My heart broke into a million tiny glass fragments as my eight-year-old son told me of a classmate who was beating him to a hot bleeding pile of hurt with his words. Pulverizing him into a bloody pulp of a mess of emotions Trasen shared with me the awful, untrue words this boy slammed at him like a lashing in the face.
I held him, cried with him, ad told him that people can be deeply mean in this life for no apparent reason. Rocking him in my arms, it pains me to admit that it doesn’t stop in the third grade, sadly it chases you throughout your whole life. Heartbreaking as it is, bullying isn’t a clear view as to who is on your side and who is jealously and deceitfully against you.
Looking back on my life, I feel as if someone has always wanted to “beat me up.” From the reaches of a challenging and abusive childhood to this day, I feel the slaying of cruel words chastising me when I least expect it. When I was Trasen’s age, the mean girls at the bus stop tortured me for months, telling me they’d beat me up after school. I would run and hide at every opportunity to not ride the bus after school or to be “sick” when I wasn’t. I was TERRIFIED!
“Beat” me up? What does that mean, a punch to the nose, a kick in the stomach? Or even worse, vicious words behind my back that I was awkward, too tall, lanky, without the coveted “Guess Jeans” and “Esprit Shirts”, and my worst insecurity (at that time)…that I was ugly? The thought of the latter was much more abusive than a kick in the gut. Slam your fist in my face, make my body bleed, but words…those cut far deeper than any knife could. For what others speak of us when we are not there is the truth, right?
Sadly as I comfort my sweet child, I realize that these people follow you through your entire life. Those who find joy in making fun of others, trying to sabotage our best efforts, our innate gifts. They are fearful of the unique and wonderfully made person that God made, and they are in a race to seek peace but have no clue as to how to reach it…
Recently, as I am doing a 21 day fast with my church, where you give something up that is important to you, for me, that happens to be social media. I love spending time with my readers and friends all over the world! It is a joy that brings me to a humble place that I have the opportunity to engage in. Although it is distracting, and something God has called me to give up, to spend more time in prayer, reflection, and the Word. Values that will bring me closer to my God, myself, and my family. Can I just say here that it has been SO INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT! For a person like myself, demonstrative, outspoken, gregarious, and super social I have had to literally conjure up the deepest of my self-control to use the time I had been on social media to spend in prayer, reflection, and introspection.
The outcome has been a deeper connection to God, to my writing, my family, and myself. I have grown in the past two weeks more than I have in the past six months. Deep devotion has the ability to provide us with a bird’s eye view of what we fear, love, and a plethora of things we may need to alter in our lives to become closer to Him…
Last Saturday night, instead of wasting my time on Facebook, I wandered up to a quiet place in my house where no one could find me, and I laid on the floor and said this simple prayer:
Reveal to me.
What you want.
For me to put You first.
Please let me see some things from my past that I’ve blacked out so I can finally heal.
In that moment a vivid recollection came to me, jolting me to my core. I screamed my husband’s name for comfort. ALAN!
I crawled into a tiny ball under the sky of this great big world that is often times so very hard to understand.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a pleasant memory from my childhood, to the contrary, it was something no child should ever have to endure. Yet, somehow, someway…I did. But why should a child be made to suffer so? In that moment of question, God declared to me:
It has made you who you are.
Who I needed you to be.
My everyday world has been a never ending brigade of attacks the past fourteen days. Doors have been shut, people have betrayed me, I’ve been accused of things I’d NEVER do, but mostly, a nerve has been electrified in my deepest of insecurities.
Am I good enough?
Am I lovable?
Why don’t they like me?
Am I smart enough?
And for God’s sake why did God make me the way He has…
And PLEASE tell me…why do I have such an annoying loud laugh? I mean, come on now? It’s just NOT normal!!
The core resistance as to why it took me so long to come back to God was shoved in my face. Like a court jester dancing around me in a prelude to victory. Sadly, for five days I deeply bought into the lies of the enemy.
My mood becoming uncharacteristically sullen, watching my back at every moment, incapacitating my words, actions and deeds hoping that the people who are made so uncomfortable by my existence didn’t try to crucify me, I realized I was fighting an unwinnable battle.
While I would have been asking for answers on social media, I chose to lay in my bed, with a big white comforter to seek out an answer from God, not mere people like I would have done on Facebook. But in reality, when all I wanted to do was quit this silly game of drama, I was called to stay in the battle. Get that Eye of the Tiger back, and be… me. If joy isn’t welcome in a place of misery than I’m doing something right!
For I am not of this world, I am only living in it. Knowing I’m called to a ministry of Joy (thank you, Pastor Kevin, for that revelation) it puts my existence into perspective. For, I have suffered much, fought battles that young children never should be subjected to, and have cried myself to sleep more times than I could ever count. I have struggled physically, emotionally, financially, and professionally. Yet, I’ve been victorious on all the same platforms deeply into the sunset of my deepest insecurities.
This world can beat us down along with hurt people who want to hurt us deeper than they have been berated. Life can throw things our way that we never saw coming (especially during a twenty-one day fast), and we can feel like giving up. I know I have. I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and start over, possibly at a place that didn’t hate my guts. But God told me otherwise. I have to admit it really made me ANGRY when He clearly told me in the prayer room at church this morning, as I was meeting with my mentor, Christine. I hammered away at how toxic a certain environment is for me, how I’m unfit to be subjected to such torture, God stated to me loud and clear….I’m not done with you where you are.
A full on cry leaped from the deepest place in my lungs as I took in the symphony of His direction.
“But, God I thought you were going to deliver me?” I pleaded.
I need to spread your joy, to speak deliverance through Me.
Um okay… how do I argue with that?
With a wet face and a trembling hand, I took the prayer of my mentor into my being, knowing that the anointed room we talked and prayed in had given me comfort, strength and an answer…
That I am right where I need to be, even if it’s not at all where I want to be.
For, He has greater plans for using me in a dark world that I am not apart of, one that goes against my inner sensitive fibers of my heart.
Divorce your emotion of ridicule.
Lean on me.
Because I have great plans for where you are at this moment, at this time.
I left the anointed prayer room lifted up, filled with joy, courage, and a strong feeling that there is a triumph against the bullies of this world. Interestingly my life has a grander picture than running away, it is encompassing me loving the hurting people who delight in hurting others. I will answer His call until another door opens for me to run freely into because I’m not of this place, I’m in His comfort forever no matter how much the hurt strive to hurt me…