Boy, I cannot even begin to tell you of what these last few years, past few months, and most recent weeks have brought about in my life. As I sit and watch my life, or rather the details of my life unfold, I am amazed at the look of it all. It’s as if those things that are happening to us begin to bloom right before our eyes as beautiful foliage, never even thinking upon the fact that it started as a bud with no aesthetic beauty at all.
I am always nervous when asked to preach or deliver a Women’s Day Service. For real, I’m nervous when asked to preach at all. Even though I tend not to know what God would want me to say to his people, I do know there’s a lot to be said and even more than reported, a lot to be shared. And for me, preaching has become less about telling and more about sharing.
I don’t believe people realize the difficulty which lies behind becoming ‘TRANSPARENT’ in so very many things. To expose oneself to strangers in the name of ministry means you have to strip yourself of everything you know and have known about who you are, what you are, who you have, and what you have. Forget showing others what’s there deep down inside of the core of your being; you have to have strength beyond measure to prove yourself. People look in the mirror all the time. Oh, sure folks can so easily attribute how much ‘working on’ themselves they are doing… but I would venture to say that while you may see your self in that mirror all day every day, do you seek to understand your SELF and can you handle it when you do?
The one thing I do know is that I’ve always been a shy, reserved, quiet, and introverted person. I’ve been ultra-sensitive by nature, and a cry baby most of my life whether you believe it or not. It is the most ironic thing that people look at you, think they see who you are and give you attributes that probably don’t even belong to you, but belong to the perception of who they think you are. To my public speaking audiences, I’ve been told that I am mesmerizing, that I am too much, and that people really can relate. To my work constituents and colleagues, I’ve been known as the no-nonsense SHARK of a businesswoman who can close a deal when everyone coming to the table to front like they “plan” on doing business. To my children, I’ve been the over strict protective mother who worked all the time, tirelessly, and to be honest with you; I’m not sure if there’s anything else. And while I’ve worn all those hats, born the responsibility of all those measures, at the end of the day WHO AM I for real?
And while everyone who knows me in a different light and varying capacity thinks they can spout off who Stefany J. is, who Stefany Jones is, who Stefany Williams is, who that woman is… I can tell you that they don’t have a clue because I’m still learning her myself. I have evolved into this person from the molding and shaping of my experiences. I can tell you that while most, if not all, never made any sense while I was going through them. Every one of them has in retrospect.
In looking back, I realized that for me, in me, there was a lot of brokenness. The bone surrounding my heart had been broken and re-broken and broken some more. The broken-ness in spirit was so great that it was a wonder this soul with a body could exist under any circumstances, much less regular or otherwise.
What I can tell you is that through it all a re-set of those broken bones, a re-connect if you will of that broken-ness, all had to happen. What happens when broken bones are not tended to?
They begin to heal the best way they know how in their ruined state, never really healing properly and being restored to its original state – but crooked and any, which means it’s able to take shape or form. Why is that? I wondered. It is because the bones had to be reset. And when a broken bone has grown, of course, sometimes the attending physician will re-break it so that it can be put in its proper place.
Our lives are not much different. For that re-connect to take place, that RE-SET button has to be pushed. That broken-ness has to be re-set, and get this… if the healing has been done incorrectly. If you have just been one to ‘grin and bear’ the pain the best way you know-how, then a re-break might be in order. Oh, you absolutely will almost certainly return to the place of anxiety at some point because as much as you may think those bones of healing, there’s always going to be a crooked-ness or distortion. After all, the damage was never really tended to.
But here’s the right thing. This human body of our desires, in its best state, actually can heal itself. We make ourselves sick regularly, why can’t we make ourselves well? We absolutely can, but not until we acknowledge that maybe we need to have some things looked at. Sometimes we are scared that if we get things treated, the pain will be higher, and I don’t know where that comes from, but it just doesn’t make sense. And that’s because it isn’t true. The truth is we have the power within ourselves to help ourselves and help one another. The ability to hit that reset button is yours and yours alone. And while sometimes the reconnections take place through others, it always starts with a person reconnecting with themselves and the God who created them.
So for me, this woman who wears so many hats, who has suffered many ‘broken’ bones in her lifetime I can tell you that reconnection with the source of my strength is all I’ve ever needed and through my age and wisdom I’ve found will ALWAYS be my first line of defense. I will not seek the external to numb the pain; I won’t hide behind clothes for a quick fix bandage, I won’t even wear the pain as some sort of badge of honor masked as false humility. This woman, rather than quickly glance at reflection upon reflection…would much rather stop and look in every mirror she sees and tell her sister I love that you are a reflection of me.
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