Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

I wasn’t equipped to handle it

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Abuse, whether it’s caused by your own actions or someone else’s, unless you deal with it, it will deal with you.  It will haunt you, rob you of joy and suck the life right out of you and those around you.    

When I was in the military, community outreach was always promoted as something we should get involved in.  I volunteered for several organizations over the course of my career.  At the time, my heart cried out to those who couldn’t speak up for themselves, so I found areas where I could help with abused and neglected children.

Several years ago I found myself in a meeting with a few other volunteers who had a heart like mine for these little souls. To be honest, it was so long ago, I don’t remember the name of the place or how I even was led to this place.   But, I do remember the group director saying “whatever you do, no matter what these kids say to you, do not react with any kind of emotion. They don’t always understand the things that happened to them, but they do sometimes tell their story.”  That was pretty much the extent of training received.

Let me just say, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.  I figured this was gonna be an easy check mark in the volunteering section of my annual appraisal and then I could just go about my everyday life.  I really just thought this was gonna be like a big babysitting type gig.  Get in, watch some kids, get out.  I don’t think I will ever forget her beautiful little face.  So innocent, so trusting and fragile that you just wanted to scoop her up and give her a big ol’ hug.  You couldn’t help but notice her.

Then she looked at me..her big blue eyes, her long blond hair, and truly, an angelic face.  She just skipped right up to me, smiled and said; I have to tell you something. She grabbed my hand and she led me to a door that led into a stairwell.  She was just so stinkin’ adorable and I couldn’t help but smile. She told me to sit down and I was thinking this was just some type of game she wanted to play.  Then she sat next to me and started talking.  Not in a normal speaking voice, but more of a hushed voice.   It didn’t take long for me to figure out this was not a game.

The director’s voice came back to me….”don’t show any emotion.”  So, I just sat there and listened to her tale of abuse. I couldn’t figure out why this small, beautiful soul had picked me to listen to her story.  She never looked at me while she spoke. She just looked straight ahead. When she was done, she got up and walked back into the room where all the other children were playing.  I sat there for a few more minutes, unbelieving what just happened, and then I got to my feet, and I walked into the same room where they all played, and I kept walking, right out of that room and into the evening air.  I never looked back because there were tears streaming down my face.  My fists were balled up containing the rage that I wanted to release into the world but I knew that would need to wait. I just needed to make it to my car, get inside and drive away.  I never went back. I wasn’t equipped to handle that kind of truth.

As a child, my life was less than stellar.  As I grew up, there were things I forgot.  Things I never wanted to think about and things I wanted to run as far away from as I could.  I guess you could say, I wasn’t equipped to handle my own past.  I chose to bury it and not deal with it.  But this led to the decaying of my soul and the stink buried deep inside…well…let’s just say the funk rose to the top and started seeping out into the areas of my life, flooding into my  relationships, and causing major meltdowns.  I was a hazardous waste dump.  Something had to give.

That something was almost my life.  I had made of mess of things.  I didn’t think there was any way to recover.  Everything hurt too much, took too much effort, and who cared any ways.  Life sucked and I wanted out.  I had let all the abuse in my life deal with me. But God stepped in…and no, my life didn’t immediately get better, in fact some things got worse.  But day by day, hand in hand with God, I can see the times He was with me, even if I wasn’t with Him.  I can see how He was calling, but I wasn’t equipped to hear Him.  I shut Him out and He waited and I’m sure while He waited and watched, I broke His heart with the story my life had become.

But here’s the beauty of that mess.  My story can become HIS-tory.  My mess can be His message.  Jesus walked before us, He knew what this world was about and He knew nothing good could come from participating in the actions related to “thou shalt not.” Those commandments are as relevant today as they were the day God first gave them to us.  I guarantee you won’t fret over doing the right thing like you will over doing the wrong thing.  And yea, I made choices, some good, some not so good and there were and will be consequences to every decision I make.  The difference now is I’m letting God do the leading, and I’m equipping myself daily with His word…His instructions for how to walk through this life, so next time I’ll be equipped to handle what God places in my path.

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