I’ve attempted to write this post roughly 100 times. Each time I’ve tried writing an update, the same thing happens without fail; I can’t seem to figure out what to write about. Like most of my writings, they have all come to me quickly – I simply knew what I wanted to say. But not this time. This time it’s been harder for me to find the words. I mean, how do you sum up three years of life? Can you?
Now I’m beginning to see it wasn’t such a bad thing to not know what to say.
See, I could’ve written about our insane two weeks of out-of-the-blue packing and moving to a place we had never been before, but time got away from me, and it didn’t seem relevant anymore. I could’ve written about our excitement in buying a home and beginning our dream of homesteading, but we never bought a home. I could’ve written about our almost purchase of a cool historic building that we wanted to turn into a coffee shop… but it never happened. I could’ve written post after post about my household plants, and the amazing demonstration of how God used each of them to bring a level of understanding of Himself into my life, but that just seemed very random. I could’ve written about my photography and how successful that has been going, but there was no success to mention. Or, I could’ve followed through with my initial plan of writing about my journey to health with my IBS, SIBO, food allergies and sensitivities, severe acid reflex, pelvic problems, swelling issues and so on, but there wasn’t any healing to talk about. You see the problem with each one of these ideas was there never really seemed to be a point to them; they never amounted to anything. Sure, I easily could’ve written substance of some kind and made it work, but there had always been this underlying subject that took precedence over everything else. It just happened to be the very thing I didn’t necessarily want to write about.
Over these last years, I’ve had to ask myself quite a few difficult questions in regards to my intentions. And I’m not necessarily referring to my blog but to our life. It was so easy to fall prey to the pressure of making our life stand out and matter. I mean, no one wants to have their life looked at as dull and boring; no one wants to feel easily overlooked. And with the overwhelming height of Silvia, I have tried so hard to glorify moments all in the attempt to make our lives look even more attractive. And, whether I wanted to admit it or not, I truly desired everyone to believe the illusion that we were living on a high.
But the illusion started to fade for me April 10th of 2018 when I wrote my last social media post. I had gotten to a point where I felt lost. I didn’t know how to feel anymore. I didn’t really know how to respond to our situation. I became numb. And the result of becoming numb was also becoming desperate. I so badly wanted something good out of life that I didn’t necessarily care where it came from. And instead of turning to God to meet my needs, I jumped on everything that could potentially promise me what I believed would fulfill me. When the historic building came along, I jumped on it. When doors started opening for photography, I jumped on them. When I came across a new medication, eating routine, workout regimen to help me with my health, I jumped into them. When I started getting more and more plants, I jumped into caring for them. When we began bouncing around ideas for our forever home, I dove in head first. Each one of these “opportunities” were offering me something – they were giving me the opportunity to dream– to dream of something better than what my present circumstances were offering me. And for a long time, each of these “opportunities” had my full attention until they burned out and the next one came along. However, none of them were God’s plan for my life, for our lives – they were complete distractions. I wish I could say that I didn’t realize what I had been doing but the truth is, I completely understood… I just didn’t care. I didn’t want to do what God was asking of me to do. Let’s just say James 4:17 became a consistent verse God placed on my heart time and time again. And, although I didn’t deserve it, God’s kindness is what led me to my repentance. I knew then I had to come to terms with my reality. There was no point of the continued pursuit of finding ways to distract myself or my desperation to find a tangible source of meaning and purpose outside or inside of my home. As hard as I tried for years to look around what was directly in front of me, God, in His love and gentleness, kept nudging it closer and closer to my view until finally, I couldn’t see anything else.
What God had placed before me was my son.
Throughout this time, I have begun to understand that what I considered to be dead-end roads, promises or “opportunities” all paled in comparison to the importance of the healing that needed to happen within our home, within our son, and within me. That was the “simplified life” that God had initially wanted me to see. It had never really been about possessions. It was about Him. It was about life’s priorities–how we choose them, why we choose them and, if we will continue to choose them. And that if we continue to put God first, it becomes easier to keep Him there. God showed me what I was choosing apart from Him and the brokenness that came with each of those choices, which eventually led me to where I am now. No longer could I deny what I had been doing to keep myself from doing what I knew I was supposed to do. I had to choose what mattered more. And if God had allowed for all of those “opportunities” to have happened, the distractions would have continued and we would have been pushed further and further away from what our focus was supposed to be on, which is our son. I know now, without a doubt, that is what God desires my posts to be about; our journey towards healing. It only took 3 years for me to see it.
Not many people know what our lives have looked like over the past 7 years and I understand now how important it is to let people see. And, as difficult as that is, I know we can’t keep it behind a closed door. Our circumstances, our struggles and our pain, they are all meant to bring glory to God. We don’t always see them that way. I didn’t. That’s what makes our journey with God such a beautiful display of His inner-working power within us. He changes us. It is that constant refining that only He offers that we should desire and grow to appreciate. But that starts with us being honest with ourselves. That starts when we stop trying to give the impression that our life is great, our marriage is great, our parenting is great, our kids are great, our job is great, our finances are great, our health is great, our faith is great, and our overall well-being is just great. I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of trying to create my own sense of greatness. I have no greatness apart from the Lord. I must allow Him to bring all of my yuckiness to the surface, in all its glory, for me to see. Then it’s my decision to choose for God to help me work through each one of them. And I should want that! Because I desire a genuinely fulfilled life with God far more than I desire a muddled down version of myself without Him.
But I wasn’t made to do it alone. We aren’t made to do it alone. We were made to share our burdens with each other. To learn from one another. To challenge one another. To see someone else’s perspective. To encourage, support, mourn, rejoice and pray for one other. How are we to function as the Body of Christ, as the Church, if we don’t let people see our present circumstances or learn from our past ones? Sharing all of our highs and our lows in the hope of bringing each individual closer to their Savior. Shouldn’t we want to live transparent lives? Shouldn’t that be a priority? I know that it is mine. And, if I can bring people closer to the Lord through my faith in Him, in spite of my difficulties, than why am I not doing it? I know that I cannot keep the door shut anymore.
So please, come on in.
Less is more,