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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2013: From Fear to New

I haven’t written in awhile. I have excuse upon excuse and some of them are probably legitimate. But more often than not, I’ve felt paralyzed.

This is a new sensation for me, this paralyzing fear. It’s one I’ve never had before.

I start to think about writing something and my chest gets tight. It’s like an allergic reaction. So I think I just started to shut down. I stopped thinking about things and the things I’ve needed to process I can’t because I have an audience, and that’s not fair to certain parties involved. Forgive me for being vague and cryptic.

Here’s what I can tell you – life has been incredibly hard and incredibly lonely. My life is consumed by the tour all day every day. To the point where I don’t have much time to even think about normal life.

There’s that.

But here are my other problems.

Writer envy and stage fright.

Seriously I know. I’ve been caught up in reading other blogs – blogs about relationships, life, Jesus, beauty, vulnerability. The things I write about. And before, what was something I did for myself has somehow turned into something I do for others and I started measuring it against these incredible writers and I compare and I cheapened a gift and a voice Papa gave me. It became about what other people said and thought and believed about who I am.

I lost my identity. My voice. My ability to think in my own head.

I thought that you all would finally see me for what I often feel like I am – a fraud.

Hence, the stage fright. The paralyzing fear of being utterly vulnerable in front of so many people. Because, you guys, for some reason I write things that you relate to and you tell me. You share your stories and your wounds and your heart and your vulnerabilities. And it started to scare me, the power of words. The power of connection.

So I ran off stage and cowered in the corner. I owe someone an email, an email that could potentially change so much, but I can’t bring myself to write it. Even now, I’m writing this blog to avoid finishing something I started. I’m overcome by fear. Paralyzing, destructive, false fear.

This past year was full of rejection. Some of them epic rejections. The kind that left me bloody and face down on the ground. And you guys saw them. But it’s time for new. It’s time for the old to go and the new to come. I won’t be controlled by fear or perception or anyone else’s opinion.

So here it goes guys. I’m going to start consistently blogging twice a week. You’ll find new content on Tuesday and Thursday every week. At least one of those days will be about relationships. The other one will probably be about life and Papa and maybe an occasional joke or two.

I’m going to ask you to engage, here on my blog. This is a place for conversation. Don’t agree with that I’ve said? Tell me. Am I spouting horrible theology? I want to learn.

This year this is my verse…. the one Papa is using across all aspects of my life.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

I am new. My new life begins today – the way I react to rejection, the way I steward my finances, the way I guard my heart, the story that I tell, it’s all new.

Cheers.

Many the Miles: A Year of Change

Here’s the thing. I’m really bad at being disciplined – the healthy kind of discipline. And because I hate showing my mess, I don’t even want to admit it. The older I get the more I realize how I hate to let people see how not perfect I am and I hate to admit it myself.

Shocker. I know. I’m not perfect.

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

Seriously.

I go through seasons where I’m really convicted by my lack of discipline and then other seasons where I just pull the “grace” card. Which makes me sick. How often I cheapen grace and use it as an excuse to live selfishly.

In going with the areas where the LORD spoke to me earlier this year about my lack of discipline, I’ve decided to delve into a few of them. My goal is that for the next year I’m going to focus on two areas of being a healthy individual. Finance and Fitness.

I’m terrible at managing my money. I actually prayed the other day that the LORD would show me better ways of managing my money before I get a raise. Because I don’t want to waste the resources He’s generously given me.

I’m terrible at eating healthy and going to the gym. I don’t love working out but I love the feeling after… haha. I already can’t eat gluten but there are plenty of other things I can eat instead that are still terrible for me.

For the next twelve months I’m going to pick a different thing to do for thirty days in each category. So for example – November is going to be No-Card November for Finance and No-Sugar November and Yoga.

Except for the things that are automatically withdrawn from my account, I’m not going to use my debit card or credit card. I’m going to pay for everything in cash to see myself how much I waste on unnecessary things that don’t affect me because I’m not handing cash over. I never carry cash and if on the rare occasion I do have it, I usually realize how fast I spend it. On those little things – Starbucks, lunch out, a new outfit from Target, etc. It’s wasteful.

I eat way too much sugar and fake sugar. Whenever I eliminate it from my diet I realize how much better I feel and how I don’t crave it. As soon as I start introducing it back into my diet I feel the effects. The only time I’m going to make an exception is on Thanksgiving to eat a small piece of pumpkin pie. Because that is ONCE A YEAR. Not giving that baby up. I’ll still eat fruit and veggie sugar and some carb sugar. It’s mostly the desserts, diet coke, chocolate, etc that I’ll eat without even thinking. Time to get rid of it.

Part of the reason I don’t stay consistent with working out is because I get bored. So for November I’m using my month of yoga at the local hot yoga studio. Then in December I’ll do something else. Hopefully it’ll keep me engaged enough that I’ll get a consistent routine of working out. It’s worth a try eh?

Also, I’m going to be blogging through 30 days of thankfulness in November. Too often the words that come out of my mouth are ones of sarcasm and complaining. Time to refocus a bit of that.

I’ve always been a little ambitious, eh?