My Story & The Paradox Project
My story is long and complex. My story is a process. My story is one that includes hope, healing, and redemption. But it is also includes pain, sorrow, and intense heartbreak. My story is unique yet very similar to many.
When I was very young, someone close to me took power over me sexually. Whether or not it was the person's intention to harm is not relevant. The harm was in that it happened to me and it shouldn't have. It was an injustice that has had a significant impact on me for all of my life thus far. Experiencing sexual trauma at such a young age created years of intense pain, shame as well as cyclical struggle with my own identity and worth. And though I have found forgiveness for this person, which was truly only possible with God's love and forgiveness for me, I still face the effects of the deep hurt it caused me.
Like many others who have faced this kind of trauma, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and self degrading thoughts molded into a normalcy for me. For years, I questioned my self worth, I questioned why I was even here, and I often felt like only a shell of human. Sexual trauma takes a deep root and it only grows deeper until it is dealt with.
For me, it was only through a true encounter with Jesus by His Spirit, that I began to breakthrough into understanding that there is more to life than this. And with a few amazing counselors who specialized in trauma, I was able to see how to break free from the lies that were planted in me as a little girl, I was able to gain perspective, and I was able to experience that freedom for myself daily. None of what happened to me was my fault. I was not meant to feel broken forever. But rather, I began to see all of it was redeemable by the power and love of Christ. With this revelation, I began to truly heal. I chose to find the path to Shalom- to wholeness- and I find strength from my heavenly father to help me stay on this path even on days when I didn't (and don't) feel worth it. Healing is a process. It is not an easy one, as I have talked about before, and we must recognize that it takes time. I, myself, am definitely still in that process.
But that does not mean God cannot use me in the here and now.
Songwriting for me has always been very therapeutic and one of the ways I love to connect with people and with God. I have recently felt led to share my gifts more intentionally in a way I haven't yet before.
I want to create something meaningful and beautiful that will foster authentic hope and healing for the souls who have felt most broken.
My hope is to create music that brings awareness to our brokenness in order to silence the shame surrounding it. I am specifically passionate about raising awareness for sexual assault, human trafficking, its relation to pornography and its harmful effects. I am in school studying psychology with the dream to someday go on and counsel people who have been through trauma. I believe that Jesus is the ultimate healer and He wants to use me as vessel for His beautiful, renewal and Kingdom work. I am so average and far from perfect, but I do have hope that this project will bring Him just a glimpse of glory if nothing else. "The Paradox Project" is a name I came up with after a revelation I had about God's love for us. We as humans are so prone to try to earn love from others and from God and even more so when something has happened to us that makes us feel utterly unworthy of it. But I believe God wants to draw near to the most broken hearts- ones who have gone through loss, abuse, trauma, and who are in need of hope and healing.
Throughout my story, I found that it was only when I let God in to these dark places- the ugly, the broken, the shameful parts that made me feel completely unloveable, that I was able to truly feel his unconditional love. It felt like a paradox to me. How could a God so perfect and beautiful want to see the ugliest parts of me and my brokenness and then choose to love, accept, and walk alongside me in-spite of it all? And so my hope is to create music for people in the healing process and to recognize that this freedom and restoration is only truly possible through the life that Jesus so freely gives.
venmo: Leah-Burnett-3 | paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if it takes a lifetime, healing is worth it. You are worth it. While engaging everyday in our flesh and a broken world might mean we will never reach a "full healing" here on earth, I believe we are one with Christ in the Kingdom days to come. And we can be so sure that this will be the reality, that we can experience the freedom of it in the here an now. So I encourage you to be open to the healing He has for you, and to start by asking Him to step into those dark places.
and I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. phil 1.6
Lastly, I want to link this beautiful song about the Lord's healing from sexual trauma that has blessed me. It is by a collective know as Common Hymnal.
In a way, this has been my #metoo movement, as I have not shared this part of my story very openly in the past. But I believe there is power in breaking the silence of shame.
even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. psalm 139.12
soli deo gloria,