In 2010, I was back in therapy with the same therapist that I had been with during my original breakdown. I had gone because a friend said she didn’t think I realized how far I had come in the last 12 years. At the same time I was enrolled in a life writing class, I guess it’s not true that I didn’t know I wasn’t writing a book, I just thought that would be a long time from now.
One week God tried to get through to me with this summary of my life.
When your 18 year old mother decided she couldn’t handle you, a 3 week old with the 2 year old she already had, you were called.
When her sister at 21 was barren and took you as her own, you were called.
When your 19 year old mother lost the 3 year old and the 3 month old she had in a trailer fire, you were called.
When you buried the only mother you’d ever known at 8, you were called.
When you lived under the legalism of a brand new Christian in a Southern Baptist Church, you were called.
When you went to live with your birth mother, step father and 2 brothers, you were called.
When you suffered abuse after abuse, sexually, emotionally, physically, I was there.
When you went to live with your grandma to provide purpose, love and companionship, you were called.
When you met a non-believer and fell in love, you were called.
When you conceived out of wedlock, you were called.
When you suffered a crushing nervous breakdown at 24, you were called.
When you spent 13 months in therapy allowing me to make you whole, you were called.
You see, I created you exactly as you are supposed to be with exactly your story. I created you beautiful, amazing, wonderful and charismatic so you will draw people in and lead them to Me. You now know my voice, you will teach others and you will show them how to live in the valley of rest. Then I will be their Shepherd also.
My life sounds like it’s been riddled with tragedy but I choose to believe mine is a story of restoration. Most people that meet me would have no idea I’d had all these experiences, mostly people think, “I just like her.” I believe my rich history is what allows me to connect with people of many situational backgrounds.
Throughout this history I have learned many lessons along the way. I’ve learned that character is more important than anything else. I spend a lot of time with myself, 24 hours a day last I checked. If I am not living true to my character it’s no fun to be me. A few years ago I was working with my business coach, we came up with words that I believe characterize me. We came up with integrity, intentional, transparent, courage, woman of my word and agent of change. These words have helped me begin to see myself as I really am, called not just an accident.
I’ve also learned that everyone has a story. Mine is different than yours but our story affects how we see the world how we interact with others. I believe that we can choose to live out of our wounds, we all have them. If we do then we overact to small things, we have a limited amount of patience for others and we are waiting to be hurt again. Or we can choose to live out of our whole authentic self. When we do this we allow ourselves to heal from our wounds, we love well, we serve large and we become givers of life.
The final thing I’ve learned is that faith can move mountains. At many points in my journey I could have thrown up my hands and said this is too hard, I can’t do it, I’ll turn to drugs to get through the pain. I’ve discovered that you truly only need a mustard seed worth of faith. You have to take this day, and know that the prayers say give us THIS DAY our daily bread, be a light unto my feet. Neither of those are big picture prayers, they are prayers for a little bit of wisdom.