To the men we thought we knew,
This letter has been a long time in the making. Too many times we longed to put pen to paper, yet thought better of it.
But today is different. Today we are stronger, more confident and ready to speak our peace. Ready to speak from our heart because our hearts are no longer full of hatred and anger, but instead forgiveness and love. With that said, we begin with two simple words, thank you.
Never could we have imagined a time would come when the pain you caused could be appreciated. Little confidence existed that we held the strength to trudge through the heartache of yet another day of you. However, to our surprise, we were stronger than we thought and survived another day. We thank you for pushing us to the point of recognizing, we are strong!
For the extensive list of labels you bestowed upon us, such as racists, to unfit mamas, to lazy wives and adulterous women, a thank you must be uttered. For every demeaning email, sent text and phone call you made to those who would listen, we thank you.
From the stalking and the spying neighbors used to instill fear while leaving us scared to leave our homes as we constantly peered over our shoulder, we thank you.
For breaking our spirits, leaving us unrecognizable to those who truly knew and loved us, thank you. From every moment we were left to question our sanity and what we knew to be true regarding ourselves, thank you.
For involving not only our friends, but family and church as you worked to alienate us, leaving us alone, abandoned and betrayed, we thank you.
For spending tens of thousands of dollars on expensive attorneys instead of financially providing for the children you claimed to love and promising to provide for, we thank you. For caring more about winning a battle than being what our children needed while teaching them the difference between true character and integrity, we thank you.
As you surrounded yourself with those we once called friends and family, leaving us to fight alone, you left us finally understanding the true meaning of love and friendship. You helped us identify the darkness and pointlessness of shallow and toxic relationships as we ultimately recognized that a handful of friends were truly all we ever needed.
You see, for what felt like forever, our hearts burned with rage and hatred so deep that the idea of extinguishing the flames appeared near impossible. You left our world feeling dark and lonely as we withdrew deep within ourselves to the point of being lost. We became shells of women who were left feeling we had no purpose and were beyond being loved. Thank you for breaking us to the point that left us feeling like we were nothing.
For all these things, we owe you our sincerest gratitude. We thank you for bringing the old cliché to life, because truly what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. For affirming those verses in Genesis and Exodus as we trusted God to fight our battle and reveal truth, we thank you.
Even though you intended to harm me, God intended it only for good, and through me, He preserved the lives of countless people, as He is still doing today.
The Eternal will fight on your behalf while you watch in silence.
We have fought through a battle we were unprepared to fight, but we have come out princess warriors who are stronger than we ever thought possible.
You left us in a dark hole, frightened, cold and completely alone, longing and waiting to be rescued. Weighed down by the heaviness of all we endured, we believed we would drown. However, someone swooped in to rescue us. Because of Him, we experienced a love unlike any other as He picked up every broken piece you worked so meticulously to create and He not only put it all back together but turned it into an amazingly beautiful masterpiece of His love and grace.
He came in and redeemed, rescued and restored all those things within us you tore apart. He worked within our hearts to remind us of our true identity as He whispered, with gentleness and affirmation that we belonged to Him.
Through it all, we have changed. We are strong. You have reawakened a passion that once burned deep within us and again, we thank you. You brought back that nine year old little girl who once ran through the yard with her toy gun and badge, pretending to be Cagney or Lacey while fighting for truth and justice.
Everything has changed. We no longer perceive people, especially you, as “flesh to flesh and mess to mess” but instead “spirit to spirit.” We recognize that you are no different than us. You too, just like us, flaws, sins and all, are loved by God. You too, just like us, deserve forgiveness and our prayers and so today, we let go of the hatred, not just for you but for all those who followed and supported you. Today, we choose to love.
Unfortunately for you, we are no longer the person you tirelessly spent working to destroy, we are stronger. We are fighters. We are proof that God makes beauty out of ashes.
We now love in a healthy way. We don’t trust as we once did, but instead allow a select few within our walls. We view the world from a totally new and different perspective, for you helped to open our eyes to true beauty, truth and loyalty and for each one of these things, we say thank you!
We truly wish the best for you and will never forget the path of discovery you led us down. For that path led us on a journey to discover who we truly are in Jesus. And for it all, we again say thank you.
With thanks, from the bottom of our hearts,
The women you thought you knew