Thursday, December 29, 2016

Here I Go Again

Blogging again isn’t something I wanted to do. Quite frankly, I don’t have the time. When I blogged before, I worked a normal 9-5 job, didn’t have a kid, and only traveled occasionally. Now, I live a very busy entrepreneurial life and am raising a very active 1 year old boy. I have far more personal and professional contacts than I did then, and I value my privacy more than ever. I hardly ever post super personal stuff on social media, let alone sharing my life’s story on the internet. I’m not in love with the idea of anyone being able to read about some of the most personal details of my life.

But this isn’t about me. Yes, it’s my story… but my reason for sharing it has nothing to do with a personal desire to do so. When I blogged about Zane’s accident in 2010/2011, I saw the incredible effect of sharing our tragedy with the world. I saw so much good, and so much healing come from that openness. People connected with the struggle, and were inspired by the faith that God gave us through that time. SO much good came from such a terrible situation. And while that time was extremely difficult, I can confidently tell you that what I have endured the past year and a half has been worlds harder. I have been broken more deeply than I thought possible, all while no one knew.
However, I am determined not to let my pain go to waste.

Over the last several months, I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach. The one where you know you’re going to have to do something that you absolutely don’t want to do. It was God nudging me out of hiding my experience. I know now that I have to do this. It won’t be easy to relive my greatest hurts or unveil my darkest moments, but someone has to be the voice. I’m not entirely sure why God seems to always push me to be that voice, but I do believe that He’ll supply the strength needed to share it.

I also believe this has to be very honest. If I’m going to share this story, I believe it’s one that requires sharing the whole thing. People often look at my life (especially in our perfected social media culture) and assume it’s pretty fabulous. I work in the fashion industry and get sent on oodles of free trips. I have (in my completely biased opinion) the most adorable, smiley little boy, and a pretty big house with lots of land. My husband is incredibly smart and talented, not to mention has the strongest faith of anyone I’ve ever met. My dog has her own Instagram. On the outside, we totally looked like we had it all together. But, no one saw the ugly. The silent struggles that nearly tore us apart. And no one will be helped or encouraged by feeling like we have it all together. I hope that my vulnerability will connect with someone and that God will use it to encourage you. We’re all human; we all struggle; and sometimes those we think have it all together are fighting a bigger battle than we can imagine.

To those of you who have reached out with words of encouragement, thank you. Your support has literally gotten me through the past 24 hours. There are so many that I haven’t been able to respond, especially as I worked through my own personal hurt over the hate that has come our way.

To those of you who are spewing that hate, I’m sorry. I’m so deeply sorry that you are in a place in your own life where you think it’s okay to attack others. I pray that you never have such a terrible situation impact your own life or that of someone you love. I pray that you are never judged with the same harsh words you have seen fit to say to me or my husband. I don’t know what you intended to accomplish by tearing down a family you do not know, hiding behind the safety of an anonymous comment. I hated you for a moment. You kept me sobbing in my bed most of the day. But now, I know that it’s my job to show you the same grace I showed my husband. He sinned against me in a very deep painful way, and we have spent the past year and a half recovering from that. Your words still sting, but you deserve the same forgiveness. Hate is not how we fix a problem. Tearing someone down does nothing but breed further brokenness. So although I’m sure you feel completely justified in your actions, I forgive you, whether you feel you need it or not. I am done looking at the comments online that I can’t control. But here, I will write my own story and your hate is not welcome to be a part of it. Comments will be turned off in the interest of guarding my already broken heart against what I must imagine is brokenness in your own life as well.