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Abuse

The Lies I Believed and the Message that Changed My Life

Sydney Pritchard

December 01, 2020 | 4 minute read

“You are too much.”

“Something is wrong with you.”

“You are unlovable.”

“You will always scare people away.”

“You aren’t worth much of anything in the eyes of others.”

For many years, it seemed as if my experiences continued to confirm these messages I had been taught when I was young.

Growing up, I didn’t seem to fit in anywhere. I walked into my middle school years dealing with trauma from my childhood that I didn’t yet understand, and even worse, neither did those around me. When I was in 5th grade, my biological father made the decision to give up full parental rights to my sister and me. After 10 years of abuse in his home and what then became abandonment, the stain of rejection and unworthiness seemed to follow me everywhere I went.

Then I heard a new message.

One day I was at a church group/hangout for middle school kids where I heard about I Am Second for the first time. I noticed a giant bag of wristbands being handed around the room. I got to snatch the last pink wristband in the bag. “I AM SECOND” it read. I slid it on to my wrist and admired the words. I didn’t realize that this was the first of many moments throughout my life that I Am Second would significantly influence and impact my journey with the Lord.

I was in 7th grade when I Am Second began to take off. People from all parts of my life began sending me I Am Second videos saying, “Look at this!” “You have to watch this!” “You’re not gonna believe this!” Video after video, I watched as I Am Second ran to and embraced the brokenness of people all around the world. This was a foreign concept to me.

For 3 years, I watched a consistent message in I Am Second films: We all fall short. Your brokenness is welcome here, your pain is welcome here. Your pain and your imperfection does not scare the Lord or disqualify you from His plan. No! Your pain will be the exact way the Lord uses your story to bring beauty from ashes, glory to His name and healing and encouragement to the lives of the people around you.

One of the biggest moments of my life was the day I watched Lecrae’s White Chair Film during my sophomore year of high school. Lecrae was someone I really admired and looked up to and still very much do today. His music meant a lot to me because it was something I related to. I knew every lyric to all of his music and when I found out that I Am Second was coming out with his film, I could not have been more excited!

As a kid and teenager, I always lived with the fear that one day God would stop loving me the same way my own father did. I knew the Lord loved me, but I feared that one day, my sin would be too great for Him to stick around and continue to love me. As I watched Lecrae’s film, something new clicked within me. For the first time, I believed it and truly felt it:

Jesus loved me and adored me. He has always provided for me and will continue to, no matter what. I would never be too broken, too messed up, or too much for him. My sin and my flaws were NOT too much for him. I was chosen by Him, crafted by Him, and could be used by Him.

The next year, the Lord impressed it on my heart to start a blog. I posted online and began to share about my imperfections and I began sharing my testimony. I began talking about where the Lord was in the midst of my pain, what He was teaching me and how He was redeeming and restoring my situations.

I would have never imagined that what I thought might relate to one or two people would end up relating to thousands. In 6 months, over 50,000 people had read my blog. Messages, DMs, and emails began flooding in - all from people who had experienced similar things, felt alone, felt disqualified from the plans the Lord had for them and were craving the fullness of love that only the Lord could provide. The Lord used this to spark the growth of my blog and social media platforms in ways I would have never imagined. Over 6 years, these platforms have opened up opportunities that have allowed me to speak into the lives of over 300,000 people all over the world.

And it all started the day I got my first pink wristband.

The Lord took this awkward, damaged middle school girl, whose least favorite and gifted subject was English and Writing, and equipped and qualified her to share His love to the people around her who needed it most. It’s been a tough, flawed, yet, beautiful journey - one that would have never been possible without the influence of I Am Second. Growing up in a media driven society, I Am Second met me where I was and that was online.

Through their films, they spoke invaluable truth that gave me the courage and understanding of Jesus that I needed to fully walk into the calling that the Lord had for me. I Am Second goes beyond what any other church or ministry is doing online. They boldly address controversial issues and share stories of others that meet people where they are; stories shared by people in the depths of their pits and at the peak of unimaginable pain who continue to say,

“but God is stronger, bigger, and more mighty than any circumstance, sin, or struggle that I face. He loves you, He is faithful, and He has plans for your life and your pain that will outweigh and overshadow anything that has or will come against you.”

Making a donation to I Am Second this #GivingTuesday isn’t just about making a donation to a nonprofit. It’s an investment in reaching and fostering the growth of people like me - the lost and broken - by sharing the truth of the Gospel and empowering the lives of the unlikely through the powerful love of Jesus Christ. This #GivingTuesday, I ask you to partner with me in equipping I Am Second to impact the lives of millions for many years to come!

 
Sydney Pritchard

Sydney Pritchard

Sydney is a blogger, speaker, and social media influencer from Dallas, TX. She is the Founder of GGCE, a consulting company for creative and digital media services that strengthens and equips nonprofits, churches, and small businesses across DFW. She’s passionate about partnering with faith leaders across the US to share the gospel online, lead the next generation in biblical truth, and give a voice to those who don’t have one. @sydney_pritchard

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