When your life is flipped upside down and you watch God push you in a new direction, so many thoughts go through your mind. The why’s, the what now’s, the what have I done’s. Wondering what you could have done to avoid it, to change it, to make it fit your color-coded spreadsheets and to-do lists. And then – without realizing it – you look at the calendar and realize that you’ve survived.
You look back on that hard moment, the one that had you flat on your face before the throne of the King, and you are so thankful for the sweet grace of a God who slams doors shut and offers beautiful new chances down side streets that never before would have caught my eye.
Instead of my usual Friday post, linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker, my heart is craving this space to remember. To say that I know what it’s like to walk the hard road. To not know what the other side looks like or when you’re going to make it there. I know what it’s like to have your life tossed around, the scramble to put it back together again, the joy, the disappointment, the anxiety, the hope. I know it. I’m still there.
My story isn’t over yet. I write in the middle of it because I want you to know that God works powerfully in the “in between.” I have read countless books on how to become a better woman, sister-in-Christ, wife, mother. I have completed dozens of wonderfully written Bible studies and find deep community and accountability in them. But nothing compares to the communion of a daughter and her Father when there is nothing left to lay at the foot of the cross but a heart broken. It is more than book knowledge that has moved one foot in front of the other these last months. It has been nothing I’ve done and everything to do with the tender love of Jesus, His grace whispered over me, Truth spoken into my life by the right women at the right time.
The last two months have been beautifully difficult. I’ve learned to chase God Sized Dreams with abandon because I had no other choice. God has blessed me with a vision for this little blog, for a book, connections with amazingly wonderful people and a desire to continue to pursue my dreams while supporting my family. He has impressed upon my heart a renewed love for community, for encouraging others, for my family, and for just being…me. No ladders to climb, not titles to chase. To climb upward now means to spend time down deep in the Word.
Oh it hasn’t been perfect. Far from it. I’ve struggled with deep sadness over a door closed that I prayed for desperately; anxiety wondering how we would make it through; doubt about the choices that were before me and which ones were right. The enemy has poured lies of worthlessness, uselessness, un-wantedness, and loneliness into the broken pieces. I’ve sent emails full of joy and encouragement and emails full of regret and tears.
A new part of my story starts today. So does yours. So let’s tell our stories from beginning to end, not just the pieces that we can present with glorious life lessons and sparkly bows on top. This blog, this little bench that you’ve come to sit on for a moment today? I hope you take a close look and find that your name has been gently carved into it. It’s yours, a place to lay it all down for a minute, to know that the One who joins you here gets it. The survivors, the sifted-ones, the dreamers, the do-ers, the exhausted mamas, and the ones living the “in between” – you are welcome here.