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In my work every day here at Hope Clinic for Women, I get to see women who are facing mistakes: their own mistakes, mistakes a partner made, mistakes in judgment … the list goes on and on. One thing I’ve seen first-hand, is the power that lies in our reaction to mistakes. It is rarely the mistake that hurts us, as much as it is our reaction to it.

The world is flawed, people betray us, we make mistakes – we hurt; but in all the pain, we carry something beautiful and powerful deep inside us – our ability to choose to focus not on the why, but the how. How do we deal with the situations we find ourselves in? We can choose to love, to heal, to believe and to embrace at those dark moments; and I’ve seen over and over again how transformative and empowering that response is.

By facing the mistake we’ve made, the dream we’ve lost, the fear of never loving again, the pain of betrayal and choosing to find hope, to find a way – we shine brightest. It is ironic in many ways, that in the midst of the worst things we can imagine, we can truly see who we are and that truth sets us ablaze. We don’t need to be afraid of facing ourselves. God knew what He was doing when He created us. Even at our worst, we are beautiful – we are God’s creation.

I try to remind myself and the women I see of this daily. You may feel this darkness is overwhelming, you may feel like a mistake will define your life; but right there in the midst of that darkness, the light is shining, you have only to embrace it. The truth is we are all God’s creations – His children first and foremost – THAT is who God says we are, and what an amazing and beautiful fact this is. The truth is always healing, no matter how dark it may feel. It always comes back to a choice: we get to choose to see what we feel, to see where we are and what we’ve done; or we can choose to see who we are. If knowing the truth sets us free, knowing ourselves and who we really are – loved, unique and deliberate creations of God — must be one of the most freeing, beautiful experiences in life, especially in the midst of darkness. St Catherine of Siena says it best:

“Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

Cheryl Seefeldt, Medical Program Director, has been with Hope Clinic for Women for three and a half years. She provides medical care for women prior to, during and after pregnancy through annual exams, STD checking and prenatal care.