What do you have the freedom, the right, to do that you rarely exercise?
How do you plan to exercise that freedom or use your rights more boldly, less apologetically, in 2018.
I have many freedoms that I take for granted and don’t exercise as often as I should. The freedom I am most passionate about and yet rarely exercise is advocating for others. Even from an early age, I engaged in advocating by writing letters to the President, Congressmen, and to the Editor. I started writing letters when I was in junior high. I wanted to raise awareness of community problems, offer solutions, and encourage those who were facing hard times. As I got older, I began to lend my voice to causes and organizations that were in need of resources, whether financial, volunteers, or in-kind donations. Sometimes it was just reaching out to those who were in a capacity to meet a need individually. Other times it was sharing my personal testimony with small groups or at fundraising events. I have been sharing my story for over two decades, and the reality is I have barely scratched the surface in causes that my life could represent.
I have spent most of my time recently helping those individually that are in need. I have given little thought to the communal need represented by the person standing in front of me. Every now and again I will come across something that sparks a passion in my spirit. I will give immediate voice to the communal need, but it is far more rare than I once did. It is generally in a meeting, or a conversation with someone who the match is lit that should spark the flame. Yet without attention, the spark quickly fades and fire smolders instead of burning brightly.
I believe, as I have for some time that I have walked through so many things at such a young age because God planned to use them for His glory. God allowed me a first hand perspective and eye-witness to tragedy that so often derails lives so that He could combine experience with training. What Satan meant to destroy me, God has used to strengthen me to help others. Through my experiences, I have been able to speak one on one into other’s lives as I share the incredible testimony of God’s work in my life. God has also given me the voice and connections to share my testimony to raise awareness, bring hope and a connection for those who are able to see people can and do change and motivate them to give to organizations that are helping meet community needs.
I know I stepped back from really sharing because I allowed my story to be exploited for a specific cause and stopped giving the glory and praise to Whom it belonged. There were a lot of causes my life can represent, and a lot of organizations that helped get me back on the right track, but it was ultimately God who needs glory for where I am now. He is the One who aligned me with the right people, at the right time, and the right resources. It was my journey towards Him that ultimately brought about transformation in my life.
I think I am at a spot now, that I know that I can raise awareness of needs and community organizations without giving glory where it does not belong. Organizations are the hands and feet that God used to turn my life around. It was through the awesome individuals that were working and volunteering with those programs that I was pointed in the right direction. Those organizations still need funding to run. I still have a voice. I still have a pen and paper, or keyboard and tablet that I can used to raise awareness. I don’t have to have the popular opinion to express where I stand. I don’t have to tear others down to lift up the causes I am passionate about. I can still make my voice count. I have that freedom.
This post is prompted by
Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.