Military Spouse of the Year TownHall- Hero’s Journey
I went back to Washington, DC for the annual Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Awards. The day before, though, is a time for 250 of the most influential military spouses descend on Washington DC to not only network, but be empowered. I was invited to speak at the TownHall and spoke on the Hero’s Journey, sharing the journey that ever super hero must go through in order to find their purpose. By learning to embrace your back story, listen for your calling, and take the risk of adventure, every superhero must then be willing to enter the battle of their lives- themselves. I provided and exciting and inspirational talk that was captured on Facebook Live and was later reproduced as an episode for my podcast.
Who I Really Am
If you didn’t know, I love Wonder Woman. As a child, I zipped up my leather boots, grabbed my nylon yellow rope my Dad had in the garage and lassoed trees in the yard. Forcing them to tell me the truth about where to save the woman or man held by the enemy. I had little reference for this superhero other than Linda Carter on TV. Bullets bounced off her bracelets and she could jump to the top of a building so after every show, I’d run outside and see if I could do the same- except for the bullet thing- but I imagined it.
There has always been something inside of me that wanted the truth to win. I saw no good in secrets and lies other than good secrets like birthday parties and surprises. Evil used lies all the time and I just knew, way deep down inside, that there was something powerful about the truth- and I wanted to fight for it. In John 8:32, Jesus tells the Jews around him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I have lived my life, since I was very little running around in under-roo’s, seeking the freedom that truth brings. So… I became a counselor, aiming to help others discover their need for truth as well.
In the past year, Matt decided that if I was going to be a real Wonder Woman fan, I needed to read her comics. So we picked up the New 52 series one at a time. I have to say that I have loved it. I read it slowly, digesting it in pieces- what I assume a fan really does. I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned…
- Wonder Woman struggles with her identity. She struggles with who she is and what she is here to do. She is always searching for her purpose and living that fully.
- She struggles with what others expect her to be. Trying to be all things to all people. In this series, she is given the task of being the God of War. Contrasting that is her strength is to love and protect all life. It turns out, this new role practically eats her alive as she is tempted to be something she isn’t. She has to dig deep to be who she truly is- someone who brings peace even when it still instigates war.
- She sees the best in others. She wants to believe that everyone is good and capable of love as well, and when they aren’t- she can’t comprehend it. But every time, she can’t help but see the good in them.
- At some point, she can’t trust her own judgement and has to use her lasso. Forged by the gods, it is her only tool for seeing things clearly. Yet, this very same tool humbles her and strips her of her own power.
- Her desire to love others comes out of her own need for love and acceptance. It is her greatest weaknesses and is often used against her. It haunts her, but she brings purpose out of it by loving others.
It turns out… I really AM Wonder Woman. As silly as that may sound to you, it brings me full circle and a sense of completion way down deep in my core. My Father, the God of the Heavens, created me with a purpose. I love others, deeply. I hate to see pain in their eyes. I dig for truth, fight for justice, sacrifice sometimes too much of myself for the sake of others to have freedom from whatever binds them. I know that the truth of scripture is the answer- bringing clarity to confusion, strength to those who need it, and light into the darkest places. I also know that it brings me to my knees every time. Revealing the painful truth of my weakness and insecurity. It reveals that I am not as strong as I think I am. I largely serve others out of my own issues, and that I can wear myself out in the temptation of thinking that I, too, am a god- when I am not and never have been. But I AM in the family of the one TRUE God- and that makes me an heir- able to live in the freedom that Christ died for me to have. If only I could believe that all the time… but my own issues get in the way, confusion sets in, the lies of the enemy taunt me and I forget for a moment that I have a lasso of truth, the Word, at my side- glowing, ready to be used, ready to shed light, ready to free us all.
This is not a spoiler, but this picture showed up towards the end and it is so perfect for where I am in life right now.
I have given all I have in me lately…
Out of my love for others…
Using every bit of my own strength…
Relying on the prayers that some of you have offered…
Trying my best to listen to His guidance…
Fulfilling the calling He has placed on my heart…
And I find myself in His arms ready to rest.
He has been fighting the worst of the battles for me, but I have been fighting the ones that he has allowed.
Here is the truth-
He has given each of you a calling:
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
He has given you armor:
Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
He has given you a lasso:
For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:4
But He has also given you an identity:
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10