During my first year of marriage (yeah, I’m big time because I’ve been married 2 1/2 years now) I remember thinking, no. No to being married to a basketball coach. No to the horribly dark loft apartment we were renting. No to living in our small college town. No to it all.
I married my husband knowing our life was going to be different, knowing I was staying in this small town and that he’d be gone long days and sometimes long weekends. I knew all of this, and I willingly obliged. But actually living it was different than imagining it. I found myself entering into his world completely and felt my world fading away.
I’d hoped we’d create our own world together. I’d hoped he’d get a new job and we’d leave the small town and start over, start our life. And so, in the dark, depressing apartment I sat and stewed in the life I’d chosen. What have I done?
The weeks dragged on for what felt like an eternity. All I knew was something had to change. And in the midst of a difficult pregnancy and empty apartment, I realized the only thing I could change was myself. I began the slow work of surrender.
In that dark apartment, I cracked open the Bible for the first time in years. I searched for answers and healing but they never came. I called out in my loneliness for anyone or anything to show up for me, but no one ever did. It’s a scary place, to look out and see the world moving about, but to feel stuck in quicksand, sinking slowly. It’s paralyzing to look at your life as if it will be this way forever. I did the only thing I knew how – I took it one step at a time.
Cooper was born and we left the dark apartment behind. Don’t worry, my problems still followed me. They came with me to the bright and beautiful house we bought together. They came with me to the long days spent cuddling my newborn. Another reminder that it was never really the outside forces I felt working against me, it was always an inside job.
I looked around and saw how all my dreams had come true. The husband, the baby, and the nice little house I’d always dreamed of, but they didn’t fix me. They didn’t magically give me that happily ever after feeling as I’d imagined. But I knew it was time to stop making excuses, stop blaming my husband and my situation, and start making the real, deep, lasting changes I needed too.
It wasn’t easy or instant. There were several steps forward followed by even more backward, seasoned with doubts and difficult questions. It requires bending and breaking so that there can be healing.
The time comes for us all. The time to step up to the plate. The time to look at your own heart and figure out what it’s missing. One day you realize that it isn’t your situation or other people and it never has been (though, those often work against us as well). God is calling you to change, to rise, to love, to search. He is calling you to Him because He is love itself and He is peace
My heart still struggles at times. It struggles for my own way, my own will. But it’s learning to surrender again and again. Surrender to the peace that is mine through Christ, the peace I’ve always been searching for. It is my goal to be able to say, no matter the situation, “it is well with my soul.”
This is only one story of my life. There have been countless seasons filled with the same hurt and longing. It feels like I’ve tried every other path and they all led me astray. And so I share it with you. If you feel the same uneasiness, the same emptiness, the same wandering, there is hope for you. There is so much joy in feeling these things! God is nudging your heart, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
So beautiful and true.