Our good family friend, Joyce Meyer, tells how for many years as she was growing up, and in her own home, she was sexually abused. The horror is unimaginable. For years, Joyce wrestled with all kinds of physical, emotional, and spiritual issues. She felt intensely angry. She struggled. The issues began to control her…until she decided to let them go.

That is exactly how she describes it, too: she made a decision; she chose to let go of the anger and these issues. The freedom in that didn’t come overnight. Over time, God transformed her into a beautiful and powerful minister who is influencing the world with his good news. But the decision took one moment.

Sadly, there is a world of people facing issues like Joyce. They’ve grown up in dysfunctional homes and negative environments. Yet dysfunction is not rare and is nothing new. It began with the very first family mentioned in the Bible. Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, killed his brother, Abel. Rebecca greatly favored one son, Jacob, over his twin brother, Esau. Moses’s siblings had a problem with his wife, who was from a different ethnic background. King David’s son raped his stepsister Tamar. I could go on, but I won’t.

Maybe you are one of many who suffered as a child because of divorce, anger, poverty, abuse, incest, or an addiction that controlled your family. My heart goes out to you. More than that, God is full of compassion for you. Many people blame God for their pain, but the truth is he desires to take you into his loving arms and restore what people have stolen from you. He can heal the hurt, restore dignity, and actually use you to help make this world better.

Letting go means deciding to free yourself to be who God created you to be. It means saying, I refuse to let someone or some event determine my identity and self- worth. It means your negative upbringing does not disqualify you from living a blessed, fulfilling life.

It means joy can be yours.

Excerpt from You Are Made For More!