It seems like forever-ago when I started walking this road to being a Real Gurl. I was searching and asking and hoping to find the key to change. I had committed to living life differently but I did not know how to do that. After several ground-zero moments in my life, I was ready to learn the lesson and I was desperate to figure out the secret. The thunderous dark cloud that followed me everywhere kept me off balance. I was willing to try anything. I asked just about everyone around me: Do you know what is wrong with me? Answers were elusive and my strength was ebbing.
Sometime during the middle of the past nine years, a woman I was counseling, who was on her own desperate search for peace and truth, asked me if it was going to take her as long as it was taking me. Honestly, there is no set timeline. Each woman's journey is unique to them alone. I think that is what makes it such a treasure. When you begin to see the light of day, your story belongs to you and you only. No one has the same story.
A few weeks ago I attended an event that really gave me perspective on how far I have come. In all honesty, I did not want to go to this event that promised to be full of people from the past....a few awkward relationships, a few uncomfortable embraces, and facing a few people that I would have been just fine never seeing again. I was dreading facing reminders of all the what-ifs and maybe-sos and why-oh-whys. Looking the past straight in the eye is a daunting task sometimes. I wouldn't have even attended this event except, suffice it to say, my family needed me there. We planned to get there right on time and planned a real quick escape just in case the need to leave presented itself. Minimal face-to-face contact seemed to be the best approach.
Thank the Maker that He always knows what is best for us.
Attending that event brought clarity to who I am now. I was getting dressed to go and was contemplating how to handle myself. I felt like God wanted me to just be who He made me: a Real Gurl that is an encourager, who has survived and found courage to go to college, recently landed a great job, and is blessed with the acceptance, love, and friendship of some very quality people. I have realized that instead of fearing the event, I should know that some of those people were actually going to be glad to see me, to have a chance to say hello and catch up after shared memories long ago. I think I began to walk a bit taller and smiled with pure joy at being able to do so.
As I walked the room, it seemed that people appeared out of nowhere to greet me with genuine smiles, sincere conversations, and meaningful glad-to-see-yas. There was not one awkward moment or flash of pain in my heart...just God reminding me that life works best when I am a Real Gurl.
As I sat and visited with one of my peeps last night and reflected on this experience, I began to see clearly that I have come out of the dark. I realized that the thunderous dark cloud that was always right behind me, the cloud that was heavy with shame and guilt and ready to pour buckets at any moment...well...it was gone. I no longer suffer the flashes of searing pain and grief. I have come out of the dark. This is not to say the journey is over. I am the first one to admit that the work is in progress.
I am rejoicing that God proved me wrong. I was sure that life would NEVER be good again, that no one would EVER love me, that I would ALWAYS feel the agony of my bad choices. Look out for NEVER, EVER, ALWAYS. They are are not your friends. They are liars.
What have I learned?
I have learned that as trite as it may sound, one must be true to who they are, who God created them to be. How do you know who God created you to be? You have gotten in the habit of ignoring you and nurturing everyone else. The start of learning the answer is to begin looking for Him to show you. It comes in a breeze, a phrase, a song, a scripture, a friend, a prayer, a book, your heart. Be on the lookout for those brief but meaningful moments. Write them down.
I also have learned that it doesn't work to do things that look good, to meet others expectations or to receive approval, because that is just a phony life and it won't last. The fall is hard. The only approval you need comes from God. It comes in the confidence you have when you are who He created you to be.
I have learned that being a Real Gurl brings lasting hope and joy that doesn't leave when you are broke, lose a loved one, the kids don't call often enough, or the loneliness of being single strikes.
I have learned that being a Real Gurl brings a confidence that walks with you through every situation and you learn it can sustain you through anything you have yet to face. The miracle comes when you can willingly admit that you would go through everything again to become a Real Gurl today.
Why is Real Gurl spelled incorrectly? A Real Gurl is real, authentic, sincere, genuine but is sometimes messy, mixed up, and goofy. A Real Gurl.
Celebrating the journey since August 9, 2005.