I feel like I need to grab my broom to dust the cobwebs off over here. It’s been far, far too long.
My last post was published on May 24…the day that my grandmother passed away 12 years ago. I don’t find it ironic that that was the last day that I published here. And now, here I am, back to introduce you guys to something else.
I have written so much here over the last eight plus years. I know that I have shared somewhat of an overview of my personal testimony, but I can never remember how much I have talked about and how much I just haven’t gotten around to sharing yet.
There have been so. many. times. in my life where I really began to question God.
Like really began to wonder if a) God was listening; b) he was really there and c) if he cared about me and my issues/struggles at all. I remember very vividly a day when I was about 14 or 15 that our house burned down for the third time in my young life (once when I was six-ish, once when I was 12 and then again when I was in 9th grade). I remember sitting outside on the ground, looking at the charred, scorched remains of my home and I was furious.
I picked up a rock, threw it as hard as I could at the back window and told God that I hated him. I could not understand why something like that would happen to me & my family again.
A couple of years later, in 2004, my grandmother went to have routine lab tests done and, as a result of an allergic reaction to part of the testing, had a massive stroke and died 3 days later. Only 10 days after she passed, my other grandmother passed away. Just like that. Gone. Both of them. Two of the most influential and important people in my life…taken from me in a way that I have never been able to understand.
Looking back now, I see how much those circumstances impacted me. How much they molded me and shaped me into who I am. They instilled in me an appreciate for material things while still keeping me grounded in what really matters in life. I’ve literally had nothing but the clothes on my back more than one time in my life. As much as I like my Apple products and my Kate Spade handbag, should those disappear, I’m certain that my life would move on without a hiccup.
I have learned the value of hard work. My daddy worked (and continues to work despite our protests that he needs to take a break…) a blue collar job for John Deere; repairing tractors and working long hours in the Alabama heat. He would work from sunup until way past sundown to repair the damage that was done to our home. When you endure such tragic financial loss enough times, the insurance money people always rave about becomes non-existent and he had to literally redo our home all by himself. I’ve never known anyone except my husband who works the way that my daddy always has. Never missing a softball game or a beauty pageant…but also never leaving a job undone.
I have learned that there are good people in the world who are willing and able to come alongside of you and help you out when you literally can’t do anything else for yourself. Both in financial loss and familial loss, people came, people surrounded us and people helped us. That look at the servanthood of my small town community gave me a passion for serving others and helping every way that I can.
Would I endure heartache again for the sake of bringing God glory?
Those days in my life were crowded with hurt and pain and doubt. Looking back on them some 10-15ish years later, I see that they made me who I am. They shaped me into the person that I’ve become. I see the world through a different lens than a lot of people. That’s okay with me. I’ve grown comfortable with flying my, “I’m different than the rest of you” flag and I’m learning to embrace it.
But I know that I am not alone.
I know that there are thousands upon thousands of individuals out there who have endured more heartache than I can even imagine. Now, I want to share your story. There is so much hurt and so much anger in the world right now. People don’t always want to see the happy stories and the feel-good things because they tend to feel alone. As unfortunate as it sounds, heartbreak and disappointing circumstances bring a community together. Look at the patriotism that erupted when 9/11 happened. People come together in the midst of tragedy.
I’m starting a new, ongoing series that I’m calling The Anchored Soul.
My goal is to share those stories of heartache and how, even in the darkest of times, God has remained faithful. He has remained true. He has brought us to the other side and use it for HIS glory. Would you share with me? With us? With the hundreds of people who show up when I write to gather and learn and grow? You don’t have include your name. I understand that some circumstances are tough and that people would like to remain anonymous. I’ve enabled that feature as well.
You have a story. Would you share it with us?