Trust in Him = Strength in You
“You are Light in the Lord… But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” —Ephesians 5:8, 13
When I was five, on my way home from school in Kampala, Uganda, our car was hijacked and my father was shot at point blank in the top of his right leg. The politically motivated attack left my father by the side of road, our car gone and me and my three year old brother a mile from our house (my mother was in the UK giving birth to my youngest sister). I flagged down a car, helped get my father to a hospital, and found care for my little brother before running home to let everyone know what happened. After two major surgeries, a 60lb frame and months of rehabilitative surgery my father came home.
What is important today is not necessarily the specifics of what happened, only that it is a definitive event that has played a huge role in my life experiences. The deep-rooted knowledge of God’s protection made me stronger. It is also not about this experience being any more or any less traumatic than what anyone else has gone through, but about how much of an impact the experience had on my life. I was forced to confront the unfruitful deeds of darkness (v.11a).
After the event, as I struggled to understand and suffered with nightmares and fear, my mother prayed over me with Psalm 91. She focused on His protection and the bravery that trust in Him could and would give me. These are prayers I remember to this day and verses that speak to the daily and weekly situations where I’m called to be strong. Never underestimate the effect life-giving truth will have on children, who you’ve been told are too young to fully comprehend it.
It’s not that I held onto the memory, I did my best over the years to not let it define me. I realized that I was a new creation in Christ and the old things had passed away and new things had come (to paraphrase 2 Corinthians 5:17). Yes, I feel like I lost some of my childhood and I lost some of the sense of unmeasured, boundless trust and belief in the good of all humanity.
It took me another 26 years to have the strength/wherewithal/craziness to decide to face what really happened. Not that I am “over it,” or that it no longer has any affect on my life, but I truly believe that some of its hold over me has broken. It took me a couple of decades to be able to stand where the horrible incident happened. I was able to mourn what I felt I had lost, walking away knowing I had come through it and that with the light in my life due to my faith in Jesus I was able to shine light on that place and on that horrible memory. What became visible was the power of God.
There are still dark days and there probably always will be. But I can approach them, as the time comes, with the knowledge that I am ‘light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8). Later on in Ephesians it talks about the armor of the Lord and “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Ephesians 5:10-17). Arming myself with His word has been and will continue to be my protection; as I am called upon to be brave when dealing with the past and facing whatever the future holds.
Tell us how Kilara’s story resonates with you in the comments section below. #BYmovement
Kilara hails from London but calls D.C. home for now. When she’s in the District she can be found eating and drinking somewhere new, scouring used bookstores or jogging around Capitol Hill in the early mornings or late evenings. You’ll also spot her at CapCity D.C. in the lobby, and is the melodious voice you sometimes hear encouraging people into service.