So, I think I’m ready to talk me. It’s been building up inside of me, and tonight it’s all ready to come out. For a lot of my life, I have struggled with insecurity, fears, and doubts on all levels. Thankfully, I was blessed with a big stubborn streak, which I think God used to protect me from all kinds of trouble that I would have otherwise fallen into as a teenager. I was holding tight to too much pain to have been able to resist much of what was offered but for the fact that I was stubborn, extremely stubborn. So, although I was extremely introverted, carried deep hurt and was without friends as a middle school and early high-schooler, I was very determined to keep my head above the fray, and go the lonely way. Somehow, I early on sensed peoples motives and true intentions. I quickly saw that boys looked at my body, not my face and definitely not my heart and that made me angry. I had tons of crushes, no doubt about that, but they weren’t going anywhere. I was afraid, afraid of life, afraid of people, afraid of myself, afraid to trust again. Too much death, suffering, and just plain crap had happened too early in my life and I was walking wounded.
It took the love of Jesus to carry me through. In the dark nights, when I thought I was lost and all I could do was sob, heartbroken and crushed, His light came and He held me close. I knew His presence. For this I will be ever grateful and ever faithful. He brought me women (starting in high school) that I will always thank God for; for through them He showed me His face, His love, and His acceptance of me. People looked deeper than my fear and insecurities, took a chance, saw my heart and believed in me. I walked away from fear and grew in courage. I started to blossom and then I bloomed. Flower’s face to the sun; I then met the man who would become my husband.
This was about 8 years ago or so. I am a different person in so many ways. I live in eastern DRC with my little girls, and if that doesn’t say something about the changes, I don’t know what would. But I’ll be honest in saying that I still carried a deep need to please people. And God knew. He knew how I needed this rooted out, to let my fear of failure, of what someone might say about me, come to full light so I might fully be used by Him and become truly who I am. And this is what He did last year. I didn’t see it at first. All I saw was how crushed I was, how angry and betrayed I felt. I didn’t see the glory and the good, for the pain. I was swallowed by it, and couldn’t see the light. I couldn’t see God. I could only see me.
Now I see it and I see God. Now I see how He used what happened to me for His glory, for my good and I thank God again for what He has done in my heart as a result. I think of Jesus often, how He was unjustly accused, yet He said love. Love your enemies. Love, forgive, love, forgive. So, I forgive and I pray for love, because He loved me, because He forgave me. And more. I am free. I am free from being chained to the opinions of others. Yes, someone I respected wronged me. They said things about me that were untrue and unjustified, with no remorse. Yet. God. Today, I am no longer afraid. I find that now I am beginning to care only for what God thinks of me. He alone knows my heart in its ugliness and beauty, in all its brokenness and redemption. He knows my motives and my thoughts. The approval or censure of others, they no longer shackle me. I find myself less afraid to speak my mind. To share what I think about things like my faith, ethics in adoption, violence, poverty, dependence, evil, faith, doubt, and God. Today, I find that I am extremely thankful for what happened to me at the end of last year. Today I thank God because I am wiser and humbler. And, I am no longer afraid. The worst was done and I survived. In fact, I am stronger and God is bigger and more real than ever before. And this week, I found myself laughing about it! How thankful I am!