing to share. i love walking through life with you and am so thankful for you and your friendship!
i can certainly relate to the whole thinking i had things together (and REALLY wanting everyone else to think that) but God’s working on me…especially through this very well-timed Baggage series. and partially because of your encouragement, I went to see a counselor for the first time yesterday!
thanks again for being the kind of leader and friend who isn’t content to stay stuck. i love you, girl!
I am just now reading this post and I agree with everyone else. Knowing where you have been and how you have had to press on through life and really just take care of yourself and not deal with the pain has at times broke my heart. But I have always looked up to you for your strong spirit and now I admire you for dealing with some of those ghosts in the closet so to speak that you have pushed aside. You and I have been grown ups long before we were ever ADULTS and that is hard to stomach.
I am so proud of you Jenni. Keep talking and sorting it out and know that you are loved and supported.