i feel asleep early last night and was awaken early, 1:30 am to be exact, by my husband who was unable to sleep. the weather is wild and blowing outside and i am wide awake. i decided to use the time to look at some women who over came unbelievable circumstances and brought change for others in amazing ways.
i was reminded as i read of an amazing woman, Harriet Tubman.
it becomes so easy in my day to day life to want to feel overwhelmed by circumstances. i am sure you can find it the same. i like to arrest those feelings by bringing a balance to my thoughts by reminding myself of women that i have known and women i have never met but can read about who displayed great courage in the face of trying times.
life seems pretty smooth for me at the moment, which is a welcome retrieve. i think it is in the really good times, when i feel strong, that it is good to add wisdom, look at how i address, process and work through difficulties. by doing this, i prepare, guard and fortify my heart for when life is trying.
as i read about Harriet this morning, my heart resounds with gratitude for the many blessings i have experienced in my life. i am reminded that there are women who have faced what i deem such injustice and yet emerged with triumphant spirits and hearts that reached out from their pain to make someone else’s life better.
this amazing women survived incorrigible abuses from a very young age. at the age of 5 years old she was hired out to care for a slave owners young child. if the child woke and cried, she was beaten. what in the world could a 5 year old child do to prevent what most infants do so naturally…cry.
early in her life she suffered a head injury inflicted my an overseer attempting to restrain a slave who had left the field without permission. he threw a heavy metal object intending to hit the slave, missed and she was struck in the head. the injury caused her disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, and powerful visionary experiences throughout her life. rather than feel sorry for herself, she attributed the visions as powerful revelations from God and allowed them to inspire her.
that in itself is amazing to me. it’s far too easy to accept a victim mentality and feel regret, disillusionment and accept incidents like this as a reason to become inactive, bitter and sullen.
not Harriet, she allowed it to make her more determined to put an end to this way of life for herself and if not all, as many as possible, of those who were suffering similar experiences.
she did escape. she freed herself from the torture. once she was free, she returned and helped 300 more slaves to escape to Canada where slavery had been abolished.
sitting in the year 2013, in my warm home safe from the blowing gale outside, i could think, “oh, that’s so nice. good on her! well done Harriet.” it wasn’t that simple. her escape in itself was miraculous. many slaves were caught before getting away and severely beaten-sometimes even to death. not only did she escape, but she went back for one. when that one was freed, she went back for another…and another…and another.
i wonder if as a woman living in 2013, if i might have escaped and headed for a warm fire, a hot bath and looked after myself? it causes me to wonder what deep of strength i possess and if sufficient strength does not exists…i must grow…because i desire to live beyond myself in service to others.
i remember asking God this week why and how people are born into the life they live. basically, my reasoning was this: i love helping people. i am empathetic to the suffering of others and want to do more than i feel i am currently empowered to do. why was i not born with more resources that would enable me to help more?
this morning, the question was posed back to me…maybe God is reversing the question on me: why was i not born into worse circumstances? ones that would create such a fire with in my heart to act despite my resources?
how many times do we hear the Bible, quotes or motivational speakers tell us that the way we think limits what we do?
by reading about this little slave girl this morning, i learned something about my thought patterns. this story helped expose something in my heart. don’t get me wrong. i do what i can, i reach out, i help, i encourage…but i was finding a discontentment setting in and a longing for the “one day”, the “if i won lotto, I could…” or “when business is better…” mentality.
the reality is that i have at this moment what i need to do my purpose. i must be faithful with what is within my power now. live aware. see with eyes that are open. listen carefully for the places that i am needed and can offer benefit.
i can’t do everything but i can do something.
the danger of living in the future hope of being able to do more than now is that we miss the opportunity that exists in today. big or small…the part i play is important to the one life or the many that i am able to effect.
we are not called to hopes of grandeur. we are to live and help the one. if possible, go back for the second. then back for the third…and when what we are able to do is completed, whether for one, 300 or many more, we move on to the next task.
it’s interesting to me, the things that we can find within our own heart. it happens to us all. we get caught up in the doing and sometimes forget…the why.
thank Goodness that we can be reminded by meditating on what is good and right and wise to draw our heart and thoughts back to their intended purposes.
think of some moments in your own life when you have risen to some extraordinary occasion, some emergency that called for you to behave in a way you would normally find difficult. meditate on this experience for a few moments. what qualities did you find that you did not realize you had?
those qualities are part of the resources you currently possess to do good in your life, to help others lives become better and to produce positive change in the world.
well, i might try to head back to sleep for a little while. i hope you have a great Monday or Tuesday- depending on where you live in the world.
thank you for sharing this part of your day with my heart,