Putting The Puzzle Back Together

I have always been a passionate person. When I was three or four, I told anyone who would listen that I was going to go to Central Bible College when I grew up. Around that same age, I started singing solos in church. Another year or so later, I started acting/singing in musicals at church. A few years later found me still doing those things, still determined to attend CBC, but also adding on writing stories and poetry.

In my teen years, I competed all the way up to National Fine Arts (through our church denomination) for singing. I acted in still more plays and musicals, and was still writing. I continued to plan for Bible college, and even planned what I would do once I graduated. My parents actually have a video of me doing a skit with a friend, in which I played multiple characters, and the final character was myself. My lines included my plan – I would graduate from Central Bible College, spend a few years as a kids’ church pastor, and then become a missionary to India. That was a huge passion of mine. When I was a preteen (or early teen), I had read a fiction series that took place in India and became enraptured. I learned everything I could, and eventually felt called to be a missionary there.

I did attend Central Bible College. My first year there I traveled with a drama ministry team, which was a blast. I still sang on my own, but never in Chapel, and I continued to write. I graduated in April of 2004, after getting married the previous December.

I eventually did teach Kids’ Church for a few years, but I never made it to India. I don’t know if that was truly God calling me or just me being a kid with a big heart and a passionate fascination, but if it was God’s call, my life isn’t over yet.

I wrote several stories and many, many blog posts, but never got published. I wrote a couple songs and more poetry as well. I organized a couple Christmas programs and acted in a few.

I led worship sometimes in my church, and I was the best wife and mother I knew how to be, but over the years I began to lose myself. It happened so gradually that I never realized that the real me was all but gone.

And then a year ago I had a wake up call. I still didn’t realize how lost I was, but I stepped out on a new path and began the road – unbeknownst to me – back to finding myself.

Twelve days from now it will be exactly a year since I set foot on that path. Over the course of that year, I have rediscovered my peace, as well as the pieces of myself that had been scattered.

Even tonight I found myself rediscovering something that had long been missing. My high schooler wanted help with an assignment for her Theater class – a monologue that she will be presenting on Tuesday. We worked on it together and had a lot fun. It was then that I realized how much I missed acting. Sure, I had acted several times over the last fifteen years, but so much of me was missing that it wasn’t as enjoyable as it had been when I was younger.

This post is more reminiscing and realizing more about myself than anything, but if there is any one thought that I would like to leave you with, it’s this:

Don’t marry someone that will scatter your puzzle pieces. Don’t even be good friends with someone like that. Know who you are, and where your value lies. Know who you are in Christ. Know your passions and your calling. Don’t lose yourself to make someone else happy. If their security is wrapped up in your insecurity, move on. Surround yourself with people who will help put the pieces back together if they are shaken apart.

And one final thing – it’s tempting to blame God when things don’t go our way. God can handle you telling Him how you feel, but remember that He can see the whole puzzle, while we can only see a few pieces at a time. What looks like a disaster right now might just be the part that makes the rest of the puzzle shine.

Beheaded

I don’t like to over-spiritualize things, but when I took this picture, I felt as if it was another small reminder from God. Let me explain.

This plant is a spider plant. It used to have long, healthy leaves, but it was root-bound, and so unable to grow. I tried to transplant it into a larger planter without damaging it at all, but it was *so* root-bound that I accidentally beheaded it. When I finally got it out, it was just a bunch of roots.

Spider plants are self-propagating, so I decided to plant the roots in the larger planter anyway. I wasn’t sure anything would grow because of how badly I had damaged it, but I wanted to at least try. A couple days ago, a tiny little green thing popped out of the soil/river rocks. Today I checked again, and there are three little green things now – and the first one is even starting to put out leaves!

Sometimes our lives get root-bound. Sometimes we can’t grow any further because we’re stuck. Sometimes it takes giving up everything and starting all over to become the person you are meant to be. I never expected my life to take this path, but I am so grateful that I have never been alone. I am grateful that I am growing again and finding new confidence.

Maybe it doesn’t take something drastic. Maybe all you need is to move a little outside your comfort zone. Maybe there are only a few little things that need to be pruned away. Make those changes now, before you find yourself root-bound.

What looked like the end was only a new beginning. Don’t give up. ❤️

*Originally written February 12, 2019

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The Journey Begins

Had the last twenty years of my life been made into a movie, one might be tempted to view it as a tragedy. Pain, my constant companion, nearly destroyed me. Were it not for grace, I would no longer be counted among the living – even had I physically survived.

For a long time, shame closed my mouth. Fear helped keep it sealed. I didn’t want to be judged, to be found as lacking as I thought myself to be. My pain was already enough, and I didn’t need anyone adding to it. It wasn’t until my offspring began showing signs of struggling with pain similar to mine that I found the courage to start speaking out.

Even then, much of what I thought caused my pain was incorrect. I thought there was something fundamentally wrong with me. It has not been until the last few months that my eyes have been opened to the truth. Pried open, in some respects, due to having preferred my blindness.

Now that the healing has begun, I have chosen to cease my silence. No longer will I hide the ugliness when transparency could potentially set others free.

Thus my invitation – grow with me.

We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow, we must open our hands. – Adolfo Perez Esquivel

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