Lately I have felt the Lord impressing upon me to start a ministry that reaches out to young girls who are hurting, lost, feeling worthless, making poor life decisions, and that are just in need of someone in their lives that will show them real love. I have had this impression before, but I wasn’t really sure of how to go about doing it and wasn’t sure if I could do it. But again I feel the Lord urging me to reach out. I have a heart for this because it is something that I know to be very real, as I once was this young girl. I won’t go into all the details, but let me take just a few moments to share a bit of my story.
I grew up in a Christian home, with a Mom, a Dad, a sister, and a brother. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old, and my mother remarried when I was 7 years old. My Mom taught us a lot about Jesus and His love, and she took us to church and Sunday school. I believed in God, and loved Jesus, but I didn’t really commit to living for Him until I was a young adult. During my teenage years, I didn’t have the best self-esteem (although if you were to ask the teenage Jaclyn, she would probably tell you different). I was insecure about myself and who I was. I wanted to be loved and liked by others, so I put on a lot of fronts. I had boyfriend after boyfriend. I had a smart mouth was quick to fire off at any given time. I had walls that were quick to go up if I felt that I might get hurt, and I was easily influenced by my surroundings. I gave myself away, and I didn’t even try to stand firm in the “real Jaclyn.” The “teenage Jaclyn” was whoever she felt that the person she was with wanted her to be. That lead to a lot of hurt, destructive ways, and emptiness. I made a lot of poor life decisions, and some have caused a lot of hurt in my life even after my teen years. I have a lot of emotional scars that are a result of these poor life decisions.
It wasn’t until a couple of years after giving birth to my daughter that I really gave myself over to Christ. My life hasn’t been the same since. He has made me new, and He has shown me what real love is. Real love is not found in doing anything to keep a boyfriend. It is not found in putting yourself to the side so that you can be who you feel that your surroundings want you to be. Real & true love is found in Jesus Christ. I found that the void in my life that I was trying so desperately to fill with boys, drugs, alcohol, attitude, and other destructive things could only be filled with Jesus. Jesus was what I was missing in my life. (There is a huge difference in believing in Him & really surrendering your life to Him.)
This is so very near to my heart, because I know what it feels like to be the girl who doesn’t really know who she is. I know what it’s like to be the girl who will do & try anything just to fit in and feel accepted. I know what it’s like to cry in your secret place, because you don’t like who you are becoming. I know what it’s like to want to know what real love is, but looks for it in all the wrong places. I know what it’s like to hurt inside, and yet put on a happy face on the outside.
I also know what it’s like to experience a love like no other. I know what it’s like to find the place where you belong. I know what it’s like to be able to feel secure in who you are. I know what it’s like to be able to let go of the old self and embrace the new self. I know what it’s like to receive grace and mercy. I know these things now, because Jesus Christ revealed Himself to me. He took a hold of me & my life, and He hasn’t let go. He is continually doing a good work in me, and He is continually showing me what real love is.
I want to share this with young girls who still haven’t experienced the love of Christ. I want them to know how precious & valuable they are to Him. They have worth, and they are loved. There is redemption, grace, mercy, hope, and love in Christ. I want them to know that they don’t have to throw away who they are, just for the sake of feeling accepted. True acceptance is found in Christ.
So, I share all this to also share that I formed a group on Facebook called “I Am Worth It.” This is a place where girls can share their hurts, pain, frustrations. A place where they can be encouraged and loved. A place where they can hopefully see the love of Christ, and know they are worth it. There is no hurt too much for Him. There is no darkness too dark for Him. And there are no limits to how far He will go to reach us. We are all precious to Him, and He wants to lavish us with His love.
“…You are of more value than many sparrows.” ~Luke 12:7