“I am not the person that I once was.”
I am sure most of you can identify with this statement. The events of this week have been a powerful reminder of God’s power and what He can do in one person’s life.
In order to share all of the joy with you, I need to go back a little bit in my story and share some of the suffering in order for you to understand the significance of all of this.
Who I thought I was, who I’m sure I’ve portrayed to people over the past 7 years is a lie. I allowed one person, one situation, one lie to control me for nearly a decade. In order to respect other people’s privacy I won’t go into great detail or name names. But I can say this: In the summer of 2003 I found myself desperate for something more in life. I knew the place I was living, the dating relationship I was in, the people I surrounded myself with and even the church I was starting to attend were not healthy. I felt a deep longing for something more… Yet I couldn’t find the strength to leave my situation and fill my life back up with life-giving joy and purpose. I felt trapped.
One night that summer I locked myself into my kitchen pantry. I needed a place to hide, to feel safe from abuse (physically and emotionally), somewhere I could feel in control. I realized this week that (theoretically) for the next seven years I hid in that closet, afraid to come out and face my fears.
Seven years ago today, July 31st, I lost my voice. I was told it didn’t matter and wasn’t important enough to be heard. I lost all control…and I would stay in that place for years to come.
I had no idea what beauty would come out of the ashes of my life…
(to read part two of this story go here)