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  • Writer's pictureFabianna Marie

I smile because I survived.

Family Photo

Some people survive and talk about it. Some people survive and go silent.

Some people survive and create. Everyone deals with unimaginable pain and is entitled to that without judgment. It’s been two years since my last article was written and shared. Seven hundred thirty days, 17520 hours, 1051200 minutes. It’s been two years of silence, introspection, and self-discovery. Along this journey, I often questioned whether I would feel strong enough to share my thoughts and story again. Whether I could boldly put my heart and true feelings into the world without the cast of past hurt creeping in. I have written, rewritten, deleted, censored, and uncensored. Any way you look at this, I am powering through scared shitless.

Silence has been an integral part of my healing. In the silence, I listen to my inner voice, lean into my faith, and trust God’s plan. Which means I am doing many things scared but prepared. Sometimes, I do things unprepared. But I am pushing forward.

Lessons come in all shapes and sizes, just like people. All beautiful and unique. So many times, we think of lessons as punishments instead of blessings. When we don’t have the answer to life’s most challenging obstacles, we force the outcome blindly and stifle the plan that was already laid before us. I assure you that this way of meandering through life will force another outcome. Hard life lesson: When God wants us to grow, he will break us first. Read that again. When God wants you to grow, he will break you first. Mission accomplished, God.

 I was broken, smashed into a million pieces, and thought I had no way of being pieced back together. The pain was my middle name, and I admit the anger was overwhelming.

After living in this pain, I wholeheartedly believe that obstacles in our path are meant for a bigger purpose.  I think challenges are God’s plan of showcasing our strengths differently. My strength did not lie in trusting God’s plan. I was infamous for forcing the outcome blindly, and God said, “Not today, my dear, not today. So he broke me and slowly pieced me back together with daily work.

I learned that pain and praise can coexist. I leaned into the pain because the only way to survive it was to walk through it. I can feel my heart crack down the middle and be thankful for the pain because it means that I've lived fully and loved deeply - that I didn't hide from life but instead chose to pour my whole self into the act of beautiful, complex, messy living. I learned that I can love the life I have now while still taking time to grieve the paths I didn't walk. The lives I didn't get to live. The people who are no longer traveling this path alongside me. The visions of a future I once had that can no longer be. My life feels like a brand-new five thousand-piece puzzle emptied onto the coffee table without the cover to help me know the result. Piece by piece, I see the puzzle come together without knowing if all the pieces are there. Leaning into the security of God’s plan for me.

Often, we don't realize that the last time we did something had passed. It often catches us by surprise. Even though we can't prevent the lasts, we can cherish what we have at present just a little bit more. This year, I discovered that my heart is more vital than I thought - tender yet fierce. It's far more substantial than I ever realized or gave credit to. I'm grateful to this beating heart for constantly reminding me I'm still here and breathing. I'm thankful for its gentle wisdom and soft nudges. And most of all, I'm grateful that it knows love in joy, pain, hope, and heartache.

This world isn't about achieving perfection but embracing the messy, beautiful person you are and sharing that with others. It's not about what we can gain for ourselves but what we can give to those around us. Our possessions and wealth are not the measure of our worth but our ability to bless others and be content with what we have. We should strive to let go of selfish desires and focus on learning, growing, and finding moments to celebrate, even in difficult times.

I will share healing pieces of my story in the next few weeks and the work it has taken to reach this point: the enormous boulders I have hurdled and the ongoing daily healing. Wild Earth Exposures will be a platform for my photography passion and a blog to expose life’s biggest obstacles, addressing mental and invisible illness.


Welcome back, my Fabulous Fighters

Wrapping you in love and light,

Fab xoxo

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