Tonight I watched the movie “Black or White” with Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer and I must say it’s a great movie! I won’t give it away for those who haven’t yet seen it and still plan to, but the movie had so many powerful messages about pain and how each one of us deal with it.
Kevin’s character said something that struck me and thus here I am blogging. He said he needed to “re-learn to breathe”. He’d suffered loss and his way of dealing with it initially was drinking. But when he was ready to regroup and refocus, he made that statement.
I can relate to Kevin’s character in the movie. I, too, have suffered a loss. I’ve suffered many losses. Just recently, a pain that I thought I had recovered from resurfaced and taught me that I really just ignored it all of these years. You see, I’ve been scarred deeply by the church. I won’t call out any specific church, but I can say that every church that I’ve joined had the same response to my being a single mother. The wives gave me funny looks; the pastor often called me in front of the church and ridiculed me. I was the subject of many sermons, bible studies, etc. Granted, I was no saint (no punt intended); I wasn’t perfect; I made mistakes; but rather than love me through them, I was ostracized publicly. I was degraded and told I was damaged goods (coincidentally the name of my next book). And the sad part of it all, other than the fact that these were my church family, was that I believed them. I believed I was so damaged that no one would ever love me. For years … so all of that pain came back to me and that’s what I’ve been dealing with over the past week or so. Re-learning to breathe. Processing the truth of the pain but also discounting the lies. I am not damaged goods and someone, as a matter of fact, many people love me. And most importantly, I love me.
Just today, I thought back on all of the painful experiences I’ve had over my life, starting with childhood, and I became AMAZED at how God gave me the courage to love. Though I’ve encountered so much hate, I still know how to love and love hard. That’s all because of my trust and my faith in God. I don’t mean to be or sound religious, I’m just being honest. My re-learning to breathe and live again is because I put my 100% complete trust in God. No matter what my eyes see; no matter what my ears hear; no matter what my mind recalls … I trust God. He is the only reason I am still here. Just as my website tagline says, I may be broken, my heart may have been bruised, but I’m STILL here. It has not been easy and it did not come without extreme and difficult challenges. But I have purpose. I have love to give. I have lives to impact. I have a work to do. I have a war to fight (spiritual war).
So, in closing, to those who played a part in my hurt and pain, I want to say THANK YOU. For those who didn’t believe in me (particularly those in the church), I want to say THANK YOU. For those who counted me out, I want to say THANK YOU. For those who hated on me for whatever reason, I want to say THANK YOU. For those who talked about me behind my back, defiling my character, I want to say THANK YOU. And lastly, for those who did believe in me and loved me through my process of healing, I want to say THANK YOU. I am who I am because of and in spite of you.