The last year has been quite interesting. I started a new job as a community counselor in a residential facility for women in recovery with emotional disorders, i.e, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder etc. Most of these women come to the center from the mental hospital, commonly after a suicide attempt.
I love these women. They are so brave. To seek treatment is a very brave and commendable thing. I know their stories. I hang out with them. We go to the movies. We go to the gym. I eat dinner with them. Most of them are between the ages of 18-30 and have suffered from intense trauma usually involving abuse - I will not go into more detail because, well, I cant, but also because it will be triggering for some of you and that is not the goal of this post.
I actually want to change the topic. Many of you are reading this because you read my meme page on Instagram. Comedy comes from pain and I have to say, a lot of what I post is funny because it is from deep pain in my heart. Comedy is an outlet to let go of things that are bubbling up inside. It releases trauma. My goal at work is to make these girls laugh till their body’s hurt because I've found when they laugh, they experience rest. I can relate.
As my Instagram following has grown, I’ve noticed I’m even more connected to the very thing that feels painful. I can’t really go into detail about it right now either. Bear with me. I have dealt with it in many ways, but only recently did I realize my body goes into instant fight or flight mode when I’m not actually in danger. It does this because it sees something on social media and believes it is a threat. Recently someone told me “Kristina, you are safe. You are shielded. You are safe”. I don’t know why I didn’t see this earlier but I remembered I am the one who controls who is in and out of my life. I am the one who controls who I let inside my boundaries. Pictures cannot actually hurt me.
But they can taunt me.
Across the board I’ve found that people are triggered by what they see on social media. It doesn’t matter who it is, it happens. As a single person of faith who is privileged in sharing my story on the internet (through memes), I am not immune to this. I used to be incredibly taunted with seeing any exes’ lives on social media. It is the little voice that says, “You will never be as successful. You will never be as good”. It is a foolish voice. One that doesn’t deserve my attention, yet I adhere my ear and internalize it.
Well, I’m done with that.
There is a story in the Bible that is so relatable. Hannah. Hannah was married to a man who had another wife, and this other wife Peninnah was able to have children, while Hannah could not. the Bible says, “Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her….year after year, when she went up to the Lord’s house, her rival taunted her in this way”. (1 Sam 1:6-7).
How many of you have been taunted in the very place that hurts the most. It’s like a sucker punch while you just smile and act like nothing is wrong. You don’t need to act anymore. You can be honest.
It sucks. I get it. Hannah gets it. The girls at my work get it.
And yet, Hannah was honest with God, crying out in her pain. God heard her cry and she was able to conceive a son - a son who was in the lineage of Jesus. A son well know in the Bible. Samuel. She went on to have even more children than her rival. I don’t believe that is the point of this story though.
For me, the point is that God sees the taunting. The taunting is a voice that tries to take you out through your greatest fear, your greatest weakness. Let it be known my friends,
neither you, nor I, will not be taken out.
You will rise up in the very place this pain exists, and you will be the one bringing joy to the ones who are not able yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You are the testimony of hope in a broken world.
Does this take away the pain? No. The pain is real. This overcomes the pain through the self-empowerment of healing.
This is the message. Rise up, stand tall, God sees and will strengthen you in your innermost being. You will see, He’s the one who fights for you.