The dishes are done, the food has been put away, the family has left, and here I sit. Here I sit in a warm home cozied up by the fire with my furkids snuggled near me realizing that this is the first holiday in a while that I feel inner peace. As I stare at a beautiful decorative sign reading "It Is Well With My Soul" I whisper an "I'm forever thankful" to God. Today I did not fight with my husband, I did not have anxiety over the fact that I am not the greatest housekeeper, and I did not scroll social media in jealousy. I use to get trapped longing for happiness searching to feel something anything. I would long for the days of my youth, a part of me would wish we had children, or even just a happy marriage like these people seemed to have in their pictures. I held hands with loneliness when I was surrounded by so much love. For years all I knew was strife and I played the blaming game until I finally realized a big part of my unhappiness was me. I needed healing, I needed a renewed mind, and I needed to be grateful. Today I sit so grateful for a husband who has put up with me through the depression, the selfishness, the eye rolling, and so much more. Yea maybe hope deferred did make my heart sick my hope being a strong loving marriage with God at the center and yea we went around the same stupid mountain time and time again questioning what to do to fix us or if we should even try again but today I realize we both have made changes maybe without even realizing it and we couldn't have done it without God. Today I sit grateful for such a wonderful supportive praying family, and I am so grateful for a church family who have surrounded me with love and kept pointing me to Jesus when I needed Him the most. The last five years have been so special yet so difficult and even the past year has been such a gift. I fought for healing and I fought to be delivered from this inner hell. I held my Father's hand through the refiners fire and I truly thought I was going to die. The Lord's joy has been my strength and His peace has overwhelmed my soul in such a way I wish I could explain it better but it passes all understanding. I have kissed grace over and over and over again. His mercies are truly new every morning. When I start to feel pride rise in me I know loved ones I can reach out to for a perspective shift or prayer but probably both. When temptation knocks at my door I have trusted loved ones to reach out to to hold me accountable and pray. Life is not easy period. Trying to live a "religious" lifestyle is hell believe me I tried that path. I will explain that lifestyle only to be a life of striving, a life of performance, almost a life of fakeness if I'm getting brutally honest. I want real. I want authentic. Life is messy and I am always in need of my savior. As I press on to reach the heavenly prize I want to fight to keep this inner peace. To stay unoffended, keep forgiving, keep loving, keep guarding my heart, yet how do I accomplish this? All I know is stay focused on Jesus, stay in His word, and keep reaching out. I will not run back into isolation, I will not hide from sin, I will face it head on with a loving Father who is transforming me in His likeness from glory to glory.
I am forever grateful.