A Purpose Lies Ahead…

I wanna say a little something real quick.

While working out earlier it hit me that some times in life we get in places where we can’t see past where we are currently at. Especially when those places are painful. When we don’t know which way is up or down & we can’t seem to claw our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in. It can get hard & tunnel vision becomes a real thing.

I’ve been there. As I’m sure most people have been. — Once upon a time I couldn’t see how or why in the world I was ever going to make it. It’s now years later… & I can see it.

I used to think there was no hope. I used to think that I was so incredibly broken that I would forever be in pieces. I couldn’t understand why in the world God would have me here, on this Earth, so shredded & torn apart. & I used to ask Him, why? Not why am I in pain or why is this misery in my life… but why am I here at all when this place is breaking me & I could be with You instead? Because I knew back then.. Ya know, this is a fallen world & full of sin & it’s bound to be a hard place to be sometimes. So that’s not the question I had for Him when asking why… it was why am I here, rather than why does it hurt so much.

In those moments, when I was lost in my own misery, He would always show up. Never giving up, never quitting on me. He would show up with an I love you, it’s going to be alright, I’m with you, you’re not alone. But I would still struggle with the why.

Because I could never see past the pain. I couldn’t see down the road, to the future. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. Or even a light at the end of the tunnel. It appeared to be darkness ahead.

All I saw was my shattered soul & broken spirit. A girl getting swallowed up by the world.

All those years ago I asked why. I begged & I pleaded. Why? But there was so much pain & turmoil I couldn’t see through it.

God has a plan for my life. It made zero since to me back then. I couldn’t fathom how that girl, who she was all those years ago… how she would possibly fit into any plans He had. So it didn’t make sense & I couldn’t see it.

But I can see it now. Because that girl… she fought, clawed, & climbed her way out of the darkness. (Slowly & not of her own strength, mind you.) — & when she came out on the other side… she was no longer the same person. She could see.

Every day I still fight the good fight, trying to keep my head up above the water. I keep moving forward, little by little. Good days & bad days, doesn’t matter, I keep fighting. Because I know why now. & because I know why… the will to fight doesn’t come from just trying to survive anymore… it comes from knowing that God has a plan & a purpose for me & my life & I have to keep moving forward to execute it.

So to anyone out there who reads this… God has a purpose for you. Whether you can see it or not… it’s true. So if you ever find yourself where I once was, feeling like you’re lost & you can’t figure out why in the world you’re here. That’s why. — & it’s a beautiful reason to be here. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Went Somewhere With This…

Ya wanna know the one thing I dislike more than most things? & before I get to that… just let me say that I dislike a lot of things. Hot weather, bacon, (which some would say makes me un-american.. πŸ™‚ ) scary movies, animal abusers, heavy metal music, going to the dentist, terrorists… I mean… the list could go on & on. — But at the very top of it, there is one thing I dislike more than most things…. & that is a hateful christian that uses the name of Jesus to justify their hatred.

See I bet you didn’t think I was gonna say that. Not after I put terrorist on the list. But see that’s the thing… A terrorist needs Jesus… & I know that. They may not know that… but I know it. So when I’m looking at it from that perspective, while I may be absolutely appalled by whatever they’ve done… I am aware that they need a revelation from a life changing God. — Which brings me back to those hateful Christians.

I can be a hateful person. I can be mean. I can be petty.. I can be judgmental. I can decide that someone is sinning far worse than I am. I can put the spite in spiteful when I so choose. I can take “I am right & you are wrong” to a ridiculously condescending level. I can show people unkindness when I’m angry or disagree with them. I can do all these awful things. & I am guilty of doing so on many occasions. But here’s the thing….

I own that… I own up that I am a flawed human being because I am not perfect. I own my weaknesses & am aware that hate can pour out of me sometimes. But here’s the thing… I am never going to give God the credit for those things. If I show hate to another human being in any form… I am not about to put that on God. It’s not from Him & He doesn’t deserve to be cast in such a light as that.

It grinds my gears that there are christians that quote their bibles word for word, but look down on someone who lands in prison. That there are christians that spout about their christianity all the time, but shun their families should they sin differently from them. That there are christians that sit in church & preach compassion, but then lack that very same compassion for people on the outside of their little circles. That there are christians that speak of God’s love, but show people the very opposite by what they say & what they do.

It makes me angry. But it makes me angry because people are watching. People that don’t know God are watching & they are forming opinions & making decisions about Him based off the actions of these people. They are doing God a disservice & an injustice & they are using Him to justify ugliness. & while I can’t do anything about that… I did recently realize there is something I can do.

I can be louder than them. I can be kinder than them. I can choose love, where they have chosen hate, & God will use the platform that I am to show people who He is, through me. But He can’t do that if I’m so angry & wrapped up in hatred for these people. I have to let it go. — & I’m not good at letting things go.

But I am a work in progress. & for the first time, in a long time, rather than anger… some days what I feel in regards to them is pity. I feel sorry for them. That they have all this knowledge of Jesus… but they don’t know His heart. & I don’t want to lose myself & stray so far away that I look like them from the outside. I’m not good at being the bigger person… but that’s what God calls me to be. & if I want others to see Him in me…. I don’t have a choice.

So while I still don’t like it. & they will always be at the top of my list. I can’t focus on that. I have to do every thing I can to counter it. So that people watching may come to know Jesus Christ & all that His grace & love have to offer. I have to be on His side, which means I have to set aside all the anger. That’s the only way.

So until next time… πŸ™‚

 

Well This Gets Embarrassing…

Ay-Yo! πŸ˜€

So I wanna tell y’all about all the neat things I have learned from this whole weight loss/exercise journey. Things I have learned about myself… Also there may be things you will learn about me here that may entertain you to no end… who knows?! (Me! I know. Just don’t go telling everybody..Β  it’ll be our little secrets!)

So here’s a thing… if there were ever a class that someone wanted to offer to people about quitting & not following through with things… they would hire me to teach it. & they would definitely have themselves quite the qualified instructor. I could teach you all about it. Except…. let’s be real.. I’d probably quit.

So now that we’ve established that I almost never follow through with things I start. I would like to explain that low self-confidence & fear of failure are the number 1 reasons that I’d be perfect for such a position. Of course, that’s also why I wouldn’t be too! — (You see what I’m working with here? I’m a hot mess. — Literally, I live in the south… it’s hot here. πŸ˜€ )

Anyhow… I said all that to say this… I have not quit this time. — One day, back in February, I asked myself… what are you doing? Why are you not fighting for more out of life? & I knew the answer. It’s the same ol narrative it’s always been. I am too afraid. I am scared & I don’t believe in myself. — & there was something that just sorta hit me like a ton of bricks.. ( Prolly Jesus tbh… tho… I mean.. I’m sure He wouldn’t actually swing a sack of bricks at me… tho… I won’t test it.. I can be a real pain. You can ask my mom.. she would back me up on that one, I have no doubt. πŸ˜€ )

If I don’t make a single move to do anything worthwhile at all, if I stay right where I am…. I lose. If I make moves, aim for something worthwhile, refuse to stay where I am… I could still lose…. but it wouldn’t be without a fight. I wouldn’t just lay down & die like I’ve been doing. & I stand more chances to come out on the other side if I make the effort to do so. As long as I’m stalled, here where I’m at, I’m done for… & it’s not because I didn’t fight for more or push forward… it’s because I let the fear of failure determine my future… I let the idea of failing cause the very failure I dreaded. — & in that moment, on February 16th, 2018 (Yes, we have a date to go with this pivotal moment πŸ™‚ )… I chose to make a move.

You see earlier that same day I got dressed & my jeans were too tight & I was all like, I need to go shopping & get me some new jeans. Bigger jeans. (Because who doesn’t love having to size up? Me… it’s me, I don’t. ) — But then I decided to make a move & new just where I was going to start. With myself. The me that I let go because I felt I had no purpose & was already defeated. That person needed to learn to fight for herself. — Which she did.

It is now over 3 months later, I have lost 25 lbs.. (Okay.. 24… but seriously… it’s much more fun for me to round up. πŸ™‚ ) I exercise every day & I love it. I drink more water a day than I used to drink in a week. I quit soda. (mostly… I do have like a small can on occasion. The little 90 calorie cans, you know the ones. The ones you see in the grocery store & you’re like… it’s only 50 cents cheaper than the 12 pack, might as well just get the 12 pack, more for my money. — Yeeaaahh, I did that too. Now I just get less for my money & less coke… I’m not sure I’ve won anything here… but oh well! πŸ˜€ ) I live & breathe calorie management.. I literally do math every day… & I don’t even like math. —

Sometimes I wanna be lazy.. & I have to push myself to get up & get down to some Toby Mac. That’s right… I dance. I haven’t mentioned that part yet… but I’m not a runner, or a walker, or a workout video follower… I’m a dancer. & to be honest with you… when I say I’m a dancer what I mean is that I’m a dancer at heart. On the inside. On the outside… I can’t promise I don’t look like some sort of discombobulated chicken? I also try to sing while I dance.. & I can’t hardly breathe.. & so my mean ol Husband (Not really… he’s my favorite & I adore him.) records me at the door & giggles about it later.Β  I mean I don’t know. I have no rhythm. I’m not very coordinated. & not sure you’d want me to dance at your wedding… but it works! & it’s fun & makes me feel alive. So imma keep rolling with it.

I rambled on about all of that to say this… for the first time in my life I have learned so much about perseverance, determination, motivation, & pushing myself when those very things fail me. I have pushed myself 10 more minutes, only ate 10 chips at the mexican restaurant.. 10! That’s all I could have. Used to eat half a basket & come to find out 20 chips is around 300 calories. Say what?! That’s just a free appetizer? Can’t even have more than 10 chips! That is dedication if I ever saw it, I tell you. I am dedicated, can’t say I’m not! πŸ˜€ )

I fight for it every day. & I stick with it even when it’s hard & when it’s not fun. Like when I raked leaves til I had blisters (cause I don’t rake leaves on the regular & my husband informed me an hour & a half in that gloves would prevent blisters… ohhhhh, now you tell me. I just wanted to burn some calories… not my skin!) Or when I shoveled dirt & came inside later covered in bug bites. (the prices I have paid, I tell you, for trying to spice up some calorie burning.)

The thing is, as hilarious as it has been sometimes, I have pushed, I have fought, I have kept going… even when the guy at the register of the fast food place was like, but the burger is going to cost you the same price with or without the fries, you sure you don’t want the fries? — Yeah, I’m sure. — But it’s the same price… I can just give you the fries too.. — nope, I’m good. — But it’s the same price?! — Sweet Lord, get behind me satan! No seriously tho..Β  I know he was just trying to be nice & help me out. — But I stuck to it. When I could have easily said, ya know what… yeah.. might as well. & ate them anyhow. But I didn’t. & I’m sure that lovely employee thinks I’m a loon. But that’s okay! I was determined to stick with it… & I did.

I have stuck with it since the beginning. I have made so much progress. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally… it’s been life changing. It may seem small to some, I’m sure. But for me…. it was a huge leap & something I was afraid I would fail at. But I’m still here fighting the good fight. Confusing restaurant workers & embarrassing myself in the name of exercise. πŸ˜€

There’s no going back now! You guys are all just going to have to buckle up because you’re along for the ride… πŸ˜€

 

 

A Letter…

To the Christian person that says our feelings do not matter, that emotions have to be set aside as they may contradict faith & all things that are holy…. while I appreciate that you wish to further me along in my journey with Jesus… I would like to share a little something with you.

You have not walked, not even one moment, in my shoes. You have absolutely no idea of the depths that I have descended to. You have no idea of the pain & suffering I’ve survived. You have not a clue how lost & broken a soul I have been. You were not there when I lost the battles. You were not there when I was lost in all the surrounding chaos. You have no idea how far down rock bottom was when the fight went out in me.

You do not know me. You do not know my heart. You did not pick me back up. You did not come to me in my darkest hours & comfort me. You did not show me hope & love when I no longer believed in either of them. You did not restore my faith. You played no part in my healing. You did not even know I was broken. — God did. He knew. He showed up pouring out nothing but love & concern. He cared what I felt. He cared how lost I was. He cared about my pain, my suffering, & my broken spirit. I was wrapped up in all sorts of emotions & feelings. & He cared.

You can come to me all day long & say that I should set aside my feelings as they do not matter in the grand scheme of things. I’ve even heard it said that it’s selfish to focus only on one’s pain, rather than on what God has said. You can try to educate me all day long on the subject…. but the facts remain the same.

You were not on the floor with me the night I landed on it, writhing in an emotional pain I was apparently not allowed to feel.Β  I cried & I cried & I said, ” I’m all alone. No one understands. They don’t care. Life is beating me to pieces & I’m all by myself.” & I heard God respond… (Mind you the same God that I had known for years. The same One I had been angry with. The same One I yelled at in all my rage & confusion… because in all my honesty here… I was nothing, if not honest with Him too.) I heard the same very God tell me I was not alone. He said I’m here. I care. I love you. — He reached out to His broken child & He said, I’ve got you. — That is a God that cares. — Sure… He also can’t & won’t tolerate sin… but that does not make Him an uncaring God when His children are broken.

So while I appreciate that you are attempting to help & enlighten me… I remember all too well what it was like to feel like my suffering did not matter. People will descend further into an abyss when they feel no one cares. To stress to them… that the God that loves them more than we could ever comprehend… does not care about their feelings, only their faith…. is not something I will participate in. — You may call me wrong. You may say that it’s cause I’m all up in my inappropriate feelings. & that’s okay. I am all up in my feelings. It’s hard not to be when I know somewhere out there is some broken someone who just needs someone to care.

Because I would rather that… than to abandon someone who, maybe just like me, has crumpled to the floor.. in an emotional agony they can’t handle anymore… by leaning down & saying, hey… I get that you’re upset right now…. but these feelings… you need to push them out-of-the-way… this is selfish… God’s not in the business of caring how you feel… it’s all about the faith. —– Because that is essentially what you have done. Whether you realize it or not, this is what they’ve heard. & I will not do that to another human being in turmoil. — I cannot.

So please understand, you can tell me all about this subject time & time again…. but you & I will never be on the same page about it. To be honest, it is what it is.

Yours Truly,
Heather.

 

 

 

Not Everything Changes..

I recently moved about an hour from the town I’ve lived in my entire life.

Bought a house, moved further away from family, shop in completely different towns now. Every thing is different. There is so much change. — & I am a creature of habit for sure.

It’s been stressful. It’s been strange. it’s been fun & exciting too… there are pros and cons galore. Our dog has been adjusting… she is also a creature of habit. She’s now a bigger baby than she was before… tho I didn’t think that was possible before now.. ;). Life’s just been different.

I used to live out in the country. No neighbors nearby. Now I live.. well, still sorta out in the country… just in a subdivision with a ton of neighbors. They are lovely people… but it’s still different for someone who has never really had so many people around all the time.

Back at my old home.,.. I used to sit outside at night, under the stars, in the dark… turn some music on, close my eyes, & let all of the stress and anxieties of life just slip away for a while. — It has always been my de-stresser. The one thing that kept me going when life got tough. Somehow.. it just does wonders for my soul. I always feel more at peace afterwards. It’s my thing. πŸ™‚

Since I moved… oh, like 4 months ago, that has not happened. Not even once. Suddenly there are neighbors every where… I don’t want to disturb them somehow… I also watch a lot of Dateline… & well… I don’t want to show up on an episode of that… lol. So I just haven’t bothered to sit outside at 2 am cause.. well, it’s all so different here.

Tonight tho… I did just that. Went outside, popped my headphones in, leaned back in a chair, & let all my worries wash away for a while.

It was fantastic. Absolutely amazing. & Oh how I had missed it so much.

Sometimes things all around us change. Life becomes different & unfamiliar. We create new normals & move in all sorts of directions. It’s always full of happiness & excitement… but it also has it’s downsides… it can be uncomfortable & difficult too. But when everything around you changes… there are still some things that will always stay the same.

For me.. that’s washing away stress under the stars after midnight. For you, I’m sure it’s something else entirely. But it’s nice… that despite all the changes in life… some things are just a part of who we are. πŸ™‚

The Little Things…Β 

Sorting through notes & ran across these. One I wrote to myself as encouragement a while back & the other my husband left for me to find some time ago. — I leave them in the stack of notes… Cause along & along I stumble across them & they remind me that sometimes one just needs a little extra encouragement. — I can do this. I got this. ❀❀❀

I Get A Little Honest Here…

So… here’s the thing.

I have been absent. I have not written a word in months. Not here, on my blog, or there, on my book. — I have been completely off the writing map. Not one written word… well, not one that wasn’t some Facebook or Instagram post, that is… πŸ˜‰ .

You see.. I have been intimidated. I have been scared. I have been insecure. I have been lost. I have been too afraid to write one single word anywhere about anything. Because… self-doubt. Because… insecurity. Because… intimidation. — Because if I’m being honest… on my best days.. I still struggle to believe in myself. I still struggle to believe that I have talent or that I am capable of stringing words together that make even a little bit of sense when I’m finished. — & that, my friends, is on my best days.

So on my worst days… it is far worse than that. On my worst days… I don’t just struggle to believe in myself… I just plain don’t believe in myself. I don’t even try on my worst days. I throw in the towel before the sun even rises. Like… not today guys, not today. Β I don’t have it in me to try. I don’t have it in me to pump myself up for this. I feel like a failure & I will just sit here and wallow in it & make no attempt to feel any better about any of it. ——- Β On my worst days… I give up. I am no longer in my own corner. I abandon post & take off. Because why? Because on my worst days… when I feel like the world’s biggest failure… I accept that. I say to myself, ya know what? It is what it is. I cannot do this, I cannot do anything, & so I just quit.

Intimidation. I am intimidated by my own self doubt, other people’s success, & the devil himself. Let me tell you something guys… I am being so incredibly honest with you right now. When someone else succeeds… and I mean just does something so incredibly amazing…. I can hear that little voice whisper.. “and what have you done, hmm? Look at them, taking the world by storm… and you… you haven’t even left the gate yet. What does that say about you, Heather? You’re a failure. A disappointment. Why do you even bother? You’re only making a fool of yourself.”

See… I know pride is like the downfall of man and all… but I still have some. & it grates & it drives me crazy to admit to that. To say that out loud, write it down, with every intention of sharing it with the world-wide web…. just what I think of myself on my worst days. — Because here’s the thing… It’s pretty bad to feel that way about yourself sometimes… but that other people, someone else, may be thinking or saying the same things of you… that hits that little bit of pride that I have right smack in the face. — & guys… I’ve heard it. Things very similar. I know there are people who have expressed doubt about me, my life, my future. — It hurts. It sucks. & it sticks with a person.

But here is the thing… because I’m going somewhere with this. I think.. πŸ˜‰ .

It can’t just be me. In a world filled with so many people… I can’t be the only one that feels this way on their worst days. I can’t be the only person that is intimidated by the world & struggles to believe in themselves. I can’t be the only person out there that feels like a disappointment or a failure. I can’t be by myself in this. Which also means… that whoever you are & wherever you are…. you and I, we are not alone. & I just want to say… I get it. I feel you. You have something in common with a complete stranger… but even so, this is one stranger that understands the struggle. — You are not alone. — & sometimes there is just something about knowing that someone else gets it. — & I get it!

So I’mma keep moving forward. I’m sure it will continue to be riddled with ups and downs, best days & worst days, Confidence & self-doubt… but I do not go it alone. I go it with Jesus & then however many people are right there in the same boat with me.

So here’s to pushing past those “worst” days & reveling in those “best” days. —

May the “best days” be with you.. ? Eh… well.. lol… little Star Wars thing I just did there… yeah, I won’t do that anymore. my bad. I apologize.. πŸ˜‰

πŸ˜€