About a year and a half ago, Ren and I set out for a new adventure in our life together. We had a moving truck full of stuff, which Ren drove, and a little car--also full of 'stuff', which I drove behind the truck. I will readily admit that I was terrified. I was raised a country girl (and taught to drive on quiet, dirt roads) and the thought of moving to a "city", no matter how small in terms of citydom, left me petrified. There were elements of moving that excited me, but I didn't know how I was going to manage driving in a new place, being away from all family (except Ren) for the first time ever, and I couldn't picture what my life was going to be like. It was a big, looming question mark in my mind.
Well, we survived the drive from Colorado to Utah, and we also survived unloading the truck. But I really wondered if we'd ever survive the record heat of August 2010, the close quarters of married student housing, and the confusing maze of traffic and more stores than I cared to count. As soon as we dropped off the U-haul and accepted that Utah was now home, I found myself extremely depressed and overwhelmed. My question mark was melting into a puddle of mud surrounded by boxes and clutter. So this was my life.
I toyed with the idea of getting a nanny job, and even had an interview. I felt like I needed to "do" something--I couldn't possibly stay home and not make money with finances so tight, could I? I also thought about going back to school, but money didn't allow for both Ren and I to do it just then. Getting a job didn't happen (until later--another story), and so I decided that for a time, at least, I had an excuse to stay home.
It's really quite impossible to write a short summary of the events of the months that followed. It seems more effective to just describe what condition I was in, what I felt, and where it led me. To begin with, I was tired. I think I've pretty much always been tired before now (and even now, I'm no stranger to fatigue). I became familiar with the term "insomnia" much too early in life. I was also sick--emotionally, physically, spiritually. I had exhausted all my reserves of patience and strength and vitality, and I was slipping into a dark place of confusion. I was suffering from anxiety and depression, which I can see clearly now, but at that time I was in denial. I didn't believe it was "valid"--I just thought I was being a wimp. And on top of this, I was afraid of the word "NO". If someone, anyone, asked me to do something, I felt a moral obligation to say yes, regardless of what I could handle. The combination of all of the above was awful. It wreaked havoc on my already worn out self, and even more so on my marriage. I know my husband loves me, because he didn't run away screaming.
I did not like myself. I felt fat. I felt stupid. I felt lazy and worthless. I felt negative and non-social and like a black hole that sucked joy from everyone around me, especially my husband. I felt like I had to apologize for everything I did and thought--for everything I was. Is this bad enough for you yet? Well it wasn't for me. I decided that my life wouldn't be complete til I had volunteered myself to babysit for everyone I knew and teach their children piano lessons, hoping that then, maybe then I would have some shard of worth as a person.
Too many times, I found myself curled up in a ball crying like a helpless child--and that's exactly what I was. I'm so grateful for the angels in my life, seen and unseen, who brought me strength when I had none. Without them pulling for me, I just might have given up. And I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father. I've always prayed. My parents taught me to pray before they taught me to dress myself. But I haven't always prayed fervently. In the beginning of these hard times, I don't believe I was praying fervently. But trials have a way of really bringing you to your knees, over and over again. Through this, I found my God once again. He had not left me. I had just stopped looking to Him.
Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. Ren and I have been married for 3 beautiful, heart-wrenching, heart-warming years. My growth as a person has been more pronounced and powerful in these past years than in any other phase of my life. I feel like I have just stepped out of a chrysalis, and I am now enjoying my life as a butterfly. I'm not used to it yet. I've spent so much time seeing the world from the ground, and flying is a little scary. It's definitely a new feeling for me. Forgive me for my metaphors, but a girl is allowed to be slightly cliché and romantic on the anniversary of her wedding (or the day after) to her sweetheart.
So back to the video--you'll just have to see it for yourself. You'll know why I picked it. I can't ever get through it without crying, because I know now what it means. You have to keep going. You have to keep believing things will get better and keep praying for answers. They'll come, along with so many other good things. I promise.
What good things have you found in your life? What did it take you to get there?