Tuesday, December 27, 2016

It Could Have Been Different

"I wish we had known. Things could have been different."

I heard these words recently and I have since thought about them a lot. They were in reference to the fact that I kept the fact that I was sexually assaulted in high school a secret. That secret turned into the raging storm of an eating disorder that plagued a huge part of my life.

And they were right...if I had told someone, things could have been different. Maybe I would have had the support I needed. Maybe I could have gone to counseling. Maybe the person would have been caught. Maybe I never would have started starving myself to cope.

But through my reflection on how things could have been different, God has shown me even more clearly the beauty of my journey.

Could it have been easier? It's possible.

But where I am now is worth every valley and mountain that has been along my path in life. The way my story played out has made me the mother I am, has made me the advocate that I am...the way my story played out is the root of my passion for sexual assault survivors, my motivation for open communication with my daughters...it is such a part of who I am.

I hate eating disorders and I hate everything that it took away from me...but I love the people that it brought into my life. I love the lessons that God taught me through it...about life, about myself, and about my place in this world. I HATE sexual assault and I hate everything that it took away from me, but I love the passion that God gave me through it and I love the people that God has brought into my life through it.

Things could have been different.
But if my road had been easier, I probably would not have Audrey. Maybe I would still be teaching elementary school instead of chasing my passion of working with sexual assault survivors. My love and passion for art might still be undiscovered. If I had not hit rock bottom with an eating disorder as a result, maybe I would still be back in that small town instead of living in this city that I love and traveling the world with a message of hope and love. If things had been different, there are some amazing people in my life that I never would have met.

It's easy to sit back and thank God for the good and easy times. But reflecting on these words has made me even more grateful for the hard times too. It's extremely difficult to see it at the time, but each one of them has made me who I am today and each one has played a part in bringing me to this exact moment. 

Our journeys are riddled with road blocks, dead ends, and rough terrain. The important thing is that we don't let those obstacles stop us. We cross them and we turn them into dreams.

Keep going. Keep fighting. Keep loving. Keep growing. Keep dreaming...

And then keep chasing those dreams.

It could have been different, but I'm glad it's not.
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