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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Before You Go

I heard through the grapevine that you're leaving.

That you're packing your bags and starting over somewhere new.

How wonderful for you.

I mean, I honestly can't blame you.

I can't even begin to tell you the number of times since that hot, muggy August day that I have wanted to run.

To throw in the towel and leave all of this behind.

But, I knew in my heart that I could never do that to my daughter-not after all I've put her through. And so, I stayed.

I fought.

I never back down. not. one. single. time.

I know it's easier for you to pretend like I don't exist-like I never existed. But, before you go you should know a few things. A few things that I finally have the courage to say out loud.

*****

Before you go...you should know that I'm not going anywhere. This little town was my home long before it was your's. I'll always be here. Always.

Before you go...you should know that I actually have a backbone now. A pretty damn strong one. I think that whole "refusing to roll over and die" thing had something to with it.

Before you go...you should know that I smile more than I cry these days.

Before you go...you should know that my heart isn't broken anymore. It has healed into a thousand little scars. Scars that have made me better, not bitter. Scars that have made me stronger, not weaker. Scars that tell a story. A beautiful story of grace, hope, and redemption.

Before you go...you should know that I'm okay. Like really okay. I'm happiest I've been in a long time, and it feels amazing to be able to say that and actually mean it.

Before you go...you should know that I did find someone else to love me. Yep, me. Broken, bruised, stained, and torn at the seams me. I know you didn't think that I would, but he took one look at my story, and decided that none of that mattered. That he actually liked the girl I've been seeing in the mirror these days. He has become a gift of God's grace in my life.

Before you go...you should know that I have learned that mistakes don't define you.

Before you go...you should know that I have accepted that for some wounds in this life you will never get an apology.

Before you go...you should know that I don't hate you. I wanted too. The world wanted me too. But, I just don't. Not one little bit.

Before you go...you should know that I forgive you. I forgive you for the promises we couldn't keep. I forgive you for the hurt. I forgive you for your part in the story.

Before you go...you should know that God is using my mess. My beautiful, disastrous mess. Because those are His favorite kinds of stories.

Before you go...you should know that my story has allowed me to embrace my calling. The calling to help other women just like me who have been left bruised, broken, and rejected by a world that can be far from kind.

Before you go...you should know that I am thankful. I am thankful for mercy that is new every morning, joy that always replaces sadness, and for a life that is far from over.

Before you go...you should know that I wish you all the best, and I hope you're happy. Really, truly happy. And that if you aren't, you find a way to get there.

I really, really do.

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