This topic is very dear and very close to my heart. So prepare yourself! It’s a long one 😉
I’ve been studying natural health and something that is very clear is that an ailment needs to be treated at the root, not the symptom. This last year I’ve come to realize that people work much the same way. I’ve been working with abused and neglected children for the last year and half, but last year I got the place I work gave me the opportunity to work full time with the teen girls for about 3 months. Few things have challenged me more. These girls come from all different backgrounds and although some may share a similar story they each handle things and life very differently. Everyone is hurting in some shape or form. Emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. And through that hurt, each person handles it in a way that makes him or her comfortable. Working with my girls has showed me so many different ways that people push others away and put up walls. But, working with my girls has given me such a deep love I never knew existed in me, for broken and hurting people.
The Lord has stirred in my heart a deep determination and mission to prove and to show young girls and women that they have so much worth and value in a world that surrounds them with a mentality that says the very opposite. They have been surrounded with such a sense of utter hopelessness that they go into survival mode and push anyone away that could possibly get close to them from fear of once again being abandoned and validating their mentality that they have no worth.
People throw out a bunch of symptoms. They cuss you out, ignore you, leave you, do anything they can to prove to you what they believe about themselves. Especially the teens I’ve worked with. Many people come in to work with them and as soon as they are insulted, cussed out, etc. they take it personally and react with hurt and frustration. What they are failing to understand is that these girls are acting out of their own pain and struggles. They are pushing everyone away because it’s easier for them than to actually let someone in. Because to them, letting someone in means risk of getting hurt. Again.
What would happen though if instead of taking things personally, people began to get to the root? What would happen if instead of reacting to the symptoms, people looked past it and began learning what it means to truly love someone and get past someone’s walls?
At first, I took things personally. Teen girls can be incredibly mean. They can bully and find someone’s weak spot and poke at it until that person is so wounded and hurt they walk away and never turn back. When I first began working with them about a year and a half ago, I got so bullied I turned away and almost didn’t turn back. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sensitive and emotional person, which is written all over my face. So when I walked into a place filled with teen girls in survival mode, they took one look at me and knew that getting under my skin and hurting me would a piece of cake ;). But, how can you turn your back on something that the Lord keeps putting on your heart? About 10 months later I started working 40 hrs a week with them and in that time the Lord gave me glimpses of these girls through His eyes. I saw such brokenness and such heartache and fear that it was hard for me to not cry myself to sleep almost every night because no one deserves to feel the way these girls were feeling.
I was given the opportunity to prove to them, every single week, they were worth it. No matter what they said, did, or how hard they tried to push me away, I was given the opportunity to show them a glimpse of Christ’s unconditional love for them. I learned more deeply how to get to the root of the problem instead of looking at the symptoms. I learned how to ‘toughen up’ and stop focusing on my own sensitivity and instead focus on their need to be loved and their need to be shown their worth.
Each of the girls I have worked with has such a beautiful heart and cares so deeply for those around them. But because of the things they had been through and experienced they had lost hope and belief in who they are.
Through them, the Lord showed me that others work that way as well. Not just teen girls. Children, teens, adults, you name it. People react out of the things they have been through and experienced. And when they react, others usually react as well. But something I’m ‘slowly’ learning to do, is to react less. To look at a person through Christ’s eyes for who they really are. Instead of reacting in a negative way when they do something hurtful, I’m trying to remember to see the root and push past the walls being put up, not react to the symptoms. It’s definitely a lot easier said than done. But I also know that through Christ, it’s very possible. ❤