Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Accepting the Night Shift (part 2)

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I've survived a past with more than a little violence, pain and suffering. As dark as many of those days were, the operative word is that I survived. By God's grace and mercy, not only have I overcome my past, but I'm a better, stronger person because of it.

I spent nearly 30 years either denying or fighting my past, unable (or unwilling) to see how unresolved anger and pain was impacting my life. I knew that I was missing something very important, but I could never quite connect all the dots. I may never understand why God allowed certain things to happen to me. But now I understand that He wants me to use my experiences to try to ease the pain and suffering of others. If He can use me as a living example of how we can learn to overcome life's challenges because of rather than in spite of them, then the things I went through will not have been for nothing.

So knowing all this, why am I so afraid? Because what I'm being called to share is very painful, and very personal. Writing this blog, and receiving the feedback that I often get, has been a tremendous experience in terms of helping me to stretch my writing muscles in preparation for writing the books that God has placed on my heart to write. But I know that writing the books is not enough. I know that I'm going to be required to speak publicly about these things too. And that's the part that scares me the most. I've heard that speaking in front of crowds is a "normal" fear under the most benign circumstances, which doesn't make it any less fearful for me. But then add to that the subject matter that I'm being called to speak about and I find it terrifying. But then I'm reminded of David. He must've been terrified too when facing that giant with nothing but a little rock and a slingshot.

I haven't started reading Night Shift yet, but I did glance through it and saw that the author identified seven stages of the night shift cycle. I can't tell you how comforting it was to receive confirmation that I've made it through the most difficult stages and that now it's time to plant seeds and wait expectantly for them to bear fruit.

(to be continued)


Marissa said...

Hey there,

I stumbled across your blog by way of BPD in OKC. I love to find blogs written by other Christians because it makes me feel as though I'm not alone. I'll be adding you to my blogroll. God bless you!

Paula Joy said...

I, too, know that I am to write a book and speak in front of people about the things I've gone through in my life. And, yes, it is scary!!! I can't even say some of the words out loud, so how can I possibly share with people?? I understand how you are feeling...
On the other side of the coin, I am in my late 20's, and I want to start this speaking ministry soon. A lot of women wait until their 40's and 50's before getting on that train, and well, I don't want to wait that long. I can't wait to start helping people by sharing what I've gone through, what I've learned, and what I am still learning.
I am greatly encouraged by your post, and I am glad I followed your link!!

my life with bipolar disorder said...

Dear Syd,

Thank God for seeing you through difficult and painful times in your life and strengthening you through the years. When we go through very difficult times in our life, we will emerge a better and stronger Christian, by the grace of God.

God will use you to be a comfort and encouragement to others as you share of His goodness and mercies to you, in His time. May His every blessings be with you.

Praying for you,

marja said...

I too am going to have to speak to people about my life experiences. My book should be out within 3 months (hopefully). At one time I was scared stiff to have to speak in public. Now I'm only somehwat nervous. Now I'm excited to have the opportunity - to tell others what God has done in my life - to help people understand that Christians too can have bipolar disorder. I want to help Christians learn to be supportive of those who have mental illnesses.

Annie said...

Syd, I admire your courage and give thanks that there are those of you who have more confidence than I do at this point. Reading yours and others blogs helps!