The anticipation for this post has been a long time coming. Honestly, it’s taken so long because I wasn’t quite ready to throw my guts out on the table for everyone to see. Although, that seems a bit too graphic, it’s true. Being vulnerable/transparent doesn’t come natural to me, but rather I have to force myself to let people in.
Heading into my 25th year of life, I wanted one thing – to practice being vulnerable during the process. It’s easier to share your story when you’ve experienced breakthrough, but it’s harder to be vulnerable during the process – when you feel flawed, abnormal, and not yourself. Instead of just allowing people to hear the testimony, I want people to experience my vulnerability in the ‘shipwreck’.
So here it goes, bear with me-
My twenty-fourth year felt like a seemingly never ending roller coaster of being so close, but not quite able to reach or see the end. I banged on doors that wouldn’t open, I consistently threw my eggs in the wrong baskets, and I got my hopes up one too many times. I experienced agonizing disappointment and found myself questioning the very things I knew to be true. Was God really good? If so, why was I suffering and in pain?
I felt as if I was constantly being pushed under the water…drowning if you will and not having the strength or energy to keep fighting. Actually, that’s not completely accurate – not having the desire to keep fighting. What was the point in fighting if I knew that I had no control? Why not let the waves take over? It seemed like a hell of a lot easier to let go, than to try and fight this monster.
Before you think this is a depressing recap post- let me redeem myself. Yes, I experienced all these feelings of loneliness, hurt, pain, and disappointment…but what I didn’t realize was it gave me the capacity to feel everything deeper. That through “exploring the darkness…I discovered the infinite power of my light.” (Brene Brown).
When I look back on my last year, it all seems like a blur of events…a year of me going through the motions just to survive. There were moments of being depressed, numb, and “over it” (for a lack of a better term). While others were thriving, I was barely surviving. Anyone with me?
Then I read the book “How to Survive a Shipwreck” by Jonathan Martin (thanks to my brother). If you haven’t read this book, you need to. This book fully encompassed everything I had felt. It put words to the feelings that I couldn’t explain. Jonathan talks about how “you don’t know the depth of your soul until whole chunks of you are falling into the bottom of it…” Although I’ve experienced this pain, it’s brought along the biggest surprise of all – my newfound sense of joy. Perhaps, letting the waves take over was the best decision of all – it meant that I stopped trying to be in control, let myself go, and actually faced the monsters.
Life isn’t always perfect and things don’t always go as planned, but there’s a purpose for it all. Best believe that.
Stay tuned for Pt. II.