I believe one of the most powerful tools we posess lies in our own individual stories of triumph. This is a letter straight out of my journal from a little over four months ago. Looking back and remembering what I went through and how writing allowed me to process and overcome it wasn't just powerful then, it's also powerful now.
Writing was a tool for me to process and heal during my recovery but I didn't see how it would continue to impact me after. What I'm realizing, is on the days I struggle the most, I'm able to look back at what God already delivered me through and remember just how good He was. Those reminders help keep me from forgetting that I didn't get to where I am today on my own accord. They remind me of the miracles He did to get me here.
I felt God call me to share this exerpt from my journal with you. It's my hope that it will speak into your own hearts, as it continues to do to mine.
Journal entry: A Letter of Hope
"This past year has been a rediscovery of who I am. For years I masked who I was in fear of being rejected by others, but for the first time in a long time, I’m coming out of my shell. I often envision a butterfly emerging from a cocoon as a representation of how I feel. But if I’m being honest, the past year has looked a lot more like childbirth. There’s been contractions increasing in strength with less time between as they built in stamina. The pain experienced is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. This process has been chalked full of exhaustion, heartache, and moments of clawing for strength to push when I felt I had nothing left to give.
The reality is, healing has been tough work. It shook the foundations of my identity and left me in darker places than I’ve ever been. I’m finally turning the corner of a very difficult season, recognizing there has been purpose in my pain.
I’m unashamed of who I am, regardless of who likes it or not. The inner struggle has been replaced with an inner peace as I accept the calling placed on my heart. I’m more present and in love with my kids and my husband. The friendships that lasted through this last year have grown deeper and more precious than I ever thought possible. The new friendships that have sprouted from it are beautiful, because they see me, and they love me for who I am.
There’s nothing quite like going through one of the roughest storms of your life, experiencing fear and suffering like never before, and finally seeing end in sight. There’s a peace and relief lifting your eyes, seeing the clouds roll away, feeling the warmth of sunshine that you thought you’d never see again. I appreciate the tiny rays as they begin to emerge, piece by tiny piece, so much more than I did before.
I’m at the start of a new season, one that promises hope and joy no matter what life throws my way. I’m scarred and a little wobbly, but I’m not alone. The battle of my past has been won.
I’m no longer a victim, but a warrior. The wounds that bled crimson red and threatened to break me are now fine lines on my strong, beating heart. They don’t define me or shake me, just remind me of how capable I am.
There’s an inner beauty that’s beginning to shine through. Like others whose stories started out with pain and suffering, mine didn’t end there. I chose to take the time to heal, rediscover who I am, and birth a new life far more exciting than I ever thought possible.
If you’re in the middle of a storm, let my story be a glimmer of hope. Hold on to your anchor in Him, you will get through this. You are capable, you are not alone, and you are worth the journey. The wounds of your past don’t define you, no matter how big or small. They can heal and become beautiful scars permanently etched into your heart, serving as a reminder of what you’ve overcome; each one unique and telling of a powerful story, victorious and miraculous.
Are you struggling with something you’ve been avoiding, fearful of the pain it may cause? I want to challenge you to boldly face it, casting fear aside, and allow the wounds that are controlling you to become scars that no longer define you.
You can do this.
You are loved, valuable, capable, and worthy of freedom.
Sincerely, A glimmer of hope"
I had no idea this letter would continue to bring me strength, and possibly be a letter to breath strength in to others. It's my hope that if you're sitting reading this in a difficult season, it does just that- delivers a glimmer of hope. I challenge you to write your own prayers and difficulties down- so that one day, when you've overcome them, they will serve as a reminder of just how far you have come and how you got there.