Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Testimony Tuesday: Moving Forward

When I began this blog, it was actually a self-help guide. Moving back to my hometown after living somewhere else for five years was tough; and it came with lots of struggles. The whole reason why I had left my hometown was because of baggage, and coming back I met a lot of those "loose strings" face-to-face. I always I knew I would someday have to come back to my hometown, and when I did come back, I was ready, or at least I thought I was. That transition, however, was one of the toughest I've encountered.

During my time in Florida, I purged a lot of things that happened to me in my past, and namely the things that happened to me in my hometown. When I moved back, I tried to come back to some of the same things I left: friendships, church, family, etc. While trying to reconcile my past, I realized that this was a new season and I wasn't supposed to come back to the OLD. Even though I had lived years without these things in my life because I had moved somewhere new, coming back to it and realizing things were different hurt.

I've always kept a blog, journal, etc., but I was alone when I started this blog. More alone then I had ever been. I had just come from a long season of reconciliation and newness and was surrounded by people. I had moved somewhere fun! I had met new friends and had lots of hope instilled in me in Florida. Coming back reminded me why I had left. I hated it here.

Although I was hurt, I carried  hope in me from my past season. I remember putting together  a women's Bible study and got all of these girls excited to come; I found a location, set it up and got a ton of RSVPs. The day for the Bible study came and nobody showed up. Talk about salt in the wound. Another reason to hate it here.

In the midst of that, however, I believe God was redirecting me. I couldn't stay in a wilderness forever and the Promise Land didn't look as milky or sweet as I had dreamed it would. Writing has always been my therapy, and because it was a new season, I began this blog to minister to myself ... first. I kept it to myself as a way to purge my feelings but keep me positive, and it helped. Little by little, God brought me to new places here. He brought me to new people, to a new church, to a new job, etc. All of this while rebuilding my brokenness.

It has been three years since I moved back. So much has changed in three years! Especially this blog. It went from something that ministered to me, to a blog that ministers to others by giving them a glimpse into the darkest part of people's journey. Testimony Tuesdays were birthed here and have blessed my life so much. Another blessing in my life is my marriage. What an amazing blessing it was to see God fulfill this promise in my life in this new season. Lastly, I now lead a women's Bible study  called Purity + Peace. It is for women who want to renew/maintain their purity covenant with the Lord and for those who struggle with anxiety and depression. (and this time, everyone who signed up for it showed up, and more!) As you know from this blog, this is my passion as I overcame a harsh season of anxiety and depression in 2011-2012 (with God's mighty help).

At this point I feel the Lord tugging on my heart so deeply to put down the defense mechanisms and walls I had created and built when I moved back to Connecticut from Florida. I feel a strong tug to refocus and rebuild again in a place I wanted nothing to do with. Only God can do that. This is a new season for me and I anticipate the new dreams and visions God is going to breathe into my husband and my life.

How about you? 

What new thing is God stirring up in your life? And if it feels like nothing, then what are the things that you have left to the side for tomorrow because it's too hard, challenging and scary to act upon? Maybe you need to act on it today in order to get to the other side tomorrow. Allow this to be an encouragement to you. Your dreams are not dead. Your call is not over. God still has a plan. Begin by deciding that God's plan is above your own and move forward to do all that is required of you to do: have that talk that you have been putting off, go to that church you have been avoiding, ask for forgiveness from the person you offended, etc. Life is short. Every day is a gift. Don't put off for tomorrow what can be done today.

Proverbs 6:4-14

4 Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. 

5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. 

6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 

7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 

8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 
9How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 
10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
12 A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, 
13 who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 

14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up conflict.

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