My Dear Friend,
It seems that life has been harsh these past few months and it has taken a toll on you. I am truly saddened and heart-broken for what you are going through. Though I do not know the circumstances that brought you to this place or what the future holds, I just want to encourage you to keep your head up and your heart open. I know you are receiving much love, support and encouragement from your family and friends but I just felt it in my heart to send you mine.
You see, I have been in the place you are in. Sure our circumstances were certainly different but the feelings and emotions, I’m sure, were pretty much the same: Guilt, shame, depression, hopelessness, self-loathing and overwhelming fear. These things took me to places I never imagined I would go. They led me to do things I never imagined I would do. They controlled me and affected every aspect of my life. It was only by the grace of God I did not end up in jail but unfortunately/fortunately, I did end up in a psychiatric facility for a week as I was considered, “suicidal with a plan”.
There was a season in my life when I could not see a future. I couldn’t see past the constant pain I was in because of the choices I had made. I was consumed with the guilt and shame of those choices and I had lost all hope that anything would ever be better. I moved through this life, lying to everyone, hiding my pain and keeping my secrets. It was a time that I will forever remember as the most painful years of my life but it is also a time that I will remember as one of the most significant as it forced me to seek help and begin healing.
I know you are hurting right now and I know the fear you are suffering. I know you are seeking forgiveness from those you hurt, as you should, but I want to encourage you to forgive yourself. For me, that was the hardest part. As much as others forgave me, the healing within did not begin until I forgave myself. I had to learn that the mistakes/choices I made did not define the person I was. They were just that, mistakes/choices. We all make them but it is how we handle the consequences that will define us.
You have begun your journey and I am so very proud of you. Being open, honest and transparent is hard but the only way to truly recover from what you have been through. Not everyone will be forgiving; that’s something they will have to work through. Not everyone will understand; you don’t have to try to make them. Some will judge; that’s not for you to worry about. You have people in your life that love you and will walk through this with you; lean on them. They will be your champions when you just don’t have it in you to fight one more day. Allow them to love, support and encourage you. Continue to be open, honest and humble and in time you will begin to heal and you will be a stronger and better person, if you choose to be.
Don’t forget to lean on God. Seek Him when your mind just won’t shut down or fear begins to overwhelm you. Be still and listen. Allow Him to guide you and comfort you as only He know how.
I know you are trying to do the right thing, whatever that looks like for you, and I know it is hard. Keep doing it because you are worth it! You will heal and grow from these trials if you choose to. It will take time but it will be so worth it. And always, always remember…
You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.
With much love,