Before anything else, I want you to know I don’t take your fellowship lightly. I’ve tried my best to create a space that promotes love. A space to talk about the beautiful journey of motherhood with all its ups and downs.
The tagline, “finding Grace in the mishmash,” was picked on purpose because who among us doesn’t need a huge wash of Grace on a daily basis? Along with the stories I’ve shared about family life and all things Jesus, I’ve also shared stories from other moms (and dads) who I feel inspire and empower the rest of us.
The intention behind my content is to provide a trustworthy and authentic experience for every reader. I want you to have a place to laugh, cry, empathize, and cheer one another on. I want all of us to pray for each other and tackle the hard stuff with courage and compassion. I want us to have a safe space to love without judgment. Goodness knows my life is full of failures, poor choices, and unruly behaviors.
Today I’m going to risk sharing a post about a topic I haven’t shared in much depth before. I don’t put this in front of you for my sake. I share these words for your sake—and you will know who “you” are when you read.
If you’ve followed me long enough, you’re aware that my worldview is pro LOVE. I don’t stand on one side of any aisle or the other. I stand with humanity—which includes all people, whether I agree with them or not. I steer clear of stories and rhetoric that aim to divide and conquer, choosing instead to focus my energy on messages that unite and connect. Life is so much easier when we come to greater understandings and find common ground.
We are all interconnected whether we want to be or not. God gave us this gift. A gift we too often mistreat or take for granted. It is because of this intertwined relationship we share as children of God that I feel called to use my voice for the greater good of those of you who are hurting.
Some of you will refuse to believe me, but I promise you what I’m going to share is not intended to be political, nor is it underscored with any divisive agenda. I’ll repeat it, “It.is.not.political.” I am not taking a side on any current debate. I stand in love, which transcends any line in the sand. Rather, my words are meant to console and love women who are hurting from any form of sexual harassment, assault, or abuse. Which means I am speaking to the multitudes.
Why do I speak out? Because I love people and right now, people are hurting. Also, if I am serving women and mothers on this page, I need to serve all women and mothers to the best of my ability based on my experience. Not just those who are dealing with non-controversial pain points. Pain and suffering isn’t political. It’s universal.
For me, I decided not to take into consideration what “triggered” this current outpouring of pain around the issue of sexual misconduct when deciding whether to speak out. Avoiding the controversy at the expense of human suffering doesn’t sit well with me. Instead, I am choosing to focus on the real people who are experiencing real hurt right now, regardless of what opened their wounds. Their wounds are what matter to me. Their wounds are the reason I share my truth.
Sadly, many of you women and mothers are hurting right now. Many of you with children, boys and girls, are scared for their future based on the scars of your past. So many of you are heavy laden with personal pain right now that you are having a hard time getting through the day, taking care of your kids, loving your spouse the way you want.
These are trying times. But together we can help each other through. Together we can harness the immense power of the Holy Spirit and work through the pain. The Spirit of the Lord is within each of us, a constant companion ready and willing to do the heavy lifting when it comes to healing. Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, He gives freedom. Which is good news since the Spirit of the Lord is everywhere.
Again, my words are not meant to stir up a debate. This isn’t a stance. Any political or divisive comments will be deleted from this post. The last thing we need is more arguing, shaming, insulting, and finger-pointing. Jesus weeps enough already. Let’s give Him a reason to cheer by doing the one thing He asks of us above anything else: #belove
Here is my love letter to you…
I see you. I hear you. I feel you.
Especially those of you who have buried your truth in a pit beneath layers of shame, guilt, fear, doubt, unworthiness–only a few of the emotions pressing you down beneath the surface. I feel how hard it is for you to have these memories excavated, especially against your will.
I feel the fear of those of you who cling to silence and also hear those of you who have finally found the courage to scream. I get the confliction over whether you should speak up or stuff down, pretend to be brave or risk vulnerability. I understand how experiencing the tension of such a tug-of-war can form blisters on your heart.
I can feel the heartache and heaviness of how your unhealed experience bleeds into your everyday life. How the emotions spring up unannounced at random times, catching you and everyone you love off guard. I feel the shame you harbor and the longing to overcome. The overwhelming desire to live in peace where you are no longer hunted down by the memories.
I also get the time gaps between the moment of your nightmare and when you find your voice. I feel both the guilt caused by your decision to remain closed lipped and the shame resulting from baring your soul. I believe the intricacies of how the mind works, its uncanny ability to repress reality. This profound defense mechanism is often a double-edged sword: one side a tool for your survival, the opposite a weapon people use to carve you up with doubt.
I understand the drain of unworthiness when others question your truth because it didn’t rise to the surface according to their timetable of believability. Also, the sense of abandonment when others expect you to be strong and move on. I feel how this rips you apart because you know your truth. The raw emotions that gutted your spirit don’t evaporate whether the damage occurred decades ago or last week. Feelings buried alive never die.
I see you, hear you, feel you, and understand you because I am you. A victim and survivor of childhood sexual abuse. A fellow traveler on this merciless path who has experienced all of the emotions above and more.
The fallout of my experience haunted me for decades—infiltrating my marriage and mothering in ways I wasn’t even aware until I was 34 years old. The first time I spoke of my truth was when I met my husband at age 21, and I said very little because I remembered very little. It took falling to pieces emotionally and failing as a wife and mother for the layers of repressed memories to begin rising to the surface in therapy.
I know how the confusion, shame, guilt, disgust winds itself up around your heart, and how grueling it is to allow it all to unravel. But I also know the freedom of finding yourself on the other side of the pain. How intoxicating the fresh air is as it fills your lungs after you claw your way out of the darkness. How relieving it is to start to rebuild your self-worth, nourish self-love, and reclaim your God-given identity.
This is why I speak out today to all of you who are still coming to grips with your pain. Still trying to find the courage to begin the difficult path of restoration. I’ve come to learn that when we experience the brokenness, Jesus meets us right there. I have proof in my life that He stands in the gap of every fracture and keeps us whole, even if we aren’t aware of His presence. His love is the glue that binds our broken parts. His grace is what gives us the ability and courage to cast off the protective facades once and for all so we can begin to love the person we see in the mirror. So we can come to know who we really are: a beloved child of God, beautiful and complete, worthy and valuable, tried and true.
I want nothing more in life than for all of you to find this sacred space where healing and redemption collide. Nothing more than for you to feel seen, heard, validated…loved. Nothing more than for you to escape the bondage and find the freedom to love yourself and others with abandon.
Although the cocktail of painful emotions may always be a drink we are forced to swallow, we can help one another overcome the bitter aftertaste. Together we find strength, courage, and hope. Together we fight for freedom. Together we drench the world and each other in love because Jesus is with us and for us.
Our sons and daughters need to know love is who they are, love is what they are called to be, and love is what they deserve.
You have my heart.
My love is yours for the taking.
How can I help?