Monday, April 15, 2013

Let The Light Shine

I think sometimes it's hard in life to keep ourselves in the "Light" for me it has been a constant and continuous struggle.  I remember being a young child and wishing my life was different, the darkness of my life seemed to continue to spiral into an endless tunnel of blackness.

 There was a time when I was profoundly misunderstood by so many people around me, teachers could not understand why I stared out windows during class, obviously not able to concentrate on what was being taught in class.  I recently found my report cards from elementary school, for many years each teacher would comment saying "Monya seems to have a difficult time concentrating during class" or "Monya is  not able to keep up what is being taught" year after year these were the comments by each teacher, I wonder now, why my mother did not pay more attention to the signs.  Being deaf in one ear and the tallest child in class always landed me a seat on the back row of classrooms. Maybe this is why it was so difficult for me to concentrate, perhaps I could not hear what was being taught, it was at those vulnerable young years that I learned to read lips in order to see what the teachers were saying, and even then I only caught half of it.

 We had wooden desks that opened where we could put our books and # 2 pencils, for me they were a place to smash my fingers between the wood trying make my fingers bleed, maybe the pain would take a bit of the pain I was feeling in my heart,  Young and impressionable, I didn't understand divorce, it was not explained to me, where was my dad and who was this other man taking, or trying to take his place?  I know my mother was doing the best she could, but now looking back I realize she was a victim also, and perhaps was even afraid of her future with 3 young girls to raise.

For a child who endures the process of a divorce, they sometimes become more of a commodity than the most important piece of a puzzle.  For so many of us we become like leftovers in the fridge, only looked at or considered if there is nothing new or more interesting to engage in, pushed to  the side hoping to one day be discovered,  unfortunately by that time it is too late, and the leftover has spoiled and needing to be thrown out.  For some, even most people especially those raised in a home of respectful love and unconditional love the thought of this type of life is unthinkable.  For me it was a reality, for so many children today it is a reality. 

As years moved forward, I never really pulled myself from that darkness, the wounds were deep and seemed to scar my soul to the point of not actually letting any person in, sure I had friends in my ward, Linda and Jamie were my best friends and I still love them deeply, however, those two were truly best friends I was just the tag a long.  I distinctly remember one time Linda came to pick me up and as we were driving, I remembered I had not kissed my father goodbye, I asked her if she could please take me back.  Later as we discussed some of the dysfunction that was happening in my home she too remembered that story, only she remember thinking "I wish I had that type of relationship with my father" Linda's father is a quiet humble man, and not a member of the church, I think she silently always wished he had joined, and I always silently wished my dad was more like him.  I had plenty of "friends" in high school, I was the one everyone thought was funny, made jokes I tried to disguise the ridicule and abuse happening in my home with either complete silence or a joke to cover up an awkward situation.  Yes, I think it is safe to say, on display for everyone to see,  was a perfectly well put together family, loving, kind and respectful.  But truth is, I dressed in my closet, feared my fathers voice and  flinched every time he raised his hand to scratch his head, for fear he was going to slap or hit me.  Many times the hurt was not the physical or sexual abuse that hurt the most, it was the words, the penetrating words of belittlement and discouragement--protection came from not letting myself feel--believing and accepting the fact that this was my life, this was who I was and there was no future for me, "no man will ever want you and no doctor will ever be able to heal you"--those words rang clearly in my head--I became numb to any compliment that would often come my way through others in the church.

Stan Johnson, my seminary teacher during high school, was a great influence in my life.  He showed a movie called Cypher in the Snow, in Seminary one time, WHAT? was this real? There were other children in the world who were being miss treated, were there children actually dying of a broken heart?  I did not want that to happen to me, but deep inside I knew I was one of those cyphers in the snow.  I needed to find a way to bring myself out of this aching heartbreak I was feeling.
As Brother Johnson taught me day after day in class, I learned that the Heavenly Father I had been praying to was real, I learned about the spirit of Jesus Christ, as soon as I began to consciously yearn for that spirit to be in my life. I began to open my eyes and see the goodness around me, to hear the spirit whisper to me saying "you are a daughter of God, HE has a place for you, choose to walk in the Light of Christ"  There is an amount of faith that comes with leaving the darkness and trying to let the light shine in our lives. I was, and still do sometimes sneak back into a little shadow of darkness, this is the darkness in which Satan wants us all to live in.   Happiness and Light in our lives is a choice, no matter what our circumstances, we have a choice to lift the lives of others with our light or to bring others down with our darkness.  Satan, well Satan does not want to be alone, he always grabs and takes who he can, then he encourages them to go and get others to follow--I choose to stay in the Light.  There are many times I still feel fear, have loneliness, and need reassurance from my Heavenly Father, it is in those times I get on my knees and pray for that light to enter my heart.

Julie Greer once taught me "the spirit can only grow in the light, nothing can grow in the dark"


lorie said...

Well done, Monya.

Anonymous said...

LIGHT - Living In God's Holy Truth

Anonymous said...

Thank you.