Earlier this year, I was in a very bad place mentally and emotionally. I was hanging by a thread. Burned out from hoping and waiting for the breakthrough I had been longing for; yet still pressing on and on with each let down and disappointment. I was becoming numb and retreating deeper within myself. At 35 years old, I was exhausted from living out certain repetitive cycles in my life, to the point that I didn’t want to continue on living if it meant repeating the same patterns over and over again. Even with all that I felt pressing on me from the outside, there was still something pressing even stronger from within me. This anchor lodged deep in a promise that I could not let go of, no matter how my life seemed to manifest the opposite.
I began to let go of a lot of things, but I still held tight to that promise. I thought it might drive me insane, at times I felt like burning my life down and starting over fresh somewhere else. Other times I wanted out of my body and off of this planet. Believe me, I know how crazy that sounds but it’s the truth. Some may call it a major existential crisis. Some may simply say I was depressed, but I knew then and it has been confirmed now that it was in fact much bigger than the former or latter. I was experiencing the darkest part of night, right before day. My garden of Gethsemane...I was on the brink of a new thing!
I felt it, with everything within me, I felt the heaviness of carrying what had grown to full term. I felt the birth pains and I knew I had to push. What came forth was everything I had longed for, it was worth the wait!
I remember describing to my counselor the type of life I longed to live. I had just closed down a business that I had sunk all of my savings into and walked away from a new new job that I had only worked for 3 months. I was tired of feeling like I was stuffed in the world’s box. In establishing the business, I had tried to lay a financial foundation to flow from. Starting a business was a self compromise between taking a risk and at the same time being responsible. Taking a risk because I left job security and being responsible because for me it was a compromise of doing what needed to be done until I could do what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to sell cell phones, I wanted financial freedom!
I needed to live freely, but I felt so constrained by the limitations circumstances had placed on me. Circumstances like being the sole provider in my household, raising two teenagers alone, missing the companionship and support of my husband, and struggling under the weight of holding it all together. Standing in the gap to fill a role that was not mine, when in retrospect all I could do was be present. God gave me grace to bear with it all, but it was not my role to fill.
Beyond what we consider to be masculine or feminine roles, we all have strengths and weaknesses as well as our own God given personality and temperaments. I am naturally a very capricious person. I like to have flexibility and room for spontaneity. I don’t like to do anything for too long and I don’t like routine. I’m also an introvert, which means I spend a lot time in my mind and require time to recharge after too much stimulation. I have a very vibrant inner life so I can spend days alone without opening my mouth because my inner world is where I really live. I can spend the day reading a book and taking notes, journaling, writing in a blog, researching ideas and questions, or studying a topic that has peaked my interest.
The life I described to my counselor consisted of those things plus enjoying nature and being able to make myself available to other people. I wanted to start a garden and maybe gradually begin raising farm animals. I wanted to slow down and live a simple life. I wanted to generate income from working with my hands and I just wanted be AVAILABLE. To be that person that could be called on for help when it was just the presence and support that was needed. I wanted to be able to show up when no one else could. Really at the root of it all, I wanted to leave room to be led by the Spirit, to flow like wind and water.