Monday, June 6, 2016

My Aha Moment

This picture reminds me of the way we feel sometimes. Tired. Helpless. In those times where we can't carry ourselves, remember God is always there to guide us and carry us through.
I grew up believing life would be simple. I had this picture perfect idea of how my life would go. If you were determined and hardworking then your dreams would come true. Or, if you experience life changes such as a career change, marriage, baby, etc. then you have an aha moment in the beauty of it all and thus it provides clarity to what your purpose is in this world. I couldn’t have been more wrong in this assumption. My aha moment was anything but luxurious and amazing. My aha moment came at a time where nothing made sense. In the thick of it all, my aha moment felt like a complete loss.
I felt a lot of things came easy to me in life. I worked hard, don’t get me wrong, but it seemed I got whatever I wanted with little effort. I graduated college in 3 short years. I got married at 21. I had two children by 27 and a steady career I was devoted to. It felt like it was all in order. I lived on the notion that just because life wasn’t easy and I experienced tough situations and heartbreak over the years, I couldn’t use it as a crutch. I had to push on and block those items out of my life. I had to run past those road blocks as fast as humanly possible. That was the worst thing I could have done. I faced nothing. I admitted no loss in life. I failed to acknowledge any shortcomings. I was a runner, you see. When times got tough, I would run.  If work was hard or uncomfortable, I ran and switched jobs. If my personal family life was on the rocks, I would run and avoid it all together for months. I would push those closest to me away so that I didn’t have to face the issue. Or, I would hide behind humor and joke a situation off.  Fake it ‘til you make it right? Wrong.
I’ve done this since I can remember. I recall being 4 years old and running from a neighborhood girlfriend because I wanted her toy and she wouldn’t let me have it. I never played with her again.

When I was 5 years old, divorce flew through our home like a tornado, leaving my siblings and parents completely destructed and torn apart. I avoided those feelings all my life. I blamed it on the fact that I was too young to feel anything over this event and didn’t understand their emptiness, anger or sadness. In addition to this, I encountered infertility, marriage struggles, death of loved ones, orthorexia(look it up, it's real), and mental health breakdowns with close family members. I failed to face any of it. I failed to see what
God wanted me to see and feel.

I got used to the rat race of life and pushed aside the feeling that deep down in my heart, I knew I wanted to be home with my precious girls. I have felt a tug at my heart since having my children that I needed to be home with them. It never got easier as they grew, I just got used to it. I had a boss tell me that I get to spend the rest of my life with my kids and encouraged me to stay longer at  happy hours with people I didn’t even enjoy being around. I listened to that person instead of what was in my heart and what God wanted.
Last year is when that aha moment happened. I was living as far away from reality as possible. I was numb. I loved the people in my life but outside of my kids, I did a poor job of showing it.  I dove into work and relationships with people that didn’t really mean anything to me. Then, I lost my job. The runner in me had nowhere to run, but home. I cried for days. Life made no sense. As I was sulking on the basement couch, where I had been for the entire morning, my husband came down to see me. He didn’t have to be there. He could have left me at that very moment because of my pathetic state. He leaned over to me and grabbed tightly onto my hands. He said, “God Damnit Danie, I am proud of you. You are everything to me and I will always fight for you. We will have struggles in life, but as long as we struggle together, it will be okay.” That was my aha moment. That is when I faced everything. 
Life is hard. It sucked not growing up with a Dad around at all of my sports events, graduations, and Birthdays. So, I faced it. Fortunately, I have a relationship with him now! The infertility struggle was very real for us for many years. I had an eating disorder in college. Everyone knew it, but me. We have had marriage disagreements and struggles over coping with life changes. All of these things and so much more, I had to come to terms with. It took me a long time to get there but only a short minute to snap the hell out of what I thought was important in life.
I’m sharing this story of vulnerability not for sympathy, but to show that we need each other. We can’t do this crazy world alone. We aren’t perfect. We all sin. My husband loved me when I thought I was unlovable. He did what God wanted and I will follow his lead. God loves us in our weakest moments. So, today, I thank God for that aha moment. After I faced all of this, life became clear. Not easy, but so undeniably clear. Facebook and social media might portray our family and your life as “perfect”. It is because we haven’t shared the ugly. But, I’m confident people want to see the “real” in us too. A close family member and dear friend shared this awesome blog with me and from it came this bit of writing by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, "The most beautiful people we have known, are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”  I hope through reading this you feel hope and encouragement if you are going through something difficult yourself. Hold on and stick together.  My family doesn’t know everything that lies ahead. What we do know is that as a family, we will take life as it comes and welcome any surprises and be thankful for all of them. For example, the unexpected surprise of baby #3 coming at you in November.
God is good.

Blog mentioned above can be found at the following link: