Once Lost, Now Found.

I used to believe the lies that I was:

Not whole, weak, incomplete, weird, too blunt, not kind enough, small, unlovable, boring, a coward, stress-filled, hotheaded, not fun, unstable, too timid, not taken serious, not nurtured, not enough, ugly, too insignificant, too open, falsely hospitable, always attracted to the most needy of souls, uncomfortable, dying, lacking in blessings-

Why didn’t God see me anymore? A daughter forgotten- the worst lie of them all.

A pretty nasty list of unlovable, untouchable characteristics, don’t you think? The problem was, these were NOT really me! I had chosen to believe a lie and foster a seed of poison that had been planted somewhere in my journey- some even rooting in childhood.

As life went on, and more and more lies burdened me down, I finally went through self combustion in my mid to late 20’s. These lies all bubbled to the surface, and I found myself drowning in a depressed sense of self. I had to be free.

So I went through some crazy things the last few years.

Like going through a divorce.

Like traveling across America, from Sherwood Oregon to New York City, New York in an ice cream truck bringing art, music, and sweets to 55 towns in 13 states.

And going through a survival period working 3 jobs while trying to save my little art studio from going under.

Another marriage happened -quickly flashpoint ending in divorce yet again.

I moved 11 times in 3 years total- at times on the brink of homelessness. Everything I owned had been paired down to what could fit in the back of my truck. I slept on the floor with a tiny mattress pad- cushioning with blankets made by my grandmothers and my mom, reminding me of the once comfortable life I had lost.

And yet, I never went without a warm shower, a roof over my head for the night, or a meal or two each day. Provision came in miraculous ways, literally!

My art studio moved locations 4 times in those 3 years, as I struggled to make rents, keep a steady flow of clients though the doors, and all the while showing up, trying to be a blessing to my clients- investing in their hearts, art, and lives. I did not know if I could maintain the little God-given dream placed in my heart a few years before.

My doctor diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue and said if I didn’t find a way to lower my stress, my body was in danger of shutting down entirely, which could lead to extended hospitalization or death.

And during this time I cried out, “Where are you GOD?! I did everything right! By the book! And my life still ended with divorce! And complete life devastation!”

It was at this point I contemplated suicide. Nearly everything was stripped away by my own unravelling for I had believed the lie that I was unwanted, a burden to society; Thus my life was ending in disaster, maybe I should just end it all.

So I went out into a field on a dark and rainy March day after being in this mess for about a year. I went there to die. And as I sloshed through the field in muck boots, a song I wrote when I was 16 popped into my head.

Is this the simple life that I’m living in?

Is this the way that I’m supposed to be?

Is this the way that I’m supposed to walk along?

Your way is going to set me free.

I’ve been trying hard to find my way home

Walking along

So alone

Wishing for one to comfort me

Every night is a lonely prayer

With only sheets to love on me.

Is this the simple life that I’m living in?

Is this the way that I’m supposed to be?

Is this the way that I’m supposed to walk along?

Your way is going to set me free.

I’ve been fighting devils in my dreams

Oh and the battles daylight brings

Another day of wishing away

Unsatisfaction

Teach me

Teach me your ways

To the simple life

Is this the simple life that I’m living in?

Is this the way that I’m supposed to be?

Is this the way that I’m supposed to walk along?

Your way is going to set me free.

By the end of the song, I was choking out the lyrics- utterly devastated that my little 16 year old voice had prophesied what was to come in my life- no real place to call home, being utterly alone, and being haunted by day-to-day tasks- but then, something amazing happened.

As I collapsed in the muddy field, the sun pierced through making the field appear to be a radiant gold color. Not just light beaming on a golden field. No- the field turned so bright of gold, I had to squint and hold my hand over my eyes.

Then a loud voice bellowed, “ I’m not done with you yet. Get up.”

Right then, two great blue herons flanked me side by side and showed no fear and started fishing for food. I whispered, “Angels.”

I got up, the herons didn’t move.

To my left, I saw a castle on the hill- it was so beautiful! I had never seen it before! I heard a whisper, “This is my plan, my inheritance for you. You are my daughter, and I am the King.”

That was it. God breathed life back into me that day. The next two years were still a struggle. But now I had hope. And one by one, through friends, through strangers, through circumstances, God started renewing my mind and showed me the lies I had been believing, and what His truth really was. Once I had been stripped down to the bare essence of belief, I found many beliefs I held for so long were wrong- and had been the detriment to my circumstances.

God started gently speaking truth into the identity of who I was.

Today I believe I am:

Whole, strong, complete, unique, honest, kind, bold, loving, funny, brave, peaceful, fierce, fun, steadfast, adventurous, adorable, nurturing, enough, beautiful, a world changer, open, hospitable, medic of souls, comforting, full of life, blessed, and daughter of the Most High King.

God gave me freedom from the ugliness of life- freedom from my dangerous self.

Each day, I partner with Him, and I wake up with a new life perspective.  “Good Morning God! Today is a gift from you! Thank you from breathing life into me. What is today’s adventure and who are we going to bless?”

My life has almost changed overnight. Business has doubled. And God brings people through my doors to change their lives through art, a cup of tea, and conversation.

My health is back. I am no longer sick with adrenal issues. I am rested and feel peace most days.

I am happily married and thankful that God worked on my mind sharing the TRUTH that I am WORTH LOVING and blessed me with a love worth everything.

I still have hard days too, don’t get me wrong, but I have a God- the King of Kings that goes before me. He literally has set me free, breathing truth and life into my being.

If you are bitter, angry, scared, questioning, don’t know if there is a God, or wondering how there even COULD be a God because of circumstances, know this.

There IS a God. And He is ALWAYS GOOD. There is also an enemy. And he is everything that God is not. Think yin and yang. But the good thing is God ALWAYS wins. If you let Him.

Start a dialogue with God today. You may be surprised with how much the Creator of the Universe loves little itty bitty you. For to Him, YOU are worth it all.

Life Verses that I’ve held close to my heart the last couple years:

Isaiah 54

Isaiah 61

Colossians 3

Philippians 4:4-9

Philippians 4:11-13

Thanks for experiencing my journey,

Jen

 

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