Surrender

Over the past few days (longer if I really think about it), I’ve had many people tell me about how this blog, these writings, my story has helped them as they deal with their own histories of abuse, their own suffering and how they have been encouraged or even inspired. I am in awe of this – what an amazing privilege for God to use my suffering and my wounds to heal and comfort others!

I haven’t always felt this way. Even in some of my more happy moments, I’ve been somewhat discontent with the calling to speak out, to share my story and to encourage and support others who have been through similar traumas. I’ve had many arguments with God, wrestling with him over this calling. And I’ve tried to run from it – but what I am discovering is that God has made me a certain way, with certain gifts and abilities, and my joy comes from using those gifts. I am most fulfilled, most at peace, most at joy when I live into this calling. I can’t run away from it!

And so, in the past weeks, I’ve decided to embrace this calling and tackle it head on. the journey ahead is a long one and there are a few hurdles along the way. But I am going to work towards a PhD in clinical psychology, drawing upon my personal experiences and theological training, to work with women and children (and their families) as they recover from sexual abuse and to walk alongside them as they find their voice, either in a court of law or in speaking out in another venue. I’ve talked about my recent epiphany that the world is my oyster, and I still hold the desire to go to Africa. Lately I have been thinking about how privileged I am to have services that have helped me heal and, for the most part, been able to benefit financially from our government. Many countries do not have this kind of support, many women around the world are not given the opportunity to address abuse they’ve experienced head on as I have been able to. I think it would be awesome to be able to take what I have learned and to gain further skills and knowledge to be able to transfer it others in countries where such opportunities are lacking.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much joy and beauty there is in finally being able to surrender my life to God! I mean, I have done this before – but it’s only ever been parts of my life. I’ve never been able to embrace this calling fully and to accept the suffering I have endured. This is new for me. And I feel so incredibly joyful and at peace – I know a depth of God’s love that I have never known before. Life is amazing and beautiful and wonderful. Hard and full of struggles, yes. But beautiful nonetheless. I cannot fully put into words how awesome this phase is in my life. As I talk with friends going through a rough time, I long so deeply for them to reach this point too because it truly is amazing… yet I know that such healing comes from hard work, struggle and surrendering to God, a process that has taken me years and honestly I think will continue until the day I die. My life is full – overflowing even – and I am full of love. Thanks be to God indeed!

I’ve been listening to a song by Leonard Cohen – If it be your will. To me, it speaks of total surrender. And so today, I say, If it be your will, I will do it with all my heart, soul, strength and mind.

If it be your will

That I speak no more

And my voice be still

As it was before

I will speak no more

I shall abide until

I am spoken for

If it be your will

If it be your will

that a voice be true

from this broken hill

I will sing to you

From this broken hill

All your praise they shall ring

If it be your will

To let me sing

 

If it be your will

If there is a choice

Let the rivers fill

Let the hills rejoice

Let your mercy spill

On all these burning hearts in hell

If it be your will

To make us well

 

And draw us near

and bind us tight

All your children here

in their rags of light

In our rags ligth

all dressed to kill

and end this night

if it be your will

 

If it be your will

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