With this one, every day is a day for the scenic route, every moment holds the potential for a grand adventure, or two.
Nearly a decade together with Nathaniel J means a whole lot of growing together. A whole lot. When Nate and I met, I was just a teenager and, boy, were we immature (and still are! 😜). I was a baby in my faith, in my leadership, in my boundaries (or lack thereof), and in my emotional/mental health/self-care.
When I look back at who I was, I imagine a seed trying to sprout through the dirt.
I was a mess, small, dirty, awkward and pretty freaked out generally. But 10 years later and I’m thanking the good Lord for His redemptive work in my heart, mind, and life, and for grace upon grace. For the soil of my soul getting ripped up and tilled and ripped up and tilled and watered and weeded.
Man, can I just be pretty brutally honest with you guys?
Self-loathing. Self-hatred. Self-love? Self-care? I’ve honestly spent most of my days completely hoping to be someone else, someone better than the small, unsightly, awkward seed I’ve been. Maybe you know exactly what I mean, but I hope you have no idea...what it’s like to not love or even like yourself.
I’ve spent (and honestly still do spend) ungodly amounts of time letting my heart and mind be filled up with self-hatred and negative self-talk, opening the gate of my soul’s garden to the ugly, destructive pests called deceit and comparison. Wishing, hoping, praying that I was and could be better; a better sister, a better daughter (in-law), and better leader, and better friend. Better. At relationships especially. I used to avoid the person I really was by being whoever anyone wanted me to be or thought I should be. A fake, fraud, an empty shell. My roots were shallow and hope, faith, and love were too. Disappointment was the banner flying high in my life. Striving was the very hope-sucking drain of my life.
The beautiful thing? Those ^^ paragraphs are past-tense. While I struggle weekly still -- really struggle, I am not gripped by deceit and I am not trapped in fear and comparison like I once was. What. a. gift.
In ten more years from now, I'll look back at the woman I was when writing this very reflection, and, boy, do I pray I look back and see how many more chains have been busted off my heart and how many more weeds have been ripped out of my soul. Sometimes we can only see such redemption when we're looking back at the journey from where we've come and where we now are.
even still. through it all. if not. always.
He. is. good.
You, my friend, are so dearly loved and so very accepted. Just as you are. Right now.
I am too.