For the next two weeks we will feature a different woman from #theFives as she shares her heart with us. In an attempt to break down walls and promote unity among women, we will uncover the real lives of those we haphazardly label and judge. Wanna grow in your own journey of loving without walls? Join #theFives HERE.
Here is the story of Jordan Thoms, whose addiction to cutting continued into Christian college:
“I think because of my experience in church growing up I had this idea that to be a Christian was to be perfect,” said Jordan, who learned to love Jesus as a child, but struggles to live up to the image of perfection she feels she needs to exude.
“Once I got into junior high I began dealing with depression and anxiety,” she said. “I still had this picture in my mind though, that my church expected perfection from me and I couldn’t show my struggles.”
The pressure mounted throughout her teen years, and she turned to cutting as a way to release the pent-up emotions — an addiction that continued as she pursued her passion for serving Christ by attending Bible College.
“I began cutting when I was 13 to deal with the emotions I was feeling, and on the outside I still could be the perfect Christian that everyone expected me to be,” she said.
The Bible College environment only amplified her emotions.
“I felt like everyone around me had these perfect lives, and they were everything I could not be,” she said. “It was very isolating for me. My depression got worse, my anxiety got worse, and I was cutting more often.”
Ultimately, the addiction masked Jordan’s unique gifts and contributions to the Body of Christ.
“I am really patient with people, and I have a really big heart,” she said. “I have struggled and I have made mistakes, and I think that has made me love people more.”
She said it is important for people within the church to learn that we all are broken, which is the reason we need Jesus.
“I don’t think that Jesus came to earth to create robots, but to give us life abundantly,” she said. “I want others to know that no matter what they struggle with or have struggled with that they can find the same freedom in Jesus that I have found. I want to use my experiences to break down walls, especially among women.”
Jordan said it is important to have friends to share life with, and friends should be people who enjoy time together, but also are able to be honest about their own struggles and imperfections.
“What I wish I could share with other believers is that you are not defined by your mistakes,” she said. “Jesus gives freedom like you could not believe. If you are struggling with mental illness or any type of addiction like I was with cutting, God still loves you and you are so valuable to Him. Your story is special. I know that it is hard, but God uses our biggest struggles for His glory.”
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Share your story below.
We hope you can #findyourtribe here with us.
*All stories featured in the#FindYourTribe series were collected and written by Sarah Gooding. We love her so.
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