As we usher in to the season of thanksgiving we would like to thank all our readers whether you are a new reader or returning...anonymous or vocal, We appreciate you all taking time to visit our page, learn and heal with us!
Of course we would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for bringing us out of darkness and showing us love and light and for allowing us to remain humble through this process at Herstory. We are beyond grateful; for there are truly no words that can express our gratitude but know we are beyond blessed to walk this walk and to continue to build with you.
There are many steps towards changing a culture predetermined in its responses of sexual assault and rape. We acknowledge that the days ahead are demanding of much more than testimony.
With more awareness and action we can influence change that with set a new standard for our culture and communities abroad.
Thank you for riding along on this journey with us. Thank you for keeping an open mind and heart to the realities of countless survivors. Thank you for the messages of encouragement and testimony confirming we are on the right track. Thank you for simply listening...we can't tell you how many times in our early years of healing we felt alone and had no one to talk to, no safe space to dump the baggage we were not prepared to handle on our own...
It is our continuous prayer that we can offer a space that was nearly nonexistent for us as we began to heal; together we believe we can accomplish that and more!
We are wishing you healing, love, joy and peace. Know that we hear you, we believe you, and we love you.
Give yourself permission to grieve but also give yourself permission to express gratitude amidst the process; knowing that you are still here. Maybe in pieces, maybe with baggage...but Queen and King, you are here, and we are praising with gratitude for the life God stamped as a SURVIVOR!
With love and solidarity,
Cristal Lowe & Devin Marie💗
💗💕Have you ever been given a gift that you weren't quite sure if you were ready to receive? Or perhaps a gift you weren't expecting and suddenly...there you are, and there is your gift. Now...what are you going to do with it?
Some gifts don't come in packages, in fact, the gift that we are speaking on today is the gift of experience.
You faced that moment and even though you weren't "ready" for all that came with that experience, you're left to figure out what do next.
"I never EVER considered looking at my experience of sexual assault as a gift, because truth be told, this 'gift' was wrapped in a lot of pain, anger, confusion, bitterness and self-blame. Place this on the list of a Christmas white-elephant gone wrong. This can't be mine--right God?
I toiled with this for years. And I don't want to send the message that "suffering is equated to your worth or value as a person." This is your cross to bear. This is the test before the testimony; the messiness before the message. This is your experience, and you can respond any way you like.
As we consciously reflect on ways to be grateful amidst circumstances like sexual abuse, loss, and other such trials; we can all attest to the challenges we may face in the process.
I went from grieving my experience to appreciating who I was because of it. I am changed forever; but I am changed for all the best versions of who I am today. I am grateful that God I trusted me with the gift of gratitude inspite of what it took to get here.
In the process of becoming grateful for life again, I had to learn to be thankful for what didn't happen to me, and appreciate what I did have. Overtime, this process began to help me focus my perspective not only on the harsh reality of my pain, but through the lens of gratitude.
Yes, I was taken advantage of, but I was still able to continue to get my education that helped contextualize my experience.
Yes, I trusted an associate and tainted my views of relationships, but I have gained heathy relationships that prove hate wrong everyday.
Thoughts like these keep me focused on another reality I can choose to grow by affirming myself or suffocate by revisiting only the dark moments in my life.
Gratitude doesn't avoid the reality that bad things happen; instead, it leaves an open avenue of hope when getting through the very moments you thought were simply made to kill steal and destroy you.
This is your comeback story--and we're here to support you as you journey through it!
With love and solidarity,
New Month• New Series• New Goals
You did it! If you're reading this, you have officially made through your first week of November! Whether your seeing fall leves or palm trees like us in LA, we are grateful to have you back with us if you are returning; and if you're new to our blog, welcome!
Queens and Kings, we are are so excited to have you back for another series we are calling "Giving Gratitude: What We've Learned from Pressing Past Pain."
Sounds like a cute title, and a great idea...but can you see it through? Is it even tangible or practical given the circumstances?
We completely understand is not always easy but it is worth every attempt to live life freely...and this week Co founder Cristal Lowe will talk more on her experience and we invite you to grow in yours!
"There were countless times in my own experience when it was easy to imagine living life in what I thought was perfect with no pain, no worries, and free from fear after I was raped. I'd be "normal" I wouldn't have as many emotional issues to unpack...I could just be. But that pain was too real to ignore and popped my little imaginary bubble of perfection and a painless world. When I finally decided to speak out in regards to my testimony, I was set free and began a healing I never thought would be possible.
I have learned to stop running from the unknown to take chances and leave my pain behind. Once doing so, I regained a new idealmin living. I knew this world wasn't
Perfect but I focused on my
Purpose to help me to press past the pain by giving thanks. Even through my struggles of finding a "new normal" after this experience; I've learned the power of gratitude.
To this day, years after my experience of sexual assault, I exaggerate my Thank you's to minimize my complaints. I will never forget that night, and I drop to my knees daily to thank God for bringing me out of darkness into light.
Although I might cry out its not of pain but instead of joy and thankfulness that God has healed something so broken as me and showed up!
I'm thankful that God kept me. I thank God that he allowed me to look beyond pain and darkness, I'm so thankful that although my days looked hazy and full of rain somehow God showed me light even if it was far and seemed like I would never get there. I thank God that God never gave up on me I thank God that I'm here and not 7 feet deep.
I am THANKFUL!"
So wherever you are in this process of healing from loss, physical, mental, or emotional abuse, assault, or pain that overwhelms your everyday being...we are here. We hear you. We know somedays are easier to bare than others but you dump that burden here, dust off your hands of that baggage, you can find solace in raising the arms that you've emptied of such a burden and find strength to praise a God who STILL cares.
How? How do you expect me someone who was wrongfully treated, who didn't deserve that person to take advantage of me...who destroyed my dreams, and outlook on life because not I can't trust anyone let alone myself? HOW do you expect to praise a God who allowed THIS PAIN to enter my life??
We may not have He perfect anwser. But we've walked those shoes before, we've learned much from our experiences that gratitude trumps a bad day or experience because the root of gratitude is in love and thanksgiving for being present regardless of circumstances at had or that have past.
Yes, this takes practice, yes, this takes work. So regardless of the week or month or year...give gratitude for what you DO have control over! Have you thanked yourself for even giving yourself the chance to start over? There's always a beginning to ever new chapter in your life...it's just a matter of how you wish to start--we encourage you to begin in gratitude. And for the remainder of this month we'll continue to guide you along the way....
Without love and solidarity
Cristal Lowe and Devin Marie
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