Why your whole story matters

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I don’t want to let go of my past. Even though Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook keep telling me to.

Surviving it was a miracle. A brutal, beautiful, miracle. I refuse to turn my back on the life I was called to live. And in my opinion, neither should you. Despite social media and all its wisdom. Every single one of us walks a road with battle wounds and scar tissue and heart chunks and tears. If I had to think of three life-changing moments, instances that defined another chapter, I can see them right now. I bet you can too.

Usually these are painful.

I used to ask God, WHY?

Now I ask; What can I do? Who do I hug? How can I help? Where can I go?

And Sisters, there are so many answers. Pain is all around. Suffering is as common as breath. We are the healers. The pain relievers. The connection. The love. The friend. When we meet someone hurting, they don’t want us to say, “Hey! Fall down seven, stand up eight!”

Or hear a scripture you memorized. Or take a walk down the Roman Road.

They want YOU. Your story. Your understanding. Your heart that has been broken and stitched together with tape and toothpicks. Your pride that has been shattered by rejection and goodbyes. Your past that has given you empathy and insight AND HOPE. I know. This blog is on MOTHERHOOD. And what the heck does this have to do with mothering?

My sister. My fellow mother. My female family.

Everything.

We all have a story to tell and every one of them is important.

We are our best when we know who we are; all those inner ticking’s and sputtering’s. When we are authentic we give permission for others to be themselves. When we are vulnerable, we invite other mom’s to let down their guard. We have permission to be real and raw and messy and hobbling…. And isn’t that a relief?

I encourage you to embrace who you are. ALL parts of you. The ones that shine up nice on Sunday, the ones that sneak up on you while you drive, the ones you are embarrassed to admit, the ones you are working hard to get a grip on, and the ones that you worked hard to become, and here you are; becoming.

I made a list.

I am a mom. Sometimes I am really good at this. I get it right – the advice, the encouragement, the patience, the listening, and the keeping in check of my exhausted attitude. OTHER times I cry and smoke outside on my porch where no one can see me, because I have no idea what I am doing and I’m scared.

I am a wife. I have to admit. I got the best end of this deal. My husband is thoughtful and remembers things and puts balloons everywhere on my birthday and Mother’s Day. He changes my oil and writes it in the book thingy that sits in my glove box. He makes my coffee every morning and kisses me as soon as he gets home at night. He is a wonderful step-dad to my kids and makes us all laugh. He works his butt and off and supports us so I can stay home and write. You know what I do? Sometimes I make tacos. I bake brownies that he has to put in the fridge because they are undercooked but he doesn’t complain. I vacuum a floor he doesn’t care about. Sometimes I wash his laundry and forget to check his pockets and ruin the check left in there. I also make the sex with him. I keep him real happy here because you can see how good I am at all the other things. I also make him laugh. Surprisingly, he thinks I am funny.

I am a survivor and I speak about things most people want to hide from. I was molested as a child by a family member, a very religious-pillar-of-the-community family member. When I finally told, no one did much or helped me. They did tell me over and over to forgive him, because this is what good-God-girls do. I ran away from home when I turned thirteen. I drank because I was thirsty for forgetfulness and laughter and fog. I also did drugs when the drinking was not enough.

Thank God I was arrested. Oh. I was also a thief.

As a young adult, I learned the power of voice and anger and sex. I used a lot of all three. Literally. Then I met Jesus, the real one, not the one my grandfather told me about. I found out I really was worthy and loved and seen. This was news to me. They had all acted like only he was. Jesus reached down deep and turned on a light. The brightness grew. It warmed my soul.

Therapy and WORK. Jesus and LOVE. Boundaries and HEALING. Survivor.

I am a fighter for women. For myself, my daughters, the daughter my son will one day marry, the exhausted mom at the grocery store, the prostitute on the street, the drug addict that is beat every night because she has forgotten her value. For all of us. Even the ones who don’t realize there is a fight happening. I fight for you too. I am a fighter for women. Women who have been made to believe they don’t matter. Women who strive for the good even though they have lived in so much bad. Women who are strong and women who want to be. Women who are told to be quiet, be polite, be softer, be gentler, be invisible; and yearn for something more. Like a middle finger and freedom.

I am my whole story. My story is not a slogan. It is not a platitude. It is also, thankfully, mercifully, not a statistic. It is real and messy and full of cuss words and love. Just like me. WHO AM I? I am exactly who God made me to be. Worthy. Called. Loved. Remembered. Seen. Royalty. Fearless. Rooted. Pursued. Treasured. Resilient. Strong. Wise. Full of Grit and a Recipient of grace.

Who are you? I invite you to write a list. Include all parts of you. Don’t be afraid of who that is. Don’t deny her existence. Her existence matters. Her existence is needed.

XO Shannon Wasser