My life is so drastically different from what it was last year. We left our isolated, beautiful, adventurous mountain home in Colorado, ditched the Army, and moved back home to Michigan. We began establishing some semblance of a “normal life” in the civilian world, and, most notably, fell pregnant with our daughter. Life has moved at an unbelievably fast pace. For so long all Zach and I wanted was to be done with military life, done with constantly having to be apart, done with watching the lives of our families unfold from 1500 miles away. Granted, none of that has changed and we are beyond happy in our new normal, but it has just been different in so many ways. We find ourselves busier than ever; there is more family to see, more events to go to, more preparing to do now that we have a little one on the way, and the day seems to come and go before we’ve had a chance to even rub the sleepiness from our eyes.
In the busyness and the change I find myself making less time for the things that matter, a steady decrease I’ve noticed over more than just the last year. Life is chaotic, the world seems to be going up in flames, pregnancy is exhausting, and at the end of the day rather than write or read or exercise (‘cause let’s be honest, that’s definitely the third-place option), I often just want to collapse into bed, turn my brain off and watch a few episodes of America’s Next Top Model or something else completely mind-numbing.
Along with that comes the reality that I’ve neglected my faith, and most days I don’t even make time for a one-page devotional. As I’ve said, part of the reason for my lack of motivation in growing my faith and pursuing Christ comes from general laziness or busyness, but the biggest part of it, I believe, is that my life is just so good. Looking back on the past I think the times my faith grew the most were the times when I was running so hard after God because I had no one else to run to and nothing else to run toward. I didn’t have a supportive and loving and wonderful husband, I didn’t have the relationship with my family that I do now, or a great job, or the security that I now feel. I recently came across a quote from Christine Caine (who Zach and I have seen speak in person, by the way. Totally inspiring.) that says, “We are never so healed that we don’t need Jesus every singe moment of every single day.” That really punched me in the gut. Because I know I’m not living that way. The last 4 and a half years of my life have brought so much healing and freedom that I completely neglected the Healer, the one who set my captive heart free. Imagine that. A God who loved me enough to free me from the darkness, despair, and shame I had been living in (and in fact, that I had put myself in), and for me to come out the other side, turn around and look at the hell I was pulled out of, wave, and say, “Thanks, God! I got this now!”, and continue on my merry way. Unbelievable.
The funny thing about people with my personality type is that we actually function better in the chaos…we thrive off of conflict. The restlessness comes in the moments when life is in neutral. You know that line in the hymn “Come Thou Fount” that says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it”? That has me written all over it, except in my case, the more anchored I am and the more stable my life is, the more likely I am to struggle, to wander. I am so grateful for this life. I am so grateful for Zach, for our families, for our daughter on the way, and I didn’t ever want to be the person whose faith is only strong when tossed in the lion’s den, who only seeks God in the fire. I want to seek Him on the happy days, and most of all, I want to be the person who seeks Him on the calm, boring, mediocre days.
I truly, not just because it’s the New Year, but because it is a long time coming, want to make the effort to make an effort. I want to push myself to read, even when scrolling through social media is so much easier. I want to pray, even when thinking, “Eh, God knows what I/they need,” is much less time consuming. I want to write, even when it is hard or painful or flat-out bad.
I sat down to write this blog post a few weeks ago actually as I was originally going to introduce BGAC before the New Year so as not to make it seem like a fickle “New Year’s Resolution” blog…yeah, that didn’t happen. As I opened my computer and sat in front of the keys, the words literally…would…not…come. And this was different than writer’s block, this was a sign of something seriously wrong, a signal that the creative parts of me were truly beginning to atrophy. I felt like I had just tried to run a marathon after not exercising for years, and I simply couldn’t do it. Writing doesn’t come naturally right now, and my hope is that this blog, this community, this new journey we are on in our new home as parents, will remind me to write more frequently and intentionally. Maybe writing will never pay the bills or bring fame, but feeling I’m living out my potential even a little bit more? Being vulnerable and transparent in a time where it seems compassionate conversation is fleeting? Yeah, I could go for that.
And If you’re feeling the same way, I encourage you to join me in attempting to consciously work toward the things you’ve been meaning to do more of. Maybe we can even keep each other accountable.
Thanks for reading, here’s to fresh starts and new mercies.