It is not our experiences that make us.
It is what we make of our experiences that make us.
This is a hugely important principle. We all have good experiences, and bad ones. How is it that some people grow stronger through negative experiences, and other people are just messed up by them?
It all boils down to whether or not you hold on to the truth of who you are, and who God is, through the negative experiences; or if you allow it to cause you to believe lies.
We have all believed lies about ourselves and God due to the way we have interpreted our experiences, particularly when we were children and our worldview was still forming — so there is no shame in that.
The good news is this:
1) We can gain enormous amounts of healing by:
1. revisiting those past experiences in our minds,
2. connecting with the emotion of the experience,
3. recognizing what the lie about ourselves was, and
4. receiving the truth in that area. This can often be done by simply asking God to show you what the truth is. Another way is to picture what a good father or mother would have done in that situation — because that’s who God is!
2) In the present and future, we don’t have to be at the mercy of how we feel about our experiences; we can hold on to the basic truths of who God is, and who we are: that is, God is GOOD, and you are valuable and loved by Him. That is your anchor in the storm. That will keep you immovable, grounded; and while it won’t keep you from experiencing pain in this life, it will keep you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy through it, and it won’t permanently damage you on the inside anymore.