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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Beauty


This beauty.

Born of love. 

Forged by fire. 

My greatest accomplishment to date. 

I watch her sleep and wonder about the mountains she will one day move. 

The peaks she will conquer.

The valleys she will forage. 

I think about all the ways I am preparing her for these things. 

The hard things.

The brave things.

The things that make your heart sing, and the things that make your heart grieve.  

I think about all of the hard things I am already asking her to do. 

Things she never wanted. 

Things I never planned for her the first time I held her. 

I think about all the grace she gives me day in and day out for these things. 

Grace I don’t deserve.

Because life is a series of trial and error.

There will be times when it seems perfect, and all is right in the world. 

And yet there will be other times when it will derail on you faster than you can catch your breath. 

It’s a constant ebb and flow. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

And it’s not about who you are when you're smack dab in the middle of it. 

It’s about who you are when you come out on the other side. 

If she doesn’t learn anything else from me, I hope she learns this. 

But, for now I will cuddle down beside her and watch her sleep.


I will wonder what fills her dreams, and I will dream about the plans He has for her. 


Plans He wrote for her long before I even knew her. 


Her path has been determined. 

All of her days have already been ordained. 

This beauty of mine. 

And, like me, He created her from a long line of strength, courage, and perseverance. 

A great lineage of women whose faith runs deep, and whose minds are as sharp as their tongues.

Warrior princesses who have lived through dark wars and hard fought battles.

Women who wear their scars proudly. 

She is of us. 

And it's because of this that I know despite everything she will be okay. 

This funny, ornery, gorgeous girl with a heart that contains more beauty than I could ever understand.

She was built for all the things He has for her-great things, brave things, things I cannot even fathom. 

Thankfully, I find solace in the knowledge that He will see her through just as He has done for each of us, and that the great army behind her won't let her falter and will be there to light her way.

This beauty. 

My beauty.

Born of love.

Forged by fire. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lessons From the Wilderness: Trust the Wait


"Trust the wait.
Embrace the uncertainty.
Enjoy the beauty of becoming. 
When nothing is certain, anything is possible."
~Unknown

Over the last few weeks I've been reading an amazing book called, "Wait and See: Finding Peace in God's Pauses and Plans" by Wendy Pope. 

I stumbled upon this book when it showed up in my "Recommendations for You" section on Amazon, and I bought it solely based on the title. 

As many of you know, I am currently in a very long, very dry season of waiting. 

I'm still not 100% certain what brought me here, but I do know WHY I am here. 

I am here because there are things He needs to teach me in the wilderness. 

Things that I will need for the journey that is to come. 

I know my calling.

I know my purpose. 

But, I also know that His timing is everything. 

This book has totally transformed my mind set regarding my current waiting season. It has taught me to lean in harder towards God instead of pushing Him away. 

It has reminded me of all of the people who came before me who also walked through very hard, very real seasons of waiting. 
  • Noah WAITED. Scholars guesstimate that it took Noah almost 75 years to build the ark. (Genesis 6)
  • Abraham WAITED for the child he was promised. (Genesis 18)
  • Joseph WAITED. He spent years in captivity before the Lord final rose him up to second in command over all of Egypt. (Genesis 37-41)
  • Joshua WAITED in the desert with the Israelites for the Promise Land. (Joshua 1-5)
  • Hannah WAITED and prayed longingly for a child. (1 Samuel 1)
  • Samuel WAITED for God to show him the first King of Israel. (1 Samuel 9)
  • Ruth WAITED at the instruction of her mother in law at the feet of Boaz. (Ruth 3)
  • Esther WAITED for the Lord’s timing to approach the King to save her people. (Esther 5)
  • David WAITED for years to become the chosen King of Israel. (2 Samuel)
  • John the Baptist WAITED and prepared the way for Jesus public ministry (Matthew 3)
  • Jesus WAITED 40 years to start his public ministry.
  • Paul had MANY seasons of WAITING…some of them spent in prison. (Acts 16)
I have spent so much time studying these Biblical heroes and their seasons of waiting. I draw strength and encouragement from them, as well as, strength and encouragement from people I know in my everyday life who have walked through seasons of waiting: my pastors who held church in their living room for years waiting for God to grow their ministry; my aunt who recently walked through a successful chemo journey but spent months waiting for God to heal her; an amazing mili-spouse and bloggy friend who just spent a year waiting for her beloved to return from Kuwait; and so many more.

It's a relief to know that seasons of waiting are not unique. They are a critical tool that God uses to show and guide us toward the plan He has for us.

Today, I wanted to share with you some of the things God has been teaching me in my season of waiting. Some of these lessons have been painful and others have been a relief, but regardless, I know each one is taking me in the direction of where He is leading me.

****

1. Waiting HEALS us. 

One of my favorite quotes in Wendy's book is this, "God has to do a work in us before He can do a work through us."

When my season started, I believed it was due to the untimely, sudden death of my mother-in-law. I believed it was God's way of making us-especially me-slow down and reassess what was truly important in life.

In many ways, I still believe that was part of it, but as I trudge faithfully along (see also: being dragged while kicking and screaming), I am finding out that this season of waiting had a much deeper meaning.

Over the past few months, I have found my mind wandering back to a much darker time in my life.

Ashley circa. 2013.

For YEARS I have squeaked by without really thinking about that time in my life.

Sure I talk about it...often.

I use it as a reference point. A tool to help those just like me.

But, I haven't really THOUGHT about it a.k.a. DEALT with it.

I like to tuck that year deep within my heart, and pretend like I am fine.

Just fine. 

I like to masquerade around like I am stronger because of it, and completely healed from it.

But, the truth is: I'm not. 

I think in the beginning, I wanted to put on a brave face SO badly that instead of working through all the processes of grief, hurt, and betrayal, I rushed headlong into my new normal.

Shortly after everything happened, I began to minimize my pain, because people were begging me to just "stop talking about it".

And so I did-at least in the context of how it applied to me and my very broken life.

I washed my face, put on my makeup, and faced the next four years in a way many people would describe as "brave" or "empowering".

I have used my story to help many, many people.

But, the truth is: we can't hide from God.

He sees even the most broken places within us.

The ugly, dark places that we keep hidden or that only come out on Wednesday night after everyone in your house has gone to bed and your 3 glasses of wine deep.

It took me a while, but eventually I realized that God wanted me to walk through this season of waiting, because He knew I still had a lot of healing to do.

He knew that there was no way I could truly help or understand others if there were things I had not totally worked through in my own heart.

The last few weeks have been especially painful, but I am finding that I am starting to say things out loud to myself that I never truly acknowledged or was in denial about 4 years ago.

God is digging the darkness up and out.

Much like a dentist extracting a painful tooth, He knows that it's going to hurt, but in the end I will feel so much better because we have walked through this together.

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (James 1:2-4 NLT)

It may require relieving painful memories, acknowledging lies that we told ourselves to make ourselves feel better, and/or reaching out to those that we have wronged and who have wronged us, but in the end we emerge totally renewed, fully developed, perfect, complete, and ready to take on what He has in store for us.

****

2. Waiting PREPARES us.


David didn't storm the castle and force Saul to give him his crown. Noah didn't order his big boat from Amazon. Esther didn't throw a tantrum to make the King give in to her way. John the Baptist didn't get jealous and choose to focus on his own agenda. Paul didn't give up because he was sitting on the floor of a jail cell.

Instead, all of these people used their season of waiting to press harder into God.

I often describe my season of waiting as a "leaning in".

I visualize myself sitting on God's lap and leaning back, hard against His chest. I can hear his heartbeat, and feel His breath keeping rhythm with mine. I quiet my mind and my heart, and wait expectantly for Him to reveal the next step.

While He hasn't opened the next door quite yet, I know that what He really wants from me in this season is to draw closer to Him.

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28 NLT)

There are definitely days when I don't see or understand how God is using this season for "my good". 

There are days when my very type-A, plan-loving personality wants to rush ahead and make all of this "hurry up already"! 

I have seen the vision. I know where all of this is going, so why can't it just be now? 

And it's in those moments when I feel myself trying to take back control that He reminds me that nothing good ever comes from doing things of my own accord. 

His timing is perfect. His plan is perfect. His ways are perfect. 

Even on the days when it doesn't feel like it. 

So, instead of focusing on how I can get somewhere faster, I need to focus on what He's trying to teach me in this place and how He is going to use this season ultimately for His glory. 


****

3. Waiting SHIFTS our perspective

It's so easy in seasons of waiting to become sickeningly self-focused. 

Our selfish, human nature loves a pity party and "Why Me?" becomes the #1 hit that me, myself, and I find ourselves jamming out to on the dance floor. 

My little family can attest to the ways that I have allowed my season of waiting to steal my joy and turn my focus inward instead of outward.

Recently, God decided to shine a harsh, blaring light on this reality for me.

He wanted me to understand that while I'm so focused on the what's to come-my very real here and now is suffering from my selfishness.

It's no secret that I am a blessed girl.

I have this amazing boy who loves me in a way I do not deserve.

A little girl who swears I hung the moon.

A cute little house, a nice car (despite the self-inflicted dent), and a job that pays well.

My bills get paid every month, my family always has more than enough food to eat, clothes to wear, and way too many things to entertain them, and I always have a box of wine in my fridge.

I have so many things to be thankful for-so many things that fill my life with joy and purpose.

But, sometimes I get so focused on the blinking cursor at end of paragraph. 

I am waiting impatiently for what is to come instead of re-reading the paragraph I just typed.

Yes, God has BIG plans, but He doesn't want us to forget the things He's called us to in the meantime.

Our families. Our boring desk jobs. Our monthly children's church commitment. Our small groups.

"What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure." (Phil. 2:12-13 MSG)

The things I mentioned before may seem small compared to arenas filled with people and entire bookshelves full of our next best seller, but the truth is that they are just as-if not more-important.


****

I wish I could end this post by saying that my season of waiting is over, and I have a meeting with a publisher next week, but the truth is my season of waiting is far from over. 

I still have a lot of healing to do and more mornings to spend in the lap of my Savior. 

But, I know without a shadow of a doubt what is to come-I'm just waiting on Him to show me the next step, the next door, the next chapter. 

If you are in a season of waiting, let me just encourage you in this: God is not far from you. He is right there with you. 

He sees. He knows. He is listening. 

You didn't misunderstand Him and He always keeps His promises. 

It may not come the way you think it should or in the way you had planned, but I know that His ways are always SO much better.

So, hold on, brave heart. 

It's coming. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Human


"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.
She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings." 
~Unknown


Tired.

The word doesn't even begin to touch the weariness I feel within my depths. 

You know, the older I get the more I loosen my grip on "the plan". 

The one my type A personality feels like I have to have. 

This year "the plan" derailed in more ways than I could count, and I'm still trying to wrap both my mind and my heart around it. 

Not only did our family experience gut wrenching grief-the kind of grief that we are only now slowly, but surely making our way back from with the knowledge it will always be there-but I also experienced the death of a dream. 

One that I had been holding close to my heart for a very long time. 

And over the past four months I have been watching as the story re-writes itself-shifting on me mid-chapter. 

I'd be lying if I said the suddenness of it all didn't sting just a little.

Actually, it stings a lot. 

Like a lot more than I've let on over the past four months. 

But, yet here I am.

Smiling, holding on, and taking it one day at a time.

I used to think I knew how this was going to play out.

I used to think I was headed in the right direction.

I was writing the ending before it was even in sight.

But, this upending of everything-yet again-has left me melancholy, restless, and more than a little unsure of myself.

And tired.

Very, very tired.

I know the right answer is this: that I know this is His way of reminding me that His plans are so much better than my plans-even when they sting a little. 

I also know that He brought me to this place for a reason, even if the reason is to teach me how to simply wait.

But, over the last two weeks my very human body has decided that while I know these things, it doesn't truly understand these things that come with this season.

This season of waiting.

I am reminded of all the women who came before me.

The ones who endured similar seasons such as mine.

I am reminded of their outcomes, their successes, and the truth that nothing ever happens overnight.

I am reminded of His faithfulness and provision.

I am reminded of all the valleys that have come before this one where I have come out on the other side-a little scarred, a little jaded, but much stronger than I was before.

These reminders propel me.

They keep me putting one foot in front of the other.

They allow me to get up every single day.

They fill me with hope when everything seems to be falling apart.

But sometimes I just want to sit at the kitchen table and stare out the window with the weight of what seems like the whole world on my shoulders and just be.

Be heartbroken.

Be lost.

Be more than a little unsure.

Be a very human girl with a very human heart.

Because in my short 32 years of life I have come to know this: that we are all a little broken, we are all a little scared, and we are all destined to struggle in this life.

He never promised it would be easy.

He only promised that He would be there: taking our hand, walking us through each valley, and allowing us to sit at our kitchen tables heartbroken and scared, while He sits next to us reminding us of all the things we know, but we just don't understand.

I know there's a mountain top at the end of this valley-I'm pretty sure I see glimpses of it's peak every now and then.

But, today I'm tired.

And that's ok. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

To The Girls Like Me


We will carry pieces of all those who have built and broken us.
~Atticus


On Monday, I will celebrate 5 years since I celebrated the birthday in this picture.

I remember that girl very well. 

I always try to keep her at the forefront of my mind.

I wear her like armour. 

I have told her story over and over and over again to the point that most people are tired of hearing it and they wish I would move on.

But, the truth is, I'm not going too. 

I will never-as long as I live-get over her.

The girl who sacrificed everything for a lie.

The girl who paid heavily for her sins.

The girl who once was lost, but was finally found. 

That girl.

Me.

You know, sometimes I wish my testimony was pretty. 

That is was all clean lines and perfectly poignant prose of a life lived totally in service to my Savior.

You know, the testimony I was "supposed" to have.

If you would have known me during my youth, you probably would have said that my life was set firmly on a Godly path. 

My mother absolutely filled the lives of my sisters and I with Christ. She blessed us with the opportunity to attend a Christian school, and encouraged us to be active in our church and youth group. She allowed us to attend Acquire the Fire retreats and summer youth camps. She prayed fearlessly and continually over us. She did EVERYTHING within her power to ensure my "spiritual success".

For a while, I chased after the life my mother had prayed that I would have. I married very young, and I still managed to obtain my Associates degree. I volunteered at the same Christian school I had been blessed to attend growing up, and I went to the church that supported the ministry of that school. I sang "specials" during Sunday service. I tried to fit their mold, and I volunteered in children's church and with their youth. I tried my best to be everything I was supposed to be. 

But, life has a funny way of never going according to plan.

And over the last five years, I have learned just how messy, but beautiful a unplanned life can be.

I have talked often on this blog about my story. The one I wrote shortly after the picture above was taken.

My story is pretty messy.

Some would even consider it ugly and they still do.

It broke me.

It destroyed me.

It left me with some pretty deep scars, and all of the wisdom I wish I could of crammed into my 21 year old mind all those years ago if she would have listened.

But, in life there are no take backs.

You don't get to redo the moments you've already lived.

So, the girl in the picture, she had no choice but to rally.

To pick herself up, dust herself off, and try again.

And you know what?

She made a come back.

My life is now more beautiful than I ever could of imagined when I was the girl in that picture.

I have a wonderful husband who I do not deserve. A man who encourages me, supports me, and leads me in the most amazingly, self-less way.

I have a beautiful little girl who thinks I hung the moon. A steady job. A cute, snug little house on a hill. And a future that looks bright, even on the days when it seems like it doesn't.

I am blessed beyond measure.

And while I always try to keep the girl in the picture at the forefront of my mind, I know that I am not her anymore.

I have come a long way.

But, despite all of that, there are still days when I find myself looking back-second guessing every single step that brought me here.

Just a few weeks ago, I read a Facebook post that basically said that women "like me" don't deserve Jesus.

That we are disgusting, and we should live our lives ashamed of who we are and the message we are sending.

I'm not gonna lie.

It hurt me.

It penatrated my armour and for a moment I felt like that girl.

The one in the picture. 

The one who would have traded every single moment of the previous two years before that picture just to take it all back.

The one who would have crawled into a hole just to take all eyes off of her if even for a second.

The one with the bloody knife in her hand that had killed all of the hopes and dreams of more people than she cared to count.

I cried for her that night.

In fact, I've been crying for her off and on for the last 20 something days, and for all the girls just like her. 

Because I don't know much, but I know this: Jesus loves that girl in that picture.

He loves her so much that He didn't allow her to have something that she so desperately wanted, because what He had planned for her was so much better.

He loves her so much that He died for her, and He extended grace to her that day and all the days before and after.

He loves her so much that He made a way where there was no way, and He brought her out of that desert and set her apart for something so much bigger than anything she could ever ask for or imagine.

He loves her so incredibly much that when He sees that girl in that picture, He doesn't see disgusting.

You know what He sees?

He sees a woman who is beautiful, blessed, and redeemed.

A woman with a story.

A story He has asked her to tell.

And I plan to keep telling that version of the story over and over and over again.

Because that's the version that so many women just like me need to hear.

The version that says that there is hope and there is grace.

The version that says that there is life after loss.

The version that says our mistakes do not define us, but what we do with the lessons we have learned from those mistakes do.

So, this is for all the girls just like me.

The ones celebrating milestones of a life built on top of what was once ash and rubble.

The ones choosing everyday to own who they've been and who they are becoming.

The ones who don't shy away from their story, because if they did, then the person who needs to hear it most may never get the chance.

The ones with fire in their eyes and love in their scarred up hearts.

The ones whose stories are different than mine, but whose are also the same.

I'm so proud of you and everything you've become.

Just like I'm proud of her.

That girl in the picture. 

Thank you for choosing every single day to stand up and fight-even when the world wants nothing more than to keep you down.

And for the ones who are just starting the rebuilding process, I'm proud of you too.

It takes so much courage to start again.

There is hope for you, and so much more to your story.

So, hang in there.

God's got this and He wants nothing more than for you to allow Him to drown out all the noise.

Because that's all it is...noise.

And I'm here to tell you that I'm living, breathing proof that all the noise doesn't matter.

Not one little bit.

And if I ever got the chance, I'd say that to the girl in the picture. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Wilderness


"For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
Isaiah 43:19

Our life lately can best be described as a wilderness.

A dry, barren place where it feels like we are ever making our way through the dark, and crying out for rest.

My soul is in desperate need of rest. 

But, yet we keep walking. We keep trusting. We keeping holding on to His promise to make a way.

And He is.

As always.

He is making a way.

*****

In 2013, I found myself walking through another wasteland.

I was week's away from my divorce, a new single mom, and navigating my way through the most crippling heart break of my entire existence.

I was also starting a brand new job.

After years of being blessed to stay at home with my daughter and only working part-time here and there, I found myself walking through the doors of my first full time job in 4 years.

I had never held a job in the property management or real estate field.

My background was healthcare.

I knew everything about health insurance pre-certification; protocols for CT scans, MRI's, and Ultrasounds; and how to navigate a large healthcare database.

I knew nothing about things like pH of swimming pools; or how to coordinate a major stair tower rebuild; or what to do when someone decides to improperly install a.k.a "jimmy-rig" an ice maker on the top floor and said ice maker decides to break loose and flood all six units below it.

This job was completely foreign territory, but I needed it.

So, like everything else I have ever done, I threw myself into it and surprisingly, I grew to love it.

The girl who was bound and determined to finish her degree and go into healthcare suddenly changed her mind.

This job I needed to survive quickly turned into a career.

When I think about my life 10, 15, 20 years down the road, this is what I see myself doing.

It's a rewarding feeling knowing you have found a job that not only pays your bills, but that also plays a role in giving your life a fulfilling purpose.

And as the years have gone by, I have moved up steadily through the ranks. As off this time last year, I was running my current company for a guy who lived several hours away.

I was rocking my #bossbabe status and loving every minute of it.

But, unfortunately, running this business hasn't been all sunny skies and roses.

I have had to see this ship through many, many storms in my short time at the helm.

We have road some of them out with ease, while others have been far more crippling.

And the most crippling blow came two months ago at the beginning of my family's devastating journey through loss and grief when I found out that this little ship I've been navigating and coaxing along was going to suffer a blow so powerful that there would be no way we could stay afloat.

*****

It's hard to watch something you've fought so hard for sink deeply into the abyss, but that's what I'm doing these days. 

I'm doing my best to prepare the life boats for all of us who are left: the final four of us who have been manning this ship alone-but together-for basically the last two years. 

I want desperately for us all to be okay.

I want this blow to somehow not take the wind out of each of us.

But, it is. 

When we are honest, we will tell you that this has left us reeling.

Grasping. 

Hurt, angry, and trying to make sense of what the next steps will be. 

Because most days it feels more like giving up than what it actually is...the inevitable.

And for all of us that's more than we can swallow. 

But, we put on our brave face.

We line out each new step. 

We've all taken new positions or made plans for our retirements. 

We smile, and nod, and pretend like this isn't killing us.

But, it is. 

Because for the past three and half years, this place and these people have been home. 

This place that gave a young, newly single mom a chance at the wonderful life she now gets to enjoy every single day. 

This place that never, ever felt like "work", but an extension of me and who I was always meant to be. 

These people who always allowed me to be mom first and the employee second. 

And if we're being honest, I don't know how to walk away or how to not be a mess about this. 

Because I am. 

*****

But, God is good. 

And He always, always, ALWAYS provides. 

And I'm doing my best to trust Him in all of these things that I just can't seem to understand, because I know His ways are perfect and His plans are always better. 

But, this wilderness...this dark, barren place He is leading me through...can start showing signs of light anytime now.

Because my soul is deeply exhausted and ready for rest. 

Anytime now, Lord. 

Anytime. 

And until then I'll be here taking all of this one second, one minute, one hour, and one day at a time. 

Because that's all I know to do.

Trust in Him and this new direction of forward. 

Always forward.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Good




I've been feeling a pretty embattled lately. 

Scripture describes struggle as being hard pressed and crushed on every side, and I feel like that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the last 4 weeks. 

First, my mother-in-law suddenly passed away which shook our tiny corner of the world in a way I still cannot describe. (I wrote about that this week. If you click back, you can read that and how we're coping.)

Then, less than a week later, my largest client-the one who generates almost 75% of the revenue for my business decided to pull out.

Yep.

After 15 years and modeling our entire business around service to them, they went with a semi-cheaper bid and a couple of lame excuses as their reasons why. 

No warning. 

No chance to re-evaluate my numbers. 

Just gone. 

And now I find myself unwillingly holding people’s jobs, livelihoods, and futures in the palm of my hand; and I’m starting to wish I would have thrown in the towel a year ago.

Boss babe status isn’t for the faint of heart, even though the Pinterest memes make it look easy.

And lastly, a dear friend and mentor-whom I admire with my whole heart-was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine cancer last week. We are still waiting on the pathology results to confirm, but right now the prognosis isn't good.

And as I talked with her yesterday, she made light of it and put on her usual brave face.

Instead of turning the conversation inward and focusing on her diagnosis, she spent our conversation time coaching me through the unknowns of a career that seems to be vanishing right before my eyes. 

She has always been my champion.

And as I sit here on a beautiful Good Friday afternoon watching my daughter play quietly with the craft in front of her, I am doing my best to continue this charade of holding it all together.

But, the truth is this: I can’t.

Because, shattered doesn't seem to adequately describe the state of my heart and all of it's pieces.

And you know, I wanted to tie these words into Good Friday and keep being brave.

I wanted to tell you that while I know that all of this sadness and pain doesn’t hold a candle to the sadness or pain my Jesus experienced today, I am reminded in midst of all of this, that MY sadness and pain is exactly WHY He did it.

I wanted to tell you that I know that this world with all of it’s pain, sickness, heartache, and disappointment was never intended to be my home.

That I know these struggles are temporary.

Because I do KNOW all of these things.

And quite honestly, weakness has never been my color.

But, today…TODAY…I feel vulnerable and weak.

I feel like my drive and my purpose died somewhere along the way of the last four weeks.

Maybe it’s in the pond with my mother-in-law’s ashes and the roses we threw in there for her.

Maybe it’s in the file folder with the termination letter that I wasn’t expecting.

Or maybe it’s buried somewhere in my text messages with the message my friend’s husband sent telling me that the prognosis wasn’t good.

Honestly, I’m not sure where I lost it.

But, I think I have a small sliver of a grasp of how Jesus might have felt in the garden.

Because right now, there are a few cups in front of me that I don’t really want to drink.

Not one little bit.

And even though I know God is good, this crap sure as hell doesn’t feel good while I wait here expectantly for Him to provide the next move.

The next door.

The next path.

Because despite how angry and how sad I am, I still know that I know that I know that He is here, He is going to provide, and this mess-as painful as it is-is all apart of the plan.

So, today I am going to keep trusting, and attempting to hold it all together.

And you know, I can’t even begin to comprehend what the weight of the world must have felt like for Jesus that day.

But, today I think I have a pretty good idea. 
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