In the last week, I’ve had the privilege to share my story/my testimony with three different groups of people- a new-found group of friends, a radio station, and a grade 8 group from a nearby school, today. And as much as it can become repetitive, it truly is something that fills my replenishing bucket to the brim.
On most days leading up to the speaking opportunity, I have this fight with myself: “Why did you say yes? Is this all you’ll be known for? What are you without having to share your story?” But I feel my hope immensely refreshed, and my soul encouraged when I look into the faces of my audience. I see parts of what I would’ve wanted to hear back then.
Today was one of those moments.
Right before I was supposed to leave for the school this afternoon, I received a letter from the Department of Justice regarding my application to get my criminal record expunged. The whole paragraph in the letter boils down to one sentence, “This offence can therefore not be expunged.”
My heart sank.
Whatever I believed about myself since I woke up, disappeared between a blur of self-doubt and acceptance. Self-doubt because I’ve truly come to believe that God actually want this one thing to go my way, and now it doesn’t, and acceptance because, well, accepting that it won’t go my way after all. But then, instead of asking God to perhaps clear things up as to why this cannot happen for me, I took that piece of paper with me and used it as part of my talk. I used my despair to inspire. Because that is what replenishes me- to know that my pain can become a vehicle with whom others can navigate their way towards success and healing.
As I left the school’s reception area, an 8th grade girl called after me to stop. Then she said to me, “God told me to say to you that your mom is proud of who you’ve become. She’s proud of where you are.” And then she turned around and left. I drove away with a heavy lump in my throat, but a deep sense of contentment.
I wonder what Jesus must’ve felt when He heard the voice of His Father saying, “that’s my Son; I’m proud of Him”, because those words from that little girl surely made me feel that my identity is NOT wrapped up in having, or not having a criminal record. I’ve been through the hardest parts of becoming, and my mother is proud of that.
So, it’s with a heavy heart that I have to go back to square one in this process.
Perhaps there’s something else to be done.
Peace to you.