And suddenly, it’s one year later. I can kind of remember this night one year ago. I can at
least imagine and guess how I felt. I was probably on the verge of a heart attack. I was about to
plunge head first into something, and I think I was expecting to drown. I remember writing
something like: I don’t really know what to expect tomorrow. Part of me wishes I could prepare,
but then I think it’s probably a good thing I can’t prepare. She will see me as I am, in all my
brokenness. No hiding, no effort to conceal the hurt.
That’s heavy. I committed to doing something I had never done, talking to someone I had
never met, and opening up in a way I never had. God is the ONLY reason I was able to walk into
that office, and go through with that session. I remember sitting down in that chair, in front of a
stranger. The moment I walked into that room, I felt safe. The moment I met Mrs. Bishop, I
trusted her. Those are two things I rarely feel or experience, ever, let alone right away. That was
God. I remember thinking on my drive there that I needed to pull myself together, and keep cool.
I probably paired this encounter with a business meeting. I had my intentions, but without clear
expectations. I would have never guessed that I would walk away three hours later, and my life,
my world, would be shattered into millions and millions of pieces. Like a glass wall, and
somebody tore into it with a sledgehammer. God changed my world that day, and I haven’t been
the same since. I can probably safely say that that will always be one of the most important days
of my life.
I remember sitting in that chair. In my head: Keep it together. Just talk and be honest.
Keep it together. Just take a deep breath. Keep it together. And then the tears. They came in
buckets and gallons. And that day, July 1, 2014, I felt. For such a long time, for over a year, I had
prayed and prayed and prayed that God would allow me to be numb. I hated it, but it felt so
much better to be numb than to face the realities of what was going on in my soul. I was at
war, and I was ready to be done fighting. But in that moment, God just broke my heart, and I was
flooded with the emotions, the feelings, the pain, the hurts, the mess, and the brokenness I had
shoved down to the deepest part of myself. For three years, I held it all in. All that time, I shut
myself off, and I forced it all away. I can remember that exact second in time. I felt my eyes tear
up, and honestly I couldn’t even see anymore. My throat closed off. It was like a dam had burst,
and even if I had wanted to, I could not possibly have had the strength to stop what was
happening. In my mind, I remember hearing/feeling someone saying, “Now.” Looking back
now, that was God. He knew all of that was coming, that I was going to have to face one of the
most overwhelming moments in my life up to that point, and he blessed me with a safe place,
and somebody who was walking with him, to guide me through that moment. I remember finally
being able to see, and I looked at Mrs. Bishop, and I saw three things, tenderness, understanding,
and love. I’m not sure if that’s actually how she felt, but it’s what I needed to see, to know that
what had just happened was okay.
That session is a blur, but there are things, words, and pieces of who God is that will
always be permanent in my mind. At one point, she said, “You don’t have a choice. You would
never choose this.” That broke me all over again. She said the exact words I had been dying and
begging and hurting to hear since I was fifteen. “That is not irrational.” I didn’t even know that I
needed to hear that, but God knew, and I will always believe he gave her those words.
I got in the car, three hours later. Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Vulnerable. But I knew,
without a doubt, I would be okay. God was right next to me, and I would be okay. I said these
words probably over a hundred times to myself on the way home. I’ve written them down so
many times. I’ve repeated them to myself countless times. I felt something I had NEVER felt
before, and it was so peaceful, and so comforting and fresh. These exact words: “Valid. I feel
valid right now. Everything I feel is valid. My emotions, my feelings, my thoughts, and my hurts
One year ago today, God changed my life in a way I never expected. The past 12 months have
been so incredibly hard, and my faith has been put to the test. But today I can say without a
doubt, God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good. There is power in the name of
Jesus, to break EVERY chain.