In the midst of the chaos there is a quiet calm that stirs in my soul. There is a peace that transcends understanding. It isn't of my own, I am incapable of such things. I've sought this peace for such a long time, and so intently, that I'm not sure I even knew what I was looking for. And then, all of a sudden, in the midst of one of the most chaotic times in my life, I have this peace.
I won't say that I don't hurt. That would be a lie. I could go on and on, literally, about all of the bad things in my life. I could tell you how horrible it is, how hard it is. And it would be truth. But not the whole truth.
I could tell you about my wonderful, amazing husband, and how strong our marriage has become. I could tell you about my beautiful, smart, strong willed children, and their innocent, pure love for God. I could tell you about my absolutely loyal-to-the-end best friend. It would be the truth. But not the whole truth.
I think it's a trap we get stuck in. We write to be validated. We write so that others will hear our story. To build community. To not feel so alone. To get our life down on paper.
There are those of us who write nothing but the bad. And I fear being one of those people. We can get caught up in pity party, trust me, I know it. And there are those of us who tint our lives with rose colored glasses. We only share the good, making it seem as though our lives are perfect, and we never struggle with depression or anger, money issues, or lack of faith. And I'll just come out and say it now. Both of those categories are lies. I struggle with writing here often because there are days that I want so badly to put it all out there, and fear being called a whiner. And there are days that I want to post pictures of my children, or our fantastic vacation, and I fear being a liar. Because truthfully, I can't seem to find the balance.
But somewhere, in the middle of it all, in between the hurt and pain, and laughter and joy. In between the unpaid bills, and giggling children, there is pure unadulterated truth. And that is what is important. That truth that never changes, that never wavers.
My God is bigger than every hurt, every fear, every betrayal. He's bigger than them all. And he loves me. And he always has. He loves me when I hurt and can't get out of bed. And he loves me when my husband and I are celebrating our life together. He loves me when I'm at my worst, and when I'm at my best. And He knows the truth of us all. He knows when we hurt, whether or not we choose to share it with our fellow man, and when we're soaring high. He knows.
And so I choose today to tell you the truth. My God is good, despite the hurt and trials and heartache of my life. My God is amazing, and has blessed me beyond measure, far beyond anything I could ever deserve. And He is with me always. He feels my hurts and he understands them. He hurt too. His earthly life was one full of pain and anguish, of abuse and betrayal. He knows humiliation. He was hanged naked on a cross in front of everyone, including his mother. He was beaten physically, and mocked. He was betrayed and deserted by his closest friends. Even his beloved friend was not there when he was on "trial". He knew loneliness, and homesickness. And he handled it all with grace.
For too many years I've tried to carry the burden of life alone. I've said that I was relying on God, but truthfully, I've tried to be strong, and tried to handle things on my own. Jesus said to take up your cross and follow him, but even He needed help with carrying His cross. Simon of Cyrene carried it for Him, and I'm sure He wouldn't mind helping us carry ours. Now, we just have to let Him. I have to let Him. I know that my God can handle it, because truthfully, he's been with me through it all, from the very beginning. Now I just have to let go of the control that I cling to so desperately, and open my heart up enough to let Him in, and to let the world see Him there.
So here's the truth. My life is wonderful, and hard. My life is beautiful, and painful. And I want you all to know it. The good, the bad, the ugly. But I also want you to know the best truth of all the truths that there are.
My God loves you, too. (And the peace floods my soul)
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.