I spent a great deal of my career fighting battles. First of all, there was the battle of my ordination, which hurt me deeply for many months, hurt several friends and family, and harmed my home church. That led to battles regarding the prevailing thought on women as ministers of the Gospel. We took a lot of heat in those early days when I was one of only two ordained Baptist women in my state.
Then the incessant battles of funding a nonprofit agency took the soul out of me for over ten years. The constant struggle to keep our doors open was an unspeakable burden.
The many tragic battles on behalf of victims of violence took every ounce of energy I had. Victim blaming was rampant, and often the justice system designed to protect simply did not.
The battles within the family court system and the Division of Child Services on behalf of abused children left me bereft. I watched dozens of children court ordered to live with an abusive parent, and I watched the way it hurt their very being. The battle for children was never ending, and reached a climax when my entire staff was banned from court in one of our child cases.
And then there were the general haters. Everyone has a few. I had more than my share, and I let them get to me and hinder my work. There were simply far too many battles that had to be fought daily, a career full of them. At times, I felt that the universe had waged war against me
When I had to retire, I thought it was the worse day of my life. I now know it was the best thing that could have happened to me. If only I had known then what I know now about finding inner peace and serenity, I might have fared better.
Three times a day, Orthodox Jews pray, “Let my soul be silent to those who curse me; let my soul be as dust to all.” I should have prayed that prayer without ceasing. It would have made an enormous difference in my life.
These days, I am comforted by the peaceful and serene life I wish I had lived years ago. But that’s the past, over and done. Today is my day of peace and serenity, and for that I am most grateful to the Prince of Peace.