Oh, where, oh where to begin? This past month has been a whirlwind of revelations. As random as I am, I've got to find a way to put all of these experiences and thoughts into some kind of coherency...ok, here we go...
I am soooo excited! Seriously, I can't say that enough, if I could shout it from the mountain tops, I would get the the top of the mountain and then jump up and say it in mid-air, just so that the words would carry higher! I thought last year was a revelation within itself, but as if all of those glimpses into His plan weren't enough, God did it; He wowed me again! Not just once, but relentlessy since the beginning of the year, it's just been one Word right after the other just, bam, bam, bam!
It all started New Year's Day, I felt a change coming...I just didn't know what. I've been waiting for so long, I'd started to give up hope, but still sensing, even ever so slightly that it was coming. The next day came the day most people dread...I turned that daunting age of 30. But this wasn't just any day. I woke up and I knew that something was different. I couldn't place it, couldn't put my finger on it, but I just knew that things were about to change. My birthday happened to fall on a Sunday and just happened to fall on a day that I was to help lead Worship. As I arrived early that morning for practice, someone had pulled me aside and asked me if I was okay. I scoured my mind, searching for the reason that she might have asked me that, "yeah, why?", I asked expectantly. "Well, I know that most people get upset when they turned 30.", came the reply. I thought about it for a second and a crazy thing happened...I realized that I was actually excited about it! My 20's were so full of heartache and struggle, that I was glad to be done with them. My feelings toward it were something like, "pshh, whatever 20's! Let's get rid of that! Let's get a new decade in here!". This person later told me that she had never seen someone so excited for this "treacherous" birthday in her life! lol I love it :)
On that day, I felt God giving me new life. I heard Him telling me that this year was going to be different and that the new year not only symbolized fresh time, but a new decade, new life, and a new start. Sometimes, things like that are so mystical, you just can't put them into words. It's just something you know and feel from the bottom of your heart. It's like He whispers into your ear and you know that you will not be the same. I felt a peace and a reconciliation for those earlier years.
I had been wanting to get rebaptized for a while, I knew that was something I had to do to take that final step of obedience and sweet surrender. To lay that old life to rest and be cleansed into a new beginning. I just wasn't sure of when that day should be and had been waiting for when the time would be right that I could step into that pool and emerge a new creation and life. I knew on that day that I had to do it soon. A dear Sister and friend reminded me that I could do it on a Tuesday night after Worship practice. Wanting a more intimate setting with just those that have been significant in my walk, this seemed the perfect setting. I wouldn't be singing on the Worship Team again until Feb. 6th, which meant I would have to wait until that Tuesday night's practice, which would be Feb. 1st. Feeling that date was sort of random, with no meaning attached, I wasn't thrilled with it, but figured it would be special regardless of any timely attachment.
I have a mentor friend who is gifted in prophecy. He told me to wait...that although I couldn't see the significance of the date now, I would in due time. Well, wouldn't you know it? I was offered the chance to move this past weekend and was to be moved in by Monday...the day before my baptism! Now, I'm sorry, but if you can't see the sigificance of that, than I don't know what! Seriously, now. So, here it was, the opportunity for freedom, the chance to flee from such a dark environment that I have called "home" for the passed year and a half...the gates were FINALLY opened! The freedom I had longed for for so long was only one step away....then a funny thing happened....I hesitated...I was petrified! Now that just didn't make sense to me.
Why the heck wasn't I running with both arms in the air as fast as I could out of that door? A funny thing can happen when we've been in negative environments for a long period of time. We start to lose hope, we start to believe the lies around us, we start to fear a better life and even believe the lie that we don't deserve it. I am so so blessed to have an incredible support system around me who were able to smack some sense into me when I needed it the most. I took the bait, made the leap, and was settled in by Monday night, thanks to my super-fantastic Sisters, friends, and faith family that just keeps growing by the day. Gosh...I never thought I would see this day come that I would be so surrounded by support and love that I just would not know what to do with myself! Man, oh, man...to take some time and reflect on that, I realize I am literally shaking my head with a grateful smile! THANK YOU, GOD!!!
So, what happened after that? Arctic catastrophe hit Northeast Ohio and we turned into one gigantic igloo for a minute there...closing the church building for not one, but 2 days. Now I had a choice here...I could sulk and feel that I had been let down...or I could shut up and take this time as a gift and force myself to sit still and reflect (something I don't often let myself do) in my new surroundings. God was not being unfaithful, he was giving me time, on the house to find some peace amidst the overwhelming.
The church building was reopened on Thursday and that precious event was completed. What a happy, happy night! That joy lasted into the next day and still hasn't completely dissipated.
Yesterday, I went back to the place I called home to check on things, make sure the dog was still alive, etc. I expected anything, but what I felt...an overbearing burden so disturbing, it took a good part of the day to shake. I felt everything from that environment that I had been blocking while I was living there to be able to deal with it...the darkness in the atmosphere, the dysfunction, and the depression of the hopeless. It was just so, so dark. I felt the burden of their choices...and it made me angry. How someone can make the conscious choice to completely give up on life and on themselves is just beyond me.
I cried for hours after I left just overwhelmed with emotion. A dear friend and mentor spoke wise words...you can feel what you're feeling right now, and be thankful that you have a tender heart despite everything...but don't "live" there with them...don't let their choices keep you in the pit of depression that they choose to live in. Live your life to glorify them. Live your life to make them proud of you even if they cannot be proud of themselves...wow...what powerful words! She went on to say that maybe even the only way for them to cope is to live in literal darkness..maybe what I see and feel as overbearing heaviness is really the only way they are able deal with life. I had never thought about that before, but it is so true when I think about it. My heart is breaking, but I cannot sacrifice my own life as a sympathy offering. At the end of the day, it doesn't change anything. Maybe we all have our own "something's" just as heavy that we need to learn to lay down.
Life is ever-changing and if you're open to it, you can see amazing things throughout the course of your life. You can choose to let events and circumstances steal your joy or you can fight for it. That's not to say that there will never be times of sadness...it's how you feel underneath it all. And if you're willing...you can let Him trade you...beauty for ashes....