To the One

For being a courageous person, I haven’t felt very fear-less lately.

Haven’t felt like stepping out.

And along with that, my goal of using this as a platform to hear others’ voices, a chorus of courageous ones together has not been happening.

In fact, I’ve failed to post someone’s blog who accepted my invitation to guest post after I was so deeply moved by her heart and asked for more of her writing.

9 months later, here is a powerful ode to many. To the ones who fight for alive hearts, here is a guest post by Deni Elise Gustafson. My dear friend and only sister.

To the one who grew up too soon
To the one who had tears that came much later than the moment of pain
To the one who didn’t hear what was needed
To the one who has experienced the death of so much
To the one who had their childhood stolen, their innocence stolen
To the one that had to say goodbye to hopes and dreams again
To the one that was broken on the inside with a smile on the outside
To the one who had to be strong when everything was crumbling
To the one who couldn’t join in with lighthearted banter
To the one who is fighting a battle unseen to the naked eye
To the one who cannot even voice feelings for there are too many and not enough all at once
To the one who has been misunderstood and misrepresented
To the one who never heard, “Will you forgive me? I was wrong”
To the one who is trying every day just to make sure food is on the table and beds are warm
To the one who feels like giving up
To the one whose health has dripped out through praying hands

To the one who fights for gratefulness against all odds
To the one who chooses to believe He is good
To the one who stands up for themselves when everything says to back down
To the one who speaks up even when their voice has grown hoarse
To the one who fights for a heart that is alive and feels
To the one who gives kindness and forgiveness even when undeserved
To the one who lets wonder live in childhood and beyond
To the one who lives generously in faith that provision will come
To the one who creates a safe place even if just in hearts shared
To the one who is trustworthy and keeps their word
To the one who is weak and therefore strong
To the one who lives like eternity is real
To the one who believes, hopes, and endures

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ Matthew 25:23 NIV

 

If your heart is numb the first time reading, like mine was, let me encourage you to read it again a second or third time. The power of these words go deep and sometimes it takes a bit for a distracted hearts to settle in and feel.

Find more creativity by Deni give a follow on Instagram:

@missdenipenny and @theconfidentgiraffe

@missdenipenny

Blessings in light,

Ailene

Fear’s Words- Post by Hannah Rosenboom

This is a guest post, or you could say a “re-blog with permission” from Hannah Rosenboom of Sincerely Hannah. 

Find original post and blog here.

This specific writing of hers hit me so hard that I immediately wrote to ask if I could have her guest post like, right now on my blog and if she would even consider letting it be this exact post. 

One of the reasons I started Courage is in the Leap was to have a place to band together, creating a community of real people who are fighting to live courageously and who realize the power of doing it together. Hannah is just such a person and an amazing communicator. Her beautiful vulnerability shows not weakness, but amazing strength and inner fortitude. You can’t share deep authenticity without experiencing the “20 seconds of brave phenomenon”- basically just jumping out there and doing it. That takes so much courage. So here is her post and please go give Hannah some love over at sincerelyhannah.net

“How are you so weak that you can’t even handle adjusting to one baby? Heaven help you if you ever have to adjust to more than one child.

Why are you so pathetic?

No one else is having such a hard time with this.

Why can’t you get it together?

Just stop being so sensitive and needy.

You’re fine, stop complaining and pull your head up.

You’re not praying and in Scripture enough, and that’s why you’re dealing with all of this.

If you could just get it together and stop being so tired and lame and apathetic and actually do something, you’d be better.

Why can’t you lose the weight?

You’re not pretty enough.

You look like a mess all the time. You can’t even do your hair anymore. You look crazy.

Why can’t you at least look like you’re making an effort?

Why do you have to have so many panic attacks?

Why is everything so much more difficult for you than it is for everyone else?

You’re so pathetic, you can’t even handle a small inconvenience without having a meltdown.

Get over yourself, it’s not about you.

Stop being so selfish and start caring about someone other than yourself.

Wow, you did a terrible job handling birth.

You’re not a very strong person.

Other moms are at least normal. But you’re over here falling apart after a minor thing.

It’s been almost a year now, and you’re still dealing with this stuff?

I’m telling you, you’ve got to be a better Christian. Good Christians don’t struggle this much with minor difficulties.

Why do you have such a hard time making friends and being friendly?

People think you’re too hard to get to know, so it’s not worth it to be your friend.

You’re always misunderstood.

You’re too sensitive.

Why are you always the friend that cares and invests more? You always give more and don’t get the same level of friendship in return. It must mean people don’t want to be your friend.

You’ll never have a solid group of friends.

Can you please just act outgoing and friendly so people don’t think you’re rude and bitchy?

You’re never going to make friends if people think you’re rude and bitchy.

Pull yourself together, you’re being so dramatic. Things really aren’t that bad.

Wow, you’re having super dark thoughts. Your brain is messed up.

Well, you used to be a happy person. But things are different now. You’re not going back to that person. She was younger and more naive. You’re older and wiser now. It’s not possible to erase the last few years and get back to being happy.

You’re going to be like this for the rest of your life, just get used to the constant anxiety. The least you could do is make peace with it so you’re not constantly fighting.

Why are you so upset?

You have everything in the world to be happy about.

You have a great husband, a beautiful daughter, a cute house, good food, enough money, and your life is full of good things.

All of that and you’re still pouting and crying all the time. Unbelievable.

You’re so ungrateful.

You feel hollow inside and it doesn’t go away even when you’re doing things that bring you joy?

Your fault. Fix it.

Your daughter is growing up and this is what you’re going to teach her? This is the example she’s going to have? She deserves better. She doesn’t deserve this.

It’s almost her first birthday. You’ve spent the entire first year of her life dealing with this, and you’re never going to get this year back. You’ve really missed out. You could have been the mom she really needed but instead you chose to be anxious, sad, fearful, and hollow.

__________

I have spent the entirety of the last year in my head with these thoughts, constantly rushing through my brain and never being put to rest. I couldn’t turn them off.

The first step in getting better is recognizing that THESE AREN’T MY THOUGHTS. This is NOT my voice. This is NOT coming from my head. This is certainly NOT the voice of my Father.

These are not my words.

These are Fear’s words.

These are the words of someone who hates me. Who wants to beat me up so hard that I lie on the floor and never get up. These are the words of someone who wants me down for the count. Who wants me living as a shell of myself. Who wants me barely making it.

These are the words of someone who wants to take me out.

Who would really love it if I were dead inside. Who would really love it if I were dead period.

Well, this blog post is little me, as weak as I am, recognizing who is speaking to me, and refusing to tolerate this any longer. This is me saying, “ENOUGH.”

I’m getting up off the ground.

So Fear, you better run. Because this girl is about to fight back.

I may be weak, tired, beaten up, worn out, and covered in bruises, but I’m not dead, and I’m getting up now.

Every thought in my head that tells me I’m pathetic, weak, stupid, ugly, unloved, not enough, too much, and so on …. IS A LIE.

Fear, you better be scared for your life. Because now that I know it’s you who’s been speaking to me all these years, I’m fed up with you.

You’ve robbed me of rest. You’ve stolen my joy. You’ve stopped me in my tracks and pulled me out of the game. You’ve kept me trapped in a cage. You’ve taken my weapons right out of my hand and thrown me on the ground.

And I’m waking up to the truth of what’s been happening. And I’m saying ENOUGH.

Your words have tormented me for far too long.

Anxiety, are you listening? Fear, do you hear me? YOU BOTH CAN SUCK IT.

____

Quick word for anyone dealing with postpartum depression & anxiety – things are not all in your head. See your doctor and if you don’t feel heard, see someone else. I’ve learned that sometimes, your brain chemistry is off or your hormones are very out of whack – both were/are true for me. Get on a medication to fix that if that’s the case. Overall, talk to someone who is professionally licensed and has gone to school for these kinds of issues. While you wrestle against principalities and powers of darkness, stay grounded in truth and scripture. Do these things ALONGSIDE of taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, whether that means taking meds, seeing a therapist, or both. You have a mind, body and soul, and it’s not going to work to only target one of these areas if you’re struggling in two or all three.”