365 days ago, I sat and listened to my Pastor preach on strongholds, I diligently took notes because the message was directly for me and I felt it in my heart, body, and mind. I spent time at the altar in prayer and had a sweet lady from church pray with me. I could feel the chains of bondage starting to loosen. That night, I wrestled with sleep, those chains were loosening more and more. Out of nowhere, I heard God say “It’s time to start telling your story.” I finally got a few hours of sleep.
I knew then that it would be a difficult road to travel as I told my story. What I didn’t expect was the amount of freedom that came. Today, I’ve sat and listened to the songs and the messages that helped me get through this past year, they all have a new meaning for me in this journey I’m on. I’ve learned that this was never my fault. I’ve learned that had I spoke up when it first happened, things could be completely different for my family. We wouldn’t have taken the same route in life. I would have never met my husband, and my children wouldn’t be here. I’ve learned that my support system is bigger than I could have ever imagined. I’ve learned that no matter what, my God is ALWAYS there for me.
Yesterday, I realized this day was coming as I was putting my makeup on for church. I had my worship music playing and the tears started to flow, yep, as I was applying my makeup. I didn’t expect it to hit me as hard as it did. I don’t know if they were tears of freedom, or tears of pain. I washed my face, reapplied my makeup and went to church with that fake smile I hid behind for so long. I hadn’t had a day like that in a very long time. I came home from church and just slept, because I was exhausted from the emotions (and from the move my family went through this past week). Last night I had a photo session scheduled just for myself. I almost called and rescheduled because I didn’t feel like I could go and smile through the pain that I had felt most of the day. I went, and I’m glad I did. I needed to do something just for me. Those pictures will be shared later.
I know days like yesterday will come and go, I know they aren’t permanent. I’m thankful for those days though. I also know that the days ahead this month will be difficult, each date that I told someone last year will be forever etched in my head. They aren’t necessarily dates to celebrate, but dates to to make me realize how far I’ve come.
The 11th, the first time I told someone other than my best friends or my husband
The 12th, the day I told one of my older sisters
The 13th, the day I told my oldest sister
The list goes on.
As for today, I’ll reflect for a while and move on. I can’t dwell on the past, I let too many days of my life pass away before sharing my story. It’s time to start living!