Crying my way to God

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Welp. Y’all. It happened. It appears as though when I opened up about my infertility struggles in my last post, I also opened up Pandoras box – also known as a small window into my heart. I honestly didn’t realize that I had been trying so hard to keep it shut for all this time that even opening it a few inches pushed forth the flood gates that were quietly stirring, waiting for their chance to be set free. After all, even the sad, angry, and fearful feelings need their time to air out too, (apparently). But sometimes it just feels good, and maybe a tad easier, to put a bandaid over them and walk away until a new bandaid is needed. Sometimes it plain sucks to feel all those feelings I’ve pushed inside that window and covered with happy bandaids to deal with at another point in time. You know the ol’ “I’ll deal with that when I’m ready” adage?

So one day last week, a small window in my heart burst open unexpectedly and all those feelings I’d tucked away for a ‘day when I was ready’ came flooding out.  It definitely wasn’t my timing, I could’ve kept pushing on, but God knew it was time I deal with what was hurting and start the process of letting go the control. Those few days were some of the saddest I’d felt in a while, honestly. It hurt to feel them. I wanted so badly to shove them deep down back in their place, but God had a different plan.

And then, Sunday happened. You see, Geoff and I have been praying for a church home for almost 6 years now. We searched for nearly a year during our time in WA, but found our spiritual refuge in our hikes and family adventures on the weekends. All the while having faith that God would give us what we needed, when we needed it. We’ve found a church home here in middle TN at Brentwood United Methodist and even became members this past Sunday! It was a very special moment for our family, to stand in front of our new church and profess our love and commitment, but the even sweeter moment came with Brooks.

For the last 5 weeks we’ve been attending BUMC we always take Brooks to the nursery before service. And every morning he cries his little eyes out as we hand him over to trusting arms. But with each new Sunday came less crying and more confidence from our B.  Each Sunday he would make it just a little further down the hall, closer to the room before his fear kicked in and he remembered we’d be dropping him off. This last Sunday, however, was different. He made it all the way down the hall, to the room, turned and said ‘kiss Daddy’ and went in with no tears. When Geoff told me that I about burst.

At that moment, it hit me.  B’s transformation from screaming crying to gentle kisses and a wave good-bye was a direct reflection of this walk I’m on with God.  His ability to recognize that he was taken care of and could trust what lie ahead reminded me so much of our walk with Jesus. Getting there was not without tears. Getting there was not without a struggle to control his own fate of staying with his Mommy and Daddy, but getting there taught him he could trust in knowing we’d always be there when the time was right. How sweet and confident of our little B to know what trust feels like – almost as if it were ingrained in us from birth.

Much like Brooks, I held on tightly to my feelings in fear of letting go that I might fall apart somehow. That somehow opening that window into my heart might leave me vulnerable to the unknown. But, dear friends, I’ve realized…that is exactly where God wants me; right in the thick of vulnerable. Left wide open so He can work wonders with my life and my heart.

I pray you find this same place with me and allow God to work wonders in your life, too. Thank you so much for reading and sharing in this journey with me.

Lemons to Love,

Lindsay

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Grace

 

Not too long ago I went on a women’s retreat through my home church at Southside United Methodist in Jacksonville, FL. The retreat was nearby, but just far enough in distance to give you the mental capacity of a vacation in the quaint historical town of Fernandina Beach. The theme for the weekend was Grace, and I was fully equipped to ball my eyes out like a baby as I soaked in the word of Jesus surrounded by other strong women all looking for the same thing: strength in numbers. Maybe I’m ‘broad brushing’ here on what the other women were searching for during this time of spiritual growth, but I would imagine it was in the ball park of gaining strength. Maybe it was physically, from ailments they or loved ones have experienced; mentally from the day-to-day exhaustion of just plain ‘adulting’, or maybe just a spiritual uplifter to refuel their tanks for the year ahead. Regardless of the specific reasons, I think we can all agree we all need strength from somewhere to counterbalance our weaknesses that are hardwired in us from, well, life.

But how do we release these ‘dead weights’ of guilt, exhaustion, self-analyzing criticisms (the list can go on sometimes, can’t it)? The simple answer: Jesus. The how: through His Grace…at least that’s my working equation. 😉

For me, this retreat was a reminder of just that, my constant need of His grace. Lately I have had to check back in almost daily to remind me of God’s grace. The GRACE, not my efforts, is what saves me. I am not judged by how many ‘good acts’ I’ve done for the day; if the dishes are done, laundry is folded, dinner is prepared, planning done for my small business is further along, nurturing my relationships, or teaching Brooks oh I don’t know how to be a functioning person in society?? I could honestly keep going on the mental check list I keep a subconscious running tab on. The truth is, if I always focused on this list (and the even longer one than can creep in), I’d never feel like I met my own expectations, and…wait for it, His TRUTH is truer than my own FEELINGS any day of the week. 🙌🏼

I have a grand idea in my mind, a goal I’m constantly working towards. And while I love this innate drive to be better, do better…I’m constantly reminded that this is not my sole purpose here on Earth. We can do AMAZING things, God is just looking for willing hearts…and I want to give myself the grace He offers me so in those moments He calls on me, my heart is open and ready.

I’ll be taking a small break from blogging these next few weeks as I head out to WA to meet Geoff and we make our road trip back across the country! I’m giving myself a break from writing and posting while I soak in these last few days in Florida, enjoy the HECK outta our travels across this great country, and make our move as a family up to our new home in Tennessee. It’s crazy how life can come full circle sometimes. This trip we’re about to embark on takes me right back to the days we first started dating and drove from Atlanta to Phoenix watch Auburn in the 2010 National Championship. And how can I not mention the literal full circle of driving back across the country; where the West-bound trip was with my willing-and-able mom exactly 4 1/2 years ago!

I can’t wait to share with you our adventures over 2,000+ miles, and then as we get settled into our new home back in the South, in middle Tennessee!

In the meantime, here are a few pics to hold you over from probbbbably my favorite adventure with B in Florida…the photos really captured the joy, adventure and beauty in the day we shared. If you want to see more, click HERE! And if you want to follow along on our travels across the US of A, follow me on my Instagram stories! Just click the icon up in the right corner under Social. 😊☝🏼

Aug 2016 shootAug 2016 shootAug 2016 shootAug 2016 shootAug 2016 shoot

Thanks so much for reading! I hope today’s post offered you the grace you’ve been needing and so deserve.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Proverbs 31:25

Lemons to Love,

Lindsay