Far From Alone, A Story Spotlight Series for Anyone Breaking Free
Originally posted 4/21/2018 on Max Goes Godless (blog now deactivated).
Stepping forward into a life you really want to live is freaking hard, especially when you have to leave a situation of control to do it. But the truth is, there are so many other people out there doing the same thing.
I read a story the other day by Jessica Willis Fisher, the eldest daughter of the Willis Clan, a large musical Christian family that toured the country. It's her story of survival. Of abuse, control, and silence. And of her decision to break free of it all, to heal, to find love, by putting down shame and telling her story the best way she knows how.
And you know what? In Jessica's story, I saw myself mirrored back. I can't help but think back to the girl I was and the place I was in just one year ago, locked still in the closet. I was terrified of what it would mean to come out and utterly lost as to what life could possibly look like outside the one I knew all my years. Not being able to speak my mind made me feel so very alone.
I wish I knew sooner what I know now, this white-hot and undeniable truth. I was so far from alone.
This blog brought me to so many people, young and old(er), who are seeking out their own versions of wholeness. Healing. Self-determination. Confidence. Lives they love.
It's also connected me with people who are still living in situations of control. Kids in the closet. People questioning their faiths in a place where questioning is not looked on well. Survivors of abuse, and eating disorders, and systems of misogyny.
One comment I've heard often, which breaks my heart as much as it resonates, is this:
"I want to leave, but I have no idea what that would even look like."
"I feel like I'm crazy. Like I'm the only one doing this."
"I feel so alone. I'm tired."
Jessica's story reminded me of the power of stories themselves. When I came out, an ex-Jehovah Witness I'd been chatting with online messaged me to say, "welcome to the other side."
I tell my story knowing that determining your own life, learning to love and be confident in who you truly are, and having the courage to face fears are such human things. And there are still people questioning and hiding and wondering, what could life look like?
The answer is, so much more. The answer is, you are not alone. The answer is, freedom is possible and your suffering is seen.
That's why I decided to start a new story spotlight series for people who are moving away from situations of control and toward their own versions of wholeness.
Control can mean so many things: cults, fundamentalist faiths, authoritarian families, toxic relationships, eating disorders, illness, homophobia or misogyny, whatever. And wholeness, too. It's up to you. You are the authority of you. 💝
I'm calling it Far From Alone, because that's what you and I and we are. I'll be writing spotlights on my own role models and inspirations, but the spotlight is also wide open for anyone who would like to put their own story into words.
Stories are power. They shatter fear and silence. They are a spark for hope.
I'll be adding every name to a list on my blog, a place anyone can go for hope if they ever feel lost or alone. An online refuge. A digital Statue of Liberty.
If you feel trapped or lost, see how many people have come before you. If you are building a new freedom for yourself, see how many other people you can come alongside.
If my blog can be a platform for you to tell your truths and ask your questions, it is all yours. If you would like to be on the spotlight, or have anyone to suggest for it (!!!), I ask one main question: what does moving toward wholeness and freedom mean for you? Shoot me an email through the Contact form (or message me on Instagram or Facebook, if that's easier.)
Keep carrying forward, and remember that in healing, in freedom, in love, you are so far from alone.