Kyle Johnson“Wherever you go, there you are.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn We’re all searching for meaning, all searching for answers, all searching for ways to make sense of the paths we’re walking, the bodies we’re inhabiting, the lips we’re kissing. We’re all longing to understand, to know, to feel, to find who we are and the…
If you don’t know me or haven’t talked to me in a while, when I turned 27 I started on this quest to find myself. I know I have said that many times and in many situations prior but I really meant it this time. I could feel it was crucial to my future and my future happiness.
As I have explained to close friends and family, I have been feeling like I’m sitting in this bowl (in my mind, it’s this small purple one I’ve had since I went to college) and there is press and seal covering it and for years, I was content at the bottom…not needing to think or make decisions for myself. I have been too scared to make a decision because I don’t want to disappoint others or am too scared to actually change. Recently, I have felt like I’m at the top of the bowl banging on that press & seal and not being able to break through it. I want to break through it, desperately. I am no longer content at the bottom being miserable. And I know there has to be change. It’s time to think for myself…make decisions that will make ME happy….and follow my heart.
I knew that in order to get out from the bottom, I needed to deepen my relationship with God. God and I go way back and I like to think he spends a lot of time chuckling at me with my grand plans and my hopes and dreams. On June 26th, I started a 40 day prayer challenge. And if you know me, you know I like dates and the anniversary of important things and I believe, June 26th will remain a very important day in my life.
The 40+ days I’ve spent praying really hard and looking at who I am, where I want to go, and asked God to continue to open my ears and my heart to where He was guiding me and that He would get the glory for whatever happened because I sure don’t deserve it. There is a lot of other stuff in there, but that is at the core of where my prayers have been focused. During all this I struggled a lot (ok that is probably not surprising) but I reached new lows…lows I haven’t experienced before…lows that made me question everything: who I am and where I belong. Why was I not worthy of all the things I wanted in life? Why did I feel not good enough for anything or anyone? Those questions ran through my head time and time and time again and then I found myself questioning the most important relationships–my dearest friends and confidants and my parents. I hate that I felt that way but I did. I was at the bottom of that bowl. And worst of all, I felt completely 100% alone.
I didn’t know if it was going to get better and not that I was questioning God because I don’t know that I was but I was not recognizing that He was there with me all along. I got too caught up in my own brain and my need to control, I wasn’t truly giving Him the power. Once I realized that, I felt less alone and I was more than capable.
The one person I really needed to be honest with and fix my relationship was with my Dad. He and I don’t always see eye to eye and have a lot of similarities that don’t help that all the time but we have had many ups and downs this year and that has been extremely hard on both of us. I felt extremely compelled to finally talk to him and be honest. It was weighing on me every moment and I absolutely hated the discord. He has always been one of my strongest supporters and inspiration for me so not having that in my life during this was killing me. I had been so scared of what this conversation would look like but I knew it had to happen to really start being true to myself. Our conversation was so wonderful and was the best conversation we have ever had. And I know God was there with both of us that day. I was honest…I told him I was not happy at work and while I desperately wanted to want to be there, my heart was not in it. I wanted it to be…it’s all I ever have thought of and known. I want to make him and my mom proud and I feel that by feeling that I’m not happy I will disappoint them more than anyone has before. On top of that, thinking about making a career change and leaving is really scary. And I have NO idea what I would even want to do! At one point out of no where he suggested I look into becoming a counselor. It was a sign! most don’t know, but I have thought of that off and on for over a year. I was too scared though. I was too scared to make any decision. Again, for so long it was just easier to sit in fear than to rock the boat.
Anyway, I KNOW God was in that conversation because I had asked for a sign a few days earlier in my prayer that God would continue to guide and direct me in what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I needed and still need the guidance. But my dad saying that to me in our conversation was my sign. The more I talked about it or shared with others, the more excited I have become.
Counseling, I can see it! Me helping people, making a difference in someone’s life. I finally feel like this is my calling…this is what I’m supposed to be doing. It doesn’t matter that I’m 27 and completely changing my career. I feel and know God has spoken and instead of trying to control, I’m giving it to Him to guide and carry me through on this plan. This is my time and God has said a lot of “not yet” in my life when I feel like He should be telling me “yes yes yes” but this one is a yes, now.
I feel the most comfort and peace I have felt since I graduated college. I don’t know where I’m going to go or how it all looks but I am open to any and all ideas and keeping my ears listening to God.
It’s a brand new beginning for me and I feel so confident and content about it that it brings me to tears. God is good and I know no matter what, He is there with me every step of the way.
I want to thank my closest friends and my family…especially my parents for supporting me and being there for me through my post college journey. It has been challenging in many ways but I have grown and feel so blessed to continue to have such an amazing circle in my life. I love you all so much.
I don’t share this to brag on my new goals/dreams/plans that have come from this 40 day prayer challenge. I share and write this to give hope to others. To show that because of digging deeper in my relationship with God, it has brought me into a new mindset with a different perspective. It just happened to impact my goals for my life. God gets all the glory here….He is the one carrying me along and guiding me. No matter what is going on in your life or things you may be dealing with, God is right there with you. And no matter what He is saying, trust Him because I know it will be worth it.
cheers to new beginnings and all that’s to come!
I love to blog. I love being able to express myself through words. I am much more eloquent with words than I am when I speak them. I get tongue tied because I want to make sure my points come across clearly. And in writing I can erase if I don't like how something is written.
I have been rather reflective this week on many things about myself….how I come across, how I define myself, how I box myself in by the words I use. I never thought about it before but the very definitive words I write and speak have done me a disservice my whole life. I speak in concrete and definition, nothing open for possibilities or what could be or hope….only definition and most likely negative definition.
FAIL. ALWAYS. I AM. I KNOW. I CAN'T. DISAPPOINTMENT.
May sound extreme but those are my most used phrases…real helpful huh?? The words I choose to use to others and the words I choose to speak to myself have created this terrible self worth and demeaning view! It finally hit me this week, I am causing all of this. I am terribly self aware except with the words I use. The words I've chosen to use have limited by ability in so many areas- relationships, goals, dreams, promises made and broken, my own self worth and value– all because I am choosing that. I am believing the words I'm saying and instead of defining myself from the core values and attributes, I'm valuing myself on words used. Words that aren't even true, if I really and honestly evaluate it. I'm choosing to be the victim and being a victim of the victim. It's easier to be the victim….and there have been times I probably HAVE been the victim but feeling sorry for myself does not help me. It forces me into this tiny bubble of shutting others out, closing down, and well, being the victim.
I know deep in my soul, I've been created for good and to do good and be good. I have been created to make a difference in someone's life and to change lives. I feel that in my soul. I have been created to be a mom, to be a hard worker, to live my life and be at peace with myself. But I cannot be at peace with myself if I am always the victim and using words that are the opposite of all the good I was meant to do. I'm not open to the possibility to ANYTHING because I believe that I'm not destined for that so of course it's not going to happen. I have to believe it, in my soul…the possibility that ANYTHING can happen and that I can do WHATEVER I want and be whoever I want. I've already been doing that…..except in the negative way. I want to be the person someone can say- "Yeah, she went through some crap but look how much stronger she's come out of it and what a beautiful person she is." I don't let those things happen because I pre judge and believe that the past is going to keep repeating itself so I sabotage any chance I get at doing different or being different.
I'm writing this to myself so when the habit starts again, I can catch it before it overcomes me. I'm writing this to remind anyone and everyone to love on yourself a little more and to remind you that you are not defined by your past or decisions you've made. God did not send His Son to this earth to die so we continue to hate on ourselves up and not live to our greatest potential. You have the ability to change how you see yourself, to not do the same that has been done before, to show yourself you are capable of making a change, to show yourself more love.
"be present in all things and thankful for all things." maya angelou, my favorite quote. the more present I am and thankful I am the more chance I have at doing things differently. God gave us this life for a reason and I am not going to let the past put me in a box anymore. I deserve as much happiness as I want for my loved ones. And happiness starts with one person, me and those positive, loving, and hopeful words I choose to use.
all my love,
grace is a concept I struggle with. I got my Monday morning email this morning and it talked about grace & and how to learn to give yourself grace when you fail because it matters how we talk to ourselves, especially when we have messed up. But not only am I terrible at giving myself grace, I’ve been bad about giving grace to others lately.
If I had written this a week ago, the focus of this post would be about how I have a terrible track record with giving myself grace. I am without a doubt my own worst critic, I am harder on myself than I am on anyone else but I also set expectations for people that are pretty near impossible to meet. I have the idea that if I can do things and put in all this effort than so can everyone else. Well everyone else is not me and that is not fair to put those expectations on others. And so I find myself caught in this cycle of not being able to give up those expectations and thus giving others grace.
It’s an ugly thing to constantly have the feeling of being let down and feeling like you care more because you know what you would do but then others don’t do as much so you think others don’t care as much. Thus, I always feel disappointed and no one cares about me. It’s a horrible cycle because not only am I not giving myself grace and beating myself up, I’m projecting the same thing onto others.
And so all this combined, creates negative relationships with others and myself and then I have the feeling of being unworthy and undeserving of grace and love from others because I’m terrible for placing those expectations where they don’t or shouldn’t be.
back to grace. grace is something I’ve been praying about a lot lately…grace for myself when I mess up and fail and giving that same grace to others. I have to accept that others show their love and care in different ways than I do and that doesn’t mean they care more or less than me, it just shows through in a different way. And I MUST learn to be give myself grace and stop beating myself up every time I don’t do something perfectly. This world and my life is full of mistakes and instead of constantly berating myself for those mistakes, I have to learn to let myself accept the grace that God so generously gives me. Accepting that grace is going to be a challenge but it’s something I have to focus on so that no only can I receive it but I can give it others who deserve it as much as I do.
along with the idea of grace, comes the idea of possibility and the possibility that someone else’s positive view of me can be true. and that one person’s view of me, that I’ve made up in my head I will add, does not mean it’s the Bible truth, ESPECIALLY because I made it up. I think for so many years, I had this idea that this friend saw me in such a negative light because of our interactions and now that I *know* it’s different, I still can’t accept it. I expect this mountain to move to prove that it’s different and that can’t happen because it’s never been different, I just have to look at it differently. If this makes sense to you, then great, because as I am typing it out, I still don’t think I understand myself.
I have to trust and believe that people who are in my life love me for all the good and the not so great parts of who I am. And when they tell me I’m something, I MUST believe them. No matter what. Some I believe more than others & I have NO idea why that is. But most importantly, I do matter and I am worthy of all the things I want to do and that even if someone’s opinion of me is negative, it doesn’t matter because I know I am good enough…God says so and if He does, then I shouldn’t argue with that. The not giving myself grace in ANY circumstance has caused this deep rooted issue of me feeling unworthy of anything good to happen to me. I don’t believe I deserve it so I continue to create situations and thoughts that just take me by the hand and lead me down that dark road.
These are ugly feelings and thoughts to be dealing with on a regular basis. It’s overwhelming knowing that I have the idea I don’t deserve grace or love from anyone but today, when the idea of possibility sunk in, it made me see things a little differently. I have the possibility to do whatever I want and be whoever I want and even when I continue to mess up and make mistakes, God will be there to remind me to give myself grace and that it’s ok and that I’m still good enough. This idea of perfection has got to go because it’s not reality, no matter how many times I tell myself otherwise. And when I finally live that out, then I will be able to give grace more freely to others.
Life isn’t easy and I’m not making it any easier by having this thought process and I’m ready to make the leap of faith. I have a feeling I’m going to like the outcome….
all my love…
My heart is heavy today. Extra heavy. It feels like it’s weighing me down 10 fold what I’ve been feeling recently.
I just don’t think I can handle or accept any more “bad news”. I don’t think my heart can handle it. I’m tearing up writing this right now. I am just so incredibly sad. Too much wrong and evil in this world is making me lose my faith in the good. The good in others, the good in me, the good of the hope that I normally hold onto so tightly. I just don’t understand why and how all these terrible things keep happening and are hitting so beyond close to home for me. Thankfully, no one in my immediate family has been impacted but that doesn’t mean they won’t or that those that are hurting aren’t close to me that it makes me so sad. Sad is such a generic word to me but that is the only way I know how to describe how I feel. SO SAD. And it’s not going away. Every time I think things might be looking up, I learn of something else happening. Someone new having cancer, someone else dying who I know, I’m tired of my own head and my own heart being sad. I’m just tired of carrying all this around.
I have to say, it’s also made me more angry at God which is just stupid for me to even admit. But it has. I’m angry that God is going to allow this to happen to a good and faithful person who has life yet to live. I want to punch his chest (if He has one) and just say “why why why??” But as I think more about it, I realize I have no reason to be angry with God. I need to cling to, rely on Him, talk to Him, tell Him what’s going on in my head (even though I know He already knows). It’s okay to be frustrated and upset…these are hard things to process and deal with. But I know He’d be telling me, “I know. I know you’re upset and scared and hate not knowing what’s going to happen. But just trust Me. Trust in Me. I’ll help you and everyone get through this just as I have carried you through before. Just hold tight and trust in me.” It’s so much easier said then done, but I’m out of ideas and I just need to give it all to Him. I need to stop being frustrated with God, thinking I can deal with it on my own, and just let Him have it all.
Yes, evils are all around us. Finding us when we least expect it. It’s happening around me way more then I’m used to and that combined with my own personal heartache is not helping me AT ALL. I’m scared. I’m scared of who’s going to be next, what it’s going to be, who’s going to be hurt, will I be able to handle it? All these ‘what ifs’ aren’t healthy and I need to release those too. I have to let it go, give it up. I lose. My heart can’t handle anymore. My brain can’t process any more alone.
God, please…take it all; every single last bit of it, take it away. I can’t deal with it anymore. I haven’t been as faithful and reliant on you as I should have been. I haven’t been sitting and listening like I needed to. Please just help me be at peace with all the possibilities and to be there for those who need me. I’m giving it up and starting again with a lighter heart. Thank you for guiding me, God, and I know I can trust in You no matter what and despite everything that is going on. Thank you for loving me.
Life is not easy. There is no manual on how to deal with the tough stuff. It’s also not fair. It’s never going to be fair. It’s never going to go how I want it to or plan it to be. But, with this renewed spirit of relying on God, I know I will be better equipped to handle things. My heart was too heavy for my own good but now I’m free and on my way to being a rock for those who need it.
Keep fighting and keep going…we’re stronger then we know and knowing I have Him in my corner, is going to make all the difference.