Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Together

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to run when we were kids.

On Fridays we write with gusto, unselfconscious and flat out.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



Together was not a word that I grew up feeling good connotations about. For the most part, I generally felt pretty alone. Even in a room full of people I felt alone. I felt like I was different. No no one liked me; I did not fit in. In my family together was not a good word. It was an opportunity for someone to abuse me.

The feeling of being alone and different followed me many years into my walk with the Lord. It was different, but still alone. I knew He was always with me. I knew He loved me no matter what.

But I did not feel like His people loved me that way. I did not feel like I had deep friendships. I pretty much kept everyone at a disposable connection level.

About 5 years ago, God began to unearth some really painful really dark secrets that kept me feeling alone. He showed me that I felt alone, not because people did not want to be with me; I felt alone b/c I was hiding. I was afraid people could not love me if they knew some of the struggles I carried and could not get free from.

When God took me to celebrate recovery to deal with my alcoholism, He began to dismantle the walls that I thought protected me. Those walls kept me alone and isolated. As I began to come clean about the things that I thought I could entrust to no one but God, an amazing thing happened. I wasn't alone anymore. I was truly together. As I dealt with the fact that years of sexual abuse and child pornography had distorted my sexuality and let others come into my pain and distortion and pray for me, walk with me through it all, I wasn't carrying it alone anymore. The secrets no longer had to power to keep me from experiencing together. I told and people loved me anyway.

Then an amazing thing happened; people began to have courage to tell their secrets and the chains that held them began to fall off.

Stop....... times up

But I can't leave this hanging. Today, I help women walk through the process of recovery. Today I get to help others come out of alone and shadows to walk in together and light. So many years I spent alone in a crowd trying to manage my sin and beg God to take it out of me. His way is together, not alone. He only set me free as I opened up the basement and allowed people to come and shine light and love on the little girl hiding in the darkness. He set me free as I allowed people to love me and hold me and remind me that I am not defined or limited by the past. I will always bear scars, but today the scars are beautiful; they are an opportunity to tell His story of redemption in my life. Today I am not hiding and ashamed. I can tell about my pain b/c my pain helps others find the way to open the door so we can go into the dark basement and hug the broken scared little people and bring them into the light to find freedom and grace, hope and peace, redemption and restoration.


  1. Oooh so lovely. I so appreciate people's stories, and the courage to share them not in person.

  2. Heart-wrenching and lovely.
    You're an inspiration to so many.
    Thank you for sharing - and for not stopping when the timer went off at 5-Minutes!

  3. Thank you so much for being real and vulnerable and writing such profound truth. The line that spoke to me most, "The secrets no longer had to power to keep me from experiencing together. I told and people loved me anyway."

    I experienced this in the last couple years too, and it was the defining moment of my Christian walk and allowed me to see for the first time how big that word grace really is. I love that you are involved with Celebrate Recovery. My mom has been leading CR groups for years and it's a phenomenal program.

    So glad I read your post today. Thank you for writing it.

    1. It's always a joy to hear about women sharing their souls and finding grace. Blessings on your journey!!!

  4. This really touched me - I'm so glad I stopped by the read it, this is really where I am in life today.

  5. Dawn, this is beautiful. I'd love to hear more of your story. I have my own deep dark secrets and shame that God is constantly using to glorify himself! I am so thankful for your rescue and love your heart of wanting to rescue others. Have you seen the People of the Second Chance website? Thanks for sharing your story! It's great to meet you.