My precious boy turned 3 today. His favorite gift was a singing Paw Patrol balloon. I made special birthday pancakes and we sang to that sweet smile and those big brown eyes.
Of course, after he went to bed last night, I spent my evening prepping for our big day (his big day has become mine, too) and watching videos of him over the past few years. For sure crying. I simply could not adore someone more. Where are my mamas at right now? I know you get this.
Also today, I dropped another part of my personal story on the NWM platform (watch it here). Soon after, I received a powerful message from a lifelong friend, in response to her viewing it. Memories were coming back to her and unidentified puzzle pieces were finally falling into place. Her childhood experiences of me were beginning to make sense now. She thinks well of me for exposing it all and for that, I am grateful.
Have you had a moment like this? When you learn a new piece of information and suddenly the world comes into focus?
Not everyone thinks well of me for exposing it all. I am aware of the birthday wishes that did not come for Blaise this year. Those who have claimed to love my son but have completely disappeared from his life since sharing my story. I am aware that his grandparents, if they were still living, would be in a horrible position right now, of having to choose their faith or their family. How could they not excommunicate me?
I'm a traitor.
I don't say this flippantly. It's the truth. And I don't say any of this out of anger. I say it out of loss. I am betraying them and it's incredibly hard to do. But I have to. It's the truth. And it's a big truth in the face of a big lie, so it cannot just be ignored and left alone. It's a lie that steals freedom, kills truth, and destroys hearts, minds, and souls (John 10:10). It's a lie that will forever mark me and my family.
Lies like that have to be exposed. They have to be burned by the light until they shrivel and die.
And I am not the only person this scenario applies to. This knowledge is my motivation.
I'll expose the lies on your behalf. Will you expose them on behalf of someone you love?
While I sit here, reflecting on these two different viewpoints–those commending me and those condemning me–I find myself wondering: what will my son think of me?
Will he think I'm brave?
Will he think I'm untrustworthy?
Will he be proud of me?
Will he think I'm unrelatable?
Will he think I'm a weirdo?
Will he know how much I love him, despite any mistakes?
Here is what I hope:
I hope he knows that true courage comes only from the Lord. His mama is a coward.
I hope he knows that loyalty is, first and last, given to God. No matter the loss or the pain, may my son be convicted of the same.
I hope he knows his mama is not someone to feel proud of–I did not set myself free.
I hope he sees how many others have similarly suffered and is fueled to fight to reclaim their losses alongside them.
I hope he knows that his mama is a bit of a weirdo...and as they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I hope he knows what it feels like to be different, to love Christ and not culture. Please Lord, may we all be that kind of freak. Amen? Amen.
I hope he never doubts the depth of my love for him, as I do not doubt my mama's love for me.
What happened to me will never be okay, but it will be purposeful.
Will you fight with me?
For your childhood friend–the one you still have photos of–who is being convinced to join what will be a harmful religious experience. This group will steal most of his twenties.
For the life of your morning barista–the one who knows the name of your dog– that is being mangled by a narcissistic leader. She can't walk away because she believes she's found the missing piece in life.
For your work buddy–the one whose sarcasm gets you through the day–who is struggling to heal from a past unhealthy group experience. He can't find his voice or the help he needs, so he silently suffers alone.
I am not alone. You are not alone. And they don’t need to be alone either.