My father left, my step-father neglected me and my husband told me I was inadequate—I spent my life trying to prove that I had value.

I used to tell people that my real dad’s absence in my life didn’t affect me because “how can you miss someone you’ve never known?” Maybe that would have been true if I had another sincere father figure in my life. I didn’t, and I would come to learn that his absence did affect me, so much so that all my actions centered around it.

In my mid-twenties I was exhausted from carrying the weight of my heartbreak. I was divorcing a man who emotionally abused me, who had convinced me to step away from my faith, and on at least two occasions put drugs in my food “just to see how I would respond.” I spent the next five years in overdrive, hoping that someone would somehow see me as valuable. At work, in relationships and in friendships, nothing was ever good enough—I always needed more.

Overwhelmed and isolated, I finally hit rock bottom when I lost my house, my job and another relationship. I was thirty years old, with almost nothing left, and moving back in with my mother.There’s really no place like rock bottom when God is ready to reveal himself!

I began attending church again, and though it wasn’t easy, I started to release some of my perceived control over my life. I can remember where I was the night that God showed me the truth. “It was for me! It was only for me!” I kept saying. All along, I was only trying to prove to myself that I have value, and the emptiness I felt came from God’s absence in my life. At that moment the weight of my heartbreak lifted!

Over time, God showed me that He is the Father I need, He gives me value and He is my only source for strength, peace and hope. More and more I stopped trying to fix myself, and God showed up! He gave me a job that I enjoy! He provides for me when it seems the funds have run out. He restored my relationship! I’m now married to a man who—not only loves and cherishes me—he tells me he does daily and treats me with respect! For the first time in a very long time, I feel content. God has filled the voids in my life, He’s healed my broken heart, and He’s given me hope!

Without Him, I was disillusioned and hopeless. But with Him, even during difficult situations, I am victorious! Where I used to worry myself to sleep every night, I rest easily knowing that He is in control. Having an intimate relationship with Jesus has allowed me to live this life with hope and live it in abundance! God placed in me a desire for healthy relationships, but where I am lacking, He is always the source. He delights in every detail of my life. I am so thankful that He provides even for my emotional needs.

Now I know that I am a reflection of His BeLoved son Jesus—and who can call Jesus “inadequate”?