What makes us who we become sometimes begins with negative experiences, shaped by decisions that can either be the source of defeat, despair and disillusionment throughout our lives or cause us to be tenacious in spirit, determined to move forward regardless of the odds.
At one time I asked the Lord to take away all the negative that happened to me, shaped me, and tormented me throughout my life and what happened next changed the direction of my life forever. Let me share my “onion story” with you.
I was looking at a scar on my knee one day thinking I have seen many miracles in my life but why is it that God doesn’t remove the scars from our lives. My prayer raised to heaven as a plea for Him to remove the scars of my life, free me from the torment of dark memories, flashbacks, and stressors. Instead, God showed me an onion shrouded in its brown paper-like skin and asked me, Vicki – what is this? What? … It’s an onion Lord, but why don’t you take away these dreams, these memories that torment me?
Again, the hand before me held the onion, this time with the paper-like shroud removed asking the question again…Vicki-what is this? It’s an ONION Lord (thinking maybe I didn’t identify it correctly the first time so I added a little more emphasis). But Lord, why don’t you remove the horrible things from me, my many afflictions?
Once again, He showed me His hand holding that same onion, with a fine, slick membrane layer surrounding the whole onion asking, yet again, Vicki – what is this? As I answered this time, a light illuminated my thought. He then told me that each layer, as it was removed did not change the substance of who I am. He told me that if he removed all the layers at once, I would not recognize who I am. He told me that not everything that had happened to me was bad/negative. There were things that made me exactly who I am (paper thin, thick and odorous, slick and slimy, yet strong and firm). I was who I am and He would remove the layers when He saw that I was ready.
After that experience, I gained an appreciation for who I am in Him. For the inner person He designed. It has been with great purpose that I have been able to share my onion story time and again with young women who have experienced similar things through life.
There are seasons in life where we need to be content in who and what He has called us to be and do. I have been a wife, mother, and grandmother. One of the most wonderful moments of my life was when He helped me discover me. My Pastor husband told me … you have followed me all over the world in the Air Force and in ministry, the girls are now beginning families of their own, and you need to do something just for you.
Though there is no room to share everything in this brief testimony, I will tell you I became a police officer. That experience was ordered by God for me to discover my inner core to the depths of my being.
I faced all of my fears, I overcame self-loathing, and I grew exponentially in Jesus. Through a ten-year career at Corvallis Police Department (two as an officer and 8 as a Crime and Intelligence Analyst) I was truly set free and comfortable for the first time in my own skin. Yes, the onion is ongoing in my life (my husband would encourage me to call this the process of sanctification but “onion” works for me!) – but I am so thankful to know who I am in Christ.
The lot is cast into the lap but it’s every decision is of the Lord! Prov. 16:33