Walk all over me, please.

You are welcome to exit my life, at any given moment. The door is always open for you to do so. Rarely will I hold it for you as you exit, or lock it behind you, but I will most assuredly not prevent you from walking out of it. Your life, if you choose to have me in it, will get easier once you understand I am who I am. And, I love her. I love what I fight for, what I believe in, and who I believe in. And, if you’re in my life that includes you.

Is there a sign on my back that says, KICK ME or FREE TO TREAT LIKE CRAP? Because sometimes it feels likes it.

Every once in a while, I will get a wild hair and become intrigued by people who perceive me as a defenseless pushover. Or, better yet as someone who cares enough about their opinion to allow my day to become ruined by it. During these brief moments of weakness, it takes an act of God to keep me from saying, “excuse me” as I tap on their shoulder, “what is it exactly in my overall appearance (pointing at my face in a circular motion) or personality that screams “walk all over me, please” and gives you the idea that I will actually fold and lay flat like a board and do as you say?” I don’t fold well with others and I am not LESS of a person than you are.

Not everyone gets the same version of me. One person might tell you I’m an amazing beautiful soul; another person might say I’m a cold-hearted person. Believe them both, I act accordingly.

You’ve heard the saying above and it is true. Even for a Christian. There comes a point where judgment gets a little annoying and not standing up for yourself needs to end. People’s opinions of me are none of my business – I know that. But, what it all boils down to is the simple fact of – you don’t know me. You may know me from years ago, or from a story someone shared of my past, or from an ex – because we all know how truthful those stories can be. Either way, I’m not that girl – and you can either venture out and get to know me for me, or you can continue to miss out and judge instead.

Honestly, either are fine by me but what wont happen is my remaining silent or letting anyone disrespect me – to me. I’m not that girl. There is a fine line between taking the high road and getting steam-rolled. The high road is less traveled and I will choose it 99% of the time, but during those 1% moments where my character and my family are involved and questioned – tread ever-so-lightly my friend. My feelings, thoughts, abilities and what I have to offer as a person are not any less important than any one else. The moment you think you are better than someone else, is the same moment you no longer are – written by: me.

My life is mine for a reason, because I am the only one who can live it. God made me intricately detailed, flawed, a pain in the tush and incredible all at the same time. He factored in my own stupidity knowing I would fail, and that I would need his grace time and time again. He formed my heart knowing that it would love people that would never love me back – and made sure it would have the capacity and willingness to keep beating and loving any how. It’s a heart that fights for what is right, and is unafraid to take a stand for others. A heart that at night, when I fail, or hurt someone – repents and rehashes the why behind my actions. You don’t see that though.

My mistakes are just that, mine. If I make mistakes ten times a day, every day, for the rest of my life, they are no more your business from the first mistake to the last. You can’t bet your sweet nosy tush, I will learn something new along the way each and every time though. I am a very resourceful mistake-maker. My journey is personal and specific to what is needed for my growth as a woman and as a human being. Not yours.

My beliefs are no less important than yours, nor are my priorities, except that to us individually they are significant and critical in the forefront of our lives. They are what propel us forward, the motivation and dedication that burns in our souls. We will not always see eye to eye and I don’t want to! My opinions are loud, but they are never one-sided or judgmental – they come from a personal experience of either gain or loss. You decide if my opinion matters to you, and vice versa – individually the person chooses to validate or reject it. The power belongs to the beholder, just as does beauty.

You are welcome to exit my life, at any given moment. The door is always open for you to do so. Rarely will I hold it for you as you exit, or lock it behind you, but I will most assuredly not prevent you from walking out of it. Your life, if you choose to have me in it, will get easier once you understand I am who I am. And, I love her. I love what I fight for, what I believe in, and who I believe in. And, if you’re in my life that includes you.

I’m at the point in my life, where the quality of the person, reflects my effort. My children are my main priority, I choose every day to love, trust and believe in GOD, and to live my life without regret. I know my heart, and the goodness it contains, it is not my intent nor desire to persuade you in or out of loving me. I love myself enough for the both of us, and my value will never decrease because we’re in disagreement over my worth. Take it or leave it.

The truth sets you free

It’s time to be real. To be honest. To lay it bare.

Fear. Shame. We all have it and shy away from anyone who may hurt us by exposing us. The people in our life can be split in half right down the middle by two types; those who love us anyway and those who love to hold us back.

When I sit and ponder my life and my purpose, I know it well within the deepest core of my soul – that I’m supposed to write. But, I also tell myself that I am disqualified, undeserving and a fraud. Someone will surely expose the events in my life that hold the most disappointment – and I will be publicly reminded of my worthlessness and be humiliated.

Each time I began to write the excitement floods in, maybe this will be the piece that hits someone, maybe this will be the one that goes viral. It ignites my soul and once the piece is done – it feels phenomenal. But fear still visits.

When we succumb to fear we give in and find other ways to sabotage ourselves by disguising our fear in a respectful manner. Posing it as something outside our control.

Korie Robertson’s advice to her children, shared by Sadie Robertson.

People read my words and tell me that it makes them feel good too. Shame reminds me that there are parts of my life I’m not prepared to share, and if I continue down this path, I must be prepared for battle. I let fear consume me like a kudzu vine, and kill the dream.

It is a harsh reality when you must own up to the fact that you are not courageous enough to be fearless. That in the face of challenge, adversity and judgment, I was a coward. Can we be real for a minute? Do you understand the amount of courage it would take to write my story? …for me to say to the world I’ve messed up and I am strong enough to stand proud regardless. About everything.

Do you understand that if I write my story, if I share my truth, the world will need to know my faults, my hardships, and my demons before they could understand my triumphs? Do you realize that in order to be accurate in my personal accounts, I would have to bare my weaknesses and give my enemies permission to use them against me?

To write my story, I’d have to go back to where I first got stuck. I’d have to tell you the why’s and how’s before the gratefulness of the now’s!

How many times I’ve been married and broke my vows. How many times I’ve been divorced. How I met a criminal who almost killed me. How I met a man who was kind and good, and I hurt him. How I cheated. How I lied. How I got fired. How I stole. How I almost loved a lost man so much that trying to save him, almost caused the loss of myself, and put my children in indirect danger.

How I have a daughter I did not raise, and that I fear I’ve failed. How I have a father that couldn’t and wouldn’t choose to love me, and a mother who’s addictions replaced her desire to want me. How to this very day there is a man who daily attempts to break me. I’d have to share about the time I was on assistance. The times we had no money & no food.

You’d learn that I have a brother who’s an addict, in and out of prison for the past 20 years. And, I’d have to tell you about the time I attempted suicide, and woke up angry at God that it didn’t work. And, how each and every one of these instances were the broken ground on which a more firm, stable and loving foundation was formed – and where I found Jesus met me each time.

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The answer Mack was given when he asks Papa why she brought him back to the Shack where Missy died.

Do you know how much power is in all this truth? And how much courage it took to even write these truths down? And, guess how much fear I feel having now released it? None.

Sharing my stories, will be painfully honest, and to be honest it will have to be dark at times, and I have to be willing to share these stories with people I love, people who’s respect I would want to keep, and whose judgment I am now ready for. Because their judgement has no bearing on me any longer.

I choose to share my truth with complete strangers who may attempt to tear me apart but won’t succeed. Because there is one person, the same person who built me for struggle, who built me to share my story, who gifted me the desire and ability to write out my inner most personal feelings in a way that enraptures people’s souls.

Today, for the first time in my life, I can say wholeheartedly that with God within me, and above me, that anything below can never break me. Because the truth is there is one person who knows my story, one person who loves me anyways and the only person who can justly judge me, and it’s not the person who sells the story, it was the person who co-wrote it beside me. God.

God didn’t answer my prayers to change my circumstances, because he needed me to be in those trenches, to be in the lions den to allow me to escape unscathed. And, the first step is facing the fear of those lions, facing the fear that they may bite, they may intimidate and they could easily devour me – but God protects me. My faith has to be stronger than my fear.

This is my story of a past that built me. A beautiful story mixed with that of a tattered reputation and an inspiring redemption. No one can tell my story for me, but me.

And, I AM READY.