When I was 17, I found myself in a place where I was being deeply impacted by other people’s choices. Specifically, my parents.
They had decided to move out of state. I had no control over it, and I didn’t like it.
I was old enough to have a very independent life, but not at all in a place to be financially independent. And that’s a pretty important part of independence!
So, in the middle of anger, deep sadness and frustration, I schemed and planned out every possible way that I could stay behind. Continue reading
“If we are not waiting for God to approve of me, then why can’t I feel His approval?”
~ The Journal (April 9, 2012)
It’s one thing to make an honest assessment of where you are. It’s another thing to figure out how to go where you want to be.
What started as an empty notebook where I poured my heart out on paper, turned into a several month long journaling journey. I handed the notebook to my pastor and he returned it with his written reply. I wrote again, he replied again.
In the very beginning, I tried to describe where I was on my journey. I said I had been at the top of a mountain, doing good and connected with God, when I got kicked and fell off the side. Before I could regain my footing, I got kicked again, and then another time. Before I knew it, I had tumbled to the bottom of the mountain with the realization that I had no idea how to get back to the top.
The truth that I now see is this: We are only truly on the solid ground of the mountain top when we are trusting and resting in the truth. No one can push you off the mountain. You allow them to move you by believing a lie. If I was so easily kicked off the mountain, I really wasn’t standing on solid ground to start off with. It was simply an illusion.
This season of journaling became the part of my journey where I navigated the rocky side of the mountain to climb to solid ground. At times it was precarious. There were jagged cliffs that I almost lost my grip trying to climb. There were times I fell flat on my face tripping over a rock in my path.
There was one “rock” I tripped over so many times that it almost completely stopped my journey. I so desperately wanted to feel God’s love and have an awareness of His presence. But no matter how much I tried to find Him, there seemed to be only silence and emptiness in return. I was plagued by the thought that maybe there wasn’t really a God. Continue reading
Sometimes I go to a coffee shop for coffee, sometimes I go because I’m drowning in the middle of the waves of life, and a latte with a journal to write in is a life preserver and a breath of fresh air! Two years ago I was one wave away from going completely under, so I left my screaming toddler and our other kiddos with my husband and drove as fast as I could to the escape of a vanilla latte and some coffee shop jazz. Since writing is always a good way for me to decompress, I found a notebook in the back seat of my minivan before I went inside.
As I sipped and sat in stillness, my brain gradually quit swirling with thoughts of diaper changes and laundry and phone calls I needed to return… and I began to focus on some thoughts that had been flitting in and out of my mind for a while. The thoughts seemed a bit jumbled, so I just started to write to make some sense of them. What I ended up with was the most honest assessment of my heart I had made in a long time. Continue reading
In case no one has granted you this freedom, or you have a hard time granting yourself this freedom, here it is: You can be honest!
And to take it a step further, I will say this: The journey you are traveling in this life will not take you anywhere worth going until you are free to be honest with yourself, with God, and with the people around you. You need to be honest.
Why does this need to be said so clearly? Because too many of us have grown up in environments where honesty was not encouraged. Where questioning the status quo was looked down upon. Where ignoring our doubts and questions was the “right” thing to do if we wanted to remain in good standing.
The problem is, we are like builders who ignore gaping holes and cracks in our foundation and then continue to build the house. It shouldn’t be a surprise when the walls start cracking! In my case, eventually, the walls started to crumble. Continue reading