Monday, September 12, 2011

My Past Life

I am considering the direction I should go when we return to Australia. Part of that process is thinking about what skills and experience my past hold. Of course pure motherhood has been my world in the past five years. Then there was before...

What have I experienced?

I went to train suicides.

Dealt with the sadness of mental illness.
Spent time with drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, abuse victims.
Read suicide victim's notes.
Arrested many, many people.
Told people their loved one had died.
Watched as people had the horrendous task of identifying the body of someone they loved.
Counselled parents, desperate to turn their wayward children's lives around.
I was spat on, punched, threatened with weapons.
Saw the realities of homelessness.
Dealt with decomposed bodies.
Saw justice done, and justice denied.
Spent many hours in watchhouses, where I heard more creative abuse than you could ever know.
Stood alongside my workmates, with a bond few would understand.
Had the privilege of investigating bikies, drug networks, cold homicide cases.
Waited for the 'jaws of life' at car accidents.
Spoken to many perpetrators and victims of domestic violence.
Driven 'lights and sirens' to armed robberies - heart racing.
Saw hopelessness abounding.
Typed many a charge sheet whilst shaking, after a fight.
Strip searched women.
Entered homes with vicious dogs, weapons, syringes, untold filth.
Been hated because of my uniform, my badge.

They are some of the best memories I have. Strangely.

What did I learn?

I am privileged to be born into a home where it was safe.
Few people have answers for those suffering extraordinary disadvantage.
Racism and stereotypes are an easy default - it takes much more work to have understanding and empathy.
Suicide is one of the saddest things I have seen. The loneliness and despair, overwhelming.
Loyalty is an amazing motivator.
The majority of people I dealt with would never have known love.
People are quickly lost to the destructiveness of heroin.
Justice will not always be done on this earth, but it will come.
I am blessed.

I am so thankful I knew Jesus when I stepped out on that street. Trusted Him. Relied on His strength. Knew His love. For me. For them. I'm not sure how my other, wonderfully dedicated and hard working colleagues, manage.

Jesus was my peace, and gave me love amongst the hate, to share with others.

So...looking at my list...

What is next?

Giving thanks:
  • Life experiences that changed me forever.
  • Love and empathy for those who hated me. Only by the grace of God.
  • Moments with so many suffering people...opportunities to impact their lives.
  • Being kept safe. Too many have given their lives doing the same job.
  • Exciting times. Lights and sirens are fun, no matter what awaits you!
  • Unbreakable bonds with those you have been alongside. Depended on. Trusted.
  • A sense of humour at tough times.
  • Marrying a man who has shared these exexperiences. No need to explain.
  • My heavy heart for some of the stories that have stayed with me.
  • Peace. From the Spirit.
  • Love overflowing to others.
  • Justice. Now. Or eventually.
  • Experiences that provide a springboard for the next season.


  1. Wow. what an amazing list of experiences. Not many women have walked where you have walked, seen what you have seen. And to have walked with Jesus through all of them, to have seen past the horrors and the degradation with His eyes and His heart . . . what an honour to know that you were not only in public service but in the service of the King. Tremendously moved by your post, thank you.

  2. Beautiful post. I'm in awe.

  3. What a journey you have been on. Knowing His love and leaning on His strength makes all the difference! Peace from the Spirit... what an amazing gift. Such a beautiful list of gratitude. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Your past life seems similar to my current one as a social worker! It sure makes me thankful for my quiet childhood. =)

  5. Thanks so much ladies for your lovely encouragement!
    And Mari, praying that you too will know His peace as you do that tough job.