This is not a ‘feel good’ piece.

Photo By: @Levisule

Do you know what heartbreak sounds like?

Silence.

The deepest pain is usually silent.

Internal.

That’s the stuff that hurts the most.

Pain will absolutely undoubtedly change your frame of mind, and from that point forward, permanently alter the perspective from which you think critically about the world.

My mind shifted this week.
Because I hurt.

In this pain, I tried to find the silver lining/life lesson like I always do to prevent the hurt from feeling pointless. But this one was hard to find. Every lesson I came up with seemed insufficient in comparison to the pain I felt.  In other words, I definitely would have been able to learn these lessons without crying so much.

This kind of pain was overwhelming, there was no hope in this. This kind of pain is meant to be endured.
And that’s when the resentment came over me and my perspective shifted.
I felt used.
And not the way a Christian want’s to be used by God.

“Used” is a very loaded word in my mind.
Becuase I have been used by people.
My physical body was used when I was raped.
My heart was used and my emotions were manipulated and abused in two separate relationships.

Used = Trauma.

Christians use the word “used” when they speak of God using them for his bigger plan. It’s supposed to be a freeing kind of thing, but frankly, I believe it is a glorified thought.
When I think of God “using” me I feel abandoned and broken.

When I thought of God using me in his plan, and God helping me fulfill my purpose as a teacher, I thought that it was “love people well and you will change the world”. I did NOT think of enduring all of this pain or the toll it has taken on my heart.

Feel the pain, and share the lesson.
Feel the pain, and share the lesson.
Feel the pain, and share the lesson.

I didn’t mind it until last Thursday when my heart broke and my perspective shifted.
This.
This is not fair.
This is too much pain.

And for what? Another lesson?
Will I never get the chance to feel loved the way I want to be loved?
Does God even care about what he’s doing to me?

I feel like God doesn’t care about the condition of my heart – as long as I am an effective vehicle in sharing lessons learned about pain.

So here we are back to age-old question:  “What is the purpose of suffering?”

This morning I picked up some breakfast tacos with my friend Emma. We discussed a lot of things in between bites. We discussed God, and suffering and purpose.
I related it back to the martyrs – you know, the people who DIED for the glory of God. The people who were stoned, beaten, and burned to death?
I sat there and thought HOW could God let a human being, a soul full of love and light suffer that way? Why would he let them be KILLED…??

I didn’t understand because I relate to those Martyrs. I love God and I want him to make me part of his plan but DAMN WHY DO I HAVE TO HURT LIKE THIS.

Then I realized that today is Easter.
Today we celebrate the one perfect soul, the most beautiful human being, filled with goodness and love, who was NAILED TO A CROSS for God’s plan.
Jesus didn’t deserve that.
But he did it anyway.
He suffered. Oh boy, he suffered.
and Died.
but then he rose up to heaven.
Literally floated like a feather because God loved him.
God loved him more than he loves any of us – I’m pretty sure.

I don’t know what the lesson is here, maybe it’s realizing that living for God means enduring a lot of pain. Maybe it means suffering is part of life and it sucks. I don’t know what the hell it means. And this time I am really not going to pretend like I do.

I do know this…
The silence of my heartbreak was broken by the sound of the sacrifice of another human being.
Another human being who lived, and breathed and loved and suffered, just like me.
Another human being who allowed himself to die, for the good of others.
Suddenly I wasn’t alone.

If this is all I am meant for – to feel and then share, then I know I can keep pushing forward.

I will feel, and I will push through.
I will survive because I know I can
and I will live because he died.

I didn’t Choose

Warning: The following is really personal. It’s more for me than for you this time. And if you are a younger reader, it might be a little bit uncomfortable for you, and that’s okay. Don’t feel like you have to read it. I talk about sex.
If you are a survivor, know that this post is a lot darker than my usual ones and doesn’t have a happy ending, but that doesn’t mean your stroy can’t be different.
Background Info Part 1:
A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast sent to me by my mentor/friend, Katie, and it made me think about successful women. I cleaned my room, listened to the podcast, and thought about the women I wanted to be like, and what it was about them that made them different. It’s something I like to think about every now and then. It’s something that sort of helps me to see if I’m on the right track.
I realized that what made them different was also something they all had in common. I noticed that each of them had an unwavering, deep-rooted faith & relationship with God.  They had a deep understanding of what it means to really love people (including themselves) and moved through the world with freedom and strength because they know their identity is in Christ.
I decided what I needed to do. I needed to strengthen my relationship with God and commit to getting to know him better. I knew that if I had God on my side, nothing could take me down. I’d have resilience and love and the ability to really make a difference. I knew that if I want to live my life in chasing big dreams, I needed God on my side…..or rather I needed to follow him
I remember the questions someone asked me once…”If the path isn’t blessed by God, then do you really want to go there?”
No.
I really don’t.
Because I know whatever he has planned for me is more than I could ever dream of planning for myself. 
Background Info Part 2:
I’ve always wanted to get married. In fact, it caused a little bit of anxiety for an embarrassingly long chunk of time in my life… worrying I’d never have a husband or find love or whatever (clearly I needed a hobby).  
One of the talking points for Christians is sex. Or more like not having it before marriage. So a lot of the same women I look up to in business, are also virgins or made a choice to abstain until marriage.

The Point:
Right now, I’m a few thousand feet in the air, on a plane headed to my friend’s wedding in Atlanta, GA.

This morning while I brushed my teeth, my mind wandered around & I thought about the women I’d be reunited with at the wedding. It’s been about a year since I’ve seen any of them. Out of nowhere, something hit me and tears started streaming. I spit out my toothpaste and tried to cover my face in a hand towel to make it stop but it didn’t.

All of the women I’m going to see are Christian. 
And All of the women I’m going to see are waiting.
It’s not until Today that I realized that I didn’t get to choose. 
I didn’t get to choose to save myself for my husband.
I didn’t get to choose to share that connection with someone I truly loved.
If I had not been raped I don’t know if I would have waited, but I do know it’s something that I wanted.  
Before the rape, I was waiting.
But I didn’t get a choice.
And I never realized how dirty I felt until today.
People told me after it happened that I was still a virgin in Christ. THAT made ZERO sense to me but I clung to it. I needed something to make me feel clean.
But I never believed it. 
And it shows. I ended up choosing to have sex with a different person almost immediately after because I couldn’t keep living in the state of uncertainty. The “am I a virgin or am I not” thing was not something I liked or could fix. So I solidified it. I wanted to choose something even though I never really had a choice to begin with. And then I chose again with another person. And again. Because well, why not? 
Today, 4 years, 1 month and 1 week later, I faced myself. I realized that each time I have chosen to have sex with someone it was because I already felt ruined. 
You can’t take that back. No matter how much you want, you can’t make time pass faster or slower, and you can’t take your actions (or anyone else’s) back.
I have never felt anger like the anger I felt this morning.

My relationship with God develops with knowing that I am whole in him.  I know I need to take this to him but I’m having a seriously hard time doing that. 

It’s like my brain is split into two parts. 

The surface part of my brain knows that the sex I’m choosing to have is just hurting me. The part knows the reality and consequence of my actions. This is the part of my brain that has tried to come up with a plan of action to help me make better choices and goes to my friends for advice.

Then there’s the deeper part. The part that isn’t communicating with the planning part of my brain. The part of me that doesn’t care, and doesn’t see anything better. And that part of my brain prays that my future husband won’t wait for me. Because I don’t deserve it.

P.S. I am setting up a counseling appointment on Monday.