For much of the last year and a half, I have lingered in a strange space of utter heartbreak and stubborn joy.
The job descriptions I have wanted more than any other in life have been to be a wife and a mother, but things have not gone according to my carefully laid plans. With that, I have had to reconsider everything I assumed for how I would live my life in my late twenties into my thirties. Piece by piece, I have been slowly letting go and burying the things I held onto so tightly.
Grief is a cycle – it comes in seasons and waves and is not always predictable. In order to not let my disappointment consume me, I have had to actively choose to sit down each day and list the blessings in my life. What is present in my life today that makes me smile? What do I get to do that I could not (or not as easily) if I woke up today as a mom?
We all have plans for our lives – specific ways we think they should go.
We imagine that because we are good people who make the right choices, we will somehow be rewarded. Or for those of us who believe in God, we think because our faith is strong and we trust Him unwaveringly, He will give us the deepest desires of our hearts. This is true especially for those big milestone things: the dream job, the perfect spouse, or a happy, healthy family. Sometimes things seem to work out that way, but quite often they do not.
This is the first time I have attempted to tell the whole of my story in one sitting.
While I tell you bits and pieces on a regular basis, I have never attempted to structure it and make it fit into something less than a ten minute telling. I love narrative. I love details, understanding a character’s motivation, and a good story arc. I love the conflict and the triumph. I am also personally far more comfortable with thoughtfully chosen written words than grasping the right ones as they are rolling off my tongue.
Last fall I attended both the Storyline Conference and a church retreat for Dinner Group leaders where we walked through the basics of telling our story. Since then I have sensed an internal nudge that it was time to tell this particular thread of my story to my church community through the medium of video. I recently filmed it for the current series we are in at Hoboken Grace, Chemistry: The Elements of a Lasting Relationship.
It is always intimidating to share the innermost parts of yourself, but I hope that in hearing it, you are encouraged in some way. My story is proof that God can take the most painful heart breaks and use them for His beautiful purposes.