sunsetoronodam4I pace through the house, on the phone with my sister, making sure we have all the details covered for her family to watch our 3 dogs while we go to the Raising Generations Today conference. The conference that I will be sharing parts of my personal story. It’s the first time where there will be more than a handful of people listening.

It’s the story of how I was abused, abandoned, left to my addicted self to scrape my way through this cold and heartless world. The story I don’t tell to just anyone, if at all. The story that I’ve been trying to escape my entire life. The story that I feel God has been preparing me to share for over 20 years and even more so these last few months.

The story of my life.

My pace quickens as I try to keep the conversation light, even though I’m feeling anxiety climb up my limbs, ready to engulf my heart. We laugh, she sweetly encourages me, I close my eyes in gratitude. I’m finally starting to feel like I have a real relationship with someone in my family, my big sister. It feels as natural as it feels foreign.

We exchange sincere “I love you”‘s as I finish up one last pass through the kitchen. I brush of my emotions, well, stuff them down. I’m such a crier. 

I sit down at my desk for a couple of minutes printing flight and hotel information and somehow, I realize a couple of HOURS later, I got sucked into it being really important to update my Linkedin page??

I’m procrastinating again.

You see, if I ignore it, it’s not there. The fear. The nervousness. The excitement. The reality of this really happening.

My life. It was never supposed to be like this. I had no future, no destiny, no hope for anything beyond scraping by.

Yet here I am.

I’m alive. I’m a wife and mother. A sister, an aunt, a friend. I live in a house where the bills are paid and there’s always food in the fridge. I’ve accomplished a few things in this short amount of time on earth. Even if none of it makes the 10 o’clock news and no one else ever knows but the Lord, I still have done something with my life beyond white-knuckle surviving.

And I still struggle with feeling like God must have the wrong girl.

Even though I know He doesn’t make mistakes and I know HE knows exactly what He’s doing and I’ve been begging and pleading that my life would be used by Him for His glory and that I would one day move beyond always being the broken one, always being the needy one, always being the “special project” one.

All those years of darkness. All those years of crawling and gasping my way through to the Light…have I finally reached the top of the hole?

If I have, please don’t tell me.

If I have, I want to realize it slowly. Slowly, so that nothing will make me prideful. Slowly, that I may not lose hold of humility as I reach for wholeness.

I don’t want to be whole if the price is losing my humility. I’d rather have a forever thorn than have any more of me believe it can live without God. I don’t ever want to give up being desperate for Jesus. Not for anything.

I close my eyes, lay my head in my hands and I begin to weep.

I weep because I feel inadequate. I weep because I can’t believe God feels I’m “ready” enough to be used by Him. I weep because I’m not sure if I can convey all that I want to. I weep because I want to see God heal broken hearts. I weep because I know how special these women are to the Lord and that makes them special to me. I weep because I love my Savior. I weep because I’m not sure I can do this. I weep because I want to honor my family and not cause pain. I weep because Jesus has already gone before me and has prepared the way and is on my side. I weep because I can’t find my favorite nail polish. I weep because I can’t decide which shoes to bring. I weep because we don’t have as much money as I was hoping to have. I weep because I was hoping to have lost more weight by now. I weep….

My husband walks over to me, gently placing his strong hands on my shoulders, whispers comfort to me. My shoulders heave. I still can’t believe I have a husband. And a very good one for me at that. And in this strange place of gratitude and awe, I find calm again.

I turn the volume up on Pandora and Christy Nockels’ voice invades me: “Your face is beautiful, and Your eyes are like the stars…Your gentle hands have healing, there, inside the scars…Your loving arms they draw me near and Your smile, it brings me peace…Draw me closer, Oh my Lord, draw me closer, Lord, to Thee…”

…and I worship.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Faith Bogdan March 23, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Traci! I’m so sorry I didn’t find you to say good-bye at the conference. Dave came to pick us up and he was so tired…. Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you for your awe-inspiring words shared on stage, and for the gift of your daughter’s friendship to my daughter. Both precious gifts from God this weekend! I LOVE your blog, and your writing is just as I suspected–just beautiful, as you are. I especially love the part about not wanting to lose your humility, and the thorn. Wow. Please keep writing, and maybe God will have you write your story in a book someday. The world needs what you have to offer–hope, and lots of it! So glad we met, keep in touch. xo

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Patti March 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm

This is so beautiful Traci. I am overcome. You are a beautiful writer, and your love for Jesus is so evident. That actually has been clear to me about you since the first time I met you. I so wish I could have heard your story…. what a brave, sweet mama you are to say yes to God’s hard call. I hope you will write about it here too, when you are ready, so that all of us who love you but are scattered about this big country can hear of His mighty work in your life too. <3

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ali @ an ordinary mom April 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm

What a blessing to see you step out in faith and step into the “more” that He has for you! Love you, dear friend!!

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Lainey March 9, 2017 at 10:37 pm

At last! Someone with real exsirtepe gives us the answer. Thanks!

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