My Journey to Freedom
I did not grow up in a Christian home. My mother and father had their own battles of mental illness and substance abuse. I was taken away from my mom when I was a small child and placed in foster care and eventually went to live with my aunt. My childhood memories are filled with trauma, different forms of abuse and witnessing abuse, and confusion, with small amounts of Jesus sprinkled through. I grew up in a very small town where everyone knew everyone. When you are the child of the struggling single mom – you tend to take notice.
When I was 14, I was taken from my mother’s care to live with my aunt. She was an incredible woman and although she did not attend church, she was full of God. She encouraged me to go to church, youth group, and supported my involvement on the worship team.
I struggled with identity, self-worth, body image, and feeling loved. I had a high school boyfriend that I (thought I) loved. But I never quite felt good enough for him. He was the pastor’s son and we were on the worship team together … but I was never good enough. He deserved better and I deserved worse. We broke up time and time again without any real “reason,” which again solidified the thought that I just wasn’t good enough.
The theme of “not good enough” stayed with me throughout my life. I kept a solid mask to friends and people around me to appear like the “perfect church girl” but on the inside I never felt good enough. I knew the truth about what the Lord thought but I didn’t believe it. I was convinced if I looked a certain way, acted a certain way, was a certain size, or SOMETHING I would finally get approval and feel loved.
Fast forward ten years and my banner of “not good enough” was waving high as I walked the journey of an unexpected divorce and becoming a single mom of two small boys. My ex-husband made choices that took his heart away from the marriage and it felt like my heart was broken, dragged through the mud, and put on display for everyone to like and comment on thanks to social media. I felt broken, worthless, ugly, forgotten, confused, and lost. I had no idea how I could keep going.
But God . . .
Through a series of events, counseling, friendships, finding a church, and lots of prayer, I found myself walking in more confidence. I KNEW that I was loved. I knew that I was beautiful. God’s Word said it all and I was feeling it from His people around me.
I was invited to a coronation with other single mommas and women from Sisters of the Crown. They spoke incredible words over me, I walked down a red carpet, and a crown was placed on my head. I felt SEEN. Like God was looking down at His daughter and smiling that I finally accepted what He wanted to give me all this time: a new identity. An identity that was grounded in Him. Not in my relationship status or size or how well I am put together – but in Him. Because He is the King of Kings and I am His daughter – I am royalty. ROYALTY!
That night began a shift in my heart to not perform or fight for being good enough. I already am. And now.... Now I am walking in that freedom.
HRH Monica Rodriguez