Choose Life February 23, 2017
In having the privilege of being broken and sitting with broken people, whether in my own family, my community, or on the other side of the world I see a common core in our humanity. Regardless of race, religion, gender, nationality, age or social status, we all have an innate desire to be chosen.
I sometimes feel like the donkey in the Shrek movie jumping up and down at the back of the crowd saying, “Oh pick me! Pick me!” The picture is comical, but it is based in an ache deep inside to be wanted, accepted, loved, recognized.
We wander our earthly home looking for even one human being who will see us. Someone who will not turn away in disgust or judgment if they truly know me.
There are times when we are not chosen – maybe just ignored or bypassed – like the pictures lodged in my memory of standing on the edge of the first-grade playground, wanting desperately for somebody to ask me to join them in play. And there are times we feel “unchosen”. Not only do they pass me by, but size me up and deliberately turn their back. We call that abandonment or rejection. How do I deal with being unchosen, or maybe chosen for the wrong reason? Why was I “chosen” for sexual abuse, abandonment, being hurt, humiliated or shamed? What happens when I have been unchosen over and over? It can turn to depression, anxiety, fear, illness, self-defeat, hopelessness, despair . . .
As a result, I choose death. That choice takes various forms. It may be by giving up on my goals and dreams, by just existing or getting by. I may choose to numb my brain and die slowly through drug or alcohol abuse or neglecting my health in other ways. At the end of the line, I might choose deliberately to end my life by suicide.
Bottom line, choosing death is about an attempt to escape pain. Intolerable pain. I don’t really want to die, but I don’t know how to live with the pain. Will anybody see me, choose me, speak words of life to me? Truth is the key to our healing. We have to peel off the lies that tell us we are damaged, bad, not good enough, a failure, unlovable, and see the “Divine Original” inside of us.
But you don’t know what I have done, or what has been done to me!! There is One who knows and invites you to live and dwell in Him – in His goodness – that cancels all of your badness. It is not a one-time act or miracle that happens to you, but it is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment repetition of “I choose life”.
We have the power to choose life or death.
Depression and despair can take us down, but we can choose life in the middle of it by asking for help.
At GSM our purpose is to walk with you and help you discover the life that you were chosen to live.We guarantee that everyone at GSM is imperfect. This should bring you comfort, because we are all on level ground. Most of us who are counselors began by looking for answers to our own pain, so we can identify with you at some level. We want GSM to be a safe place where we hear you, are humbled by our own shortcomings, and grateful to be chosen to walk with others through the healing process.
At GSM, you don’t need a membership to belong, just walk through the door, give us a call, write a letter. You already and always will belong.
You are chosen.
(Video credit: TobyMac, Speak Life. youtube (standard license) we do not own the above video.)
Cindy’s training includes a Bachelor’s degree from Life Pacific College in Ministry and Leadership, she is a graduate of GSM Counselor Training Program and Elijah House Ministries basic and advanced counseling programs. Cindy has travelled to Kenya, Congo, Egypt, Thailand, Nepal, and Pakistan to offer GSM Counselor Training and suicide intervention training. For the past seven years she has worked at Blue Mountain Community College as the coordinator of tutoring, disability services, suicide prevention, and health and wellness programs.