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I’m still here.

Held up by God’s strength at times, but I rest knowing being close to Him is probably the best place I’ve been in a long, long time.

A fellow survivor wrote me after the last post and said, “You are being too hard on yourself.”

Possibly.

Since taking on this ministry I’ve gone from sharing my ‘experiences’ in God ‘showing up’ to feeling pulled to make sure what came from here was ‘inspirational’. The first was on my heart with no goal of even one person reading and the second, though also from my heart, morphed into writing for the proverbial ‘reader’ that would somehow share and bring more readers and more ‘likes’. Soon I was ‘advised’ to write on this topic, and that article and, though many I wanted to, there were times I didn’t.

be yourself mayou angelou

In these past few weeks there have been many articles and news topics I could’ve and possibly should’ve written about:

Bill Cosby  – REALLY? What more can I say that perpetrators do NOT look like monsters and most often they are the LAST person you’d expect. But we’ll continue to here news such as the ‘every day’ father like BILL COSBY who has allegedly (cough) assaulted women for decades and be surprised?? KOODOS to the first woman who came forward and to the subsequent women who have put their reputations on the line. Survivors like me KNOW why you remained silent. But no more. Today you found your VOICE.  My APPLUASE to you. You have my heart and prayers.

Funny…I didn’t want to write about that and now I’m fired up. The fire in me to fight ‘this’ (the issue of abuse) will never subside…rather it’ll spread and burn.

Or how about the Rolling Stones article on the UVA Rape scene? I was called to do a radio interview about that article the day after David’s funeral. I didn’t even know it had gone out. Quickly I read through the multi-paged article and became enraged. I had only a few minutes before the producer called and put me on air.  (Here is an ‘open letter’ from a survivor to the woman who wrote the article…for survivors in particular it is a MUST READ…bravo!)

Devastated by loss. Disheartened by betrayal. Disillusioned in the meaning of Christianity. Was it a good time for me to be ‘ON AIR’?

I sat down to pray in the seconds before the interview. “Lord, let it be Your Word and not my own. I’m mad, angry, hurt and defeated now but I still know YOU will overcome in the end.”

I believed every word.

This prayer is what has held me up out of the raging seas and into His warm embrace.

It is hard to write when you don’t feel ‘inspired’. Therefore, being ‘inspirational’ turns into a feeling of insecurity and fans the flames of not feeling ‘good enough’.

Last night in prayer I cried out to God and asked Him to let me know if I needed to ‘hang my hat’ maybe this isn’t for me after all. Am I really ‘inspiring’ anyone? Boohoo, right? Wha wha… whoa-es me.

Could I feel sorry for myself any more?? :(

downpoor

At 6am I woke to check my emails and found an email from a survivor.  One line that made me put on my big girl panties this morning and realize God’s wisdom is greater than mine…even his weakness is greater than any strength I could muster.

“Your sharing of your story, your truth, was very powerful. I especially liked the part where you defended the (any) abused child by saying “it’s not right”  (to take away the voice of a child). That really hit home and I was moved by your honesty, courage, and willingness to stand up for and speak out on behalf of the abused child…This ministry that you are living and participating in is very, very powerful and important and needed.  I just want to thank you very much for doing what you are doing, for saying “yes” to this work, and for standing up for the abused child.”

I couldn’t (and certainly wouldn’t) make it up if I wanted. JUST SHOW UP…right??? HE SHOWS UP? We just need to LISTEN…and give ourselves a break. I AM A SURVIVOR. And when I get asked ‘how do you do it’? I need to remind myself and everyone else it is one moment, one day at a time. We CAN and will overcome but there might be moments we ‘fall’ into the ‘old habits’ of being a victim. The key is to allow God to catch you in his arms and NOT be so hard on yourself. Look…I’m still working on it. ;)

I wanted to post the FINAL pictures from my trip with my mother and parish to the Holy Land…though it was taken two months ago the experience remains in my heart. Our final trip was to Corinth…where Paul spoke to the Corinthians.

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:20-24 

Corinth ...rainy day in the ruins.

 

A Mass none of us will ever forget. One that taught us the love of our shepherd.

A celebration of family.

As survivors the ONLY way we CAN continue to thrive and ENJOY life beyond our past is to be honest about where we are at in the moment, to seek help, good counsel, and rely on God’s strength. This is how I ‘do’ it. ;)

Blessings

Shannon

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