Gracefully Truthful

Laura Rodriguez

I felt disposable.

It was as if those three words summed up my entire life in one defining moment.

I sat quietly, as she spoke these words… “I felt disposable.”
It was as if those three words summed up my entire life in one defining moment.

I thought back to the time I was at work and a co-worker pushed me up against a wall, his hot breath telling me there was no use trying to fight, he was in control and I was there to be used by him. I was saved by a co-worker who walked in at just the right moment.

I thought about the time, when a high school boyfriend criticized me daily causing me to feel like I was the worse girlfriend in the world. Telling me that if I didn’t sleep with him, he would break up with me, and then when his patience wore out he followed through with his promise.
But not before sleeping with one of my friends.

I flashed back to the time my boss took me out to lunch and under his breath he reached over to me and asked if I was ready to be his personal assistant. I didn’t show up to work the next day and never went back.

Flashes of memories I had pushed down deep just flooded my mind and ended with the moment I left the divorce courtroom wondering what I could have done differently. Wondering why I had become so disposable and why my value had plummeted so quickly.

…And then as she continued to speak, I heard His voice reminding me that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Here sitting across from me was a woman who had felt the same way and somewhere out there within your reach is someone who feels this as well.

“Laura, this is the story I want you to share.
This is the redemption you seek.
This is what LOVE is really about.”

I heard Him whisper and tell me that I am His,
that I am the daughter of the Most High;
that I am the one He sent His son to die for…
that I am NOT disposable. 

Fear is a liar.
It will tell you that if you aren’t a certain way, you won’t be loved.
It tells you that if you share the ugly with people they will judge you and distance themselves from you.
This is how I saw God for many years.

He was a God to be feared.
His love was conditional.
So long as I made the right decisions and followed the letter of the law He would bless me.

I was a high achiever and overall “good girl” because I believed that it was the only way I would be loved.
I thought that love was conditional.
I was so fearful of disappointing people.
So long as I met the expectations of those around me, specifically men, I was worthy of love.

Men would use me for what they could get out of me, and when I refused to give them anymore, I was thrown away, “disposable” like yesterday’s garbage.

Yet in the darkest time of feeling this way, and feeling like I lost the most significant part of my life…
Jesus reached out and held me in my brokenness.

He held me in the moment I felt the most unloved.
He wrapped me in the arms of peace, unlike anything I have ever felt.
I had the wrong idea of what God’s love really meant.

By His grace, losing the human representation of what love is in my husband, I found what God had desired all along.  For the first time I felt what it was like to be loved unconditionally and love another as seen through His eyes, through His son, and realize we are His beloved. I Am His Beloved.
I am greatly cherished and precious;
dear to the heart of God, just as I am.

I don’t have to meet His expectations to receive His love. It’s there for me to embrace because He loved us first.  He loved us at our darkest moment. (Romans 5:8)

Our value isn’t found in how others see us,
nor does it diminish when we are so full of shame and heartache that all we see is failure and hopelessness.

In fact, it is in those moments that His love and grace overflow.
It is then, that God can receive praise for turning broken into beautiful and we are redeemed from the lie that we’re disposable.
It is then, and only then,
that God becomes the anchor of our souls
and we are free to be truly loved.

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