I thought this year I had it all figured out. I saw the unbelievable growth and miracles, and I thought I had turned the corner and was moving directly into my dream life. I figured God was like OK angels give her whatever she wants, she did it, she’s ready, we are proud of her! Nope…
I was sitting at a table surrounded by really cool and wildly different women, I was telling aspects of my life while they listened intently. I saw their faces and immediately wanted to disappear. I had shared too much. They could see me. I don’t want to be seen. I wanted to sink into the floor. My stomach started to hurt, and I felt panic rising and realized I could never come here again. I had to leave and hide and forget these women existed and start over again somewhere new. I had to forget the animals and grab my daughter and run. It would be ok, it would just be us again. I could pretend to be perfect and she would be happy and no one would know I was broken…I’m broken.
It is so painful sometimes to be. Just to be. Not the easy happy moments when you’re being who you tell yourself you are but the moments you remember who you are…or at least you remember who you’ve always been told you were. You remember the voices telling you to be quiet, telling you you are not enough, not pretty or smart or special. You are not allowed to talk about your family or feelings. You have to be quiet. You have to protect everyone so people think they are perfect. Your purpose is to stay out of the way because you have no actual worth.
It feels like I have been hiding for a hundred years. I can’t hide anymore. I don’t want to protect anyone but my daughter, and I don’t want her to learn to hide, too. I thought I had it all sorted, but as I sat with those women, I realized that I have been living without people for my entire life. I have never had real friends or any sense of community because I was just always there. I always ran away the second I got uncomfortable. I would just pack up and move and start over again and again and again. The very second I let my guard down and saw those expressions I was gone…I can’t go this time. I can’t go anymore because my little girl isn’t so little and I can’t pretend with her life. She deserves to be real and to know she’s perfect even in her imperfections.
I once got so angry at my daughter for saying something true about our life. I wanted to scream. WE DON’T TALK ABOUT THAT! I wanted her to know she embarrassed me and made me look like nothing… but I didn’t. I saw myself as a girl, her exact age being told to be quiet. Being looked at like something was wrong with me for not being the same. I immediately told her that everything that had happened in my life was part of God’s plan and that she could talk about anything as long as it wasn’t mean. Our history is not something to be ashamed of but just a reality that helped to shape us into who God wants us to be. Not broken but whole. I meant it, but somehow, I guess I didn’t mean it for me.
My life is no longer my own. I belong to a little soul who is learning and growing and deciding who she is to herself and to this world. I can not run anymore. I have to figure this out, and I’m scared. I feel small and vulnerable and have absolutely no idea what the outcome will be. I thought I had it all figured out, but here I sit in the dark, scared again that no one will like me. Scared I really am not enough.
I promise you, sweet daughter of mine, to keep facing everything that scares me until I am as brave as you are. I will be exactly who I tell you you are. You are perfect. You are a gift to each person you meet. You are a beautiful sparkling soul that the world needs, and you will be surrounded with love by people who know both the darkness and the light in you. People who will hold your hand when you are scared and who will cheer you on when you are brave. Your life is going to be so good.
I am broken, but that is why I love so fiercely. I will figure this out because I know God didn’t bring me this far to just give up. I will stay this time and trust and be exactly who I am, and it will be new because I’ve never done that before. This is going to be an exciting year for me, and honestly, I’m ready for it… and I’m scared, but I suppose if you’re not scared, sometimes you’re probably not actually living.