The other night as I laid down to sleep it all hit me. This past year has been hard. Don’t get me wrong we’ve made some great memories as a family, but it has been hard. As we are nearing the end of one journey and getting ready to start our next it is getting harder and harder to live in the moment. It’s hard not to wish away the days. As the tears poured out of my eyes I thought Wow I’m a mess!!. At that moment I felt God say, no you’re right where I wanted you to be. I needed you to go through all of these trials for me to teach you how to live, and live abundantly. So, you’re not a mess, you’re a beautiful mess. The perfect mess for everything I have planned for you.
Some of you may not know our story and without going into much detail here is the gist. We sold our home in Birmingham, MI last June and made the move to Indiana. That alone was a huge leap of faith as we have lived in Michigan mostly since we were married and loved our friends, our community, and our church dearly. This started a new chapter in our lives called “living with the in-laws”. What was supposed to be a short term arrangement turned into a year plus ordeal. On top of that Brooks and I decided that I would stay home with the kids, so would end my 6 year working mom streak. My immediate feelings were excitement and gratitude, however I did not know how this would later play into some of my emotional depression.
If any of you have gone from working mom to stay at home mom you know the feeling. The feelings of am I doing enough, am I contributing enough to the family, am I successful? Essentially you have no boss to answer to, no specific goals to reach, no star employee awards. So how do you measure? Also I am living in the basement of my in-laws, so I can’t have the “clean house, meal on the table, waiting for my husband to come home” effect. Instead I’m trying to squeeze what little we were able to bring from storage into a home that two people are already living in. Mixing our stuff with theirs and trying to make it work. Let me tell you living out of a storage unit is not fun!
Add house hunting into the mix. Finding a house is supposed to be the fun part. It has been nothing but a struggle. We have been emotionally attached to three different houses and for all different reasons we did not get any of them. Even with the home we eventually bought there were challenges. The current owners decided after accepting our offer that they did not want to sell and it has been extremely difficult trying to work out an option that is good for everyone. There were times where it looked like we may even lose this house. Throw in with all of this a personal loss in our family and you see a year filled with trials and tribulations.
Needless to say I’ve struggled. I’ve struggled with self worth, acceptance, weight loss, the list goes on. Satan has been lurking in the shadows of every hardship just waiting to whisper lies in my ear. “You’re not even a good mom”, “You’re never going to amount to anything”, “You have no talents”, “You don’t deserve it”. Plus there has been inevitable strain on Brooks and my marriage. Not living in our own space, having Kemp sleep in our room, constantly talking finances. We both kept saying if we can make it through this year together we can make it through anything. There were times where we both just had to be honest and say I’m sorry right now I can’t be the person I want to be to you because I’m barely hanging on myself. We had to give each other grace. Knowing that the other person was going through so many different things all at once and the journey is different for each of us. Then there were times where we would lock eyes and say “gosh I love you” and then hug like we were never letting go.
There were times when I felt like I just wasted the last year of my life, but as I laid in bed weeping that night I realized it was a valley God wanted me to walk through. I’ve learned so much about myself, I’ve overcome fears (ok not the fear of spiders yet), I’ve been able to remove myself enough to see where my real treasures are. My heart is ready and willing with God by my side to take on the next big chapter of my life. The chapter where Cohen starts school, the chapter where we get involved in the community, the chapter where we grow from a small starter family to an established family. This will be the first time that where we live, work and go to school is all in the same area (actually it’s all within 5 miles of each other) and we could not be more thrilled. So thank you to the friends who have stuck by our side and walked through this journey with us. And to the friends we’ve neglected we are sorry we’ve been MIA lately. It’s been a crazy ride, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. In the words of Garth Brooks, “our lives are better left to chance, I could of missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance.”