Friday, April 13, 2012

to them it was a "statistic", to me it was my story.

Yesterday, I was so honored to be invited to join a meeting where executive and associate pastors from different churches in the island meet together to discuss church and the business of it. It was pretty awesome being able to sit there and listen and glean off of these men's knowledge and wisdom. For someone as inexperienced as me in being an "executive leader/admin/prayer intercessor/jack of all trades missionary" I had such a great time sitting there, being able to network and connect with such great men of God.

Somewhere in the middle of the conversation though, (I have no idea how this subject came up) they talked about statistics of women who were or are being abused. Statistical numbers were thrown around the table and as I sat there and I couldnt help but blurt out "it's 1 out of 3... 1 out of 3 women are abused today..."

Then I wanted to correct myself to say "they say it seems like it's actually 2 out of 3 now because more women are coming out of their silence with their stories of being abused and the ratio is getting higher." And I wanted to dig even further and say... "You know those numbers you are talking about.... That's me. I'm one of them. I'm one of those women". But because it was my very first time in that meeting I decided to shut up and let the "1 out 3" be the only information that came out of my mouth. (coz uhm i didn't wanna create an awkward situation and never be invited again)

The meeting moved on to talk about the agenda of the day and i thought it went really well. I mean it wasn't a bible study or a counseling session. It was a meeting where executive and associate pastors of different churches got together to talk about the business side of church (you know about photo copy machines and web graphics and that kind of stuff). I left the meeting so happy. God was so awesome and so powerful to allow me the privilege and the honor to meet these great men of God and actually get to pick their brains and hear their wisdom.

But i left me to think... how many times have we, i included, thrown around statistics and numbers in describing people's lives without us digging deep into the matter and realizing what those numbers really mean. Statistics such as:

This % of the generation are fatherless.
That % of children grow up in divorced homes.
These % of men and women who are addicted to (drugs, alcohol, pornography, food, approval, etc).
These % of women are single moms.
That % of people who are sexually abused
That % are physically abused
Those % emotionally & verbally abused
This % of families who live beyond poverty level.
That % of families who live in sleeping bags coz they have no where to live.
Etc. etc. etc.

think about it. 
there is a face and a story behind each number and percentage.

While all those percentages written prior to this paragraph are numbers to others, they are my part of my story and my reality. I lived through all that pain...I play a part in each one of those statistical numbers listed up there and each number is filled with memories of pain and tears and torment but also filled with healing and the freedom in Christ and the power to forgive others. 

I say that because that one short conversation we had about that specific statistic is now forever embedded in my mind. It has caused me to remember to never blurt out just any statistic without thinking of the reality of the pain that those people are living through. 

statistics of children born with autism or birth defects. statistics of couples who cannot have children. statistics of christians who have left the church and their faith. statistics of abuse victims and statistics of perpetrators. statistics of homeless people. statistics of people who have committed or are victims of adultery. statistics of illegal aliens. statistics of human trafficking. statistics of people that are sick with cancer, diabetes, or chrone's disease. statistics of women who are anorexic or bulimic. statistics of children dropping out of school. statistics of those who are adopted. statistics of those who have had abortions. statistics of those who grew up in foster homes. statistics of virgins and those who choose to remain pure and wait for sex. etc. etc. etc.

Each statistic out there is someone else's story. Each statistic means someone is going through their own very real experience, where they might be facing an intense amount of pain or has gone through pain and lived to tell about it. I pray that each person who has gone through the pain of one or more of those statistics will one day find their freedom in Christ and realize their story is not just a "number".  YOUR STORY IS NOT JUST A NUMBER. your story and journey plays an important role in this world. I pray that you will be able to find the same hope and healing that I experienced in my journey in order for you to share that hope and healing to others along the way.

your story is important. it is meant to be shared.