There comes a moment in your life when you look in the mirror at the person looking back at you, not recognizing a single freckle–searching intently for a glimpse of familiarity. But there isn’t a recognizable thing; the color of your skin has become pale, your eyes have grown dim, and your smile is very thin. Tears begin to fall from the person in the mirror and you so badly want to stop them, but there’s no way of pausing, there’s no way of coming to a halt; their chasm has been broken into. The walls they’ve strategically built have come down and suddenly, as you feel their tears wash your cheeks, you begin to see what both you and the person in the mirror have been trying to hide.
This scene above is kind of uncomfortable, isn’t it? But it is all too real for many of us, maybe even you reading today. – Brizzy
Sometimes leaving is all you have. Sometimes leaving the thing you loved for many years, many moments, many seconds that seem like many lifetimes, is the only thing you have left to finally gain control of your life. I, Emma, have left enough seemingly “good” things, to know that what your heart says, and what your mind knows, are two very different things. Knowing when to leave is never easy. Sometimes you sit and wait. And wait. And wait some more. And you never hear anything. No one tells you that what you are feeling, this empty sadness for a life that you know you are missing, is the go-ahead to run. And to not stop running.
As a victim of abuse, in more than one heartbreaking occasion, I found a thousand reasons to stay. Looking back now, the things I have actually said out loud haunt me:
“He loves me. I know he does, he just has a terrible way of showing it.”
“This is normal behavior. I am supposed to feel like I am not worthy. My pastor and leader want nothing to do with me because I am a stepping stone to their outreach.”
“This bruise is not that bad. I shouldn’t have said what I did. Then he wouldn’t have gotten mad.”
“Maybe I don’t have any friends at this church because there is something wrong with me. I need to stay and figure out what that is because really, I’m not that important when people are getting saved.”
“He’s right. No one will ever love me. I should stay with him. He is the only one who knows how.”
And the list goes on. And on. Maybe you have your own list.
I ran from a life of solitude. A place where if you wanted someone to talk to, you received silence. Where a cry for help was received with a laugh in your face and was the perfect recipe for a scolding. A place where people smiled to your face, and the emptiness in their eyes was enough to know they were looking right through you. Sincerity was few and far between, and the people I thought were my friends disappeared from my life before I could even blink.
It’s a common saying, “When you go through trials, you find out who your true friends are.” But what if when you come out of it, there is no one left?
I wish I could have told myself 10 years ago what I know now:
And you don’t.
If I could give one take away from all of it…it is that when you go, when you leave; leave for good.
Whether it’s leaving a job, leaving a relationship, leaving a church, leaving a home you have known for a very long time, go with grace. Go knowing that you are fighting for your life every painful step of the way.
I wish I could say happiness was easy, because every day it’s a choice. It’s a choice to look yourself in the mirror and not see the person and the words other’s have painted you. It’s a choice you make, every day, to leave the hurt behind, and find your strength on the other side.