by Sara Gamachew
week I started a few new devotions. Every once and a while I do this just to make up for the spare time that I have during my day. I have resolved that this year I would not live in fear. Fear
is the one thing that keeps me from living my life. I was always afraid of what others thought of me. I was the ultimate people pleaser. Sometimes
it was a good thing… than there were times that it was downright risky. There was a time when I thought I was a counselor to my so-called virtual friends. “They need me to help them.” I would beg my parents. Little did
I know they would use me and lead me down a road where I did not want to follow. It has taken me this long to realize that the people I call friends would not take me for granted. They
would stand by me even through my toughest decision. There are days when I am lonely for my friends and just someone I could relate to. Those days I would check my email and find a letter from a friend checking in on me to see how I am. Those are like golden days. It is as if I could shout out, “Somebody out there likes me!” I can hear God say, “Of course you are liked… in fact you are loved my little girl.”
One movie that I enjoy is Erin Brokivich with Julia Roberts. The phrase that often catches my attention is between Erin and the client. “Are you a lawyer?” asks the client. “God no, I hate lawyers. I just work for them,” answers Erin. I just love that. I am sure that is the catchphrase for that movie. Now when a person pictures a Christian they might see a virtuous person who can do no wrong. Another image that has been used in the past is the Pusher. They will come at you with the Bible in hand and ready to push the Gospel on a person. Now as a child, I actually tried this technique. I was an elementary school student with my neighbor’s daughter at the time. My parents had an unexpected visit from her one of her parents that night. We did not really hang out much after that. As I grew older, I watched from the pew as people went to the front to be saved. I have actually been one of those people on several occasions. It was an ordinary person who would come to our church and give an inspirational sermon about how they came from a rough life and God came to them just the same way they were coming to us. Now
isn’t that refreshing?
I left Mr. S, I was a wreck. I thought everyone would be ashamed of me for leaving the marriage. I was afraid of what my own family would have thought of me. So
from the moment I left in August my mother never and I mean never stopped praying for me. I was one of the prodigal children that left a secure Christian home to try a relationship that I thought was the perfect fit for me. Yes, my parents warned me time after time that Mr. S was not the right one for me. Our belief systems clashed from the beginning. As I said, fear was ruling in my life… so asking him if he was a believer was not on the top of my priority list. In fact, fear glossed over everything so I couldn’t even hold of our actual jump from dating, engagement, and ultimately marriage. Fear was ruling in me that I could not ask him if we could use protection that first time. He
did not believe in condoms so that totally knocked out any way of birth control. Oh, there was control all right… just not the kind that I looked-for. I learned early on that I did not want to rock the boat that was our relationship. I would constantly give in to him and stop caring about my needs. I remember the last time my son and I visited my family for Ethiopian Christmas that year. My
mom begged me to think for my son and myself. Do not go back to a relationship that was built on fear. Sadly, I had to learn on my own that taking care of my son and me was rule number one. Everyone
and everything else came last. I chose life! When October came, I was still reeling from leaving Mr. S. The advocates encouraged me to look into a Christian Women’s group that was in the small town in Arkansas. As a result, I took the steps that would ultimately change my life. I was actually searching for a job… and instead I found God’s love. I was connected with a woman who would be able to take me to church on Sundays. She and her entire family helped my son and I adjust to my post-shelter life. For three months, I went from the shelter to my weekly appointments with my mentors. I was learning to live again. When I was assigned my divorce date, they helped me prepare what to say and how to look. Even a fearful petite woman like me needed that support to get through the second scariest date of my life. I had a whole church, my community (American and Ethiopian), friends, and family praying for me that I would step into that courtroom and deliver myself from fear once more.
A few months after my divorce hearing I decided to rededicate my life to the Lord. I wanted to be delivered from fear for good. I wanted to be brave and speak up for people who like me needed the extra support to change their lives. I remember two of my goals as a young woman in the Christian support group were first to write a story about my life (the ups, downs, and inspiring events) and second to be an inspirational motivation speaker who would tell her story about a young woman who went against the odds to save her life. I think that is why I started this blog. I wanted to share my story to as many people as I can. I wanted people to see the real-time adventures that I have taken in my life. If I can just reach one person and make their day… than that is one person changed for the better.