The last year of my life can be defined by one word: CHANGE
April 9, 2017: I lost all of the things I dreamed my life would be in a matter of days. This was the day that we decided to get a divorce. At first, I felt a sense of relief that the pain I had been dealing with was over, but I was unaware of what the next year would have in store for me.
April 12, 2017: I found myself without a home, sleeping in a house with six other people, not sure how long I would be staying. That was the day that I had to begin the gut-wrenching process of surrendering all that I’d imagined my future would hold. I was a mess, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I lived with my generous new friends for three months while I struggled to figure out where my life was supposed to go next. I will forever be grateful for the generosity of these people who had only known me for a few months before letting me crash in their house for an undetermined amount of time. June came and I managed to find a reasonably priced apartment that I could afford with a little bit of help from my parents. This was when the real healing process began. I had to adjust to a new normal and then begin to sort through the brokenness of my failed marriage.
I spent months being angry with God and confused, because this wasn’t how marriage was “supposed to” happen. I stopped going to church and became heavily involved in the night life of my town. I even reached a point where I wasn’t sure that God was real anymore. Alcohol made things feel better for a time, but I always ended up empty and sad after a long night out, usually having made poor decisions that didn’t benefit me or help me to feel whole again. My life had gone from vibrant and alive in Christ, to making foolish decisions in a desperate attempt to feel like I belonged.
It wasn’t until recently that a series of events played out in my life and led me back to Christ and my church family. A friend I hadn’t talked to in months emailed me and asked me to babysit for a church event. I needed money so I went. Not for God, but for financial reasons. Afterwards, I unexpectedly ran into another friend I hadn’t talked to in months. He invited me to service the next Sunday. I went and God met me there. My life started feeling like it had purpose again.
Slowly, my desire to go out and spend my nights up late drinking just to feel something, has dwindled, while my desire for community with other believers is back at a high point. I know that my life is far from perfect, and I will make mistakes in the future, but I can say that it is infinitely better than it was. There have been many changes in my life, but the one thing that remained constant is that God never gave up on me, even when I gave up on Him and myself.
The year before my divorce I began working out religiously and eating healthy, I lost 40lbs. One of my favorite meals to cook was chicken fajitas with a homemade spice seasoning. After I moved out of my house I didn’t cook for months; and then right around the time I found my apartment, I decided that I was going to cook a meal all on my own. I made chicken fajitas and the 2 hours I spent cooking and running to the store multiple times because I kept forgetting about ingredients that I needed and no longer had in my kitchen cupboard were so healing, and showed me that I was capable of picking up the pieces and doing life, on my own.
Chicken fajitas: https://www.spendwithpennies.com/easy-chicken-fajitas/
Fajita seasoning mix: https://www.thepinningmama.com/fajita-seasoning-mix-paleo-whole30-compliant/
She Used to be Mine – Sara Bareilles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=40&v=53GIADHxVzM)
Walk through seasons of change with those who find themselves lost in a sea of difficult circumstances that they never imagined they would have to face. Help them not to lose hope and faith in you as they navigate the choppy waters of change. Draw those who have drifted far from you back into your loving arms.
Reach out to someone that you know is going through a difficult season of change, or someone who has experienced the joy of a new change in life. Let them know that you are there. Invite them to have coffee with you. Go over to their house and have a movie night. Have conversations with others without an agenda, and see where God leads the conversation. You never know the struggles others might be facing mentally, emotionally, or spiritually in a season of change. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded at these times that you are not alone, that you are loved, and that you have not been forgotten.