To the Smiling Woman who Weeps on the Inside

I met another victim today, but she wasn’t a stranger. No, she is a friend, someone I’ve known many years, a woman I had no idea was suffering in silence.

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When I started speaking, I would talk to groups of women, thinking I was equipping those who would reach out to the hurting, only to be surprised afterward when they would come up to me and say,

“That was me.”

“I was a victim.”

“I never told anybody.”

“You’re the first person I’ve ever told.”

Now I look around me and wonder how many others in my church, in the line at the grocery store, in my sphere of social media carry secret hurts and hidden wounds. Even still, sometimes I get broadsided and am broken again.

Today was one of those days. I found out a dear friend and old college roommate has moved with her six children (3 to 16 years) to another state to get away from a husband who is emotionally and physically abusive. How many years did she keep this secret? How many times did she smile on the outside while inside she wept? I looked through her pictures on Facebook. Yes, there is the one of her family. They’re smiling. All of them.

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How many other people I know are living a lie?

Not one lie. Many lies. The lies from the enemy that say,

“No one will believe you.”

“This is your fault.”

“You’re not strong enough to make it on your own.”

“You’re all alone.”

jesus weptMy heart weeps. I think these are times when Jesus weeps, too. When He came, He gave such value to women. His teachings raised their status in society and gave them worth and hope.

He hates oppression and injustice.

He hates what happened to my friend. What is happening to so many.

To all the dear ones out there who are wearing veils that cover over secret hurts, please, please, know that God has so much truth for you, truth that is bigger and stronger than the lies that keep you enslaved.

If you belong to the King of kings,

If you are His daughter,

That makes you a Princess.

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Here is your truth:

You are valued.

You are loved.

You are beautiful.

Your worth has nothing to do with how you look, how well you can pretend things are fine, or how much you can take. It is not based on anything, good or bad, you have done or can do. It is definitely not based on anything that has been done to you.

It is based on the truth that you are loved with an everlasting, unconditional love (Jeremiah 31:3)

God says He will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

He made you in His image,

and Jesus says you’re worth dying for.

That gives you a value that will never fade or change. It means anything done or said to you that made you feel of little value is a lie. You do not have to live underneath its weight.

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Precious one, be free. Dark secrets are toxic, tools created by the one who seeks to steal and kill and destroy. God says to come into the light (1 John 1:7). Jesus came to:

Set the captives free (Isa. 61:1)

Conquer darkness with Light (John 1)

Set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18)

Bear our griefs and carry our sorrows (Isa. 53:4)

God knows. He cares. He is with you.

tearsHe is listening. He knows the secrets.

Tell them. Break out of the cage they have made for you and be free.

It is okay to stop smiling for awhile. To weep. To grieve all that was lost and all that was taken away.

It’s okay to need. To be broken. To stop pretending.

God holds you in His hands and in His heart. You can curl up there and be safe. There, you can heal and be whole again.

I pray that in time, your smile will return, but this time it will be real. That you will have hope.

Until then, know this: God knows everything. Everything. And He is the One who loves you most.

You are cherished. You are loved.

You are not alone.

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If you’d like to help my friend make a new start, please go to Helping Her Move.

Thank you.

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