It was a Saturday night in October of 2008 and my daughter was about to speak out in public for the very first time about the tragedy that almost took my granddaughter’s life. Three years earlier, our family endured a devastating trauma when my daughter’s boyfriend physically hurt my 3 year old granddaughter in a fit of rage that almost killed her.
For three years after the incident, our family walked through an intense healing process. During this entire time, I did what I knew to do…I prayed, I remained in the faith and I clung to Jesus like I had never known I could. And everyone kept telling me how ‘strong’ I was. But in all reality, I wasn’t strong. In the course of ‘coping’ and helping everyone else heal, I had simply become numb to the unattended ‘trauma’ in my own soul. After all, when you go through all that and are still standing, it’s very easy to convince yourself that you’re being strong….but I wasn’t strong. I was just numb. Strong is what I became when I chose to feel and began to heal. That’s when I found myself. That’s how I found my voice.
But here is where I want to stop and make my point.
You see, this finding of my voice did not come to me directly. It came to me as I watched my own daughter courageously stand up in front of hundreds of people and share her journey through domestic violence, abuse and shame. That was when my own voice was finally set free. Witnessing my daughter’s ‘courage’ in sharing her story…so broken, so raw and so real. Seeing her press through the ‘pain’ even as she spoke. Not because she was trying to prove a point, but because it was something she so desperately needed to do for her own healing.…that my friend, was life changing for me.
My daughter taught me how to be brave. If you ask her, she’ll tell you:
“if it weren’t for my mother’s love and prayers and faith, I would not have made it and I wouldn’t be standing here today”.
But little did she know that, watching her and hearing her find her voice would actually save me and give me the courage to find my own voice and share my own story. Because, if truth be told, most of us are too busy trying to hide what God really wants to heal. But you can’t hide the pain that comes with the scars–not for long anyway.
That night as my daughter spoke, I came to deeply understand a truth that totally set me free.
…I realized that, like my daughter, Jesus never hid His scars.
You see, just like you and me, Jesus has scars. Even in His resurrected body, He showed those scars to the disciples as proof of where He’d been. His scars were the marks of the Cross where He died and the evidence of His resurrection power. His scars marked His glory. Beautifully broken, His scars are a part of His story.
No matter where we’ve been, whatever we’ve done or whatever’s been done to us, this one thing we must know:
“The marks we try to hide are the ones He wants to use”.
That night on October 25, 2008, this overwhelming thought filled my heart:
“My daughter may have left a samaritan woman but tonight she was transformed into an evangelist”.
On that night, a little girl lost walked up onto the pulpit, but it was a Fierce Woman that walked down. That night, unbeknownst to us at the time, Fierce Woman Found Ministries was birthed as both mother and daughter courageously released their pain, found their voice and received their healing.
As part of Jo Ann’s launch team for her book “When A Woman Finds Her Voice”, I was led to yet again another cathartic moment in my own story and am softly walking with God int this next leg of my journey. I came alongside Jo Ann Fore to share in her mission of helping women find their voices. This launch not only propelled her book but it launched my healing journey in this page of my story. I will forever be grateful for the safe and healing community provided by this woman of God and the beautiful women I met as part of her team. Please be sure to go and visit her website and get a copy of her book at: http://www.joannfore.com