To those who have been around me, I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I have been in Trauma therapy. This has never been something I felt the need to hide. (I may have avoided mentioning it in my job interview, but in the appropriate settings I’ve been pretty candid.) Trauma isn’t something I chose. It wasn’t a bad choice that I made. It happened to me. In the same way I wouldn’t need to hide getting help for a broken leg, I have not felt the need to hide my trauma recovery. I’ve completed a number EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy sessions and will be continuing them in the weeks to come. I know everyone will have different experiences, but I would highly recommend anyone who is trying to recover from whatever life threw at them to consider EMDR or some type of counseling. (If you are wondering if this could be you…it probably is.)
Over the last several months and especially these last couple weeks, I have noticed a huge shift in how I view myself. As I have looked back over these last years, I had felt totally powerless and out of control. I felt very small and weak. I had seen myself as someone who gave up and allowed certain abuse of power to happen to me.
When I look back now, I see someone who stayed kind and compassionate. I stayed true to who I was at the core. I did not abandon my values. I wasn’t perfect. I wasn’t always kind and caring, but most of the time I was. I look back and see someone who kept fighting for those who had no voice. I wasn’t unaware of what price I would pay. I knew it would cost and I chose to be kind anyway. I look back and see someone who was powerful. The power is not connected to the results, but rather to my actions.
Over the last several months, I have regained a bigger physical presence. I had been trying so hard to stay small and unseen. I haven’t actually gotten bigger (which I’m happy about…since the only way I’ll grow bigger at this age is sideways.) but I do take up more space. I’m no longer trying to stay unseen or apologizing for taking up space. I can not control much. I can control what I believe about myself and I can control my actions. I will do my best with what I have been given and trust that to be enough.
I have loved the discussions I have had this week about power over at the Velvet Ashes Book Club. I keep thinking that we might have gotten the definition of power all wrong. Power that manifests itself as dominance and elevating yourself at the expense of others is in opposition to the character of our all-powerful God.
I do not want to be known as someone who uses power to control others or dominate and intimidated. I do not want to use power for my own personal gain. I do want to walk in the God given power of the Holy Spirit. Confident. Unashamed. Willing to stay true to Him even when it costs. This may not look like power in the eyes of the world. I’m not even sure I would want that. I would much rather people see kindness and gentleness and humility. If those are words I could be characterized by, I think it would mean by God’s grace I was using power well.
(For the rest of my Write 31 Days series, click here.)