WOW!! The last piece of this series has arrived, and I want to give you a summary of what has developed within the relationships that have been so obstructed over the years. I have had messages and comments asking if I still am in contact with certain people in my story and so let me reinforce the grace of God in this post.
I believe that forgiveness is rarely for the good of others but more for ourselves. When we hold on to hate and have negative energy towards another human being, it becomes draining and takes away more from you than it ever does from the person you are angry with. I harbored hate for step dad for years and I realized that for my own wellbeing, I released him from my entire being. He does not deserve another minute of my time or energy. I will never speak to him or allow him a place in my life, but I also pray daily to not have anger towards him for the pain he has caused. Sexual abuse or rape is something that effects the victim for the rest of their lives. I will never allow Lay’s in my house because of the greasy texture it leaves on your hands. My husband knows he can never wake me up out of sleep to have sex with me and I will never be able to sleep naked or without panties on like I know now so many women do. It is a barrier that would alert me wen he was close or coming in for attack. My mom and him remained married until the last few years and to say that I am sad my mom and my full biological sister and I have missed out on years of memories is such an understatement. I went years without talking to my sister and years dreading my mom coming and telling me all her Richard stories. Within the last year and half there has been SO MUCH HEALING! There is joy in my heart every time my phone lights up with a message or a phone call from either one of them. I have missed them so much and desire greatly a relationship with them both. The past is the past and the future is unknown. It isn’t worth it to me to lose out on more memories because of anger and resentment. God is still healing all 3 of us but he is so gracious to be allowing us to do that together.
Then there’s dad. Mr. Stimac, Big Kahuna, Huna, daddy, uncle Frank…. There’re tons of names for that big guy. When my sister was 13, dad called her for her birthday and he was informed that she no longer wanted to speak to him. Now looking back, I have concluded my stepdad most likely had the same kind of control over her. So, for 23 years now, my dad has not spoken to his oldest daughter. As if that wasn’t enough, you just read the headaches I have dragged him through. He tells people he had a full head of hair and weighed 170 before I moved here but I never remember hair on that head HAHA. The one blessing is that dad didn’t go through this process alone. He has a sister who is strong in faith who stepped in the very first day to be the “substitute mom”. Aunt Liz has gotten me ready for dances, planned weddings, cried through divorces, babysat and PRAYED HER HEART OUT for me and my kids. She is the only other person besides my dad that I can be so mad at yet talk to every single day. She always has the kindest advice and the faith of a warrior. About a year or so ago, she informed me she had started a prayer journal just for me and my kids and every single morning she cried out to God to protect us and guide us to a safe and steady place in life. It worked. I know dad has been as grateful to have her there on the other end of the phone as I have been. I am so thankful that now dad and I are truly like best buddies. We have coffee often and talk daily. Poor guy has been through an awful lot but has never, not one time, stopped being a loving support.
Are you wondering if Jason and I are happily married? God knew exactly what he was doing when he let every other person pass through my fingers because he had Jason Johnson in mind as my husband. I tell people often that Jason was Gods last chance for me. It was like a do or die and I am so glad we did. He is quite possibly the most supportive husband of all time and my biggest cheerleader. If I have a night out or a vaca away, there is very little chance I will go without him. He truly is my very best friend. We have a blast together and do life well together. Both Isabella and Brogan have his last name and he is Daddy to them. My girls say we just needed a little bit of Jason and a whole lot of Jesus. HAHA It cracks me up but its so true.
I have launched a nonprofit called anchor180 and it is a tool I want to use to help others. I speak in schools and will speak at any church to any group of people. There is no age or gender that needs Jesus less or more than the other. I want to share my story all over the globe because when there is a modern-day Saul to Paul transformation, people need to know. They need to hear that NO MATTER what their life has or does look like that God wants them. He wants to transform their hearts, souls and minds. No one is too far gone, and I love that about him. How could I not forgive those in my past when he has forgiven me in the degree he has?
I have so loved sharing the last 10 weeks with you about where I have come from and how I got here today but if its ok with y’all, I would like to move on now. I love my testimony because it brought us together today, but it is no longer who I am. I am not defined as a child from a divorced home, abused little girl, impure teen, teen mom, high school dropout, divorcee, abused wife, terrible mom, whore, lost child or anything else that my past has depicted. I am a redeemed, strong, beautiful, faithful Child of God and I would love so much to move forward as nothing less. Sure, I will use stories to prove points, but I want all of us to look at ourselves as Survivors and not victims. It is so important for the future we are going to share together.
Until Next time~