Made in His Image Goes Viral
By Maura Byrne | Founder & President of Made in His Image
I received hundreds of emails in the span of a few hours. I thought my phone was going to explode from all the text messages and calls and didn’t know what was going on. While working outside I received a phone call from my web designer, “Maura, Made in His Image has gone viral.”
Before I launched Made in His Image I spoke with a priest who told me that I needed to “get to know St. Joan of Arc.” I didn’t understand why he was saying that, so I asked, “Why?” I mean, don’t get me wrong she is an extraordinary saint. He said, “you won’t understand now, but one day Made in His Image will have an army. It will explode.” Made in His Image went viral on Thursday May 30th, the feast of St. Joan of Arc.
Thankful tears formed in my eyes and rolled softly down my cheeks. I thought of all who had helped me launch MIHI, all of our donors, my advisory board, my move to TN, my sister Clare and best friend Karissa. I bowed my head and thanked God. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and always will be. All the glory to Him!
I thought of the doctor who helped me get to where I am today. The person who helped me heal so I could launch and run MIHI. So I could travel the world and share my story and God willing bring hope to other women, so they could turn from a victim to a survivor, the way he helped me. I thought of my two years of trauma therapy with the doctor who changed my life.
I thought of my last session with him. When I left that day I felt like Will in the movie Good Will Hunting. “What do I do when face to face with the doctor who changed my life? What do I say? What words could there possibly be to describe the depth of my gratitude?” At that moment, I realized I could never compose a string of words to describe my appreciation to my doctor, so I remained silent and spoke the deepest words from my heart by smiling and extending my right hand to shake his, something I had never done before.
I left his office and entered the elevator. As I descended, I was in awe that I had actually completed the 2 years of therapy. You know that feeling you get when you have worked so hard to achieve something and then the final moment of completion arrives? That’s how it felt, coupled with countless other emotions.
As I got off the elevator I just stood there in shock. An impulse reaction took over, and I got back in the elevator. My index finger automatically pushed the button for the 5th floor. I knocked on his office door. He said, “Come in.” He stood up and with tears in my eyes I hugged him. “Thank you for changing my life.”
He taught me that the trauma and suffering people experience often leads to incredible joy, when we decide to turn our sufferings into seeking beauty. Instead of dwelling on the trauma or feeling trapped by the past, to focus instead on getting out of ourselves and to try our best to cooperate with God, who will, with our hope and faith, turn all that is evil into good.
Where we have control is to make the choice to see beauty in our suffering and to forgive. Many situations in life are going to be ugly, painful and hurtful, but we have the power, along with God’s grace to make good from the pain and tears. We have the tools to make the choice to see beauty, seek forgiveness, show mercy and the Father’s love to all of those we meet, even those who have abused, mistreated or neglected us.
My doctor taught me that we are only human, and will fall, move backward and succumb to discouragement. But the true test of perseverance and discipline is what we do when we fall. Christ Himself, fell three times on the way to Calvary, but He didn’t stay down, and neither must we. When we fall we must rise from the ashes, and embrace each opportunity in life to seek beauty in our cross. We must strive to rekindle our efforts to seek the good in others who have hurt us.
This is our calling.
Where does the power come from? It comes from the Sacraments and spending time with God in Adoration. Speak to our loving Father tonight, ask Him to help you. Ask Him for grace, tell Him your fears, joys and sorrows. Let the Healer hug you. Hold onto Him. Cling to the Cross, for this is where our sanctification rests.
One time I asked my Spiritual Director, “Why didn’t God stop the abuse?” He looked at me, “The same reason He didn’t stop the Romans from killing His Son.” God gives us free will and while He doesn’t will evil to happen, He allows it because He will not take away our free will. It it up to us to decide how we will use this gift He has given to us. I challenge you to use your free will to fight for what is good, beautiful and true. Be a solider for Christ, walk with Him to Calvary and as you fall along the way, ask for the grace for the cross to be placed squarely on your shoulders as you rise again.
P.S. You are enough.