Why I Wouldn’t Change A Thing…
Sometimes life throws you a curveball.
Maybe it’ll hit you out of the blue. Maybe you’ll see it coming. But there is one thing I can promise you – sooner or later, it will hit you.
My first curveball happened when I was 12 years old. Late one night on the outskirts of a small, country town, my view of the world changed when someone, whom I trusted, took something from me that I could never get back, setting off a chain reaction in my life which affected every decision that I made for the next 14 years.
The thing about trauma that many people don’t understand is that you can hide what happened away in the darkest corners of your mind but – it’s still there. You can try to forget but even when you’re not thinking about it, the memory is rooted in affecting your thoughts and subsequently – your actions.
Flash forward 14 years from that night, I pretty well had my life together and if you had asked me – I’d have told you I was over what happened, that I was fine. I owned my home, had a good job yet while I could get everything else together, I couldn’t seem to make my love life work – at all.
My love life consisted of a long string of bad decisions. Men who took me for granted, abused me, belittled me and used me for whatever they could. What did I do? I put up with it. Why? Somewhere deep inside I felt like I deserved it.
This cycle continued for years until finally, I swore off men and decided to be single forever because even though I wasn’t convinced that I deserved better, I knew one thing for sure – my son did.
Then one day, something in me snapped. Call it Divine Intervention or not, but I finally realized that while I had been telling myself there were “no good men left,” that wasn’t the problem at all.
The problem was – I WASN’T ATTRACTING THEM. The problem was me…
Even though I still wasn’t interested in a relationship, I knew that if I didn’t fix what was wrong in me, I would never be able to live the life God was calling me to live or teach my son what a healthy relationship looked like. In deciding to work on me, God brought me to that dark place where I’d hidden my secret.
The thing about secrets is that out of sight is definitely not out of mind.
When you hide secrets away – you give them free, unsupervised access to your mind. Imagine you left a poison ivy vine growing out of control around your home for years. What kind of damage could that vine do in that amount of time? How many people would it infect?
I didn’t talk to anyone about my rape for 14 years so this secret had a long time to get deep holds on me and while I won’t tell you it was easy to face because it wasn’t, I will tell you – it was worth it. Every panic attack, flash back, nightmare and sleepless night brought me closer to the amazing life that I have now.
In facing, embracing and overcoming what happened, I learn the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in life. I learned how to forgive the unforgivable. I learned how to forgive myself. I learned how to truly love myself and others as Christ loves me. I learned what true peace feels life. All the struggle was worth it.
What really matters when events happen in life is not what happened as much as how you respond to what happened. I know that all situations are different and the point of this article is not to belittle any person’s experience but more so to remind you of three absolute truths:
First, you are stronger than you realize.
Second, God wants more for you then you want for yourself. He doesn’t want you to struggle. He wants you to live an amazing life.
Third, until you embrace and overcome your past, you allow your past to define your thoughts, actions, and beliefs.
My experience defined me for years but being able to overcome it taught me how strong I truly am, how to align myself closely with the Divine Power that created us and gave me the faith I needed to never forget that we are all destined for more than a life of struggle – all we have to do is seek it. God doesn’t call you to struggle – He loves you more than you love yourself.
Bottom line? We are all on a life journey & I would not change one single thing about mine.
All my love,