“They” say only the strong survive, well if that’s the case, I wondered why I was still alive? Just a few years ago, I didn’t know the answer to that question…
My husband, daughter, and I were expecting a new addition to our family. I was at home out of work, and what should have been a joyous time in my life was slowly turning into a literal H E L L! There were flames from HELL coming from every direction in my life: marriage, family, career, money, and even myself! My marriage was ookkkaayyy prior to finding out we were pregnant, and situations seemed to take a turn for the better, and after the arrival of our new addition, we were like the perfect happy family I had always dreamed of. Then, after all the excitement died down, things were back to where they were prior to our pregnancy: living like roommates with one thing in common, our children, except this time, situations were ten times worse!! One bad thing after another started happening to me; first my car died, so I was stuck at home during the day with a new-born and a first grader, until my husband came home from work, then I found out the money I was expecting to receive during my maternity leave was non-existent, and on top of that, even though I wasn’t physically ready to return to work because I was only a few weeks postpartum, I started looking for a job, but no one was responding to my inquires.
I started noticing things were seriously wrong in my marriage, when I started paying attention to the single behavior of my married husband. So naturally, I started asking questions, not realizing I wasn’t prepared to handle the answers I would receive; not because I was getting the truth of the situation, but because I was now the target of a “hit dog who hollered!” I was called every name except the name given to me at birth, my looks were attacked, and I was told I wasn’t loved any more. That day wasn’t the first time I heard those words, or even the first time I experienced that behavior, over the years I just became numb to it-which is a scary place to be. It’s just that on that particular day, the verbal attacks felt like I was being cut up with a butcher knife; my heart was bleeding, my body was sore and entering into a comatose state from all the blood loss.
It was on that day that I realized how much of an effect it was having on my self-esteem. For the first time I was able to see Danielle for who I was at that moment in my life: weak, broken, and scared. I was so sad, I felt all alone, I didn’t know who I could trust, and I was stuck in a situation I didn’t have coping skills for. I had literally lost myself in my marriage and I didn’t know who I was anymore. Before all hell broke loose, to see me on the outside I was a content young lady with a career, a family, my own money, a car, and I was just HaPpY having the freedom to do me!
For the next few years, I felt like I was living in the city of Hell, Georgia. I couldn’t tell you how I got there, I didn’t have a map to find my way out, and I was too weak to get up and start walking anywhere to even try to find my way “home.” Life as I had known it was slowly being stripped away from me and burned to pieces, right before my very eyes, so I knew I couldn’t go back to the way things were. I didn’t have a clue as to what I needed to do to get out of Hell. I literally felt like I was sitting at the bottom of a 50’ pit, and I could see the sky so I knew when it was day and night, but I didn’t see anyone or anything. There was no ladder or even a rope to use so I could climb out of that pit, so I just sat there feeling helpless…I needed some serious help!! I was too scared and embarrassed to ask for it, so I kept quiet. I didn’t care how I looked because I knew one of the most important people in my life didn’t love or care about me. I was broken and I began not to care about myself. I began to look how I felt-miserable, helpless, and all alone.
I remember praying every night before I went to sleep and I would always say, “God if you don’t wake me up in the morning, its ok with me,” and every morning God would wake me up, and I didn’t understand why.
I didn’t have money to do the things I was used to doing that made me happy and made me feel good about myself: getting my hair done, buying clothes and shoes, going out to eat, and spoiling my children. I didn’t have a car to drive when I felt like going somewhere. I couldn’t find a job so I could make any money to get my car fixed and live comfortably. I just didn’t understand why God was allowing these things to happen to me…I just didn’t understand it. I began looking over my life wondering, what I could have possibly done that was so bad that God would allow me to feel the heat of hell? I began going down the checklist of my life beginning with my childhood: I wasn’t a problem child for my parents or teachers (check), I graduated from high school and went on to college (check), I was a responsible adult and honorable citizen (check), I was faithful to my husband and family (check), I went to church and was living the best example as Christ said I should (check), so why was life as I had known it to be for all these years, burning up before my very eyes?
One night, as I was praying, as always, I said to God, “God if you don’t wake me up in the morning, it’s ok with me” and for the first time I heard God reply to me, but it wasn’t what I expected Him to say, He said, “If I allow you to die, then who’s going to take care of your children?” Immediately after I heard those words, I had a vision: I saw my oldest daughter getting off the bus and she was running to the front door of our house. She opened the door and walked in the house. “Mommy…Mommy…MOMMY!!” she called and I didn’t answer because I was nowhere around. She asked, “Where’s mommy?” as she began looking around the house for me, and I still didn’t answer, nor did I ever appear, because I wasn’t there. She was standing in her room, then she sat down on her bed and began to cry, and it was at that moment that I realized how selfish my thinking was in asking God to allow me to die. I am a mother of two beautiful children and God could have chosen anybody else in the world to give them to, but He chose me. I had shelter, food, and water. I had a roof over my head. I had food to eat. It may not have been what I wanted to cook and eat, but it was food. I had water to cook, bathe, drink, and clean with. So all my needs were being met, it was just at a degree I wasn’t used to, so I knew God was there with me because He was keeping his promise to me as His child “to supply all of my needs.” (Phil 4:19)
I began praying and seeking God for the answers to get out of this HELL I was in and I remember opening my bible and I looked down at the page and 2 Cor 12:9 was highlighted, “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness.” God was speaking to me, and it was at that moment I had enough strength to decide in my mind I was coming out of this pit!
I made a conscious decision everyday to live because my children needed me. I began speaking to myself (my spirit) and making at least 5 positive affirmations each day. I would stand in front of the mirror in my bathroom and look myself in the eyes and say:
1. I am a winner and I am coming out of this pit!
2. I am valuable!
3. I am the love I deserve to have in my life!
4. I am beautiful inside and out!
5. I can do anything I want to do because I am more than a conqueror thru Jesus Christ!
I repeated those 5 affirmations everyday, even when I didn’t feel like it, and everyday I got stronger and stronger, and I got to the point in my life where I just didn’t want to live for my children, I wanted to live for ME!! I deserved to be happy, healthy, and enjoying my life for ME!! I realized I can’t live for anybody else and be completely HaPpY in life. I realized by living for ME, I would be the GREATEST ME I COULD EVER BE and in return, I would be a better wife, mother, sister, friend, and professional.
I learned that sometimes we may be at such a low place in life that we depend on something tangible to live for, and for me, at that moment in my life it was my children, and thru prayer and positive reinforcement and speaking that which God says I am over my life, I gained the strength I needed to live for the most important person in my life, ME.
Today, I am in a different space in life, my thoughts, and my personal relationship with God. I am at peace with the ME on the inside of this human body I live in. I do have moments when I feel down, but it’s not for long because I think about that 50′ pit I was living in for so long and I remind myself…”I have come way too far to go back.”
I pray for every single woman (and man) who reads this post. I pray that God’s strength be made perfect in your weakness, to give you the will to live, be, and do that which you have been purposed to here on earth. Amen.
Love & Peace to YOU!!