Follow Up: I posted my ME TOO blog yesterday evening and I’ve received so many kind words and messages as well as other individuals saying my words encouraged them to try and tell their own stories. In just a few short hours after posting I heard from former students, dear friends, family members and strangers who commended my bravery. Bravery? I think bravery would have been saying something right after it happened…even though I lived alone with my daughter…even though I was single and had somewhat of a reputation in my small town and feared no one believing me…even though I now knew he was capable of evil…even though he had a child that would have to find out his dad was not the kind of man he should be looking up to. Even after all of this and more I could have bravely made a call that could potentially stop him from ever hurting another…but I didn’t. I waited, and over the years silently got over it along with a lot of other things I was getting over. I catalogued this into what being divorced and single must be like and walked away.
This is the part where it hurts the most. That because of my sins, I decided I wasn’t worthy of being treated like anything more than trash. I thought I’d earned it and kinda deserved it. The next year, when I quit my job as a teacher and walked away it felt good because I no longer had to stand in front of those precious students that I adored so much and pretend I had it all together. I needed to go away…so I did. That’s when isolation took hold of me and veiled itself as my friend. “I like being alone….I don’t need anyone….anything….you can have all my stuff…I hate stuff…but I surround myself with books….Books tell them I’m busy reading and do not want to be disturbed.”
I’ve kept shrinking….the smaller the house the more I felt closed in and safe. Tiny. Tiny spaces. I don’t want to take up much space. I’ve lost a lot but failure feels good. It gives me something to peg for the sad.
This is my day of reckoning. I’ve led a very remote, quiet, isolated existence for too long and I’m declaring today that it’s over. I’m here to be used by God for a purpose and the enemy will at this very moment hand me back my keys. I’m driving now. I have a voice. I have a story. I’m the best friend you’ll ever have but you won’t know that if I don’t get outside these walls and invite you to dinner or start that book club I’ve been considering. I’m funny and considerate and compassionate and real and yes…yes, I am brave.
Kurt, I love you. You have been my biggest fan…you’ve been declaring my purpose over me and patiently waiting for me to be everything you’ve known I was capable of being. I love trusting Jesus with you. I love dreaming about our future and I love our story. Thank you for your gentleness and strength. You are a good man. I will never feel like I deserve you, but I’ll take you…forever!
Sweet friends…Promise me you’ll tell your story…it doesn’t have to be on a blog or on Facebook…it can be to your closest friends or a small group…but your telling just might encourage another to tell…and that one encourages another…and eventually we are all telling and bringing the darkness into the light where God works best.
PS: I did not post his picture or give his name because my earnest prayer is that he walked away from that day broken and ashamed and took a good long look in the mirror at what he’d become. I pray he is a changed man.
PSS: God is good. All the time.