Back in June, I was approached by my church about making a video that would eventually be shown during church service and then shared through Social Media outlets. There was an upcoming sermon series on "This is Me" and how God changes stories. These videos would be played to support that. I was asked to share my story.
A couple of years ago, I made a promise to God that if I were ever asked to share my experience and story, that I would say YES! I owed it to HIM to show how He has made beauty from ashes; how He has taken something like abuse and transformed it into something good...Faith/relationship with HIM. So I said yes.
The truth - I didn't want to do it. I had extreme anxiety about it. Even though I blog, a video was different and exposure would be vast. I lost sleep over it. I lost weight over it and I didn't want to be a hypocrite. I was not in a good head space when I filmed it. I spoke all truth in the video but this journey is hard. There's ups and down's all along the way and I wasn't mentally "up"when it was time to film.
The video was filmed at my house. There were 3 camera's, lighting, a floating microphone and 3 video guys. I had mentally prepared how I would present my story but when it was time to start, I couldn't think, much less speak with clarity. We all know that sexual abuse is not a topic of conversation that you discuss over lunch. Nor is it easy to speak of it with 3 camera's, lights and a microphone. We powered through and took breaks, drank water, walked around - lol. The media team was patient and great! The overall outcome was exactly what I was hoping for. Somehow, the media team was able to produce a video that I was proud of. My story has been changed by faith, my relationship with him, and my willingness to share my journey through blogging.
My obedience to Him and my willingness to do this video brought really cool "God moments" in the weeks to follow. Just trust me when I tell you that He spoke to me through people, song, scripture, situations, jewelry, opportunities, and comments. He was confirming, without a doubt, that my story matters and that it should have been recorded to be shared. It was wild! These moments brought me to tears but it proved that obedience to HIM will always be rewarded.
Fast forward several weeks when it was due to be played at church. Anxiety got the best of me again. I questioned whether or not I would be viewed as "the abused person" after it was shown? So many people would know about me and my abuse. All of my insecurities resurfaced and started playing tricks on me. Let's not forget that the enemy is well aware of situations that glorify God. He was attacking me in full force through my work, family, and marriage that week.
The video played on September 19th. My siblings, parents, husband and boys were present with me that day. When the video started, I lost my breath. I couldn't move, breathe, or say anything. My husband held on to me and held me up. I felt like a piece of glass that was about to break. Emotions hit me like a freight train but I couldn't react because I felt paralyzed. EXPOSURE!
I'm gonna keep it real and say that I am so pleased with how the video turned out. The media team has skills because I didn't feel like I said anything that made sense. I'm gonna also keep it real by saying that this video makes my story look pretty, put together and all wrapped up with a bow.
My story is ugly. My story has depression. My story has hospitalization. My story has loss of work due to depression and hospitalization. My story has anxiety. My story has suicidal thoughts. My story has group therapy. My story has individual therapy. My story has self harm. My story is full of shame. My story has intimacy issues. My story has trust issues. My story has self esteem and self worth issues. My story has lack of emotion issues. My story has medications. My story has unworthiness.
My story is a redeeming story. My story taught me intense faith. My story led me to the bible. My story enriched my life with a relationship with God. My story taught me that He is persistent to have a relationship with you. My story is teaching me courage. My story is teaching me strength, power, and resilience. My story is using me to assist and help others. My story is teaching me to feel worthy.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
May you never be defined by what's happened to you. May you learn to be defined by how awesome God thinks you are.
As always, thanks for the support!!
He changed My Story,