Grace strikes us when we are in a great pain and restlessness....
sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness,
and it is as though a voice were saying: "You are accepted!"
~Paul Johannes Tillich
Sometimes we have to go back, really back....to have a sense, an understanding of all that's gone to make us....before we can truly move forward. I know that in order for me to live an authentic life, I have to be transparent. When everything is going good in my life, it humbles me to go back to the broken mess of a woman I once was. Sorting through pictures, pulling from fragmented pieces of my memory and reading old journal entries helps me in the process of the "authentic dig."
In 2002, two weeks after the birth of our second daughter, we moved in to a new house. My thoughts at that time were consumed with having bare walls, sheets on windows, boxes in the floor, nursing a new born baby and keeping up with an energetic 2 1/2 year old toddler. It is painful for me to go back to that place....to that woman. I was resentful toward my husband for being able to get up and "escape" to work everyday, even though we had made the decision together for me to stop working and stay at home with our babies. I missed my Mom and sisters terribly....they were supposed to be there with me, to guide me through this phase of becoming a woman but, they were 70 miles away in our "Hometown". In the midst of that season of Motherhood I wasn't in a very good place. I began to withdraw from all my close friends, leaving poor Greg to be my "all in all"....a burden I should have never placed on him. I couldn't wait for him to get home from work everyday. I felt as though I couldn't function, even get a shower, until he was at the house. Needless to say, this began to take it's toll on our marriage. I was like a giant leech sucking the life out of him. He continued to love me anyway but, I knew something had to change.
In February of 2003, my closest friends, who noticed this change in me, stepped in. A new MOPS group was starting in our town and they talked me in to going to my first meeting.
Michele, Kim, Bri and I along with our spouses and "First" born toddlers.
Even though two have moved away, these ladies will always have a special place in my heart not only because we shared a special part of our life together but, because they loved me enough to reach out and help me get up.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
I still remember walking in to that first meeting.....It was Valentine's Day, there was white linens and candles lit on the tables; music playing and breakfast being served....definitely not a typical morning for most moms.:) A mentor mom from the church shared that day about The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. We broke off in to small groups and were able to share and talk with other moms. It was so comforting to know that other people were struggling with the same things that I was. I left there that day refreshed, ready to try and be a better wife and mom.
In that moment, Amy, another leader, asked me if I had ever asked Jesus in to my heart? With certainty, I said No, I want to but I just don't know how. At that point, we all walked over to the altar and they prayed over me and I prayed a prayer of salvation. I can't put in to words how overwhelming the emotions were, it was something I had never experienced before. I remember when we finished, turning to Melissa in my vulnerable, almost child-like state and asking, "Will you be my friend?" She hugged me and we cried together.
Those woman who prayed with me that night are my very best friends to this day....
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.
Melissa, Rebecca, Dana F., Amy and Me
That night changed my life forever. I remember going out the next morning and hearing the birds sing in a way that I never had before. Six months after that night, Greg was saved at a special 9/11 service hosted by our church with guest speaker Sujo John. I pray that I never forget where we have came from, the importance of staying humble, keeping a spirit of gratitude and continuing to dream. Thank you God for your Grace, Love and Acceptance. I pray I can live an authentic life that is pleasing to you, continue to teach me how to walk in your ways.
Inspiration from Simple Abundance by Susan Ban Breathnach