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My Majestic Citadel, Jan 14, 2023

I constructed walls to protect against lies, deceit, and abuse years ago. Still, instead of resolving my issues, they confined me. I eventually recognized I had tendencies of forgiving broken promises, surrendering to neglect, and accepting lies. The labor-intensive fortress I had built, complete with secret doors, hidden chambers, and escape routes, was a cell, not an answer, and I was its prisoner.

Years would go by with me vulnerable, hidden away within my fortress, until one day, I heard a tap at my door. For the first time since I could remember, someone or something was trying to get in. I scrambled, searching for anything to seal the windows and barricade the doors of my majestic citadel. My secret was no longer a secret; I felt the years of isolation lift.

My mind twirled as I questioned what would happen if I let someone in. Undoubtedly, my fortress would tumble, but I no longer had the strength to continue building. I wept, emotionally drained and terrified to break free of the walls that held me captive. I sat quietly, contemplating the trust, humility, and courage required to step into the light. With one motion, I rose and opened the door. I saw no beasts lurking and did not feel the darkness drink me in.

My eyes fixed on the glorious colors stretched across the sky as I allowed the exhaustion from years of running and hiding to consume me. Tears spilled over the earth as I wondered how many breathtaking moments I had missed when I felt him take me into his arms. At that moment, I knew I was not about to miss this one, and I allowed the tidal wave of emotions to overtake me. There was no need to look back, so I opened my eyes, looked toward our future, and heard my cowboy ask, “Do you love me?” To which I answered, “I do.”

“Be strong, for strength is the new beautiful!”

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