Seasons of struggle

I’ve been really struggling.

Although, I didn’t make that realization until a couple days ago.

Almost 11 months ago, we uprooted our life in Grand Rapids and moved to Big Rapids. In those 11 months, we lived in a garage at my parents house, we had a new baby, Jon got a new job (still in Grand Rapids), built a house, moved into that house, and lost my aunt to cancer. It’s been a crazy time.

Two kids (who were two-under-two for most of that time) kept me very busy.

I tried to keep a level, upbeat attitude—because I had to. Because as a mom, we don’t get sick days. We don’t get “I don’t feel like doing anything today” days…we have babes to take care of.

I tried to surround myself with the people I have up here, and those people are pretty great, and very helpful with my heart and the kids.

I also tried to be very real with you all, and keep myself busy with blogging, Instagram collaborations, and taking photos. And that’s apparently exactly what I was doing—keeping myself busy.

Keeping myself from feeling.

I’d spend every moment I had doing something. With kids, I’d be busy keeping them busy. Without kids, I’d be watching mind-numbing television just to laugh, staying up way too late trying to find more collaborations, staying up too late in general because when you’re all alone, it’s easy to do that. I’d be playing games on my phone to fill in the quietness, the emptiness…all those things were filling every moment of every day, when I kept telling myself I should be reading or journaling or doing Bible study or praying—anything except filling my days with these “idols”.

I need to be real with you.

I don’t have it all together. 

If I have portrayed that, I may have not even known that myself.

I have lost my closeness with God and that’s on me.

I don’t believe in Him any less, I don’t love Him any less, I don’t trust Him any less…but I haven’t communicated with Him as much as I was. I have filled the God-shaped holes inside of me with mind-less tv, iPhone games, kid-related things, and filling every quiet moment with something loud.

It’s really hard for me to put this out there, because I dislike this feeling…I dislike knowing I’ve pushed God to the side to fill in holes that only He can fill.

And all of this…

All of this is stemming from loneliness, from change I haven’t internalized, from grief I haven’t been able to cope with, from relationships I dearly miss..from feelings I haven’t allowed myself to feel…

I’m struggling.

I miss my husband during the week, and I miss my friends—the rock solid relationships I had before we moved an hour north. I miss my relationship and closeness I had with my Creator, I miss our church. I miss my aunt and even though it’s been over a month, I still haven’t been able to grasp the fact that she really is gone and that this isn’t just a bad dream. I even miss being 5 minutes from the store instead of 20 minutes.

My parents did the same move we did a couple years ago. I heard my mom talk about how depressed she was from the move and I sort of just brushed it off…

It took me almost 11 months to realize that she wasn’t crazy to feel those things, that I was being crazy for NOT allowing myself to feel those things.

So here I am.

Struggling.

Trying to pull my emergency rope. Ugly crying along the way.

Trying to not fill the feelings of loneliness with mindless things—Praise God my husband gets to come home soon!!!!

Trying to keep friendships going that feel like they’re falling apart—and trying to back away at the same time so I don’t seem like a complete psychopath to those I love and miss dearly. (If that’s you, and you feel like I’ve gone crazy on you, I am truly sorry.)

Trying to be a good wife and mom all while realizing that I can’t be either of those things if I don’t put all my faith and trust in my relationship with my God.

And still trying to internalize the loss of someone taken way too soon.

At church yesterday, I was humbly reminded how much I NEED Jesus, how much I honestly cannot do on my own, and how great HE is and I am not. I’m brought to tears during worship because that’s when and where I feel like God is RIGHT THERE with me. I haven’t felt that connection since we moved up here, away from our church, but I felt that yesterday at the church we found.

‘Cause when You speak, when You move
When You do what only You can do
It changes us
It changes what we see and what we seek
When You come in the room
When You do what only You can do
It changes us
It changes what we see and what we seek
You’re changing everything

(Spirit of the Living God—Vertical Worship)

That song’s chorus set up my heart (and tears) for this song’s chorus:

Hallelujah, holy, holy
God Almighty, the great I AM
Who is worthy, none beside Thee
God Almighty, the great I AM

(Great I Am—Phillips, Craig & Dean)

WHO IS WORTHY??

NONE BESIDE THEE!

Honestly…those words would have taken me to my knees but instead I held myself up against the chair in front of me. I am not worthy, but God is God…He is the great I AM! His grace is sufficient enough for me. He forgives me when I push Him away, He continues to be there no matter how many times I fail…He’s always there to draw me back in and save me from myself and the idols I create. When He does what only He can do…it changes US!

So I’m in a new place today.

The sunrise is prettier and the quietness is perfect. My relationship with God is getting back on track and the days aren’t so foggy. I’m allowing myself to feel and that’s exactly what I need to be doing. I wake up early and spend time with God, and get work done before the kids wake up so my heart and mind can be on the right track. It takes a lot of discipline, but it’s worth it.

And guys…IT’S OKAY TO STRUGGLE, it helps you realize how important God is, and how important your spouse, family and friends are. I believe it’s normal to have seasons like this. Embrace them, and work through them…don’t shut the world out.

If any of you feel this way, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Xo.

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