About the Author

Angie is the proud wife of Todd Smith of Selah, and the blessed mommy to Abby, Ellie, Kate, Charlotte, and Audrey Caroline, who passed away the day she was born, April 7th, 2008. Angie was inspired to write Audrey's story, and began the blog www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com in honor of her. You...

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  1. Something in my heart breathed a big old sigh when you shared those words.

    I do feel ya….all the way deep, deep, deep down in the pit of my achy soul. I always feel like that little girl who was different {with better clothes now….maybe?} and wonder if anyone really “knows” me and/or will ever accept me…..

    I have this theory that as women, we always see ourselves at a “certain” little girl age. That “certain” age where we felt different/strange/unliked/unloved/like we didn’t fit in, and something inside of us NEVER quite gets over that. I’m like 6 or 8 and the little missionary girl who was different no matter what country we were in…even in America where everyone just wanted to “hear” me speak another language.

    But for grace.
    Amen.

    P.S. Thank you SO much for being so REAL!

    • Wow… that is a really good theory. I struggle with this issue so terribly, and for me, I’m in 7th grade and have no friends that are girls. I have a deep seeded need for girlfriends and always feel like everyone must be pretending to like me (and I know they’re talking about me behind my back). Same thing, Angie, same exact thing! And isn’t it so like the enemy to make us think we’re the only ones who feel that way!

      Amen, sister, and thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in this struggle.

  2. Wow, I can’t believe I just read this. This is what I tweeted about this morning. I was wondering if my friend that I missed very much would find me irritating that I sent a Whatsapp telling her that.

    Thank you for writing this! I’m going to re-read it over and over and let myself know that I’m not alone in this. Thank you for sharing this with us and for being so honest!

  3. Amen.
    I love butterflies….
    I am thankful that it’s still under His grace. Thank you for reminding me.
    I think I will pick up the phone today and call that friend who I didn’t call yesterday because the day got away from me…. Yep, It’s # 1 on my list for today.

  4. Amen! Thanks for sharing, for risking. You are so, so, SO not alone in this. Have spent a long time working on this very issue with a gifted counselor who has become a treasure, and I still am not were I want to be, still haunted with the very same issues you have shared. I am like a colander, I can hear a thousand times a day every day, how loved and valued I am, but it leaks right out. I need help plugging the holes from the only One who can do just that. Waiting for His timing is hard, and painful at times, but I know He wants to do just that in His perfect timing.
    Thanks again for sharing your heart.

    • Mary, I pray that you would be led to those who can pray to plug up those holes in your colander…. for good. Blessings.

    • Mary – I went thru that and then finally I read to rewrite the tapes in my head by reciting scripture over and over. For about 2 months or more, I kept repeating ps 139 “I am fearfully and wonderfully made and my soul KNOWS it very WELL.” You know, it truly changed me! The word transforms!! I feel free and when old thoughts return, I remind myself and it’s not a battle any more!! Prayers for you too!!

      • Maria,
        it is no coincendence that you bring up Psalms 139, I have been working on memorizing that for a little over two weeks. I read it every day. There have been a few times where due to circumstances beyond my control I haven’t had time in the morning to do that, so while I my hands are busy, I have asked one of my daughters to read it to me.
        Thanks so much for your prayers as well Maria, He is faithful and will bring me through.

      • Maria ~ Thank you for reminding me of this piece of scripture. I’ve done the same before and, like you, been changed by His word. Thanks!

  5. 1. I feel the same way.
    2. I do like butterflies.
    3. Sorry, but I do have to say that even though I only know you from your posts here that you seem pretty awesome.

  6. Amen! ….I think we must also be careful with FaceBook and other social media. I sometimes come away from reading status updates to feeling empty. Strange but true!

  7. I can relate exactly to what you said. I feel like my heart could have written that word for word. I grew up in a verbally abusive home. The words that stained my soul were so much more painful than any physical pain I have ever felt. Sometimes I can hardly get myself out of bed in the morning because the sting is still so overwhelming. However, it’s in those moments that I take a deep breath, pray for God’s strength, and bravely place my feet on the ground. If it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain in this life, but because of his mercy and grace I can not only survive, but thrive in his presence!

    • Oh my…this is totally my life now. I’m in therapy trying to help myself cope with these same thoughts and feelings growing up in a verbally abusive home. It is overwhelming and painful. I have just recently given my heart to the Lord and am leaning on him more and more each day. Bless you for going through this as well. Words hurt way worse than anything physical. These stick and stain our hearts and brains and souls. So glad Jesus never says we aren’t worth it! That is what is holding me together right now.

      • Congratulations on your recent salvation! What exciting news! Your life will never be the same! I’m so glad that you are making the right steps and getting therapy to assist your healing. I started therapy about a year ago and it was really helpful. Of course I still struggle, but with the help of God, therapy, and medications I am rising above my painful past! I hope you can do the same! God bless!

  8. Yes amen. I could have written something so siimilar. When people I love so mu h don’t seem to respond the way I want and think they should I get very hurt. Its a hard place to live. And funny thing is I am sure I have done a similar thing to someone unintentionally as I would not want hurt someone.

    Thank you for sharing this I appreciate your heart

    Xotiffany

  9. Amen and Amen. And since we have the same name….it really rings true when you threw that in!

  10. The temptation is great……… to feel that you are not loved or not enough. It takes more than self-talk to overcome. It takes Jesus. Thanks for sharing your heart. You are not alone.

  11. That was great! I can say AMEN and sigh… I’m in that “minority” too… Why is it so easy to believe the lies and so hard to accept the truths… The truths that are embedded in God’s word to us… that we are enough, that we are strong… that we are loved and needed… Last night I reached out to a couple of my friends because I could sense I was going down the pity path and needed intervention… This morning just reading what you go through gives me new insight to carry on… Thank you so much… thank you!!!

    • I love the fact that you reached out. That’s not easy. Thanking God for the strength. In God’s love, sheila

  12. Amen, Angie!!! I so often feel the same way too! But trust me when I honestly and whole-heartedly say to you that your (in)courage / Bloom book club / Bring the Rain followers LOVE YOU!!!!!!! Just remember what sweet Holley is teaching us in the book study (that you ROCK at, I might add)…YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!! :0)

  13. Amen. Just recently had a “situation” with some girlfriends and felt like I was in junior high again…so refreshing to hear I am not alone!

  14. Sigh. Amen. Sigh again. I didn’t have pencils, but rather whispered taunts and the complete silence. I refer to it as “The Dark Years”. Years that shaped how I view other females and myself. Years I was never equal nor would ever feel good enough. Praying for your heart, dear one, and for those who will touch it as He continually heals this hurt in you.

  15. Angie,

    Boy do I feel you all the way! Lately I’ve inner dialogues that say “Stupid, not good enough, smart enough, dumb” & you begin to feel like why even try. At times like these I ask Jesus why he bothered with someone like little old me?.

    When I feel down & dumpy–that’s when God steps in and sends something or someone my way to reaffirm my worth and my goodness. He says you were worth every drop of blood I spilled.

  16. AMEN! and AMEN
    I’m thankful that I stumbled upon the incourage community. A community women that dare to be real and share that with others, so that we all know that we are not alone in our insecurities and fears. We all have them, but it takes real courage to admit them.
    Praying that God will fill our insecurity holes with Him..and that they will stay plugged and not spring a leak.

  17. Amen!

    And Angie, I love you. I always talk about how amazing you are. It seems like if I am helping anyone go through anything, something I read in one of your books or on your blog seems to pop into my mind and I tell them about it and I always say “OH Angie Smith, I just love her – have you read her books or her blog? She said this about this….” You’re amazing girl! Really truly. You’ve helped so many people through so much. Including me. Thank you for being real and for letting God work through you. I kinda might want to be you when I grow up, or something.

  18. I was at my daughter’s play practice last night, looking around at the friendships others had, together; watching how at ease they were talking with each other. Why can’t I be that loved? But then I think of my circles that sometimes I really do feel loved, do I let others in or am I greedy and keep all the attention for myself. I was thinking of the other day about Heaven and seeing Jesus and I couldn’t decide if I would be so terribly ashmad with my head down that I couldn’t even look up because I had failed Him. Well I really did decide this is probably how I would greet Him. My head knows that He will be standing there with open arms, lavishing me with love, but I feel so undeserving. Lord help me with my unbelief, help me with my insecurities and to really know that I am a child of the King, I pray for each women to see herself through the eyes of Christ, loved and made whole. In God’s Love, sheila

  19. Adding my “Amen!” too…
    I did have friends in school; the “outcasts.” I am still kind of that outcast, but for Christ, it’s worth it. Yet, I still do not have women friends, confidantes, buddies, to this day. I had a few in my youth when I was partying, and tried to find them again but they see I’m “different” now…haha. yeah. I’m the same, just reborn in Him. Now, trying to make friends in church…so hard. I love the women I meet, but very few reach back. I’m not giving up…praying for a “bcff”, a “best Christian Female Friend.” If anyone here wants one, I’m in.

    • Oh Barb, I was in the same boat. No close friends, lots of friends, but no close friends. I had to open up. Had to, otherwise I was going to drown. It’s been a slow process, but I am so thankful God heard my prayers. I have 2 – 3 very close, I can call in the middle of the night or show up in my pj’s with a cup of coffee type friends and that is good. In God’s love,sheila

      • Sheila & Barb –
        I can deeply identify with what both of you have shared. I am in the smack-dab-middle of that learning process right now.

        Someone shared this with me, and it has meant a lot, especially in these days where the number of “friends” you have on FB seems to determine your worth. “Jesus had 12 followers – the disciples. Of those 12, 3 were intimate friends, but only one He called ‘beloved’.”

        It is impossible to be surrounded with “friends” and have deeply meaningful relationships with all of them! But when we have that close two or three, and that one, that is where the beauty is. I worry about people who are surrounded by “friends” without the close few relationships.

  20. aMEN! I’m almost 30 and still have many moments where I feel like that awkward teenager that is just trying to fit in…unsuccessfully. I try to let those voices lead me into prayer that I would see myself as hidden in him; safe, secure, perfectly loved…and that ultimately my eyes would turn away from me and onto the one that gave his life so that I could rest in those very things. Thanks so much for sharing.

  21. AMEN! I grew up in a verbally abusive home. The people who were supposed to love me the most always told me I’d never measure up. Those voices haunt me to this day. How awesome that we are loved by the One who doesn’t say things like that? I hear ya…I know what you are saying. You are not alone. God Bless…..

    • *hugs* I feel you hun, not only does our Wonderful Father not say those hurtful things, but He actively builds us up!
      “Because you are *precious* in my eyes, and *honored*, and I love you” – Isaiah 43:4a

  22. Oh, Angie.

    I understand. It just hurts sometimes. I don’t even find that the words I hear are always as painful as the words I “think” that people are saying. (And who knows – they probably aren’t even saying them).

    But the knowledge that Jesus’ grace covers these wounds…that brings hope.

    P.S. Butterflies make me happy. I thought I had to grow out of that, but I guess it’s ok if I still like them. 🙂

  23. Amen! And ‘word’! 😉 (it busted me up when Ann used that term ^_^)
    Angie… this is exactly why when I stumbled on your blog, I felt that I found a friend. If I could ever sit down to coffee with two women, it would be you and Beth Moore, and I would be just one step down from heaven that day.
    Just last night I was talking to a friend about how I have been so blessed with my mother-in-law/love who recently just got back from a long trip. We kept in contact while she was out of town and we would always say how much we miss each other. I struggle with believing that she could possibly miss me anywhere near as much as I miss her. My MIL showers love on me like I’ve never known and I have the hardest time believing that it’s ‘for real’ because why would anyone put that much energy and emotion into loving me? Me, the one who has been left behind by so many people (and it must have been because, ultimately, I’m not worth it, right?).
    God has been so good working on this place of hurt, of fear. And He has used you and your writing. Thank you for being honest, butterflies are awesome but this is better ^_^ You are so loved, dear sister, and you are a huge *blessing* to me.

  24. This!!! is why I read this blog. The realness. The T.R.U.T.H Everything is not pretty, or butterflies. Somethings are ugly. and feel ugly. and hurt. I sometimes feel this way. I feel as a single mother..no one wants me for life..they only wanted that one nite, that one moment with me. And then God sweetly whispers not only do I want you..I have you..FOREVER..

  25. Amen. Everyday we must actively choose not to believe the lies of the enemy, lies that whisper in our ears that we are not enough. And only God can give us that strength to discard those lies and infuse us with the certainty that we are perfect, just as we are. I look at my children, now almost grown, and know with absolute certainty that there is nothing about them, nothing they could ever do, that would make me stop loving them. They are perfect just as they are. How much greater must God’s love be for us. Peace and blessings.

  26. I love this because I related to it. I was just emailing my friend about this very topic the other day but I couldn’t put it into words as well as you! Sometimes I feel so shallow thinking, “what if I pour all my time and effort into them and they just smile and seem as if they like me but they don’t.”, but I think it’s a common human feeling.

    Time to read So Long, Insecurity again.

  27. Angie, my dear sister in Christ, I think if we were all completely honest with ourselves we would all say amen to those feelings…..but being honest with ourselves is not always easy…and listening to the lies of the evil one is a hard habit to break free from….and sometimes it just seems too hard to believe that God loves us NO MATTER WHAT…but He does!!!!! So how can I ever say it was not worth it…”We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” ..Brother Lawrence
    Thanks for sharing.

  28. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know it can be difficult to be so open when you’re hurting. I think everyone feels this way at one time or another and I was feeling exactly this way last week. Sometimes I feel no matter what I do, there are certain women that seem to have it all together and never fail to make me feel like an awkward little girl. There will always be someone who’s smarter, who has better fashion sense or better hair or a better personality.

    I think the devil really enjoys making us women feel inferior. Women tend to be caregivers and although we enjoy doing things for those we love, it’s easy to feel neglected and unappreciated. The ironic thing is that the devil knows what we often forget – we’re daughters of the Almighty King! We are loved and cherished by the one true God who reigns over the entire universe. He not only wants a relationship with us but he wants out company for eternity! That’s some kinda crazy-good love. 🙂

  29. Amen with huge tears falling! This is my life minus the pencils, though there was the occasional spitball. I visit there often, lately more often than I would care to admit. But God has shown me in just the last few days, the women He has brought in my life that truly love me. No matter what!

  30. It is impossible to get out of feeling melancholy all the time when all you ever wanted was one man’s love to plug the hole in your colander and he just won’t plug it. All the other love given you does not seem enough. Sorry, I am not very encouraging right now.

  31. Amen! I hear ya… and have the same thoughts at times. Satan wants to make us feel so isolated and alone that instead of enjoying fellowship, we become afraid of it… afraid to take chances and shine for Jesus. The more alone we feel and become, the harder it will be to step out on faith and trust God that He is using you – and when you’re shining for Jesus – others WILL want to be with you and WILL like you… not because your flesh is inviting, but because JESUS shining through you is.

    Angie, you are ALREADY amazing 🙂

  32. Angie,
    Thank you. Sometimes it’s easy to think that I’m the only woman struggling with the acceptance issue. I often wonder why God created me to need friends so badly. Why do I have this need to pour my heart out? Can’t I learn to be Christlike without being so vulnerable? At that point the answer is too obvious. No, I can’t, but I am greatful when God shows me that I’m not alone, and I’m surprised at the people who share this struggle.
    Cyndi

  33. I hear you. It is hard to not feel that way when I have had friends who decided that our friendship wasn’t worth the effort anymore. So here is yet another who hears you and understands.

  34. I should put these words of yours someplace I can read them again and again. . . “I’m so deeply carved that the water always settles in, and the more I accept it, the more I will acknowledge my propensity to be filled with His mercy.”

  35. I can totally give you an AMEN. I even recently posted about how I don’t feel like I’m good enough, I don’t measure up to others, they don’t like me, etc. It’s all these internal feelings that most definitely don’t come from a loving Heavenly Father. No, they come from Satan, and his fiery darts are aimed right at the heart of our divinity. The self esteem and knowledge that God made us just the way we are.

  36. Precious Angie, I just want to say that Jesus has used you so profoundly to minister to my heart over the last few months since I read your book about beautiful Audry, after my sweet baby boy got to meet your princess at the end of last year. I have continued since then to read many of your blog posts. You are beautiful inside and out because you are so honest in your journey of being the clay in the Potters hands. Sending you SO MUCH love from South Africa.
    Love Janine
    ps – I’m sure I have that same little voice in my head. Good to know how unoriginal that old enemy is. Well no more from today! I’m tuning in to what my Jesus thinks from here on in :0)

  37. AMEN, Sister!! And I love butterflies. And I too have that internal dialogue, which I thought was only part of my mind, and wasnt necessarily shared by others. Thank you for sharing this. Blessings
    ~Jennifer

  38. Angie, Amen.
    So know what you’re saying.
    So live it every day. Struggle with it every day.
    And with Jesus’ help, get past it every day.
    I am tired of the sameness of this struggle. Tired of
    always having to face the same thing, the same words of
    discouragement and hurt. The same fears nagging at me
    mercilessly.
    And I wonder, “Why, Lord? Since I’m Yours, why these same
    old taunts, same old lies, same old words?”
    And then He reminds me, yet again, that this –for me– keeps me
    dependent on Him. To turn to Him for love first, for acceptance, for a
    place I fit in. It focuses me on Him. And I end up asking myself yet again,
    “Is His love enough today?”
    And He keeps showing me that yes, it is.
    He wants to be my confidence. In the abilities He gave me, the talents, the love,
    the daily living it all out –whether people agree or approve, love or not– that I matter
    because HE says I do.
    Sometimes it’s hard to be limited to Him, especially when I’m wanting to hear from
    people affirmation and encouragement…and I don’t. Can I lay it all in His hands and
    be content with that? Each day I get the opportunity to try. And with His help, those old
    demons are once again put in their place.
    But why the daily fight? Because I don’t easily focus on “one day at a time”. I don’t
    easily “Take therefore no thought(worry) for the morrow:” (Matt. 6:34a), so each day He
    helps me regain the focus of “one day at a time”, even in my hurts and haunts.
    For me, this is how it plays out. This is how I learn to lean on Him and nothing else. I don’t
    really like it but then who ever really likes discipline? I accept it for Him.
    Thanks for sharing, for letting me know I’m not in the minority either. 🙂

  39. Um.

    You know, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We are a LOT alike.

    I feel like that about people. That they jut put up with me. That I’m the “extra grace required” girl. (someone actually told me that to my face once, and he was deadly serious. I try to make a joke out of it every now and then, but still.) I think people don’t like me when I don’t get replies on twitter. In highschool, one term in grade 9, I sat alone in a corner of the class because everyone decided they hated me. Someone tried to swap my name in a Kris Kringle gift exchange because I wasn’t worth a $5 gift. This happened at the front of the class for everyone to see.

    I grew up though, as people have a habit of doing, and still allowed people in. Again, like you, I threw myself fully into relationships. Note the past tense? Yeah. See, this is where we differ. You still do. I stopped letting people all the way in. I still love them dearly and completely, but I don’t let THEM close to me. Too many people turned on me, used my deepest hurts to hurt further or proved otherwise untrustworthy. I had pastors crush me. Church members humiliate me for no other reason but to use me as a scape goat for their own failings. The same person who called me an EGR person also said to my husband (who told me) “she’s the most closed off person I’ve ever met”. And it’s a sad truth that Jesus is another who I keep at arms reach. Along with everyone else. And the STUPID thing about it is that my heart is SCREAMING for intimate relationships. To have the guts to let people in; all the way in.

    Jesus is a patient woo-er, I’m coming to learn. His persistent love is so gentle in it’s wearing away of protective walls. I read 1 Timothy last night, and I found a new verse to love: “grace mixed with faith and love poured out over me and into me And all because of Jesus.” I just have to have a litle faith, and then his grace makes up the difference. Love you, girly. Really.

  40. I know exactly what you mean… I have been there but I had ADD and was made fun of it.
    Recently I felt unworthy to be a mother and wife. I almost took my life, because of my feeling unworthy. I know I am a child of God and I know that I am loved.

  41. AMEN! (and amen!)
    You’re loved more than you know…and by many that you’ve never seen face to face. We are sisters, you and I. (I’m much, MUCH, older!) And it wasn’t pencils, but lots of other stuff that was thrown at me…and it still hurts to remember it all.

    But there’s One who knows my painful secrets (and yours) and Loves us anyways. Perfectly. He cares like no other. He equips our husbands to meet our needs, watches our kids walk the halls at school, them drive down the road to go to work, to college, around the world to share His Word to those that don’t know the Name of Jesus.

    He tucks us in at night, dries our tears, holds us when we are all cried out.
    And He gives us courage to share our lives with other women who are hurting….so that they might realize the depth of His Great Love…and to trust Him with the scary, sad, and ugly parts of our lives.

    AMEN

  42. Amen, Angie! I echo your feelings. I often think people are doing the same to me–acting like they like me but not really. Makes it difficult to boldly follow Christ’s leading into exposing myself more fully. Blessings!

  43. Wow. I TOTALLY relate. I battle that internal dialogue on a daily basis. Thanks for being so open and honest and reminding me that I am not the only one!
    Oh, and I know we have never met but I have to chime in with the others and say I do think you are quite incredible. 🙂

  44. Thank you for writing. Thank you for sharing the hard stuff, the struggles. I am encouraged by reading your words.

  45. I have read and reread, and amazed over your post the last two days. I’ve poured over the comments and been moved time and again by the honesty and support in the stories shared. What continues to amaze me though, is how often our most tender weaknesses helps others find comfort for their wounds and commonality in our earthly afflictions… which leads them so swiftly to Jesus and then resulting STRENGTH!

    Amen, Angie! How you are being used in this community is truly a touch of God’s hand. How God uses all of the writers here, is His hand. Does anyone else see though, that the strongest reactions and healing seem to come when the writer dares to offer the most guarded aches of their soul? The ones we trust no human to share in, for fear of further hurt?

    I am tempted to leave my response end there, but feel compelled to follow your lead, Angie, and share. My wounds were different, but also deep. They were formed by growing up in an alcoholic home. I was trapped between uncertainty and anger at a time in life when there is no option to leave. My father drank, my mother became angry and then my mother drank, leaving me to often emotionally support myself and young sister. My relationship with God bloomed during these days of pain and doubt, but I previously always wondered why at such a tender age I was taken through such a trial.

    That is I wondered until August, 2010.

    My husband had begun drinking, more and more and more and then more. We were spiraling into a horrible pattern. He would drink and I would be angry. I would be angry and then he would drink. My darling daughter was three, just old enough to begin to really “live” what was happening. My son was three months. The weekend before I returned to work from maternity leave, the ugliness came to a head. With strength beyond my power, I left my husband. I was so fearful of my children growing up in the same turmoil, that leaving our ten-year marriage was not nearly as chilling.

    And do you know what happened? By the grace of God my husband quit drinking. Quit. Hasn’t drank since August of 2010. Praise God! Had He not given me that painful past, my husband would not have had the ultimate motive – saving our family – to quit. I needed to know that pain personally, to take His hand and step down a path that was my worst nightmare. God held me during those childhood times, and prepared me for a larger battle. And then He held us there too. By His grace my family is still together and by His grace I will find the strength to share the story with others in hopes that they too can find healing and peace.

    There is no doubt that God’s grace covers our weakness and pain and creates strength. AMEN, Angie! Amen and Thank you!

  46. I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from. One of my inner voices tells me that everyone just tolerates me because they really like my husband and want to spend time with him and I’m just part of that package. I can’t argue with them. My husband is one of THE most likable people you could ever run across. Me, not so much. I don’t think I will really never believe that I’m liked- even by my family. But thank God that there is ONE.

  47. Well, I am amazed to read this. (and honored to be in such good company.) I have often read Angie’s blog, or seen her twitpics of her hanging out with friends, her close group of girl friends, the blessings of her Bible study group, the pool ladies, and I have always been jealous. I have never had that kind of belonging. I have never had friends like that, never feel like people could love me that much, and I always feel so so lonely. My biggest struggle is that this feeling of not being liked also applies to the Lord in Heaven. No one here likes me, finds value in me, why would He? Worse, He’s the one who has designed my life to be friendless and for me to be the loser that I am. I honestly wonder if He just has it in for me. I pray that He would change my feelings and bring peace, and I feel comfort in the fact that others deal with this too.

    • Dear Anonymous,
      I had to share something with you that I hope will encourage you. When you wrote,
      “Worse, He’s the one who has designed my life to be friendless and for me to be the loser that I am. I honestly wonder if he just has it in for me.” I know exactly how you’re feeling there. I too have had to deal with what you said there and the one thing He’s shown me that I hope helps you is this…Jesus took me to the time when David was running from Saul’s hatred and jealousy. He showed me that in himself David had done absolutely nothing to merit Saul’s feelings and actions toward him, they were Saul’s own choice to do so. And He showed me that the people I was around were making their own choices to treat me in the ways they were treating me. That it had nothing at all to do with me and everything to do with them.
      He helped me realize that I was not responsible for their choices, only my responses to their choices, that I could pray for them that they would allow Him to do that work in their lives so they would stop being hurtful to others and show His love and grace instead of their flesh.
      I saw through this that it wasn’t that Jesus “has it in for me” but that it was a time for me to grow deeper in what He was calling me to, and, to be a part of the work He was wanting to do in those people’s lives who were constantly hurting me. I saw it as a blessing then because I saw how important I was to a work He was doing. I mattered. And that blew me away because I am an adult survivor of severe child abuse, and was always afraid of people because I thought THEY always had all the power. And Jesus was showing me that I have power, HIS power, to see beyond how they were treating me and how I was interpreting it to the true reality of it all. It doesn’t mean it stops hurting or disappointing but it does stop defeating and discouraging. He is allowing things in your life that will best grow you in Him and show you just how much you do matter to Him, how valuable to Him and His work here on this earth you are. I’ll be praying for you and I know He will comfort and illuminate and encourage you as He has me. Psalm 138:8 🙂

  48. WOW! It is amazing how God puts things or people in our lives at just the right moment. I learned of this site from a book that I have just started called “You’re Already Amazing” that a dear friend gave to me knowing of my struggles. I can so relate to Angie’s post. Will I ever be good enough, will they ever like me, what are they saying about me, why can’t I be in the “it” club, etc? It seems that it just goes on and on! I mean, when we get older we aren’t supposed to be worried about that kind of stuff, right? If only that were the case. I am praying that I will see myself as God sees me, but I have to cut through what I see first and let Him do some weeding. And trust me, that is a pretty thick wall to get through. A few weeks ago I was thinking of an old song that we used to sing when I was a kid….He’s still working on me, to make me what I oughta be, etc. It is so true! Our journey will not end until we are with Jesus in Heaven, but here on earth with His help it can be better than what we limit it to.

    Angie, thanks for your openness and letting God use you to be real to those that follow you.

  49. I totally get this.
    I battle it all the time.
    “You don’t belong anywhere, never have, never will. You are alone in this world.”

    That’s when I tuck my battered heart under the Father’s wing and remember I’m not home yet.

    Thank you Angie x

    Sheila

  50. So many writing “yes, I know that feeling” reminds me of something I heard in a recent BSF lecture. “Satan is crafty, but he’s not creative.” Clearly, we’re all hearing the same thing,. The father of lies only uses one manual, and it’s never been revised in all the years since the garden. There’s no new material to add. Kind of reminds me of when the local news reports there are swindlers going around the area trying to repave driveways or redo your roof. This is our letting the audience know, “Hey Christ sisters, just wanted to let you know of this scheme going around. Whatever you do, don’t open the door. He’s a swindler.”

  51. Amen!

    I want you to know that I not only like you, I love you. I also feel so thankful and blessed to have found you…. and guilty, too. My heart was pretty hard the day I read the post about you on a celebrity baby blog. I went to your site and read your words… felt your pain…

    Angie, only good things have happened to me since I learned of you. I was an angry person with a huge chip on my shoulder…. your words softened my heart and you helped show the way back to God. Your light was so bright… yours and Audrey’s… that everything changed.

    I don’t know how to say this… I feel so bad that it took something like your sweet Audrey to bring me back to God… but thankful… and blessed too… I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Your faith is such an inspiration…. thank you.

  52. Oh, gosh, Angie. Amen. I feel the same way you do with the voices all the time. I feel so alone and so unloved and so very unworthy. I don’t have many friends, I work from home and my actual best friend lives in Texas. It amazes me all the time when people like me and help me do things. I am glad, so glad, that you can be open and honest with us in your articles because they definitely speak to me and others more than a fluff filled piece about butterflies. It brings me peace to know that others suffer from the same things that I do but they get up every day and go on and worship the Lord. I know He has a plan for me and I know that I will fulfill it because I am His!

  53. Amen!

    Thank you for being so honest because you are most certainly not in the minority and I think it’s such a blessing when we can find comfort and community in someone else’s experience.

    And thank you for the reminder that even when I’m not sure that anyone likes me for me, I know my Jesus loves loves loves me for me.

  54. Sweet Lord! I am always shocked when I FINALLY sit down to read InCourage (after storing up the emails b/c I’m procrastinating for no good reason; and there are more unread InCourage emails in my inbox than personal ones b/c I can’t bring myself to delete a single one) and THIS one is WHY!!!
    Amen, amen and AMEN!!! That internal dialogue? Me too. Love too strongly? Me.TOO. Childhood stories of being bullied shared with a daughter named Abbie who then shares them with others at weird moments… ME.TOO. Being convinced that no one actually LIKES me.. just tolerates me then runs off to where the happy, pretty ppl are. ME. too. You get it. I sat here tearing up reading your words. Knowing that maybe if you feel that way…. maybe I’m not the only one. Maybe I’m not even wrong for loving so much. Maybe God used your heart to show mine that HIS is like ours and if it hurts to be tenderhearted maybe that’s better than letting the pain stop us from loving as much like Him as we can in the flesh.
    Thanks for not talking about butterflies… cuz your honesty put a few in my belly… and that’s way better.

  55. Amen! Exactly how I feel and I couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to write your story so that others like me can know we are not alone. God Bless!