On my journey to go from victim to conquerer there were a lot of hard things that I had to face and some of those I will share more of later, but today I want to share something positive. I am so thankful for my support system. These were the people that I was closest to during the difficult time. Some of them were people I knew would be there for me always, and some God just placed in my life at the right time and I never would have imagined a relationship would grow to where it is today. Let me tell you about what my support system has done for me over the last almost 2 years, because it truly is amazing to me.
First, it was about being there. Being constant and stable when I wasn’t. There many days and nights where I would be all over the place. My moods could fluctuate from sad, to angry, to panicked, to hopeless, to okay, to anything in-between and back again in short periods of time. These people were there despite all of those changes and loved me regardless of how inconsistent I was. An idea of going to do something could sound like fun one moment, but be too much the next, and they were understanding and would change plans at the last moment. Sometimes I think they knew without me even saying anything and would proactively change plans or the environment that we were in without my saying a word.
Next, they went above and beyond to show that they cared. I can think of a couple of examples that have stood out in my mind. One was when a friend took a whole day off of work so that we could spend time together a couple of days after everything happened. She came out to my apartment, we talked, she picked me up and took me back to her place. She fed me, and let me sleep on her couch. Her house became a place I could go and sleep during the day. Because I didn’t feel safe enough sleeping at night, but her house provided an oasis. And she graciously opened her doors. And when I would wake up she would ask if I needed anything and always make sure I had eaten. Which was a huge blessing, because food wasn’t a priority to me at the time. Another friend I called and told her I was having a hard day and I called her about it. Mostly because I was so overwhelmed by it all. Well, this friend told me she was coming over after she put her kiddos to bed and was bringing movies. She drove from one end of town to another, about a 40 minute drive to be with me and help me focus on something good. That night after she left, I slept.
My support system also always spoke the truth to me. During the times where I said there is no I can make it through they told me I could. When I felt immense panic and like I was reliving everything they took calls in the middle of the night and talked me through that panic and reminded me patiently that it was all in the past. They loved me even when I made poor choices in how to cope because they knew it wasn’t about the poor choice it was about so much more.
What my friends and family did wasn’t difficult or extravagant. They loved me, supported me, and invested in me when I couldn’t do it for myself. It was the smallest things of making me a meal, watching a movie with me, talking to me on the phone, letting me sleep instead of expecting me to keep them great company. Each of those things are super meaningful and kept me going, because I knew someone cared for me. Realize that supporting someone doesn’t mean you have to do all of those things, that’s why it is a support system. It takes multiple people coming alongside and saying I can do something. If you know someone is struggling do something. They may object, I often did. Gently push through those walls and know it will be appreciated. Sometimes it will be later that day, sometimes later that week, and sometimes it will be way later done the road.
Thank you to those of you who have been by my side in some way the last 2 years, whether it a million late night conversations, letting me sleep on your couch, forcing me out of the house, making me food, sending me an encouraging message, or praying for me. Because of each of you showing me you cared, encouraging me and loving me in my struggles and pointing me back to the place of true redemption of freedom, the foot of the cross, I can say I am a conqueror.