I just had an epiphany…. also known as a face-palm… aka an AH-HA moment. Whatever you want to call it, I’m sitting here shaking my head wondering why it took me so long to have this thought – and feeling the need to apologize to women around the world that I didn’t figure it out sooner. You’ll need some background about my experience with abuse for this to make any sense.
Five years ago, I received a divine download in the shower: “Make a Choice to Have a Voice.” This phrase literally just “came to me” as easily as the water poured from the sprayer. Poof! There it was: my purpose in a simple sentence. (The fact that it rhymes is kinda cool, too.) The meaning behind it pretty awesome: we ALL have a Voice and we CAN make a Choice to use it.
The phrase was to become my title for a talk I was giving as a Keynote Speaker at The Empowering Women Conference, where I told my abuse story publicly for the first time. I’ve told bits and pieces of it many, many times over the years – about how I was an independent, strong, successful woman, a professional journalist thriving in a top-25 television market, but I lost my voice in an abusive marriage and didn’t know who I was anymore. Confidence shattered, heart broken, body image destroyed, financially devastated, I was no longer my positive, happy self – and I had no idea how to find me again.
Long story short, miraculously, I did find myself again – and now I’m joyfully remarried to my “forever husband” and we’re raising two beautiful daughters to be confident young women who can Make a Choice to Have a Voice.
So what of this epiphany? Well, I recently had tea with a beautiful lady who confided in me that she was in the audience that day I first shared my story, and she told me she didn’t “get it.” It was a great talk, but the message didn’t have meaning for her – until three years later, when she found herself curled up in fetal position, sobbing, realizing that she was living my nightmare of emotional abuse… and, she shared with me, that all she could do was see was my face and hear my voice at that conference, and she believed in that moment that if I could make it out and be okay again, so could she. It’s been two years since she had that awareness – and gratefully, she is now once again strong, empowered and happy!
So, my fist-to-forehead thought just came to me (in the shower again) – another divine download:
God was telling *ME* – “Christy, Make a Choice to Have a Voice is not just a message for you to tell others. Christy, I want YOU to make a choice to have a voice.”
DOH! I have not been using my Voice the way I believe He wants me to. And THAT is why I must apologize. There are so many more women around the world – like the lady I had tea with – who NEED to hear and know that they DO have a Voice, an INNER Voice, that can help them be whole again. I have to speak up and Make a Choice to Have a Voice – and use the Voice that God gave me to help others find theirs.
I have spent several years just dipping my toe in the water of this message, “raising awareness” of Verbal, Mental & Emotional abuse. My ankles and calves were splashed when I volunteered at domestic violence shelters. But I haven’t made it to the deep end – where it really matters. It’s more like, I hopped in a boat, perhaps afraid of the water, and just let myself drift about at sea… instead of taking the wheel toward where He wants me to be with His message.
Well, that changes today! I’m now ready to help women navigate the waters as they heal and rebuild their life after emotional abuse.
So, if you or someone you know has been needing to hear this, please forgive me. I’m ready to ride the waves with you. Let’s dive in together, to find your Voice again, and make a Choice to use it. I have created a free resource that guides you through the Healing Steps – the stages I went through as I healed over the past decade. You can download this resource here and you will find that you DO have a Voice and you CAN make a Choice to use it!