Monday, August 22, 2016

December 14, 2015:

I went to the Gatehouse Christmas party a couple of nights ago! It was an awesome time. Really, I was quite pleased with the way my physiology reacted. Merited, most of these people I feel very comfortable around but this was the first time since before the injury that happened to me where I went into a place with so many people and felt calm physically and emotionally. I have to say that if you could have seen me at one of the events I’d gone to in the past, including my friend’s weddings, you’d know why I feel so empowered by this. At those events, every one for the past sixteen years, with a reasonable amount of people there, I would have been so overwhelmed that my legs would start shaking madly. Seriously, it would be so bad that I wouldn’t be able to stand. Which in turn, made conversing with people impossible. Because I would be focussing on standing in spite of pain. Anyways, I just want to acknowledge how far I feel I have come! And I know I owe a lot of that to the work I have done and of course, my faith! Praise the Lord for giving me legs. Praise the Lord I can walk. Praise the Lord for every breath I take! Also, on Saturday this past week, I had my Rite of Acceptance as part of my Confirmation process within the Church. Everything went very smoothly. Again, I was anxious and excited but my physiology responded alright. It was such an emotional experience to have the guy who filled in for my sponsor physically bless me across all of my senses. This gent who filled in is a really great guy. I have in fact found a sponsor, which is kind of like a Godfather. He’s one of the guys with whom I went on the Paths of Courage Retreat earlier this year. And he is a great guy as well. I am reading the Book of Tobit right now. I love it! Today, I sent off those letters I was speaking about. The first was a Christmas card to a young girl whose family was killed in an act of arson; she being left with severe burns over 70% of her body. All she wanted this Christmas was cards from across the world. The second was a letter of encouragement to a brother whose leg was removed by an explosion at his place of worship in Central African Republic. I tried my best to encourage him. And I was very moved by his faith in reading his story. The third was a letter I wrote to my sponsor child through Christian Children’s Fund Canada. She lives in Ethiopia. Something this week reminded me of the times when I was in school, still very much in darkness regarding everything that happened. I’ve said this before but want very much to emphasize how sorry I am for the way I acted during these times. It is important to remember though, why I acted these ways. I acted these ways because I feared love. Particularly love for myself. I hated myself in these times. But I hated myself entirely because of the things that had happened to me. The many assaults and offences, which I was then still coping with. It was not until I saw the truth, the truth of who I am and how important I was/am, the truth of how much God loves me that I was able to start to treat myself and others with the love and respect that I/they deserve. We need to have compassion for each other. We have been through a lot. All of us. We can learn a lot from each other. Be vigilant enough in your beliefs to stand firmly by your convictions but also to accept that the influence of other opinions have the potential to contribute and not just disrupt. We should avoid feelings of superiority to others, we should avoid pride. Just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s right. We need to learn to think for ourselves, or rather, to think objectively. Anyways, I went to the gym last night, around 8PM. It was a nice thing to do for myself. I was happy I got to see someone I know. She’s the woman who helped me become a member again of the gym. She seems like a really a wonderful woman. It was Michelle’s birthday a week ago or so. A part of me wishes she hadn’t moved so far away. I wish I could have gotten closer with her. I was happy because she said I was a great friend in her comment on her birthday post. She is always in my heart though. Yesterday, before I went to the gym, I was reflecting over the fact that God saw all of this happen from the very beginning. Everything. His Word is a Testament of Truth and perfect foresight. He truly is in control of everything. That means we can trust Him completely. “But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them” (Ps 69:29-34). During my Rite of Acceptance, the priest speaking gave a speech about the Apostle Paul and his gratitude and thankfulness in spite of everything that was happening in his life. In prison, even being led to death, his heart was in gratefulness and praise. We must remember this.

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