Saturday, March 19, 2016


I have been deep in reflection for a lot of the month.

Sometimes, I struggle finding the words to express what I feel.

This is certainly one of those times.


As you might be aware, Jason and I snuck off to Moab on the 3rd to celebrate life.  15 years have now passed since my life was turned upside down when I was raped.  15 years has held a lot of heartache and tears, but I've also found a lot of strength and happiness.

I've been asked how I did it.  How I moved on from something as life shattering as rape.

Truth is, I haven't 'moved on.'

I've moved through it.  I've waded through every emotion and been strengthened when I felt I had no strength left.

I've been buoyed up friends and family, even when they've had no clue they were buoying me up.

But as I've said before, each year the end of February the anxiety sets in.  Each year, the beginning of March I begin to panic.  How will it effect me this year?  Will I become angry?  Will I become emotional?  Will I want to check out and sleep through the next few days?

This year, I made a conscious effort to determine my coping.  This year, I decided to go somewhere I've never been.


It was beautiful.  It has been on my bucket list for quite some time, and for good reason!  Delicate Arch, Dead Horse Point!

I wish I could sit here and write that it was perfect, and I felt no anxiety. I can't. That's the tricky thing, sometimes as hard as you try, you can't control every emotion you feel. So instead, I faced the emotion. I acknowledged it, and every other emotion I was feeling.

As I stood at the look out, looking over Dead Horse Point I had plenty of time to reflect!  We were the only ones there.  It was quiet.  And beautiful.  For a moment I got to just breathe in the beauty.  I had enormous gratitude in my heart.  I remembered being at my lowest point (many times) and thinking that life would be better without me.  I remember wanting to numb, to not feel the extreme pain.  I remember, so clearly, thinking of a time in my life that I thought life could NEVER be good again.  I didn't deserve happiness.  I thought didn't deserve to smile or to laugh again.  I remembered as I stood there, the tears shed, and the prayers uttered to just let me be done with this life.

As I stood there, quietly, over looking this point I realized how beautiful life is BECAUSE I fought so hard to continue.  I realized that because of the hard, I've become stronger.  The girl 15 years ago had no idea how strong she really was.  The girl 15 years ago didn't realize all that life had in store for her.  The girl 15 years ago didn't realize how finding courage to stand back up and face life could fulfill her in ways she never imagined.

Depression is real.  Suicide is real.  Wanting to die is real.  And I've fought through those thoughts many times.  And who knows, maybe those ugly thoughts will rear their head again in my life.  (I hope not, but I'm wise enough to never say never!)

So to anyone in a dark spot in life, please hear my words:

Whatever it is you've faced, or whatever it is you are currently facing....the sun will shine again!  It will shine again on your face and heart.  Breathing will get easier.  And you will be surprised to find a day when you actually are grateful for every breath you take. You will be grateful for opportunities to see incredible sites you've never seen, because you've made the choice to continue. 

Is my life perfect and all roses now?  Heavens no!  We face hard in our family quite often.

But, we fight through the hard together.  Because that's just are never alone!  Even when you are at your loneliest moments, and you think you have no one...God is there.  He has your hand.  Never did He leave my side, and never will He leave yours.  His love is there for you whether you want it, whether you are ready for it, or whether you feel you need it. His love is there no matter what skeletons are in your closet, no matter what you've done or what others have done to you.  And that love never changes or dulls.  It's not conditional.

As the sun warmed my face that day at Dead Horse Point, I felt His love.  I felt such gratitude.  I felt such pride. 

It takes courage to stand up when you've fallen, or you've been knocked down.  So when you are down, find the strength to stand.  Maybe even slowly stand.  But stand!  Fight!  Because as I stood at Dead Horse Point reflecting on my life, my children, my job, my friends, my family, etc. I realized that I didn't have a clue 15 years ago how bright the sun could shine in my life again.  I love the sun in my life.  I love feeling the warmth of it surround me.  And I constantly remind myself of that each day.  Because I don't take the sun for granted.  I know darkness can easily creep back in if I let it.  So each day, I try to make a conscious choice to feel the sun.  It doesn't always work, but I keep trying.  After all, I will always be in progress for good.....


  1. Beautifully written! Proud of you.

  2. Love you so much.. I am in constant amazement at your strength and courage

  3. Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing.....


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