Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Leavening in the Bread: February Edition

I am going to give up Facebook for Lent. I'll let you know how that goes. Maybe I'll get some real writing accomplished.

I would like to take a moment to honor somebody who has turned a horrible trial into something that will bless others. 

Every now and then Elizabeth Smart pops up in news. I came across another article late last week. But this time, instead of being merely a human interest story (like details about her wedding) it is an article about the work she is doing now on the speaking circuit to raise money and awareness for violence against women.

Certainly nobody would fault Ms. Smart (or Mrs. Gilmour) if she wanted to disappear off the map for good and just move on. Her life then, as her life now, is not the public's business. Instead of disappearing again, however, she is taking her horrific trial and turning it into something that can, potentially, teach and bless untold thousands.

I found out today that there is to be a book published later this year, authorized by her but written by someone else, detailing both her kidnapping and her recovery. Again, this is not a story that belongs to anybody but Ms. Smart. But by freely sharing her experience she is attempting to help others see that there is life after the worst. She talked to this group in Florida about the thoughts that ran through her head that first night, in that filthy tent in the mountains. He raped her and she prayed for death. She wished she was dead. She wished it so much that he was able to control her and stop her will to run away.

But a new day dawns. Life is not forever on the ground in a filthy tent. Now she stands before women to say, "Don't let your perpetrator steal one more day of your life!"

Her message is one of hope and healing and beating impossible odds. She is lovely and remarkable. A strong LDS voice for stopping violence against women. If she moves again to the shadows, perhaps when her own children come?, I will absolutely respect her choice. For now I feel to honor her for speaking out in a way that only she can. God can use any circumstance for greater purposes if we will be tools in His hands. She is an example to women everywhere.


heidikins said...

I was actually in the initial search parties for Elizabeth Smart. I was dating someone who worked for her Dad and we both went out looking. It was so surreal to be right in the middle of it when she was kidnapped, and then 9 months later be right there again (working for both Salt Lake City newspapers, night shift) when she was found. I think I will always feel extra-connected to her (even though we've never met) because of my experiences with her disappearance, reappearance, and the trial (which also happened here in SLC).

Excellent post.


Guatemalamama said...

I went to one of her speaking engagements a few months ago. her strength was impactful.

AmyJane said...

I have all those same connectedness feelings to this because of being in Utah at the time, being sent home after sacrament meeting to go and help search, and being in a utah classroom when she was found alive, and honestly bursting into tears because I had assumed there was NO WAY she would ever be found alive. Anyway, I didn't know she was speaking these days and I think that's AMAZING.

Loradona said...

I have thought recently about how she must feel about her life being of interest to so many others. I'm afraid I might not be as generous with my life as she is with hers. I really admire how she has dealt with it, and I wish nothing but peace to her. She could probably use it.