I couldn’t have thought of a better title for this post than Miley Cyrus’s famous song, Wrecking Ball. The past few months have been some of the toughest of my life. It feels as though I’ve got hit from every direction. My family also got hit hard. Friends didn’t escape the crash either. Life came in like a wrecking ball.
The past few months have been extremely hard, full of loss, pain and heartache, but there has also been good. How is that even possible? I have to ask myself, is it really possible to suffer and also have true joy? In July my sister traveled to Cambodia for a 2 week mission trip. The day she left I broke up with my boyfriend. Those two weeks were…. well there just aren’t words to describe it besides excruciatingly hard. 10 days after my sister arrived back from her mission trip, she took a job in Montana for 2 years and moved from Florida to Montana in less than two weeks. This was all completely unexpected.
My sister is an automatic built in friend who I love to have fun with, a person I trust, and because we both lived at home, we were able to spend a lot of time together. A trip to Target? My sister was always willing to go. Needed food? We were both almost always hungry at the same time. A person to share a funny story with? I would just walk 5 feet down the hallway from my room. Within 2 weeks, I felt like I lost two of the people I care about most. It was a really hard transition for me personally.
In the midst of all that, my parents who are foster parents got a call from their case worker saying they are going to send their foster baby, Ella, back to her birth mom in the middle of August. This to was completely unexpected. On August 12, my parents had to give back the baby girl they raised for almost 3 years, just 3 days before her third Birthday. It has to have been one of the saddest thing’s I’ve ever had to witness as tears stream down my mom and dads faces as they said goodbye to the girl they treated as their own daughter. I posted a sweet picture of her to my Instagram feed. She’s smart, cleaver and has such a bright future. Just days after my parents were notified Ella would be going back to her biological parents, my dad received a phone call that his mom passed away. He left to fly up to Indiana for her memorial service the day after my parents said goodbye to their foster baby Ella.
Towards the end of the month, 3 ladies at the church I work at passed away. One of the ladies was someone I saw every week and made everyone in her path joyous with her laughter. It’s so hard to comprehend how one second someone can be there and the next they aren’t. Life happens so fast. One suffered from cancer and was way to young to leave this earth and the other had a stroke and was in a coma for months before she passed. My best friend also lost her sweet little nephew around the same time.
I don’t write this for pity. I write this because it’s real and very raw emotions arise when the storms of life come at you. When you feel as if everything you know is completely shaken, the loss and grief is unbearable, and your anxiety and fear is at an all time high because everything feels like it’s spinning out of control, what do you do? What do you do with all of this pain and heartache? How could all of this happen in just two months? How do you sympathize with others when you have pain of your own? Should I feel guilty because my pain may not be as “worse” as someone else? I keep asking myself these questions. And all I keep hearing is…Put your hope and faith in me alone.
And you know what I want to scream back at God in pain? I FEEL ABANDONED, WEAK, TIRED, ALONE, SHAKEN, AFRAID, MAD, UPSET, SAD, LONELY, HOW DARE YOU MAKE US LIVE ON A FALLEN EARTH, EVERYTHING I CARED ABOUT YOU TOOK AWAY, YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH AND I WILL NEVER BE HAPPY AGAIN, YOUR SO MEAN, I HATE YOU, HOW CAN MY GOD LET ALL OF THIS HAPPEN. Holding onto trust in moments like this feels like I’m holding up NYC by one strand of human hair. I’m just being real. Trust does not come easy for me when my world feels out of control. They are real feelings but it doesn’t mean they are true.
I was bought to a completely desperate place. In that desperation, I wanted to kick and scream and turn my back on the one who fully loves me because I’m human who has fear and gets upset. But in that desperate place, you have a choice, to run from God or to run to Him. Sometimes I get upset and tell him I don’t want him because I want humans and not an invisible God. Why do I long for anything other than the one who loves me most. I want to drown my heartache in FB, Instagram, TV, friends, shopping, work, creating, projects, books, really anything other than God. In those desperate moments, I cry out to him and realize He is really all I need.
When your foundations are shaken and it feels as though your left with nothing, God takes those broken places to show you that He is unshakable. I don’t believe he caused my pain, but I do believe that when I am in those desperate places, I learn to put my hope in Him alone. It’s not easy. It’s a daily battle. It’s declaring truth to myself constantly, that my dad is a good father, he has good plans for me and he will never abandoned me, not matter how I feel. I want to trust with abandoned and not be moved by my circumstances because I know the unshakeable God.
It’s been a hard two months but there has also been so much good that has happened. Sweet babies have been born, my mom and I got to go away for one weekend to a hotel in Vero Beach, I’ve been able to travel to Gainesville and St. Pete with friends, swim on the beach, wake up excited because I am alive and still have a purpose, made $100 from selling my DSLR camera on Ebay, celebrated Ella’s 3rd Birthday, watch my sister pursue her dreams and travel across the world, laughing with friends, prayed for friends to get new jobs and then congratulated them on their new jobs, celebrated my nieces nephew, sister and parents are alive and healthy, watched my friend graduate from the University of Florida, kids starting school, bought new clothes (lol), grew stronger in my faith and identity as a daughter, made enough money doggie sitting to pay my first car payment, bought a flamingo pool float, took a bike ride with my sister before she left, have been able to spend more time with my parents, random checks came in the mail, booked a trip to North Carolina for a week, ran a 5K, went to a wedding, started blogging way more and even paid someone to help re-design my blog!
I encourage you, in your pain, bring it to Jesus. Look for the good around you. Be thankful. Walk outside and look at the beauty in the sky or at the beach. So much healing comes to my heart the moment I step onto sand and hear the ocean waves crashing. Heart Made Whole is a really good read by Christa Black Gifford if you have heart pain and want help in how to handle that pain in a healthy way. I have re-read it over and over and each time the words sink in a little deeper and bright light in
P.S. I wrote the above blog post in my deepest pain. I was angry and upset at God and I blamed him for all of the bad happening. I wavered in my faith and it opened the door to a lot of fear and anxiety. It’s kind of embarrassing to re-read the post and to see my true thoughts when I’m angry and upset. I want to run and hide in fear because being vulnerable with your raw thoughts and emotions is scary. Instead, as I learn to embrace my fears, I run full stem ahead, pushing through, letting you guys know I am human and I doubted God. Writing for me brings healing and if that’s what it takes I will write write write until my heart is content.
It’s been a month and a half since I wrote this blog post. And you know what? I survived! I can say my outlook is better. God is transforming some of wrong views I had about His character and nature. He’s teaching me that great faith does not waver. Boy this is hard when your mind has gone back and forth doubting the goodness of God for so long. I’ve forgiven God and others. I’m grateful for God showing me that even when I feel sooooo weak, I am strong in Him. He’s showing me I am powerful in Christ, and I can live above my emotions and fears. I want to say I came out stronger, which I did, but even through all of this, I still need the one who holds me up. I will never stop clinging to Him. Reading this post makes me so thankful for all of the good that has come. It far outweighs everything else but nothing surpasses the fact that He is my lighthouse and I can run to him with every need. When life comes in like a wrecking ball, God will throw it back to destroy the works of the devil. He will bring healing to your hearts.