Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Lionhearted Girl

"She was smart. She was funny. She was brave.
She had a past that wasn't all that lovely,
yet she still put a smile on her face and never looked back. 
She was a lionhearted girl." 

The past six months have truly been a time of testing. Each day has proven to be an enormous feat of strength. And as I conquer each second, minute, hour, and day, I know I am that much closer to coming out on the other side of this happy and whole again. I'm not going to sit here and pretend there haven't been times of pure weakness-some of them you have witnessed, and some of them you haven't.

There have been nights where the pain is too much and the hurt wraps its coiling arms around me and drags me into an abyss that I often wonder if I'll ever surface from again. There have been nights when the tears have soaked both sides of the pillow, and the four walls of my bedroom are the only witness to the deep sobs that escape. There have been nights I have snapped at my daughter, ignored loved ones, and just down right felt pathetically sorry for myself. I have been known to drink too much, date boys I shouldn't, and pick a fight just to escape the loneliness that comes with my fate. 

Well, not anymore.

There comes a time in the midst of great tragedy and loss that you must find the will and the courage to move forward to a place where your hurt and your past no longer define you, your decisions, or your days. There comes a moment that despite how worthless you may feel, you start to understand that you ARE worthy and so loved by an amazing God who catches you in His arms and calls you His own. It may not happen all at once, but little by little you claim your courage and your will to survive until one day you wake up and you are actually okay with where you are. 

And suddenly this place is no longer a place of loneliness, but a place of learning and growing. It's a place where you are finally free to be yourself without someone's disapproval or judgement. A place where you are solid about who you are and where you are going. A place where people see hope and joy in you, instead of a broken girl who is in so much pain. 

And you know what?

I think I'm finally getting there. 

And I want to encourage all the women who are just like me. Women who have landed in this place of turmoil, heartache, broken relationships, or single motherhood. Women who fight every single day just like I do. I want to encourage these women who walk in pairs of shoes that are similar to mine to chin up and accept the challenge to be lionhearted girls. 

Girls who stare down each obstacle without even blinking. Girls who are defined by our strength and our bravery, instead of our past and our weaknesses. Girls who refuse to settle just because we are lonely. Girls who reach into the very depths of our souls and own who we are, where we've come from, and where we are going. Girls who know that He is the only way we are going to get through each day. Girls who embrace the truth that His love is the only love we need right now in this place where we are too vulnerable and too fragile to rush into anything. Girls who know that we need to give ourselves time to become who we need to be, before we let someone else in to share His plans for our lives. Girls who know how to be alone. 

Yes. We need to learn to be alone. 

We need to find ourselves, and learn to love everything about ourselves from the way we look in the mirror to the jokes we think are funny. We need to be strong in our knowledge of who we are, what we want, and how we plan to get there.

We need to be women who settle less and love our lives more, because we are worthy.

You ARE worthy. 

So, let's be lionhearted girls. 

Let's roar, instead of whisper. Let's take a stand for our futures and our hearts. Let's fiercely protect our children not just from a world that would rather label us and whisper behind our backs than offer encouragement, but let's also protect them from sad mom...angry mom...hurting mom. A mom who spends more time crying and wondering what went wrong instead of lacing up her big girl shoes and making the next move.

Let's make the next move. 

A move towards courage and strength.

A move away from our past, into our present, and towards our futures. 

A move that will transform our lives.

Trust me, I have seen a glimpse of how amazing it is, so what are we waiting for? 

What are you waiting for?

This Valentine's Day, I am focusing on this. Instead of roses and a fancy dinner, I will spend it falling more in love with girl in the mirror and reminding myself that I am worthy of a great, captivating love, and I am okay with just being me until I find it. No more rushed relationships, no more feeling sorry for myself, and no more letting the heartache and loneliness get the best of me.

I AM stronger than this.

Sure, I may be a long way from okay, but I'm getting there. I deserve to be loved the way I NEED to be loved by a man who deserves to have all of my love in return.

No games. No lies. No broken promises. No more allowing myself to be used.

Today, I am taking a stand for my heart. 

I am drawing a line in the sand. 

And you're going to have to be pretty damn wonderful to change that. 

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