Over the past few years I have made many friends on Facebook, or what I lovingly call my soul family. Sometimes Spirit runs thicker than blood and I am closer friends all over the world than I am to my blood relatives. They know my heart and they follow the same purpose, to make this world a better place for everyone.
Rebecca Musser is one of those friends I call family. Rebecca is an author, speaker, advocate, musician & mother. She is a radiant woman who has dedicated to life to the freedom of other women. She was the pivotal witness in recent trials convicting 10 FLDS men in Texas for sexual assault of a child, and 11 men total regarding the subjugation of women. Rebecca is an advocate for victims of human trafficking, and author of The Witness Wore Red (Grand Central 2013). She is also the founder of ClaimRED, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing dignity, hope and healing to victims of human trafficking.
This morning she left a beautiful post on her wall, a happy birthday to herself, and a very well deserved congratulations for being who she is! Below are her words, a short snippet of where she once was and where she is now:
“Where were you 10 years ago, and where will you be in ten more?
September 8, 2002….. A day filled with shock and uncertainty. What was never supposed to happen, happened……The Prophet of the FLDS, Rulon Jeffs, died unexpectedly. Being born and raised in the FLDS, I believed what I had been taught–that the “Prophet” would never die. Now, at age 26, I was a “widow”……along with over 60 other women who were living in the same house.
My understanding of the world I knew hinged on the “Prophet”…..and now he was dead. I struggled not with his death, but with the blatant contradiction of him dying and the teachings I had been given my entire life. My mind raced with thoughts…..if this isn’t true, then it would mean that “that” isn’t true, and if “that” isn’t true, then…… Around and around the thoughts swirled in my head. I felt like the world all around me was crumbling. I felt confused, scared, and numb. I felt like I was being suffocated by utter shock and uncertainty. The “programmed” part of me who was taught what to think and wanted the FLDS story to be true, shattered, and to my surprise, when the pieces fell, the only part left standing was the very part of me I had been taught to suppress. I had no way of knowing that the chaos around me was not the end, but was in fact, the beginning of my liberation and freedom.
Today, ten years later, my life has been completely transformed by the choice I made to leave the FLDS. Where I once felt stifled, oppressed, and owned, I now feel deliciously alive and free. Growing up, I could usually find some reason to be happy, but it is only now that I can experience the power and authenticity of true joy. The past 10 years have been the most challenging years of my entire life, but they have also been the most empowering, fulfilling, and miraculous. The incredible freedom I now enjoy could never have been possible if the world I knew hadn’t crumbled. Today, I am most grateful for that event, and I am delightfully excited for what the next 10 years will bring.”
I am fortunate to call Rebecca my friend, and my soul sister.
It is women like her who are driven to ensure that the trafficking of women and girls becomes more openly recognized, and hopefully someday, will become obsolete.
Happy Birthday Rebecca. May the next 10 years be even more miraculous and joyful than the past 10 years!