Friday, June 1

{Today}
I Live


When I was a little girl, I was often full of anxiety due to the constant turmoil of a home plagued with alcoholism, domestic violence and neglect.  Both of my parents were extremely young, self absorbed and ill-equipped to raise the three little girls they had been entrusted to them.  One of my earliest memories in childhood marked a turning point in my life and has shaped me in ways that I could never fully describe.

Miracle by Adam Jackson
One particular evening, I was struggling with thoughts of death and the question of being alone forever after death…I remember being very afraid.  Perhaps I felt some degree of impending doom, and it followed me into my dreams that evening.  I dreamt that I was crying out in the darkness, separated from all that I knew and loved, when this giant hand reached down to me.  I knew immediately in my heart that this was God, coming to my rescue, comforting me.  I hugged the hand as tight as I could and was drawn up out of the darkness.  Then I woke up.


I was not raised in a Christian home, nor was I involved in church, or even talk of God.  From the moment I awoke, a deeply rooted faith in God had taken hold in my heart.  I believed, without a single doubt, that God was (and is) real, cares deeply for me and will not leave me alone in darkness.  I woke up with a new hope and foundation for living my life.  I have carried that faith and dream with me since that moment.

The Room by Jesse Therrien
I wish that I could say that from that defining moment life got better for me or easier, but it didn't.  Life was never promised to be easy or struggle free.  I grew up battling severe depression throughout most of my childhood, building to an inescapable climax during my teenage years.  When I was 16 years old I felt especially crippled under the weight of my emotions, and the deep wounds I'd collected as a child.  I was melancholic, sad, angry but despite my emotions I lashed out in unpredicted ways.  I strove for perfection in everything I did, and tormented myself endlessly whenever I fell short.

I reached a point of darkness where I believed it would have been better if I had never been born.  I frequently struggled with images in my mind of my life ending.  I didn't want death, I wanted release…I just wanted a mind free of pain and anguish.  One evening, while my family went about their normal activities I collected all the medicine from my mother's medicine cabinet.  Trembling, I swallowed the pills.  I wept quietly as I felt my pain washing me over like tidal waves, and mourned the life that I hoped would soon leave me.  

After swallowing the pills, I laid in my bed and prayed to God to forgive me, and I cried out for Him to save me.  As quickly as I had given my life away I wanted it back.  I begged and pleaded with Him to not take my life, but to give me a second chance.  I poured out my heart before Him and the weight of the load I was carrying was laid before His feet.  I cried until I drifted to sleep, unsure if I'd taken my last breaths.  Miraculously I awoke.  Never had I been so grateful to have air in my lungs.

Cloud Break by Cheryl Empey
I survived to make a promise to God that I would never devalue my life again.  Instead of drowning in the despair I felt, I would resolve to rise above all that I had been through.  I made a choice that I would never give up, and I would fight every obstacle that stood in my way to being wholly healed from the pain of my childhood.  I wouldn't end up another statistic of a broken home.  I would be the curse breaker and I would go on to live a "normal" existence.  Mostly, I just wanted to do more than survive.

I live today as a different person.  While I can't say that I am completely healed of the pain of my past, each day is a little bit better than the last.  Each day that God gives me the power to breath, is a day where I am actively pursuing wholeness in my life.  I have been blessed with a beautiful life.  I have a remarkable man by my side to hold me when I need to be reassured that life is indeed good, a spirited daughter to fill my heart with songs of joy and laughter and a God who, as promised, has never left me alone in my darkness.

7 comments:

  1. icecreamtobellyringsJune 01, 2012

    Love your story - and the boldness u have in revealing it. I can actually relate to you and i'm so glad that you were able to survive to tell your story as well as give your daughter the life that a child deserves =]

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  2. Thank you for your lovely comment! :)

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  3. MalloryMusingJune 01, 2012

    This is such a powerful story Courtney, and so well written.  Although I'm not religious, I have also chosen not to let what others have done to me in the past affect my future.  I think it's something that a lot of people struggle with.  There is someone close to me in my husband's family who struggles with this daily.  He is religious but continually finds himself falling back into the "blame your past" mindset.  

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  4. shaylee annJune 01, 2012

    Courtney, this is beautiful. I can see that you have kept the promise that you made to the Lord. You have a beautiful family, and even in a simple digital image, I can see light radiating from you. Thank you for your example, and your faith.

    You have inspired me to write my story. I may not publish it on my blog, but I will write it, for me, for my future family, and for whoever needs to hear it. Thank you for having the courage to share. I imagine it must have been trying to write this, but I thank you for doing so. You've just earned a lot more respect from me. I'm glad to be following your blog! :)

    Love and blessings,

    Shaylee Ann

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  5. Thank you Mallory for sharing with me. It is a huge step to choose to move from being a victim of what others have done to us to being a survivor (moving forward) and then moving toward thriving - rising beyond the limitations of what has been done. I admire you for making that choice yourself. XO

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  6. You are so brave and so strong.

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  7. Courtney! My heart just breaks when I read this. How little we bloggers see of your scars and pain. You come across so  positive and beautiful and that is a testament to your inner spirit.  How brave you are to share this story from your past, and I have so much admiration for you. Not everyone is as fortunate as you to flourish despite a hardship that's plagued their life. I will pray for you and your family to continue to move on from your pain.

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Thank you so much for your lovely comments! I don't always have time to respond to each one, but I do read them! XO