I wrote my last post a few weeks ago. In that post, I poured out a lot of junk and told people part of my story. Since sharing my journey with depression and anxiety, I have been doing so much better. I am not sure if it is a combination of starting meds, back to school routine, running and sharing some of my deepest thoughts with others, but I have had a pretty good 3 weeks. They haven't been perfect but they have been so much better than what life was like beforehand.
One thing I know for sure is that the most therapeutic thing for me has been the outpouring of stories, letters, phone calls, and visits that I have gotten since sharing with others. It has been amazing.
So that brings me to the next part of my journey. There are a few things that I have always known:
1. I have always known that God has a sense of humor.
2. I also know that God has a bigger plan than I can ever imagine.
3. I always seem to think I know the plan and then it ends up being way different than I had expected. Here are some examples:
1. When I got my first teaching job in Nixa, I thought I would be there for a long time. - NOPE - taught there one year.
2. When we moved to Kansas City, Matt was going to go to Aviation School. - NOPE - Matt never went to school
3. We thought that we would go and teach English as a 2nd language overseas. - NOPE - We were in Belgrade for 7 days.
4. We thought we would live in Colorado and be ski bums. - NOPE - We got pregnant.
5. We thought we would wait to have a baby - NOPE - See above statement.
6. I went back to school to be an administrator and wanted to be a head principal. - NOPE - I really didn't enjoy it and hated the person I was becoming as I became an administrator longer.
7. We thought we would wait for our 2nd baby to arrive until after I was finished with my Masters. - NOPE - I got pregnant as I entered my 2nd year. (evidently we do not know how birth control works)
8. We thought we would have a baby sooner than we had Nora. - NOPE - We had a miscarriage.
9. We thought we were done having kids after our miscarriage and we got rid of baby stuff. - NOPE - We got pregnant with Nora.
10. I thought having 3 kids would be a breeze. - NOPE - We are now zone instead of man to man.
11. I thought I was going to stay home after I left Administration. - NOPE- I took a job with MU that was way bigger than I expected.
12. I thought I only liked working with elementary kids. - NOPE - I now work with middle school students at church and high school students for work.
13. I thought I would never speak of divorce with my husband. - NOPE - I laid divorce on the table last year because we had so much "stuff" going on inside each of us. I started to think we were both to jacked up to stay together. But then God poured out his grace on us and taught us both how to forgive. He led us to an amazing counselor and we now have the strongest marriage we have ever had.
14. I thought that I would never go on medication for anxiety and depression - NOPE - I love my meds and I praise Jesus for who ever invented them.
15. I never thought I would be a runner. - NOPE - Even though I don't claim to be a runner, I do know that running helps me and I am up to running 25 minutes straight.
16. We thought Matt was going into the real estate business full time - ???? - We just had to have a hard conversation of "there is only one month left of getting a paycheck from the church and we haven't sold a house or had someone buy a house." It was a super scary conversation and we had to talk about the difference between perseverance and realizing that God's plan maybe different than you expected. That maybe this is a part time gig for awhile and then who knows what God has in store. This was really hard because Matt has been working so hard to learn this business. And then I laughed and said, "Matt - this is how our life works and God is probably slapping his forehead saying "Children, how many times do we have to go through this - I have you." I told Matt that maybe we needed to change our prayer to "Lord, where you go, we will go. Take this and show us what is next." Because he has never failed us. He has never not used an experience to add to our journey. (This means I have to change my prayer to "C'mon God, fill Matt's email and phone up with messages of people wanting to buy and sell their houses.")
On this one - we still don't know what answer will be next to this comment. It could be YES - it is a full time gig! Or it could be NOPE - just like the others but with an amazing ending next to it.
17. I thought I was going to run 28 minutes today. - NOPE - I only ran 10 because it is hotter than hell outside. But here is the cool thing...
I was so mad that I couldn't keep running but I knew it just wasn't possible. So I stopped and I started walking. See, I slowed myself down and suddenly I knew I was supposed to write this blog. God and I had a conversation about what to write. He helped me list all the things I thought we had control over and ended up not having any control over. He reminded me that through all of these things, we have had remarkable people come in our lives. We have some awesome stories to share that are unlike a lot of people. (I would not have had this conversation while running. The only thing that runs through my head when running is "keep running".)
He reminded me that some people have longer lists than this, while others have shorter lists.
I thought about this a little bit more. I hope you have a list because I know that without this list, I would have missed out on a lot of people and experiences. But most importantly, I would have missed out on God's faithfulness to show us through our storms and cloudy days.