i feel like i censor the things i say in my blog.
well, because this blog is connected to my business.
it's not just a random place for me -
i started it with ellarye boutique in mind,
and sometimes i want to maintain some sort
of professional boundary (ha)
between myself and my customers.
i am still a real person.
i have had quite a hard year.
i have had quite a few hard years.
so forgive me if i do not censor myself, just this once.
when i say the past few years have been hard,
i do not exaggerate.
last week when i talked to my wise dad
he says to me,
"you have lived more life in your 27 years
and seen more hardships
than some people see in a lifetime."
i know i am not the only one.
so many of you reading this today have a story.
you have seen hard things.
you have lost people.
you have looked in the mirror at times,
and not recognized the reflection.
you have cried, felt pain deep in your soul.
how do i know this?
because i have, too.
i am only 27.
what can i teach other people about life?
1 Timothy 4:12 - says -
(this is from the Bible) -
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
i want to do that today.
i want to tell you how i stay happy.
i feel consistently happy.
oh my gosh, i still have horrible days.
trust me, i call my friends balling my eyes out.
seriously, breathlessly sobbing "i can't do this anymore" into the phone.
i have had so many "i have bad luck, or i am cursed, or something" days.
days where everything goes so wrong.
days when i am like -
what the heck is going on with my life.
i am doing the right things,
i am trying to live right.
i love Jesus.
why is all of this happening?
i am still happy.
i still have this smile.
i still have a heart of joy.
how is this possible?
how is it possible to go through
drug addictions, loosing your husband for a year and a half to the state?
how is it possible to go through childrens severe health issues,
through eating disorders that steal your joy?
how is it possible to wake up with a smile
when you lost everything -
when you have to crash with your folks
when you lose a job,
when your children are acting up,
when you feel beat down and alone and scared?
i will tell you how.
i would be a mess.
i would be hopelesss.
i would be lost.
i have tried to live life without Him.
rebelliously doing my own things,
turning my back on Him.
it did not end up too well.
i was 21, mother of a 3 month old and
chaptered to the E ward
(twice in one month)
for severe postpartum depression.
i had already been through so much...
more trials to come...
and i was sick of living.
was that enough to turn me to Christ?
it took more -
more years of partying,
more years of addiction
losing everything -
to realize He had been waiting for me all along.
He had never left -
on those nights where the pain
seemed to suck the air right out of my lungs,
when the darkness was too scary,
when i had to sleep with a light on
because i was so afraid of the dark -
He was watching,
just waiting for me to finally...
i am nervous about publishing this post.
these words are close to my heart.
forgive me if i have offended you -
i still run a professional and beautiful business,
and i am a responsible person and mother.
but i feel like i need to say these things,
to share a glimmer of hope with one hurting heart out there.
you. are. not. alone.
oh, you may feel alone.
you may feel like you have not one person who
guess what -
that one person for me was Jesus.
it only took calling out and clinging on
for the light to return to my eyes.
for my smile to return -
not the silly, fake, ingenuine smile we flash to people
to make them think we are "doing fine"...
a real smile,
full of joy,
wiser from pain,
braver because of hurt.
is there real beauty, real joy, without scars?
i can tell you this -
i smile now and i feel real joy
because i have lived real pain.
you have probably lived real pain, too.
don't feel like you have to do it alone.
((for more on my story, to share prayer requests or to ask more about this Jesus,
you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
trust me when I say,
I would love to talk to you.)