Writing. I love words. I love the power of the written word. In the past I have used words to share my life experiences. Hoping and praying that my words might be used to encourage others who might be going through a similar journey. My desire is to be honest. Open. Raw. It has been my way of finding joy in the “after”. Looking back. Choosing joy. Finding forgiveness. And then, in turn, reaching out. Letting those who read know they are not alone in their struggles.
Many have shown appreciation for my words. Those who loved to read what I have shared. Those who found comfort within the parameters of sentence. I love that. I love knowing I have been used by God in someway to benefit others. It inspires me to keep writing as I feel led. To use words.
Now, my family has been hurled into another valley. We are struggling. We are truly discouraged. Incredibly hurt. Disappointed. There have been many tears. I have revealed little detail. This is our struggle. You don’t need to know the nitty-gritty. You don’t need to get pulled into our mess. But I also know not to keep quiet about how I feel. Because when you hold your breath and squeeze your eyes shut hoping it will disappear, it begins to gnaw on you from the inside out. It eats away and the root of bitterness begins to grow. It also does not allow those around you…those who DO care…to encourage you. To walk beside you. To hold your hand.
Funny. But it is in these times you really do find out who cares. Kind words from people I hardly know. People who “follow me”. Fans of my jewelry. People who noticed my posts are not as uplifting and positive as usual…and they worry and subsequently check in. People I really don’t know reaching out to offer an encouraging word, to say they are thinking of us or praying or sending good thoughts. My heart swells.
What is most hurtful? The ones who DON’T reach out. The people you thought you were truly close to. People you DO know. People you expect to check in. People who loved being a part of your life when it was happy and upbeat. But those people… those people have seemingly disappeared. Those people are whispering amongst each other. Whispers travel. And that rejection hurts the worst.
So I am trying. I’m trying not to be swallowed in negativity. I’m trying to see that this is all part of a bigger more divine plan. I’m trying to maintain my integrity – maintain my honor – maintain doing things the “right way” no matter how the other players play. I’m trying to rise above my depression and not let it find a finger grasp on my soul. And I’m trying not to allow the piece of me that recklessly loves other to shrivel up. Or worse? Be hardened. Because I know that will only hurt me. Forgiveness.
This is where my faith steps in. It HAS to. I think of Jesus on the cross saying “Father forgive them, they really don’t know what they’re doing.” And I know what I’m struggling with is only a tiny – minute – minuscule – very small piece of that kind of struggle. But who am I? Who am I to not forgive those who hurt me when I myself have mistreated and hurt others. I need to forgive. And only then will I be truly free. But forgiveness is hard.
Self discovery. It’s fascinating. And revealing. And sometimes painful. One thing I have discovered about me – Lisa Lehmann – is that I assume the best about people. I want to see the good. I want to think they will “do better”. I want to believe their moral compass will lead them to make the right choices. And then… I’m continually disappointed and let down. My expectations? Crushed.
Yet. I do not want to lose that part of me. I don’t want to bury it with disappointment. To be embittered.
I need to get back on track. I need to find a new ebb and flow. I need to do my job with the same passion I always have.
And we, as a family, need to decide what to do next. We need to decide what’s best for us…for our kids. Where do we go? Do we stay?
Most of all. I just want to trust Jesus. I have to.
I have to continue walking in faith knowing he has a plan for my family. I have to continue believing that he only wants what’s best for us. Maybe that seems naïve to some of you…and that’s okay. But for me?
It’s what wakes me up in the morning. It’s what keeps me asleep at night. It’s what helps me take another step and another step and another step.
When everything gets stripped away, that is all I have left. And I don’t want to lose that piece. Because it is my eternity.
Forgive me for being raw. Maybe TOO honest. Maybe TOO transparent.
But I feel like I needed to empty my head to make room in my heart so that I can move on…take the next step…and be myself again.
We all have our personal struggles. Life is a journey of highs and lows.
But when all is said and done, I want to be the girl that comes through the low with grace and dignity.
And I want to be the girl that others can come to when they hit THEIR low and find open arms…ALWAYS. No matter who you are. I want to keep loving people. Period.
And that is my struggle. Finding love. Finding joy. Choosing forgiveness. And not letting others actions to define me. Because truly…I only want to be defined by One.
love you with all my heart.