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Sunday, December 13, 2015


Timehop is a precious little thing isn't it? Throwing you back in time to young, engaged faces without a care in the world or how about squishy little babies that have your hearts aching for another baby. Oh is that just me?
Today this little jewel popped up.
Now while you may see me and Ryan during the Christmas of  2014 I see panic, fear, restlessness, sadness, and an overall person on the right that looks nothing like me.
In December of 2014 I was struggling. I was having panic attacks often. I was dealing with anxiety which was something that was completely foreign to me. I was withdrawn and moody. I was putting on a happy face in public, but walking around like a zombie at home and sitting up late into the night fearful. I was carrying around a heavy weight. I was bogged down by fear. I was 100% convinced something was wrong with me. My mind had completely consumed me and I was headed into a horrible place quicker and quicker. Looking back I was depressed. I was in such a horrible place. Seeing that Christmas tree behind us, I remember clear as day laying on the living room floor with nothing but the Christmas lights bouncing around crying trying to catch my breath. Trying so hard to convince myself I was okay. That nothing was wrong.
What's wild about this is nothing was wrong. But everything in the world was wrong.
I had forgotten, briefly, where I came from. Who loved me. Where I could get reassurance if I cared enough to ask for it. In a place where seeking Him wasn't something I was doing. I saw doctors and they addressed the issues, which I am so thankful for. They reminded me of the hardship I had faced earlier in the year and my body was responding to it. Looking back now, I wish I had asked for God's help more. I wish I had given more of my burdens to Him rather than sinking deeper and deeper into a place that I pray I never go again. Behind those eyes I see what many don't. An empty vessel.
Fast forward one year and I posted this photo:

My kitchen table. A table that was filled with four other women for lunch today all eager to grow closer to one another and closer to the Lord.
The first service we attended at our church I was asked if I was part of an if:table and if I would want to go to an if:gathering that was happening in our community soon. In my mind I was saying absolutely not, but my mouth was saying sure. It was out of my comfort zone, but I went. I know God works so wonderfully in my life and I love when I can see it. That night at the if:gathering I knew in my heart I was heading in the right direction. Where I wanted to be. Where I had asked God specifically to work in my life. He answered that prayer when I joined my if:table.
Oh my group...a group of ladies who have very similar struggles, but at the same time very different. A group who won't blink an eye when I bare my soul. A group who laughs with me at the randomness that is my life. A group that I've only been with for a very short time, but a group that I am so looking forward to doing more with.
Looking back over the year and seeing the pain in that first picture hurts. It hurts my heart knowing that for a couple months I wasn't myself and I had cheated my family out of a lot of sweet time. At the same time, I am thankful. I am thankful to God that while it wasn't pretty it was something that helped me grow. Once it was all said and done and I was in a better place mentally, I was able to function. I was able to clearly see where work needed to be done and it was in my spiritual life. I am no longer than empty, sinking vessel from a year ago. I am no longer that half-empty vessel that was no longer sinking, but barely staying afloat. I am now a vessel filled with hope. Filled with God's love and ready to share that love. God loves me. He loved me through that very ugly time in my life when I wasn't making him a priority. Even when months before He had blessed me so richly by healing Ryan I had somewhat turned my back on Him. I didn't deserve His love, but yet He still welcomed me back into His arms. He did it for me and He can do it for you. I am so looking forward to continuing on in the next year with my if:table. I encourage you to be apart of one. Your life will be so richly blessed!
...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

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