I entered into 2019 with new hope and excitement for what was to come. I felt underwater for the last half of 2018 and for the first time I felt like I was coming up for a breath. Parenting and ministry was hard. Being single was hard. Having a child come from trauma was hard. Somehow after a trip to the passion conference and fresh perspective I had a plan. A plan for growth. Things were going to be better this year. And they were for about 6 weeks.
I remember one day still feeling like I was stuck. How can I grow if I am stuck? And in one simple text conversation my life would change. I didn’t even know that conversation, would be the catalyst for change until way later. So hearing about an opportunity I applied. I even went for an interview. Honestly, it was seeming so right. Then it happened. The conversation that at the moment I thought was the worst day of my life. I remember walking away feeling so hurt, so betrayed, so frustrated, so sad. Why? Why did this have to happen like this? But in the middle of the chaos God was leading me even more to take a jump. So I did and started on the new journey at this new position. Growth.
I never realized until this year how pain will grow you. This year has been painful. Like pruning branches that weren’t ready to be pruned. I jumped into a new community, a new job and a new church all in one. But it’s a strange feeling to be in one place while still living close to your old one. I felt like I was in two worlds, not fully in either. But yet, I persisted and through it growth.
Then the moment happen. The call that would change my world. My baby girl was heading home. I thought that February day sitting across from my friend was the worst day of my life. Nothing was as hard as this. Saying goodbye to my sweet baby girl was the most painful experience of my life. Even as I type the pain rushes back to my body and the feeling of losing her brings me to that moment. I didn’t know what to do. Pain. Growth. I persisted. I had my other foster daughter. I had to be strong for her and she would need me to. She would need me to walk her through the hardest moment of her life. And she didn’t even fully understand it. Pain. Growth. And then the time came to say goodbye to her. Once was hard. Twice was unbearable. This goodbye somehow was worst than the first because it would mean emptiness. When I came home it was quiet. I hate the quiet now. So so much pain. Growth. Learning about myself. Persisting through pain, that’s where real growth comes. And then as if there could be any more, I heard the news from my mom. A diagnosis. It didn’t look good. At least we had answers, but now we know there is no end to the pain she is feeling. There is no end to the struggle she is having. Why is this happening. Pain. Pain. Pain.
And yet, I persist. I grow. I learn more about myself. I learn more about God and his heart for me. He meets me in the pain. I had decided I wanted to grow in 2019. That was my word for the year. I’m not going to lie, I wish I would have picked a different word. But yet, that was the word I picked, I feel in so many ways that God looked at me and said.... I’ll show you growth and bam, forced me into it. Almost literally. There was no option for me but to grow this year. I had to, because I couldn’t be the same person and get through all I went through. I had to grow. I had to figure out how to continue through all the painful things that happened. Because through pain, we see growth, if we persist.