Trust is H.A.R.D.

I have struggled with trusting God for as long as I can remember. I’m really trying to pinpoint that actual moment where I stopped having childlike faith. The exact moment where I transitioned from faith in to fear and doubt mode. It could have been after my sexual assault, that seems to make the most logical sense to me. Or it could be a series of events that chipped away at who I was because I wasn’t firmly rooted in who He is. I’m going to have to dive into that. However over the course of the last year and a half, I have slowly and consciously made the choice to trust God even if I don’t feel it. Like I’ve literally prayed those words, it’s something like this, “God I trust you for J and I’s future, just kidding, I actually don’t. I know you know this and I’m just being honest cause you know anyway. So I’m struggling with trusting you and I don’t right now but I want to and I’m trying.” That’s kind of how that conversation goes.

I find sometimes with God it’s so difficult for me to trust because it would be so much easier if I could see Him. If I could hold his actual hand, feel his arms hugging me, cry on his shoulder, whine to Him about my day and watch his facial features as he looks loving and comically at his incredibly dramatic, overly animated daughter. I am so much like Thomas, who needed to feel the holes in Jesus’s hand to actually believe it was him after he was resurrected. I am Peter selling out Jesus because was afraid. I so want and desire to be be bold and courageous like David, slaying giants and dancing in the street, unashamed worshipping the Lord. I want to content and joyful in all situations and circumstances like Paul, knowing that whether I am in chains or free, I am 10000000 percent content and trusting in God’s plans and His purpose. I have the desire to be like these great men of the Bible. But I’m currently Thomas when he doubted God, I am Peter not boldly allowing his faith in Christ to lead him but his fear to paralyze and deny Him. ( and Peter walked with Jesus in the flesh on a daily basis, no judgement though, cause hello, I am these men.) I am Eve thinking God is holding out on me or holding something back from me so I take things in to my own hands only to have it blow up in my face. I am the little girl in the picture above clinging to that teddy bear not realizing that if I just let go and trust, He has so much more than I could have imagined.

Right now I am where I am but I recognize the need and the desire to actively trust, to lay down self and recognize God is in control. To know that I have to take an active part in my relationship with Him; that I can’t sit idly by and let life happen. I need to be engaged daily with my Father, knowing Him, talking to Him…trying to understand who He is. Just like I would in a relationship with someone I can see, touch, experience. I believe that trusting God has to be an active process. I don’t believe it is at all passive, at least for me. It requires me taking action and stepping out in faith. It requires me acknowledging that I have fear and am trying to control particular situations and when I do that I am trusting self over God.

I know this isn’t much in terms of a blog post, I have felt utterly uninspired for quite some time now. My mind has been completely and utterly devoid of creative thought. Well to be more honest with myself, I haven’t given myself the silence to sit and think, to allow myself to create. I have been filling my time with other things because it’s less painful than actually thinking and feeling and acknowledging the weight of the last 6 months. That however is another post, hopefully coming soon. I just have had these thoughts rolling around in my mind about trust and wanted to share. For whoever is reading this I hope you are encouraged. You are not alone in your journey. You are wholly and deeply loved by a God who sees you in the middle of your mess.

Feeling the messiest,

Elisha

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Fear and Doubting God.

I was recently watching Brené Brown’s Netflix special, “The Call to Courage.” It was incredible. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading my blog and go watch and then please come back and finish reading. *wink, wink* I found myself taking notes and after I was finished with her special, I googled her looking for anything else I could learn from her. I found videos and watched them and then I got on my Hoopla app (it’s basically the library on your phone and it’s awesome, especially for audiobooks. I prefer to read actual books, so I can smell them (weirdo, I know) and feel the pages in my hands but I digress.) I was able to find “The Power of Vulnerability” and I began to listen to it. Her definition of vulnerability is this:uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. She goes on to say, “Vulnerability is not about winning, it’s not about losing, it’s having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome.” All of that to say that this particular topic for me leaves me feeling incredibly emotionally exposed. I want to walk in authenticity, I want to allow myself to vulnerable, to be real, to be my true self. I want to be able to connect with people on a real and transparent level. I’ve spent so much of my life in a “false” self trying to protect myself; when in reality I think I was just cheating myself and the relationships of those around me. So fear and doubting God, I know a lot of us struggle with this and that’s what I want to write about today.

The closer my divorce was to being finalized the more and more anxious I became because I knew that meant I was going to be back in the dating game, eventually. This is gives me extreme amounts of anxiety, like for real. I haven’t dated for ten years. A decade. That is a LONG time. So much has changed in the dating game since I’ve been in it; not to mention the last time I dated I was in my twenties. I am now in my thirties with a child. I have no clue what I am doing. The only male friends I had were my friend’s husbands or my ex-husband’s friends. It’s WEIRD y’all. I literally have no clue what I am doing…which leads me to the FEAR & DOUBT that runs rapid in my mind. Here is a typical thought pattern for me, “How am I going to meet someone, I am a nanny and spend my day with a 1 year old and a 7 year old? I don’t want to go to a bar to pick someone up…pick someone up, *eye-roll* I don’t want to “pick someone up” I want someone to pick me, plus I have no desire to go a bar. I barely went to bars in my twenties, they are loud in my opinion and I don’t want some creeper all up on me and I don’t even drink anymore, alcohol has way to many calories and I am in my mid thirties now and geez metabolism is really slowing down, plus it’s expensive and kind of gross. Next thought pattern, I guess I could meet someone at church but they all knew my ex-husband, are they going to judge me, are they going to actually want to date me, I don’t want to share my story with everyone. Now I am going to have to get a babysitter when I want to go on a date, if someone actually wants to date me, oh my goodness, I have a child, who is going to want to date someone with a kid?! How am I going to do this? Am I ever going to get married again? I want to get married again? Whose going to want to date someone whose been divorced? ” Exhausting right, that’s not even the HALF of what runs through my brain y’all. It is RIDICULOUS.

Those fears are all consuming. Maybe you read that and think well that isn’t fear, it’s just being anxious. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philipians 4:6-7 Sometimes though the fear thought pattern gets louder and louder and it drowns out the truth of what God tells me, Elisha don’t be anxious,present your requests to me, let my peace dwell in you. Elisha, trust in the Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Me and I will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6, paraphrased to fit my name) I forget this and I allow fear to lead me into a downward spiral that leads to doubt. What does God say about fear? God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 I know God’s word is true. I know it in my heart and yet sometimes I convince myself that it’s not true for me. Like I know God is God and He is good, but what if I am somehow exempt from His goodness because look at my past, look at the things I have done and the situations I have walked in and out of. Maybe His promises aren’t for me. Maybe He is mad at me, maybe He is going to punish me for the choices I’ve made. Maybe what He says excludes me. Sounds like a lot of lies right? Doesn’t really sound like the gracious, loving God I know yet sometimes I allow these thoughts to permeate my day, my being and my heart.

“This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. , etc.” – Jeremiah 29:1 This is the opening scripture of chapter 29 of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was writing to the people who were exiled from Jerusalem. Jeremiah then goes on to tell the people to build houses, settle down, plant gardens, marry , etc. Basically in my understanding it seems like he is telling them to live. He also tells them to seek peace and prosperity and this is all in the midst of them being exiled from their home and taken to a foreign land, with foreign gods and people. He then goes on to say one of the most striking things, for me at least. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” – Jeremiah 29:11-14 

FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU. WOW. They are in captivity and to me it seems God is saying through Jeremiah, be content in your captivity, be okay in the midst of your storm, be okay in your struggle, keep living, don’t give up, create a beautiful life for yourself, BECAUSE I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU, plans to PROSPER you and NOT TO HARM YOU. Plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE. He then gives us a way to communicate with Him. He says, you will CALL on me and COME to me and PRAY to me and I WILL LISTEN TO YOU. You will SEEK ME and FIND ME when you seek me with ALL OF YOUR HEART. I WILL be FOUND by you. WHAT?!?!? That sounds like a promise to me and if I believe God is the same yesterday today and tomorrow ( which I do) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8 and I am His child, what in the world makes me think that He doesn’t have the same plans for me, plans to prosper me, to not harm me, plans for a hope and a future. He also gives me a way to communicate with Him and promises me He will be found by me, ME!!!!! I can have access to the good, loving Father. I can have hope and peace and a future ALL IN THE MIDST OF MY STRUGGLE. I am in the middle of my own “exile” if you will, maybe not the middle, I felt like I was in the middle last year. Maybe a more appropriate term would be, coming out of the struggle but no, not really. I am still in my struggle, still in my captivity. I am a 35 year old divorced single mother. I mean I am reeling and healing from the EXTREME craziness of the last year and really the last ten years. Reeling and healing, hahahaha, I find that to be HILARIOUS, probably because it rhymes and I love when things rhyme, I am typing this and laughing out loud. You know I didn’t intend on the later half of this entry turning into a blog, I sat down to type because I really had some stuff I needed to work out in my heart. Things I am struggling to understand, things I am wrestling with, desires I have, disappointments I am wrestling with. I’m really trying to understand why some things have happened and then God led me to this scripture and really the chapter and here I am feeling some semblance of peace having navigated through it a little bit. I know without a doubt there are going to be times probably in the next few hours actually, that I have to fight tooth and nail to protect that peace and to remember that promise that God gives, even in the middle of my exile. I know that God’s promises aren’t just for the Israelites who were exiled in Babylon or that they’re not only for the really good Christians who have never struggled or for the Christians who are doing amazing things for His kingdom. They are for me too, the woman who fails every single day to measure up against her own impossible standards she sets for herself, the woman who feels the utter weight of loneliness because she has never allowed herself to sit alone and just be with herself and now God has given her this time to be alone (well with a toddler, is that REALLY alone?!?!, haha) the woman who looks in the mirror and wonders if she is enough, does she measure up, is there actually going to be a man who loves her, imperfections and all? Is there going to be a man that God brings her that one, loves God more than anything, two loves her son as if he were his own and three really loves her, dorky, silly, self inside and out, will he really love her the way Christ loved the church? Will she be able to love herself, to be gracious with herself and really truly accept every single flaw and let go of the guilt and shame that tries to hold her captive? 

As I grapple with all of these thoughts, the fear that sometimes paralizes me, the doubt that I drown in on occasion; I can absolutely rest in God’s word. I know it’s true. I know it, I’ve experienced His goodness and His grace and His provision. So when the waves of fear and doubt hit, I have to address it head on and ride the wave until I get to the other side of it. Towards the end of the scripture it says, “…and(I, God) will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:14 This to me is another promise from God saying He can bring you out of what you were carried into. Sometimes we bring the trial/storms/exile or whatever you want to call it, on ourselves. Sometimes it just happens. Loved ones die, we lose jobs we adore, friends walk away, people leave, tragedy strikes. We find ourselves in the midst of brokenness and struggle we never planned for or could have even imagined possible for our lives and yet we are in the thick of it. Yet we have the promises of God to cling too. This post isn’t to MINIMIZE anyone’s storm, that is the last thing I would want to do. I have had friends with the best of intentions say to me, well at least your situation isn’t as bad as so and so’s or “it could have been so much worse”. Those phrases drive me CRAZY!!! I read this quote somewhere, “Someone who drowns in 7 feet of water is just as dead as someone who drowns in 20 ft of water. Stop comparing traumas, stop belittling your or anyone else’s trauma because it wasn’t “as bad” as someone else’s. This isn’t a competition, we all deserve support and recovery.” I don’t know who said this, if this is your quote please let me know and I will give you credit and a hug because this quote gives me so much freedom!!!! Basically all of this to end with the reason for this post is to offer support, love, grace, a safe space for whoever is reading to know that we ALL struggle, we ALL have really hard stuff we are dealing with and YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Hear me when I say that, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I don’t really know how to end this post, I don’t even know it is cohesive or if you can even understand what I am trying to say. Like I’ve said in prior posts, a lot of what I am writing is to work out what is going on in my head and my heart and I hope and pray that this encourages someone else who is struggling. I need to go now, my child has started making noise on the baby monitor and its only a matter of minutes before he stands up in his crib, turns on the light and starts saying, “MAMA, MAMA.”

Messy Momma signing off, in her own form of exile and clinging to God’s promises,

Elisha

I’m Not Okay Today.

I don’t even know where to begin this particular blog. I don’t have any of what I think are funny antics or silly opening stories. I feel completely raw and exposed. I feel thrown for a loop, not at all something I expected when I woke up this morning. I feel drained and shaken. When I woke up this morning I was tired, I had coffee too late in the afternoon yesterday thinking I could handle it, apparently I cannot. So I was up late last night, mind racing, thinking all the thoughts, over-analyzing every single thing in my life, as I often do. It was multiplied by a thousand because of course my coffee induced brain. My son also has a cold and kept waking up and crying and coughing so I slept on the floor by his crib, so when he woke up coughing I could nurse him back to sleep. So I woke up pretty tired, feeling for the most part at peace and ready to take on my day. When I put my son down for his morning nap my little sis and I decided to watch some funny t.v., she fell asleep watching though and I realized I hadn’t watched the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve been watching the show since I was in college and naturally was like, cool she’s asleep, time to see what’s happening this week. I don’t know if I missed the “sensitive material” warning on Hulu or if they even had it, I probably would have ignored it and watched it anyway. I was not prepared for the reaction I would have, not at all.

I am not entirely sure how trauma works. I do know, having walked through my fair share of trauma over the last year, that there are in fact “triggers” that occur. In my own experience those triggers lead to re-living the trauma or being “taken” back to that place emotionally. I am only now really trying to engage self or become self aware if you will, understand who I am and what makes me tick, who God created me to be and understanding my past and decisions I’ve made, why I do what I do etcetera. I am not a scholar or a psychologist or anything like that, obviously, haha. I am just speaking solely out of my own experiences. When I watched this episode (STOP HERE, if you are currently watching the show and don’t want it to be SPOILED.) and it was dealing with rape, I didn’t realize what a massive trigger it would be for me. I had NO clue it would WRECK me today. No clue, that I would be so upset and crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. You know the kind of crying that is therapy in and of itself, the kind that you’re heaving and you can’t talk and there is literally snot pouring out of your nose. The kind that once your done you feel like you weigh ten pounds less. I thought that I was okay. I thought I had done the work and had healed from the trauma of my own rape, you know I hesitated to type that for a minute, I was going to type sexual assault, which it was, but rape is such a heavy, disgusting, ugly word. It’s ugly. It’s repulsive and it makes you feel dirty and gross and sometimes when people know that about you they look at you with different eyes, almost like pity or I don’t really know what. I’ve been wearing my story, with a badge of honor almost, like I don’t want to be looked at like a victim, but a victor. It’s just sometimes the weight of it and the reminder of a storm you survived literally punches you in the face and knocks you out cold and you didn’t even expect it.

I have been really struggling today with whether or not I’ve fully healed from this experience, I mean in happened almost 12 years ago. Do you ever fully recover from trauma? I guess this is what I am wondering. I mean have i regressed because I saw something that shattered me for today? That I watched this episode and saw myself and my story, that as the actor delivered her monologue she was speaking my reasons for not reporting my own rape, that I could see and feel her fear, that I could see my face in hers as she was delivering those lines and as they performed the rape kit on her I found some weird sense of healing in that because I was too scared to get my own, that watching that scene with tears pouring down my face left me feeling unhinged. That in one of the following scenes when the parallel story was happening the woman spoke about watching what was happening to her, hovering outside of her own body, she said,”That’s the moment I lost my mind” and the clarity that hit me in my own head like a ton of bricks I realized I had a similar experience when I saw myself in the shower, sobbing not wanting to admit what happened, after it happened, that’s the moment my innocence went down the drain, along with my saving myself for my husband because I was a virgin and that was in fact the moment that I lost my mind, that I lost myself. As a matter of fact I wrote a blog about that particular experience a few years ago, and I thought I was okay. This really has thrown me for a loop because I keep thinking, am I okay? I thought I was okay, I thought I was healed. So I wonder, if with trauma triggers happen, memories come back and just like the most recent trauma you work through it. You face it head on and you slay the dragon, because you are a survivor. You are fierce. You are a warrior. You bring that UGLY, disgusting thing that wants you to keep it buried in the dark, festering and growing and taking up root in your heart and in your life until in suffocates you. You bring it in to the light and you are gentle and gracious with yourself and you know these truths:

  • John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
  • Luke 1:79 “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
  • John 12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
  • Psalm 18:28 “For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.”

So I can slay this dragon. I can cling to the truth of God’s word. I believe that what He says is true. I believe that I don’t have to sit and fester in the sadness, that I can experience it, feel what I need to feel and give it back to God because He is “For I am the Lord who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26 and “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” – Psalm 147:2 So whether I have a flashback to a trauma I experienced years ago or I am healing from the present I can trust without a shadow of a doubt that it is okay to feel what I am feeling, it is okay to rest in that for a little while and not stuff my emotions or hide it and tell everyone how amazing I am doing. I can say today is hard, shockingly hard, unexpectedly hard but I know that my God is healer, I have seen, felt and experienced His healing in my life and in my heart and I don’t have to worry that I have regressed in my journey. I can have peace knowing He created me to feel and He can heal even the deepest darkest wounds, the ones I choose to share and the ones I choose to keep to myself. This blog today was really just me desperately needing to work out what was going on in my head and heart. If you have experienced or are experiencing something similar, you are brave, you are a survivor and you are not alone. Feel free to message me and I would love to be a listening ear as you process. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that please know you have resources. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, it’s never too late to get help. Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org this link opens in a new tab to chat anonymously one-on-one with a trained staff member.

Thank you for going on these journeys with me, each blog I write helps my head and my heart align and allows me the opportunity to continue healing and stepping into who God has created me to be. I am thankful for the creative space to do this. My hope is that even one person is encouraged and can see that there is hope. That they don’t have to walk through the storms, the mess and the yuck alone.

Feeling like a legit hot mess today,

Elisha

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

 

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