2017 My Year of Believing

Belief requires faith and trust in the unseen. Sometimes it is the smallest spark of light in the darkness that the heart gravitates and moves towards, but it is that smallest spark that the heart …

Source: 2017 My Year of Believing

2017 My Year of Believing

Belief requires faith and trust in the unseen. Sometimes it is the smallest spark of light in the darkness that the heart gravitates and moves towards, but it is that smallest spark that the heart yearns for–lives for. I do not do New Year’s resolutions because I change what I need to change whenever I feel the need. I do words or phrases. As I close out my year of getting off of the couch and learning to thrive, I am starting my year of believing–believing in self and believing that amazing is unfolding. This is easier said than done after the loss of someone who was the center of all of my adult memories and was the cornerstone of all of my dreams for the future.

The further I travel from Phil’s death, the more I have had to change and adapt. In the aspects that matter–in my character–I stand strong, unchanged, and unwavering, but in other areas, I have had to move beyond the comfortable. I was comfortable living in the shadows and not fully investing in friendships, houses, communities, churches, or jobs because I knew that all of them were temporary due to military moves. While the friendships were not dispensable, they changed when the military moves and life took us apart. My life was my Phil and my five children. Nothing else and I did not want for more. I embraced the traditional role of being a mom and a supportive military spouse, but when that ended, I was thrust into having to make decisions and to do things that I reluctantly accomplished and I second guessed at every step. Almost six years out, I am tired of that feeling of being out of control, fear, and helplessness. It is time to believe.

The first step of seizing my life came with the choice to move to Missouri over Colorado. It was always supposed to be Colorado. During the summer, I applied for three jobs to include the one here in MO. MO was my last choice, but I decided to give it a chance due to a person in my life. The only job that resonated with me (due to the people and military problems) that resonated was the one here at Whiteman. Even when the relationship unraveled the day I got the job, I knew in my heart that God was calling me to something bigger than myself. I still don’t know what it is, but I do know this. There were two suicides and two DUI’s here my first week. My heart and fire has been for those serving that are hurting like this for over five years. I may not know why I am here, but I truly believe that I was called here for this time and for my voice. I stand poised and ready…believing that I can use my story and my talents to make a small difference. I may not be able to save everyone, but even one is a victory.

Leaving Hanscom was much harder than I thought it would be. I loved what I was doing and I knew I was capable of doing every aspect of that job successfully. More than that, I had a strong network of friends and I knew my resources, but I also recognized that retirement is coming sooner than I thought it would. I recognized that in four and a half years, I need to have a community separate from living on base in a state that I knew I wasn’t staying in. I needed to move beyond what was comfortable to investing in what comes next. In that vein of faith, I bought my dream house. I intend to stay and by buying a house, I am committing to not running when things get hard or when I get tired of living in MO. Right now, it isn’t so easy to embrace the unfamiliarity and the loss of readily available friends, but I am resolute and unshaken by the belief that this is the right place for amazing to unfold.

In my final vein of believing, I am finally listening to my gut feelings. Instead of second guessing myself, I am learning to listen to my heart in many areas. I have ignored the feelings of unease in the past and it has cost me. Because I tend to adapt and I hate conflict to the point of avoiding it, I settle for less than I should. One area that I am learning to stand resolute on is dating only people who have a strong practicing faith. Whether I ever date again (and I am) is not the issue. For me it comes down to this. My faith is tantamount to who I am. I cannot hide my light any more. It is the reason I do what I do with the military and it is the reason I have for believing that amazing is unfolding. People ask how I can trust and step forward after my worst nightmare happened. They want to know how I can choose forgiveness of people who hurt me or who destroyed my life. It is simple. I truly stand on Romans 8:28. I truly believe that all things work together for good–yes, even this. While I can reel and have moments of doubt, I truly believe that the whole story is what comes next after life. I truly believe that I was called for this moment and that God has equipped the least able, least willing, and least prepared person with a voice that is being heard. I don’t understand it, but I believe and only a person that carries a true growing faith would understand.

Do I have moments of self-doubt? Surely, I do. 2017 is standing up, embracing the opportunities and the change and knowing that what lies ahead is going to be amazing because my life is already pretty amazing. As amazing continues to unfold, I am choosing to face my fear with a quiet confidence and anticipation of what lies ahead. 2017 is my year of believing #amazingunfoldingv

The Journey to the Christmas Star

The three wise men needed what they found in the journey to the Christmas Star.  By faith in the unseen, they travelled and faced some daunting challenges.  Even when confronted with those challeng…

Source: The Journey to the Christmas Star

The Journey to the Christmas Star

The three wise men needed what the found in the journey to the Christmas Star.  By faith in the unseen, they travelled and faced some daunting challenges.  Even when confronted with those challenge…

Source: The Journey to the Christmas Star

The Journey to the Christmas Star

The three wise men needed what they found in the journey to the Christmas Star.  By faith in the unseen, they travelled and faced some daunting challenges.  Even when confronted with those challenges and other people’s doubts they pushed on to something unseen, but hoped for.  They believed and they went.  My faith waivers and is nowhere near the holy men and women of the Bible, but as I stumble towards the Christmas Star, I believe and more than that, I hope.

 

Christmas is the hardest time for me—even more than April.  It gouges my heart and makes me ache with desire of what was once, what is gone, and what I dreamt for.  It was Phil’s favorite holiday because he didn’t grow up surrounded by his family, with big Christmas celebrations, or with the faith of the season.  He grew up lonely and wanting.  As an adult with five children, he grew to love the magic of Christmas and he celebrated the hope of his faith.  When he was tasked to deploy, the date of his projected return was 24 Dec.  Christmas Eve.

 

I imagined the airport reunion.  We had never had one because Phil always thought that we had too many children to drag to the airport to greet him on previous deployments.  This deployment was the longest deployment and the children were grown.  I had started to prepare for a magical homecoming—one that never happened.  In the devastation that followed Phil’s death, I lost every bit of Christmas joy.  Yet, in 2016, I have traveled so far in the choice to seek to thrive versus just surviving.  In that choice to take chances, believe, and to hope, I am finding my Christmas Star.

 

I have started the journey of trusting and believing in a full life again.  I truly believe that amazing is unfolding.  Even when darkness surrounds me, I feel the sparks of what I cannot see.  The journey started with stumbling through the inky cover of night.  I began to take some chances and to trust myself again.  All of my choices has led to me being right here in a state I never once saw myself in, but it is here that the magic is unfolding.  My faith is growing.  I sense what lies ahead.

 

Perhaps like the wise men, the journey started something bigger.  They came bearing gifts and they came with hope.  They started the journey with the belief that they were being called for something bigger than themselves. From the start, I have known that the fire that consumes me has come from something beyond me.  My voice, my purpose, my life all came from the simple choice to fall into my faith in my darkest hour.  The journey is not over, but it is underway and I continue to press on.

 

Christmas joy is starting to come back and I am pushing through the darkness.  It is a journey and while I may struggle, I press on to that Christmas Star because that Christmas Star ignites the hope of my faith.  Without that starry night, the birth of one Christ Child, there would be no reason to have faith in anything beyond what the eye can see.  Like the three wise men, I walk to the light in the darkness because I know, I know there is more.