Have you ever known you had a problem in your life but couldn’t identify the root cause of it?
I was born into Communism and grew up in a dry, unaffectionate home where even hugs were a rarity. I learned early on that I had to take care of myself. Whatever I needed help with, I had to figure out on my own. I learned to be independent and very self-sufficient as a child. Even though I grew up with two parents, I behaved like an orphan.
The core “orphan beliefs” are as follows: I am alone in this world. I have to take care of myself. I cannot trust other people to care for me. I am responsible for my survival. It is not safe to ask for help or expose my needs or weaknesses. There are only so many opportunities and resources to go around, so I have to take what I can get. Not knowing anything different, I thought that was the way of life.
After going through a series of traumatic events, I concluded that humans were evil and I didn’t need them. Some of the events included having two abortions that I told no one about for 25 years. For 25 years, I carried the shame and pain of those two secrets, and it was killing me inside.
I was also divorced two times as well as manipulated and taken advantage of by close friends on a few different occasions. They were people I should have been able to trust. I felt so much shame, guilt, condemnation, and pain from these events that I did not want to engage in any relationships or activities outside of work.
One day, my devoted Christian neighbor who tirelessly invited me to church with her for over five years asked me to go to church—again. I had always been afraid that God would be upset with me if I went to a church other than the denomination I grew up in, so I always declined her invite, but this time I decided to go.
I honestly didn’t care anymore if He got upset with me. I was so emotionally broken and desperate inside that I needed to do something. In my mind, I rationalized my conviction and thought to myself, “What’s the worst that can happen? He could kill me if He wants to, and if He does, at least I would be done living in this mess.” So I went to church.
I noticed right away that everyone there worshiped so freely. They sang with their hands up in the air, and some people even danced. I thought they were crazy, and I was very offended by the freedom that they expressed. Despite being offended, something deep inside me was brought to life that night. I cried for many months following that church service over nothing. My new-found friend explained to me that my tears were a result of the Holy Spirit doing a mighty work in me.
Shortly after that, I rededicated my life to the Lord at a Christian conference I attended. After waiting in line past midnight for prayer, God delivered me from smoking for 20 years, re-aligned every single bone in my body, and took all of my physical pain away. I had lived with back pain my whole life. I was born with a bone condition, and I had scoliosis.
That night, my entire bone structure got adjusted by God. My feet and arms evened out, my backbone straightened up, and my hips moved back into place. No one touched me while they prayed for me; God’s presence just fell on me as a result of their prayers. I felt heat and tingling as I was healed and delivered from smoking. It was in that very moment I decided to go on a quest of discovering this God who heals and loves.
After this big event took place in my life, I was at work one day, and I heard God audibly speak to me and tell me to go to the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. At first, I didn’t know it was God. I thought a man in my office had said that to me, but there was no one around. After that happened, I decided to quit my job, leave my house and my two dogs in the care of a friend, and go to Bethel in California for nine months.
To this day, I look back and wonder how in the world that happened. I strongly believe that the unbearable pain in my heart was enough for me to decide to do something drastic. Leaving my dogs (who I considered my kids) and my house was something completely out of my character and out of the ordinary for me to do. At the end of the day, all I really wanted to do was chase this God who cared so much about me and had healed me.
Let’s get back to how I discovered the root of the problem I was having and how others contributed to that discovery process. The pain I felt in my heart was a huge motivator that propelled me to search deep within. At the Ministry School, the first few things they talked about were God’s Presence, His unconditional love for us, and our identity.
I was clueless about what love was and that I had an identity in Him. The process at the school started with my identity transformation, from having an orphan mentality to understanding what being a child of God really meant. The core beliefs of a child of God are: I am unconditionally loved and accepted by my Father in Heaven. He will put me in situations that test my limits so I can grow and learn. I don’t have to be afraid of failure because it is part of learning. These core beliefs are summarized by Bob Hasson, but they are a perfect picture of the transformation process I went through.
Near the beginning of my first semester at school, I had a powerful encounter with Jesus during a worship service that started me on the path of discovering who He was, what His love for me looked like, and what it meant to have an identity in Him. In my encounter, I saw Jesus motion to me to come to Him. It seemed like He wanted to tell me something. I wanted to, and I was trying to get up and go to him, but nothing I did was working.
My arms felt numb, and I couldn’t move them. I asked Him what was happening and Jesus told me, “I want you to be not do.” After that encounter, it took me years of processing as well as many inner healing and SOZO sessions to figure out that I had been working for attention, affection, and love.
Having never known what love looked like, I thought that I needed to work for what I needed the most. I found out my identity is that I am the daughter of my King, and my Father loves me unconditionally. He wants my best even when I have no clue who I am or what I need.
We are all born for connection. We are wired in such a way that we need to be seen, heard, and to belong. I didn’t grow up with that, but it was something that I needed. When I was in an ocean of pain, betrayal, and mistrust, I was getting my needs met in all the wrong ways.
The title and the position I had at work were giving me a feeling of power and filled my needs to be seen, heard, and to belong. I had no boundaries; I was a workaholic and rarely said no to people and things that were hurting me. I ignored myself, my rest, and wellbeing for the sake of helping others as society had taught me that I had to help those around me and sacrifice for the person next to me.
Today, my Heavenly Father is giving me all the love I am willing to get from Him. He provides for me, meets all my needs, and gives me the desires of my heart. In return, I love Him as much as I know how, and I am willing to learn more about deeper love with Him. I have also learned how to love myself and others in a healthy way.
Setting healthy boundaries in that area looks like me saying: “I love myself so much that I take care of my heart and will not allow others to get in uninvited.” It is so freeing to love, be loved, and it is so wonderful to know our Heavenly Father intimately. All it takes is for us to say “yes” to the process that He wants to take us through and to stay in the process no matter how hard it gets as we push through it.
If we just stay the course and keep our focus on Him, He does the rest. I promise it is all worth it! I have been radically transformed because I was willing to give myself to the process that He wanted to take me through. To me, success is going through the process and pushing through; it is not the end result. Real success is found in the journey with Him.
Now it’s your turn. Are you willing to give Him your “yes” and then push through the process with Him?!
Written by Cami Pop, a contributor to Stories of Redemption
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on storiesofredemption.com
Featured Image by Suzanne D. Williams