Will You Still Stand?

In 2017, after 3 years of struggling and running, I decided to release my book. I was absolutely terrified, because I knew I was exposing everything that I had fought so hard to keep hidden from the masses. I feared bringing embarrassment upon my family, especially my children, one of whom was already a teenager at that point. See it's one thing to share with a select  trusted few some of the things I had been through and done. Exposure, but in more of a controlled and "safe" environment. However, it is a completely different experience to allow all of this to be accessed by literally anyone in the world, definitely not much control or "safety" there.  My deepest hurts, shame, guilt, fears, disappointments, and failures were all made available for whomever to pick apart and criticize, however and whenever. Completely open to be publicly ridiculed, laughed at, lied about, and slandered.  Who in their right mind would feel they had the right to pick apart someone else's experience with molestation, abuse, suicide attempts, loss, and devastation? Well, you'd be surprised; I sure was.

The thing is this, as much as me sharing my story exposed the darkness and failures in my life, it also exposed the light and triumphs. As much as it became material for a tiny audience to use as entertainment for their own followers, it became the very thing a literal multitude of men and women needed to be empowered, encouraged, and inspired to share their own stories. Standing in our truth, much like with anything else in life, comes with the good and the bad. The bad is what kept me quiet and in bondage for so long. It's quite suffocating to live day to day being held captive by your darkest secrets and deepest wounds. I didn't know true freedom until I stopped hiding. I didn't know true healing until I opened my mouth. I didn't know true peace until I exposed the very things I was afraid of someone else uncovering. Of course there will be people that won't approve or support, especially if your truth exposes theirs. 

The question is, will you still stand in your truth when others use it to attack you? Will you still stand in your truth when others challenge its authenticity? Will you still stand in the light when others try to pull you back into the darkness? Will you still stand in your freedom when others try to bind you? Will you still stand as a voice for the voiceless when others try to silence you? 

Standing in your truth comes with a hefty price, but the lives that are dependent upon whether you do or don't are priceless. You can't put a value on your testimony being the reason someone chose to not take their own life, got released from the shame of their past, healed from their trauma, found their voice against their abuser, or gained the strength to stand boldly in the truth of their own. That is the good and it will forever outweigh the bad. 

"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."                                                                                         ~ Revelation 12:11 NIV