This post is what's been stirring in my soul for the past 14 years. It might be a little difficult for some of you to read and take in, but it's something that I feel ever so convicted to do. So here goes...
Last night, I tossed and turned with vampires in my head all night. Yes, vampires. And not the uber-hip vampires from the Twilight series, but rather these super-dark, demonic vampires that were out to get me and my husband and my parents. My children weren't in the dream, but the three adults that matter most were. And there was this place - this awful, evil place - where the vampires would congregate and wait on unsuspecting people to come. Me, my husband and my parents went there, and I could tell they were vampires, and I expelled so much energy trying to get away from them and protect the ones I loved. Needless to say, I feel completely unnerved and unrested today. But I know why those darn vampires would not allow me to sleep well last night.
I have been seeing a therapist - a wonderful, wise, incredible Christian woman therapist - for the past several months. Over the past couple of years, my spirit had been uneasy. I wanted more. I was hungry for something deeper than what I had. I was looking for answers and people to blame and an easy fix. What I found was a need to heal a place - a very tender place - inside me. It's a place I've hinted at in my writing here but have never had the courage to expose. But it's the place in my soul that has swallowed my joy at times in my life, has buried my confidence, and has shaped so many of my decisions along the way.
When I was 19, equal in hope and naivety, I was the victim of acquittance or date rape. There was no burly man jumping out from behind a bush. No gun. No duct tape. Nothing you would see on 20/20 or Primetime. No stranger at all. It was someone I thought I could trust. On that night, I drew my line, and he crossed it anyway. I was shattered. Completely. Confused. Broken. Lonely. And I was silent...
I didn't tell anyone the whole truth for quite some time, probably because I didn't want to own up to what had happened myself. I felt so ashamed and guilty, and I have carried those feelings with me for 14 years now. Shame and guilt are perhaps the most blood-sucking emotions of all. Life-sucking... literally. The two emotions have guided all my choices along my path. They've led me astray. They have left me in the pit of depression during many years of my life. They have taken a toll on my closest relationships. Guilt and shame have worked their hardest to tear me down and hold me there, just as their maker, Satan, would have them do.
Back to those vampires... I've been wanting to use my experience, and I've been discovering things in God's Word - His living, magnificent Word - that have me speechless, inspired, humbled, and challenged. And my mind has been spinning out of control with ideas and thoughts and dreams. And those vampires just convicted me in my dreams last night that I have to stop running from my experiences. I have to put them out there. I have to talk about it or write about it. I have to come to a place where I can openly discuss who I am, what I've been through, why I made some of the decisions I made, and things I wished I had done differently. Because until I do that, I'll be running from these blood-sucking emotions my whole life. And until I put them out there for the world to see, I will never experience that divine retribution my God has promised me.
It's at my fingertips. I can feel it. I don't know how all of this will pan out. But, by God (and I do mean literally by God), I have a book in me. A beautiful book written specifically to young women full of things I wished I could go back and tell myself. Full of scriptures I wished I had read so long ago. Full of God's love and mercy and forgiveness and hope. I don't know when or how, but I know I will complete it one day. I know full well.
So there it is. There's an ear full of some things I've been wanting to discuss openly for quite some time now. It's not the whole of who I am, but it's part of who I've become. And I'll end with one of the most fantastic things the Bible has to say to us:
And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28