It’s been 7 years today since my left hip injury. Seven years of so many unanswered questions and prayers.
But I want this to be a note filled with hope and encouragement, especially for those who don’t have answers to the pain after a bad injury or surgery.
I know what it’s like to be stuck in a wheelchair and at the mercy of others pushing you around and into corners while they look at the things you are wanting to see. I know what it’s like to need walking sticks and a cane just to get around the house and how each move causes so much pain, you want to cry and give up on life.
I have had many questions for God and unanswered prayers, but even when I question His ways and plan, I trust He loves me and has a reason. I know He has taught me about chronic pain through this journey. He taught me to slow down- so that I would read and write more - to share my stories of pain turned to healing and hope to others.
I’ve learned to trust when I don’t know the answers or don’t like them. My children have learned how to serve others when they can’t help themselves, and how to show grace to those who need help. I’ve learned how to be humble and rely on my husband and He has shown myself and our daughters true, sacrificial love.
Some time ago, I decided to pursue hope...because living without it was like living in darkness. It’s a battle, but a choice. I now fight to look to the positive, even if at times it is so small it seems hard to find. Chronic pain sufferers must fight to rise above the monster of depression that wants to swallow us whole- mind, body and soul.
I’ve learned that I can choose hope, and in doing so, choose to fight with determination for a normalcy that is different from the life I once knew, but still a life worth living.
Hope can drive us to see the good and to fight for something better because we know it has to be out there. The surgeons left me to a life on drugs. I refused. I wasn’t going to listen to the lies that life was over for me. I fought for different therapy, and you know what? It’s been working. At least I can walk now, even if only for short bits at a time.
Is there purpose in pain? I think we can all learn something. I know I did-I still am if I look for it. I took up calligraphy because I needed purpose with so many days spent reclining because sitting and standing does something that causes me more discomfort. There are many things you can do while sitting or reclining. Think about what you can do no matter your situation.
I think the pain of believing we have no purpose is worse than the physical pain. But it’s not true. You are worth so much to so many people and to God. He hears your cries and knows the longings in your heart. I’ve had to give Him so much and then, let it go. I’ve had to ask what is next and what does my life look like now... And now, I’m writing to you - to those who have been on a similar journey, to not lose hope and not doubt your worth. You matter so much more than how your pain might limit or define you. Don’t give up on answers or reaching out for help and most of all, keep fighting for that hope because you are worth it.
Love, Marilyn Mae
This past Friday night, right before the shooting at the Cascade Mall, less than a mile from my house, I had tucked myself in before 8pm from sheer exhaustion after a week of little sleep due to trying different meds for my migraines and sleep needs. I was almost giddy about the sleep I would finally get…then the texts started pouring in about the shooting and then more about how the gunman (young man) was seen running in the direction that could possibly lead to my neighborhood.
At the time, my husband was at work and I had the kids and their friend playing happily in their room. I called my husband to fill him in, and then had to tell the kids. After calling my brother in law to come get us – yes, I was too afraid to go out to my car – things started getting more real…helicopters in the surrounding neighborhoods, streets blocked… and I started getting more scared, and so did the kids – because I had to tell them to turn off all the lights and get down and be quiet. My youngest quietly sobbed as the others looked to me for how they were supposed to respond. I just kept repeating that we need to be quiet and that it will be ok.
I hated to see them live with that kind of fear – rushing to the car as soon as help arrived, knowing the shooter could be anywhere. I hated not knowing if I could protect them, even if I knew how. I hated that I relied on others to protect me and putting them in danger to come get me, but that was my reality.
Saturday came and after a fitful night, I was even more exhausted then Friday. Then in the wee hours of Sunday morning I woke with a migraine that kept me up till it was time to get out of bed. Sunday was a blur. My muscles and brain felt unusually fatigued, like after severe jet lag and travel (if you’ve ever experienced this, you know what I’m talking about). I remember thinking “I probably shouldn’t be driving today” and later missing my exit when coming home from a meeting after church that I barely made it through, sure that I would fall asleep once seated!
Here’s my current reality: Just as I was feeling like I was getting a handle on fear in my life and my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in this area, the shooting happens, and the rug is pulled under my feet. No, I don’t think someone is going to shoot me. PTSD doesn’t work like that. Instead it’s like your senses are heightened and you are on edge waiting for your safety to be jeopardized because it has in the past.
Don’t worry – I am good most of the time, except when something seems off, and then it’s as if I’m sure something horrible will happen and I’m a target. Fear grips me so fast and hard that I’m not sure what’s reality and what’s not, and I wonder if I can tell my body to move while my stomach and mind are racing in directions that only crash and jumble into one big mess. It’s a bad combination.
I’m on my face before God with this issue and I won’t give up. I am seeing a therapist and continue to pray and read God’s word.
I write this because I don’t want to be silent, and because I know a lot of people live with PTSD and feel like failures because they know a part of them is broken and they feel defeated. If that is you, I want you to know I get it – but you don’t have to feel shame, embarrassment or anger over what you live with. It’s part of what makes you who you are and your journey isn’t worse than another persons, it’s just different.
Sometimes we can be thankful that PTSD rears its ugly head, because it can make us look in the mirror and say, “I need help” and if we choose to go to prayer, scripture, a friend and sometimes a counselor or therapist, we find safety, comfort and pieces of healing. It reminds us of our frailty and our need for one bigger than us – the one who made us and can save us from this and comfort us when we can’t take care of our own self.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (NIV)
“It’s not much, God bless you". This is what I said as I handed a couple $10.00 out of my wallet after hearing their conversation. Based on what I heard I had reason to believe they truly needed and deserved it. But it wasn’t just that. It brought me back to just a few years ago when ten dollars would have felt like Fifty.
It was only a few years ago that I was on my knees asking God to provide toilet paper, razors, toothpaste and so much more for my family. In a world where many people were walking away from their mortgages, we chose to hang onto our house, because we felt it was the right thing to do. This meant no more basic items like ice cream… or meat. Rice and beans became our staple. We had a big beautiful house, but inside we were living in near poverty. We could no longer get a hair trim every 3-6 months, but waited till once a year rolled around. This included my kids. I couldn’t buy ink for my printer – or paper for that matter. I remember longing to afford used clothes for us.
My husband was working 2 jobs and I, somewhere around that time, got an injury that put me out of work for years with 2 surgeries performed and I still wait to function normally.
You may have heard it said, “When all we have is God, He is enough”. It’s true. Same is true with the saying, “When all you can do is pray, prayer is enough”. I have lived this…many times throughout my life. During the financially challenging years I cried out to God to meet our needs. I rarely told people, because if I did, they didn’t know what to do and didn’t understand I needed help or that they could help, even if just a little. People fail us. God doesn’t. I stayed on my knees during that time and continue to, even today for our needs. I have seen God bless us through others, but I've also seen Him sustain us, like when our clothes didn't fall apart till after we finally had some income to buy more. We may not get what we want, but we are provided for.
God had us go through that season for a reason. We now know what it’s like to live without and we know He is still God and still good. I fought jealousy hard during those many months – seeing other people’s kids get haircuts, new shoes and coats for them and their family, eating out, having treats and doing special events while I sewed my family’s socks and underwear. I’m human after all. I remember planning trips out of the house because I didn’t have enough gas money. I was even shut out of many invites because others knew I wouldn’t go or didn't have the money.
But- Now that we have been through hard times, we no longer hold onto our money as tightly. We are much more quick to give, even when we are not sure we will have what we want, but we know we have what we need. I think as American’s we can get so used to having what we want. If you and your kids are clothed and fed, and you have enough money for gas in your car and can afford extras after paying the rent or mortgage, you probably have something to give, even if a few dollars.
Last year I had a friend who wanted new shoes. There was a buy 2, get one free sale. She decided to give me the third pair. There are all kinds of ways to help others and serve those in need. Open your heart for it and ask God to show you who and how to help.
Do I dream of having enough money to buy the shoes like she did? Yes, after all I’m a woman! BUT I’d rather my heart be in the place where I see how I can serve and help someone who has it worse than me. This is what keeps me thankful, grateful and humbled. This is what shows my kids what’s important in life – People, not things - serving, not consuming. This is what makes us the kind of people who are satisfied and content. We give because we love and that is what I want in my heart. Love instead of constant wanting for myself or my family. To trust God instead, and bring a moment of hope or joy into someone else's life.
Please keep an open mind and heart to those around you, and not just the ones on a screen, but the ones you meet or know in real life. He will provide for you as you give to others.
I refused food that was offered to me last week during a football game because it had too many calories. The friend who offered it to me immediately called me out. She said, “You need to stop that. This has become an idol of your heart!” Ouch!... I knew she was right. I spend way too much of my days obsessing over what I eat, but after thinking about it, it’s not the food that is an idol of my heart, it’s my weight.
As loving and accepting as my relatives were, growing up I heard several talk about how women should be thin, and if not, then they have little value or importance to men. If they are heavy, they get put down, shamed and they “should” feel ugly. At least this was the messages I received as I listened to conversations. One relative even took the opportunity to pinch the girls waist’s and comment if they could, “pinch an inch”.
I’ve always envied people who didn’t have the “perfect” bodies and were self confident and happy. When I look at them I see beauty, outside and in. But when I look at myself I have different standards. I believe I must be thin and if I’m not, I’m not good enough and should be ashamed of myself.
This has led to many moments over the years of near starving myself to eating everything in sight because I hated feeling hungry.
How can we as humans love and accept others but not ourselves? I believe it’s because Satan wants to keep us trapped in any area he can use. Since this thought of worthiness tied to weight was something that was instilled in me my entire life, it’s a strong trap – And he uses it.
I have decided to fight back and overcome. First by recognizing and taking responsibility that I have believed lies, and to remember that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”.
Psalm 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
Do you know what this means?! It’s not just the verse at many baby showers, to me it means, I’m great just the way I am. I don’t have to find my value in my weight! God loves me the way I am. My value comes in being HIS creation that HE made for HIS delight as HIS daughter. HE delights in me and in who I am and I am good enough just the way I am!
I’m learning to accept me just the way I am. Last night I ate fried chicken for dinner. I would have NEVER allowed myself to eat something like this because I can’t exercise it off due to a bad hip and major limitations. If I gain weight with this journey, I know God is big enough to walk me through it. Who knows, I may even lose weight or stay the same because I’m not bashing myself all day and consuming my thoughts with food!
My hope and prayer is that others who struggle with their worth being attached to their weight can see the truth – We are more than good enough just the way we are. Ignore what culture teaches and keep your mind on what God says about you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! A child of God whom He loves and delights in. He doesn’t want you burdened by such thoughts. He wants you free so you can enjoy this life He gave you and give that attention to good things!
I'm not the introvert I thought I was...
I once enjoyed parties, being the center of attention and pulling others out of their shells, but these past few years I have found myself wanting to hide from others, dreading parties and agreeing with all the online “test” that tell me I’m an introvert. I even began to find solace in knowing why I was the way I was and was happy to accept it. …but something was missing. If I was an introvert, why did I battle loneliness and depression when I didn’t have friends to hang out with or when not invited to events?
After a church split nearly 3 years ago, my social life took a turn downward. Many who left our church said they still liked me, but while they moved on, I stayed where I was but with most of my social connections gone. I guess somewhere along the way I decided it was better to protect my heart and tell myself I liked being alone because it was easier than being hurt. The more I felt closed off from others, the more I closed myself off, telling myself I was fine…even when the loneliness seemed unbearable. After all, why go through feeling rejected again. That would have broken me completely. Or so I felt.
During the past few years if I did host or attend a social event, I would feel anxiety, only confirming that I must be an introvert. BUT now I see the anxiety was my fear of rejection.
I’ve recently decided to open up my heart more to the friends I do have. I’m not going to allow myself to be afraid of losing them – because it keeps walls up I’m tired of being on the other side of. I’m very blessed to have these women and I’m thankful I can now cherish what I have instead of holding back and questioning the relationship we have and what the future might hold.
I have friends that love me and accept me for who I am – and are there for me when I need it. I don’t have to have everyone I know be that kind of friend, nor be that to them. To be honest, that would be draining and it’s what I tried to do for too many years. I thought that if I had a friendship with someone, I was obligated to meet any need they may have had.
So, while I still naturally slide more toward the introvert side (being alone re-energizes me), I no longer have to hide for fear of what I might lose or if I may get hurt. I want to enjoy what I have now and embrace what could be in friendships.
I hope that if you feel lonely, you consider why you feel that way. Try opening up your heart to those you can trust. I’m slowly opening my heart again and it feels amazing to accept the friendships I have with no more fear of losing them. This is my prayer for anyone who’s had the same struggles. Especially pastors wives – former or current. I know how easy it is to put up walls after being hurt by others. Don’t give up seeking what you need. He knows, hears and cares deeply for you.
Recently I saw a Dr. about how I’ve been feeling and she informed me that I met all the criteria for a person who was clinically depressed and prescribed an anti-depressant. I was confused. I didn’t feel depressed, did I? I was just overwhelmed, wasn’t I? But since I was desperate for a fix to my emotional state, I decided to pick up the medicine…and took one.
As soon as I did, I regretted it. Not because I think it’s wrong - I’ve been on them before and they saved me from myself during a very difficult and dark time many years ago, but, I realized I didn’t pray and ask God what He thought about what the Dr. said - and I didn’t wait to see if there might be another option. I just wanted the quick fix. Once I got out of the parking lot, I immediately started praying and asked God to show me what was really going on - so I would know if I should take the medicine or not.
About an hour later I had a meeting with an old friend who is now trained as a biblical counselor. When I shared with her the same things I shared with this Dr., she said, “Marilyn, you are not depressed, you’re grieving! You lost your church and community; you are without a home and in the middle of trying to build a new life – that’s a lot for any person”.
It was one of those times where words directly hit a spot in the heart that needed to be pierced. I needed that spot to be pointed at to show me what I was pushing down and ignoring. I went through closing our church, loosing that community and selling our home with much reliance on God, but also a determination to push through and fight on my knees for whatever God wanted in my life. I didn’t have the energy, or the mental or emotional strength to give to anything else. I now realize that also meant having to push emotions down in order to show support to my husband and help us get through it all. I guess some would call it survival mode, but now it’s time to process what I stuffed down to survive and thrive during those times.
So here I am being told I’m either depressed or grieving. If I had to pick one, I would say I’m grieving. I’m not entirely sure how to process what is going on inside of me right now, but I can tell you the steps that I’m choosing. I’m choosing counseling to deal with anything I may have buried to survive and remain strong during hard times, and I’m choosing joy.
I’m focusing on joy because I realized I was tired of feeling sad and overwhelmed and I knew God didn’t want that for me either. I want to choose joy, to feel joy, and to give joy to those around me. I can still have a lot of unanswered question, little money, constant hip pain, and temporary housing, but I am not going to let Satan speak death into my heart or head anymore. When negative thoughts come due to pain or circumstances, I combat them with prayer, scripture, thankfulness and joy. I cry too. I’m giving myself permission to cry when things come to the surface instead of pushing those feelings down. Crying brings more joy because I’m letting go of expectations on myself to remain strong or the need to hold myself and my family together. It also releases what has needed to get out for way too long.
If you want joy in your life, I challenge you to fight for it. Memorize scripture that speaks of the joy of the Lord, read the Psalms that give praise to God (Psalms 145 is my favorite), have praise and worship music on at all times and sing along when you can. And of course, read your bible and pray every day (and cry when needed). I have found this to be what helps me and I hope you can find hope and encouragement through my journey.
Psalm 31:24 “Be Strong and Courageous all you who put your Hope in the Lord!”
That’s how I’ve been feeling, undone. Like I’m being unraveled and can’t pick up the pieces to put them back together...
The song my brother in law wrote runs through my head these days.
"I am lost without you
But I am safe here in your arms
You alone can know me
Be my shelter from the storm
You brought me here, and here I worship.
I stand undone
Before the maker I’m amazed
And for a moment look away
In light of glory much too great.
You lift my eyes
To see the beauty of your face
To look into me with your gaze
And let me know the fullest grace"
By Micah Kelley
I love these words because it reminds me that even in the midst of feeling like I’m hanging on by a thread. I can cling to the fact that God is faithful, good, and in control. I can be undone in His presence, and He holds my many broken pieces.
I often do my best to handle whatever life throws at me. After all, I’m doing that now while we are homeless and moving each week with 2 kids, staying where we can. But when it’s time to pack up again is where all the stuff that is buried comes to surface. I get emotional – and I mean, really emotional. To the point I question if I’m sane or not, if I need medical assistance to help me get through this feeling of sadness because I have to feel the upheaval again, and for my deep craving for some stability…
I cry (a lot) lately and let myself grieve what my heart is begging to release – what my mind finds too hard to process or accept -and I pray. I tell God I trust Him and that even though I don’t know why I break down too often, I trust He loves me through it.
I do the scariest and hardest thing and reach out to people. I ask them if I should worry, if I’m ok. They reassure me that I am going through a lot right now and it’s reasonable to feel this way. I breathe a deep sigh of relief, but still hang onto the questions.
I know that even though I’m in a rut now, it doesn’t mean I will stay here. That’s what I hang onto – remembering all the times I’ve seen Him help me overcome and persevere through all of life’s challenges. I have hope and knowledge that my God and Father sees my tears, hears my prayers and wants to take care of me because I am His daughter. His word says He will never leave me nor forsake me. This is the steady thing I can hold onto – Jesus and His love for me.
God, Thank you for giving me the courage to reach out to others and ask the hard questions. And thank you for giving me your word through the bible and worship songs that I can meditate on when I have hit bottom. Thank you for holding my heart, even at the very broken times when I fight to find hope and comfort for my soul. Please help others to find the courage to ask for help and support. Help them know they are not alone. Bring comfort in the midst of the storms.
But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16
Permanent: Lasting or continuing for a very long time or forever: not temporary or changing: continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change.
As I was praying this morning, I thought about where God is going to lead us and how I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready for such a big change. This new adventure of ours, is scarier than our recent one - selling our home and traveling 40 states in 8 months in a minivan. Why? Because it’s committing to something permanent, which means to invest in a place, its people and to make something unknown known.
What is this new adventure? My husband is looking for a new pastoral job, which could mean moving out of Washington State. A new community. A new everything.
I’ve never been too afraid of commitment. If I know something is good for me or others, I do it. If I’m passionate about something, I’m all in. But since our whole lives could change, I’m starting to see what it is I’m feeling – the weight of commitment...mixed with the anxiety of any change.
This future of ours is a lot different than the way we have been living life for almost 10 months (moving from place to place daily or weekly), but it’s what we’ve done before, and maybe that’s why it’s scary. To know that when you serve in ministry, you will be heartbroken, backstabbed, and you will have lots of unrealistic expectations on you. You will pour out your heart and sometimes get little in return, and you feel lonely at times. But you also love fully and get to see God do awesome stuff in people’s lives. You get to share in their sorrows and joys, you join them in prayer and community. You get to be a blessing and be blessed… And that outweighs the struggles because in the end, every person matters and we are all in this together.
I know wherever God calls us, He will provide for us. That means that once we do find our new church and city/state home, we will embrace it with joy because we love people and the opportunity to work and serve alongside others. …But that doesn’t mean it will be easy. It will be one more area to put all our trust in God as we transition. After that, we trust daily for Him to use us as He wants and to provide for our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs.
A new commitment means remembering the dreams that died in this city. I still fight to trust people with my heart and wonder what a true friend is after we were betrayed by people in our church and a split happened. This is the life for many pastors and their wives. I loved that community dearly and gave my everything into it. Committing to another church means putting my heart out there again (a little more worn and wise I should think), and waiting for the surprises of God to intervene in our lives. It means embracing a community and feeling fulfilled as we serve whole heartedly with all our strengths and weaknesses, trusting Him to use us and give us what we need.
Commitment is like a vow. It’s a promise to yourself and others to invest in something and not give up. That’s a hard thing for people when we're either stretched thin or have been wounded by trust broken in relationships. But to live in the opposite means no return in investment because you haven’t invested, and I can’t live like that. We were created to need, support and help each other. We were made to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. He wants to use our brokenness and our talents. If I know that, then I can commit to Him and His work. He’ll take care of the rest.
Every time there is this transition, my insides scream, “I don’t think I can take this again - I want to be settled!”
We recently left the place we have called home for 4 weeks – the longest place the 4 of us have stayed put in 9 months.
That’s the price that is to be paid when you sell your house after your husband’s job is dissolved and go on an 8 month road trip; when you get home, you need a job and a place to live.
Many women tell me they could never do what I did recently, traveling from place to place each day for 8 months, with so many changes in environment. I had wondered if God wired me different, but I know now it’s because it’s what we committed too and I knew it wouldn’t be forever. But it feels like it now…Because we’re home and still moving from place to place.
There's also a lot of waiting during this time. I wait to hear news from my hip surgeon, promising me an end to 4+ years of pain and a life stuck mostly sitting after 2 unsuccessful surgeries. Waiting to see where God is calling my husband and I in ministry, and plans for employment. Waiting for a home as we house sit week after week… Waiting for stability. A life in limbo but full of trust and hope.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Truth is I’ve always hated transition. Passionately hated it - even to the point of having full on pity parties when plans are changed. I’ve outgrown this quite a bit during our 16 years of my marriage, but those first few years reveled to my husband and me that changes didn’t happen without me pitching a fit.
Growing up, my family moved at least 7 times before my 6th grade year. Then, due to my parent’s dysfunction and my own depression and suicide attempts, my youth pastor found foster homes (families in our church) to take me in from Jr. high through High School. I was used to moving by then and didn’t mind it because it was better than living at home. At least that’s what I told myself.
You see, when you already feel you are not wanted, and then you’re moved from home to home, you begin to believe you are a burden even more because no one wants to keep you permanently.
I was extremely grateful for all the loving families who sacrificed their lives to take me in, and I did feel that love in appreciation but I never let go of knowing it was all temporary.
So, here I am wishing I didn’t have to move our family each week and longing for stability. I don’t know when we will find jobs and housing, or even where, but you know what I do know? I know that this is temporary – because a family of four can’t keep living like this, and because we have heard God tell us to trust and wait, and that He has something for us, just not now. I know that God is the one who takes care of us as we seek Him for wisdom and open doors while my husband pursues his passion for writing and speaking, and as I await the decision from my hip surgeon. I also know this will make us more grateful for a home and will teach our children flexibility.
This is a fragile time – hanging onto trust and pushing through. But honestly, knowing that God is good and that because we seek and serve Him, He will care for us – even if it’s not what we want, but what we need is where I should be. It’s a better place to be than trying to do things on our own and fretting about the unknown that we have little control over.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I just finished another memoir. I realized, once again, that I am not being as open in my stories as the authors I read are. Instead, I want to write out the facts of what happened to me and how God was there. But how are my readers going to relate when I just write about the surface and not what really caused the pain and made me who I am today?
The question is, do I have to go back and feel it in order to write about it? Because I don’t want too. I don’t want to remember what it was like to sit in that dunce chair in first grade, in a corner, with a cobweb and spider as my only company. I don’t want to remember what it felt like to be the outcast, ashamed of who I was and being teased for my poverty and looks.
I’m not sure I’m brave enough. I’m afraid it’s too much. It’s too much because when I remember I start to cry and grieve something I stuffed deep inside over 30 years ago – in order to survive.
But I can’t shake off the knowledge that this is what I need to do. I guess it’s just as much a journey for my readers as it is for me. My counselor once said, “That little girl is still inside you, the one that was hurt, rejected, abandoned, and abused”. I don’t want to feel her pain inside me. It’s sad and heartbreaking to feel what she feels as I remember the stories that shaped, affected and impacted her.
But maybe it’s time she is heard, so others can hear their voice and see their stories in mine, so they can dig up what they’ve buried to protect their hearts. I want them to see how healing it is to grieve in order to move on. I want them to learn as I’ve been learning that going back in time and revisiting the pain, then processing it as an adult (who is better able to handle it), is what makes us who we are meant to be and brings purpose to our pain.
Looking back, I trusted God as a child, but at that time I didn’t know how to give Him my pain. I buried it and cried myself to sleep. He was there, He knew I wasn’t able to process it or be ready. He held me in those moments and spoke to my heart. That is what I needed then.
Now I must recognize what still hurts. Not to bring up pain, but to overcome the lies and beliefs that were attached to those moments, and to show others that their pain is real and valid because those memories are always a part of us - even if we tried to bury them to move on.
We don’t have to keep trying to “get over it”. Every painful memory needs to go to the foot of the cross. It needs to be dealt with and no longer pushed down and ignored. That only binds us to unhappiness because we are not fully set free.
So, I will tell my story to give courage to those who need to be set free, to bring hope to those who can’t overcome their past, and to find myself and the story God has been telling through my life – for others and for His glory.