Although I am not on the schedule for this weekend, I feel like God is asking me to process on a different level. I have been overwhelmed with the thoughts of the events that have impacted my life making me who I am today. As I have done so, I have come to realize that many of those events are not ones that I would have chosen. They were things that God has led me into in order to teach me, or strengthen me, or use me.
- My dad and my parent's divorce - My dad chose to disconnect from our family through alcohol and other women. He chose life on the road to life with his family. His choices cut deeper than he could possibly know - deeper than even I realized for a long time. I still struggle with fear of abandonment and self-esteem. (He is a father to the fatherless.)
- Making my faith real - I think from the time I accepted Christ, I have had a very real sense that it is not about religion. It is about outreach. It is about being Christ to who you are with, where you are, and sometimes going to places others would not go. I had to make some touch choices, choices that stood against the tide and weren't always popular even with my Christian friends. Some decisions led to hurt, but I know that in most I was obedient.(I can stand firm in the trails.)
- Troy - A hard lesson in finding my self-esteem in someone other than God. A lesson that in all honesty, I am still learning. The pain of a broken relationship that haunts me to this day. A near fatal blow to an already injured self. And yet, God was with me through it all. (He never leaves me or forsakes me.)
- Jonathan - I have always loved music and loved to sing, but I will be the first to admit that a music career has never been part of my future. But Jonathan allowed me an opportunity to participate in the worship choir at our former church. He taught me what it means to worship and to serve, and ultimately what it means to remain true to your character even when adversity can cost you everything. (I was watching.)
- Children - I could never have imagined how they would change me. They have taught me about self-sacrifice and unconditional love. They have shown me how to give of myself in ways I never thought possible and what it feels like to hurt for another as if the pain were my own. (I have seen the faith of a child.)
- Serbia - Where I finally came to the end of myself. The place where I realized that I had build up so many walls that I didn't even know who I was anymore. The place where God began to peel away my dragon scales and turn me back into the child that He created me to be. The place where I began to be vulnerable again. (He has a plan for me.)
Even on days when I feel like I haven't moved an inch from that scared little girl, I know that isn't true. Maybe I haven't gotten as far along the path as I would like, and maybe I still struggle with some of the same issues, but I know that I am not who I was. God has changed me and is continuing to change me from the inside out.
As I look at some potential changes in my life, I realize that I have some choices to make. I can choose to bury my feelings and hide who I truly am, or I can be honest and allow God to continue the growth he has begun in me. I can hide the pain and hurt, or I can be transparent. I can be a frightened child or a woman of God. I want to be the latter. I want to process all that God has for me and to grow. I want to be able to reflect on today and know that regardless of my circumstances God has a plan, and I am right in the center of His will.