One point I'm trying to get through to myself and to my sisters is that if we're not combating self-absorption, we're giving way to it. If we really want to walk in Christ-likeness, we have to be deliberate about it. It will not happen accidentally.
How do you keep from being self-absorbed?
The more I become aware of this danger, the more I glimpse things in me I don't care for. Maybe it's buying something I really don't need just because I can afford it. So I practice saying no to myself.
The Lord's also shown me how important it is to stay in tune with what's going on in the lives of oppressed people around the world. I pray daily beyond my own little world to keep me not only from being too self-centered but also too family-centered. There's a big world out there. I can implode with the self-absorption if I'm not careful.
Do you ever struggle with pride?
One of the most wonderful things God's done for me is to leave my memory about my miserable past intact. I'd be an idiot to think highly of myself after where I've been! The very thing I hate the most is the thing that protects me from pride. I have other strugglesbut buying into the press of this public ministry is not one of them.
This only happened one time, but it broke my heart. A pastor became aware I'd had a sinful past and decided I wasn't appropriate for his women's group. I bow to that. If what you need's a sparkling testimony, you're not going to get it from me. But if you could use a testimony that there's life after pit dwelling, then maybe I can be your girl.
I'm ashamed of my sins, but all I can do now is walk in the Holy Spirit's power. That's my life's pursuittill I see him face to face.
Have you confronted your past?
Yes, I went through a season of uncharacteristic despair in my early 30s. I'd never before looked straight at my victimization, never allowed my mind to replay the images. Every single time they began to erupt, I pressed them down. But I no longer had the energy to do that. The victim in me took over. I felt like I was jumping off the highest cliff and descending into the bottom of a canyon. While Amanda and Melissa knew I was sad, they didn't have an idea how severe it was. I was good at hiding it; you don't have my kind of background and not develop a way to do that.