Many of you probably have heard me say that I have no sense of direction and mostly that is true. But I was thinking about that comment the other day and realized that it isn't completely true. I have no sense of direction in the car or sometimes even when I am just going down a street, should I go left or right? But I was studying an article (can you tell that I am a reader?) and it was about how we navigate our lives ( by Jose Teixeira). It mentioned that a GPS receiver is tuned to frequencies transmitted by satellites high about the earth; which help us from getting lost while driving. Much like that, we an internal GPS that allows us to know at all times what is right and what is wrong, as well as assisting us in making correct decisions...we call it our CONSCIENCE! How ever if we don't listen to it and follow those gut feelings, then after a while we become desensitized and may not be able to receive the signal that we need to guide our footsteps.
As a child I remember those feelings of my conscience. I have always had a strong feeling of right and wrong. But I was abused by my grandfather for years and it became confusing for me to listen to that GPS inside. I knew what kind of a man he was. But it seemed to everyone around me, that he was a good neighbor,friend and someone that everyone could trust. The longer the abuse went on, the more confused I was about my feeling inside. How could everyone be fooled? Maybe I was wrong, maybe this is what grandfathers just do? It was a time that I truly ...felt LOST!
I tried to tell someone when I was 5 years old but I was reprimanded and told that he was a wonderful man and that he would never hurt anyone. Talk about confusing. I was young but remember feeling like I had done something wrong, how could I think feel such bad feelings, for such a wonderful man. YUCK, is all my stomach kept telling me and now I was beginning to think that I was the bad person.
Throughout my teen years, I was very confused and really began questioning why I was even here on earth. If my purpose was to be abused, surely I had fulfilled that and so I remember praying that I would just be able to leave. No, I never considered suicide, I just wanted God to take me away. I couldn't see much of a future with the lie that I was living with, the shame too. Many times it seemed more than I could bear. I had lots of friends but that isn't the sorta thing that you tell anyone. What would they think of me? I could only imagine.
Being raised in a religious home was my life saver. I was taught that I had a Heavenly Father and that I could go to Him anytime and ask for help, strength and comfort. I was reminded that I did have a conscience and that I needed to trust that, it is a gift...given to all of us, so we need never be truly lost.
To make a long story short, I learned how to pray and to listen. I learned how to fine tune my own GPS! I received a strength beyond my own. I confronted my grandfather and for once, I was the one that was doing all the threatening. It was empowering and freeing. The emotional abuse still continued for years, he and my grandmother lived on our farm. But the physical abuse stopped that moment.
I was still a very messed up teenager and since I was always in survivor mode all those years, school was never a top priority and so I had a lot of challenges from that. I some how graduated from High School ( a miracle within itself )and went on with life. I dated too many guys, always trying to find the one true love and best friend that I could share my life with and this awful secret with too.
On June 9th, 31 years ago yesterday, I went on my first date with this terribly handsome guy named... Jeff Woodard. I knew by the end of the date that he was a true gentleman and someone that I could completely trust. My internal GPS told me exactly where I should go. And from that day on I have never looked back. I had a choice, I had finally learned to trust my gut again, I realized that I had never done anything that would have made me deserve the abuse that I got. It is just called LIFE, people make all type of decisions and sometimes the decisions of others effect our lives. Don't let anyone tell you that this is your life, your choices don't effect others, because they do! My grandfather's decisions were bad ones, and many people suffered from it. But when I finally started trusting my navigating system again, everything looked brighter. I do know that we all have the ability to make choices, that's our freedom and our gift. But I also know that choosing good always leads to happiness and just the opposite with wrong decisions.
So where do I go from here? I know exactly who I am and where I am to go. It's a great feeling, not to be lost. I know my purpose and I have my best friend to travel this road with me. Life is hard, it is work... but it is good. My sense of direction (in the car) still might be lacking, but not my sense of right or wrong. That signal has never been stronger! I feel blessed... to know exactly where I am!
I truly hope that you are listening to that gut feeling, your own personal GPS, your conscience. Then I hope you are following it's direction. Isn't it great to know that we are not alone in our journey? Thanks for the friendship and guidance you have given me along the way.
"OUR LIVES WILL DEPEND UPON THE DECISIONS WHICH WE MAKE- FOR DECISIONS DETERMINE DESTINY" ~ Thomas Monson
"IF ONE ADVANCES CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF ONE'S DREAMS, AND ENDEAVORS TO LIVE THE LIFE WHICH ONE HAS IMAGINED, ONE WILL MEET WITH A SUCCESS UNEXPECTED IN COMMON HOURS." ~Henry David Thoreau
" I CAN'T CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF THE WIND, BUT I CAN ADJUST MY SAILS TO ALWAYS REACH MY DESTINATION" ~Jimmy Dean