Creating Whisper In Her Soul was a project 4 years in the making.
And now she's finally here.
So...what does 'whisper in her soul' even mean?
Well, to put it simply... we all have a whisper in our lives. In our hearts. In our souls. In our whole being.
This blog was created to inspire you to find your soul's whisper and use it to enrich your life in more ways than you could ever possibly imagine.
Whispers are usually quiet little voices, small gut checks, or intuitions. But sometimes they're loud and boisterous trying to get our attention. And they always come with the best intentions.
Whispers are there to help you fully embrace each opportunity. To help you strive and overcome hardships. To help you learn. To help you teach. To help you trust or question. To give you purpose. To help you understand. And to guide you through this sometimes messy and painful thing called life.
Whatever that whisper is to you, trust that it's real. It's engraved deep down in the corners of your soul. Just waiting for the right time to make it's presence.
Throughout my 28 years, I've experienced many whispers. Big and small. Quiet and loud.
But this devastatingly painful, yet beautifully orchestrated story I'm about to share with you is one that has given me new purpose and a brand new fresh start. It was one of the biggest lessons and most painful experiences I've ever gone through in my life so far....and thanks to that little whisper in my soul, I've been yearning to share it with you.
It went a little something like this...
In May of 2009, I was twenty years old, hunched over in an old, messy, employee bathroom, tucked in the back of the store, staring down at my shaking hands that held a small piece of plastic.
As the plus sign read across that tiny little screen, my heart sank. Pregnant?
Ben, the boy I was dating the previous few months had stopped answering my calls, just a few weeks prior. Without warning, he left me for his ex. As I sat there, staring into my hands, all I could think of was...Why me? How could I be so stupid?
I had plans. I had dreams. I was just about to move to Colorado with some friends.
But now I was facing a different story...
At twenty years old, I was going to be a mom.
(This picture was taken at the best little Mexican restaurant - Compañeros in Dorset, Minnesota - for our Mother's Day Sunday lunch, just 2 days after I found out I was pregnant) Kind of ironic, right?
All of my friends were still in college, acting carelessly, getting hardly any sleep, but nonetheless finishing up their degrees. And there I was... slumped over, in a retail store bathroom struck with the life changing news.
Time at that moment, stood still.
My life was literally now in between my two thumbs and index fingers... all because of that small $7.99 piece of plastic with a plus sign across the screen.
When I got to work that day, I had my daily cup of dark chocolate espresso with no whip and a warmed up blueberry muffin with the BEST sugar coating on top.
My morning to do list was to restock the endless piles of unorganized jeans that customers had torn through the day prior. I was climbing a ladder and I suddenly felt a rush of dizziness and almost fell.
My colleague witnessed it and rushed over to me. She asked if I was okay. I figured the dizziness happened because I was forgetful (still am) to have a cup of water before drinking my morning coffee.
She didn't let up that easily, however. She started cracking jokes saying that I must be pregnant.
Yeah right. There was no way. That's insane.
But she told me "just in case", I should go down to Walgreens down the hall and get a pregnancy test after work.
I didn't want to entertain that idea at all... but that didn't stop my mind from wandering.
As the day dragged on, I started to remember that some weird stuff had been happening to me. I was having crazy dreams that I was pregnant. And seeing signs, literally billboards, about babies and motherhood alongside a plethora of tv commercials showcasing pregnant women.
You know...it was kind of like when you buy a fancy new car and all of a sudden you see it everywhere.
Well, these signs pointing to pregnancy were everywhere. But I just hadn't realized it until that moment.
I tried to distract myself all day, but the thought of "what if" kept creeping in.
Hours slowly crept by and I was finally done with work...
I started that dreaded walk down to Walgreens. The emotions seemed to drain from my body slowly with each step. But I knew I had to go. I had to prove my colleague (and myself) wrong.
After being back in that employee bathroom for some time... a faint knock at the door quickly brought me back to reality.
I pulled myself up off the ground and unlocked the door. My colleague who made the pregnancy accusation earlier that day, was on the other side of the door.
As soon as she saw my mascara tear stained cheeks, she knew.
She rushed in, swiftly shut the door, and hugged me tightly.
I am not sure how I made it home that day, but I sat in the parking lot of my apartment for hours... tears still somehow streaming down my face, although I felt like my body had none left to give.
I was scared. Ashamed. Embarrassed. Confused. So many thoughts crossed my mind.
How could this happen to me? What am I going to do? Do I tell him? How could I ever trust him? Can this just be my little secret? He'd never know.
But I knew telling him was the right thing to do.
I was hopeful everything would be okay and as any young, pregnant girl would, I wanted that 'fairy tale ending'.
And so when he asked if he could come back into my life, I reluctantly said yes even though I knew deep down in my soul it just wasn't right.
Regardless, I still wanted to try. It was a hard transition as you could imagine. I was supposed to learn how to trust this person who left me in the dust just months prior.
Fast forward to when I was just over 4 months along, I was taking a bath after a long day of being sick.
It was getting late and Ben should've been home by then. I sent a quick text asking if he was staying late at work. No response. A long and emotion filled hour went by. I tried calling. Again, no answer.
My gut was stirring. My heart started racing.
I thought...there's no way. There's no way he would do this again. Would he?
I kept trying to reach him all night. Hours crept by.
Then I heard the key slide through the front door, as Ben walked in with his brother, and started toward the bedroom to grab his things.
Where was he going? What is he doing? What's going on?
It was happening. He was leaving me. Without warning. No reason. No excuse. Except that he was going back to his ex. Again.
I fell to my knees, sobbing, shaking and scared. I was 17 weeks pregnant and our gender reveal appointment was just a few weeks from then.
How could he do this to me? To us? To the baby?
Nothing mattered in that moment. I couldn't change his mind. He was gone.
Was it something I just didn't see coming? I should've known. I should've expected it to happen. But I didn't.
I was alone, once again.
As painful and heartbreaking as it was, I knew that I had to pick myself off the ground and dust off my knees.
This sweet little girl I had inside my tummy depended on me to keep going. To keep facing the day. To keeping fighting. For her.
I know what you're thinking... This sounds like a lifetime movie. It's so predictable. She's going to take him back, again.
I can say that for a while I was determined. I promised myself that I would get through this. I was ready (as I could be) to be a single mom.
But yes, as you guessed... Ben wormed his way back in a few months later.
I don't know what it is about being extremely hormonal and young and naive, that makes you think you can change anyone...regardless of their endless track record. But I really, really thought I could. (I'm always laughing at that crazy idea in hindsight! 😉 )
A short few months later my sweet baby girl arrived on January 2nd, 2010.
Weighing 6 lbs 15.5 oz, 19.5 inches long and a full head of beautiful, dark hair.
Not only did I go back to school only 1 week after she was born... I was also working full time.
And at this point, as miserable as you could imagine it would be, it was. Times 100.
I was never good enough. I said too much. Or did too little. Or asked a question wrong. Or at the wrong time. I asked him to help too much. I was stupid. I wasn't worth anything. I didn't trust him. I nagged too much. Blah blah blah.
Please don't get me wrong. I had my faults. Any couple does. But no one deserves emotional abuse. No one.
I was always painting a smile on my face so people could see that everything was "great"... that I was happy. I couldn't figure out why I was so afraid of telling people the truth. But it just kept going on. Day after day. Night after night. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year.
Pretty soon the girl I saw in the mirror, was no longer me.
I remember always wishing he would lay a hand on me so I could leave. I told myself that's all I needed. Maybe if he would've just punched me right in the eye, I would've left.
I thought I needed to have a "good reason" to leave.
Because emotional abuse, isn't reason enough, right? Wrong.
Don't worry, it keeps getting better. And even more lifetime movie-ish.
Throughout our relationship, I remember time again and again, his parents saying that we were living in sin, and that we needed to get married because we were living together and had a child together. And marriage was the 'right thing to do'.
I grew up as a Christian and this accusation hit me in the gut. I didn't want to intentionally sin.
I thought that at least if I could have the wedding I always dreamed of, it would give me some sense of happiness - at least for the short time being.
Man, if only I could've had a conversation with my younger self, this is what I would've said... "You don't have to do this. You can be happy without him. You don't need him. You can run. Trust God. He will get you through this. Your daughter needs YOU."
But unfortunately, that little whisper in my soul was just not loud enough. Either that, or I was too stubborn or scared to hear it.
So I proposed the idea to him.
In April of 2012, I was engaged to a man I didn't want to marry. Someone I didn't love, someone I quite literally despised.
But it was a wedding. And if I could just distract myself for the next few months, I thought that would be enough. As again you probably guessed it...it wasn't. See a pattern here?
In May, just one month after the engagement, things started changing. Not for the good either.
I started having nightmares. Vivid, real, emotional nightmares. It was if they were happening in real life. I had them almost every night.
One night after fighting, I went to the one spot I knew was safe. I was crouched down in my closet, sobbing and praying to God that He would just show me a sign. A sign of what I should do. A sign to save me from this. I prayed so hard, for hours.
That closet saw many helpless nights full of tears, pain and confusion, happening more and more throughout the summer.
Those nightmares, along with very real gut intuitions kept surfacing. Intuitions that I felt like I had to trust. But I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea of them. I couldn't give them life.
They were just too bizarre.
I remember having a conversation with my mom about this. She thought they were crazy too. She insisted I had cold feet or that maybe I should just call off the wedding.
I kept thinking about how embarrassing it would be to call off a wedding that's already been announced, planned and paid for. And one that was just right around the corner. So I kept my head down, and ignored them as best as I could.
Two weeks before the wedding, it was July of 2012. I remember feeling kind of sick that morning. I had my hair appointment that evening, and I knew I couldn't walk into work the next day with a new hair cut and color. So I called in, asking if I could sleep in for a few hours.
I silenced my phone and a few hours later woke up to at least 10 missed calls and 15 text messages from my mom asking where I was. Panicking, I called her immediately, thinking something terrible was going on. She insisted that she didn't want to talk on the phone. I told her I was heading into work soon, but she said she wanted to meet me in the parking lot of my workplace.
I remember being so scared of what she was going to say. Is she sick? Did someone pass away? I pulled into the parking lot, my body shaking, hands tightly gripping the wheel, unsure of what news was going to hit me.
I got out of my car and jumped in the front seat of my mom's car. Her face was pale white, with a very somber emotion. Something was wrong.
She started with "It's Ben".
So I immediately responded, "Oh no, it's the drugs again". She slowly replied "No"...as if trying to come up with how she was about to break the news.
At that moment, I knew. I knew exactly what she was going to say next.
Those moments of all that intuition and nightmares were now validated. They weren't fake. They were very real. And now they were coming to life. It was happening, right in front of me.
She was 15 and he was 25...
She was 15.
She was a child, who was lost, confused and running from herself.
But my fiancé? My daughter's father? How could she? How could he?
I was so disgusted. And ashamed. And then it hit me.
That's it. That's. My. Out.
That was the moment I was praying for.
That is what God was trying to prepare me for.
With my intuition. My gut. With those whispers in my soul.
Here it was, in the palm of my hands. My second chance...I didn't have to marry him. I didn't have to stay. I had my life back. I had power. I had the will to leave. I was back.
Leah was back.
So I took that chance. And ran. And never once looked behind me.
(This photo was only a few weeks after I left him. The weight off my shoulders was gone. I was me again.)
I will never forget that moment...
That defining story in my life is something I would never wish upon anyone. But it was in God's plan for me.
So for every moment of your life that you experience pain and frustration or terrible circumstances... you may not understand why they happened in that moment, but understand you were given your story for a purpose.
Maybe it's to inspire people. Or maybe it's just for you.
You are the creator of your own story. Find the whisper in your soul and allow it to bless your life.
XO love always,