A few days ago, I was having lunch with a new acquaintance. We began to discuss some of the down and out people on the street I passed while walking to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Historical site in Atlanta, GA. In time, I mentioned that although my experiences never led me to living on the streets, I could certainly relate to the feelings of desperation and the situation of being homeless and in dire straights. He asked me to explain.
Without offering great detail, I told him that my story contained a past of trauma, abuse, homelessness, poverty, hopelessness, pain, addiction and a great belief that my life had little value because of the damage, choices, mistakes, and situations of my past. I told him I knew the feeling of having fame, wealth, success, and stuff and also knew the feeling of simply wanting to end it all because of the struggles of worthlessness, depression, directionless and hopelessness. My story was one of great healing and purpose through the events and plans God allowed. Despite the horrible difficulties, I am honored for my story and would not change one detail of my life understanding the little I know of His plan and use. I am thankful for every struggle and obstacle because of what I live out and experience today.
The acquaintance immediately began to question how I could feel worthless or have feelings of suicide or hopeless since I had so many things going for me including my ability and looks. He further concluded that the reason I was in dire straights was because I failed to access resources and could have easily found a man in a bar or club to take care of me.
His comments left me realizing that he was not someone who could relate to the difficulty of others outside of his limited experiences or values (he stated that nothing “bad” had ever happened to him….I will save that topic for a different post!). He knew very little of me yet believed to know my situation and course of actions at the time. Worse, his belief that I was immune to feelings of worthless because I had abilities and an outward appearance, left me dazed. Further, to simply use my looks or another person in order to get an easy way out clearly indicated that empathy, wisdom, and courage were not strong values.
I have a purpose in telling you about that event and a reason for this blog post. I would like to make two points. First, each day I communicate with, receive emails, hear about and speak to those who are at a point in their lives of giving up because the road is difficult. Like the acquaintance, we believe that because we look good on the outside, have abilities, came from a good home, etc., we are immune to feelings of hopelessness, self-doubt and a desire to give up. To use a professional counseling word, that view is Crazy! Regardless of background, success, fame, wealth, status or ability, we ARE ALL among the walking wounded who are imperfect, will make mistakes, have been hurt and go through ups and down. No one is immune despite our attempts to give the impression, our lives are fine and pain-free. While we often believe many lies about ourselves, perhaps one of the greatest is believing our experiences, pain, hurt and struggles are attached to our worth as people and potential for our future. Huge lie!
The second point is to offer encouragement to know that regardless of the issues, pain, past, health problems, inabilities, etc, a difficult road is never an impossible one.
I so get the feelings and frustration in the midst of the journey. Please know the biggest lie you can ever believe is that you don’t have what it takes, something is wrong with you because times are difficult or that your obstacles give indication that something is impossible. An obstacle is simply something we use as an excuse of why we cannot accomplish something. Obstacles are thoughts, fears, false beliefs, excuses and perceived problems that seem to be in the way of where we want to be and go. Perhaps, now is the time to stop looking at the things in the way and begin to explore, pray and stand up in a way to basically say, “Oh hell no, not today! I’m taking my life back and fear and excuses are not allowed!” and begin to take the land that is ahead.
Each day, we find reasons why things are not working out for us, situations that are unfair, or obstacles that seem to be in the way of our dreams, hopes and goals. It is easy to find reasons why we cannot do something or believe we cannot accomplish something. The prize nor the dream goes to those who simply desire it or believe they are owed it. It goes to those who step out despite obstacles, hurts, feelings and others people’s thoughts and word to say, “I will step out in courage moving forward no matter what!” What excuses or obstacles are you allowing to keep you stranded in your current position or frame of mind?
I don’t know your story, desire, dream or vision. However, I know for a fact that each of us has been given a story that ONLY WE know and can tell. It does not matter if a million people have had similar experiences, you have been given certain gifts, personalities, hardships, experiences, beliefs, issues, background,etc. that are unique to the potential, purpose and direction that you are supposed to tell and use through your life. If we allow obstacles, fear, health issues, our past, etc. to prevent us from sharing our stories, moving toward our potential and dreams, we are saying that our lives don’t matter and everything that has happened was a big accident of nature without purpose. Further, for those of us who are Christians, it states that Jesus died for nothing, He has no plan nor future for us, obstacles or our issues are too big for God to handle and use and basically all that He stated in His word and promises are a lie. I’m living proof that the previous sentence is totally false. I find it interesting that many are in disbelief or get angry with the pastor who who told me, “Charlotte, you are damaged goods and God will never use you”. However, daily we believe and act out that same lie about ourselves regardless if the actual words were said.
Anyone can write, grab dreams, or do great things and accomplish situations when it is easy, they have no health issues, pasts, or obstacles. If you are not crying, feeling crazy, second guessing yourself, feeling inadequate to complete the journey, then you are in perfect company with those who have been called for greatness. The fact that you have issues (like all of us) can never stop or deter your future. Only you and what you believe about yourself (and God’s inability to do the impossible) can do that.
I encourage you to move forward, feel what you feel, then hold on to the truth of who you are and all that is possible. You can do this. Please keep me abreast and let me know your thoughts and how I can be of encouragement to you!
READ the True Story that was featured on The 700 Club and CBN Television globally
Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely tm
Copyright © 2012 by Charlotte D. Hunt All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without written permission from the author except for brief quotations in printed reviews.