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Happy New Year

We  had the best time skiing in  Bear Valley  over Christmas with friends.  The mountains and snow are always glorious.  It snowed some the second day out and was just the perfect ‘pillowing’ of snow the next morning.  A really white Christmas. 

Of course I crashed head first trying to follow my husband on a side trail to another run.  I have gotten used to wearing a helmet and it is a good thing.  Still, all was wonderful.

I hope the holidays have been fun for you.  I do know often it isn’t for many people.  I just got the sad news this morning of the suicide of a neighbor’s mother.  This is just tragic, to say the least.  Depression is all too common over the holiday season.  So much pain and loneliness can be exposed.   Estimates run conservatively at 25% of college women, and others that 75% of faith community congregations are survivors of some form of sexual violence.  I am currently reading a fascinating book, The Brain That Changes Itself,by Norman Boige, M.D.  He describes new things that are being learned about the brain that can facilitate healing of so much physical and mental damage.  I am sure we do even know even half of what this amazing creation called the brain can do.  Its plasticity though is what can help the damage done to survivors if they will choose specifically to do it.  The amazing plasticity of the brain is what can remove the lies that are believed and replace them with truth.  This fact is the core of the changes that can happen if someone desires it enough and will do the work.  Depression is a very very common result of the damage done by sexual violence.  I do not know if the woman I learned about today was a survivor, but the chances are good.  What so many people do not recognize is that the current relational, spiritual, emotional, mental problems they are having have maybe a 50% chance of being related to a sexual violence interference. 

If this is you, I hope this New Year you choose to start your own healing journey.  This is what I call choosing the Unintended Journey.  Your God-given choice was taken away from you when you were used for someone else’s selfish, damaged pleasure.  So, you did not intend to have to deal with this evil.  But the choice is to let it control you (leave the cancer untreated), or you can learn to overcome it.  This is the promise in Romans 8: 28, 29.  “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.”  You are his child, even if you do not know it yet.  You are called.  He will work what has happened to you into something beautiful if you will do you part.  Just start.  You will be amazed.

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