Dear Daddy’s Girl….. A letter to those who have lost their fathers.

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Dearest sister,

I know the pain. I know the heartache. One day he was here, the next he is gone. It feels as though you’ve lost everything at times. You are waiting to wake up from what must be a crazy bad dream. He can’t REALLY be gone, can he? I’ve been there.

As a little girl he was always there. He was your idol, your biggest fan, your loudest cheerleader. When you heard “daddy’s home” your heart swelled and you ran to be the first to greet him. No you see a man and his daughter holding hands crossing the parking lot, or a little girl wearing a shirt that says “daddy’s sweetheart” and you break. I’ve been there.

Getting older you think about graduation and making him proud. He may even shed a tear or two (or a million) as he watches his little girl walk across the stage. You helps you move into your college dorm. As ready as you are to take on the world, a piece of you knows how hard this day is on him. I’ve been there.

Then you imagine your wedding day! He walks you down the aisle and officially gives you away to an amazing man who you pray will be ½ the man he is. Then comes the father daughter dance. A day of celebration and love, wrapped up with fun and laughter. He twirls you around the dance floor making you laugh while “I Loved Her First” or “Cinderella” plays in the background. I’ve been there.

How could this be happening? What does this mean? He’s gone and you’re still here. You start to move on, but something reminds you of the loss. Sometimes it’s a song, or a memory, or a picture. Sometimes it looking at the future and realizing from here on out you have to talk about him in the past tense, or that anyone new you meet will never know him. I’ve been there.

I wish I could say it gets better. I wish I could say it gets easier. But honestly that is a lie I’ve been telling myself for 8 ½ years now. The situation sucks. Your father/dad/papa/daddy is gone, and you are still here. You are forced to face this hella scary world without him and the safety you felt when you were with him. If, like me, you are single you are forced to think about walking down the aisle with someone other than the man who raised you. Reality will hit you when you see friends getting married and having that special dance with their dad while you are choking back tears and forcing a smile to show you’re OK.

It doesn’t get better or easier, but you adjust. You learn to be a bit more independent. You find a strength within yourself that you didn’t know was there before. That strength comes from within, and it comes from him. Everything he taught you, everything he showed you, even when he thought you weren’t paying any attention. All of that comes back around when you least expect it. You realize that daddy’s little girl turned into daddy’s strong independent woman. You pray to make him proud in all you do.

Being a girl who has lost her dad is tough. It is not a position I EVER imagined to be in, especially not at the age of 19 when it happened, and now 8 years later I still struggle sometimes. We all handle loss differently, but at the end of the day losing your daddy sucks. It’s a club that I hate being a member of and did not join by choice. It’s a bond that so many young women and I share, and I want to be able to support others as much as possible. Know that you are NOT alone. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling. Be patient and kind to yourself. It’s a tough journey, but know you are not and will not be alone in it.

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Life… Love… the journey continues

I’m back in the U.S and am still working on this “normal” life thing. Trying to process everything I experienced in the last year. Realizing how I’ve grown as an independent woman. Seeing how life for my family and friends changed while I was away. And still trying to grasp what exactly it is that God has planned for me. All of this while moving to a new town and beginning a new job in Youth and Family Ministry….. Sounds fun right?!

Well most of the time it’s fine. But sometimes I realize just how different U.S culture is to English culture. Reverse culture shock has been like an annoying fly that sometimes just wont go out the window, no matter how many times you try to guide it that way. Sometimes I can’t even pinpoint why, but it bothers me when I think of just how much we take for granted in our country. I’m trying my best to continue to live my life in a simplistic way, but every now and then I still get the feeling “oh I need a new phone” or “oh I can’t wait to get a new car”. I have so much more opportunity and material goods as a 27 year old white female than SO many around the world, simply because my passport is blue and says “United States of America”. Something I am still trying to adjust to.

I learned a lot about myself in the last year. Somethings were harder to accept than others, one of those being that I am good enough. I have always struggled with self-esteem issues as many young women do, but for me it led down a pretty sketchy path of poor decisions to seek attention. By the grace of God through some tough love, I realized that I have more to offer than I’ve ever given myself credit for. I told myself these 4 things:

  1. I’m done being second best.
  2. I’m better off alone than with the wrong guy.
  3. My worth does not come from what others think of me.
  4. I deserve to be loved and respected.

I have spent so much of my life allowing myself to be happy with being someone’s second choice. I assume that being chosen is what matters, not when that happened. I’m not second best to God and I will not continue to be second best for anyone… Even myself. Again I’ve often thought that it’s better to be with someone than not with anyone. I’d rather have had 10 minutes with Mr. Wrong, than spend those 10 minutes alone waiting for Mr. Right. During this last year I realized that not only is that terribly self-destructive, but I’m worth much more than what I’ve settled for.

My self-worth has always come from what others (primarily males) have thought of me. If a guy said I was beautiful, then I would most likely believe it…. if a guy said your too fat, then I was too fat. This has done so much internal damage that I am still working on, but I’m starting to accept that how I view myself needs to be through the eyes of God, NOT through the eyes of other people. I deserve to be loved and respected and I will no longer settle for anything less. For far too long I allowed myself to be used and damaged by those whom I thought meant something more. I am worth more than that and I deserve to be shown love and affection from someone who genuinely cares for me and about me.

Of course all of this is a work in progress, I’m far from complete yet I know that I have come a long way from where I was a little over a year ago. My plan for now is to keep processing all I’ve gone through. Keep learning and growing from where I’ve been. Keep healing and trusting that God will do great things both in and through me.

Now, onto the next chapter…

 

 

Send me someone

My prayer as I continue my lifelong journey with God ❤

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Lord, send me someone.

Send me someone who adores me.

Send me someone who cherishes me.

Someone who invites me to church.

Someone who wants to know how my day was.

Send me someone who wants to meet my family, learn where I came from, and why I am the way that I am.

Someone who doesn’t have to change me.

Send me someone who loves to take naps just as much as me.

Someone who is proud of my accomplishments.

Send me someone who prays for me.

Someone who builds me up instead of breaking me down.

Send me someone who will reassure my heart, and our relationship.

Send me someone who can love my heart just how it is.

Someone who is dying for me to meet their family and loved ones.

Send me someone who is so proud to call me theirs.

Someone who can communicate with me.

Someone…

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A Musical Post

Music speaks SO deeply into my life that sometimes I can’t help but feel like I’ve been hit in the stomach by a baseball bat when I hear something that just GETS ME! This song is one of those songs….

I’ve been battling a lot with accepting who I WAS, what I’ve been through, and knowing that I’ve grown and changed so much this year. Facing my deepest darkest pains and finally accepting that I cannot change them has been both refreshing and scary. I  know now that I am working on who I was designed and called to be, and that (like the lyrics say)

“Yesterday’s a closing door, you don’t live there anymore. 

Say Goodby to where you’ve been, and tell your heart to beat again!”

Hopefully this song will help or mean something to you as you listen to it.

Blessings!

Jess

May Newsletter

Hiya!

It’s that time again, another newsletter. It seems as though I’ve merely blinked since the March newsletter and already it is May?! Crazy… I only have 3 months left here in Bradford, and I plan to do absolutely everything I can to make the most of my time with my community as amazing as possible. Prayers for the future and what will come when I return are also welcome and appreciated! 🙂

Anyway, here is a look at what has been going on, I hope you enjoy!

 

Cheers,

Jess

jessroberts May 2016

Tightropes…

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Hello world!

I promised myself that throughout this year I would do my absolute BEST to be as open and vulnerable as possible… In that thinking, and through the encouragement of others I have decided to share more of my writings with the world. I used to love writing poetry and creative stories but somewhere in my teenage awesomeness I lost that. Through my experiences and the growing I’ve done this year I have started writing again and, up until now, only shared with a good friend or two.

Being now 7 months into this YAGM journey, I thought it was best I shared with you this poem I wrote a month or so back. A year ago I was working full time and living what many would see as a normal American life, however on the inside I was lost. I was unfulfilled with what I was doing and I was just going through the day to day motions of life. Now as I consider the time I have left here in Bradford and the “what’s next” question I am always asked, I feel torn between the here and now and the worry of the future. Here is the best way I can describe it….

Safety nets and comfort zones,
What purpose do they serve?
Are they really for our protection,
Or do they block out the unattainable?

If you never let go of what’s behind you,
You’ll never reach what may be in front of you.
Are you really content with holding onto the past,
Or is there something you’d like to release and let go?

We are supposed to learn from our past, With an imagination for the future,
All while living in the present!
Are you ready for what that might mean?

My past is plagued with pain and guilt,
How can I ever be enough?
My future is scary, filled with unknown experiences Am I really the right one for this life?

Questioning is human nature, I know
It’s not until we remove our safety nets
that we really can experience life as it should be.
How long before the netting is ripped, torn, damaged or broken?

I’m standing on a tight rope,
My safety net blown away
Too scared to move forward,
Yet too far in between to give up now.

But in the midst of the fear and anxiety,
I must find my footing and realign for the journey. I can no longer be afraid of falling, of failing
It’s time to take that next step… with faith.

 

Cheers,

Jess