I have seen other bloggers posting their word for the new year, so I sat down and thought about my options and one word popped out at me. BELIEVE!
As a child, I received a lot of praise from my parents and grandparents. I was smart, cute and outgoing. When I was 5 years old, my grandma died and a part of me started to wither away. As the first grandchild and ONLY girl, I was grandma's favorite and was her shadow. A heart attack would take her away much too young. She was only 45! We moved about a year after her passing and I was lucky enough to have a wonderful lady across the street become a surrogate grandma to me. She heaped on the praise and the love. Boisterous Shelly returned for about 2 years. During my 3rd grade year, I was molested by my next door neighbor's uncle. I never told anyone because he threatened to kill my family if I did. I started to internalize my feelings and stopped believing in childhood fantasies, and stopped believing in myself. I blamed myself for what happened.
I started sleep walking and slowly started to put on weight. By the time I was in 6th grade, I was a little chubby. I didn't believe I was good enough to have friends and had no close ones. When junior high started, I had several superficial "buddies", but no real friends. I was not self confident, and I didn't think I was smart, cute, or special at all. The only thing I believed was that I was where I deserved. High school and college came and went pretty much the same. I finally made a good friend in college and the first thing she started doing was talking about my weight. She was a size 0, and she let me know that I really needed to lose weight so the guys would look at me occasionally. I was a size 12, and I took all this to heart.
When I started working, a friend recommended that I check out a dating service. I met and married my first introduction. Although I always felt something was not quite right with the relationship, we were married for 11 years. During that time, he verbally abused me and would thump me (hard enough to leave a bruise) if I said something he didn't like. He would keep me away from my family and made the rules in our house. After our daughter was born, he was rarely at home, and when he was there, he kept to himself and degraded me at every opportunity. I didn't believe I deserved anything else. One night he crossed the line and hit me, he slammed me into the refrigerator and called me the B word in front of our 18 month old daughter. I left him and never returned after that.
My mom and I had long talks and with her help, and lots of prayer, I started to believe in myself again. I started to believe that people were good and that I deserved to be loved. When I wasn't looking, I met my soul mate and we will celebrate 15 years together in 2016. I believed again.
Good times come and go and sometimes I find myself losing faith in myself, others, and sometimes doubting God. This year I pledge to concentrate on understanding life and learning to BELIEVE!
I know I can because I can do ALL Things through Christ!!
Do you have a word for this year? Share your thoughts with me!