Dread to Joy: A Quiet Transformation HN Blog
Hard as Nails Ministries
Dread to Joy: A Quiet Transformation

Dread to Joy: A Quiet Transformation

By:  Mission Team May 3, 2021

“When you arrived here, you were a corpse.” Ouch!

We were having a meeting about two thirds of the way through the year. One of the staff members looked at me during the meeting and that’s when he told me this: I was a corpse when I first came to Hard as Nails. He then added that I had gained JOY since being here. The staff and my fellow teammates could see a change in me that had taken place in the past six to seven months. They saw that I had joy.

So to go back to the beginning, I arrived at Hard as Nails in August 2019. When I arrived, I hardly spoke and was very quiet. This was how I always was when I was in a new group of people. I was shy, nervous, and didn’t know what to say. Most of the time, people wouldn’t approach me and I wouldn’t approach them. When people would talk to me, I would answer in the fewest words possible. It wasn’t because I didn’t like them or want to talk but because I was uncomfortable and didn’t know how to act or what to say.

When I started at Hard as Nails, I had no purpose in my life. I had no joy, just fleeting moments of happiness. I was depressed, and I was hurting a ton.

I was struggling with who I was, lots of self-hatred, low self-esteem, and a lack of confidence. I was lonely and didn’t know my worth. I didn’t know God personally. I was also struggling with a recent traumatic experience in my life.

These things caused me to not really look people in the eyes. If I did look them in the eye, I quickly broke eye contact because I was uncomfortable. I spoke in a quiet tone, sometimes barely audible. I rarely gave my opinion because I was afraid that people would reject me for my opinions and beliefs, and I was also afraid that I would hurt them.

I struggled to be authentic with others about what I was going through. I wasn’t able to reach out to others for help when I was struggling. But Hard as Nails was different. The people there approached me and would ask me questions. They took the time to invest in me and to get to know me. They accepted me for who I was, and they didn’t let my shyness stop them from reaching out to talk with me.

I was challenged so much last year to hold that eye contact. But it was because it was so much deeper than just not looking someone in the eyes. It went back to my self-worth and how I saw myself. I was challenged to stop putting my head down and to hold my head up because I had worth and dignity that I need to accept about myself.

I was also shown in a special way that I was beautiful and I had purpose. I had people invest in me in a way that no one had ever done before. They spoke truth to me and told me that I mattered. They cared for me in a way that no one had ever cared for me. They loved me when I didn’t love myself. They loved me unconditionally.

I was even given a structured prayer time and was able to grow in my faith life in a way that I never would have been able to.

Being here at Hard as Nails, I was accepted for who I was with all of my weird quirks, my gifts, and my struggles. I wasn’t made fun of for what I was going through. I was never seen as a burden because of my struggles, even if they inconvenienced the people around me. I was accepted for who I was, I was encouraged through my insecurities, and I was loved unconditionally.

My healing has come gradually. It has come with me being able to hold my head up and look people in the eyes. It has come with me realizing that I was created for a specific purpose at this very moment in history. It has come by my self-hatred not being as intense and in learning that my worth is not in what I do, but to whom I belong: God.

It has come in the confidence I have gained. I am able to vocalize more about what is going on in my life or just my opinion on a topic. I can do crazy things and not worry about being judged. I can be me without being made fun of or told that I am fake for being myself. Even just simple things like making a joke or a comeback about something.

I have learned that I need community and that I need people to talk to about what I am going through and to hold me accountable.

A year and a half after coming to Hard as Nails, who am I?

I am still quiet, but I am confident. I am still struggling, but I can hold my head up. I am still reserved, but I can join in crazy things. I am still self-contained, but I am learning how to swallow my pride and ask for help. I am a Child of God!

Photo Credits:

About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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