1 Corinthians 13:12 New International Version (NIV) 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. Life has a way of just happening whether we want it to or not. Sometimes the greatest things we fear come into fruition despite our numerous attempts to thwart them. Maybe in some weird way we call those things to us just by the mere thought of them. However we arrive at facing devastation, the fact is it has shown up and we are left to clean up the emotional spill... or are we?
I've heard numerous stories about how people have healed themselves of cancer just by belief and faith in something different. There has to be something in that. I imagine that when a person can see beyond their current circumstance into a future atmosphere wherein they are healed, the body has no choice but to respond. Perception is deceptive. Circumstances are just that... circumstances... no more than a scenario that has presented itself as a gift. You may either unwrap it or send it back. It's your choice ....we see only a reflection as in a mirror... We are always victims of someone else's choices including our own. If a bus driver over sleeps his route is delayed and so are you. If our boss is having a bad day, most likely we will too. We make choices every day about what we will and will not accept. For the most part, things may easily roll off unless we are prone to sensitivity. It's all in how we see it. Are you going to snap back at your boss? Most likely not when your paycheck is at stake. But you might transfer what has been infused into you and the ripples thereafter (though the affects remain unknown) could have devastating consequences. Circumstances, events, problems... they are all reflections-- images we see before us that if we stare at long enough can really hurt us or send us into an emotional frenzy. What if you could stop time just long enough to step into the atmosphere of the issue where assumption is not allowed and just walk around the problem putting all of the pieces together? What might change? The cancer patient was healed because they found a way to penetrate the reflection enough to see that there was another side; an unexplored version of the same story. We all have the right to our OMG moment. That's just human nature. But there is always another side or another way to see things. That sounds like a bunch of motivated mumbo jumbo when you consider the depth of some of the problems we face in life, so let me offer some aspects of my story. The Story No one wants to be a victim to anything. Emotions often respond for us before our head can even catch up. I get that when someone or something has wounded you so deeply the last thing you want to do in that moment is see the other side. It requires practice and discipline. But hurt has a way of communicating with rationale removing all sensitivity. I was molested and abused a lot as a kid. I grew up with a grandmother who just hated me for whatever her reasons were. She gave me away to be abused and she was constantly shredding my self-esteem as an adolescent. It affected me for years to come. I was able to overcome a lot of it with spiritual guidance, but it cut deep to be given away to be abused and then returned to sender for more freaking abuse. At that time I hated her. I loved her, but I hated her for what she was putting me through as my guardian. Looking back on it all these years later, I was able to forgive her because distance from the situation gave me the opportunity to see some things differently. I didn't excuse her behavior, but I allowed myself to step into the atmosphere of my troubled past and make some painful playbacks. What I saw was a woman who's heart was black; she was drowning her sorrows in alcohol and medicating herself with the blues. She too had been abused, but because she lost herself in the substance of alcohol, the wholeness that she could have known was lost and she ended up leaving behind a legacy of pain in me. For the first time I didn't see her as the monster I'd always internally begged to love me. She wasn't the witch I made my arts and crafts for to try and break the evil spell that she was under. She was a fully grown woman locked in a mirror image she had studied so vividly until it burned itself in her brain. She was once the little girl victim too. Here I was, pretty much a carbon copy, bursting forth from the womb of her daughter to remind her of who she wasn't -- a free being; new and alive; hopeful. I was the other side she never explored and though she wanted to reach out and pour into me all her hopes, bitterness and resentment were her guides. Who was I to be free? Why should she have to spend her days watching a child she had always hoped to be. Why did I have the right to smile when her smile had long since been buried along with her innocence and her dreams? I looked just like her--too much of a reminder of faith and inspiration buried long ago, so she destroyed my confidence and my innocence. She cast a cloud on what was an otherwise sunny and bright future. It wasn't because she hated me; she hated herself. Her eyes were playing tricks on her. I wasn't a reflection. I was REAL, but her vision was impaired by swirling drunkenness and a pain so deep she was merely existing in it-- long since dead and eulogized. The thing about perception is that it can always be changed. What I had seen through the glass darkly at one point and time as a child had suddenly become clearer, and I realized that I had the power to take up my emotional chalk, grab hold of my spiritual eraser, step into the image and make the changes I wanted to make. I deserved to be whole and maybe in some way I could still be free for both of us. The image was mine to change. I didn't have to embrace her legacy of bitterness, and when that hit me, I was able to retrace my steps and create something new while delivering her nasty packages back to her one by one. I could be cleansed by the infusion of my own hopes and joys rewriting the story along the way. It wasn't that I had forgotten the pain, I just chose to allow myself to explore another side of it, only to discover it wasn't my cross to bear. It was hers. So, I gave it back. If I had bought in to the images I allowed her to paint of me, I too might be drowning my sorrows in the blues and alcohol leaving a legacy of pain and abuse to my own children. Something in me always believed that I only "knew in part;" that there was more to the story than the gruesome chapters I had been forced to repeat and inscribe many reports on in my heart; something better than this-- better than what she had become and tried to make me. Getting to that place inside that said, "I can beat this" wasn't easy. It required me to explore the facts. Once those were in my hands, I had to decide what I would do with them. Understand something, all the facts had to be explored, not just my own. The Transformation In the moment, it's hard to shift perception, that's why we need a peace and a hope and trust in God because He reveals what we need right when we need it. Sometimes our emotions are just too loud to notice God talking. You must feel what you need to in order to purge yourself, but what you do with the facts after the tears is up to you. Molestation and rape were the worst experiences of my life. I'll never understand what incites another in such away that a child could be their target and they could experience any release in the violation. What I do understand is that I needed healing in order to overcome it, and while I was gathering the facts it was important to gather all of them in order to be whole. As I categorized and sorted through them at my painful leisure, I discovered that all of those who abused and hurt me must have needed healing too. I hadn't seen what was burned into their brain. I hadn't lived their journey. I felt as sorry for them as I had for myself. It was no longer about me... There are moments in life when you realize that something is just bigger than you. While you'd like to be mad at God and people and things, sometimes we are casualties of things -- a part of stories-- that can be used for some greater purpose public and private. If the enemy had his way long enough he would follow us through life with a bullhorn shouting out our deepest secrets to the world and holding before our eyes the Mona Lisa of all of our sorrows painted with such vivid colors that we would be entranced long enough to miss the other side... freedom. Sometimes the enemy is our own mind refusing to let go-- locked in confusion and anger. We forget that we are actually the ones in control long after the tragedy has ended and even during the encore presentations. We...ARE... in... control. Using it for Good I may not have had the childhood of choice, but what I did have was my voice. Although it had been stifled and the cries of my soul had been drowned about the loudness of everyone else's "busy," it still made a sound. Even if the sound was faint for a time, anyone as low as me could still hear it, so I talked. I poured out all the words like a fountain with hopes that their showers would wash someone else clean. As others were able to stand, they encouraged me to walk. When I was done walking with others, I was pushed to run, still in the running I discovered I could fly and that my words had enough power and hope behind them that joy could be restored, hope could be rebuilt, faith could be initiated, and peace could come to comfort the multitudes... and ME. So, I craved exposure. To this day, I won't allow myself to be silent even while still exploring me. Therein lies the good. Therein is the abolishing of tragedy-- enter freedom... stage left! Conclusion The glass may be dark right now and all you can see is one reflection -- the brokenness, the cracks, the pain, and the anguish. That story will remain in the emotional box office as long as you keep emotionally paying to see it. When you get through crying, there is a strength that can be found through prayer and a grace and compassion that can walk you through to your other side and allow you to return from the journey with a deeper understanding of what is and how much bigger "it" is than
Y-O-U. Sometimes God allows things to be for a greater purpose that we cannot understand while the lights are dim and low. It isn't that God always places things on us to teach us lessons, but God uses circumstances in a way that walks us toward wholeness and then challenges us to help someone else. To everything there is a purpose no matter how difficult. We have to love us enough to reach for it. The only way to do that is to become so close to God that the tears we cry are not spilling out onto a pillow that absorbs and then reminds, but they are spilling out on to a lap that sees beyond all we can see-- turning into blades of colors that expose us to a place of peace. Rewriting the story feels a lot better than holding on to torn pages. Our eyes will always deceive us because they are attached to a mind casting out images that are not God's. When you are ready, the teacher will come, and he will guide you with all compassion through a rewind session while holding you up through the sorest points-- all for understanding-- all for healing-- all for the good of humanity. ...then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. God knows and He wants you to know too. The desire of God isn't to keep secrets from us. He simply gives us what we can handle and nurtures until we are ready to receive some more