Be Strong & Courageous…

My new art piece, which is one of my favorite scriptures now hangs on the wall in my bedroom. These words have been on repeat as I continue to recover. I never would have imagined that I would be adding “Survivor of Pulmonary Embolism” to my story. But nonetheless here I stand, believing Gods promises for my life even when things are hard 🙌🏽😭

I have hope and faith as I continue to say:

“I AM Strong and Courageous, I will not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord MY God will be with me wherever I go”. – Joshua 1:9💗

~ denise marie

#nolongerheldcaptive

God is love….

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

– John 3:16-17❤️

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

International Women’s Day is everyday…says this survivor.

Being an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape at 14. I lived most of my life in a fragmented mindset, pieces of my identity hidden behind the shadow of what I only allowed others to see. The secrets were suppressed and the key to that pain was locked away.

The bondage placed upon my life at the early age of 4, was meant to be a death sentence of everything good that my Mother and Grandmother stood for and the love they so lovingly wrapped me in, was now blemished. The curse had been passed down through generations and as much as they tried to protect me from abuse, I experienced this unmentionable pain in the hands of people they trusted.

Years of flashback and triggers haunted me as I covered up the pain through perfectionism, people pleasing, an eating disorder and many other coping mechanisms. Trauma after trauma tried to keep my mind in a self-denial pit of defeat. Blurring my decision making and accepting unhealthy boundaries.

On the outside I appeared to have it ALL together, picture perfect is what some would say. But, on the inside I felt scarred, damaged, worthless, unloveable and broken.

I was lost.

When I chose to face the truth and feel the pain, it was excruciating, literally debilitating and heart wrenching.

I wanted to put it all back in the pretty little box that I secretly kept hidden in the crevices of my heart.

But I couldn’t…the truth was exposed and I had to make a decision, either I was gonna fold or I was gonna fight…and I chose to fight for my freedom.

What does fighting for my freedom look like?

Everyday making a decision to do the next right thing…..in spite of depression, anxiety, ptsd, wanting to isolate, low self esteem, doubt, fear or self sabotage.

The next right thing looks

like…..accountability, intensive therapy, an eating disorder program, Celebrate Recovery: 12-step Christ centered recovery program, reaching out to others who I trust when I need support or a listening ear, prayer…lot’s of prayer, self-care, journaling, spending time with my husband, kids, granddaughter and our dog, walking preferably near salt water with the beach under my feet, fresh air, essential oils, laughter, whole food, supplements, chocolate, reading, drinking water, sipping my cup of coffee in a pretty mug, finding joy and gratitude daily…even when it’s hard and learning to love, accept love and give love.

Above all else, my relationship with God through his son Jesus is how I am learning to view myself through His Word, promises and truth. I am healing.

These are some of the tools, resources and support I have used and some I am still using to help me walk in my freedom.

Everyday I celebrate “international women’s day” as I cheer on other women who are locking arms with others who are overcoming tremendous battles (some in which others may never know about) and are taking one step at a time to courageously become liberated from what tried to destroy her.

My name is denise marie and

I AM no longer held captive…by my childhood secrets, I AM free.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

I was attacked

at the very core

of my being and

was told to end it.

That I was not going to

live past the depression,

the anxiety and the tremendous

amount of pain.

The lies, and self hatred

tried to overshadow every ounce

of hope and faith

I previously held onto.

Even though I walk through the

darkest valley…

Fragmented pieces of the

memories came flashing

back as I tried to piece them

together and make sense

of the realization that these

were not nightmares but

factual suppressed recollections.

I will fear no evil…for you are with me….

It was too much!

I felt as if I was literally being

ripped from the inside out.

Every part of my body ached

as I exposed the truth and

walked through the dark

murkiness of my past.

You protect and guide me,

and I find comfort as you console me…

In my despair,

I wept, as I released the pain.

You are repairing all the damage

that was done to me,

and restoring the deepest,

most real part of me.

Lord, my strength and hope, comes from you.

(*Psalm 23)

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

No longer held captive by…loneliness

Deep wounds can begin to form when we feel forgotten. We begin to ask questions such as, “What’s wrong with me?” and “Why was I not included?”

Feelings of being forgotten…

if we allow ourself to remain in that state of despair, you will begin to spiral into a dark place which allows depression and isolation to form walls around you.

In the past, I was very familiar with the lies of feeling “forgotten” and today I

want you to know that you are important, valued, loved and seen.

Not just for what you can do for others, but for simply being you.

Those that love you, may not even know that you are struggling.

I encourage you today, to reach out to someone and let them know that you need them…and if they don’t respond with grace….then reach out to the next person…or the next one…or the next one…until you find someone who is really there for you.

You are not alone, you are not forgotten. Don’t give up.

~ xoxo Denise

“Don’t fear because I am with you, don’t be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will hold you up and keep a firm grip on you”.

-Isaiah 41:10