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

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.

After I shared “My Purpose in Life,” I realized how stilted it sounded to me. I really didn’t like how I originally wrote that part of the book. I still wanted to keep the content but needed to change it up. At 3 something in the morning, I awoke to a realization of how I was going to write it. So this morning, I rewrote it.

As we drove down I-35 towards the school, we would listen to Notorious B.IG.’s Hypnotize on repeat. It was the spring of ’97 and I was finally starting my first phase towards becoming a teacher. My college decided to pilot a program where you would take all of your education classes and observation of a classroom in one school building. They wanted the students who were studying elementary education to be totally immersed in the school environment.

As the class sat in the musty basement of the older building, I shared some of my story which was too difficult for some of my classmates to understand. This was way before teachers really thought about trauma informed teaching.

At the end of the quarter, I was called into the professor’s office. Not knowing the purpose of the meeting, I felt as though I was going on a roller coaster: sweaty palms, erratic heartbeat, and a flip-flopping stomach.

After he demanded I sit down, he informed me that my classmates couldn’t handle hearing about my past and didn’t know how to talk to me.

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

When I shared MY story, I was trusting the fact though they could speak to me as another person. The only difference is I had trauma in my past. But that trauma did not define who I was a person. It was my passion to why I was becoming a teacher. You see 12 years prior; I had escaped from an abusive father. I wanted to be at least ONE student’s hero. I wanted them to see that you can become someone even after someone took away your dignity and left you feeling as though you were nothing. I knew I couldn’t save ALL of my students, but ONE is better than none.

Instead of being understanding, I became a student in trouble with the principal because I shared MY story.

It was at that time that I quit telling people about my past because I couldn’t trust people with MY story. What I didn’t know is that God was laying the foundation for his purpose for my life.

At that time, I felt as though God had forsaken me. You see while in college, I rarely went to church because of working or studying. I didn’t seek a relationship with him, but he never left my side.

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

In September 2019, God whispered in my ear and said, “It is time to tell your story.”

What I didn’t know was that my mom was going to be gone with the month. He knew her plans for her life. HE also knew I couldn’t heal from her death without sharing my story. Not only was I to heal from her death, I was to create a legacy for others. One of encouragement and resilience. I don’t know who I’m going to help by sharing MY story. I just have to get out of the boat and just trust him. He knows his purpose for my life.

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

Now I have been given inklings to what his plans for me. I have heard him whisper to me to, “Write.”

I dream of new towns with people I have never met. I’ve created blog posts in my mind. I invent stories about people I have seen out and about. But have never just written because I get caught up in the restraints of grammar. Or the worry about would people really want to read what I have written. I just need to trust the process and allow my fingers to dance across my keyboard or fill the notebook pages with my words. God will touch the hearts of those who read the words I have written.

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

As I write, I’m becoming less Instagram fake and more my authentic self. Life is messy. We may hit the rapids of life, but we need to remember that means we are truly living.

I need to trust God when he keeps telling me, “Write. You need to write and share YOUR story. No one can tell it but you. Your writing is going to be your legacy and help someone you’ve never met before. Listen to me. Trust me.”

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

If I could go back in time, I would have told that professor, “You talk to me like a person. I’m no different than you. I just have a trauma that is invisible. The experience makes up my personality and character but does not define me now and not in the future. In fact, it may make me a better teacher because I have had some similar experiences as some of the teachers.”

One key information that I left out was that in the previous November, 11 years after we left him, my father succumbed to his brain tumor that had hindered him for almost 30 years. Right before his death, I had made the decision to go and see him one more time and tell him, “You don’t have power over me anymore.”

God had other plans for me. I was not to go to Pittsburgh.

I had felt free from my father’s chains and instead someone else put new chains on me. What I didn’t know was God was laying the foundation for me so I could find my purpose in life. And for that I’m thankful. It was not the season of my life to share MY story.

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

To be continued . . .

3 thoughts on “Out of the River, Onto the Raft – Purpose in Life Rewritten

  1. Traci, I am so thankful that you have decided to write as God has called you to do. Reading this has given me the encouragement to start writing again. I haven’t written since May (this year 2020) because although much has been placed on my heart, I have been fearful of feeling rejected or unheard. I need to remember God will and can use anything He calls us to do. It is not for me to worry. That is not who I am. Thank you Lord for continuing to push Traci to write her story.

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