STANDING OVATION!Reema Sukumaran
Can I tell you about yesterday?
Well, I guess if you are reading it, that is an affirmative! 🙂
Tuesday I flew to Boston to do my www.ReemaTalks.com (yes- shameless plug) with a group of pastors there. I have spoken a few times, but always with support. God has always had it that my brother, husband or girlfriend were there every time. I was never alone.
This time, there was the first hurdle that I would have to check into a hotel and spend the night ALONE! I do not do alone well. Ever. Oh, I can appreciate the hour or two alone with a book or something but then I am done. I want somebody in my space. I feel safer. Sadly, when you have been assaulted, you’re feeling of safety disappears. Forever.
When Sanj is away, I am thrilled when my younger version of Sanj comes into bed. I don’t like sleeping on the side of the bed by the door. It feels safer away from it. My house is always locked when I am home alone. And then I check again. I sleep with the light in the bathroom on. For me. The boys sleep in the pitch black. I have never done that.
I could keep going but… there I was alone in a hotel room. It was on the main floor, so the window was there. There was an exit door right by mine. And I was alone. A head banging migraine came on. The pillows were huge, hard and uncomfortable . I was alone. I had asked so many of my friends to pray of my night. Drugged up, for my headache, I asked God to help me and fell asleep. I woke up and discovered I had slept 2 hours! Darn. 7 more hours to go. I fell back asleep. 2 hours passed. 5 more hours left! 2 hours passed. 3 hours left!!!! And then I woke up. I made it through the night! Tonight I would be safe in my bed with my security buddy.
I was overly stressed. I was feeling very insecure about my presentation. What if it was stupid? What if the information I did in my workshop/seminar/whatever it was, was dumb? I mean who am I to teach or present this stuff?
My story… sharing it has always been ok. I am shaking as I share. My mouth becomes so dry as I talk and sometimes I need to pause. And yet sharing is healing. Yesterday, I was petrified. Yesterday I was filled with doubt. Yesterday as I sat there waiting, my head again began to pound. I found myself begging God to please give me strength, that strength only He can.
I struggled to open my child-proof med for my headache. It would not let me! A man walked by, asked if I wanted help and took out his pocket knife. I didn’t know people still carried them. Realizing I was nursing a migraine, he went and bought me that magic potion for those killer headaches.
I watched as the room filled. And then more people began coming in. I sat there and tried to breathe. That was what I learned to do. Breathe. In. Slowly. What was wrong with me? I had never felt this insecure before.
Stupid Satan!!! I realized that it was the only reason. Satan… He was bugging me. He was filling me with doubt and insecurity. This made me mad. I felt really mad. I have heard how others have said that the devil attacks them. I am not sure I have felt that this strongly before. Yet I was alone and he knew my weak spots. Fear of being alone. Was my belly sticking out too much in this dress? Was my hair frizzy? What if my PowerPoint didn’t work? What if I make a fool of myself?
It was my turn. I went up. There was a LOT of men in suits and ties. They looked at me. There were a few women. They all kind of scared me with their intensity. There were a few cool friendly ones but for the most part, I felt intimidated.
Jesus please help me.
And then I spoke. I found myself trembling. I paused more than usual. I felt so emotional. My throat was parched more than usually. I forgot my water and was given a bottle (it wasn’t Dasani or Aquafina- if you have followed me, you know I am a water snob). I told my story. I shared. I spoke of pain, betrayal and then hope and love. I spoke about God triumphing. (And internally was sticking out my tongue at satan)! I shared how God used pain, hurt and betrayal to bring healing, empowerment and giving me a VOICE, to speak for all those that couldn’t, yet.
I did it. I finished. I was still standing. And then I watched as they clapped. And THEY stood!
They stood! This is called a standing-ovation. And yet for me it was something different. It was validation that it WAS/IS the time!!!! It’s time!!! It is time for us to END IT NOW. As this room full of maybe 80 people stood, they stood WITH ME! I thought about Onward Christian Soldiers… (Do you know that old song)? God is empowering us. We just have to stand. We have to make a stand. It’s time to #ENDITNOW #PASTORALABUSE @METOO.
I was overcome with emotion. I WAS NOT ALONE!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
FYI- the presentation/workshop/seminar/whatever it is went great. They were a room full of men in suits and ties that were ready to do what we need to do. They are ready to end it now. Just in suits. 🙂