I haven’t been writing much these last 24 months. It’s been a road of self discovery of sorts. I’m still grappling with it all. One minute I have a family life I adore, a job that I love, a world that seems to make sense. The next minute the world has been tilted on its axis and I have no way of knowing which way is up or down or side to side.
It has been two years of hard, hard work so it is fitting that today, the first day of July, I begin to write again. Begin to figure out – or maybe accept – that there is something here. Here in these words. Here on this blog. Here through my hands. Maybe there is something, like others have said, that is a call, a gift, a blessing. I don’t know.
What I do know is that there is growth in the hard. I mean the really hard hard. The hard when you’re lying in a hospital bed, alone, with the oxygen pushing through your nostrils into your lungs hearing that if you can’t get through this they may have to intubate. There is growth in getting through that fear. The hard when you have to say goodbye to your son knowing you’ll never get to see him again. There is growth in that mourning. The hard when you’re heading to a friend’s home for a get together and the anxiety is so strong you can’t breathe. There is growth in that heaviness. There is growth in the hurting, in the learning, in the depression, in the unknown.
I look back these last two years and while I kinda go back and forth on what kind of growth I’ve gone through I know there has been. I am not the same girl I was two years ago. Or the same girl I was three years ago. I know that the path I’m being led on is definitely not the path I saw myself in last year when I was determined to prove NA wrong. I know that the girl that was hurt and angry has a heart that has been patched up and beats colorfully to the sound of laughter, worship and love. I know that the girl that battled mental illness conquered the paralyzing feel of it strangling her neck. I know that the girl that was grieving now cries with the humbleness of God’s love and mercy. I know that the girl that felt misunderstood and alone now sits at the table in a community where she no longer has to pretend to be someone she is not.
Some may not understand the decisions I’ve made or the person I have become. They may not accept it. They may ridicule me. They may judge me. Two years ago when I fell at the foot of Jesus weeping realizing the last twenty years was pouring out of me I didn’t know what was in store for me. Molding. Breaking. Refining. Crumbling. Over and over and over again. Preparing me for 2020. Rooting me into a church that accepted all of my brokenness and loved on me. Rooting me into friendships who spoke life into me when I needed to hear it most. Rooting me into a community of praying women who as strangers continue to be willing to stand beside me.
It doesn’t matter how big. Growth is growth. Look at your last year – especially 2020 – and see the growth. In the messy. In the uncomfortable. In the overwhelming. In the least expected. In the simple. You’ll see it. It’s right there. That little seed that you planted taking root. When you got up out of bed after spending two days unable to move. When you shaved your legs after 6 months of no energy. When you went through the closet to put away a late loved one’s belongings after five months. When you decided to go back to school to better your situation. When you said goodbye to a toxic relationship. When you ran your first marathon. When you decided to go to therapy. When you realized it was ok to cry. When you reconciled with family. When you adopted a dog. When you remembered to give yourself grace. When you learned to forgive yourself.
Last Sunday my Pastor talked about how awesome redwoods are. He explained that redwoods are the largest trees on earth. Their roots, though, don’t dig deep into the ground. They instead intertwine with the cluster of redwoods as they hold each other up. The wind, the water, the fires couldn’t get through them because of how rooted they were to each other. The seeds of the redwood instead would grow in the fire. Two years ago the fire should have done what it came to do, instead, like a seedling, I clung to a Redwood, rooted and grew.
For the love of self, I have planted roots into a ground I’m no longer afraid to grow in. xoxo