Monday night I gave a talk to the students at Ave Maria University in Florida. Thank you so very much to all of those who prayed for us. I am so grateful for your prayers. The Holy Spirit rocked the talk (as usually).
Florida was sweet! I love warm weather and when I arrived it was eighty-four degrees. Can I stay for a week, please? Unfortunately, I was just in and out because this is a busy week with talks.
Ave Maria was AMAZING! Every student I spoke with truly touched my heart. I was exceedingly impressed with the male students who approached me after my talk to share their stories of abuse and the struggles associated with being a survivor of violence. That is one of the reasons why I love speaking to men and women, because abuse effects both genders.
There is a shroud of silence associated with abuse and statics show that men are less likely to speak out. But in reality, little boys are abused just as much as little girls and when that boy grows up, he is often more afraid to speak out and seek help because in his mind that would be demonstrating a sign of weakness. Women definitely face this fear as well. I know I did, but I believe it’s more challenging often times for men. It was an honor to speak with so many of the men in the audience and I commend them for their bravery.
I commend every woman I spoke with as well. They were all so courageous and beautiful. It was a privilege to meet so many of the young women who read my blog and follow Made in His Image via our social media networks too.
Since launching Made in His Image, hundreds of students have asked, But if I go to counseling doesn’t that mean something is wrong with me? Doesn’t that mean I’m weak? I understand how you feel, I really do, because I use to feel that way. But you know what? I think you’re the bravest when your terrified of the unknown, but you face it with courage. When you confront your fears and the things that have happened to you instead of repressing them. Because one day, they are going to surface if they haven’t already. You have your whole life ahead of you and God desires for you to live it in freedom. Contrary to popular opinion, going to counseling is one of the bravest and most courageous things you could do. I was a Division 1 athlete and going to trauma therapy for two years doesn’t even come close to the discipline it took to be a D 1 athlete. (Just to put it in perspective for you).
People thank me all the time for launching Made in His Image and every time they do I think of my doctor and how he changed my life. I have tears in my eyes as I write this because without him I wouldn’t experience the healing I do. God used him to change my life and He yearns to give you the same gift. I thank God for the doctor He gave me everyday and especially before a talk. I am beyond blessed.
Five years ago I went to Mass at the chapel on Seton Hall’s Campus (where I was an undergrad) and after I pleaded with Him to take my life because I was too afraid to take it myself. I didn’t want to live because I thought my life had no meaning. I couldn’t comprehend my dignity as His daughter or how much He loved me. I begged Him to just take away the pain and let me die. Instead, He showed me His love in a radical way and my life has never been the same since.
Tonight I will walk into that same chapel and thank God for His mercy and love. And I will share with the students my story and how a relationship with our Heavenly Father can drastically change your life. To Him be all the honor and glory. My life is a miracle. And so is yours. Take that step, call a counselor, make an appointment and just try it. I guarantee you, your life will never be the same again.
P.S. You are enough.
Side note: If you need help finding a doctor or counselor email me and we will help you.