I'm pretty transparent. I believe 100% that stories are meant to be shared, meditated on, and used to heal each other. I've heard the stories of countless women - tears streaming down their faces, fists pounding the ground. I've heard their anger, their heartbreak, their hope, their desperation, their hopelessness, their abuse, their disgust, their joy, their glimpses into heaven and hell. I've heard things that I would never repeat and things I want to shout out as loud as I can. I've heard them and wept with them. I've laughed with them too, touching the fringes of their souls with the ends of my fingertips. It is holy ground. Standing with other human beings in the depth of their stories, their lives spilling out in every direction, that is unlike anything else on the planet.
I've told you my story too, a thousand times over. You know my heartbreak, my anger, my fear, my hopelessness, my determination to cling to what Jesus has asked of me even while the world condemned me. You know that I have loved deeply, hurt immensely, tried so desperately to love well and love often, failed and then tried again. You know that my marriage crumbled under the weight of my husband's addiction and my own co-dependency. You know that I lost friends in the throes of those two years of hell. You know that my children struggled to know which way was up and that we grieved for their little hearts. You know that Holy Yoga kept my heart beating and my breath deep and steady.
That's why I want to tell you this part of my story. I've hesitated to tell it because it is so new, so fresh, and so sacred. I think its important to tuck away those fragile things until they are fully blooming and fragrant, so know that all the details are still being held in delicate spaces. But life is spilling out of dark corners, hope is digging its heels into our souls and change is sweeping through us, clearing out the dust.
We're doing very hard work right now - learning to see each other, love each other and finding a way to listen and grow. Joe is a free-er man, living a free-er life. He's not just modifying his behavior - that ended the night I told him I wanted a divorce. That night was his sacred ground. His choice to truly be free sprung up from that heartbreak. No, this is different. This is the hard work of plowing new ground where we've already thrown piles of rocks. This is weeding out, sorting through, tears and apologies. This is repentance and holiness permeating everything. This is a new land and our old ruins - all at the same time.
We're leaning in and things are shifting into beautiful spaces, but this kind of work is so hard, friends. It is soul wrenching sometimes. It is riddled with mistakes and questions. It is like digging up a grave, sorting through the bones of who we once were and then burying them again - one by one.
Life is happening here. Our kids are coming back to life and sorting through their own insecurity, uncertainty and sadness. We're leaning into being a family and soaking up the time we have all together. It looks like this...
Birthday dates- hiking at sunset and eating so much sushi we thought we would explode.
Basketball and volleyball games all Saturday long - cheering for our kids who are gaining confidence with every game.
Saturday nights together - washing the dog, building forts out of beach towels and umbrellas, talking while we grill.
Sunset swims and blurry little Daisy Nugget jumping in the pool without an inch of fear.
A VBS performance at church Sunday morning and an inflatable water slide right after. Leaning into church community and listening to Aravis and Judah sing new songs of life and trust all week-long.
This season is both amazing and scary. I look back on the past ten years, especially on the past two years, and I almost can't breathe. Parts of it have been stingingly, crushingly hell. And now this. This new life seems almost impossible. Recovery is every second of every day for the rest of this life. It is never a one time, over and done, kind of thing. We both know it. We're both in it. Freedom comes slowly, softly and wholly enmeshed in our choice to lean into Jesus. Every second. In every argument. In every unearthed hurt. In every sweet moment and in every painful one. Freedom is for right now, but it is often not noticeable until it has started to grow.
I'm learning that what we plant is what we grow. It is what sits on our tables, enters our hearts and bodies and determines the life we live. Our choices and our words turn into bread and water. We consume them, we share them, and they either bring new life, or a slow, trudging existence.
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We are a people of nourishment. We are always learning and always growing. No matter the outcome - whether Joe and I had signed those papers or not - we have to keep growing, keep changing, keep seeking out truth and light. And right now I can rest in knowing that our peace is well planted; that God is watering it and pouring out sunshine to bring us into more. Abundance, friends. God's goodness in every season is always, only, about entering into abundance of joy, of peace, of contentment and of love.