Wow, friends. It’s been a long time since I’ve met you here. It’s been almost four months, actually, since the last time I posted. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to be with you though. It’s because I haven’t known what to say.
Life is hard right now.
And I’ve talked around this issue a lot here in this space. But I haven’t really talked about this issue here in this space. The root of it all, if you will. I’ve never named it. I’ve never called it out. I’ve never told you what it is.
Because I can’t.
Yes. This space is where I pen my confessions. It’s where I strive to be vulnerable and authentic. It’s where I have committed to share with you parts of my story, usually the broken, hot-mess portions of it, with the hope that I might pour something into you that might give you the courage to do the same for someone else. It’s where I want to be honest and open and brave. So that you, too, might be honest and open and brave, and together, we might resurrect the beauty of real community and connection for the betterment of our people.
But even still, there are some parts of my story that I can’t share in such a public forum. At least not right now. They’re the kinds of things to be shared in hindsight. Not in the going through.
And that’s where I am.
I’m in the going through.
My family and my marriage are fine so please don’t worry about those kinds of things. But life has me in a place I just can’t seem to come to grips with. So I’m doing really hard work to wade in the waters of hurt, anger, resentment, disappointment, and grief.
I’m trying to heal.
I’m trying to refocus my identity in harmony with my reality.
I’m trying to accept these bitter parts of life, thank God for them, and grow.
And I’m trying to paint a picture with God about the realistic possibilities that exist for me right where I am.
It occupies a whole lot of my brain space.
And on the hard days, of which there are so many right now, the weakness in my spirit tells me I have nothing else to offer you here.
So I don’t write, and that makes me deeply sad.
But even though its the end of January, it’s still the beginning of a new year. And while I loathe the idea of New Year Resolutions, I love the idea of a clean slate. A re-setting of what has been and a leaning into what might become. Because when one part of our life wreaks of shambles beyond our control, we have a choice.
We can let it hijack the rest of our life.
Or we can grow around it.
When this thought first occurred to me, the idea of “growing around” seemed more than improbable. It seemed impossible. Because this part of my life takes up a very large space in my identity, and I’ve loved that all these years.
It also broke my heart. Because growing around this space I have no control over requires so much acceptance and letting go.
I want things to be a certain way. The way they used to be. But they aren’t. And they will never be again. And any of you who have grieved the loss of something in your life know these parts of the journey are hard.
But as I have considered it more and more, I have realized that “growing around” doesn’t necessarily mean an all-together abandonment of the parts of my life that are in shreds.
It can mean a pause. A rest. A stepping back, even if just for a season so we can create the space in this busy, relentless life we’re living for God to move and breath and speak. So we can create quiet in a noisy world that will allow us to really hear Him on the other end. And so we can consider a new thing without being overwhelmed by the context of our circumstances.
I have felt God pressing in on me to stop the crazy for a while now. All of it. But I’m a Type A over-achiever, and I suffer from Fear Of Missing Out so this has been a really hard thing for me to hear.
Nonetheless, honesty requires that I admit I’m exhausted. I’m uninspired. I have lost all focus and purpose. And all the things I thought God was leading me to do leave me feeling burdened, heavy, and bitter.
This has to stop.
So I have wiped my plate clean of almost all nonobligatory commitments. I have resigned from a number of leadership roles. I have resolved to not “re-up” with other commitments that will naturally role off my plate in the coming months. And I’m saying “no” a lot.
I have filled my nightstand with book recommendations from wise friends who know the whole story.
I’m getting up early to relish the quiet.
I’m eating healthy.
And I’m working on personal growth in a variety of ways.
I’m also focusing on the relational side of my life. Because if anything lights me up, that’s it. It’s my people.
I’m dating my husband.
I’m loving on my family.
I’m gathering people around our table.
I’m hunkering down for a season of rest, contemplation, and revival. And for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling relieved and hopeful. Life isn’t the way it used to be. But life can be good again, and I’m determined to find the good right where I am.
I’m wondering. How many of you need to do the same?
So here’s the deal. I need to write here in this space. I need to be in conversation with you. I need the connection. The exchanging of ideas. The solidarity. I need the inspiration, support, and encouragement that comes when I put something out here, and you come back with a high five and a “me too”!
I need to meet you here. It’s like breath to me.
So no longer will I allow the weight of my circumstances to keep my fingers from this key board.
But I am choosing to write from a new perspective. The perspective of this journey I’m embarking on to love the life I actually have.
I’m going to write openly and honestly and with my bravest foot forward about what God is showing me along the way.
I’m going to share the insights I’m gleaning, and how I am growing and changing and coming back to life as a result of my willingness to lay it all down, enter a season of rest, and listen — really listen — for God to speak into my heart.
And I’m going to bring hope to this space. For me and for you.
If this resonates with you at all. If your heart is beating a little faster because I’m speaking your language. If you’re ready to turn the corner towards a new day in your own journey but need some support and accountability. I hope you’ll join me and let me hear from you along the way.
Because life can be good. And we’ve got this if we’ll do it together.