What would my life look like if I could make the pain go away?
What would my life look like today if I had people that just wanted to be a friend in my life? What if I never knew the abuse, the touching, the manipulation, the twisting, never knew the lies, the pretending, the feeling of abandonment, isolation, being excluded, and the hurt? What would today be like if I only understood a truly caring friendship?
What would my life had looked like if I was just loved, the way I was supposed to be loved?
What if the people around me, had cared about me so much that they went out of their way to show me, to tell me, to remind me?
What if I felt so special that I never felt forgotten, never felt left behind, never felt invisible, never knew what less than felt like?
What would my today be like if I had lifelong friends that stuck with me lifelong, through it all, up and down, never left my side?
What would my life had looked like if someone spoke up for me, stood in front of me, and guarded my heart? If someone extended a hand and didn’t let go, no strings attached. Or what would today look like if I learned to have my own voice, and spoke it without reservation, and on behalf of myself?
What would my life had looked like if I got to keep all my memories instead of having to repress a big chunk of them? (I think I lost some good memories mixed in with the bad. I wonder if I would have more to smile about if I could remember things worth smiling about that I have forgotten.)
What would my life had looked like if someone had stood in front of me and said “enough”? Protected me, and cared about me the way I was meant to be looked after.
What would my life had looked like if I could wipe away all the pain? All the screaming alone in the dark, all the frozen moments of abuse when time stood still, and all the responsibility of a girl that just wanted to feel the ease of someone feeling responsible for her.
What would my life be like today?
If I could make changes, what changes would I make, and who would I be today? Would I like her better? Would everyone else like her better? Would she be more carefree? Would she trust more, let more people into her life? Would she be able to understand what safety with another human being really feels like? Would she be fought for? Would she be noticed? Would she understand love without having to be educated on it?
What would she be like I wonder…without pain, without hurt, and loved just like she is?
Honestly, I will never know. I will never know a life without the hurt I have been through and some of the pain I have even caused. I will never know a life without disappointment and manipulation. I will never know a world where people I trusted didn’t crush a heart that was only a toy for them to fiddle with. I will never know that.
If I will never know the answer to those questions, I have to figure out what I do know?
What I do know…is what I am having to learn, and I know this will be a lifelong struggle, but the answer to all my questions is that what I do know is that I need to love her.
The me today, with everything she is, and all she has been through, all she has caused, and all she has suffered. I need to love her without expecting or relying on you too! I need to see her, and love her. With every broken piece she has, I need to see her resiliency. I need to believe she is rising up. I need to treat her heart like it is fragile. I need to listen to her voice like it has meaning. I need to love the girl that has been through pain. I need to love the woman that is still living, that still has a beautiful future. I need to be proud of the person that has been through the hottest of fires and is scrapped with more burns than I know how to hide. I need to admire the fact that I am still here. I need to stand as tall as my 5-foot self can go and proclaim that I am loved.
I need to believe that healing from this pain has produced a girl within myself that I wouldn’t trade any perfect image or pain-free version of myself for. That I like me for me the way I am today, and the me that I am continually in motion to becoming.
I have to learn to love myself, through it all, with it all. The girl without any pain I will never know, but the woman who has overcome, the woman who is taller than the meter stick says has a lot of great things to love. As I learn to love her, broken and shattered pieces and all, I may be able to see that God has seen that in me this whole time.
He saw me when I felt invisible, was with me when I was forgotten, is fighting for me in ways I can’t even see, has not only spoken for me but has spoken into me, screamed with me when I felt alone, gave me peace in the middle of the night, and showed me a love I never would have known without His gentle touch on my heart. A Father, a Friend, a Savior, a Conqueror that has been closer than I ever realized. He sees my heart, he was with me in my pain, sits with me here today and grows me through my hardest moments.
I’ve wanted to hide from the things I wish weren’t a part of my story, but running into the fire brings the faith that my God won’t leave me in there. I am learning to believe that God loves me too much to leave me in the fire, it’s time for me to love her too. She is worth loving. I need to learn to love the me today so much that I don’t ever want to know what the me without pain is like because I like who this girl is becoming, and who this woman has become.
God uses the pain to produce the endurance, character and hope for what is ahead.
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3,4
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