Posted in book, faith

Out of the River, Onto the Raft – Purpose in Life

My “Heart” Bible

I’ve divided the rest of the book into 5 parts: An All About Me, Meet my Mom of the Last 3 Years, Unveiling the Mirror of My Life, My Relationship with my Mom before August 2016, and Lessons I Learned Along the Way.

Your palms are sweating. Your heart is beating out of your chest. Your stomach is doing flip flops.

“Sit down,” demanded your professor.

Your professor has asked you to come to his office to speak to you.

So, you obediently sit down on a chair while your mind is racing. Because you don’t know what you did to cause this meeting.

You had just finished your first classes to be a teacher and your first observation in a classroom. You’re confused about what you did while in the class with the first and second graders.

“When you shared your past, the rest of the class didn’t know how to talk to you afterward,” uttered my professor.

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;”
Psalm 9:10

You put your trust in the class when you shared my past with them. The rest of the students in your class didn’t trust the fact that they could just speak to you as though you’re a regular person.

So, what about your past did you share with your class? You told them one of the reasons you want to become a teacher was because you had had been physically abused by your father.

That person was me. I was told by my professor that I shouldn’t share my story because it scared other people in my class. They didn’t know how to respond to my sharing. Instead of speaking to me, they went to the professor who called me into the office, like I was a student in trouble with the principal just for sharing my past.

None of my teachers was my hero, while the whole ordeal was going on in my life. Perhaps I was going to be a kid’s hero. I knew that I wasn’t going to save all the children.

Even though at that moment, I felt as though God had forsaken me. I couldn’t be my authentic self.

“For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
Psalm 9:10.

For the next 20 years, I was very selective about who I told the story of my past because I thought I was going to be judged. Through it all, God stayed by my side, preparing me for his plans for me. He did not forsake me.

It was not until my mom died in early October that I felt like I could be my authentic self. I knew that it was time to tell my story. God began to let me know his plans for me. It is up for me to believe him.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 29: 11.

Over the years, he has given me an inkling of what his plans are for me. He has since whispered, “Write.”

While I sleep, I dream of new towns with people I have never met.  When I wake up in the middle of the night and on long car rides, I create blog posts in my mind never to recreate them when I’m awake. I invent stories about people I observe when I’m people watching while out and about.

When I write, I often get caught up in the grammar and does it sound right which causes my writing to be stilted instead of being inspiring. (At least it does to me.) However, I need just to sit and write and later worry about revising and editing.

“Plans to prosper you and not harm you,”
Jeremiah 29:11

I’ve shared more of my writing in the last few months, along with the story of my life. Many people have been shocked when I tell them the truth since I’m becoming more authentic. They can’t really get to know me when I just say, “I’m okay.”

It’s as though I’m being Instagram fake. My life may look as though it is “perfect” even though I’m walking through valleys right now. No one’s life is truly perfect. It’s messy, especially if you are truly living.

Some of my stories have been shared with various people in my life. God has worked his magic by talking through those people. “Write. You need to write and share your stories.”

“Your writing is going to help someone. Someone who you’ve never met and may never meet. It’s going to be your legacy. Listen to me,” God is saying through them.

“Plans to give you hope and a future.”
 Jeremiah 29:11

Even though I’m trying to follow what the Lord is telling me to do, there is still some self-doubt because of what I was told 22 years ago. “People don’t know how to talk to you after learning about your tragic past.”

If I could talk to that professor, I would reply, “You talk to me like a person.”

Just because I have suffered through circumstances that would make a person cry, it’s only part of my story. It does not define me. However, it is what makes up part of my personality and character.

What the professor didn’t know was that the abuse made me a stronger person. While in my 20’s, I had the drive to graduate from college. I was bound and determined to be the first member of my family to earn my bachelor’s degree. I was working full-time at McDonald’s so that I could afford to go to college. I didn’t let that part of my story become an excuse. Instead, it gave me a reason to be successful.

My father had just died that past November, so I felt as though that weight had been lifted off my shoulder. Right before he died, I wanted to travel to Pittsburgh for the first time in 11 years so that I could tell him, “You no longer have power over me.”

Then a few months later, I’m told, “You can’t talk about your past.” My piece of advice from my experience is, “Do not let someone have that kind of power over you that you feel like you can’t share your authentic self.”

Behind the scenes, God was only preparing the way for me. He was building the foundation for his real purpose for my life. He already knew the plans for my life. It was not to be the season of my life for him to reveal his plan. He was only laying down the foundation.

“To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven;”
Ecclesiastes 3:1

To be continued . . .