The Sunkissed Life


Jahara Stevenson

Emotional worldwind. Thats the best way I can describe the past two months. It has been one of the most emotionally taxing periods. I truly felt very exhausted in trying to battle constantly feeling so down. I felt like the very people that I was connected to were hurting me, and hurting me intentionally. I struggled with feeling undervalued, unappreciated, overlooked, and unimportant. Those words contain something so heavy and weighted. Thats what I was carrying every day. It was to the point where a few friends specifically, some whom I felt close with and one in particular being one of the closest people to me, I couldn't be in the room with them without feeling more insecure and unimportant than I probably have ever experienced. That really shook me. I was stuck in this space of gauging their love and care for me based off their interactions with me. If it didn't look the way I was accustom to, then it wasn't real. Even further to say that I found myself desperately wanting to hold on to them because it was so safe and familiar for me. The problem then became that I was so consumed with how to please these people so that they would continue to like me, that I negated what I needed. Then I was caught in this spiral of trying to figure out my place. I didn't feel like I had one. I was at the point of feeling like I didn't fit in with my own friends. I felt alone and disregarded, and I felt and believed that they just didn't care. They didn't care, they weren't going to care, and moving forward they wouldn't be a space of safety for me. I remember sitting on the couch one night alone and literally crying while I was praying and I angrily yelled out, "God do I just suck that much that I deserve to be hurt over and over again and so easily? Am I really that disposable? Do I just need to accept this idea that I'm not going to be anyones preference or priority?" Even just reading those words now, that feels so intensely crazy. How could I believe those things? How could I believe that I don't deserve to feel honored and respected in life? From that moment I was very convinced that something had to change, but I didn't know what, or where to start. For the next few days, I started to really speak out loud to myself the truths in my identity when I felt the devil trying to play games with my head. I went from "Why do I suck so much?" to "I am worthy of being someone's priority." "I am deserving of people's time and commitment." However, I wasn't suddenly fixed. My circumstances didn't change. So all of those situations that drove me to that dark place to begin with, still existed. Those friends that triggered these emotions, were still present. So now what God? He told me to keep speaking. So I did. I kept expressing myself out loud, I kept acknowledging my triggers, I spoke to what was hurting me. Day in and day out. Over and over again. In doing so I realized, I wanted something that I once had. I wanted this accessibility to my friends that I used to have. But seasons and life changes, and thats okay. Whether it's planned or not, it's okay. Because just like those seasons change, I change, and grow. So in this place where I was feeling very hopeless and so insignificant, the Lord was working on my heart. So if I never experience closeness with another person (which is dramatic lol) I am not any less deserving and worthy of that. Someone's inability to love me the way I need, doesn't mean that my needs are insignificant. Someone's choice to not be present the way I need, doesn't mean I am unimportant. I am not disposable. I am not unimportant. Even further than that, I am not defined by the actions of others. Whether someone is able to love me the way I need or not, doesn't diminish my worth in any way. AT ALL! So in praying that the Lord secure this confidence in my heart I realized a few things. I was feeling overwhelmed at all the hurt happening from different angles but I never stopped to think, "Why is this happening?" And then in one moment it clicked for me. I was giving another person advice and everything I said was what I needed to understand and hear for myself. I told her,

"The devil is only going to attack what he feels threatened by. If I didn't posses something in me that threatens the devils territory, he wouldn't bother to mess with me. He is smart, and intentional. He's going to attack the very thing that he is confident will take me out. There is death in isolation, however the devil convinces us that isolation is the safest place because no one can hurt us there. The problem is, that’s a breading ground for lies to take root. They thrive in a place where we are so cut off from everyone else. Lies can't hold on to anything if you're constantly around people who will speak truth and light into your life. But we get so convinced that if everyone is hurting us, the best thing to do is get away from all of these people and cut off any opportunity for anyone else to come in. THAT'S A LIE. Isolation is from the enemy, quiet time is from the Lord. The Lord calls us to shut out distractions and outside forces and really commit to time with Him. He wants us to shut down everything and focus on Him. But He also calls us to community; to walk through life with other people. He gives us people on purpose. If we were meant to do life alone we would be alone. The devil convinces us that isolation is the safest place. When in fact it's not. Even further, the devil wants you to be alone because God forbid you actually realize how powerful your are, how gifted you are, how anointed you are, how chosen you are, how loved you are. Those equip us, those things empower us, they strengthen us. If we are strong and confident the devil doesn't have a place to get in and lie. Thats not what he wants. If from this day forward someone hurts us every day for the rest of our lives, that doesn't change the Lord’s heart towards us. He will be just as good tomorrow as He has been today. The great promise that we can rejoice in is that the Lord desires community for us, and for us to experience being loved well and valued. So we can know that one day, someone, some people will love us how we need to be loved. They will value and cherish us and regardless of what has happened to us, what we have caused, what we have done we will be worth it to them."

And instantly in that moment it all clicked for me. Jahara, you are not called to hide, you are not called to be in the background, you are not called to be forgotten. The Lord said "I have anointed you in your gifts. I see you. I choose you. I value you, and my kingdom NEEDS YOU." In an instant everything changed for me. In that one coffee date, 4 hour time frame it all changed. I don't have to do anything to earn anything for anyone. What I have is good enough. It's desirable, it's fun, it's captivating, it's helpful, and people want to be connected to me. Plain and simple. Anything opposite of that is a lie. Lies don't come from the Lord, therefore they have no authority and privilege to make a home in my heart or mind. So when I feel left out, or like no one is seeing me, or loving me, or caring for me, that's just the devil wanting me to revert back to a place of isolation. Instead of analyzing what hurts, I need to focus on what I have to do to heal and to progress. How can I be better at seeking the Lord, at trusting Him with everything? How can I let Him defend me instead of always wanting to pop off? How do I authentically get to the place where He is enough, all by Himself? Thats my goal. That's my prayer, for not just me but everyone who has felt any of these things. 


YOU ARE LOVED. The Lord loves you so much, that He will stop everything to get to you. He wants you to let Him love you. He desires you, desires relationship with you and if no one else sees you, He does. Let Him. There is no greater love and joy than that found in the Lord and everyone deserves to experience that.