“What do you do when your emotions are so out of alignment that you can’t see straight? When your thoughts betray you, accuse you, and confuse you? When the world around you and the world within you are equally devoid of hope and happiness?.. What do you do when your soul hurts? ”How’sYour Soul, Judah Smith
In 2017, I made a fearful decision that cost me everything. I lost my freedom, my identity, my family and my will to live. It was the darkest, scariest, most painful and shameful time of my life. I didn’t recognise the girl that walked into that prison. I didn’t know the woman charged with manslaughter. I couldn’t reconcile my body and soul, my heart and head, and it terrified me. For 17 months I battled voices around me and within me that said I was a monster, criminal and a coward, and for a many of those months, I believed them. As a way of processing what was happening, I began to write down every emotion, thought, action and belief those voices raised up in me. At first, I wrote lenghty prayers, begging for mercy, prayers asking for clarity, asking for truth. Then came the shame, telling me I deserved what was happening to me, that I was the person the police said I was, that I deserved to be locked up. I wrote through grief, anger, disbelief, and guilt.
Eventually, what I had written down was a book of life after death, a sort of rebirth of something that I didn’t know lived inside of me. I was imprisoned but for the first time, I begun to know true freedom. I was clueless but strangely at peace. I was afraid and yet, I found faith. I can’t and won’t take any credit for it because I didn’t get myself through it, i couldn’t possibly have survived jail, waited for and overcome trial by my own strength – NO WAY. What changed me, drove me and made a difference was the One to whom I poured out my soul. He made all this possible, He heard me, held me, helped me, healed me, believed in me and stood by me. God did it all. I am not a perfect woman, nor was I a particularly good human, but none of that mattered to Him, because He knows what His hands have made. He knows me. My past is dirty, it’s scary, it’s embarrassing and shameful. But I am not my past, nor am I my mistakes, or any accusations and circumstances . I am loved just as I am, and its all I’ve ever needed to know. For 17 months, the world told me I was the worst of the worst, that I was unworthy of a name or title, that I was nobody. But in that very place I found my EVERYTHING, and with a head held high I can testify ( I had to rhyme ) :
I made mistakes,
But God used those same mistakes,
For my good.
I have nothing to fear.
See Genesis 50 : 19-21
I write this blog with the hope that as I share my story, you will know God’s deep, abiding, undying love for you too. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you are ; His love is yours, you are His Love.
I also hope you find healing, peace, friendship and connection on these pages. We are all human, imperfectly perfect, loved equally, one and the same. Live out that truth and thrive.
You are loved.
Image Credit : YouVersion