Do you know why I have this photo as the My Dear Sister logo? It sits on my dresser as a reminder. This photo of me was taken on a beach in South Carolina the week of my 8th wedding anniversary. The night before, we got in a fight that quickly turned into physical and sexual abuse. Choked and pinned to a hotel bed. I was devastated, but in such deep denial. I shoved all my feelings down and pressed on completely exasperated, angry and exhausted. Isolated and bewildered – I continued minimizing and covering for his behavior – ignoring the screams from my body that told me, “this is not what a healthy marriage should feel like. Rochelle, this is not normal.”
I wanted to go for a run at sunrise. That’s all I wanted out of the whole trip. I’ve always wanted to run on a beach at sunrise – to hear the waves crash against the beach as the seagulls called out. Compared to the chaos of evil that awaited me in the hotel room – it was the peaceful oasis I was longing for. I didn’t have a partner to share that amazing moment with. I stood on my own. As I do now.
I didn’t know I was strong then, but I was strong, choosing to run on the beach at sunrise. I did it on my own. Just as I left the abusive marriage on my own. I am stronger than I think.
I use this photo as a reminder. Week after week I hear your stories. We share meals together, we cry together, we embrace, we laugh, we fight, we preach, we struggle, we live in self-doubt, we live in victory, we kick and scrape for our sanity, we live in the grief and then we move thru the grief. We rise, we fall, we walk, run and crawl. But we do it together as a sisterhood of widows who have been abandoned by the husband of our youth.
I spent 9 loooooooong years of my marriage in COMPLETE isolation. I had nothing, I had no one. It lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, sexual deviance, bingeing and purging, extreme weight gain, then weight loss, and an auto-immune disease. I was alone.
I keep this photo to remind myself that I stand in freedom with you – claiming RIGHTEOUSNESS, in my RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF TRUTH. I am the remnant. I might stand alone at times, but it is in JESUS’ kind love, that I stand.
I use this photo for My Dear Sister because I never, ever want another woman to feel alone, isolated and without hope like I did all those years ago. I never want another woman to question where she can turn for help and safety. There ARE answers. She can be FREE and walk an empowered life – being FREE in the life Jesus asks her to live in full abundance!
I use this photo because I want you to know …
I HEAR YOU.
I SEE YOU.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.💗