We Get Back Up - Haley Honeycutt
Alright, tribe! We said it on social media, but Haley has poured her heart and soul into this piece, and we think it may well be THE most motivational piece to grace our blog thus far! She is baring her soul, in the hopes that just one among you will be touched, & empowered, by her story! We have a STRONG feeling that this won't be a difficult thing to achieve. This blog is beautiful in its honesty and raw emotionality.
Haley, THANK YOU! Connecting with you has been one of the best things to happen to this beautiful little business! We are so inspired by you, and we LOVE having you in our tribe. It's an honor, to put it mildly, to have you join the ranks of our beautifully strong, amazing Goddessté features AND the guest-blog club!! YOU, sister, are the real MVP! We love you!!
And, now, I turn it over to the ever-inspirational Haley...
Sometimes, the seemingly impossible assignments we have in life are simply because someone else wouldn’t, or couldn’t, pick up their assignment, so it got passed down to us. Make the decision that the buck stops with you.
When you make the decision that it ends with you — the centuries of generational curses — pain, familial dysfunction, unhealthy habits and coping mechanisms, trauma, refusal to heal, escapism, alcoholism and addiction, divorce, abuse... whatever it may be – when you put on your armor and take a stand against all of it and claim, “The buck stops here, it ends with me, I refuse to pass this on to my child(ren),” I assure you that God and the entire Universe will begin conspiring in your favor to make that happen.
I could tell you the details of the events that could have broken me, and almost did, all the times I found myself lost and alone, broken, sobbing so hard I felt the tears in the depth of my very soul.
I could tell you about how I know every family has their issues, and ours was no exception. It was normal to me at the time – children will always perceive their family as normal because it’s their “normal.” I could tell you about how the way I perceived our family issues left me with a deep and pervasive sadness that I had no idea how to process, so I turned to alcohol as a teenager to cope with that sadness. That dependence on alcohol quickly turned into a decade-long battle with alcoholism and as hopeless as that battle was, it served its purpose because it saved my life from my deep sadness. Alcohol was my coping mechanism, my distraction, you see.
I could tell you how, when I got sober at 28-years-old, I had come to the end of myself, and the pain was so great, I could feel it in my soul. I could tell you about how I lay on the floor, crying and cursing God, because, if He’s all powerful, He could have stopped me from all of it, right? I could tell you how the God I cursed is the One who I turned to to save me, and He did, He has, and still does.
I could tell you about my saving grace, my role model, my confidante, my cheerleader, the woman who always believed in me and made me feel special and loved beyond measure... Grandmother. The most wonderful woman who ever lived. The woman who made me feel unconditionally loved. The summer weeks and holidays I spent with my grandparents, Grandmother and Pop, were some of my very best childhood memories. Their house felt like love and joy, happiness and warm hugs, all the things that goodness should be. They were true Godly people who gave their time and resources to help others. They exuded light and love. They took the time to disciple me, to guide me, to teach me those important life lessons. What a crucial and redeeming role they played in my story!
I could tell you about the day I found out Pop was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and the day he didn’t know who I was anymore. I could tell you about watching my beloved Grandmother suffer the loss of the great love of her life as his memories faded daily. I could tell you how I made a deal with God that, if He would just take care of Grandmother, He could call Pop home and end the suffering, but He had to hold up His end of the deal. I could tell you about the night Pop went to heaven, about how the final lesson he taught me was how to grieve.
I could tell you about the day I learned Grandmother, too, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and how I spent literal years of nights crying myself to sleep and begging God to take care of her and that she not suffer.
I could tell you about my pregnancy losses and how hearing the words, “I’m so sorry, I just can’t find a heartbeat” sucks the hope from your own heartbeat and leaves you breathless — your blood runs cold, your body that you thought was full of life suddenly feels empty. I could tell you how, after my last pregnancy loss, I left the doctor appointment, after learning there was no heartbeat, and begged God, on my knees, to let me have my baby, while sobbing with everything inside of me. But I felt it in my bones... it was not to be. With that loss, came all the fears, the doubts, the insecurities: God didn’t want me to be a mother. He didn’t think I would do a good job. I would never get to be a mother. Maybe I was going to be a bad one and I didn’t realize it.
I could tell you about the unspeakable joy of hearing and seeing my daughter’s heartbeat for the first time, on ultrasound, and how I cried tears of joy. About the joyful, hopeful, but unhealthy pregnancy that followed. About the struggle it took to get her here: the hormones I had to take to sustain the pregnancy, in first trimester – the severe nausea, vomiting, and weight loss; the months in the hospital on bedrest, due to the diagnosis of severe pre-eclampsia; about how I spent my days alone in that hospital room on the maternity unit, except for when my wonderful dad would dutifully come sit at my bedside every day when he got off work. I could tell you about how my body felt so sick, I was afraid I was dying, and, one night, after being brought to Labor and Delivery due to extremely high blood pressure, I called my husband to tell him goodbye. I prayed that God would save my baby, no matter what. Just save my baby.
I could tell you about the night my mom came to my room in the hospital to tell me my beloved, wonderful Grandmother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease herself, was dying, how I couldn’t believe it because no, this wasn’t how the story was supposed to end, not like this. Not with me in the hospital and not at her side where I belonged.
I could tell you how my family later came to tell me my beloved Grandmother had passed away from this world, in her home, while I sat alone in the hospital. And how, the moment I saw them walk through the door of my hospital room, I KNEW, and I could feel the grief rip through my body and tear open my heart. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to Grandmother. I didn’t get to go to her funeral. And what plagues me still to this day... she didn’t get to hold my baby. I wanted that so badly. What would my life be like without my Grandmother’s love and light shining to brighten the path before me?
I could tell you the details of how I sank into a battle of deep grief and despair over the loss of Grandmother, whom I called “my favorite person” as a child, over the next several years. It was eased only by joy of being a first-time mother to the daughter of my dreams.
I could tell you about how I had to be induced at 34-weeks-pregnant, and how my baby stopped breathing, and turned blue shortly after birth, and had to be intubated. I could tell you how I cried buckets of tears into paper towels at her bedside in the NICU because I felt my body had failed her.
I could tell you how GOD IS GOOD, and I brought my baby HOME after 3 weeks in the NICU, and I promised I’d never ask God for anything ever again...
... But I couldn’t keep that promise. Because I could also tell you about the day I accepted my marriage had failed, as it was at that point in time – about how I was deeply depressed, utterly alone, and had isolated myself from most everyone due to the shame I felt from it all. That day I knew I had to leave. I quoted scripture aloud, tears streaming down my cheeks, choking on the words as I gingerly carried my daughter’s and my things to my father’s house. Because I had failed, hadn’t I? What did the future hold now? The backlash of my leaving devastated me, and, again, I found myself feeling alone and broken. As I lay on the ground, sobbing, I wondered how anything would ever be okay again.
Does experiencing these events make me a warrior? Maybe...
... or maybe not.
I’ve come to believe being a warrior isn’t about just experiencing these events that cut you so deep they change the core of who you are. What makes a warrior isn’t so much what we go through or how we go through it, it’s the “warrior mindset” that makes us who we are.
Having the courage to turn around and FACE OUR FEARS is the ultimate warrior move. It was in my church small group, Freedom Group, where I learned just what was required of me to be a true warrior. I learned that I harbored more resentment against myself than anyone else; it’s where I realized that I had impossible standards for myself to be everything for everyone, and I was setting myself up for disappointment with these unreasonable expectations of myself, time and time again. I forgave myself because IT IS OKAY to try and fail because that’s how we learn.
I was in Freedom Group, working so hard to break generational curses and free myself from the past, so the buck could stop with ME and not be passed down to my daughter. I was horrified by the realization that new strongholds were being created for her because of her dad’s and my behaviors toward each other. The weight of that truth was devastating. I have always considered myself a warrior mama, yet somehow this flew in under the radar, without detection; I had been so blinded by my own anger and bitterness that I didn’t see it happening right in front of me. I left small group that night convicted to do whatever it took, determined to put my little girl first. I contacted my daughter’s father, my husband, told him what I had realized, begged him to hear my heart, told him that we had to let everything negative between us go, for her sake. At the time, I didn’t know how it would happen — there was so much negativity, hurt, anger, bitterness, resentment between us — but I knew we had to get rid of it, so our daughter wouldn’t have to pick up an assignment meant for us that we had unknowingly passed on to her because we were too blinded by our own feelings and issues to resolve it ourselves.
I’m grateful to report that God is good, and we are a committed team to seeing our daughter grow up free of any and all strongholds. That is a total boss move, a warrior move, for me. You see, I picked up my sword and slashed my own pride, hurt, justified anger, and pain to save my daughter and her future. I fell on my own sword for her, but I wasn’t made weak in that, I was made stronger. Her dad and I are now on the same page and work together, harmoniously, to be the best parents we can be to her. She is our number one concern, and our only concern, right now. Facing our fears is ultimately the pathway to freedom.
You see, we get back up. No matter what. That’s what we do. Being a warrior is about fighting not only for ourselves but for others. Being a warrior is about being strong enough to face our own fear and level our own pride, so we don’t pass on any unnecessary assignments to our children that make their precious lives harder.
WE GET BACK UP.
It’s all about GETTING BACK UP. It’d be so easy to give up, wouldn’t it? Isn’t it tempting, when life throws you those punches that almost knock you out, to just lie there? TKO. Because getting back up is hard. It takes everything we have sometimes — are you hearing me? — EVERYTHING WE HAVE.
But the warrior mentality is “Throw me to the wolves, I’ll come back leading the pack.”
WE GET BACK UP. There will be times when it feels like the devil himself is coming up against you, but know this: you are powerful, and you are mighty. YOU are the unstoppable force. With God, YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS, SISTERS. Even defeat the devil himself.
WE GET BACK UP. No matter what life throws at you. No matter what forces of the universe come against you.
WE GET BACK UP. Because that is who we are. Because we can do hard things.
WE GET BACK UP. We can’t be broken. We get back up no matter what. Yes, we hurt. Yes, we may feel broken, scarred, traumatized, or afraid but we STILL get back up, and THAT is what makes a warrior.
As long as we keep getting back up, we will continue to rise. That is a warrior.
***Haley’s Disclaimer concerning past relationships (she wants everyone to know that just because she was able to work through her issues w/her husband, she understands that this is not always the best move & that each woman must consider what is right, & safest, for her & her circumstances: “Forgiveness is a total warrior move but it DOES NOT require ANY CONTACT. Forgiveness doesn’t even require the recipient of the forgiveness to know we’ve forgiven them. We forgive because WE deserve it, not because THEY do. We deserve all the things that come from being free of resentment, anger, and bitterness. These things seep into every area of our lives and slowly eat away at the light within us. And it’s not worth it. We shine bright for ourselves and for the ones who need our light.” - Haley
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