Honoring each other…

I attended a couple of hours of training today. Domestic violence or DV, as they say at work. I figured it was good information that I could use to help the people I see daily. Little did I know, it was information that would help me.

I have been around the DV block a time or two. I didn’t know that a guy hitting a girl wasn’t normal. I didn’t know that controlling behaviors were considered abuse. Extreme and unexpected mood swings to get his way… abuse. All of it.

I remember when I got divorced. My father apologetically told him, “I don’t know why she does the things she does.” He took it as confirmation that I was in the wrong. My father never knew. You don’t talk about that stuff, especially when your father is a pastor.

Now, many years later, I don’t flinch when a man raises his arms. I don’t get anxious when I buy groceries… because it’s just me now. I don’t worry when I make mistakes because I’ve learned that I don’t need to live up to anyone’s overrated expectations. I live life. I love my life. I love me.

Puzzle pieces were falling into place as DV information tumbled out with the click of each PowerPoint slide. I was able to look into my past as if I was a stranger looking through a window.

“Ahhhh… that’s why he said that.”

“That’s why he behaved irrationally.”

“Why wasn’t I strong enough to leave?” That question was answered, as well.

I am a beautiful mess. No, I take that back. I am beautiful. I am only a mess if I compare myself to the facade that others flaunt about as if they are perfectly normal. We are all flawed. We are all amazingly beautiful.

I am a different person now. The puzzle pieces are fitting together nicely. Some more quickly than others and some are being saved for later.

I guess the bottom line for this day: purposefully hurting another person in anyway, fashion, or form is wrong. The damage caused may take years to heal and some people will never heal. Human life is extremely valuable. Embrace and respect differences. Love like today is your last day on earth.

Thoughtfully yours,

Rachel

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:10 NLT

Finding the way back to me…

I got lost in a dream.

It was the best dream ever. Love, romance, adventure, laughter, tears… I couldn’t have imagined anything better. I built my life around this dream and was lost in it. I started waking up one day and realized that all dreams end. I worked hard to keep the dream alive… I shut my eyes a little tighter and I pretended like I wasn’t waking up. I snuggled a little harder and deeper, but the dream ended.

Reality set in.

No matter how beautiful the dream was… I couldn’t help but wake up. Dealing with reality is sometimes the most difficult thing to do. Rain clouds replaced the gentle billowy clouds. Lighting and thunder threatened my sense of safety. Life was not as it seemed and all sense of security was lost.

He told me several times that he would die for me. I believed him… until the day the dream ended. I didn’t physically ask him to die for me… I asked him to let a selfish part of himself die so that we could live a healthy life together. He couldn’t and we are no longer.

I dove into the salty sea of uncertainty and have the task of figuring out what my life looks like next. The dream is gone… and I’m figuring out how to build a new life on top of stones of reality.

I miss the dream… but I think I realize now… I miss the awake and live me more.

Take care, friends.