Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It's not "My Story"

If God is the Author and Finisher of my life then is He also the ONE to blame for my story?

"Like an open book, You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before You, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day." ~Psalm 139:16

I've always hated my story. I've always hated my life but I didn't realize how much I hated it until I became a Christian and started sharing it.
I didn't think that my story was too outrageous or strange.

It was what it was -- a story. I was just a main character. 

A few short steps into my Christian walk and I was made aware that my story was so rare that it needed to be shared more broadly. I, at first, didn't care because to me it wasn't that big a deal. It was just the account of my life thus far.

How naive I was. How blind... 

I never thought for a second that God could use a story as foolish as mine. My story is of nothing but the culmination of human mistakes. All five of my parents and their choices being main contributors to the darkness of what was "my life".  

Me in D.C.
I am the type of person that is very passionate about what I believe in and each time I spoke up at a public meeting or event I was given an opportunity to speak even more. People wanted to hear more and, honestly, it freaked me out.
I was called a "rising star" by a reporter and I was being written and spoken about by people who made major life altering decisions. It wasn't what I expected. It was way too much attention for me. I got scared.

The day I never wanted to speak my story again.
My tipping point came when I was invited to be a speaker at a national convention in Washington, DC. I was very well paid for a sliver of my story and in the end I walked away that day horrified at the fact that I had a story that was indeed rare, not because it's really rare but TABOO to speak of publicly. So taboo that I was reminded of how "different" I was. Again.
I was an open book shining a light on incest, rape, depression, cultural norms, suicide, and repeating the cycles of sexual abuse. I made people uncomfortable with my vulnerability. It wasn't what I wanted. I just wanted people to understand people like me and to show us some compassion. There's a reason behind our hate and anger. Help!
I didn't know how I impacted people but after the convention people lined up to just hug me. Some told me their stories. They wanted to stay in touch. I hurt so bad internally, I just couldn't. I wasn't prepared for all the feelings. Everything in me hurt.

I felt a great sense of shame for being different. Again. I've always been different. I hated it and now I had an audience. I felt like a freak show.

I thought sharing my story would help me fit in better with other people because then they'd understand why I was such a mess but it didn't. So, I stopped. I refused to engage with people who wanted to hear more of my story.
I wanted to be accepted as "normal" or "alike" NOT "rare" or "unique".

Then God opened my eyes to see His authority and His life in mine when I heard this song:

I remember when I first heard this song. I was driving and I didn't understand the meaning of it until I heard it again. I quickly realized that the words are about how the stories of our lives are really about Jesus and how we were ordained, created and entrusted to share our stories in a world that needs to know that they were created by a God that loves them and has made them for purpose.

I hold in me a story of purpose.

A story that I must surrender to Jesus DAILY if I want to see it unfold in the way that it was meant to be read by His kids.

Here is a short synopsis of the story I have been entrusted to tell:
  • I was literally found. Where? Several stories have been told to me but as a child I was told that I was found near garbage. I was a throwaway therefor I was treated as such. I don't know the truth. Perhaps I don't need to. I trust that God will tell me in His own time. 
  •  I have three different family groups. A biological, an adopted, and a blended family. I was found as a toddler, spent about seven years in my adopted group and about seven years with my blended group. Parental supervision for me ended at fourteen.
  • I have five parents and none of them can definitively claim me without hesitation. As a kid I never knew who I belonged to. This is where most of my doubts about God stem from. I always have to ask Him if I'm His girl. He has and is always needing to confirm this for me. I am His.  
  •  The first seven years of my life was spent in the Samoan culture and the next seven years of my life was spent in the American culture. I left home at fourteen. 
  •  From fourteen to twenty-one I belonged to no one nowhere and I bounced around trying to find out where I belonged and who I belonged to. Most adopted/orphaned kids go through this season.
  • At twenty-one I met my husband who put a Bible in my hand and introduced me to Jesus.
  • Today, I'm a married mother of two beautiful kids and a follower of Jesus Christ.
 I'm no longer scared to share my story.
It's just hard to share it because it's so complex. My own family gets confused when I tell my story because they don't know which family group I'm speaking of when I share a story. It's kinda frustrating. I guess that's why God has me writing it out. :)

For me, having closure with my biological mother in 2006 and my adopted mother this past April (along with the deaths of both of my father figures) has given me the freedom to acknowledge just how beautiful my story is because of how God used all of them to make me the mother and the woman I am today.
Yes, I purposely left out my biological father because I don't believe he is worth mentioning at this time. We have yet to meet. The Lord is working on how to share him until then I am very blessed to have survived what I survived enough to share it with others and to share how my story is really about... JESUS and His redemptive power. 

"Women who stepped up were measured as citizens.... this was a people's war and everyone was in it."

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