Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
"Go Find Your Old Self" the title screamed to me. I should have known right then that I would pick a battle with this devotional series effective immediately.
September 3, 2019 is when I did the previous devotional in the Settle My Soul series, "Is God At Work in My Life?". All was fine and dandy till I opened the devotional book up the next day and came face to face with my past. Primarily my past self. I mean Miss Karen flat out asks me, "Who is your old self? Describe her below." and then proceeded to add, "Find her and love her well."
I mean seriously? Who does she think she is?
I don't know about Karen, but old Allie at the time made me cringe. I mean yeah when around the "right" people I can laugh and make fun of her, heck even brag about her, but in front of people I respect and I wanted to genuinely respect me, ugh, no way, not even going there!
Bless my 32 year old heart, I still hadn't forgiven my old self for all the bad choices and misguided travels down a very destructive path.
And honestly, I couldn't even tell you why at the time. I just knew back in September of 2019, after 32 years of dealing and facing my demons, I still wasn't ready to confront her... it's kind of sad really. So here we go....
Hello 1.5-2 year old baby/toddler Allie.
You didn't know this then, but I have a daughter your exact age now! And as she plays, laughs and giggles about all the joys of life as I stay home with her full-time till she begins preschool at WeeKare next year my heart if filled with so much joy for her. Unfortunately, for you though, even though I am sure there are some beautiful gorgeous days filled with time with your family, there's this sickening part. The part that will rock you to the very core of who you are today. It's the part that will begin a terrorizing story of fighting, dealing and just simply surviving from here on out. Something no little baby should ever have to go through, but you were set-up for failure before you were even 2 years old. A man will do things to you that never should had happened. Your babysitters husband will take advantage of time spent alone with you and begin to do pervs things no one, let alone a 2 year old, should endure. This is the time when you were fully developing trust and understanding. When you were being taught at every second of the day. Bless your heart you never stood a chance, but I love how strong you were to still go on living. To still cling to your mother for so many years even when you subconsciously blamed her and your dad too. For not "protecting" you. How could they let this happen to you? My dear sweet little baby girl, if you only knew what they would give in order for you to never have had to endure such horrible and perverse acts. If I only knew then what I know now of a mother's love. I never would had blamed my mother, or my father. I never would had blamed God. God had to watch his son make the decision to do those perverse things to his new daughter, but in the end, he was a child of God as well, and like a mother/father who's child has done something unthinkable, His love still stands waiting for you to come back to him. God, your mother - no one did this to you you sweet baby girl, the man with a sickness did, but he too must be forgiven.
Hey Middle School Allie
Kids are mean. I mean there is no other way to put it, but kids are just so mean. Sixth grade is when things turned for the worst. Popular boyfriend dumps his girlfriend and everyone gangs up on her. Not many people know this, but there was a day you were ready to be done with it all. You had a knife to your wrist in the kitchen contemplating if it would hurt, and just when you were going to make the decision to try it out on one wrist, your best friend called. The friendship that would eventually last till this very day. You poor sweet girl. No one told you then, but it was never about how many friends you had, it was only about the TRUE friendships you had, and it was never about being popular, it was about surviving! No one is really suppose to fit in at 11/12 years old. Heck, even through high school, no one truly fits in, we just survive. And you my beautiful 11 year old girl, you survived. And God knew he wasn't ready to have you yet, and it's okay that you came that close to giving up, the point is you didn't. You took the call, and you kept walking through life. And no, she didn't save your life that day, YOU made the choice to keep living even after you hung up the phone. YOU heard God even if you didn't know it was Him truly calling at the time. Give yourself grace my sweet girl, you chose life!
15 Year Old Allie.... the death of your self-respect....
Bless your heart this was a rough year. First, the man who did those terrible things to you gets out of prison in two years on good behavior when he assaulted ... ugh... too many to count. Then, in a room you always felt safe and a "best friend" who was a boy that you never once doubted, did the unthinkable. He raped you. I'm finding it hard to find the words from here... I'm going to try and get through this.... I'm not crying, I'm kind of numb to the thought of where to go next without making anyone who made it this far get too uncomfortable. But I mean seriously, to add insult to injury, he then proceeded to brag to everyone across town claiming he "(insert vulgar "F" word) you!"... To fast forward 5 years or so for him to tell you when you finally confronted him about it, that he didn't even remember! He assumed we had sex "because the condom was gone". I asked if he remembered me trying to fight it from his hand because I thought he was being stupid and when the thing ripped, I assumed all was well, and then that's when he pinned me to the ground and proceeded to claim, "I love you! I love you Allie!". When I told him no you don't or you wouldn't be doing this... that is when penetration happened and I blacked out. Apparently, that's a defense mechanism I am a pro at doing now. I was so mad at myself for so many years feeling like I MUST had done something to make you think it was okay to do that to me. I suffered for so many years of additional nightmares on top of the ones from my former molester. Now I had a new one to add to that chain of nightmare fun: my rapist. I was so angry at myself for blacking out and giving up. But my biggest regret ever, was the fact that I ripped the condom. Because of your drug habit tendencies that would send me on a 10 year campaign of making sure I got tested every year, sometimes every 6 months due to anxiety to make sure I didn't test positive for HIV. Thankfully, I didn't. I lost my best friend that day, the boy I use to talk to on the phone almost every single night for years, but the worst thing was... this was the death of my self-respect. But Allie, 15-year old confused, lost, little girl Allie, I am so sorry for blaming so much on you. For allowing small minds to fill your mind with hateful talk toward yourself. This was not your fault. NOR was it your fault you never went to the police. Small minds now still try to cast shame on your survivor story. That YOU should had done something, "why didn't they speak up then? put other girls at risk? They are not the real heroes? They are not Times people of the year (#metoo movement)!". Let them say whatever they want to say. Let them be ignorant. That's okay! Because in a way this 32 year old version, prays they get to always remain ignorant. That means they never had to endure this pain nor find out that their daughter did (too). So if that means their daughter/son never has to go through what you did then I am okay with this little secret between us that they are just ignorant. You owe them no explanation for your actions because they have not and will not ever walk in your shoes (this you can only pray). The only thing you can do is forgive them, forgive him, and most importantly, forgive yourself for hating yourself for so long due to the actions of others.
Miss. College Girl Allie... Oh boy... lol
We are not going to go into a lot of details here, lol, but in the end I am proud of how far you came between these two graduations (high school and college). You took the longest route possible to get to your 32 year old self, but you know what I am still proud of you. With the help of an amazing friend that came into your life when you needed her the most, she helped rebuild you: confidence, beauty and strength. Everything about her encouraged you to remake yourself into the strong independent woman who was not dependent on anyone anymore. Who took control back over her body and didn't feel obligated to any man ever again. God bless that beautiful college best friend who was the sister you needed at that time more than ever. She helped heal you and get you ready for the "real world". You'll never forget her. Honestly, this section could be a whole other post so I will stop now. But girl, take more credit for this time! YOU SURVIVED! You made it through and you are the one that followed through and started to love yourself again! She made the steps, but YOU walked through them fierce! Granted, there were a lot of moments in this timeframe I am sure God did not approve of my therapy antics, however, you now know you are forgiven.
Present Day Me!
I am forgiven! I am forgiven for all the wrong choices I made in my process of healing, and just simply for it all!
I brought it all before our Father that first Thursday this past February 6, 2020 (#blogpost) and I finally with my head held high, exposed, brought it all before Him, knowing without a doubt that I was finally forgiven. I asked for forgiveness for it all, and he cleansed me FREE!
I am truly FORGIVEN & FREE!
And it is the best feeling in the world! It is a kind of peace I can't even describe. And I know he forgave me a long time ago (now), but this was different, and words will never do it justice, but the only way I can put it is God knows me. He truly knows me. He's held me through this all. He wasn't just with me, He truly held me and carried me through it all. He loves me!