Comparison is the thief of joy.

For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with comparison, its become more and more pronounced as the social media movement has become more popular. It has reached its peak tonight. Theodore Roosevelt’s words have been on repeat in my head for the last 30 minutes.

Comparison is the thief of joy. 

I was on Facebook tonight and I kept seeing pictures of “happy couples” with their beautiful children and I found myself thinking, “Will I get to have that again?” and feeling the anger rise up in my heart over what has happened to Jameson and I, it doesn’t help that I saw his father for the first time in 6 months this week which was undoubtedly a trigger for me and my thinking spiraled. “God I did everything right! Everything.” Well not everything, let’s just nip that thinking in the bud right now, that’s the phrase isn’t it? Nip that in the bud. Such a weird phrase. I need to stop that thinking dead in its tracks. Back to my original point, I felt the longing and desire rise up in me, for a happy, healthy, kind marriage, for a doting, loving husband who adores my son they way he deserves. I want all the babies, I have such a deep desire for this and I was scrolling through all these happy families and I felt deflated, sad and the heartbreak welled up all over again. I am having a hard time moving forward when I keep looking to everyone else’s joy instead of focusing on the blessings God has given me right now. Did you know that the new Apple update gives you a screen time update. I am actually mortified, ashamed and totally embarrassed by how much time I’ve spent on my phone. It’s actually ridiculous.

As a result of these two “ah-ha” moments for me I’ve decided I need a Facebook break. I need a phone break and I need to focus really hard on being present. I have been given such a tremendous gift in the face of the grief I am working through and that is having a job where Jameson gets to be with me all the time. I need to focus on the blessings God has poured out on me. I have been stuck, not moving forward just coping in my sadness, existing. Letting the waves of worthless, sadness, bitterness and anger wash over me while slowly pulling me under, drowning in the weight of all of this. I have to address each one of these and actually do the hard work of examining who, what, why, where, when, how…diving in and digging out all the yuck and not staying trapped in the remnants of an abusive, toxic marriage. I need to allow God to reach in and touch and heal all those places I’ve been hiding from by using my coping mechanisms to just keep moving forward. So I am signing off for a while.

I want to make it my mission to live out what Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” 

I don’t want to live receiving my worth and value from how many likes I get on a picture of what is obviously the cutest baby in the world, what it’s true! I am not even a little bit partial, haha. I’ve spent so much time the last 8 months looking at other’s lives and longing for what they have instead of picking up the pieces of the wreckage that was mine and rebuilding it. I am going to give myself grace and recognize that I have made huge strides toward healing and joy and strength,  however I need to take those next steps forward and start doing the hard stuff. I feel like it has been surface level healing these last 8 months, a lot of learning and trying to understand what the heck happened, a  lot of baby snuggles and watching my beautiful boy grow and learn, that has all been  important and crucial but now I feel like it’s time for heart surgery.

I don’t know how long I am going to be “gone” but I am committed to healing and truly allowing God to have every single piece of my mess, every hard thing, every hurt, all of it. It’s His and I know and trust that God will bring beauty from the ashes. He will restore what has been destroyed. I have every confidence.

Signing off,

Elisha

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#WhyIDidntReport

Because I was 22 and a brand new flight attendant. He was 10 years older than me and a pilot. Because I was terrified that I was going to get I trouble as if somehow it was my fault that he took advantage of me. Because I was brand new at my company and still on probation. Because I had only been to the gynecologist once and was terrified of whatever rape kit test they were going to have to do to me. Because I was scared of it being publicized. Because I was so mind numbingly scared I couldn’t think straight. Because I didn’t know what to do. Because he was older and in a position of power. Because I was afraid. Because when you are violated in such a personal, vicious way your brain shuts down and goes into self preservation mode and not everyone responds the same way to trauma.

That’s why I didn’t report it. That’s why I didn’t tell. That’s why I was crippled by fear for so long. That’s why it took me years to tell me story. I am so disgusted by the response of the president. Literally it is sickening. Disgusted. Yes let’s victim shame this woman because she didn’t report him. Let’s put her down and down play what happened to her. Let’s put all sexual assault victims in a box and tell them because they didn’t respond in a timely manner or in a way that fits into your narrow minded box that their experience is invalid and doesn’t matter or didn’t happen. People who perpetuate this type of behavior are narrow minded and ignorant and foolish and I have zero tolerance for it.

Fully Known.

When I was little I had ideas about what I wanted in my marriage, tainted by Walt Disney; giving me all these grandiose ideas of what it was going to be like to fall in love. The huge sweeping romance that got my young, idyllic mind racing and dreaming about who and what my prince charming was going to be like. The older I got the more the romantic comedies swept my mind even further into my fantasy of what that love was going to be like.

As I became an adult I realized that the big, sweeping, Disney Prince Charming fantasy wasn’t real it was just an illusion and for a minute I was kind of livid with the whole Disney illusion. That happens though you find things to get angry about when you are grieving or trying to figure out where everything exploded, you misplace blame. I’m not mad at Disney anymore in case you were wondering. Lately as I look toward my future and become more and more excited about what God has in store, I’ve been thinking about what I want in a spouse. The things I want differ from the little girl watching Disney movies dreaming of a Prince to come rescue me. After walking through the last decade I have a strong idea of exactly what I want.

I want to be known, fully completely and wholly. Inside and out, I want to have the kind of relationship where we can sit in complete comfortable silence and just be, have the freedom to exist. I want to be able to look at my spouse and he knows just from my look what I am thinking. I want to have the secret looks that tell each other we are ready to leave, or the inside jokes when we see certain things and we both simultaneously laugh. I want to be known. If you have read my prior blog posts you know I love posting definitions. It helps give me clarity. So here we go, what is it to be fully known, as per dictionary.com. Known is a past participle of know.

KNOW: verb (used with object), knew, known, know·ing.
  1. to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty.
  2. to have established or fixed in the mind or memory.
  3. to be cognizant or aware of.
  4. be acquainted with (a thing, place, person, etc.), as by sight, experience, or report.
  5. to understand from experience or attainment (usually followed by how before an infinitive).
  6. to be able to distinguish, as one from another.

So to be fully known, inside and out, that is my deepest desire. I was listening to the radio the other day and this song “Known” by Tauren Wells came on. First of all his voice is AMAZING but the song also struck me deeply.

It’s so unusual it’s frightening
You see right through the mess inside me
And you call me out to pull me in
You tell me I can start again
And I don’t need to keep on hiding

I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You

It’s so like You to keep pursuing
It’s so like me to go astray, ooh
But You guard my heart with Your truth
The kind of love that’s bullet proof
And I surrender to Your kindness, oh

I’m fully known and loved by You
You won’t let go no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You

How real, how wide
How rich, how high is Your heart
I cannot find the reasons why
You give me so much
How real, how wide
How rich, how high is Your heart
Now, I cannot find the reasons why
You give me so much

I’m fully known (fully known) and loved by You
You won’t let go (no you won’t let go) no matter what I do
And it’s not one or the other
It’s hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I’m fully known and loved by You
It’s so unusual it’s frightening
I’m fully known and loved by You

Songwriters: Ethan Hulse / Jordan Sapp / Tauren Wells
Known lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group

As I wait for whoever God has in store for me I found peace in the reality that I am already fully and wholly known by God. I let this song saturate my dehydrated soul. I literally drank in the words, absorbing this truth. I recognized that I can take comfort in the fact that I will never be left or abandoned by God. That He truly will meet every single need I have. He is Abba Father, He is my husband, He is my provider, He is my comfort, He is my source of strength. He literally is the Living water I need to quench my thirst. He knows me.He knows what I need before I even ask, He knows the deepest desire of my heart, the ones I speak aloud and the ones I don’t and today I rest in that and I take deep comfort in this truth.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” – Jeremiah 1:5.

You have searched me, Lordand you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” – Psalm 139:1-5

Grateful to be fully known,
Elisha

I lost myself.

lose
lo͞oz/Submit
verb
1.
be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something).”I’ve lost my appetite”
synonyms: be deprived of, suffer the loss of; no longer have
“he’s lost a lot of blood”

2.
become unable to find (something or someone). “I’ve lost the car keys”
synonyms: mislay, misplace, be unable to find, lose track of, leave (behind), fail to keep/retain, fail to keep sight of

This verb is powerful. I am in the midst of the most difficult time in my life. I’ve walked through broken hearts, death in my family, one each year for 4 years. Rape. And this particular time in my life is worse than all of those combined. The reason I chose to title my first post, ” I lost myself” is because I feel like I have “become unable to find” myself. That I have “failed to keep” myself. I am “deprived of or have ceased to retain” myself. I am completely and utterly lost.

Over the last decade I have finally come to notice there have been a fair amount of traumatic events that have occurred. The one event that had the most damaging effect on me was being raped. I was a brand new flight attendant; ridiculously happy to have gotten the most amazing job I could have ever hoped for. I graduated from a tiny little Christian college and I was NAIVE and TRUSTING of EVERYONE and of course ready to see the world; eager for everything flying had to offer. I had only been “on the line” (training was over and I was an official flight attendant, still on “probation” of course, 6 months of that, so I couldn’t do ANYTHING wrong, not even call in sick) for 4 months and I got the layover I was PRAYING for HONOLULU. I was so excited. I was obsessed with the beach and had never been to Hawaii so naturally I was beaming. I was beaming even more when I introduced myself to the first officer. I swear he looked like he walked off of The Bachelor. Yes First Officer Hottie, I will accept this rose. I was smitten, he was so hot. And he asked me out so naturally as a bonehead 22 year old I started thinking, ” Oh my gosh he’s beautiful and he’s a pilot and I’m a flight attendant and we are going to fall in love and get married and life will be perfect.” Ridiculous I know but I had just come from small town Christian college where there was the running joke, “You go there to get your MRS. degree”. Insert eye roll, I know. Anyway he asked me out on the plane pretty quickly and I was clearly thirsty. I swear it was like I’d never seen a boy before.

Fast forward 5 hours through the amazing inflight service, the halfway to Hawaii game, several movies and passengers later and I was in my hotel room in Honolulu getting ready for my date with First Officer Hottie. At this point in my life I was 22, educated, cause of my degree 😉 and confident in who I was. I was excited for this date. I heard him knock on my hotel door and I opened it. I looked hot or so I thought. I can still see exactly what I was wearing. I think that’s normal when you experience something traumatic to have the details etched into your brain. He was standing there like he owned the place and I looked at him doe-eyed and eager for our date. Before I walked out my hotel room door I said, ” If you think I am going to sleep with you tonight its not going to happen. I am not that type of girl and we will need to say goodnight now.” I was a virgin and planning on saving myself until I got married. I’ve often reflected on what I said to him replaying it in my mind over and over, wondering if he took that as a challenge. To me I felt like I creating a necessary boundary and if he wasn’t down with that I wasn’t going to waste his time or mine. But he complied and smiled and said “Not at all.” So I thought I was safe. I thought I was safe. Writing that breaks my heart for that stupid, naive girl. Walking out of her room expecting to enjoy the first night of her seemingly grown up life only to have her entire existence change.

I didn’t drink much at all. It wasn’t allowed at the college I went to. Not even if you were 21, not at all. However I did have my first drink at 21. I went out with a bunch of my friends and I had a “Sex on the Beach”, (ironic huh?) which I shared with ALL of my friends there, so I basically only had a sip and then I did a shot and oh my gosh I was TERRIFIED I was going to get drunk so that was my 21st… Hilarious right?!?! Then my senior year of college I got actually drunk for the first time. I went to my very first party at a friend from school’s house and proceeded to have maybe 3 drinks and I couldn’t walk. It was AUTOMATIC truth serum for me and I was blurting out everything to EVERYONE within earshot. I was like “Guys Jesus is going to be mad at me.” I was really concerned about that and the guy next to me left the couch because I was a “buzzkill”. After a few hours of throwing up everything I had ever eaten I decided I was never drinking again. Well a year later in flight attendant training which was like 6 weeks of straight up movie college life. I was drinking again. Not excessive and certainly not getting as drunk as the first time but definitely lived my college experience at flight attendant school.

We went downstairs to the hotel restaurant and I ordered some fruity Hawaiian cocktail because I was grown and sophisticated and a flight attendant and this is what you do on a date with a hot guy 10 years older than you. I excused myself once to go to the bathroom and of course check that I still looked cute. I can’t remember if I ate or what but I came back and finished my drink and we walked to the next place. We met up with some of his pilot friends because he used to fly for a Hawaiian airline. I remember ordering 2 more drinks that night, I think we went dancing somewhere and I remember his friend warming me to be careful and I thought that was weird but I was too carefree and jovial to even give credibility to what he said or heed his warning. Plus I told him I wasn’t going to sleep with him. I said that. I said nothing was going to happen. It was my terms, my boundary and my body. I’m sure it was a gorgeous night out but I was tipsy and giddy and a total lightweight and just happy to have the company of this guy so I don’t quite remember the details but it was Honolulu in July in the middle of the night so I am sure it was perfect out. We walked back to the hotel and I should have said goodnight. I should have gone to my room and said goodnight. I didn’t. We went back to his room and started making out. Then we were on the bed and the kissing continued. It’s around this time that things start to become really really foggy. I knew something was happening to me, I could feel pressure but I didn’t know what it was, what was happening and I couldn’t speak, let alone think.

Everything went black. I have absolutely no recollection of the actual rape. I came to, had no grasp of the time. I was fully clothed so that was really confusing and then I looked up and saw that he was completely naked. To say I freaked out was an understatement. I had never seen a man naked before and that was not the way I wanted it to happen. I have no clue what I said but there was a lot of yelling and I left. I am thankful to this day that he didn’t try and kill me or something because I was hysterical and couldn’t remember or understand or make sense of what just happened. I was just so so so scared. I went back to my room feeling dirtier than I have ever felt in my life. To this day I have never felt as filthy as I did that night. I unlocked my hotel room and shut it behind me. I went into the bathroom and turned the shower on as hot as it could go and I got undressed and I sat there and bled and bled and bled. I can not mentally go there. I can see the image of myself  naked, arms wrapped around my knees, weeping, water pouring over me and the blood going down the drain. It feels like someone else. Like I am watching a movie. I can’t attach the emotion to me. If I do I don’t know if I can recover. That was the moment I lost myself. I didn’t tell anyone. The shame and guilt was far to crippling, crushing, heavy to bear. I had been saving myself for marriage and know I was damaged. 22 years of waiting for the perfect waiting night, being genuinely excited to wait, totally okay with not having sex even though everyone else was and I was the total weirdo for not and I had that gift taken from me. I wish I could say I called the cops and got a rape kit and he was arrested and prosecuted but I was SCARED, ASHAMED, HORRIFIED. I genuinely thought that somehow, someway I would have gotten in trouble and the airline would have sided with him and I would have lost my job. It was horrific. I didn’t tell. I was silent and the once vibrant, vivacious, outgoing woman I was got lost.

That was nearly 10 years ago and that was the moment I got lost. I am 32 now, married and still lost. Being raped was paralyzing. I have not recovered from that and the ten years of life that happened after has been adding on to that event like Jenga blocks. And finally everything crumbled. All the blocks have fallen down and I am left in pieces. I am a complete and total mess. God works well with brokenness. I know that. I realized in the middle of being shattered I can not fix this on my own. I can’t continue to be fake. I can’t continue to pretend that I have it all together. I can’t keep up the facade. So I have decided to step into finding truth ( being accurate and exact) and transparency (honest and open and not secretive). I want to find myself again and rejoin the world of living people. Understand who I am and who God created me to be. To live as a victor and not be a victim of my circumstances. To rise above trauma and pain and to learn to be emotionally healthy. That’s why I decided to write. This is my journey to freedom and to rediscovering me.