{Between Two Worlds}

Dear Hope Between Two Worlds,
I see you standing here alone. You are so very scared. Battered and bruised.
I’ve been wanting to tell you for a very long time that you are going to survive this nightmare. This is not the end of everything even as you see and feel your whole world crashing down in sharp jagged pieces all around you.

You have not deserved the treatment you’ve received. They are wrong to act like you are a problem to quickly deal with and clean up after. He was wrong, oh so wrong. Where do I even begin with how wrong he was?

This moment you are standing in right now between homes, between men, between elders and church, between who you thought you were and who you’ve been told you are~ this moment doesn’t define you. His lack of concern for you in this moment doesn’t point to your worth. His exploitation and manipulation of you over these past few years doesn’t rest on your shoulders. It isn’t your fault. The state of their marriage isn’t your fault. The state of his ministry isn’t your fault. The wounds inflicted on the hearts of his three children aren’t your fault. The shattering of your own heart, body, and soul, are not your fault. You’ve been used, misused, abused, deceived, tricked, betrayed, disregarded, knocked down, stepped over, stepped past, written off, kicked out, shunned, silenced. None of this is you.

Don’t let your heart die here. Don’t let your dreams die here. Don’t let your faith die here. Don’t equate his treatment of you, his abandonment of you, to how God feels about you. God does not use his daughters like this. God does not draw in only to twist-turn-and-burn before discarding. God has not hurled you into this dark abyss. God has not asked you to pack your bags and leave. God has not silenced you with a gag order or beaten you down with shame and blame. His servants did it all to you. They are imposters sweet girl. They don’t really love you, they never have. They are married to their reputations and their versions of religious tyranny.

Don’t let them keep you silent. Don’t let them run you off. Don’t let them pay you off with honey-laced words and eight visits to a counselor. Go find someone to listen to you. Go find someone to fight for you. You are worth fighting for. You will make it through this. This, all of this, it does not have the last word on Hope.

Much more has gone on here than meets the eye. Don’t take the blame. You did not pursue him, he pursued you. He drew you out. He crossed those lines. He broke those covenants. He held the knives of betrayal. You were a pawn in his game. You were used to satiate his thirsty starving empty soul. You had nothing to do with what happened. He used his position of spiritual leadership to move you into position as a pawn on a chess board. You didn’t ask to be a pawn. You didn’t ask to be taken advantage of. You didn’t ask to cross those lines. They were crossed for you. He was supposed to be a safe haven. A person to be trusted. A sacred space was violated against your will. Please see how this was not at all your doing. You must not take the reigns of responsibility. Speak grace to your heart. You will get to the other side of this. It does not define the trajectory of your life as a whole. It will not have the final say.

You are infinitely more than this moment is trying to say you are. You are more than they are saying you are. You are more than he is saying you are. You are more than even you are saying you are. You are beautiful, you are worthy, you are not ruined, you are not messed up for life. I love you and I don’t want you to turn in on yourself. Don’t go into hiding for the next 20 years. You do need to pack your things now and leave, but not because you are the guilty party, but because you aren’t safe here, you never were. They aren’t interested in helping you or hearing you. They cannot be trusted. He cannot be trusted. She cannot be trusted. Go find a safe place with strong people who love you with boldness and will love you well. Go to safety. Go find an advocate. Use your voice to speak up.

This does not end here and you will not die here. You are not a pile of trash to be sorted, gathered, bagged, and dumped. Listen to me when I say, we can do this, we can make it through this torment. I’m here, don’t cut me off in fear, let me be who I’m meant to be. Let yourself be who you truly are. You are so so beautiful inside and out. Your journey will continue to take shape around and through and beyond this tragedy. There is life and joy and hope beyond this terrible moment between two worlds.

You are between two Hopes. Between two you’s. Between two futures. Let us walk hand in hand together. Let us walk between healing and grace, there is no better road to journey on.

Thank you for hearing me sweet Hope. I’m excited for your future even though you may not be able to look beyond this moment. I can see beyond the in-betweens.

Let’s go sweetie. We can pack together, leave together, speak out together, hope together.

{Hope Wood 2014}