This year has been tough. I mean really tough. I am sure like many of you out there, 2019 hasn’t been the kindest to you. The year started out pretty good but in the Spring time, my health took a nosedive causing me to take a leave of absence from work for six weeks. I didn’t really tell many people about it and I didn’t talk about it. I used very basic responses to questions I received and was able to avoid conversations for the most part. Taking time off to focus solely on my health was something I had not done in a long time. It was a wonderful six weeks and I had felt the healthiest I had felt in a long time….and then I returned to work.
Everything came crashing down when I went back to work. Within a weekend of me being back, all 3 of my kids had been to some kind of doctor for an ear infection and what not. I had to go in late, take an extended lunch, come in late. It was a nightmare. I cried so much. I felt everything spiraling. It felt like all of the progress I had made in those six weeks was destroyed over a few days. The stress of balancing it all, including going to school, was proving too much. After much deep and long conversations, my husband and I decided that I would leave my corporate job and stay home with my kids. This would allow me to focus on being home with the kids, focus on my school and focus on myself. I went in that week and put in my notice. It was gut wrenching. I loved the company I was at and I worked with some of the most amazing people I have ever met, but home is where I needed to be.
The first three weeks felt like a vacation. It was really wonderful. And then reality set in. It was summer time and for the first time I understood why moms can’t wait until their kids go back to school. I cried every day and I found myself feeling so incredibly lonely. In a matter of weeks, I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore. I felt I had no identity anymore and I felt so lost. I questioned if quitting my job was a mistake. On top of that, my husband started his own business, I graduated with my Bachelors and dove right into grad school. We lived in ongoing chaos and I just wanted to jump ship.
I wish I could say it has gotten easier, but it hasn’t. It truly, honestly hasn’t. As a type-A person, I am absolutely struggling finding balance and order in this chaos. I don’t know which side is up anymore and I still cry most days. In addition, I felt like God was so far away. So many things that I thought were from Him, including what I thought was my dream job, ended up falling apart. So many nights I have laid in bed, asking, just begging God for clarity. Like seriously God, there has got to be more to this life than constant stress and sleepless nights wondering what the next step is. Just, come on God.
In November I decided to make a girls trip with my daughter and traveled almost 2,000 miles round trip to visit my friend in Oklahoma. We met through school and have become extremely close. I truly feel like God put her in my life to do life with. Somedays I feel like we could have been sisters. She is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met and I feel so lucky to call her my friend. We had such an amazing weekend and my daughter loved hanging out with her 4 girls. (Yes she has 4 girls and yes she is a saint.) On Sunday, she took me and my daughter to her church in Tulsa. Guys, this church was amazing. Absolutely incredible. I just felt God’s presence all around me and I felt a fire in me that I thought died long ago. On the way home, I binged-listened to their podcast and felt like God was there. He was with me and He was guiding me. I prayed for clarity and guidance and He started providing.
As I have moved deeper into prayer, God has shown me and nudged me into the direction that I believe He wants for me (and has been wanting me to do for a very long time and I just haven’t listened) which is blogging as well as a couple other exciting opportunities. I know I have said, “I’m going to start blogging more!”, “I’m going to have a monthly vlog!”, “I am going to be more real than ever!” and I haven’t followed through with anything I have said. I have blamed being too busy or feeling so insignificant, that I didn’t feel I was worthy. But God has shown me that no one can say what I have to say, in the way that I can say it.
So here I am, baring my soul, being even more vulnerable and open in order to bring glory to Him. To allow God to use me and my ups and downs to help others and let everyone know that God can make beauty out of ashes. He can restore brokenness and He does have a plan for every single one of us, if we allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable. God loves you, even if you don’t believe Him or in Him. All it takes is the faith of a mustard seed and God will do the rest. So get ready for what is to come. Because even though I don’t know what the next step will look like, I am stepping up and stepping out in faith and I hope you will join me on the ride.
“I say this because I know what I have planned for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (ICB)