Initial disclaimer: I don’t keep this blog up like I should.  No apologies here. My life is busy.  One day, maybe sooner than later, I’ll pull in all my archives, but that day is not today.

Two years ago, I decided, almost on a whim, to go back to school and get my master’s.  This stemmed from a lot of areas in my life where I felt inadequate and less than, but all of the sudden, I had to at least level the playing field.

But I took a gamble, and got accepted to my alma mater, and tried to take things one step at a time.  At the start of my second semester, I got involved at my church again.  This was something that I had prayed about for the six months prior because I had not stepped down from serving under the best of terms and just wanted to do what the Holy Spirit was telling me to do.  2016 was a pretty great year!  I ended the year on a less than stellar note with an academic hiccup but a promise to myself to do better and a lot of hope for the new year.

Enter 2017.

I wish that I could say that 2017 started on a high note, but I made it in two weekends and some things, some relationships, started to unravel without warning.  I have asked myself a lot of times why things bothered me so much, and why I put so much stock in certain relationships.  (The verdict is still out.)  But by early March, I noticed that some facets of my life were deteriorating and I honestly did not know why.  There were (at the same time) other things in my life where, for the first time, I knew I was doing the right things, I was pouring into some people purposefully and intentionally and was seeing things that the Lord had birthed in my heart come to fruition.

But sometime near the end of March, all hell broke loose.

I was more lost in school than ever before.

Change at work began happening at breakneck speed and it was a “hop on or get left behind” sort of situation.

I left my church.

People that I thought were my friends proved in an instant that I was insignificant and had no value to them.

All of the stress began to manifest itself in physical ways.  I experienced a true anxiety attack (and subsequent attacks) for the first time in my life.  Sleep was (and still kind of is) elusive.  

Like I said… all hell broke loose.

The last 131 days have probably been the hardest days I’ve experienced in a long time.  I do not understand exactly what happened.  I do not know where the choo-choo train of my life derailed.

But it did.

I did the only thing I knew to do: self-preservation.  I pulled away.   I disconnected social media.  I removed people from my life the most reasonable way that I could without being a total fruit loop.  I poured myself into work and school.  I found another church to attend.  I have tried to process what happened.  I am left with more questions than answers and a general disclaimer to anyone that asks that I don’t want to understand the ‘why’s’.  I just want to move forward.

Early in this nightmare, I was told that people believed I was living my life through a group of teenage girls that I was just trying to invest in (in a small group) setting.  That sentence is burned in my brain.  When I heard it, I know that my face turned blood red and I got instantly angry.  I did, and I still do believe, that sentence is a lie and that it comes from a place of pain and dissatisfaction that got projected on me instead of being dealt with.

But still I am left jaded and heartbroken.

I am three days away from walking across a graduation stage and accepted my MBA.  I have worked my butt off for that piece of paper.  I have poured blood, sweat, tears, prayers, and more sleepless nights that I can count to finish that degree.  I have cried out to God, and I have cussed a good bit.  I’ve rededicated my heart during more than one final exam or final project, and I have celebrated and danced and rejoiced when a class was finished. I wish that all of the other nonsense of the last four months didn’t overshadow this coming weekend because I am proud of me, but it does.

In the last two weeks, I have been able to breathe.  I have been able to see some parts of what happened with more clarity, less hurt, and more grace.  Today, in one final God sized moment, I saw grace like I could have never imagined and wound up sobbing in my office.

Because God, in all that God is, loves me.

And the brevity that sentence carries is more than I will ever be able to comprehend.

I do not know what the remainder of 2017 will look like.  Some relationships are unsalvageable, and others… I just don’t know if I want to invest any energy into them.
But there is this: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 1:6

On Saturday, I will walk across that stage with my family in the audience.  I am proud of me. (I didn’t quit!)  I will spend a week at the beach. I will read.  I will probably crochet.  I will finish clearing the craziness out of my head, when I come back home, I get a restart.

And here’s to hoping that the remainder of 2017 is full of joy and love and hope.

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