Hello blog readers
This post is going to be much different than my usual posts but I invite you to read along. My hope is that by sharing all this that some may feel inspired... ask questions... and cheer along with me as I know all of you are from different walks of life.
To know me completely is to know my story. I grew up in a pretty great home. Supportive parents and always had a roof over my head. While I didn't always have the luxuries I saw some of my friends have, looking back now, I can honestly attest to how blessed I was. At a young age, however, I was sexually assaulted by a family member. While recovery didn't come until later in life, my growing up years were very supportive.
But along with that was severe identity issues. I wavered between all kinds of "cliques" and groups because I was searching and trying to identify with something. Made choices that were not good and all the while having this nagging self-conscience telling me what I was doing was wrong. But I did it anyway because my friends were and I wanted to be liked.
I grew up going to church and I know, now, that it was the Lord "nagging" me. Nagging isn't the right word. He was trying to talk to me but I kept shoving him away. Ignoring him. Pretending I didn't hear him. I just figured the way He wanted me to go was boring and too "goody two shoes" and I was having too much fun.
Can anyone identify with this? Probably. :)
One day I got tired of fighting it and gave in. While still sitting on the fence so I could keep partying and go to church, I slowly began to realize that being a believer and follower of Jesus wasn't a "goody two shoes" thing. In fact, He loved how broken I was because it made me acknowledge that I wasn't strong enough. I needed someone (a Savior) to carry me, heal me, walk beside me and accept me.
Please read this from someone who has lived a life that was NOT sheltered or a life of naivety... God is real and He is who He says He is. Over and over I have experienced His healing, love, forgiveness, acceptance, accountability and .... LOVE. The LOVE is a big deal. And I'm not a dork. Well... okay I am a dork but I know and have experienced the terrible things life can throw at our face. I've tried the self-help and the woman empowerment approach and it just doesn't work. Straight up ladies. It doesn't work.
Last year I felt a prompting to move to Chicago. I love Chicago. It captured me in 2005 when I went with a young adult group to do some inner city ministry work. It captured me again when I visited in 2010 for my very first CHA. Last year when I got off the airplane I felt like I was home. This year I've been praying and seeking wisdom on when I should move. About two months ago I decided that I would move in a year. That way, some debts would be paid off and it would be a natural transition. I'm so responsible, right?
Well, this past weekend God told me, "nope... you're moving a whole heck of a lot sooner lady." Like THIS July. I'm flying to Chicago for CHA (Craft & Hobby Trade Association Trade Show) and I'm not flying back. I'm staying. Some things haven't been finalized yet such as those little things like a job or a place to live. Ha... little things.
But they are little things to God because He already has it planned out and I know that I can trust Him completely. There is an overwhelming peace that I feel whenever I think about it. The right people have been placed into my sphere of communication and I'm not worried. I'm not stressed out. I should be! I should be totally worried about having a roof over my head and an income. Right??? I mean... I don't want to be sleeping on the streets!
But God has always provided exactly what He knows I need. In HIS perfect timing.
I know that this can be difficult to comprehend for some. I wouldn't have understood 15 years ago. I would have laughed and mocked and judged. Rolled my eyes. Said, "good luck to ya!" And shrugged and walked off. But after going through all of what the last 10 years has brought me through... I get it.
My prayer is for others to get it too!
I've always been very clear about my faith and will never waiver of that. I'll never apologize for it. Instead, I'd love to share more with you. Hear YOUR story and have a virtual cup of coffee with you.
And that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)