The smell of paper shavings and ink permeated the air in the printing house where she worked. I first met her the day she returned to me the copy of The Significant Woman I had left with them for a price quote.Young, friendly and very outspoken, she started by apologizing for having briefly flipped through the pages of the book. She felt so impressed by it’s content that she wanted to know who we were and what we did. After hearing my passionate answer, she asked me if we could meet once again some other time.
“I have something very important that I want to show you,” she said.
Neither of us had any idea of what the future would hold for us from that day on. The day of the appointment, she handed me her diary wanting me to read it.Then she asked me to hold on to my questions and comments until she gave me a second notebook. Time went by without realizing it. But as I read, I was surprised at how a complete stranger was allowing me to, page by page, experience the intimacy of her pain and confusion that resulted from being sexually abused when she was five.
I learned of her struggles with personal identity, of her need to belong; of her doubts when she couldn’t find any answers. My heart opened up to her journey. I had to stop reading, wanting to know why she was allowing me to see this. She again asked for silence.
“You need to finish reading so that you can understand what I want to tell you.”
When I finished reading, I was left speechless. Moved by intense maternal instinct, I hugged her, tearful and with a lump in my throat, and thanked God for His love and provision for her. More than just introducing me to her confusing reality of a lesbian past, she taught me to love those around me in a way that was unknown to me before. By letting me accompany her in the journey to the liberating truth that Christ brings, I was freed from my own prejudice.
Over the next few months, God used the framework provided by The Significant Woman discipleship and coaching to process her healing. Every biblical principle that she has applied to her life has been like a soothing salve for her soul prompting her to make some radical decisions such as facing her assailant to forgive him; granting her parents understanding for their lack of protection while surviving through their own conflicts; committing to a lifestyle that pleases God, finding the reason for which she was created; and eliminating hurdles that inhibited her from reaching her full potential. Watching her grow in her relationship with the Lord and blossom into her own identity like a beautiful flower renews my hope that personal transformation also has a real impact in our communities – and in our nations.
As I have seen her discover freedom from the imperfect vision of herself, I have also been released from my own prejudice toward people with a different story. The principles we’ve learned and applied together have helped us be transformed anew. My vision was blurred by prejudice. His love made it clear. Now, our vision is indirect and veiled, like that of a mirror; but on that day we shall see each other face-to-face. Now, I only know imperfectly; but on that day, I shall know by the way that I am known.
Now, then, three virtues shall remain: faith, hope and love – of which the most excellent is love. 1 Cor. 12:13-12
Luz de María Mármol-Leiva