How I lost and found myself

It’s been…. awhile… since I posted.

Sometimes that happens because life is too much to bear. It is confusing and painful and stressful and disappointing. Sometimes that happens because life is busy. But sometimes it happens because life has been too good. And I’m afraid to write the words because I think I might wake up from a dream.

It’s been a year since I moved back to Colorado. Again. This time choosing to come back to my home, my family, my community, my mountains. I knew I was coming to a familiar place, one where I was loved and known and seen. One where I was safe.

This past year has been full of the highest highs and lowest lows.

There were weddings, babies, new jobs, exciting blog moments, love letters, and long unanswered health concerns finally made clear.
But there was also death, loss, sorrow, heartbreak, and disappointment.

I wrestled through promises and hope and anger and confusion. I shook my fist and swore at God out of my utter desperation. I’ve been a mess. I’ve been re-learning who I am in Christ and that my beauty doesn’t define me. I’ve pushed people away, begged for them to stay, and uttered final farewells. It’s been… a roller coaster to say the least.

It all came to a breaking point in the middle of February. I had a day where I literally thought I cannot do this anymore. I can’t celebrate another friend. I can’t pick myself up from being kicked. I can’t love anyone else. I cannot do it. 

It was a dark few days. Filled with anger and tantrums and frustration and tears. I wept in the middle of the night on my floor. I cried out into my pillow as the emotional pain made my bones feel like they were breaking. I tried to fake the smiles and coffee dates and dinners. I tried to force myself to choose joy and be happy. But I found that choosing joy didn’t always mean being happy. One can be found without the other. I tried to understand how to worship Jesus in my anger and confusion. I looked to the Psalms for guidance but I also looked away. I must confess I threw my bible across the room more than once and wrote angry words in my journal. A mixture of tears and raw words littering the pages.

I didn’t want to be around myself much less let anyone else be around me.

I had stuffed sadness and disappointment and hurt for too long and not dealt with the things that happened to me. The wrongs committed. The words said. The promises broken. I dismissed them and moved on and ignored the pain pulsing in my heart. Until one day it exploded.

And thankfully I had booked a trip to get out of town to be near family and sunshine. My wonderful cousins took me in and let me sleep 12+ hours a night. They let me talk or be silent. They let me eat queso and drink wine. They loved my heart and soul. They took the load off my shoulders for a few days so I could catch my breath. They validated my hurt. They told me it sucked and they were sorry and they didn’t understand why it happened the way it did.

So when I got on the plane to come back to reality, my shoulders felt a little less tense, the exhaustion a little less consuming, and the anger not quite as present. I felt the fog lift a little from my shattered heart. I saw flashes of the girl I am in the mirror. The light coming back into my eyes. The dimples starting to come forth to erase the frown lines.

I had accepted that if I was walking forward, claiming promises in the two most precious parts of my heart, I needed to expect the attack. That I shouldn’t have been surprised this was happening but that I wasn’t about to let my heart be stolen or killed by anything that didn’t deserve it. I decided that battle wounds were worth the victory of the war and I could keep fighting. I had to keep fighting.

And in the middle of all of this something unexpected happened.

A man showed up in my life who I never could have expected. Someone who pursued me better than I had ever been pursued. Who thought my quirks were fun and charming. Who thought I was beautiful and funny. Who loved the Lord more than anything else in the world. Who challenged me spiritually and emotionally. Who didn’t run away when I got a little bit crazy and tried to push him away. Who saw my gluten-free, low carb, high protein diet as an adventure and not a burden. Who told me I wasn’t too much. Who didn’t want me to save him or complete him or make him whole but wanted me to make him better, sharper, kinder.

And I instantly became smitten.

We never know what the future holds and I don’t know what my future is with this man but I do know that regardless of how long he’s in my life, he was a respite for this season. He was something given to me to know the love of Jesus in a different way. A drink of water, a crack of sunlight, a deep breath. He has been all of those things to me. A little bit of strength to fight for Papa’s best in my life.

So it’s been a year. A crazy wild emotional year. I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually not the girl I was last March. And for all the hurt and sorrow and loss I wouldn’t change the beauty of the refinement I’m going through.

 

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