He ended up posting on my page on Valentine’s Day, but I did not respond.
I told my counselor ignoring it didn’t seem like much but it felt huge, especially to the little girl inside of me.
I shared it felt like she had been locked away in a small dark closet inside of me for a long time.
She wanted me to think about the little girl inside of me, and how it would feel for her to be free.
She asked, “Do you think we can open that door just a little bit more to give her a little more space?”
Obviously, I did not want to talk about what that would require but she kept going back to it.
I finally told her that the door was not closed, but I was not ready to open it all the way. I was not strong enough yet, but when I am, I will swing that door wide open and hold her hand with my head high.
My counselor said, “Okay, that is in the future and maybe we don’t have to go straight there today. Let’s talk about what you can do for now. What little steps can you take today to give her just a little more space? What can you do to get her out of that small dark closet with the door barely open? What would it take? Maybe you could just adjust your Facebook settings where he can’t see what you don’t want him to see?”
We talked about options and she told me to think and pray about it.
She said, “You can start doing what is best for you and stop worrying about keeping the status quo. Instead of worrying about offending, think about her and how long she has been stuffed away in the dark. Think about giving her more space.”
The next day I had lunch with my Sunday School teacher and I shared my story with her for the first time. I had shared enough in class for her to know I was struggling but she did not know any specifics. I told her my plans to confront and asked her to pray for courage because one minute I felt big and brave, and the next minute I felt scared and helpless. As we were leaving, she prayed for me and also gave me feedback on my plans to confront and gave me suggestions to change them up a bit.
I drove away with a vulnerability hangover, but it was not nearly as intense as before.
Every time I told my story, it seemed to get just a tad bit easier.
The next day I was working with the Facebook settings, and I couldn’t get it to work. Finally, I decided to just type an email and message to simply ask him to not comment on or like my photos.
I closed my eyes, pressed send, quickly closed the laptop and went to bed. I wanted to get up and do a happy dance, but I just laid there and smiled.
The little girl had a little more space now and it felt much better.
I was still smiling when I woke up, and at church I thanked my Sunday School teacher for praying for me. I told her I took a small step towards courage and to please keep praying for me.
With a big smile she said, “I prayed for you on Friday and I prayed specifically for you to have courage. The Lord said to me you will grow in courage, but it will be baby steps.”
I smiled back and said, “Yes, small victories. Baby steps.”
Tell those who worry, the anxious and fearful,
“Take strength; have courage! There’s nothing to fear.
Look, here—your God! Right here is your God!
The balance is shifting; God will right all wrongs.
None other than God will give you success.
He is coming to make you safe.” Isaiah 35:4 Voice
This is post #21 in the Baby Steps series. To start at the beginning, click here.