A letter to myself: Dear Quitter,

Your life is about to change. I just want to remind you that you are braver and stronger than you know. You are about to find out just how much. You are going to wake up and decide you are done.

You stayed too long because you never wanted to be labeled a quitter. To you marriage was a life long commitment. You stayed because you accepted less. Maybe you didn’t know there was more. You will leave all you know, with no education, no job and very little savings to escape an abusive marriage of 14 years to be free.

“You are teaching the our daughters to quit.”, your soon to be ex husband said.

But you are not. You are removing them from the generational bondage you have been trapped in. You are teaching them how to be free and be who they are.

Your girls won’t care that you moved out. They see it as a grand adventure, and because you are lining your steps with where God wants you, in this one moment, everything will be easy. You will spend that first night in your tiny apartment, on New Year’s Day, as a single mom and you will have peace.

You will make several bad men choices during that first year. Taking yourself from being someone’s one and only, to having 4 notches on the proverbial bedpost before the year is out. Those mistakes will shift your mindset and being alone for Christmas is what you need. Let it happen. I promise. The alone, the feeling of not mattering to someone else will be heavy but so worth it. You will find your worth in who God created you to be.

It will give you peace. You will vow to make no more man choices based on what you think you are worth or the need to NOT to be alone.

One evening, hanging with a Starbucks coworker, your entire world will change and it all starts with the best pick up line ever. “Friends totally snuggle.” The course of your life will never be the same.

Joseph’s pick-up line will turn into friends with benefits, and while this is not the preferred method of dating, being able to be part of something with no expectations and growing through it was liberating. It was like someone unlocked the prison and you are seeing the sun for the first time. It will grow into Joseph saying he loves you first and in little ways that are funny in order to remove the seriousness and power behind the words because girl, you scare him.

“I just love all of this so much”

“I love Tiarra cause she’s so delicious” (yes that is the goldfish tune)

These moments will change your life because the lack of responsibility for someone’s happiness in this FWB relationship will morph into your forever. His stuff will migrate to your apartment, you will be lost when he isn’t there and he will be lost when he isn’t with you. His views on marriage will change from “I can see myself with you for forever, but I don’t know about that marriage thing” to replacing your last name with his when discussing your future and then eloping in the park.

I told you that your life was going to change. You certainly did not think that you would fall in love with someone at a coffee shop. Cheesy right?

When you read this, it will have been 7 years since you left, more than 6 divorced, just barely 6 since Joseph first kissed you (at your curious request). This year you will have been married to your upgrade husband for 5 years, and when he looks at you it still looks like he sees his whole world in your face.

Your girls see daily the affirmation and Godly treatment of their mother. You finally broke the generational cycle of abuse. Think of not just the implications on your girls but the generations that come next!

You are now stronger, more beautiful and more amazing than ever before. There is nothing you can’t do. So, if you find yourself in a rut, read this and remember how far you have come. You can do anything. Believe in yourself. It isn’t anyone else’s job to help you understand what you are worth. And you know you are worth it and that you can do it, because you did it before.

You are loved, and you are incredible, and you are free.


Tiarra Tompkins



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