Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Break the Tape: You are Damaged Goods

Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape.  Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place. 
Meet JoAnne.  I am just getting to know this lady, but what I do know is that she is sweet and full of life and oh-so-dedicated to walking a life that is defined by Christ.  She pours out her heart in this piece and I am thankful that she is willing to share her journey with us.  You will be blessed by her words.
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I knew it was wrong when I did it. Good girls didn't, Mother said, but I did, and she found out. Oh, I heard all my mother's warnings, all right, even the unspoken ones, but ignored them.  In reaching for what looked like excitement and freedom, I gave away my treasured purity and would never get it back.  Afterward, I left her little to say except to declare the cost of my sin:

“Now you are damaged goods.  No one will ever want you.”

I don't blame her. Her words came from wounded disappointment, not from malice, but the tape, once recorded, had no mercy.  It began to play and didn't stop.

I heard it when I broke up with that first young man.  I heard it every time a date wanted more than I knew I should give.  I heard it on the day I consented to a loveless marriage.  I heard it when I divorced and remarried, and again and again when I feared weight gain or wrinkles or the demands of children.  I could never trust or relax.  I had to stay smart and pretty and...available.

“You are damaged.  No one... no one... no one will want you.”

The tape played until it shredded and fell into ashes, the remnants of a young girl's dream of love.  I carried its dread into every relationship, every conversation, like blackened rubble from a fire I lit long ago with my own hands.

Then one day, a fresh breath stirred and with it, I heard a new voice:
Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
The Lord has anointed bestow on [you] a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
Your Maker is your husband.  The Lord Almighty is His Name.
I have loved you with an everlasting love...I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt.
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.*

And there He stood, wounded like me, but shining, truly free, and offering in His hand a clean white garment. 

Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.**

What I did was wrong.  Standing next to Christ, I know it now more than ever.  But I can stand.  Not because I am good, but because He is.  Not because I love well, but because He does. 

And He wants me.  Today, forever, and unchanging.

No tape plays any more.  Instead, I hear Christ's constant promise borne daily on whispered breath.  I hear it, now familiar but never old, with relief.  His promise daily heals, redirects, and strengthens.  It, and He, have never failed.  And to that promise, I daily reply, “I love you, too.”

*Isaiah 44:22, Isaiah 61:1,3, Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 31:3-4, Isaiah 62:3
**Song of Solomon 2:10
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Do you want to read more of JoAnne?  Of course you do!  Find her at
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Linking with Emily for Imperfect ProseJennifer for God Bumps, and Shanda for On My Heart.


  1. Now this is a perfect freedom message for July 4.
    Thanks you, JoAnne.

  2. Thank you, Glenda. And thank you, Jen, for this.

  3. "And to that promise, I daily reply, “I love you, too.” Yes, and amen. How amazing is His love! Thank you for this wonderful post!

  4. Thank you Jen and JoAnne for sharing. I agree with Glenda. A perfect freedom message. Beautifully shows the tenderness, truth, and love of Christ.

  5. Mrs.P, the childlike freshness of your faith is always such a great reminder of God's constant promise. "His promise daily heals, redirects and strengths." Amen.

    It's worth getting to know JoAnne more! She is one of the most refreshing people and one of my closest friends.

    1. And you, Sam, are one of the Lord's uncounted, unearned sweet gifts.

  6. oh, Joanne, tears in my eyes as I read this. just beautiful!

  7. Joanne, such a gracious post. Add my hand to your circle! So glad am in the group you are in - I look forward to reading your blog...

  8. Thanks for the story and a reminder to me to break the tape. This is beautiful!!!

  9. Thank you, Joanne, for sharing your beautiful love story with God, and how He set you free!

    In His love,
    Dolly at

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  11. 'But I can stand. Not because I am good, but because He is.' That's beautiful truth. Beautiful truth.

  12. yes yes yes! I can stand :) love this


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