In vulnerability there is truth, there is authenticity and, there is freedom.
Pull up a chair and let’s talk, let’s be honest.
As a believer, talking about pain can be difficult. We’re supposed to be happy, forgive quickly, be meek and quiet, right? Sometimes people forget Christians are humans. Someone hurts us and demands instant forgiveness because after all, we are Christians. More than once that has been thrown in my face, in business matters especially. The truth is, Christians have to process emotions, walk through forgiveness and pain just like everyone else.
I feel like I have been honest about my walk through, my struggles on this blog. I did that for a very real purpose, I know there are people out there walking out very painful situations, situations that don’t sound pretty in a Sunday School setting or at a women’s retreat. I know you’re there, I read your e-mails, I get your messages. I know you hear me.
I have shared some of what I have walked through or at least the highlights of divorce, my business collapsing and being brutally stalked. I have shared those things purposely so you know you’re not alone and so I could just get some of this out. For me, healing comes through writing. I write all the time. Most of the time I delete it before you ever read it, I write for myself, I write to let go.
I’ve walked a long, painful road of forgiveness and I felt like for the most part, I had let go.
Yesterday, through the words of my beautiful husband, I realized I had not completely let something go. I’ve carried one thing around for far too long. Something still has a grip on me, I didn’t realize it, I didn’t notice it because quite honestly, I got used to it.
On the way home, Waiting on the Night to Fall by Casting Crowns was playing and I heard these words louder than before,
“He knows you have the answers, but truth lies dusty on your shelf
And the sword that you could slay him with has become an ornament and nothing else
You could put him back down in his hole in the ground, but he knows you never will
He’s been around so long you got used to the smell.”
I got used to the smell, the smell of this persons pain bleeding onto me each and everyday.
As I mentioned in previous articles and above, I have lived the last few years being brutally stalked. I have shown grace where none was deserved in this situation, I filed a lawsuit and made a conscious decision not to go forward for one reason only, grace. I wanted this person to understand forgiveness, to understand mercy. I have come to realize those things are not something I can teach this person, only God can do that.
I have built my businesses on social media for the last 10 years, I work here, this is my office.
A few weeks ago, I was notified of yet another fake account on social media made by my stalker to follow me. That’s weird because the posts for my websites are public, my personal posts are well protected and hidden, so I’m not sure why fake accounts are even necessary at this point but, nonetheless, it happened. I believe it happened on purpose, a way to let me know she is watching but, in reality, I already knew that.
I shared my story of cyberstalking at an event recently, I share this particular part of my story to teach business leaders how to protect themselves online. Sometimes though, when I share the story, it’s hard to breathe.
Sometimes I feel the pain again.
It hit me hard yesterday as I explained this new fake account to my husband, I told him I feel like I’m sharing a story of being stabbed while I’m still wearing the knives. I’m sharing my story to empower people, to the help them, to bring strength yet I’m still getting hurt everyday.
My husband said something beautiful to me, he told me she could only stab me, she could only hurt me if I left myself open, if I allowed myself to be hurt.
I’ve spent years learning self defense and one of the things I know is, you can’t leave yourself open, you can’t give the enemy a shot or a foothold as we would call it. I have. I left a door open to this person, I let what she did just under the law, just behind closed doors where only I could see bother me then, I got used to the smell. I didn’t even realize how much it bothered me.
Yesterday as I sat there at lunch with my husband feeling the tangible pain of my heart breaking all over again, his words hit me hard. He went onto use the analogy of the wilderness, how long will I live in the wilderness? Did I even know I was there? I thought I was moving out, I thought I had left the place of fear and doubt and pain behind, I thought I saw the Promised Land but what I really saw was a mirage. It wasn’t real.
Now, it’s time to move.
The feeling of someone watching you is something you can never quite get used to no matter how long it goes on. Years later, so much destruction and so much pain but this person won’t let go, never lets go. I know every post I write gets read, seen, screenshot. I know that, you’d think I’d be used to that.
That’s me being vulnerable with you today, my readers. I know she’s reading this too but the message is not for her, the message is for you.
Today, the door closes.
Today, I’m making drastic changes to never allow that door to be reopened and today, I feel the cool fresh air again. As I go through for the thousandth time and block the fake accounts, the real accounts and everything in between, I’m also closing a door.
You see, she can follow me for the rest of my life, as she once told me she would but, I will always be ahead. I will always be in front and she will always be behind.
There’s no changing that and that changes everything.
Today, is a new day. Today, is freedom. Today, is peace. Today, is the beginning of the rest of my life with new dreams, the man I love and our family.
My friends, take the time today to re-evaluate. Breathe in peace and exhale the pain.
How do you change the course? Make a conscious decision to do so, there is no other way. I refuse to let this person control my life. I refuse.
She can watch but this life will never be hers, it’s mine. Jealousy is a vicious thing.
Today, I’m taking my life back and I will never let go again. I will do what God has called me to do and I will live the life Christ died for me to live. Everyday. No matter what.
I am a believer, I walk in love, mercy and grace and I have walked this painful road of forgiveness and I did it again today. That’s real life, Christianity is not fake nor made up of perfect people, we are imperfect, walking through pain and struggle wrapped in inexplicable love and I guess that’s the difference between me and her, love.
I know the love that never ceases, the love that can take the pain from her if she would let it. I’m going to live in that place, I choose to live in love.