On my road to recovery, which I've written about here, here, and here, I have come across a realization: I lost something. I lost something big. I was once told by my mother that the Holy Spirit told her through various friends to not worry so much about her children's futures; that He was going to do great things through each of us. That story is a really neat one; maybe I'll share it another time. I was told this early in my life and as I grew older, I really believed it. I knew God had something planned, but of course I didn't know what. As life goes, my path meandered toward and then far away from Him and His plan, and back again. A few times. But I always had that spark in the back of my mind, the one that would eventually light the flame under my desire to actually do something great.
I can remember, and have actual evidence, in notes and other things people have written to and about me over the years, that I have always had a heart to serve other people. I've always had compassion and sympathy for their plight, and maybe for the human condition in general. I've always wanted to help. Not because it made me something, but because I could see it helped to make them something. Whether it was more focused, more curious, more peaceful, more courageous, I could tell that often-times whatever I did or said or wrote helped soothe their souls. And I knew it was not from my mind or abilities, but from the Holy Spirit. This was His something great for me. And I knew it. My heart yearned to be directed by Him in helping people, even if in the smallest of ways, and leaving them with a better sense of who they were in Him. What path they could take. Which adventure to travel. What piece of themselves they could challenge or nurture or renew. And also, I longed to help them to know what love truly is.
When I got married, I was super excited to be part of a brand new family. To bring into it all the love I experienced from my parents and siblings growing up, and to help draw new people into the boundless Love of Christ. I didn't feel as though it was my job to "save" anyone, but I knew that as all Christians, I, too, was called to bring others to Him. I didn't realize how much of a mountain I was climbing with that. And I know I failed miserably in it. I know it because part of the way up, I lost my path. I lost who I was and my purpose. I lost my sense of understanding what I was meant to do. I became confused. I became frightened. And I started my descent back down. I gave up. And I knew I had failed.
Getting to a place of being able to look at the journey I walked away from was difficult. There are still days in which the sting from what I endured keeps me from being able to move forward in my recovery. But other days, days when I am granted a certain peace or strength by my heavenly Father, I can look. I can put it all under a microscope and dissect each piece. I can sort out the good times (and yes, there were some good times), and I can cherish them and tuck them away for another time. And I can pick through the many shards of hurt: The miscommunication. The tearing down of my identity. And I see it- that something great. I see it quickly fading as time and time again I am told I am not worth the effort or time, I am not worthy of love, I am not considered family, my kids don't matter, I am useless, I am not able to help anyone, I should stop wanting to "save" people. I flip through the slides of these moments like a time-lapse photo album, and I see the frays around my mind appear, and snag, and then begin to furiously unravel.
I've notice lately that I am fearful when I talk to others. They ask me questions.."what do you think about X, what would you do in Y situation....how do I do this like you?" They ask these things of me, and the old me- the one who was confident in my something great- would easily have launched into an answer. Mind you, it would not be earth-shattering, eloquent or even awe-inspiring, but it would be something. To them, it might be one small piece of their puzzle, some small direction or aide. Or, it might not even be exactly what they need at that moment. And quite possibly it might not be anything they want to hear. But it would be something. And I would say it or write it, and I would feel confident that I did the best I could and I would pray that the Lord would take that opportunity to either shine through me or shine in spite of me. But regardless, I was working on fulfilling that utterance of the something great He said He would do with me.
But now..now I am afraid. I hesitate. I don't articulate well. I don't trust myself. I worry that I'm saying too much. Pushing too much. Helping too much. I am worried that they'll reject me, that they'll stop talking to me.
I am broken. Much more broken than I ever was when I was battling myself on the path back to the Lord for good. I am afraid to do something great. I am afraid to try.
The truth is, we should ALL want to make some mark on the world. We
should ALL want to do something great. That could simply look like
volunteering at a soup kitchen. Or it could be solving the clean-energy crisis. It
could take the form of counseling a wayward teen, or dropping $5 in the
cup of a homeless beggar. Or finding a natural cure for cancer. It could very well just mean focusing on your
family and ensuring that they know how much they are loved and
cherished, spending time with your children and guiding them with your love. As one whole body of Christ, everything we each do ripples
out and affects everyone. We're not just mindless, selfish sheep wandering around through life with no direction and no purpose. Our life's very breath is dependent on a Creator who loves us so much that He created us to share in this amazing and beautiful world, to take part in being a living vessel in which He can show others His love and invite them to His table, to His strong embrace. We CAN make our mark, make a difference, do
something great. And we should never allow anyone to cause us to lose
that knowledge and push us off our path. I know this. And yet, I allowed that very thing to happen.
I'm slowly working on figuring out how to smooth my way back onto that particular path; of wanting to help people without being afraid. I want to once again feel confident in the knowledge that this is the Lord's something great, His something great for me.