“Lucky” and Blessed

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“Lucky” and Blessed

A playground filled
with cheer
and fear

Dance lessons
teach grace
And body awareness

Piano practice
An escape in the notes
So hard to focus

Sports trophies
Adrenaline and energy
Mixed with doubt and frustration

Homework and tests
Never let them see you struggle
Always make the A

Prom sparkle and nails
A brief getaway
A never-ending ache

Sleepy, so very tired
Bad dreams, being chased
Exhausted… in darkness.

I am his.

Leaving the back row pew
A friendly smile
Pursues me

A warm meal
And Bible Study
Invited

A white dress
With a stained heart
Push it down forever

Baby’s first cry
Awakens hope
And fierce love

Three babies
Tired mama
The dreams are back

A counselor
A couch
A voice with a story.

Messy
And hard
Yet wonderful.

Safe
No shame.
Loved.

Rest.
Be still,
& know…

I am His.  

Baby Steps: God has set me free.

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May 9, 2013 

It was the day before my 40th birthday.  I woke up at 4am and started to frantically type on my phone what I would say to my abuser if given the chance.  It was 291 words and it started with, “You sexually abused me and I am not keeping the secret anymore.”  

I went to my counseling session and read it to her. I told her he had been reaching out to me and I was ignoring him. I felt like “Free at 40” was going to happen. She liked that I had it written out on my phone, and told me if I need to read it word for word then that would work too. I promised to keep her posted.  

I was filled with terror and anticipation as I left, and on my way home from therapy my husband texted me a picture of my kids and a rainbow.  It was a beautiful reminder to me that God keeps His promises. He was going to set me free. 

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May 10, 2013

Happy Birthday! I was 40 now and still avoiding him. I went with a friend to do Zumba with students at a local middle school.  In one of the moves, I turned around and imagined several of the young girls with tape over their mouths and it made me tear up. I knew in a room of that many girls, some of them would share my story. They smiled behind their horror just like I did. It angered me and filled me with passion at the same time. 

We went out for dinner afterwards and I was surprised with several friends, balloons and fun. I was 40 when I fell asleep that night, but I still wasn’t free. 

May 11, 2013

I was singing Shackles by Mary Mary on my way to Zumba when I saw my friend at the stoplight.  She had posted earlier on Facebook that her husband was taking her kids so she could have the day to herself for Mother’s Day.  She texted me at the light and told me she was available if I needed help with the kids this weekend. I texted her back to enjoy her time alone!

After Zumba, I stopped by the grocery store and there was another sweet reminder that He was with me: a bird on a fire hydrant.  It was a busy day and I did not eat. 

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My oldest child was dropped off at the house and he came in with a gift for me. It was a purple flower that said “Special day.”  I asked him how he got the present for me, and he said he asked his friend’s mom to stop at Hallmark and he also asked her to pay for it.  It was so thoughtful and sweet.

We came home from the soccer games, and I waited with much anticipation.  

It happened.  

He texted he was on his way over.

I had less than an hour to get ready.  

My kids! I didn’t want them to be here. I called my friend from the stoplight and asked her if we could please quickly drop them off at her house, and she said sure.  

We dropped them off and I walked back into the house and started pacing the floor.  

I listened to Keep Me by Patrick Dopson, and I sang it loud, especially this part:

“You will finish what you started
Complete what you’ve begun
Though the enemy has lied and said I’m done
But I know you better than that!
You’ve kept me safe this far.
It’s time for you to show
just who you are!
Cause you are Jesus!”

I lifted both hands high. 

I dropped to my knees and I prayed out loud to Jesus. 

I clapped my hands. 

I had enormous peace.  

He led me to trust Him. 

He delivered.  

I looked in the mirror as I heard him pull into the driveway. 

Free at 40 was about to happen.  

A new song for a new day rises up in me every time I think about how he breaks through for me! Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until everyone hears how God has set me free. Many will see his miracles; they’ll stand in awe of God and fall in love with him! Psalm 40:3 TPT 

This is post #30 in the Baby Steps series.  To start at the beginning, click here.

Baby Steps: He delights in every step.

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I planned to meet with someone to share my story with her.  At this point, I had only shared with my counselor, my husband, and a few friends. She was coming over to visit and both my husband and I felt like she needed to know.  

We were both stopped in a parking lot and she was behind me in her car. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw her smiling. I knew once I told her I could not take it back. I was terrified of what she would think of me. I even debated not telling her at all.  As I looked ahead again, I noticed a beautiful bird on the sign in front of me.  I snapped the photo and smiled remembering “His eye is on the sparrow,” and I knew He was with me. We turned out of the parking lot and headed home.  

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When I sat down on the sofa to tell her, the words just stumbled out. Her eyes were wide and she looked shocked. When I finished talking, I took a deep breath and waited for her response.

Even though I rehearsed what I would say to her and I tried to anticipate her response, I never saw this coming.  

She started by telling me how proud she was of me.  She knew and understood how incredibly difficult it was for me to share with her because she had just completed Darkness to Light training for her job. She shared what she learned in her training about the devastating effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse. She also knew that I was not alone and many others suffered in silence. She reiterated to me that I was brave and she believed me.

God was in all of the details and the timing. He was with me every step of the way. 

He prompted me to share my story with her. Seeing the bird reminded me that His eye was on the sparrow, and He filled me with courage to tell her. He prepared her with the training and she knew how to best respond to me. She had just completed the training, so it was all very fresh and raw in her mind. His timing was perfect.  

God was preparing me to share with others. I was learning to look for Him and to listen for Him. He was teaching me to trust Him, and He was showing me that He would be with me and help me. I was learning to trust His timing, both in the right now and in the waiting.   

He was giving me the confidence to take the next step, with Him. 

The steps of the God-pursuing ones follow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord, and God delights in every step they take to follow him. Psalm 37:23 TPT

This is post #29 in the Baby Steps series.  To start at the beginning, click here.

Baby Steps:  Jesus said, “Little Girl, Get Up.” 

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I was connecting with the little girl (LG) inside of me. I would draw and write with colored pencils. I bought coloring books with scripture and would focus on the words and staying in the lines with bright markers.  Dancing at Zumba reminded me of her and all of the years of dance.  Music would always take me back, but it really depended on the song.  Some made me smile, and others I promptly turned off.

I looked through old pictures of me, and this was the one that caught my eye.  Maybe it was the white dress or the cute hair bows. Or, perhaps it was because I had cut my bangs. Mostly it was because that little spark was still in my eyes.  You couldn’t really see it in the other pictures. 

I put her picture on my desktop at work, on my phone and on my laptop. On days when I felt like giving up, I’d look at this picture and remember that I was fighting for her. At this point, it felt like she was almost out of that dark and scary closet filled secrets and shame.

I loved her, and we were connecting.

My weekend was filled with secrets.  I made a box of secrets, and I heard the word “secrets” several times.

I went to a Beth Moore conference and the topic was Sacred Secrets.  Then on Sunday, my pastor preached a sermon on the secret healings of Jesus and how some healings were private and others were public. He started with the story of the woman with the bleeding issue, and then he moved on to little girl in Mark 5:

They said she was dead. But Jesus showed up and took her by the hand and said two words “Talitha Koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”) 

Those words were illuminated on the page of my Bible and my heart started racing.  He continued reading as I followed along, “Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old).”

It was as if Jesus had whispered directly to the heart of the little girl inside of me, “Talitha Koum! Little girl, I say to you, get up!” It was time.

There would be no more hiding or cowering.

LG was finally out of that dark closet and she was by my side holding my hand.

After church, my daughter and I made this picture of Talitha Koum using the confetti from the Beth Moore conference. In the future, I planned to share with her what it meant to me and explain that those two words convinced me that Jesus heals little girls, including LG.

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Now it felt like we were one and together we were fierce.  

 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”)  Mark 5:41 NIV 

This is post #28 in the Baby Steps series.  To start at the beginning, click here.