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My Newest Journey of Self Discovery

January 18, 2012

Book coverLast week I embarked on a new journey to embrace who I am as a mother, wife and child of God.  I joined a group at our church called “Ministry of Moms Sharing” or MOMS for short.  It’s a nine week journey with weekly sessions and I am already so excited that I finally decided to do this.  It’s been something I’ve felt inclined to do for a while, but something always seemed to “get in the way”.  Honestly, I think that God knew that this was exactly the perfect time for me to begin this journey.  I shared in one of my previous posts, The Power of Girl Timethat I had lost contact with my closest friend and how important it is to have strong, like-minded women that you can connect with.

I consider myself to be an emotionally strong person, back in early December, I had a pretty low moment where I was feeling very much alone and isolated.  A friend of mine from church had reached out to me via Facebook the day before and invited me to be part of this ministry and it seemed that she really understood how I was feeling at that very moment.  I made the decision to attend and I am so happy that I did.

Last week was an introduction to the journey so tonight was our first real session.  As part of the preparation, we were asked to read and journal on the topic of self-esteem and self-acceptance.  This topic was incredibly difficult for me, especially considering that I’m not an overly emotional or reflective person by nature.  I literally spent a hour and a half reading just 17 pages and then writing about some of my most inner thoughts.  The first portion was sort of a self discovery of who I am and how I became who I am today.  It was really interesting to look back on my childhood and the process of becoming an adult and how that has shaped me into my current self.

The most interesting to me, was a section where I was asked to write about an important choice that I have made which has impacted my self-esteem.  This one was fairly easy for me to identify but requires a bit of background for those of you that don’t know me well (which may be many).  Growing up, I always struggled with self-esteem, especially throughout high school.  I was never part of the “popular” crowd.  Although I had a few close friends, to most I was nerdy and weird–an outsider.  I was not outgoing or pretty and I have always been the kind to “walk the straight and narrow”.

My second year of college, I met my now husband Andrew, and immediately fell in love with his brilliant intellect, caring nature and incredible work ethic.  We really made (and still make) a perfect pair.  We started dating in the spring of 1994 and I took him to meet my parents over the 4th of July weekend that year.  We drove back to school that evening and I remember very distinctly the phone call from my dad voicing his absolute disapproval of Andrew.  You see Andrew is bi-racial (black/white) and my dad, though I never felt to be racist, did not want his daughter dating a “black man”.  That evening, I stood up to my dad (for probably the first time in my life) because I knew that Andrew made me happy.

That was truly a defining event in my life.  I decided, at that moment, that I had to make decisions for my own well-being without regard to how others would view me, even my own family.  For the next 3 1/2 years, my relationship with Andrew was not discussed.  Part of that time, after graduating, I was living in my parents house while Andrew was attending grad school in Missouri.  I was not even allowed to use my parents phone to call him (that was before cell phones).  I would travel to visit my friend in nearby Lawrence just to spend time with Andrew when he would come into town.  It was extremely difficult and without a very close group of friends to confide in and re-affirm my choices, I’m not sure I would have persisted.

Just so you know, my family did come around and now they adore Andrew as much as I do. That moment, however, will forever be etched in my being as the moment I became “ME”.  I can honestly say that it was likely the best thing that my parents could have done to make me the strong, confident person I am today.  My purpose in telling this very personal story, is only to share how my experiences have shaped who I am and who I am becoming and to encourage you to take some time and reflect also.  I leave you with this very powerful psalm from Psalms of a Laywoman by Edwina Gately, VMM.

Called to Become

You are called to become
A perfect creation.
No one is called to become
Who you are called to be.
It does not matter
How short or tall
Or thick-set or slow
You may be.
It does not matter
Whether you sparkle with life
Or are silent as a still pool,
Whether you sing your song aloud
Or weep alone in darkness.
It does not matter
Whether you feel loved and admired
On unloved and alone
For you are called to become
A perfect creation.
No one’s shadow
Should cloud your becoming,
No one’s light
Should dispel your spark.
For the Lord delights in you
And encourages with gentle joy
Every movement of the Spirit
Within you.
Unique and loved you stand,
Beautiful or stunted in your growth
But never without hope and life.
For you are called to become
A perfect creation.
This becoming may be
Gentle or harsh,
Subtle or violent,
But it never ceases,
Never pauses or hesitates,
Only is –
Creative force –
Calling you
Calling you to become
A perfect creation.

Enjoy your journey and recognize that you are “a perfect creation”!

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. Carolyn permalink
    January 18, 2012 11:24 pm

    This is what its all about my friend! I am honored to be the one that gave you a little push and so excited to be starting you on this beautiful journey.

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