The Meaning in My Story

Do you ever have one of those moments where God literally paints a part of His plan right before your eyes, and not only do you see it more vividly than you ever have before, but it hits you that it’s been “right there” all along?

My brain is overflowing with information and to-do’s around everything we have just set into motion. There is so much behind the scenes still yet to do and keep up with and the 20 open tabs on my google browser prove that.

The simple task: Create a logo.

The simple task before that was to create a name for the nonprofit. It’s required guys… like putting your name on the test, you do have to decide on a name for a nonprofit before they will accept the 501c3. I thought it would be simple…. but….

Let me back it up a minute.

I deleted all of my blog posts when I “went public” about my abuse almost a year ago. I had quit blogging for quite sometime and I wanted a fresh start to focus solely on this mission. Ironically though…. years and years ago when I first signed up for this blog and named it – God knew about today. He knew that when I was trying (and failing) to create a really cool logo and coming up with a  name and emailing a handful of people – the picture of His purpose would be painted again, right before my very eyes- with new colors and new life and even more meaning.

I saw Rachel Hollis’s “Made for More” theater event last week and during the entire two hours, one line comes to mind. “Not everything happens for a reason, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t meaning in everything.”


Immediately I am triggered back to my abuse.

Sitting in a theater – the last 10 years of my life flash like pictures through my mind. The abuse. The pain. The court proceedings. The lies. The self hate. The faking it. The trying to overcome and failing. These years full of bad pictures flashed and if you stopped the reel right there – well, you’d find a lot of things that didn’t seem to have any meaning at all.

Press. Play.

The tears didn’t happen every day. I started telling the truth. I found people I could genuinely trust. I stopped flinching every single time someone touched my shoulder or came in for a hug. I talked about it and I kept talking. I found love. I married the best man on the earth. I gained a step-daughter. I learned the love of a Mama firsthand the day I gave birth to my son.

I worked for the life I wanted instead of the life I thought “happened” to me.

(Go reread that last line and make that voice inside your head YELL. IT. TO. YOU.)

Then, a year ago, after being triggered in a totally different way… God said: Hey, it’s time now.

So I researched, I planned, I talked to a lot of people and I sure got angry at a bunch more people who at some point in their climb to success, stopped responding to emails.

Here we are now…. creating a logo for the nonprofit. The podcast. The blog. The upcoming website.
Guys… there are literally so many things.

That’s when it hit me. If you’re still with me- this is the best part… I’ll break it down for you.

I’m sitting behind my screen (literally NO graphic intelligence in my brain) and trying to come up with a logo (for free) to represent all of this… So I text a friend of mine that has been helping me and tell her I need help.

IN REAL TIME, while I’m texting her, God paints this picture of the meaning in my story.

This is what I tell her:

Years and years ago when I was naming this blog ‘Strive to Make an Impact,’ it came from the idea that I can’t just change all the things. BUT I can do just what I can do, I just need to start somewhere. I can be in motion, I can be the first domino and knock the next one in line down. I can create my own IMPACT… leave a legacy, so to speak. (Editor’s Note: We all can, actually)

“So when I think of that in pictures,” I say to her, “I think of like paint splatter, or a water ripple.”

Why a water ripple?

Well…… Let me just get super cheesy and quote The Vow movie…

“The moment of impact proves potential for change, it has ripple effects far beyond what we can predict.”

That’s the meaning in my story guys. 
The abuse didn’t happen for a reason. Through the years though, I have found meaning from it. It sparked change. Change in me, change for others who I’ve connected with (both my support system and other survivors), and now those same ripple effects are spreading farther and farther to change my community, even more people, and the way that this type of abuse is looked at. The ripple effects aren’t even done yet. Not by a long shot. 
The meaning in my story IS a happy thing. The story itself will have a good ending. I chose that. It wasn’t an easy decision. It hasn’t been an easy road- in fact, it has been uphill and winding and I’ve taken steps back along the way. But in real time, texting about a logo of all things, God painted the meaning for me yet again this morning. 
That’s healing. To find meaning in a horrible part of your life. It’s the definition of overcoming it. 
As for the logo – I reached out to a graphic designer… know your limits, people.

As for the nonprofit name – well, I guess I knew it all along.

Strive to Make an Impact

Because that is exactly what we are doing.

I know there is someone reading this – whether that is today or you’ve stumbled upon this years after it was written…. and you just need someone to understand where you are. I want to connect with you. Please reach out to me. 
If you’re still reading and want to connect with me to figure out how you can help or keep up with the work we are doing – I hope you’ll connect with me on my social media platforms listed below!
Instagram: @alisha_j_lewis
Thanks for reading!

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