Posted in healing, heartache, Jesus, Life Lessons, Love, Prayer, Truth, Word, Writing

Me, Being Vulnerable

I took this picture on a beautiful night on a beach in Ventura, California. It was the only long trip I took with my husband. This is the cover of my book. It’s breathtaking. But I cannot look at it without wanting to throw up.
Why? He left. Suddenly. Had a baby with someone else.

Betrayal by someone you intimately, ultimately trusted (bio Dad, exes, friends who violently assaulted me) makes you question your worth, your decision making skill set, your whole life. It can cause you to dissociate from yourself. To cling to anyone who appears to love you while pushing them away with your actions. It causes you to feel unsafe in every single relationship you have. It’s cost me real love, and time, and closeness with people I adore.

It shuts you down, forces you to cope one way or the other. For me, I drank to numb the pain. I couldn’t handle it.

Sixteen years later I’m finally feeling it. All of it. Without the aid of any pain killers. And it’s excruciatingly hard. I’m putting in the hard work of letting myself feel and heal.

I’m realizing that every time I walk away from God, or yell at the sky “why?” and “where were you?” I’m accusing him of being guilty of what my ex, and the monsters who attacked me and the ex bf who emotionally abused me, (and even myself for staying so long) are actually guilty of. That’s also betrayal. God understands betrayal. I’ve done it to him so many times. He hates that they did this to me. He hates that I allowed it for so long. It’s scary letting God into my wounds. But he’s not a man. I can trust him. He’s safe.

So if my eyes leak when we talk, you’ll know why. I’m learning and growing and healing. It’s the bravest, hardest thing I’m doing. It will take time and tears and effort to learn to trust and love and live fully. But in the end I’ll be better.

If I have opened up with you over coffee or messenger and shared my heart, perhaps this gives you some insight into how scary that has been for me. You’ve probably wondered why I cling or put up a wall and then cling again. This is why. I have a beautiful broken heart.

Why am I being so vulnerable?
Because somewhere someone is numbing their pain instead of facing it. So this is me, finally facing more trauma than I’ll EVER share on social media, saying to YOU – if I can, you can too.

If this is you, message me. I promise I’ll pray for you.

I love you. Yes, YOU. You’re so worthy of love. You’re too precious to walk through life with a wounded heart. Be brave with me. Let Jesus heal your heart.

Love,
Melissa

Posted in healing, heartache, Letters, Life Lessons, Love, Poetry, Truth, waiting, Writing

Tear-stained Wisdom

You never really knew me until you sat across from me at coffee on a cloudy day and watched the rain fall from my eyes.

You never really understood me until you let me get past the catch in my throat that’s always there when I sit across from you.

It’s as I listen to your heart through your words that I can make sense of my own feelings, which is why I always pause and let silence stand between us for a long moment before I speak.

It’s when I make sense of my own feelings that I can process yours. Then I can give you the tear-stained wisdom that is chiseled in my soul.

I never really knew you until I sat across from you and realized that we can both as freely give as receive wisdom and love.

And I’d like to know you more.

And I’d like for you to know me more.

But texts don’t form tears, or capture the pitch when you really laugh out loud, or give a full picture of what’s inside a heart.

But it’s all we can do now.

And it’s going to be really hard to give my whole heart again to anyone else when it’s broken but still yours. But it’s going to be hard for anyone else to break my heart when it isn’t really whole because it’s still yours.

I can only let time and silence and steadfast prayer heal me.

Posted in healing, Life Lessons, Love, Truth, waiting, Word, Writing

Girl, Lift Your Face

My mind wandered this morning to John 4 and the woman Jesus spoke with at the well. I’m often reminded of her when I look in the mirror in the mornings. Why had she come to this well to draw water alone? That was an activity the women usually did together. For safety. For social interaction.

I’ll guess why she was there alone. She felt shame. She was hiding.

Hiding from other women. From society. From her soiled reputation.

Guilt will always point out what I’ve done (which is healthy), but shame sneaks in and replaces my own name.

Hello, my name is (fill-in-the-blank).

  • Adulteress
  • Fat girl
  • Single Mom
  • Divorced
  • Lonely
  • Heart-broken
  • Insecure
  • Flawed
  • Unwanted
  • Ugly
  • Annoying
  • Unworthy
  • Useless
  • Stupid
  • Unlovable

Has shame ever replaced your name with something else?

It has replaced every one of the above names for my name at times throughout my life.

So there she was – sneaking away to get water, and that’s when she met Jesus – the man who would change the course of her life.
Jesus was sitting there alone, waiting on his disciples to get back from town with food. He asked her to draw him some water and you can almost hear her audible gasp.

“Who, me? I’m (fill-in-the-blank).” (Paraphrasing here.)

She actually said:
“You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

Let’s stop a sec.

How many times over the past 16 years have I been asked to go get my husband? By a salesman? By a snarky married woman who knows I don’t have one? By a mean girl? I know what this feels like.
And the answer stammers it’s way out of my trembling mouth. My eyes glance down, or away.
I, I… have no husband. He left me for someone else he got pregnant.

Then Jesus spoke a truth that walked right through the solid, heretofore impenetrable walls around her heart:
“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.”

Ouch. Yep. There it is.
But let’s be real. I’ve often wondered if there was a more shameful truth exposed here.

Can I just be honest? Every time I read this story I put myself in her place, but I imagine Jesus’ answer to me would be more like, “You’re right – since your husband left you’ve had 2 other women’s husbands and 2 boyfriends you let act like a husband.”

The fact that Jesus knows everything and chooses to forgive anyway and offer a second chance at life always astounds me. He did this same thing for me when I was in a similar place as that woman.

Forgiveness heals.

I want to address something else shame has done to me over the years. Because I was sexually assaulted, shame has said I’m damaged – permanently.

I hope you’ve never endured a sexual assault of any kind, but something tells me someone reading right now either has or knows someone who has.

It was not your fault. It wasn’t.

Shame likes to whisper that it was. Shame likes to whisper that if I just wouldn’t have opened the door it wouldn’t have happened.

That’s a lie.

Girl, lift your face.

Enter Jesus who replaced my name with who he says I am.

My name is:

  • Chosen
  • Redeemed
  • Righteousness
  • Beautiful
  • Daughter
  • Lovely
  • Loved
  • Lovable
  • Pure

The Samaritan woman in this story had looked for love all her life, but was handed counterfeited love. I’m not sure what happened. Like me, did her husband leave unexpectedly and take her hope and strength and dignity with him?
Jesus gave me back my hope and strength and dignity. And he wants to do the same for you.

I had to stop going back to the places I thought would give me the love I want so badly. It just made me thirsty for more so I just kept going back.

But I was never satisfied, because that was not love.

My Jesus met me where I was – even though I was trying to hide my shame from everyone. He gave me all the love I’ll ever want.

Trust me. I know what you might be saying. “But I want a husband’s arms to hold me and love me.”

I’ve cried myself to sleep more nights than I care to admit because I want that kind of love, have it to give, yet have no one to share it with.
Oh darling, I know.
But each morning I choose to meet Jesus and allow His love to restore my hope, strength, and dignity. THAT is why I walk in joy and peace.
Do I want a husband?
Yes, I absolutely do.
Oh, but not if it costs me even one precious drop of the love Jesus gives. I’m not giving that up. No way.

Drink up, sister. Drink deeply of His love. Nothing else will ever satisfy.

Hello, my name is: Melissa, Loved, Beautiful, Hand-crafted, Adored, Poetess, Daughter of God.

Posted in Poetry, Word, Word, Truth, Life, Love, Writing

Word Before the Day

As I stumble upon morning, yet again, My throat parched,
My eyes cluttered with matter,
My heart half-awake –
I reach for your Word.
Well, first coffee; because…coffee
But always your Word.
And not out of habit.
Well, it IS my daily habit, but
That’s not my motivation.
No. My sweet, smiley,
Southern-belle-heart
Doesn’t always drink-in a
“Good” morning
So easily.
Whereas I don’t always
Feel “good” –
It is good.
Which is why your Word
Is necessary.
It brings life.

I’m 2 weeks into this
Quiet journey today,
Yet there are moments I,
Like the Israelites,
Prefer my “Egypt”-
Because
There is comfort in the familiar.

Truth-be-told
I’ve walked through this
Desert for 16 years and I, too
Have grumbled about
Mannah and quail.
But it has been my provision.
We’ve never missed a meal,
Nor had no roof over our heads.

But it’s time to cross over the Jordan.

My “Egypt” looked like
Men comforting me via text with
Hollow words that kept me
Wondering – and wandering.
My “Egypt” looked like
Words on a screen that
At first soothed, then
Scarred my heart.
My “Egypt” looked like
Delicious foods,
Pleasing to my mouth, yet
Horrible on my body.
Like spending too much,
Like being “liked” by strangers,
Like “I got this.”

But I don’t. Not really.
Not without my good, good Father.

When I awake at dawn
And find myself alone –
And find a message meant from
A concerned friend
Saying “you don’t have a husband because you don’t love God enough and you must have hidden sin.”

I want to shriek –
And block their number
And, like Job, finally stand and utter:
“Look, my eyes have seen all this; my ears have heard and understood it. Everything you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. Yet I prefer to speak to the Almighty and argue my case before God. You use lies like plaster; you are all worthless healers. If only you would shut up and let that be your wisdom!” [Job 13:1‭-‬5 CSB]

This! This is why I reach for your Word.
Before work.
Before my daily wake-up greeting for Mr. Middle School.
Before my work inbox fills with requests.

And, like the Psalmist, I declare:
“If your instruction had not been my delight, I would have died in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts for you have given me life through them.”
[Psalm 119: 92]

More Word.
Less text. Less grumbling.
More Word.
Less “likes.” Less posting.
More Word.
Less judgment. Less hatred.
More Word.
Just more of your life-giving Word.

Posted in constitution, Letters, Life Lessons, Writing

My Personal Constitution

Me a Person fed up with the relentless pursuit of keeping up with everyone else’s wants and wishes, in Order to form a more perfect Life, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for my personal Defense, promote my general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to myself and my life, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the Life of Melissa.

My Personal Constitution

One: I retain the right to establish and exercise my faith in the way I so choose. In so saying this, I today declare that I am a child of God, an instrument to be used at His bidding; I am Christ minded, Spirit filled, and Heaven bound.

Two: I retain the right to establish, maintain, and defend my self respect. No person who comes against my self respect shall be allowed to remain an active part of my life.

Three: I retain the right to nurture, protect, and defend the children God has entrusted me with. In my children’s defense, I will not put up with any man coming around them without first proving to be a stable provider, a great father figure, and a willingly active participant in their lives. And no one else for that matter shall be allowed entrance into my children’s lives without respecting my position as a parent.

Four: I retain the right to protect my heart against the advances or trickery of any man who only wants to engage in immoral conduct. Any man wishing to be in my life must first be compared to the following list and meet these minimum requirements:

  1. Love God with all his heart
  2. Love me at least as much as I love him
  3. Possess the ability to actively communicate with me about all things
  4. Be educated and possess a mind that wants to continually learn
  5. Hold a stable job and have an adequate income for providing for me and my children
  6. Possess the patience, love, attention, and discipline necessary for raising children
  7. Remember special occasions and mark them with me in some way
  8. Possess a creative energy and flow; as writing is the key to my heart
  9. Posses the desire to maintain his own space and personal life while allowing and respecting my desire to do the same
  10. Be honest and trustworthy
  11. Posses the desire to date me; woo me, charm me, and impress me even after the first few months of dating and/or marriage
  12. Possess the ability to receive love in return
  13. To not be actively addicted to any substance, object, mindset, or activity
  14. Never cheat on me or go outside our relationship for any form of intimacy
  15. Posses the desire to pray with me and promote our family’s spiritual growth
  16. Never abuse or manipulate me mentally, emotionally, physically, or in any way

Five: I retain the right to guard my individuality; to walk through life at my own pace without being pressured by others to conform or dumb down my intelligence for any reason. I retain the right to determine and defend my life’s code of morality, political views, and points of view without the express input of others.

Six: I retain the right to remove myself from society now and again for the purposes of self reflection and growth without fear of retaliation, pressure, or questions afterwards.

Seven: I retain the right to protect my personal property including but not limited to my physical property and my thoughts as spoken or printed. Plagiarism and thievery will not be tolerated.

Eight: I retain the right to remain human. Realizing I am prone to sin as are those around me: forgiveness, grace, and mercy shall be reciprocally distributed between myself and any person wishing to walk in close proximity to me. I expect those closest to me to point out my imbecilities lovingly and, when I repent, to not hold such against me so that I can be restored, if need be, to right standing with God and man.

Nine: I retain the responsibility of being a good friend: to stand by those who stand by me, to love openly, to share my life with, and to value those persons that I hold in high esteem.

Ten: I retain the right to propose Amendments to this constitution at any time so long as they don’t dispute or negate these first ten. I retain the right to do so without the express consent or negotiation of any other party or person.

Done in closed session by the sole Consent of myself present the Sixth Day of February in the Year of our Lord two thousand and eight and have hereunto subscribed my Name,

Melissa Ann Fairchild

Posted in Poetry, Writing

Home

There’s something
In the air tonight
My thoughts are lost
Somewhere, mid-flight
And I can’t help myself,
It’s like
My thoughts are on their own.
The tremble of a restless sea
Tumbles ashore inside of me
My heart resounds
Relentlessly
I’m all alone tonight

Turned the pillow
To the cold side
I wonder if you do this too
There are so many things
I’d like to know.
Do you wake up every morning
At exactly the same minute?
Mine is 5:13,
And in case you didn’t know –
You always feel like home.

I always smile at take-off
When gravity pulls me down
I guess it must be something
About being off the ground
Something in my soul shifts
A calm that soothes my
Restlessness, but
When I wake up there
It’s never quite like home
So I love coming home

Turned the pillow
To the cold side
I wonder if you do this too
There are so many things
I’d like to know.
How do you like your coffee?
Black or French Vanilla?
Mine’s sweet with cream
And in case you didn’t know –
You always feel like home.

Posted in Life Lessons, Love, Poetry, Truth, Uncategorized, waiting, Writing

In the Valleys

I sat and watched the sky
And the prairie running wild
Up to the mountains.
I watched the blues and reds
Scatter colors overhead –
Night fell around me.
And suddenly a whisper
Came from somewhere
Deep inside:
I’m walking here beside you
I hold every tear you’ve cried,
Just look around – see:
Some things grow better
In the valleys.

And I pondered the past year
And how if He holds every tear
They must fill an ocean.
When I looked up again
The prairie grass in the wind
Stirred up the notion –
That the God who made
The mountains
Is the God who made the seas.
The one who paints the skies
Is the one who painted me,
And peace swept around me –
Some thoughts are deeper
In the valleys.

If my heart ever finds love,
Or if it never does,
It makes no difference.
Please don’t misunderstand
I don’t think it’s in His plan
To be alone forever.
But looking at the mountains
It begins to make some sense
Some mountains are a fortress,
Some a tall, barbed-wire fence.
When He surrounds me –
Sometimes I’m safest in the valleys.

Posted in Letters, Life Lessons, Truth, Writing

Maybe It’s Time to Change Your Filter

Good evening from North Texas. I just had dinner with my two youngest kids (ages 18 and 11) at the city’s square. It’s an amazing place where the locals gather to relax and unwind.

Right now my current view is my backyard. It’s 79 degrees on a Texas night in July. Rare.

I’m sitting out here watching a momma Robin feed her new hatchling and listening to the thunder roll in. The evening smells like rain.

Out here on my back porch is a small 10 ft by 3 ft deep pool. I noticed its pump was making strange sounds yesterday, so I went to inspect. I screwed the lid off and disgusting water gurgled out all over my hands. Yuck. It was full of …gunk – a sign I’ve been working too much and haven’t kept up with pool maintenance. I don’t mean it was a little green. I mean it was teal with hard chunks of nastiness. No wonder the pool was dirtier than usual. The water could go into the pump, but the filter inside was so clogged that the bad stuff just remained in the pool. I changed the filter, vacuumed the pool, and replaced the necessary chemicals it needs for balance.

I put the pool cover on just now. The water and bottom of the pool are still clear. I checked the filter – it is already slightly brown. That’s okay though. It’s a sign that the filter is doing its job.

It got me thinking…

  • When the proverbial water in my life is looking cloudy, maybe I need to replace my filter. I stopped watching smut-laden movies and stopped watching TV a few years ago for this reason. Garbage in. Garbage out. Especially the 24/7 news cycle. When I filter my thoughts through my faith, it usually catches the bad stuff so my life remains clear. When I filter my life through negativity and selfishness, my life will surely show it.
  • When my life looks like the bottom of the pool, which yesterday was full of bugs, leaves, and dirt, it shows up as anger, depression, and anxiety. When I replace kind words with snappy comebacks (I’m guilty of this, this week), it indicates to me that something is wrong inside. Perhaps I should get out the vacuum (get in the Word, get off social media, reset boundaries with people) and get that junk out of my life. Some things are too big to be filtered out. Sometimes you have to physically, intentionally remove stuff (people, vices, etc.).
  • My life, like my pool with its chemicals, needs a maintenance regimen of elements designed to bring balance. When I work out 5x a week like I have been. When I eat right. When I surround myself with people who pour in wisdom. When I read regularly. When I get up early for my cup of coffee and my half hour in the Word and prayer before my day begins… these are the elements I need to keep my life balanced.

In case you’re wondering, I’m still waiting on this storm. The baby birdie is asleep in its nest under the covering of the roof’s edge. The pool pump is running smoothly. And there’s still no rain. Just a cool evening for me to enjoy my favorite thing – writing.

I’ll leave you with this:

To have a clean, balanced life, maybe it’s time for a little routine maintenance.

Change your filter. What you allow is what will continue.

Oh…there’s the rain.

Rest well. I love you.

-Melis

Posted in Lyrics, Poetry, Spoken Word, Writing

3am Random Dream-induced Lyrics

…and she said
I still think I might have
Liked to have a try
But this is really best –
Not being perfect all the time
And when I
Close my eyes I can
Still look up and
See his face
He’s just something
I can’t erase.

Funny thing that happens
Somewhere further
Down the road
One minute she is driving
Listening to what
She doesn’t know
And all the sudden he is
Right there in her mind
And she remembers…
Random things
Like how he said hello.
And how in winter
His boots left patterns
In her car
Or how his
Crazy Aunt Roberta
Still stalks her on Instagram
Or the
Way he made his coffee
Is just how she
Makes her coffee
And the way he held her
Closer than her pillow
Made her
Want to stay in his arms
Forever and a day
But the way he
Acted like they
Weren’t a thing
Drives those memories away

…and she said
I still think I might have
Liked to have a try
But this is really best –
Not being perfect all the time
And when I
Close my eyes I can
Still look up and
See his face
He’s just something
I can’t erase.

She’s getting older now
Her hair is turning grey
She looks out the window
Of her favorite cafe
And there he is
Carrying in the morning paper
And he almost walks
Right by her
When suddenly
A smile becomes his face
So he sits down and
They rejoin the conversation
They had years ago
But this time he has softened
And two hours later
He still lingers
With his hand
Resting softly
With his fingers
Intertwined with hers –
The conversation this time
Feels like
More than just some words

…and he said
I still think I might
Like to have a try
And this is really best –
Not being perfect all the time
All my life I want to
Wake up and see your face
You’re the one
I never could replace.

Posted in family, Friends, heartache, Life Lessons, Truth, Uncategorized, waiting, Word, Writing

Wait Lifting #6: What Are You Waiting For?

Fireworks are exploding over my North Texas town right now. This is one of my favorite holidays, but I skipped it this year. Oh, I had to work some, but the real work I did was on my heart.

I let it heal.

Sometimes it takes a long moment.

My long moment lasted 8 years. I’m finally ready to tell my story tonight…mostly because if I get it out, it’ll bring me closure.

July 2nd, 2011 was going to be one of the best days of my life.

I had been dating someone for a while and he was flying here from Ohio, where he lives, to spend the July 4th weekend with me and meet my family.

My kids were 3, 10, and 14. Stephi was especially excited to meet him – they talked on the phone when he would call me and he was all she could talk about.

Long distance relationships are difficult, at best. But every single weekday morning at 7:15am I would hear my phone ring and it would be him. He could not wait to say good morning and that he loves me. Then he’d text throughout the day just because he was thinking about me – until he texted to say goodnight – always at 9:30pm.

I’d driven up to meet him 2 months prior and the weekend was amazing. It ended oddly, but I was in love. Finally.

At this point I’d been a single mom for 8 years. I was in graduate school. I was teaching a summer technical writing course at the local university that summer, but school was out for this long holiday weekend and I was beyond excited.

His plane was to arrive late in the morning. I waited and waited for his call – well past the usual 7:15 timeslot. He finally called from the airport, said his flight was cancelled but he had been placed on another flight. He’d call with which airline/gate so I could know where to pick him up. So I waited. 2pm. 4pm. Nothing. I called the airline. I called the hospitals. I watched the news. Nothing.

His phone ringer was off. I left a third text message.

Nothing.

I had a massive panic attack. I just remember that my mom sat beside me the entire day. It’s one of my favorite moments with her, actually. I just remember her being close to me that day. Sometimes, even as an adult, you just need your mom.

How could I explain this to the kids? What would I say? Where was he? What was happening?

I finally slept. It was that sleep you have in the middle of an exhausting crying spell where you wake up, wonder where you are, remember, and start again where you left off.

The next day was a blur. No word. No arrival. Nothing.

The day after that was July 4th. I found myself pushing my kiddo in his stroller at the town parade. The parade is my favorite. I’d described it in detail to my boyfriend and he laughed at the Texas small town of it all. It was 9am. My phone rang just as the parade started coming down the street. It was him.

I shouted over the band. “Are you okay? Where are you?”

He said he’d had a medical emergency at the airport and he was at the hospital. He said which one. I knew he wasn’t. I’d already called them.

Short ending to a longer story: he was married.

I’d been waiting. Panicking. Crying over someone who I thought I might spend forever with, but things just were not what they seemed.

This blog is called “What Are You Waiting For?”

I told my story to say this: sometimes you’re waiting on the wrong thing.

Then again…sometimes you’re waiting on the right thing. Recently I waited almost 6 months to find a good job. My waiting and persistence paid off. I now have a great job.

Sometimes you need to wait.

Sometimes you just need to move forward.

I have friends right now who are waiting on healing – for themselves or others. Some who are waiting for spouses to come back. Some waiting on divorce proceedings to proceed. Some for a child to come home. I know two people this past week who have said they are just waiting around to die, and they hope it comes sooner than later.

I’m suggesting we stop waiting and start living in the pauses between the good things.

Hope. Anticipate. Dream. Dream BIG. Plan. Expect greatness.

But in the meantime – stop pausing your life (waiting) and start living.

Go watch the parade – even if you’re in tears.

Do what you need to do.

Today I didn’t want to do the normal July 4th stuff. I needed to spend time here with the kids. I needed it not to be a holiday. I needed it to be a healing day.

I got it.

Life is but a blip. Be present with the ones you love in every single moment.

Go enjoy.

What are you waiting for?