A couple weeks ago, I was in a car accident; the split second in which it happened, I heard the screeching and scraping of metal, which juggernaut-ed my soul to the equator of emergence; but get this, in that moment, I saw and felt nothing; somehow I pulled to the side of the road and I looked at my son. Ultimately, that single moment has replayed in my heart and mind for the past two weeks; I think about all the decisions I made that day, and have replayed every second of that morning and perhaps the crash could have not happened if I had just made a different choice, but instead, I experienced a knee jerk reaction, it wasn’t pre-meditated; that’s what truly makes it an accident.
We cannot undo, what has been done, but we can try our very best to do things differently next time, right?
And then I think about this metaphor/exercise that I read during college; about listening and obeying to the voice of God; I think it went something like this, “Every time you listen and obey, it creates a pinhole through which you see and experience more of God.” For a long time in my journey, I lived through pinpoints in time, in which I purposefully listened and obeyed and life seemed sequentially and quintessentially fine.
However, not surprisingly, many singular happenings have occurred, in which my heart leapt or paused, just within a single breath of courage or fear; long story – very short, I know I haven’t listened or obeyed near enough in my spiritual journey, even when it made the most sense to do so…
This very sentence couldn’t be illustrated any better, than by telling you something that I have heard my four-year old utter, “I don’t have to listen to you.” Besides the obvious response, “Yes, you do, I’m your mother,” let me just say that his defiant spirit is not much different than my own, at 37, in which, I know I have refused to listen because guess what, “I don’t have to….”
Regardless of your beliefs, I write this all to explain another single moment.
A New Beginning. That’s the name of the book my foster mom gave me in 1993. It’s a book of daily devotions for women survivors of sexual abuse. That same year, when I was 15 or 16, I read every page prayerfully; through the years, I’ve bookmarked favorite devotions and written notes on the pages of the book.
After the crash, I started thinking about this book and I knew I had to find it. And one day, last week, I opened up a box and I saw it. I immediately picked it up and flipped through the pages until I saw it, the newspaper clipping of my abuser’s bond and arrest. And it hit me; I felt my adolescence crashing at 14, when my mother said that she would always choose her husband over me; that singular moment shattered an already broken heart and reinforced my walls.
October 7 (Paraphrased a little, A New Beginning)
He tells me that I am worthy, but I’ve always failed in accepting that grace. It’s hard to believe that anything good can come from my past rejections. But I have heard God say that that my pain will help others on their path to healing. I choose to believe Him, not my fears.
For the longest time, I have desired to be a part of a faith community; I can articulate a lot of reasons why I cannot find a home church, but none of them ever included the fact that my heart was closed off because of my fears of rejection. My fear of rejection stems from abandonment, judgment and imperfections.
Vulnerability is this experience, where we choose to be welcomed and welcome others into our frayed lives. Honestly, I have walked through many church doors, but I didn’t really try to join a faith community; my walls prevented me from being my most authentic self; I just made excuses time and time again. I finally recognize that his has been my major operating system since I was young child. I have always looked for exits rather than pathways.
A few years ago, when I was living in New York, and I was at iHop with a bunch of friends; I was asked, about relationships and I said I didn’t believe in them; I was quite serious, but everybody thought I was joking, so I laughed too, but deep down, I knew I was being more honest than ever. But more than that, I was still avoiding pathways to relationships.
So, what’s next?
I am choosing to expose a redefined soul living for lasting change.
I am worthy. I am on my way. My fears do not own me. I am breaking free.