Mess to a Message

My Journey of Recovery and a New Life in Christ

It has been over a year since I have been a main presenter for Standing Courageous and its education program and I’ve only blogged once in the last year.   Tomorrow, I will be presenting for the trauma update at Mercy.  Let me tell you, the preparation for this is difficult.  I have spent theIMG_6492 last 15 months working on my recovery; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The last year and a half have brought moments that I thought would break me but God came along and helped me.  I have worked hard to move past all that and today it’s like I’m just walking back into the lions den.

I have spent the majority of today going through all my case files, documentation, and pictures from my assault.  I put the presentation on the big screen to practice the flow and timing.  I’m at work today and was practicing this in our training room alone.  There came a moment when my main face shot was on the screen and I found myself starring at her.  I lost myself in the pain in her eyes and tears started to roll down my face.

IMG_1319This will be my first true test of my recovery.  There are hundreds of feelings all running through me at the same time and they’re difficult to grasp a hold of.  In the past, I had nightmares after days like this so I would go home and drink to quiet the memories.  That will not be a crutch for me this time.

God has been preparing me for this.  Genesis 50:20, As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Today, my past and present collided in my heart.  As God calls on my heart that this is my purpose as much as my passion, evil plays on my fear of slipping back to that place and those behaviors.  As I am sitting here at work typing this, I just received a Facebook message from a stranger, it was confirmation, #GodWink, from God this is His will and He will get me through these next two nights and all those to come.

I’ve been quiet on here for about 10 months. The last 10 months have been long and rough. The last few days have brought me back to a familiar spot. God has been calling me to do something that last couple of years and I haven’t been listening. There comes a point when God aligns so many things that it can’t be chance, coincidence or any other thing people chalk it up to. It is a “God Wink”, well in this case, it was a “God Smack”.

First, for those that don’t know, I started Standing Courageous after attending an EMS conference in Vegas. There was a speaker there who talked about making changes in life. It was called, Life: You Can Be a Thermostat or a Thermometer. It was there that I knew I had to do something with domestic violence. It was a few months later, Standing Courageous held its first Board Meeting.

You see, I have stepped back from Standing Courageous over the last year. I felt I had to be “fixed” or “healed” to be able to help others. I was intimidated by the failure to get our goals met on the violent offender registry and by two men working on it who tried to made it perfectly clear to me that domestic violence doesn’t really matter. I was ashamed of how some people labeled me.

Once again, God put me at a conference with powerful speakers. God made his voice loud and clear. This time he moved on to a God smack. Let me tell you about the IMG_6492conference. I wasn’t even supposed to be able to attend it. I had offered to volunteer on the medical and greeting team with church. I was scheduled to have surgery on the Thursday of the conference but it was weighing heavy on me that I needed to be there. I was worried about taking two days off without pay to be able to attend but once again, there was a place deep inside of me that was pushing me to go. So, I changed my surgery date and I went.

I am so glad I did. It was meant for me to be there. The first speaker shown here hit me like a ton of bricks.  Fear, it has been holding me back from trying again for the violent offender registry.  The fear of people saying “she’s IMG_6423acting like a victim” again has been one of my excuses.  I have been afraid that people will see my weaknesses and that I am still in recovery and point fingers.  I’ve always said, I will not be a slave to the opinions of others, yet that is exactly what I have been doing lately.  I’ve been hiding and making excuses.  Craig mentioned that you have to have the courage to be real, transparent, and be vulnerable.  Vulnerable, that words leaves a lump in my throat.  When most of the people who are never supposed to hurt you do just that, vulnerable becomes something you never want to be.   It was like he was talking right to me.  I felt that God had put me on IMG_6440that serving team to call me out.  To send me a loud and clear message to knock of the excuses and get back to it.

Then came speaker two. She talked about creating a platform to give people a voice.  She mentioned that it is important to give each person a voice to be heard.  I used to speak for other victims and I let that voice be silenced by fear.  She talked about the importance of inspiring people.  Somewhere along the line, I quit being inspired myself.

IMG_6438Then there was one who almost brought me to tears.  He said to “believe in crazy stuff”.  That your vision needs to go beyond your provision.  He said to pick something that scares you and that you can’t afford.  He gave us a reminder that some of the best things in this Country have came from people who had nothing but a vision.  “If you want to be a success, identify a human need and then solve it.  Probably one of the most moving  moments is when he said, “When we teach our children to think for themselves, we are actually teaching them to think for us”.  Let that sink in a minute.  Our children are our futures, why do we not invest more into protecting them?IMG_6435

Why have I really been quiet and missing?  I am afraid.  I am very afraid of failure again.  I thought I had to be all “better” to be able to stand in front of people and share my story.  Erwin reminded me that at the end of each day during the creation of the world, God said, “It was good”.  He didn’t wait till it was finished.  I am a work in progress and each day is a step forward and it is good.  The greatest battle we ever fight is within ourselves.  The moment where God delivered a punch right into the gut is when Erwin said, “Most of us IMG_6446are living our lives like we aren’t dying”.  UGH…. it’s true.  I keep saying that when I am done with therapy, I will start with Standing Courageous again.

Today, I failed again at something.  I lost someone I cared about.  Tomorrow, I will fail at something else.  Failure does not define me.  My failures are no longer going to be looked at as a bad thing.  They will be viewed as “plot twist” by God to make me stronger.

Let me just say, there were so many more moments from the Global Leadership Summit that inspired me to get back on the saddle.  It has been weighing on me heavy for a while and God just finally pushed me.  IMG_6497

Today at church, God needed to clarify one more thing.  He hit me with what it says in the picture.  God needed to remind me I am not what others say I am.  I am what God says I am.  I don’t have to anyone’s definition of me but my own.

IMG_6439So, here it is, I am back.  I don’t know what it looks like for sure or how involved I will be.  There are several things about me that has changed over the last year.  My passion runs deeper for other things and other people.  I will say this, I am opening up my life more to share my journey through healing, therapy, and my walk with God so that others can learn that is alright to be a work in progress.


In closing I leave you with this…