Wednesday, March 22, 2017

You Make Me Brave

Have you ever had a song that just hits your life at the right moment and yet once that moment has passed, instead of sparking memories, it almost haunts you?

I hope it's not just me.

When Michael left me and I was stuck and felt so lost without a full concept of what I was going to do and how I was going to make it.

And then I heard it, the song that would become my own personal anthem. I held on to the words of Amanda Cook & Bethel Music because what I needed in this time of fear and confusion was to know how to be brave.

Let me tell you, I was not brave. I was so low and weak but knew that I had to wake up each day so I needed my God to make me brave.

You will make me brave
You will make me brave
You who called me out beyond the shore into the waves
You will make me brave
You will make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way

I would pray these words. I would sing them out. I played the song so many times that Anya would sing it with me and ask to hear it.

And each and every time I would sob as I prayed because I didn't have my own strength to move. I questioned every moment of myself, my every thought and decision. I questioned everything that I knew. The only thing I knew was I could lean on God and that he would make me brave.

And he did. Even when I didn't know it. He made me brave when facing some of the most difficult moments of my life.

But now, though I love the song and its words still speak to my heart, when I hear the words I am transported right back to that time, when I was begging God to save my marriage, to hear my cry and to make me brave.

And immediately I become a sobbing mess. The beauty of the lyrics still hits me deep and I remember.

But as times continues to move I realize how much I need to remember those times that were hard. I need to remember the times that nearly broke me and left with nowhere to go.

Those memories are where I remember that God never left and how much my life has changed.

I know how far I have journeyed in two short years.

Without reminders of the pain I wouldn't see the new strength in my marriage and the wholeness of my family.

I wouldn't know the power of grace and forgiveness.

I'm becoming better at letting these memories wash over me\and finding a way to rejoice and celebrate where I stand right now.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Life Keeps Moving

It's amazing how life continues move along right around you when you feel like your life has just stopped. The world just keeps moving and the clock just keeps ticking on.

This is what it felt like when I saw my life crash around me. I was fighting for my marriage and to keep my family whole. I had one single goal each day and that was just to survive to the next.

That is how I lived for a long time.

My body and soul were in a constant state of survival mode. Each and everyday was a battle. It was battle in pain and hurt and the need to protect my children as best as I possibly could.

I was a complete and broken mess.

I spent my whole days crying. I cried for my hurt. I cried for my children. I cried out to God over and over again asking him to please help. I cried for Michael and I prayed for him.

We spent months rebuilding and only focusing on how to keep our marriage together. If it was going to survive the betrayal it was going to take actual work to put the pieces together. Not just back together, but in a new a better way. A way that would make us stronger.

We worked hard. We used whatever resource we could in order to strengthen us as individuals, as a couple and as a family.

And the whole time we were working we were in our own protective bubble. This bubble did not leave room for other people. It was only really for the five of us. And time kept moving all around us.

And suddenly it's two years later. Our family is strong. Our marriage is stronger than it was before. We are good.

But it's also two years later and I'm just beginning to step out of my protective zone. I'm realizing that others lives have continued to move as I've been stuck. People I used to know have different lives, some have moved, gotten married, expanded their families, kids have gotten older. Some loved ones have even passed away.

Their lives just kept moving forward all the while I expected it all to freeze around me and wait for me to come back in.

Kind of a selfish thought, right?

Of course I knew that their lives wouldn't just stop and wait for me. But in my mind they are as they were two years ago. To me, they are the people they were then, even if they've drastically changed their lives since.

How can really expect them to be exactly the same as they were when I am clearly not?

So many changes have happened in me I do not feel the same as I was then.

Life just continues to go on. The world keeps moving, the clock keeps ticking, the kids keep growing.

 And really, it's for the best.

It's a reminder to me that I do not have to be stuck. My life may have been altered two years ago and started in a completely different direction than what I had envisioned, but I made it through. My family made it through. We are not stuck and we are not who we were. We, together, have put in the work and made the choices that make us stronger. We are more whole, now as individuals and as a family.

Did I want the pain and the heartache? No. Not on your life.

But do I want the outcome of a life that has moved forward and to be in a marriage that I know is more than I ever imagined? Yes.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Bible Journaling: Joshua 1:9

Sometimes I need a simple reminder that I can be strong and courageous because I know that God is with me. Just as Joshua encouraged the Israelites as they were getting ready to move into the Promised Land I can also be encouraged. With God with me I have no reason not to be strong and courageous. I belong to him, so I am safe, no matter what the world throws at me.