Just gonna be honest, I just spent an hour writing a post, editing it, posting it, and in the end it was a bunch of fluff. It felt like someone else had posted it. I deleted it and decided to be completely open and just lay it all out there.

I'm pissed off. My feelings are hurt to the point where my voice is shaky when I try to voice it even to my wife of almost 15 years. This week has been a true test of endurance on my heart and I feel like I'm losing to the lies and hurts of my surroundings. I feel betrayed by a mentor from whom I took every piece of advice like it was gold. I feel like the rug was just taken from underneath me and my face was left being scraped across the hardwood floor. I feel stupid and have questioned if what I'm doing or the words I'm saying will even have an effect on anyone. My inner turmoil with the thoughts and pain are effecting even how I see myself. When I notice myself in the mirror I think "Wow, who is that rough looking dude?" 

When I made a post on Facebook  about the hard week I was having, I received another blow to my self worth with this comment:

"At least I gave you life, everyone else wanted me to abort you. They tried hard to convince me that you were not worth keeping."

It felt like someone threw a bowling ball at my stomach and all the air I wanted to take in was being pulled from me as tears started to well up in my eyes. As much as I've tried to deny that things like that still have a hold on me, they do. I love my mom. I have forgiven her for everything either she knew or was oblivious to as I was growing up. But when I hear things like that I'm reminded that the tongue has the power of life or death. (Proverbs 18:21) Hurt people, hurt people. These hurts can even be passed down generationally in families. I'm ending that curse right here. 

After I had our nightly walk with my family I realized how much I was hurting from those words and how it was effecting me.  As a father, as a husband, and as a friend. As I looked at my beautiful family I was reminded of the future I have now. My autistic son is such a hope-bringer. He exudes excitement and joy from the littlest things. As we hit potholes while we pushed him in an adaptive-stroller his joyous laughter could be heard blocks away. My wife looked down at him and then back up to me: "He can never betray us...He wouldn't know how to even if he wanted to. He will always stay pure." She is so perfect for me in these types of situations. God has definitely placed me exactly where I need to be, and surrounded me with such a support system. Even in the most hurting times, He still has the plan all figured out. 

 My plan has never been to hurt people by the words of my testimony. My goal is to tell my story of freedom from these past hurts, not to bash my family, the life I had, or the journey to get here. I sat on these words for years after I got done writing my book because I was too afraid of hurting others. What God has been showing me is that there is more good than harm that will come out of my story because the only agenda I had when writing it was to free these thoughts from my own head. The end goal was and will never be "oh look at my sad life and horrible upbringing." Instead, it is to show redemption in forgiveness, hope in letting go, and the power in being vulnerable.

It is true: Hurt people, hurt people. But then so is the opposite: Loved people, love people.