Friday, September 21, 2012

Have You Been Born Again?

Today while at the Mayo Clinic, a man asked me "have you been born again?" It took me by surprise, since I was not even remotely having any type of conversation with him to begin with, however, I answered "why yes, yes I have and thank you for asking"

During the day I have thought about that question and wondered HAVE I BEEN BORN AGAIN?  Not being able to get my mind off of it, I decided that man asked me this question for a reason, not sure what HIS reasoning was but it sure has made me think.

I know in some religious beliefs, people are known to use the term "born again" as meaning they have given their life and self to the Lord.  If that being my belief then I would say "yes I have been born again"

For me, being "born again" means each and every time we are faced with a challenge, (and by a "challenge"  I mean a life altering challenge like being sexually abused or life threatening, divorce, death of a spouse anything that causes your life to change) instead of turning it into a negative force that destroys everything in its path with anger, including your soul, your able to step away, give it time and ask the question "what can I learn from this?" with that being said I think I have been born again several times in my life.

I have been angry, very angry with the man who abused me and the mom who walked away from me.   I have felt the fear of rage take over my whole being to the point of wanting to take my own life. I know what it feels like to have no control over what is happening to my body and to be enraged almost to the point of hatred. I have mourned the death of my brother and blamed myself for the "what ifs"

Every single time I experienced these emotions, they dug deeper and deeper into developing a person who was negative, angry and depressed, taking it all out on others including my own family. The 1st turning point for me was when I faced my fear (my dad) and confronted the abuse--this was my first "born again" moment, it was at that time I realized I cannot control anyone else, how they act, how they respond or even how they lie.  It was at that moment a light bulb went off in my head--"I am in control now, I control how I will respond, how I will learn and how I will teach my children to forgive"  The 2nd "born again" moment was when I had truly forgiven him, when the calm after the storm came, and I knew he could no longer effect me or my children, I wrote an email to him after 16 years of no contact and told him I had forgiven him and that I hoped he was living a happy life--6 months later he died, and I was at his bedside.

I was "born again" when I finally forgave myself for so many things I had done to offend others, after reaching out to them and apologizing truly letting go of my actions and words that had hurt others, I gave it to the Lord and hoped those people would forgive me too.  This included forgiving myself for the death of my brother--

When I was diagnosed with cancer--I was not quite ready to accept this new life I was going to take on, but I was "born again" when I faced it, prayed and pleaded with the Lord to forgive me and help me to be a better person, I KNOW HE DID.

Most recently I was "born again" when I went to the Dominican Republic and lived the life of my missionary son for a couple weeks--He will never know what that meant to me, and how proud I am of the work he accomplished while he was there--what a great experience I can check that one off of my bucket list, but I will never ever forget it--Oh, I love Weeyum, and now appreciate even more the son who came home a man.

All of us, have challenges in our life, and if you say you don't well get ready to have it scheduled on the calendar because the Lord will not put us here on earth without challenging us and testing us, it's just that some people have different challenges than others.

 Recently a dear friend of mine who I greatly admire and love wrote me a loving email, this is  a portion of what it said "I want you to know, Monya, that if I could take 
this on for you and bear
 it instead of you having to bear it,
 I would do it in a minute" and my response to him was "of course you would, because that's the kind of man you are, and one of the reasons I love you and your family so much " but I also said this to him "how can I complain when I'm the one who agreed to live this life?"  We all agreed to live our life, so live it, love it and learn from it.


GC GEMS said...

Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing your heart. Our hearts and prayers are with you <3

lorie said...

Loved this, Monya.

Anonymous said...

You may have been thru many trials, all which the Lord has placed in your path, as part of His plan, but that is not being "born again." Trials, prayers and the way we change from them allows us to grow in our walk with the Lord. You have been thru more than many women, and that makes you incredibly strong, and very admirable. Being born again, is giving your life to Christ, changing from your old ways, sinful God's grace you are able to walk with Him.