Just what is the language of my past, anyway? Since I wrote my last entry - "Written in Stone" - I've been thinking about those words. When I wrote them, I was referring to the misery stemming from the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse I've suffered. But today, with an important milestone behind me and a clearer sense of direction for the path ahead, I'm thinking that misery isn't the only language of my history. Looking back, I can see suffering, but I can also see survival, healing, and victory. And if it is true, as Madeleine L'Engle wisely said, that human life is like a sonnet - with its form and meter and length pre-set, but with the freedom to write whatever we wish within those parameters - then I can also choose how my future will be written.
The freedom to make choices is one of God's greatest gifts to humanity. Because we are free to choose, any service we offer God out of our love for him has deeper value than it would if it were compulsory. We are at perfect liberty to pursue our own desires and wants first, after all. But the willingness to give of ourselves brings us full circle from selfishness and into the Christlike nature that cheerfully gives everything that we are in service to others, and so to God. It is in choosing to use my hurts to fuel my desire to help others who have suffered what I suffered that I take ownership of my life and bring light out of darkness.
I am free to choose how I live and what I believe. I am free to write my future in any language - regret or rejoicing; sorrow or song; hate or healing; judgment or joy.
I choose joy.