My future husband.

I was listening to the song “Jealous” by Nick Jonas a few months ago, don’t judge, I am a pop princess, love pop music, always have, always will but I digress…

As I was saying, I was listening to the song a few months ago and I had this flash in my head, it was so vivid, it felt like a memory, except it hadn’t happened yet. I was in the kitchen, gorgeous open floor plan if you’re wondering and Jameson was a toddler, not quite sure what age and my future husband had a spatula in his hand and he was singing the lyrics of the song to me. Jameson was dancing in the background singing along as well. In this flash I couldn’t see his face, only that he was tall (haha) and he was being a total goofball dancing around our kitchen singing, you could see in his eyes the deep love he had for me. That was it, it didn’t really go much further than that and the vision was over. I don’t know that I’ve ever really had something like that happen. It made me so happy, it wasn’t real, it hadn’t happened and yet it felt like a promise of what’s to come in the future.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who, what, when of my future…I have always wanted to be a wife and a mom. Some people might think that’s stupid but I don’t really care. It’s what I wanted and desired and I think about what’s to come often. I am trying really hard to practice patience, that’s a funny thought. I am attempting to learn to be content in all circumstances, super difficult, however I feel like it is building character in me and for that I am appreciative. I have been praying for my future spouse, that God is building character in him and protecting him and guiding and leading him and drawing him in to a closer relationship with him. It’s a strange thing to be doing that when you are recovering from a marriage that exploded in your face. Very strange. It’s just I look back and think about before I met Michael and I never prayed for him, I never asked God what He wanted in my spouse. I never laid that before His feet and this time I want to lay it down before Him completely. I want to be wise in the way I conduct myself, in the way I handle any relationship, whether it’s romantic, personal, professional, familial. I feel like I am getting a little of topic from what I originally had on my heart and I guess that’s okay because writing is my therapy, a way to monitor my growth and change and to heal and I really hope that along the way my journey will encourage someone else. So back to what I was originally talking about, geez louise.

I love music, like really a lot. I feel like I have a song for everything. There is this song by Tyrone Wells, “Wondering Where You Are”.

“Will you like to watch the sunrise?
Will you have blue or brown eyes?
What are the dreams you long to share
I hope you like Stevie Wonder
Are you afraid of thunder?
I close my eyes and say a prayer you’re out there somewhere.”

 

I feel like this song goes along with the vision, that sounds so weird, but that’s what it was…and it got me thinking, what he’s going to be like? It’s funny how your priorities change as an adult. When I was a teenager dreaming about my husband I wanted him to be Nick Carter or Leonardo DiCaprio. Let’s be real though if Leonardo DiCaprio knocked on my door I would let him take me to dinner, just saying. Now I think about things like, will he be kind and hilarious? Will he be responsible and trustworthy? Will he be gracious and reliable? Will he treat others with respect? Will he be tall? Haha. I have seen so much of God’s goodness through the trial of the last nine months. I believe that there is someone out there that God has for me. I know that the one nonnegotiable I have is that my future husband whoever he is must love God with every fiber of his being, must live out his faith, must be willing to serve God whole heartedly and the rest will fall into place. I am not naive enough to believe that as long as my partner loves God everything will be okay. Please, that is a pipe dream, if that works for you, awesome!! I am actually genuinely happy for you. I believe that marriage requires work, it requires sacrifice, it requires trust, it requires humility, it requires forgiveness and it requires two people who are equally yoked working together with God as their foundation. At least that is what marriage looks like for me.

As I continue to grow and work on cleaning up my mess I can look back on this vision, this little snapshot of my future I had and smile and trust that God’s timing is perfect and I can enjoy healing, I can enjoy working on who I am and the woman God is growing me to be and I can soak up every second I have with my beautiful baby boy. I can be content in my singlehood, singleness whatever you call it and trust God has a plan and a man (hahaha, that is really cracking me up because it rhymes and I have the sense of humor of a 5-year-old, maybe that’s why I am good at teaching Pre-K) for me. Thank you for reading my little blurbs and for encouraging me along this journey I have been on.

the messiest girl,

Elisha

 

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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

#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 am going to be okay.

Okay so this is going to be a really weird post so bear with me. I have been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy (that’s how I medicate, binge watching tv, but that’s another post for another time) for the last few months. I am FINALLY on Season 12, if you haven’t watch STOP HERE because SPOILER ALERT. After Derek Sheppard was killed off the show, I stopped watching it. I was so mad that they killed off his character because HELLO Meredith and Derek were meant to be together and they had overcome SO much. Meredith drowning, Meredith and a bomb, Derek getting shot, PLANE crash, Addison. All of it. Did you know they even had their own theme song that would play whenever they had a scene together. That is the beauty of Netflix when you binge watch a show, you notice things you hadn’t before. I saw the episode once before and when I watched it this time I knew it was coming but this postpartum Mama still cried but this time for different reasons. I cried because (NOW BEAR with me, I know this is a show and not real life) they had overcome obstacle after obstacle and still continued to fight for their marriage and children and then he was gone, he died. I was crying because I felt like I had to grieve the illusion of my marriage and my false perception of who my husband was. I grieved because I didn’t have a husband who loved me like that, who wanted to fight and overcome and love me fiercely and desire me deeply and have fun and a whole number of other things but again I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole. After I got over my own emotions, I was wondering where Shonda Rhimes was going to take the series after a decade of the focus being Meredith and Derek. Then I started watching the episodes after Derek was gone and Meredith said this line,

“No matter how dark it gets the sun is going to rise again.”

I couldn’t stop thinking about that and as I continued to watch, the characters lives moved on and the show was still awesome. Derek’s character was such an INTEGRAL part of the show and yet it still went on. I find myself enjoying the show just as much, if not more than I did before. The show is coming up on its 15th season and is still thriving. Then I got to thinking (and I know this whole blog post is kind of cheesy but that’s me and I am tired of pretending to be ANYONE OTHER THAN WHO I AM) I am going to be OKAY!!! I am going to be more than okay. My life is going to go on and I trust that God is guiding me. I trust that I will love again, beyond anything I could dream up or imagine. God has a plan for me. I believe that the broken pieces of my heart will be healed and repaired by the Great Physician I call my Father. I believe that the years of pain and hurt buried deep in my soul will be carved out and repaired and I will thrive. I believe that my husband leaving is the platform to launch me into who God has destined me to be. I believe that through adversity, through refining I am becoming the woman who I have always wanted to be. “No matter how dark it gets the sun is going to rise again.” I will wake up one day and the bleeding wound I have will be a faded scar; reminding me of a place I never want to go again, reminding me I will never let anyone dim my light again, reminding me of the strength and endurance God has given me, reminding me I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and reminding me that God’s will for my life is far better than anything I could have ever dreamed up. I am going to be okay. Life is going to go on and I will thrive.

Living in my mess and allowing God to clean it up,

Elisha

I need to be seen.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Not that I haven’t wanted too, I just haven’t felt inspired to write. I think that comes with navigating grief and trying to come back to yourself. I’ve had a lot I wanted to write about and then I would sit down to try and get it out and Jameosn would wake up or I would be too tired. During Jameson’s bath tonight I decided I needed to try and work out what was in my head. I have felt off all day today and haven’t been able to shake it. I started thinking about it and in normal circumstances you would tell your spouse or your partner and they would love on you or prayer with you. I started thinking well who sees me, who can acknowledge that I’m doing this alone, who can encourage me and validate those times where I feel so incompetent as a mother and exhausted and overwhelmed. So I thought hey Facebook, I can be “seen”. Someone can “hear and listen” that I’ve had a tough day. Maybe someone will encourage me or just “see” me. I realize navigating being a single parent I need to be encouraged and validated but where do you receive that when you don’t have a partner? My thought process then went to what I know. What’s truly and deeply ingrained in the core of my heart and who I am, God sees me, I am not alone. He sees me at my deepest point of weakness and struggle. He sees me as Jameson is waking up for the 3rd time in a row at night to nurse because he’s teething or going through a growth spurt and I am bleary eyed trying to feed him. He sees me as I ponder what my future looks like when everything I thought I had mapped out is no longer tangible. He knows the deepest desires of my heart to have a spouse that loves me fiercely, that is just as goofy as I am, that is kind and that loves my child as his own. He knows I want to rescue all the abandoned children and bring them home and love on them. He knows my heart to empower and love on women because I deeply believe we need to support and edify one another instead of dragging each other down. He sees me when I want so desperately to weep and mourn and cry but feel like I have to keep it together for the sake of my son. He sees my confusion as I try to rebuild the pieces of my heart. He sees me as I try to peel back the walls I have used to protect myself over the last 10 years. He sees me struggling to find myself again. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” -Hebrews 4: 15-16 I know He sees me. I know He can empathize with the hurt I’m dealing with. I know He rejoices in my successes and hurts for me in my sorrow and sometimes I forget that God sees me and I just have that deep desire to just be seen and acknowledged from a tangible human being. I want to jump up and down waving my hands saying “Hey I’m here, do you see me?!?!?” It’s a very real need to have someone reach out and say I see you. I’m kind of all over the place in this post. I just think it’s my need for community. We weren’t meant to navigate this life alone. I don’t believe we are suppose to suffer silently or isolate ourselves. I believe God is three in one, the trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If God in His being is all three and we are image bearers of God, created in His image, we must need community. I might be completely missing the mark as far as doctrine goes. I don’t know but God wanted to be in relationship with us. He wanted us to choose to step into a relationship with Him, so it seems to me that we have that innate need to be in relationship with one another. So all of that to say, I want to rebuild my community. I want genuine, authentic, transparent relationships. I want relationships where I can be completely who God has created me to be and that who that is is enough. Thank you for acknowledging my day was hard. Thank you for encouraging me and thank you for seeing me.

Love,

Elisha

Everything has changed.

When you are young you have an idea of how your life is going to go. You have your hopes and dreams laid out in front of you. They are big and bright and achievable and there is no doubt in your young mind that they are going to happen, they might as well be true because you have that much faith in your future.

The first time I realized I was wrong was 2 days before my 21st birthday. It was 2005 and my favorite “band” had come back for a reunion tour. One of my best girlfriends and I drove to Dallas for the concert, a 5 hour drive from Lubbock, TX and we were EXCITED. I had obsessively loved the Backstreet Boys since I was 14 years old, so much so one of my punishments growing up was tearing down my BSB posters off the wall( as an adult this is a hysterically creative punishment and still one of my favorite stories, props to my mom). This would be my 3rd time seeing them in concert and being the truly naive almost 21-year-old I was, I had it buried deep in my heart that when Nick Carter and I met, he would actually fall in love with me at first sight and it would be all fairy tales and roses.  I know that sounds ridiculous but I am telling you I was dreaming BIG. So we got to the show and I made this sign, decked out in glitter ( if you know me it has to sparkle) saying “Nick,  kiss me it’s my 21st birthday”, in case you are wondering this did not happen.

When we got out of the car Nick was playing basketball behind the fenced in area and AJ was signing autographs so naturally we ran to the fence with the other swarms of girls and stared and waited and ogled. I must have taken a BAJILLION photos of Nick playing basketball, I won’t even go in to how weird that must be to be a human and be on display like a zoo animal. I guess it comes with the territory. We stood out there for what seemed like hours and finally it was time for the show to start as Nick and AJ were called inside I remember feeling almost panicky that I wasn’t going to get my chance to “meet” my future husband. So I yelled at Nick in a desperate attempt as he was walking by, “NICK IT’S MY 21st BIRTHDAY.” To my complete and utter shock he started walking towards me. I promptly hung up on my mom and stared dumbfounded knowing this is the moment my life would begin. He looked at me as girls screamed and shoved their c.d.s in his face to sign and he said, ” I am only taking a picture with her because it’s her birthday.” THIS WAS IT, he singled me out and we were in love. I was ecstatic and just like that it was over, he left and I was shaking from excitement. I don’t know what I said if I said anything…and the moment passed and I stood there like, wait a minute this was NOT how this was supposed to go, there were suppose to be sparks and he was supposed to sweep me away to get to know me and we were going to be in love. Nope. Didn’t happen. That dream I had of marrying a Backstreet Boy was gone, but I still had hope.

Six years later in February of 2011 I got married in Maui, HI. I put this man on a pedestal, he could do no wrong, his thoughts were my thoughts, his opinions were mine and he was my beginning and ending. Our relationship was fast and furious, we met online in October of 2009, were officially dating in January of 2010, engaged in September of 2010 and married in February of 2011. I was enamored and completely taken by him, he was charming and witty and crazy intelligent and I was madly, deeply, head over heels in love with him. He was my Price Charming. My fairytale had come true and to top it all off we got married on the beach he proposed to me on. R.O.M.A.N.T.I.C. When I said my vows and promised to love him through sickness and health, til death do us part. I meant it. Since I was a little girl I wanted so badly to be a wife and a mother, I wanted it desperately. The BIG dreams I had for myself as a little girl were coming true.

Present day, the illusion once again was shattered this time it is paralyzing and I sit here now typing this while my almost 3 month old son is sleeping and wondering how my fairytale crumbled. I never wanted to be a single mom. I watched my mom do it like Wonder Woman my ENTIRE life but I never ever wanted that. I wanted a doting husband, a house with a white picket fence, dogs running in the yard chasing the sprinklers and the laughter of as many children as I could have (I was hoping for 5)  laughing and playing and growing. That was my vision. That was my dream. Yet here I sit, in my mom’s bedroom that she is graciously letting us stay in until I get things figured out and I try desperately to come to terms with my new reality and grieve the dreams I had and the marriage I lost. There are moments where the grief is so thick and so heavy I feel like I am suffocating. How do I come to terms with this new normal? Are the dreams I had as a child still attainable? I almost feel like Hester Prynne but instead of her scarlet “A”, I have a scarlet “D” looming over my head. It is crippling. I am mourning. I am trying to rebuild and yet I am stuck in quicksand, clawing and climbing desperatly trying to make it out. Every attempt to break free is forcing me deeper into the sand.

As heartbreaking as my new reality is, as I struggle to make sense of what happened, I have hope. Hope: 1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Synonyms: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design 2. a feeling of trust.”This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” – Hebrews 6:19 

I trust that God is big enough to handle the MESS, the yuck, the trauma, the heartbreak, the trial. As I fight the urge to fight and flail out of the quicksand, I am reminded that I need only to be still and wait for God’s hand to reach down and pull me out. ” The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still. ” – Exodus 14:14

Giving God my mess,

Elisha ❤