Confession…I love my daughter! She’s a neat person. She’s smart, she loves nature and she understands things more profoundly than I realize sometimes. She’s brave and adventurous. Fear isn’t her reality. She trusts and loves and enjoys life.
I haven’t always appreciated her. Honestly, I have had to develop an appreciation for her. I know that sounds bad, but it’s kind of true. Let me explain. Sexual assault was a part of my story. It isn’t my life. It isn’t my identity. It is a part of my story that God redeems over and over again, but that hasn’t always been a true statement.
I chose to live in fear for a good chunk of my life. The early parenting years were brutal. Having a daughter scared me, no, terrified me. I lived in fear of my daughter being assaulted and eventually damaged the way I was damaged. Not physically damaged, that’s never been an issue for me, but emotionally damaged. It has been hard to not live as a victim. It’s been hard not to live in fear. It’s been hard. So having a daughter meant risk and fear and…the list goes on and on but you get the idea.
So what changed? Me. God changed me. Someone was praying for me. Someone was praying on behalf of my kids. My mom was probably the culprit and God bless her. My girl was running around one day, crazy wild running. She was laughing. It wasn’t tame laugh, it was the wild, belly laugh of a child who is thoroughly enjoying what she is doing. I envied her. It made me sad that I wanted her to to stop. God showed me that if I didn’t change I was going to teach them to live in fear. It didn’t matter if they were assaulted or not, I was teaching them to live as though they had been assaulted. I was teaching them to live in fear, when I should have been learning how to trust and love and wildly belly laugh. That was a good day.
I’ve still got a long way to go. But I do love my boy and girl. I love them more than I want to be afraid. I love learning how to enjoy life with them. I love learning to be goofy and weird. I love being free from fear. God has been good and I am so thankful for all He has taught me.
Until the next confession…