Hi Everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts the past few days. I’ve been having a hard time deciding if I wanted to make this post public or not. A part of me really wants to share all aspects of life, and another part wants to just be a place of positivity and happiness. After reading the “Blogging Without Boundaries” post by A Girl, Obsessed, I was encouraged to go ahead and post this. I think everyone realizes that no one has a perfect life, despite how it may appear in social media. Until I started this blog, the only social media site I used was Instagram. I didn’t have a Facebook, I didn’t go on Twitter, and I still don’t quite understand what Snapchat is. Even having an Instagram, I would randomly take “time off” from it, ranging from weeks to as long as several months, just because I find the whole social media world to be overwhelming, and a place rich for breeding discontentment. They say comparison is the thief of joy, and Instagram can quickly turn from a place of cute pets and inspiring quotes to a major killjoy. “Wow, she looks that perfect on ‘no makeup day’?”, “Why does her messy bun look so much more perfectly messy than I can ever make mine?” “That purse is amazing, I need to have it” “She is really walking out this whole Christian life so much better then I” are just a few phrases I can quickly imagine running through my head as I scroll down the feed. Seriously, a hot “meme” I see going around right now is one comparing a “perfect” messy bun to a less then “perfect” messy bun – we are literally comparing the quality of something called messy! A common phrase you hear running through the social media world is to not compare yourself to everyone else online, because what people show is just their “highlight reel”, and you aren’t seeing all the “behind the scenes” life that goes on. It is easy to set up a space to take the perfect photos and then edit them to look even more perfect, but that is not real life, and even though my blog is just getting started, I don’t ever want to be a place that encourages unrealistic expectations of life. Because life isn’t always perfect or happy or pretty. While I do think focusing on the positive is really important in all areas of life, I want to make sure from the beginning this is a place where everyone can be their real, authentic selves and they don’t feel like they have to put up this front of being perfect or having everything all figured out and together.
Along the lines of “not togetherness”, last year was an especially difficult year for me. I had moved all the way across the country. I left people I loved. A home I was familiar with. Stores I knew. Streets I could navigate with my eyes closed. Everything that was comforting to me was completely gone. And on top of that, I moved here to go to nursing school, so I had both the stress of figuring out this new life without any of my comforts of home with the extreme stress of being in nursing school piled on top of it. To say I was a hot mess was an understatement. I cried, a lot. I never thought of myself as a crier and I have always felt I was pretty strong, but I found the most simple thing would set me off. I even cried in class, in front of people, on several occasions. It is safe to say last year held a lot of my less than “highlight reel” kind of moments.
One day a good friend of mine suggested I do the “Ruth” bible study by Kelly Minter. I had never done a kind of “worksheet/notebook” style bible study before, and being the natural student I am, I was excited to get started. Let me just say, if you ever get the chance to do a study by Kelly Minter, grab it! They are all really good. While the whole study was great, there was one particular phrase that stuck out to me, and I completely believe God had me do that study during that time in my life just to hear this, because it was exactly what I needed at the time, and I reference it to this day. In the study she says, “Although there will be weeping in this life, the direction in which we weep is what truly matters.” That already struck a cord with me, but she then went on to say,
“Be encouraged. God sees your tears. Cry them, wipe them, feel them, but don’t let them stop you. It’s possible to cry and walk.”
Wow, that one really hit me just where I needed it. Not only was it an encouragement to be reminded that God sees my sadness and my tears, but that that is not where we stop. It is possible to cry and walk.
I am not going to say I just hopped out of bed that day after reading that and my life was now perfect and I was able to instantly overcome all my sadness, because I wasn’t. But I was able to get up and start walking. Tears might have blurred my vision a bit, but I made sure I was at least walking. And through that, God was able to continue to work in my life, to show me new things, to teach me new things, and most importantly to open my heart more towards others to be able to love them more.
I still think about this phrase often. Whenever I am feeling sad or discouraged, I try to remember that it is possible to cry and walk, and that the direction of our weeping is what truly matters. God can bring beautiful things out of brokenness if you only let him.