I remember standing there and watching the fireworks, hearing the star spangled banner, and tears rolling down my face. Each tear stinging the places where gravel still held tight to my skin. I was standing in the middle of thousands of people and feeling more trapped and alone than ever in my life.
I remember realizing that day that I was no longer free, but a slave to someone who meant so much but hurt so big. I remember wishing that at that moment, I could be anywhere but there.
Five years later, after stories most of you will never hear, much less believe, I found myself standing on a mountain top. I found myself free. I was OVERWHELMED. My heart could not fathomtfat freedom it felt.
Instead of running my tongue across the place in my lip which still holds a piece of gravel, I took silly pictures with my daughter and neice. Instead of cringing in expectation of the next hurtful word, I reveled in the kindness of my Stephen. Instead of crying out of brokenness, I laughed in gratitude. I simply was.
July 4th is a day of freedom for me. It is a day most of you will never have the slightest clue about, but will always be one of the most important days of my life. Mama is free. No more fear, and swinging arms. No more "you made me's" or "if you had not's".
She is free. She is free to laugh and be silly. She is free to dance and twirl about. She is free to dream. She is free to simply be, and more than anything, she is free to tell her story. She is not bound by those secrets anymore. . .Independence day indeed!!!