Better Me Year 33
I have been using that hashtag since after my birthday this year. A lot in my life changed for me right after my birthday. My time on the road was about to come to an end and I was facing having to start over from scratch in a place I hadn't considered home for almost 7 years but really longer than that. The only ties I had left in North Carolina were a few friends and some of my extended family. I was as an adult facing starting from the ground up rebuilding my life. I had already sold almost everything I had before leaving Texas and now I was facing the fact that I had no job. I had started a business and it was failing and my travels which were a huge part of me and my life were now coming to an end. I thought that coming to North Carolina was the end of everything for me. I felt like the biggest failure because although I was able to travel and at least share my story I wasn't making the impact I thought I would and now I didn't have anything exciting to share aside from what looked like my utter failure. I spent the better part of a month really trying to find a job or at least salvage what was left of the business my brother and I had started years ago. I was lost without much of a direction. I found myself in my 30's moving in with my grandparents because I had no other options. They were incredibly gracious to let me come here to live with them, to pursue finding a job and settling down in the area. By August I was having little luck finding a job and struggling to find a church. I had one I was attending regularly but it didn't feel like the place I was supposed to be. I had sort of reached a point where I was barely getting by. I had started picking up some odd jobs with Takl I also delivered Pizzas for a few days only to find that delivery drivers make just about as much as your wait staff at a restaurant but it also puts ware and tear on your vehicle! Please always tip your wait staff and delivery drivers they only make a few dollars and hour when they are delivering they are working for tips. I was making money just not much. I also interviewed for a few jobs but wasn't hearing back about any jobs. So as I approached September things were still frustrating for me. The first week of September I went to Oak Island to help a young lady I have seen as a little sister to me get married. While at her wedding the Lord real started talking to me about a lot of things. I spent an evening photographing the stars and praying through a lot of things. I made a few decisions about my life. One of the biggest things I did over that weekend was ask the Lord who does He say that I am. Because I had been finding my identity in my career, in my travels, my experiences and so many other things, I had been forgetting to ask the very One who created me who He saw me to be. He responded with grace and love! From the beginning, He warned me it was going to be a long and painful journey but He also told me He would be faithful and constantly there to protect me, even if it seemed like He wasn't really there. He has been true to His word on everything He said and more. In the time that has passed since then, I have watched as the Lord not only transform me on the inside He has also transformed me on the outside. I truly believe that my weight loss has been an external reflection of what is also happening on the inside. There have been occasions that His hand was actively protecting me but He wasn't speaking to me. I am not going to lie, that was devastating at times. He was always there, He was always active, just sometimes He wasn't speaking. As a communicator that was a struggle for me. Especially when He had me completely isolated from all of the people I go to for council because He just wanted me to trust Him and wait for His timing. A few weeks ago I started to feel a new shift in my life as many of you may know I have been trying to date or at least meet people. It has been a strange journey for me because at 33 years old I have not dated much so my experience is lack. My dating has been a source of constant struggle and growth, also a place where as some of my posts might show a place of learning to trust the Lord to protect me and my heart. Those experiences occasionally brought me to a breaking point and sometimes to a place of possible compromise. During Thanksgiving I had reached a point where I was questioning if I was going to start to settle on my matches and compromise. But because of that experience I began to realize that I was really not okay with settling or compromising on what I wanted in the man I plan to marry. At that point I went about changing how I was matching. I moved to a different dating service then the blind swiping and started matching with men that were more along the line of what I was looking for in a husband. I still had a few that were not a good match for me and I have had a few bad experiences mostly an awkward meet up or two. But I have actually walked away from this experience with some really interesting stories and a few really good friends. Yes, I did just say walked away from online dating, also I only mentioned friends. At the end of 2018 after a second really bad meet up. I really questioned if any of it was working for me. This format of online dating is not especially well formatted for a Quality Time person like me. I want to connect with someone and really get to know them on a deep level. Often conversations fizzle out or men often find it difficult to keep up with me on the communication front. I am a very communicative person and communication is something I value. Many of the people I was matching were not really connecting with me on that front. But also I found that as I was getting to know these men I had begun to shift from finding my identity in the Lord and started to seek it elsewhere. At one point I was talking to several different guys, all as friends, but I was still not feeling like it was enough. It took time but finally I realized why it was not enough. The emptiness in my life that I was trying to fill with friends or a relationship was not one that could be filled by any man. It is only an emptiness that could only be filled by my Lord. The second week of January I had a full breakdown, I had been attempting to do everything in my own strength many of the lessons I was learning from the Lord but at this point I realized I had still been trying to control many aspects of my life. I had submitted part of the control to the Lord but not all of it. I was still struggling with trust even though He has continually proven Himself faithful. At that point I realized that He wanted complete control of my life and for my heart to be completely submitted to Him. I am a strong and powerful woman but many years ago I learned that true submission is not about Power or Control. True submission is about trust and love. It is about trusting that allowing someone else to have the authority over you or your life to make decisions that you would not particularly make for yourself, would do so motivated by love for you and a desire to protect you. This is the place I found myself a few weeks ago and over those few weeks I have found a place of complete trust in the Lord something I have not had in years. It is a place I had over time in complacency and self reliance walked away from years ago. Now I have found myself in this amazing place of trust in Him again. It is beautiful and I am so glad to be here again. I have found contentment in the Lord. Every good and beautiful thing in my life has become a love note, song or just a reminder of how much He loves me and cares about me. Don't get me wrong everything is not perfect I still find myself in need. But I have begun to realize that those things that are happening are often outside of my control and I am realizing that because I have chosen to submit those into His hands to control and provide for it is not my reputation that is at stake. If things fail it falls to the One providing for my needs. Seeing as He has never failed me or fallen short on provision I really don't have to worry. But I also want everyone to know that it is not in my strength that anything is being done in my life right now. It is actually in the weakest places of my life that I am seeing the most change and success because it is in my weakness that the Lord can be strongest. I am so glad to be in this place! I hope this finds you well!