This Is What I Know: All I Know Is What I Know

The article below is written by my friend Claresa. The article touched my heart the first time I read it and I asked for permission to share it with you. Enjoy.

My name is Claresa Baggs. I do not possess a title of Pastor, Minister, Reverend, or
Prophetess. I don’t sit on any boards. I do not have a big certificate of degree hanging
on my office wall. I never expected to stand before you in this format, on this day. Quite
frankly, I learned that I can only run for so long, before God catches up to me.

Who am I, to stand before you and allow teachings to flow from my mouth that I would
otherwise keep to myself? I am but a wretched soul, desperately in need of prayer, on a
twisted and potholed path trying to find my way back to God. I have nothing to offer you
but my own truths.

I do not speak of things I have not experienced. I have been on a sad, angry, lonely
journey. How could God; therefore, require this of me? How could He ask me, out of all
who have suffered to stand before you and provide guidance? I cannot quote a bunch of
biblical passages to support this presentation. I cannot list authors of self-help manuals
used as reference materials.

I stand before you in humility and obedience.
All I know is what I know.

I can tell you of a child who at the age of 8 believed it better to die than to live one more
day in pain and sorrow.

I can tell you of children who nursed whelped skin trying to keep the wounds from
rupturing and strategically wearing clothes to hide the scars from friends and

I can tell you of the child who lives with the knowledge that she could not save her sister
from certain death.

I can tell you of living in abject terror of going to hell, because she placed her hand upon
a bible and swore never to tell.

I can tell you of a child who thought God had long since abandoned her for some
misdeed she could not recall committing.

I can tell you of shame, loneliness and ridicule.

I understand the experience of betrayal at the hands of persons charged to protect you.

I understand how it feels to live in conflict with the 5th Commandment.

All I know is what I know.

I cannot tell you how it feels to have a mother’s unconditional love.

I cannot tell you of many happy childhood memories.

I do not understand a peaceful soul.

I do not know how to live without waiting for the new shoe to drop.

I can tell you about reciting a prayer by rote, yet not letting the words pierce your heart.

All I know is what I know.

I can tell you of a God that prevented the pills from killing me.

I can tell you of a God, who did not allow me to find the right place to slice open my

I can tell you that you can learn to love the child who is the result of rape. Even when,
you are the child.

I can tell you that you can aspire to inspire.

I can tell you of forgiving myself.

I can tell you of loving the same God whom I thought had forsaken me.

All I know is what I know.

I know that I can never feel your pain and heartbreak.

I may never understand your devastation.

I cannot shed your baggage.

I cannot heal you.

I cannot remove your hurt.

All I know is what I know

I can tell you that God never turned His back on us, even when we turned our backs on

I can tell you to look around and see all of the others who walk beside you and share in
the knowledge that but for God we could not share our stories.

All I know is what I know

We hold on to our previous experiences as a badge of self-righteousness, to wield as
an excuse to be unloving, distrustful and ungodly.

The pain does not belong to you. Let it go.

The shame is not yours to own. Release it.

The fear and trepidation of loving another is nothing to hold on to.

The pain, hurt, shame and fear do not have a hold of you. Yet we hold fast, because as
bad as it may be, it is familiar. Nothing changes. Fear is not of God.

We envelop ourselves in a cloak of disillusionment, believing that we do not deserve
what God has faithfully set aside for us.

Stop holding on to those things as though it were a safety mechanism- because God
forbid you find out that you are deserving of the best things this life has to offer. God
does not want you to live in fear, shame and pain.

I have wasted many years coming to terms with the idea that had I not lived through my
life’s experiences, I could not speak to you of forgiveness. I still struggle with careless
comments made by acquaintances who do not know my story. Flashbacks of shame still
invade my space on occasion. I am a work in progress.

I can offer you comfort, but I cannot give you peace.

I can tell you that it’s not your fault, but I cannot forgive you.

I can tell you that the hurt eventually fades, but I cannot heal you.

I can tell you about a magnificent God, but I cannot make you a believer.

It is essential to do these things this for yourself.

Posted on January 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow. Just… wow. Thanks for sharing that.

  2. What a powerful story! Lets me know there is hope to come out of the depths of depression I find myself in from time to time. But, doesn’t make it seem like a magical “presto-change-o” thing. Being well, being loving toward yourself and others, takes work.

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