To the survivor who is still picking up the pieces. To the sister, husband, partner or friend still learning how to support those suffering; to the advocates and educators...we applaud you. We are in awe of the growing community of people who reach out and share their stories or feel compelled to listen to ours. We are honored to sit at this table with you. The one where all of the messes interlaced with implications of abuse, and toxic masculinity lay out for all to see. The table set, where we are forced to face the ugly truths in our society is exactly where we should be. The moments this year that forced your to DEAL are not in vain. The painful memories, and triggers that sent you back only rekindled a deeper fire in you to passionately pursue your honor and love again.
The future ahead might be a little unclear, but we are encouraged to walk this journey towards healing with you all. We are essentially still learning about ourselves "out load." So thank you for giving us room to unravel where we see fit. As we pray on where God wants our platform to go, we hope you'll be there to receive our truths in relation to your own. Wherever you are on the journey, we are with you. We eagerly anticipate the new year a head. The conversations around sexual assault in this country alone are encouraging to us, as we know that though difficult to process, are completely necessary to see the positive changes in our culture.
We are hopeful, and we thank you for coming on this journey with us--2018 has been a whirlwind of highs and lows. but with everything, we are still here. For that, we thank Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior for being our guide and counselor. We are just beginning, and the future looks bright. <3
With love and solidarity,
Devin Marie and Cristal Lowe
This year was a year of honesty for me. I had to honestly asses my feelings and triggers when I thought I was done with that phase of healing. I'm continuously learning and being patient with myself through a process I wish was a lot more clear-cut. God is teaching me that there is no blue print here. (Trust me, if there was, I would have been slinging copies left and right).
I'm okay with admitting that this past October I was in a really weird funk. A lot of my feelings as an advocate for sexual assault were questioned when I began to feel more down than usual. I felt entirely outside of my body while trying to love it in the light of the Kavanaugh hearings. This was a time I guarded my heart from consuming too much content that would upset me, but my humanness showed through. I cried, I was frustrated, and old feelings began to ensue as more and more testimonies surfaced. All I could think about was, now what? With all of this excess of information, what are we to do as a culture. How do we educate, heal, and love our society towards better understanding the complexities within rape culture?
I was incredibly overwhelmed. I didn't want to do much with the blog because of it. Thankfully, I had some great mentors and friends who checked in--ya'll are the REAL MVP's haha... I needed a space for myself away from giving so much. I needed to be okay with me first, and i think that is something I am going to be continue to discover and advocate for while educating the masses on the issues related to rape culture. I have been made even more aware looking back on this year, and I hope to walk courageously down a path of transparency throughout the continuation of this self-love journey.
With love and solidarity,
1 John 4:19 We love because God first loved us.
As this year is coming to an end. I would like to expand a bit more on a subject that we will continue to advocate for in the future. I am learning more than ever the greater importance of self-love, a subject we covered earlier this year.
The holiday's often suggest that love is expressed most effectively by how much you can do for another person. What you can buy them or where you can take them, etc. But if trauma has taught me anything, it is that showing love in its most genuine and authentic way is how you show love towards yourself.
Self-love is an area I am constantly working on, especially now being a mother of three beautiful babies. As I think back on my journey, I ignored the fact that I too needed to show up for myself with the same effort i put towards showing up for everyone else. I often catch myself in giving so much in others that I forget to reflect on whether I am distracting myself from other issues, or if I'm being filled up while filling up those that I love.
There is nothing wrong with giving, there is certainty nothing wrong with extending love to those you know need it. It is however a disservice to yourself not recognizing that you are equally as deserving as the time and effort spent on making others happy. This is especially critical to assess while healing, as we often feel like our baggage, and issues are too much to handle all at once, so we put our hearts to good use. We engross ourselves in other people's issues to distract from the pieces still needing mending in our lives. I gave my time to friends and even strangers to help them but at the same time to block my hurt and sorrow in order to forget that I too was broken.
It is true what they say you must love your self first in order for others to love you how you deserve to be loved because it is in that moment, giving becomes less depleting. Giving love becomes not only natural to share with others, but to also receive from them as well. Remember it is okay to love yourself and to embrace yourself on your journey. It is okay to say no and not apologize for it. It is okay to change your mind, and to find different ways of exercising your peace and happiness. It is not easy but I am learning life is becoming better when love is the center of it all, and love for your self only permeates more as being the lasting force that keeps you going through the more challenging times.
We are ending this incredible year with some more incredible news...Our co-founder, Cristal Lowe just recently welcomed a new addition to her family, Ms. Kiara Sky. We are overjoyed to share the news that both mommy and daughter are healthy and in good spirits!
We are also continuing on sharing the love with our favorite highlights from this year. 2018 has invited so many incredible opportunities for us here at Herstory. Cristal and myself are indebted to each and every person who has contributed to our growth as mentors, and sister-survivors.
While there is much work to be done, we want to continue to leave this platform open for encouragement and healing for those still affected by a past they are still coming to terms with. Surviving sexual assault is something we will continue to speak on in a space that we created especially for YOU! Our goal is to continue to find new ways to approach topics related to sexual assault from a place of love, strength, and empowerment.
This month, we are taking a glance at all the topics we have loved to share with you all the most, and dig a little deeper in moments we look forward to speaking on in the upcoming year!
Until then and with love,
Devin and Cristal <3
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.