This week my husband walks in the door to me being honest with him when he asks how I am. “I am in a battle at the moment” I begin.
I go on to open my heart and tell him about a long battle within my family. He knows of this battle and all the details. What he doesn’t know is that I am once again struggling with it. It is one where I have no clue what I did and have come to terms with the fact that, I, never will.
But this time is different. This time I am choosing not to be silent. This time I am choosing not to roll over and make peace so everyone else can have happiness as I am victimized all over again.
This time I am standing in the kitchen explaining to my adorable husband words that I have NEVER spoken before. “I am the victim in this! I refuse to be victimized any further. This isn’t my fault and I’m done!”
You see, in 2005 when I got the courage to leave the man that was abusing me in ways I never shared to anyone (but my now amazing husband and my therapist), my sister chose to not speak to me.
Ever again. Unless we were in a family function to make it appear as if there was nothing wrong. and we were only in a family function twice in these 15 years.
At this moment most of you are shaking your head because you never heard of me having a sister.
I did have a sister. She was THE most beautiful person I had ever met. She could do no wrong in my world. I idolized her and wanted to be her and I sold my soul to follow her every whim. All the way up to 2005, when my existence was wiped clean from her world. I no longer existed.
I wasn’t given the decency of a phone call or a coffee date to talk over what I had done. I wasn’t offered a chance to defend myself. I was never told what it was. I was officially not a part of her world. I wasn’t even left a post-it-note!
I was crushed.
To my core.
I was in a full fledged dangerous divorce while at the same time suffering the death of my sister. The only problem was, she was still physically alive!
And I was slowly dying inside.
Not knowing what I did was eating at me. Sure, you can say the cliche comments of ‘better without her’.. and ‘her loss’.. But it was my loss also, and my mothers loss even more. My mother who tried everything to heal the strife… but learned early on there would be no healing.
For 35 years I followed my older sister. Doing what she did and literally idolizing her. Without her, I was lost. Who was I? How should I do my hair? How should I dress? What appliances do I purchase? What are my hobbies?
Who am I?
What did I do that was so bad that my own sister no longer wanted to associate with me?
It tormented me!
So 2 years ago I read a book that floored me. Levi Lusko wrote I Delcare War.. a book on the thoughts that we have that we need to declare war on… Fighting the demons in our life that are holding us back from being our true selves. Fighting the world and what it wants us to think of ourselves.. and fighting the lies we continue to tell ourselves.
So here I am.. I have a ton of demons that are pounding at my door… all of which I am determined to win and be victorious over. But this isn’t a simple 30 minute sitcom. This is real life and the struggles and battles take time. And my email flashes with a new book he just wrote… perfect timing Levi… How did you know!!!?
For 13 years I felt stuck.. not realizing I was literally at war with the world around me. The thoughts that I was bad… the demons whispering in my heart that I was the cause.. this is all my fault. Had I remained in the prior marriage and just took the abuse I would have the love of my sister.
That there is ludicrous! Crazy talk! And it’s not from God at all!
So, I did the work. The daily work of reprogramming my brain, the thoughts that flood into my mind… I did the work. Not just in this area.. but so many more areas…
And I reminded myself that this was not my fault!!!! There is something more to it then I know and I just prayed for her. I would be here if she wanted to talk. But I was no longer seeking for the why’s anymore! This was not my issue to fix.
Fast forward to this week, standing in the kitchen, in a full fledged battle… only this time I am not a puddle on the floor. There are no tears coming down my face. There is a righteous anger as I am flooded with the thoughts that God chose me. I am his. I am wanted. I am strong. I did not cause this battle, but I will be victorious!
And as my therapist taught me 15 years ago… I ask myself the question, “What will I do if this (a situation) happens?”
“I won’t back down. I won’t be silent and pretend only to be victimized over and over again. I am owed an explanation as to what has really happened. I refuse to have third party family members keeping the peace and relaying information for the mere fact she refuses to answer my phone call. It’s not fair to them and it’s not right! I will always do what I feel is the correct thing to do. But I will be standing up for me!!! Because I did nothing wrong!”
These words were coming out of me!!!!
The me that over the last 2 years has done the work at fighting the demons and the world that I should just take it. That I was the cause and how dare I not roll over and just die!!!!
Levi Lusko’s book I declare War hit me hard! You know a book is good when you can remember exactly what you were doing when you were listening to it. And for this one, it takes me back to weeding the side of the studio!
You see, so many time’s Christians read those versus about pray about it and let God handle it.. and trust him and while yes… 100% God will take care of you… I totally agree… There is also the human side of me that wants to see “what does that look like?”
As Christians I want someone to be brave enough to step up and say… This IS my battle and I am going to soldier on till I am victorious!!!! That’s what that book did for me. It showed me the battlefield and what the weapons were that were being used against me… So I could arm myself up and go to war.
Literally, go to war!
Looking back I find it interesting that the one person God removed from my world was the one person that I literally idolized. It wasn’t until she was totally removed from my world that years later I was truly able to find myself. Who I am. What do I like. What is my style. And there is one thing I must say…. I am beautiful! I am loved and loving and I love who God made me to be! And I love to laugh! I love to crack weird jokes to get a room to look at me as if I am odd.. for the mere fact of seeing them smile!
Bonus points if it’s a tense situation!
I am not done with my battles. But I am more determined then ever to soldier on to victory for a God that made me in His image. A God that loves me and thinks I am special enough to call His!
What does it look like being at war?
It looks like this…..
Ok… I still don’t have good fashion sense when it comes to shoes… I am working on that one.. I can’t win them all!
That my friends is enough for me!
Demolish strong holds and take thoughts captive.
Being willing to raise your voice.
Keep showing up and don’t give up!
Fight to be who God made you to be!