Branded. Broken. Beautiful.
Guest Contributor: Itamar Marquez
Branded. There is a popular saying which suggests that sticks and stones break bones, but words will never hurt. Words do hurt. In fact, they can destroy. I was a victim of bullying. The people who hurt me the most were my very own peers and leaders in the church I grew up in. A place where you are supposed to love your brothers and sisters in Christ and build each other up. I was being teared down
with their hurtful words and actions.
“you are timid”, “you are not worthy”, “you are not pretty enough, talented enough”, “you don’t matter”, “you are not loved”...these are the labels that created a brand deep within my heart.
Broken. This led to my brokenness inside, and it reflected outside. I stopped attending the youth ministry. The youth pastor, at the time, did not help at all. He was at the forefront of the bullying and tearing down of my soul. This affected my body and spirit. I gave up on serving in ministry all together. On Sundays, I would sit in the back pew and messages would enter one ear and leave the other. I was
numb and didn’t want to speak to anyone. I just went through the motions and engaged in things that I am not proud of. Hurt people, hurt people. Bitterness led me to burn many bridges and isolate myself. As time went on, I had low self-confidence, anxiety, fearfulness, depression, and no friends.
Until one day, I decided to leave that congregation and go somewhere where I could heal. Through my journey, I strengthened my relationship with God through His Word and prayer. He began healing me and mending all the broken pieces little by little.
He calls me: Chosen, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Free, Courageous, Loved, Daughter of the King!
Beautiful. Years have passed. All is forgiven but not forgotten. Like a broken vase put together again, there are still visible signs that brokenness occurred. These scars are evidence of brokenness turned into a beautiful story of healing. A testimony for all those who remain trapped behind invisible emotional bars. It is a story of freedom and hope that there is a Healer who is waiting with open arms. He longs to heal you, free you, and restore you. No matter what hurtful words have been spoken to you, God says to you right now…
You are Chosen: Deuteronomy 14:2
You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Psalm 139:14
You are Free: John 8:36
You are Courageous: Philippians 4:13
You are Loved: Colossians 3:12
You are a Child of God: Galatians 3:26
God is still working in me and molding me each day. He can do the same for you.
“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
“And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23
About Itamar Marquez: Itamar was born in Massachusetts. At the age of 9, she moved to central Florida with her family and grew up serving at her local church in different capacities. Her passions include teaching, expressive arts, and missions. At the moment, she lives in Texas where she serves in ministry to the community by providing education to children with dyslexia and learning disorders. She also serves in her church with the kids ministry and missions.