It has been some time since I sat and shared. I could use the excuse that I have been busy being a mom of three boys, a wife to my amazing husband, a furniture artist and spending my time growing my small business, but that would not be totally true.
The truth is, I have been hiding a bit. I have been battling a season of severe anxiety for what feels like months now and although I haven't lost the war, it does feel like I've lost a few battles.
At some point, I lost my faith - not in God, but in myself. I stopped writing because I was experiencing so much shame and guilt for not being able to overcome my anxiety. I felt like I was disappointing God. I couldn't face Him and I couldn't face all of you.
For someone who loves God so much and encourages others to put their faith and trust in Him, I felt like a hypocrite. I distanced myself from Him, from His teachings and from sharing His message.
But the Lord, He has been calling for me. He has been calling me home, back into His loving arms.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
For months, I have been receiving messages, texts, and emails from friends, followers, and strangers. Each time what initially seemed out of the blue and insignificant was in fact quite significant in timing and message. I do not believe that these exchanges can be explained away by coincidence as they were just too close to home to be anything other than my Heavenly Father reminding me of His great love for me and His desire for me to come home.
"You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you." Psalm 86:5
What I've learned through this season is not that my Heavenly Father doesn't have unending mercy, forgiveness, love, and grace for me. It is that I don't have those things for myself.
"The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." Psalm 145:9
As we approach the new year, it is always a time of reflection and shifting my mindset to how and what I would like to do differently in the upcoming year. For me, I believe that this year needs to be about self-care and learning to love myself.
I cannot be the woman God designed me to be if I do not change the way that I see myself and take the limitations off of what I believe I am capable of.
Throughout the Bible, God used ordinary, imperfect men and women to carry out His will. He used mothers, fathers, farmers, fishermen, prostitutes, believers, and unbelievers... you name it, they were used to glorify God and spread the gospel of love everlasting.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" Jeremiah 29:11-13
It is time to come out of hiding and seek His will for my life, to recognize that I am capable of writing such a beautiful and powerful testimony if I allow Him to be the author of my story.
"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God." Psalm 139:16-17