I remember when I first got sick, I started to notice how messed up the world was, and how messed up I still was.
I lost my hot water tank, so I began looking online for writing jobs that paid. Instead, I found an acting job for a non profit that promised a fee. When I wasn’t in school, most of my time was focused on studying my lines, rehearsing and going to the doctors/hospital.
Another actor said “You’re unfocused and it makes us all mad”. Well, that was and still is untrue. I didn’t have a lack of focus, I simply had a strong focus in the wrong direction. I was focused on how all the things I was doing would make people finally see how great I am. I didn’t have the confidence in myself.
I was focused on what others thought of me and making others happy. (It’s impossible, by the way, because happiness is an inside job).
I was focused on what they wanted and needed from me, and as long as they got what they wanted, everything was cool–for them. As long as they didn’t have to do anything but take, cool! As long as they got whatever they wanted every time, even if it was just taking up my time or keeping me in that victim mentality, everything was great. Everyone was happy. Except for me.
I had a misconception (the people taking advantage of me did, too) that being a follower of Christ means I have to put myself down, and that me and my needs are not important, and that no matter what anyone said or did to me, I had to keep going back for more. I thought I had to do it all with a smile on my face and kiss their cheeks and tell them how much I love and am praying for them.
Now I see being a follower of Christ means standing out, doing His will, especially when things are the hardest for you, like when I became homeless. I had many “men” offer to take me in, if I would sleep with them. The answer was always “no” and I told them my reason: My current Husband (Christ) wouldn’t approve, and I’d never get home to my future husband if I acted that way. Actually, I’d never be able to live with myself if I did that, so I couldn’t blame anyone else for not wanting to either
When I got really sick, those alleged MS symptoms began to take over and I got cancer (AGAIN! AGH!!) and they said I’d die, I began to think about the things that were really important in life. The things that were important to me. I began to think “What do I want?” and “How do I get it?” and “Who cares if I get what I want?”
The answer to that last question is; nobody! But also, everybody. I have continued to step up and become a better woman, a better minister and a better friend, sister, granddaughter, writer, coworker, you get the picture. God is approved of me, but He and I both know I still have so much further to go.
When I began to heal, the miracle that happened was ME! God changed me, which is what I had been praying for during seminary and several years before that. Change was “too hard” I would tell God. I was simply too fearful and lazy to make the changes.
I became more focused on God’s will for me and my life. After all, I’m a human, who am I to say what I want, let alone what I need? I thank God I quit looking to doctors and so called friends and other people to love me and “be there” for me. When you are “dying” nobody wants to be around that, but they also don’t want to be around for your victories! So blessed to have this new perspective! I thank God I had all these experiences, because my trials are what shaped me and molded me for my triumphs!
I am like iron as the Bible says! I have great people around me, sunshine (and it’s always sunny in my heart), beautiful foliage, and a new sense of purpose. I intend on being the empowering example of the change I wish to see in this world.
Now that I’ve gone through all this, I know I am more equipped to do what God calls me to do. I noticed how “bad” the world is, and I am simultaneously perfectly at peace with that, and I am happy I am “different” (people say). I’m also I’m excited that I have the power to change this world, because God is inside of me. I used to ask God “Why me?” and I’d say “I can’t lead them Lord, I am weak like them.” I’m a lot stronger now that I’ve said “no” more often and I realized he equipped me by allowing me to make the wrong choices others have made, and by consistently making the right choices, I feel more empowered to lead others to do the same. If I had known the “hidden fees” for my faithfulness, would I pay the price back then? I’d say, probably not. I don’t know. I’m proud I did, and I’m proud I will never forget where I came from. I have walked in your moccasins, I cannot judge you. Thank you for being you and allowing me to serve you!
Please share your story with me! I’d love to pray for you!