Lest you get the wrong impression...I want to make something really clear.
My decision to finally blog about our Best/Worst Day was not something I stumbled upon lightly. It's been a year. A year of staying quiet because I was afraid of what people would think.
But here's the conclusion I finally reached... Speaking the truth really does set something inside you free. For me, that means writing it down. And my journal is full of questions, but I'm not letting you read my journal...so if you, like me, are staying silent about something that haunts you...then I urge you to find the courage to say it, write it, speak it.
Not to sling mud. Not to be mean or point fingers. Not to be bitter. Not to be ugly.
But to be free.
Because here's what I know for sure... when you shed light on what hides in the darkness, whether it's shame or sin or sorrow or anger or bitterness or pain...it can't be used against you anymore.
And this particular shame and sorrow (and anger and bitterness) has been used against me a few times.
And I'm sick of that.
And so I write.
...Now, where was I?...
We didn't want to rejoin the ranks in church ministry. We came to that hard realization which left us wondering which Starbucks to send our resumes to. Really...what did we do now?
No job. We REALLY didn't want to move again (we moved three times in two years, twice across the country). We didn't want to pull our kids from the school we love. That was why I spent that Sunday night before our Best/Worst day begging God for protection.
And he reminded me...no, Courtney. For you.
And honestly, my only thought that Monday morning was thanks a lot, God. But then, I've always been a little bit stubborn.
Once again, we were left with our hands flung open, heads looking upwards, hearts ready and hopeful and asking God to intervene. What do you want from us, Lord?
And I imagine that's right where God wanted us.
And maybe you already know that God takes our brokenness and turns it in to the most beautiful things, but I hadn't walked around this particular mountain yet. Not like this. After weeks of sorrow, it got to the point where we sort of looked at each other and asked ourselves one huge, life-changing question.
A question we maybe should've asked ourselves years ago, but frankly, I don't think we had the guts to speak the answer aloud.
Now, we had nothing to lose.
And there is something quite wonderful about that. When you have nothing to lose, you take on a sort of fearlessness you would never otherwise have. It's liberating and exhilarating and SCARY.
But I suppose God knew we needed to be a little bit fearless. And taking away our safety net was a great way to get us dreaming.
Funny. He must've known that all along.
So, we asked the question.
If we could do anything...what would it be?
And the answer was not a surprise. We'd talked about it before. Fleetingly. But we were always hooked in with other people doing something similar, and we are loyal, loyal, loyal. That's just who we are. We would've been content to stay and work for that company till the day we died.
And that, my friends, was the problem.
God knew there was a bigger dream inside us. And now, 152 steps down the road, I have to tell you what I've realized. If it hadn't happened the way it did...if people hadn't been ugly and (sorry) really, really stupid...if we hadn't been hurt and broken and stabbed in the back...if we hadn't been pushed out of the boat...
We. Never. Would. Have. Dared. To. Pursue. Our. Dream.
I think it bears repeating. If things had been happy and wonderful and people had treated us like human beings and we were all just one big happy, loving family, we never would've asked "But what do I really want?"
What am I here to do, Lord?
We wouldn't have dared to push ourselves. We wouldn't have dreamed to dream. We would've plodded along, happily working to fulfill someone else's dream.
Friends. If you don't read anything else I write, please read this.
(And my new book. <---shameless plug) Even in the darkest, most gut-wrenching, horrible times...God is still there. He is at your side, at the helm of your ship. And sometimes we have to endure hardships and battle through sorrow and hurt and pain for a long time before we ever find our footing...
But when we find it, that's when we can finally see the purpose for the suffering.
It's hard. And I never want to do it again, but I am better for it. Our marriage is rockin' because of it. Adam is my best friend more now than ever. And guess what? We grew some serious courage.
Because we had to. Because there was no other choice.
God never left us. He allowed the pain because it made us better...
And because out of it, he birthed a dream...