October 19, 2021

Today you have a choice

People often ask me—after they hear our story of Emmett’s murder—how I got through such a horrible day. The truth is…I didn’t. I stumbled through…drowning in grief, pain, and humiliation. Most hours I did nothing but feel anger towards a man I had never met, a woman I never trusted, and a husband I had given my whole heart. I had no strength or courage. It was mainly the fog, adrenaline and fear that pulled me to the next morning. How I got through that day…I didn’t have a choice. That moment—that part of MY story—was written for me, by everyone but me. The pain of letting go of a narrative of what I thought my life would look like rattled my very existence. I wasn’t strong. I was scared and felt blind sided, knowing I would never be the same. I definitely did nothing—unless you include breathing—brave to get through it. Most of the time it isn’t the moment of impact that we have to “get through” because in that moment we really have no other choice. Time keeps on ticking, even though they feel broken…our lungs keep working, and eventually that dark day—just like every other day—runs out of hours, and is over. It is the days that follow that we have to live through, fight through, and decide if we are going to make it through. It is the days—and years—that follow the darkest ones, that we have to make a choice if we are going to let the darkness consume us, if we are going to hide from our story, or if we are going to press on to find—in a new chapter—the light again. So if you ever have a day you wondered how you made it through…maybe you didn’t. Maybe you stumbled. Maybe you fell flat on your face. Maybe that day—in your mind—you did everything wrong. Maybe you have shamed yourself for years because of how weak you were in that moment. Maybe all you wish is to go back and say the words that were left unsaid, or take back the ones that haunt you. Maybe—like me—you barely remember that day, or the person you were before it. Guess what? You are not alone and good news…that day is now OVER. Any beliefs you took on about who you think you are because of that moment…it’s time to let go of those too. Any days or years that moment has robbed from you, with fear and shame, PTSD, anxiety, etc…it’s time to not just fight, it’s time to live. Today is a clean slate, a new moment, and a fresh page in your story. Our stories weren’t meant to break us, just teach us how to get back up stronger, no matter how long it takes. Today is the day you get to choose—maybe for the first time—YOU. Letting go is never easy, but it’s time to choose the hard on purpose. Forgiveness isn’t about them…it is about you. I promise—with God—it is possible. Get on your knees every morning and night and carry a prayer in your heart every moment. When the triggers come—and they will—with prayer and grace for yourself, check the facts, question your fears, and face the demons that want to keep you stuck in the dark. Clear space for light. Let your angels carry the darkness away and pray for Christ to bring the light He wants you to have. Make sure anything you leave a place for inside of you…helps you feel light. Only truth can bring peace. And the truth is…YOU are enough. You were created to be light. You have gifts and talents—some you haven’t even yet remembered—that you were sent to earth to share with others and strengthen yourself. You are a warrior, a spirit son or daughter of God. You have a purpose and a mission here, you just have to remember it. Remember… and make it great. Today you have a choice. Today is a clean slate, a day to start writing the next chapter of your life. A day to wipe clean the pages of the past…and begin fresh. A day to forgive others and yourself. A day to remember that you are the main character of this story, and you get to choose to make it through. Today is a day to celebrate all the days you have—despite that moment—been strong enough to get up, show up, and live through. Even if you haven’t yet found the light you are fighting for. That day you didn’t have a choice…but this day…you do!


Poppa Bob's Blob said...

thank you

MJ said...

Wow!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Anonymous said...

I needed to see this today, and I'm sure many others feel the same. Beautiful words from hard won experience. You have an amazing spirit.

Unknown said...

What a beautiful message, i lost my brother 1,5 ago and the complicated grief followed, it has been so rough to wake up happy and light, it was and still is grim and gloom. I will be reading this everyday until it sinks in, because I deserve to live again, I deserve to be light and happy again. Thank you Ashley.

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