As a part of my 90 Day "Lifestyle makeover", one of the resolutions I didn't post was that I will reveal even more of myself...not only for the sake of helping others, but also as a healing process for me.
I have several journals and sketch books, many with a particular theme or "title", if you will. One is called "Freedom's Flow", it's a mix sketches, poetry, and tidbits...actually the first of it's kind for me. I've always been so rigid in the past - sketch books are for sketching - journals are for writing. It was the first time I gave myself permission and freedom to do as I pleased, hence the name "Freedom's Flow". One of my "tidbits" says -- 'In order to be truly free - I must reveal me'.
I've begun the process in private and sometimes here publicly, but this is different. This is about sharing more of who I am so that all that read can see - I am human - just like you - and my experiences make up a great deal of the woman I've become. (& that's good news!)
So here I am.. revealing some more of "me", but this time in partnership with one of my "sisters in Christ". She has her own very lovely website called "Beauty for Ashes" and has chosen this month (my birthday month- yay!)to feature my testimony, both the Poem and the Essay. I will give you a little "teaser" here, but you will have to check out her site to read the rest!
My Testimony - The Essay:
It’s very easy to assume you know something about a person based on the way you see them. It’s a phenomenon we see quite often in the church. The lady dressed in the fancy suit and hat must be very religious, whereas the “hoochie” that just walked in with the tight, short skirt must be a heathen. The Lord says judge nothing before the time and herein lies my testimony…
I was born and raised in New York and I wasn’t raised in the church, at least not as I “do” church, now. I certainly didn’t go every Sunday and the thought of going to church 3 or 4 times a week seemed like an impossibility for me because I thought it was something I would never desire to do. I was raised as a Catholic, so I knew of Christ and I certainly thought I knew God: God was an awesome and amazing power meant to be feared or He would send you straight to hell!
Somehow, even in the midst of the “fear God or else” teachings the church taught me, my mom managed to teach me the one, most important, lesson of my life – when you can trust no one else – trust God! I don’t ever remember her reading the Bible to me, but we had Bibles in the house and I had a special one for myself, full of beautiful pictures and even though I didn’t understand it all…I found God. Problem was I didn’t fear Him – I was too busy being afraid of my mother.
Now before you get the wrong impression of my mom, let me be clear – she is a loving beautiful person and she did her best with the tools she had & she used God, as she knew him then, as her guide. She was raised in an unstable and abusive environment and in most of the places she lived she was abused one way or another. To her I owe my life – she turned her own life around so that we would not have to live as she did. She alienated much of her family in an effort to give us a better chance at life, it was a process, but she did it and she did it to the “Glory of God” long before she even knew what that meant. For her and to her, I am thankful.
Despite the fears and depression growing up, I always felt like God knew me personally and we had a special one on one bond. I just knew I could hear Him talking to me and remember Him always telling me I was meant to BE someone special. I became very adept at daydreaming and escaping from my life through my imagination. In my dreams and inner thoughts I saw myself as God saw me – special and meant for greatness, but no matter how much I believed it in my heart, my outer world reflected a very different view. Sadly, as the years passed I would come to believe this worldly view of myself and my life – not surprisingly, I....
You'll have to read the rest...here:www.beautyforashes1.com
You can find the Poem on the Poetry page...here
Thanks for showing your support by checking out her page. I hope it blesses you...Just you reading it blesses me! Who knows, maybe one day YOU'LL be one of the featured stories -wouldn't that be nice?
While you're there - please stop by her comments page and share some love! I'm sure she'd love to know you stopped by...
You may also want to check out the sister blog to this one- The Invitation 101