I celebrated my 58th year of life yesterday! Congratulations to me! I’m still here! Although 58 is not that old, it may seem kind of bizarre to you for me to say “I’m still here”. But there is a reason that I’m very conscious of that every year. You see, I’ve had two sisters in the last 10 years pass away. One suddenly, due to complications from diabetes and the other, after a long battle with cancer. Every year I celebrate a birthday, I’m reminded that neither of them will make it to the age I am now.
That’s been a sober mindset for me since their departure and one I wish I never had to adapt!
However, I do celebrate! And this year more than any other in the last 40, is pivotal. The last few years of my life and journey of faith have been some of the most difficult of my life thus far and I’ve shared many of those struggles here on the blog. I’ve suffered many physical issues which I thank God are starting to improve, but I’ve endured a very personal emotional ramble of sorts, that has dragged me into some pretty dark places.
Places, frankly, that I didn’t think I was going to recover from. I’ll tell you why. When we reach a certain age, regret and evaluation of our lives become a sort of reckoning that is almost impossible to run from. It was this impasse that I encountered, that would not be ignored and that demanded an account.
It’s really quite a merciful place in the scheme of things but it didn’t feel like that in the beginning. It was dark and unsparing. Questions without answers. Judgment without mercy. I was brought to the end of myself in ways I’d never experienced and all I could do was fall on my face. In despair, in shame, in anger and in tremendous feelings of abandonment by God. Denial could no longer hold my past together and painful truths about events, people and myself came flooding in or should I say “out of” my soul that were having their day, finally.
Some of those moments have been expressed in my POETRY here on the blog.
When we’re young, we think we’re invincible, untouchable. We think we can cheat life in so many ways, but a day of reckoning does come. An account of all we’ve stolen and misappropriated over the years to hold our mirage together, to uphold our version of the truth to stay safe and invulnerable comes to call. And it was payday for me. The last 40 years of my life was demanding to be seen and heard and there was nothing I could do to silence its claim! It had a right! I’d been in charge for all those years and now it was time to surrender my version of reality to the truth! It’s been the most painful process of my life. And one I’m still walking through!
But I felt, at this juncture, to share it. Because it’s becoming a place of hope and peace for me. And because I hope there will be some redemption in disclosure for myself and anyone who enters into the story with me. I don’t know. Or perhaps, it’s my deep desire to be known. In any case, here I am. Exposed. Open and vulnerable. And as hard as I fought to avoid this, it is what it is now and I can’t take it back. And you know what? It doesn’t feel so scary after all. Actually, it’s quite freeing! And in this moment, I’m recalling a prayer I prayed about 4 years ago, “God, I want freedom and I don’t care what it costs me!” It was a time of great desperation in my soul and now as I look back, I imagine the birthplace of all I’m currently being brought through.
Yes, I’m being brought, carried, held. A truth I’m convinced of! That although I’d experienced feelings of abandonment by God, I never was. Not once!
Which leads me to my next, very exciting, point. This website and blog. For years my blog has been about worship. Not music, per se, but the path we travel in communion and fellowship with Christ. And although this theme is core to everything I write or minister, I’m ready to branch out into a place of ministry that I’ve touched on in my blog from time to time, and now feel called to devote to fully.
The “Beautiful You” Project, as I’ve called it in my blog, has been part of my life message and will now become the dominant message of my blog. Because it’s the dominant message of my life! It’s a message that has been the heart of all I’ve ever written about- We are deeply and redemptively loved by God and that love is the driving force to all of life!
The core message of “Beautiful You” is for men and women, although, with me being a woman, it’s message will have a female bent, of course. But the core message is that we are deeply and completely loved and accepted by God and out of that love we are to show up for our lives. The enemy of our souls is a liar and the father of lies and we’ve bought into the lies that we are without value, not enough, and worthless and it’s in buying into those lies that we live lives of hiding, pretense, and shame. As a consequence, we never show up to be, fully, who God created us to be and to make the contribution that is the US to the world. I’ve seen it and experienced it in my own life, time and time again.
This experience has never been more fully realized than in the events of late in my own life and the realization of these places of wounding in my own soul. But God has and is healing and using them for His glory!!
The goal of this blog is to tell my story in hopes that in doing so, it will inspire others to rise above the lies they believe about who they are, and stop hiding. This is an ongoing journey for me and I’ve not arrived by any means, but I can share my journey with you and invite you into the healing. This message really is my heart. So THE WORSHIP LIFE Blog will now become BEAUTIFUL YOU Blog “Stop Hiding and Show up for Your Life/ A Journey of Wholehearted Living.”
You can still count on honest, biblically based content, and even newer places of discovery because of the change in focus. There will still be music, but it won’t be the focal point. Healing, connection, and wholehearted living will be the focus. It will take some time to change over the website completely so I thank you for your patience as that is accomplished.
I would love to hear your thoughts about the change in focus and how this might impact your connection to the blog. Thanks always for your support and love!