I'm sitting on my lovely back patio, enjoying the sunny but not-too-hot afternoon here down south. Yes, I live in Florida, and it's okay for you to be jealous. :) I have no idea how long we'll be here, but we're enjoying it while we can. I digress....I was struck by this article and knew I'd been avoiding you, my blog friends and readers. To be frank, it is hard to be honest, to share vulnerably, and risk being misunderstood and judged and who knows what else might go on after I hit 'publish'. But I believe God has called me to that honesty here, for my growth, and hopefully your encouragement and edification. I've had my ups and downs this past month, and I'm not even sure how to distill it all into an understandable post, but I'll try.
I have a fabulous husband, an encouraging work environment, and a loving church family. Unfortunately, I am a sinner, and that makes all of those wonderful things hard to manage. I have faced challenges in each area, and haven't always responded well to the discomfort. I guess that vaguely sums it up. Ha! I just told you I am called to honesty, and I guess that wasn't very honest.
Contentment. Joy. Patience. Thankfulness. Forgiveness. Those would be some areas I have struggled with. Most of all, however, I have sensed a renewed presence of the Lord in my life, and a greater desire to pursue Him, be in the Word, and live the life He has called me to (even if I don't know where any of it is leading! :) Taking things one. day. at. a. time. Trying to be faithful even as I long for a family and a house and the chance to share my story with hurting people....the list goes on and on...back to contentment!
This past month, just a couple of weeks ago, was a dear friend's son's 6th birthday...okay...not important to you? I'll explain. The sweet boy's birthday coincided with my move from CO back to PA, 6 years ago to the day, and ushered in a new season of growth and healing for me. She and I will never forget it. I started writing about it here, but then stopped. I just couldn't put into words all God has done. I can't believe that 8 years ago, my life had fallen apart, I was distant from God, my health was a mess, and I had really just given up on everything. Quite a change to where He has me now...and I feel like another new season of growth is right around the corner! I am cautiously optimistic.
For months, I have felt a call to share my story more honestly, with more people, or just with the hurting people God might bring into my life. I don't know who those people are, or when they will show up. But I want to be ready, and am praying about what that will look like. It feels sort of like undressing on the wedding night-- terrifying and exciting all at the same time.
Thank you for stopping in as I have sporadically shared my year with you, and stay tuned for more info as this next season unfolds. Please pray for me too! Specifically pray that I will be faithful where I am, that I will not be afraid to move forward with what God may be calling me to, and that I will not force any of it. May God be glorified in it all.
And a word to you, sweet friend....know that your life and your story matters, whether it is sweeping up your children's lunch crumbs, reaching out to your new neighbor, or having the conversation you've been avoiding. Let's all take that 'next step' together. You know, the step He's been calling you to, and you've been trying to push aside? Take that scary step with me, and come back and tell us all how it went. I dare you!
Blessings, dear one.