Society today usually associates this words with other words like ‘weird’, ‘abnormal’, ‘outcast’.
But in my opinion, it should be associated with words like ‘unique’, ‘exciting’, ‘interesting’ and ‘accepted’.
(that’s a whole other conversation for another day right?)
But when it comes to our life stages ‘changing’ or becoming ‘different’ the emotions we face as people are usually along the lines of fear, anxiety, worry, nervousness and so on.
So why do we angst over the thought of things being different?
I think a lot of the time, it’s just because it’s so unknown.
For example, you can research what ‘having a baby’ is like till you’re blue in the face, but until you’ve experienced it first hand, smack bang in the thick of it, you don’t truly know the difference it brings or how you will react to it?
And further to that, sometimes we fear that if something is unknown, it’s scary.
And don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times when an unknown event/season/circumstance is scary, and it’s scary/horrible no matter who goes through it or how you look at it.
Sometimes it just sucks.
But I’m talking about seasons of our life, that are a part of life, but they bring about change.
Marriage, kids, change of career, moving away, things that force you to step out of your comfort zone.
So how can we learn to have a healthy view of these seasons?
To help grow who we are as people, to surrender to the experience, accept that it’s unknown and let our mind & body’s signals guide us through?
For each of us it will be different.
But my story is all I’ve got…. so here is what I’ve learnt through the last year, maybe it will help you, maybe it won’t, but it’s worth a shot right?
You know the straight line on a heart rate monitor?
The one that remains consistent while the other line goes up & down around it?
That’s the image or the representation I get in my head.
I see it a lot actually, that straight line representing my calm & the other representing my chaos.
The straight line being my centered self, and the other my emotional self.
The straight line being me – the part I can control, my reactions, my feelings etc.
The other being situations, other people, circumstances – things I cannot control.
A battle of trying to grip that consistent, straight line, fighting my emotional self to lean away from the ups & downs of the other.
Since having Sophie I feel like my entire world has been turned upside down, not in a bad way, not in an easy way but just a new & different way.
And now that I feel like I’m coming out the other side of the transition – I now see it has changed it in a GREAT way!
Being afraid of change is hard when you journey through having a baby, but then feeling ready for that change & it being nothing like you expected is a whole other story.
Then you add a parallel season of emotional instability while also finding yourself journeying through an experience of spiritual stability (opposites) – eeeesh it’s a whirlwind.
And for me, that’s what it’s been.
One day I would feel on top of the world, productive, stable, centered, calm, strong & able.
The next? Lethargic, exhausted, defeated, manic & frustrated.
But throughout the chaos that was.. I FOUND MY CALM.
For everyone it is different, for me it was in Jesus.
He has taught me that no matter the circumstance, no matter what that squiggly line is doing, HE is my straight line, HE is my calm & only through learning to lean on HIM and not myself anymore, I have found TRUE peace.
I can honestly say that before having Sophie, I thought I knew what it was like to truly lean on Jesus, to truly feel calm.
I KNOW when I’m leaning on Him.
I don’t always do it, I’m not perfect (none of us are), but then I remember, turn back to Him to access that overwhelming sense of peace again.
And that’s the best part about Jesus, He’s forever in your corner, ready for you to turn back to Him.
What I never understood before though, was that finding that, doesn’t always mean your circumstance will change.
Sometimes it can even get worse, sometimes it gets harder, but that doesn’t mean He’s not there.
It means that now you have strength, endurance, peace, love & much more to center yourself on, to come back to, to find rest in.
It gave me my center.
It gave me my anchor.
It gave me calm among the chaos.
I’m sharing this as a testimony, one for you to take hold of – an assurance to anyone out there feeling overwhelmed or defeated, that we ARE created, through Him to be bigger than our circumstances.
We DO have the ability & the strength to stand in peace among the chaos.
We CAN find the strength of character to face fear head on & come out the other side a better version of ourselves.
What I’ve experienced through the last 12 months is beyond what I can explain.
I’m different, in SOOOO many ways.
I don’t look that different (maybe a few stretch marks & some bags under my eyes) and maybe people don’t even see these differences in me.
But they’re there! I can feel it, and I can see it in my own day to day life.
Some are great changes…
I care less about other people’s opinion of me, because really it’s only those close to me that truly have any validity to their opinions.
I care more about people knowing that they are loved, accepted and created by God.
I care more about people experiencing peace & calm in their lives & trusting in who they are.
I care less for the stuff I have & more for the life I’ve been given.
I have learnt how to be selfless – loving, caring & nurturing another human first & fully.
I have learnt to find my people & love them hard – knowing that even though I’m called to love everyone & accept everyone, I don’t need to be able to please everyone.
I care more about chasing my passions then submitting to fear/anxiety & settling for ‘one day’.
And most importantly – I KNOW who I am. I KNOW I am strong.
And I KNOW my God LOVES me, ACCEPTS me & CARES about me.
And really if you know that – peace & love flow out of you like you cannot control.
Sure there are bad days… Sure there are days when I forget all of the above.
That’s what being human is!
But knowing at the end of a long hard chapter, that on the other side is a healthier, more whole version of who you are, that’s gold. That’s something no one else can give you, or take from you.
You may not believe in God, you may not believe in anything.
But I believe in a God that loves, accepts, values YOU.
Who created YOU because you are purposed for great things, your life is of VALUE to Him.
And even if you don’t believe that anyone else believes in you…. YOU believe in YOU!
You’re worth the gamble, you’re worth the faith.
So take that today!
Whatever season you’re in.
Because sometimes we just need someone to tell us we’re doing okay, to believe in us, to let us know that we are valued and that we are not alone.
So let this be YOUR reminder today.
Happy Weekend Everyone 🙂
Big love as always.
P.s. A big thank you to Dan Bohlsen for the amazing photo – how zen does it make you feel?