For the first time in what feels like forever, I'm coming to this space not knowing exactly what's going to stream from my fingertips - not knowing exactly the form that the feelings and emotions inside of me are going to take. But here I am. *you've been warned*
My faith is something I've always said was strong. It's something that I've always had in the forefront of my mind and thought I actively acted on and pursued. Especially over the past couple of years, I've been put in so many situations that there was absolutely no doubt it was God moving in my life: being surrounded by my coworkers while going through my divorce, meeting Cory after much frustration with dating, attending a Women's Conference the night before my life changed forever...I could go on and on. And I probably should, but I don't want to veer off course too much and be dragged down by old wounds and hurt feelings. Included in those moments, though, were so many firsts for me that absolutely opened my eyes to what my heart and soul yearned for. I attended and sort of created my very first Bible Study (it didn't make it too far, but it was definitely prosperous for me!), I researched different versions of the Bible to really try to help me dig deeper and understand His Word, I surrounded myself with inspiration - mostly in the form of following women on different social media platforms that I believed were truly seeking the Lord and turning to Him daily, I dated post-divorce and looked for happiness.
And I guess I thought that was good enough. That I had already come so far from where I started just attending church on Sundays and going through the motions of praying before a meal or before bed. I had started seeking Him and really seeing Him in my surroundings - in coworkers and friends and strangers alike. This was progress, and it had my heart pounding in the thrill of it all.
But then, South Carolina happened. I moved away from all of those inspirations and God-centered people (and my support system), to a place where I knew nothing and no one. I definitely don't regret it by any means because it helped me grow in so many ways and so many huge life moments happened for me while there - it'll always hold a special place in my heart. BUT, it was hard. It was a journey I only thought I was prepared for but was ultimately kidding myself completely. Because while there, I broke. I quit. I gave up. I didn't want to look for the inspiration I once yearned for on a daily basis. I didn't want to find a new church home. I didn't want to settle down and stay. I was hurt and I was homesick and I prayed. For a little while anyway. And after several months and so many huge moments later (hello, getting engaged, pregnancy news, and getting married), I was still stuck. And what's worse, I allowed myself to stop engaging in things I once found such solace and joy and purpose in (hello, blogging, journaling, Bible reading, praying, exploring, finding friends...). Yes, depression reared its ugly head, but I felt it was so much more than that. I felt a loss of purpose. I felt a loss of my faith and belonging and joy and happiness. Yes, I was completely filled with bliss with my new husband and our two adorable puppies that I miss dearly. Yes, I loved the adventures we were having and the traveling we were doing. Yes, I loved our little (growing) family and wanted to see it thrive. But there was something in me that knew it wouldn't - not while we were where we were and going through the motions that we were. Something had to change again. So much was missing and my soul was crushed with each day that I couldn't sew it all together - I couldn't miraculously "fix" the brokenness that was myself.
And I didn't have God in my corner to turn to (because I didn't let Him).
At least, that's what I told myself. I stopped praying. I stopped seeking. I stopped completely. And it's a lesson that I'm only now coming to terms with - to not give up wanting more from Him, to not stop seeking the Lord, to not throw in the towel.
Now that I'm back in Texas, I feel at "home" again. In so many ways, there's familiarity here, but there's also a newness that I never thought I could feel or see here. Things just aren't the same as they were when I left. I've changed, my friends have changed, my job has changed, my family has changed - so much change! And there's still a fear in my heart with an unknown future: a possible date that my husband and puppies will be here with me for good and our family reunited, not knowing the house we'll bring our son home to, not being able to "nest" when the calling hits me, not knowing what life is going to look like when our son is born, much less just next month, what kind of jobs Cory and I will both have - the list goes on and on and on. With the familiarity comes unsteady waters, and I'm absolutely scared to tread them. But little by little, I'm finding myself again - or at least discovering who I am now.
With that, I've slowly started turning back to God. Letting go of anger I once held onto so tightly towards Him, having the want again to look for Him in my surroundings, and to truly and honestly want to seek Him again, if even just the littlest of ways. I've also started to slowly incorporate some old loves of mine (hi blogging again and reading and journaling) with some new loves, or at least changes from an old routine. After all, I'm in charge of my own happiness, right? And I'm getting there, slowly but surely. I'm at least attempting to make progress instead of just succumbing to the fact that I'm broken.