Who am I? What is my passion? Why do I blog?
I am uniquely me… passionate about truth… highly social… brutally honest… and I blog because my life is full and my heart is fuller. But it wasn’t always that way….
My life has been shaped by the pain and traumatic experience of my first 18 years on this planet, but it is not now, nor will it ever be, defined by what life was or who I was. I am one of those people that many love, a few hate and some admire. I suppose that’s good, though the latter frightens me more than the others. My fear is not that being admired will make me arrogant; it’s hard to remember who I once was and be proud of what I have become. I am, simply put, a work of grace in progress. I am not afraid of making mistakes–I anticipate those because I know how human I am. No, my greatest fear is that someone will look up to me, admire me and be let down because they perceived me to be something more than I am. Something more than anyone is capable of being.
Those who know me well understand me and know these things about me: You see what you get. You love me or leave me. (And I am okay either way because my identity lies in my first love–Jesus) You see me as strong and un-swaying in my beliefs or you see me as determined and passionate about pursuing my destiny—that deep inner purpose—at all costs.
I prefer forthright communication, not side-stepping the issues or softening the blow. Give it to me straight and let me process it. Because I am passionate and yet analytical I need time to process it if you tell me that I am off track. It may take time for me to see that I am wrong, but when I do, I am quick to acknowledge it.
I believe in intelligent design, intelligent choice, and the free will of all mankind in every situation. I strongly advocate for truth because it is the only weapon that fights lies. Pointing a finger at the liar and declaring him or her to be so has never convinced anyone of truth. However, disregarding the lies and the liar, while speaking unadulterated truth, gives the truth power and potential. In other words, I fight ‘against’ that which I am opposed to by fighting ‘for’ what I believe in.
I am a Joan of Arc and it gets me in trouble. A friend once said, “You march right in where angels fear to tread” and I suppose there is some truth in what she was trying to say. I’m not sure it was intended as a compliment at the time—I certainly didn’t take it as such—but in hindsight I see that it is a positive. This ‘courage’ surfaces when I see victimization, particularly in children, and I find myself compelled to help. I love Justice and Mercy and passionately despise manipulation, injustice, untruth and people taking advantage of the vulnerable.
I am also Mother Theresa, but with a husband and 5 kids of my own, and would give the shirt off my back to help someone. I have heard hundreds, probably thousands, of stories shared by wounded people and I hold them in my heart but never carry them in my spirit. I forgive quickly when I have been wounded, trust to a fault and have learned that you believe the best in people no matter what, and always extend grace.
Having said that, I believe there are times to ‘draw a line in the sand’, so to speak, and create boundaries in relationships. I make no apology for saying ‘no’ to negative, manipulative or otherwise destructive relationships. I’ll give a relationship everything I can, but will walk away without any sense of obligation if the relationship becomes openly and unapologetically destructive.
One of my greatest mentors ever, Margaret K, taught me the importance of these boundaries in my early thirties. Her wisdom changed my future and I am eternally grateful to her for that. Putting in my own words what I got out of her advice, she communicated this to me: Surround yourself with people who believe in you and help you become what God has called you to be. Don’t eliminate the others from your life but bring the encouragers closer in relationship and there will automatically be distance between you and negative people who hold you back. She also taught me that negative people are not bad people. They are trying to protect their world because they have been wounded. They control because they have been controlled. They are easily offended because they are insecure.
Understanding this and seeing people through the eyes of grace makes negative experiences about something bigger than me, while helping me see that God never intended that we invite negative influence into our life or accept it as normal.
I am what I am because of the kindness of God in my life; a kindness usually revealed through spiritual mentors, good friends and my wonderful family.
Who am I? I am me. What is my passion? God, people, truth, justice and mercy. Why do I blog? Because we all learn from life experience–our own and what people share. I blog because I want to encourage you, challenge you and inspire you. That’s why I read, that’s why I write.
As I read about you, I thought, “this is me”. It is so nice to find someone who thinks like me. 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Thank you!
Thank you Jenny. I hope you enjoy my blog. I always welcome feedback!
I am presenting you with an Expert! award for your motivational journey.
See http://expertofnone.com/2012/05/30/not-just-any-award-an-expert-award/ for details about the awards, and http://ouradoptionexperience.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/expert-awards/ for my post.
Keep up the excellent work
Thank you. I didn’t know there are awards on WordPress… I would have studied harder! 🙂
Thanks for sharing Trudy. My wife, Faith, was raped and molested for many years by her father who was a pastor at the time. We started a ministry in 2008 to try and motivate the ‘Church’ to deal with this issue as well. I am currently a pastor in the Corning, NY area.
Thank you, Pastor Dale. It is tragic beyond words, what your wife experienced. It’s painfully common, unfortunately, and hard to break the silence–God bless you and your wife for your work!
We’re only a bit more than 4 hours apart.. maybe we could connect sometime? I expect to be in New York some time this summer. If you and your wife would be interested in meeting for a coffee, I would adjust my visit to make that happen.
I have been reading your blogs. To many this may seem like a small, said in passing kind of word but it is meant deeply from my heart, like in the pit of it.
Since I was 14 I left the Mennonite religion, because of abuse.
I miss so much of my family and life, but it had to be that way.
God Bless You
I’m sorry, Colleen, for what you have and continue to go through. The loss of innocence–whether the abuse is sexual abuse, spiritual abuse or violence–is bad enough. To lose family, and life with them, as well as friends, on top of that, is very painful. So much loss… I pray that your life will blossom in hope, meaningful relationships and restoration.
Thank you so much. Just in you sharing has given me great hope there can be change and is change.
Colleen – I grieve for your experience. As someone who spent my entire life in the Mennonite fold I want to let you know that there were probably many who saw and knew and attempted to speak up on your behalf but were shut down. Those who continue to speak up are usually forced out. I hope that you have found a church that can welcome you and embrace you.If you want to contact me I would be glad to correspond with you.
Very odd, Shirley, but I only saw this now. I never got notified! Just wanted to say ‘thank you’ of reaching out to Colleen. And thank you for reminding us that sometimes people try to speak up, but get silenced… unfortunately. Blessings to you as you encourage others.
Trudy thank you so much for allowing God to use you and your pain to help others to healing .He is the GREAT Father of all Father!
Hi Shirley, I realized today that I missed a few comments on this page–yours was one. (Sorry!) Thank you for this kind note, and “Amen!” to God being a great Father!
Thank you Trudy!! one of my friends posted a link to your blog on facebook. I will be doing the same. So many of my firends are going through the same issues.
I’m sorry that many of your friends are going through this, and pray that the blog can be a source of encouragement and support to you as you walk through the ‘stuff of life’ with them.
I admire you and would love to learn more and more from you. I feel that you are someone that could mentor and advice me.
God bless you.
Wow! Finally someone that understands the mind of a person who experienced sexual deviance from a little girl. up to the age of 17. Even getting married young, wanting to get rid of all the “filth” I thought I was, didnt really change anything. Thankful the Lord saved me, in 1991, and made me new, but the torment carried me through adulthood, pretending to be someone else. I guess that was my way of not being her, but being who I wanted to be, and yet, so insecure, so damaged! I realize now, God was healing me, strengthening me, and helping me through many issues. I forgave those that hurt me, right after I got saved. I felt I needed to do that, but I carried a hidden part of me, that often tormented me, when I was trying so hard to be clean and good. I already was, but I felt such condemnation over everything I did. I do not have a friend in the world that understands me, but I have a God that loves me unconditionally and calls me His own. This media circus has not only brought up my dark images, but I can only imagine what it is doing for them, and it hurts me, and makes me angry so many are being so hateful! Thank you for saying what you did, and I think I may have found a place to gain strength and healing, many years later. Not sure the healing I still need, but more so, for healing of this is not who I am. To deal with the trauma, and know that I am not crazy, worthless, devalued, because of my past! Thank you!
I found this ‘About’ fascinating, and incredibly honest. But also, the Lord Jesus is using it to help me understand something. In 1st Corinthians 13, the King James Bible says that love ‘Believes all things’ (English modernized). I always thought that a very strange thing to say. How can you believe that person ‘A’ is a nice person and also believe that they aren’t a nice person? Or believe that 2 + 2 = 4 and 2 + 2 ≠ 4. Surely that would be necessary if you are going to believe ALL things? Obviously, that’s not what it means. The Amplified Bible says, ‘Love … is ever ready to believe the best of every person’. This is also something I have had a hard time doing – surely this means being naive about some people? Yet here I find someone (Trudy) who apparently has managed to do this. Quoting from above, ‘I … have learned that you believe the best in people no matter what, and always extend grace.’ Wow – it’s actually possible! Maybe God is starting to fix this in me – for the first time, I have found an explanation of what the Word means. I have been a Christian for about 52 years – we can be thick sometimes! (I’m autistic – Asperger’s Syndrome. That doesn’t help!)
I just stumbled upon your blog and I am so encouraged to find someone blogging about childhood sexual abuse from Biblical perspective. I look forward to diving into your blog deeper and getting future updates.