Stop This World

Gracefully going from victim to survivor to servant leader in the heartland

Guess what? Yesterday was an ordinary day and I couldn’t be happier. I got up and had my coffee, did some email and returned calls, recorded a podcast, took my cat to the vet for her yearly check-up and made supper for my family. All ordinary things. Days like today used to bother me a great deal because they weren’t exciting. I wanted action, excitement, and fun! How boring to just go to work and come home.

That attitude changed seven years ago. Seven years ago yesterday is when my sexual assault happened and life as I knew it changed forever. Simple things like enjoying a morning cup of coffee eluded me. My mind was constantly going and replaying the events that I could remember. The more that I wished those thoughts away, the more that they would crowd my brain. I wouldn’t have an ordinary day and enjoy it for many years because of my anxiety, depression and PTSD. I longed for ordinary days where the most exciting thing that I did was try a new flavored creamer for my coffee. I craved those days badly.

When I moved back to the farm four years ago, I learned how to enjoy little, ordinary things again. Things that I had taken for granted because I had been so busy and so engulfed in my anxiety. Some of those ordinary things include my morning cup of coffee, sitting on the front porch when the weather is nice to enjoy that cup of coffee(yes I mention coffee a lot) , taking time to just “be” and look at nature, petting my cats, reading the paper with my dad, making meals for my family, having coffee with a friend, watching TV with family, and the list goes on. All of those mundane things I now try not to take for granted anymore. Those little things are what make up life. Big, grandiose moments are great, but the little moments are what life is all about.

Pre-assault I wanted to have a grandiose life. All the excitement and adrenaline All. The. Time. Bigger and better was what I was after. Always looking for what’s next and not taking the time to enjoy the here and now. Being assaulted changed many things for the worse, but also changed some things for the better. When your life has been turned upside down you crave simplicity and doing the things that you know. Those boring, mundane things turn in to your most prized parts of the day. After being assaulted I learned to appreciate the little things and to appreciate each day for what it is…a gift.

Psalm 118:24 has always been a favorite of mine, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” The Lord has given you and I the gift of another day. I hope that you will look for those little, ordinary moments and simple joys throughout your day. I guarantee they will make you smile.

-J.L. Tesch

This new song from Francesca Battistelli is a favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy it!

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