Oh, precious little one. Sweet pea. Can I sit on the floor with you so I can see your pretty little face and be with you? Honey girl, I want to tell you about how brave you have been. Your courage has saved my life and now gives me life.
You are tiny and thin, so who would know how strong you are? Who would know how long you could endure? Who would know how you have lived with so much pain heaped on you? Evil gambled that he could do you in.
The sobering truth is that our daddy was a pedophile: selfish and damaging all of us. He did his best to provide for us, but he was no father.
Mother did not love us. She could not love us because she protected him in order to protect herself.
You were a leftover, a throwaway, a sex toy, never a little girl. And there was no escape because it was all normal to you. And you felt alone. I am so sorry.
All of this was not unnoticed. You did not die because Jesus was there with you all the while—in the day and in the night.
You are a marvel. An amazing miracle that has persisted despite all odds.
You have been my little girl, courageously holding my pain and shame all these years. Thank you for knowing how to contain and protect yourself in dissociation in order to stay alive, to keep your spirit alive.
Now, gaining language and naming trauma and painful feelings that you were left with has been like breathing in who I really am—where all our stories belong—so that you and I have a place and are no longer fragmented pieces. You held on to my pain until we could bring the truth to the Light of the World. How huge is this?
I thank you because I stand on your shoulders as a marvel too. And this is the gift of God in us, in our DNA when He knit us together at creation. Philippians 2:13-16 says, “For it [has been] God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” And explains that your voiceless self was “blameless and pure, [as a child] of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” How you shine like stars in the universe, full of faith, full of light. The unfailing kindness of MotherFather God who nurtured and protected us both opened the way. Yes, yes.
You persisted despite the sparkling potential of your five-year old goodness and joy being silenced (but not forever). You held on literally to what is alive—the Word of God—to speak truth in a house of lies.
I suffered with the distortion of being terribly bad until the goodness of God crowned me with loving kindness. And it is God who works to replace the decayed family toothpick scaffolding with one that is strong in the power of His might, His presence, His authority, His truth, and His love. Faith is why we shine like stars in the universe.
Little one, you did not know who you are. Yet, you have made me who I am. I am so grateful that you held out. You have wrestled with Jacob and persisted for the blessing. You persevered like Joshua, searching for God in the wilderness to find the better High Priest is Jesus. You have deep knowing, like the faithfulness of Joseph, that there is NO-thing other than His provision and protection that explains what they meant for evil, God meant for good.
Be soothed and strengthened again by Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Little one, I look into your face and behold your beauty. Such a long time coming, we are welcomed and brought together to walk into His Shekinah light. We are a marvel.
JoAnna has been running against the wind almost all her life, striving to create identity out of complex trauma. She held out creativity, sly humor, and hope as God’s pursuit and perseverance surfaced gratitude. Amazing that after years and years of searching therapy, Re-Story work to name harm opened language and connections into the anchored buoyancy of goodness and blessing in her life.
JoAnna, your writing is powerful! Thank you for lifting my countenance. I love hearing how redemption has brought tenderness through your complex trauma.
Thank you for your bravery to come forward.
Wow….thank you for sharing your story. It is a powerful testimony of God chasing after His own.
I love every word of this Joanna. Thank you for allowing us to witness the goodness of your blessing for your little girl and the journey you have taken to embrace her and your story with such kindness.