Having a Little Faith

When I entered my first year of high school I was incredibly excited and full of hope for the year. I struggled with self harm and depression during eighth grade but I was determined to be brave and strong about my struggles. My friend died in a car accident the previous year and I was consumed by the sadness and grief. I had a few friends but I'd always been close with Bella. She always had a story to tell and was a talented athlete. She had an on-and-off boyfriend but still held the attention of most of the guys. To me, an nonathletic girl, Bella had it all. Now Bella was in the popular crowd while I preferred the company of a good book or some paints. I was one hundred percent committed friend to Bella, she was only one hundred percent at her convenience.

In October, I noticed one of Bella’s cute friends, Daniel. He was super sporty and the right-hand man of the school jock. He was funny and seemingly perfect; everyone adored him. But not everyone is all they're cracked up to be. One day Bella found out that I had feelings for Daniel, she thought it would be hilarious if Daniel pretended to fall head over heels for me and she even paid him to put on the act. Daniel accepted and we became an item. As I got to know Daniel, I learned that his “perfect” character wasn’t genuine. Daniel made me feel codependent and that everything I did had to be for him. I dropped out of my extracurriculars to support him at his soccer games. I keep his secret about smoking and getting high. I complied but only after he threatened me and hit me a few times. He always had excuses for his violence: he was tired or stressed. One time I said I would leave and he threatened to kill himself if I left.

On my last day of school, Daniel sat me down and told me about Bella's plan. He immediately started laughing when he saw how upset I'd become. He told me that he couldn't believe I fell for it. He told me I was "an ugly, talentless, fat girl" and that no guy would ever fall for someone like me, ever. I was able to find healing from self harming and depression because of my relationship with Daniel and now he was rejecting me. I couldn't believe that Bella had been so cruel. I felt completely worthless and wanted nothing more than to curl up and fade away.

When I got home from school that day my mom had laid out my acceptance letter from a private school in Manchester. They wanted me to start on Monday, the start of the second semester. Tears started to stream down my face. It was too much, too fast.. When I calmed down enough to read the letter, I saw that the admissions office mentioned how much they  wanted me to come. As I read the letter, I thought of a Bible verse that my mother said all the time as we were growing up: "You are worth far more than precious jewels," Proverbs 31:10. I was wanted. All of the sudden, it seemed to be the perfect time for a change. I became determined to prove Daniel wrong. I wasn't disposable or the butt of any joke. I was someone that no one else could ever be. I have my own dreams and goals that only I can complete. I have gifts that God gave me from birth. It took time to fully accept that Daniel was completely wrong about me. It took time for the wounds to heal and to eradicate Daniel’s sharp words from my sense of self.

Now I am completely overjoyed in the relationship I'm in with Jesus. I paint after school Monday through Friday and I have an avid youth group on Sunday nights. I have a great group of girl friends and we all look after one another. Looking back, I realize that my relationship with Daniel made my every insecurity come to life. My every doubt and weakness was palpable at the time I thought I was falling back into the darkness, but God was waiting for me in the darkness. As I fell, I fell into the arms of my God.

If you are in an abusive relationship, there is always a way to get out and be safe. You do not deserve the physical or emotional pain. Know that you are an incredible, vibrant woman with strength, dignity, and power. Much love to all of you.