May 23, 2020
our story, continued
No matter what exciting, outlandish, extraordinary plans I dreamed up and pursued in my life, it never seemed to live up to the insatiable hole in my heart for my life to mean something: to serve a purpose.
Less than a year into my life abroad in Paris, on the fifth floor of Rue Saint Julien le Pauvre, in a small studio apartment just outside of Notre Dame Cathedral, I tried to take my own life.
It is with deep pain and vulnerability that I write this part of my story. I am convinced that for the rest of my life, I will look back on this day with an unspeakable shame and regret: a permanent stain on the fabric of my life story. A reminder that I had not been strong enough, and that I had failed to fight in the face of a consumptive darkness.
It would be easy for me to simply erase this chapter from my life. A couple of clicks of my mouse, and a push of the delete button. Trust me, it’s not a subject that comes up very often in cursory Meet & Greets, and my friends and family are more than happy to look the other way, because it’s uncomfortable to talk about. I could show you only the highlights of my life, and let that be it.
It took everything I had to wake up each day after my suicide attempt. After feeling so much of everything, all of the time, I instead felt nothing: like I had little else to lose. God had graciously surrounded me with people (sometimes strangers) to love me back to life, but each day was a tentative, hesitant step towards choosing life over death.
A year later, after finally returning to a semblance of my old self, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. I had moved back to California, and was a hundred thousand miles away from the baby’s father, who was still in France. I felt my life, so tenuously held together, fall apart again.
On August 31, 2015, my daughter was born. At my side, was my husband Alex, who had travelled a hundred thousand miles, leaving his family, friends, and everything he knew to be with us. We were married in front of family and friends on July 1, 2016, with our daughter as our flower girl.
We named her “Aimee”. It is the French word, “aimée” or “loved.” She will always be my living proof of God’s redemptive love. She is proof that God has not, and will never forsake me, because this is what He said to me when she was born:
It is hard, now that I am a mother, to think about one day having to admit to my children the weakest moments of my life.
I want to be strong, fearless, and courageous in her eyes, because I want them to become stronger, more fearless, and more courageous than I was. I want them to experience all the goodness that life has to offer. I want them to know that they are relentlessly loved. I want them to know that no matter what they do, that they are perfect in my eyes. I want them to know that what the world sees as weaknesses in their story, God can redeem as the most powerful hope-filled moments.
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From California, to Paris, to Motherhood. This is my story.