My view from here

snowy sunset-15.jpg

I’ve never done a post like this before. Typically when I sit down to write, I listen to what’s stirring in my heart or I pull from what I hear around me. I’ll jot down some notes, take a walk to find clarity, and then try my best to lay it all down.

But my posture is always this -- make it for her.

Because the writing isn’t really about me. It’s about you, the woman on the other side of the screen. So I pray the words feel honest and familiar. That’s the job of a writer I think. We take our experiences and truths and turn them into something you can hold with your own two hands and call your own.

That’s what good writing does for me. It puts to words what I’m feeling. It reminds me I’m not alone and that somehow the many, often conflicting thoughts in my brain are normal, not crazy. And the words grab my hand to assure me that we’re on this road together. Taking pivots and detours along the way is expected but together we'll find our way home.

That’s the job of a writer. We take our experiences and truths and turn them into something you can hold with your own two hands and call your own.

Good writing guides us forward, it’s the light we hold in the dark.

So a life lately list feels sort of strange. But we’ve got a lot of new faces around here and I want to welcome them in right. And maybe the view from where I am looks similiar to yours.

You ready? Here goes…

snowy sunset-75.jpg

If you’ve been around here long, you know that about a year ago, I left a job at this organization to step into writing full time. And my goodness, what a ride it has been. You can read a short reflection on instagram about it here. But friend, leaving that job was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. It shook me to my core. There’s a whole slew of reasons why -- the biggest one being fear of making a huge mistake.

I feared I was chasing the wrong thing, that it wasn’t a word from God at all. I believed running after this dream was selfish. I was afraid of closing the door on something good and never seeing it open again.

It’s taken me months of battling my own inner critic to finally say -- I’m right where I need to be. I’m in the right place at the right time.

I’ve never been able to say that before.

This doesn’t mean a lot of great opportunities have come my way or I’ve felt completely self assured and at peace. It doesn’t mean fear isn’t their lurking, waiting to take a seat at the table, ready to snatch the rug beneath my feet and watch me fall.

Oh it’s there.

It means I’m learning true obedience for the first time. I’m finding it’s less about what we do and more about listening to a good God and deciding to trust Him. It’s less about the work we produce and stuff we make and more about taking a leap while scared and letting God woo us in the process.

He will if we let Him.

I feared I was chasing the wrong thing, that it wasn’t a word from God at all. I believed running after this dream was selfish. I was afraid of closing the door on something good and never seeing it open again.

The past few months, I’ve written a few places and have made new friends along the way. Though the biggest blessing came just a few months ago when I applied for a position with Hope*Writers -- have you heard of them before?

This is my favorite place to hang on the internet. If you love to write and are aching for community and a way forward -- this is for you. If you want to talk more, message me. I’d love to tell you about it.

A few months ago, I saw they were hiring for a community manager. And it took everything in me to apply.

Why? Fear. Again. Are you seeing a theme around here?

I assumed I wasn’t the right gal for the job. I assumed it was silly to even think I could do it. I believed no one would hire me with my track record -- I’ve quit a lot of things. I’ve hopped from this to that leaving wide gaps in my resume.

Can you lean in close for this one? Just because you quit something, doesn't mean you’re a quitter. Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is walk away from something good and make room for someone else to take it.

snowy sunset-78.jpg

Friend, I got that job. The one I disqualified myself for. Still pinching myself over here. I get the honor of encouraging, uplifting, and cheering on other writers every single day. I can’t imagine something more sweet.

Being offered this gift taught me something else. Because right before I was offered this job, I said no to something else. Something I thought I really wanted and people around me thought I would be good at. Something that fit my gifts and experiences. Something someone I admire and trust asked me to consider. And if you know me, you know I hate saying no. I’m a yes person. I want to do all the things well for all the people.

And yet, I couldn’t deny the uneasiness in my gut that it wasn’t the right role for me. At least, not right now.

Sometimes we say no to really good things not knowing why. And sometimes it remains painfully quiet for longer than we hoped. We wake up and sit down to the work we’ve been called to do, praying for the fog to lift. There will be moments we shake our fists at God, wondering if He’s forgotten about us in the process. There will be days we question everything.

Why would you lead me here in the first place? 

But I’ve found He is there. Patiently waiting. Meeting us at every corner. Reminding us to take deep breaths and simply do the next small thing in front of us. His voice is tender, gently whispering that every good opportunity that comes our way isn’t for us. It’s okay to let a few things go. We say no, not knowing where it will lead until maybe months or years later. Until suddenly the breadcrumb trail begins to show. We're able to look back, retrace our steps, and find there was purpose in the pain. There was growth in the waiting.

Sometimes we say no to really good things not knowing why. And sometimes it remains painfully quiet for longer than we hoped. We wake up and sit down to the work we’ve been called to do, praying for the fog to lift.

There was a reason we walked away.

I wrote a post about saying no and making choices recently. If any of the above resonates with you, maybe these words would too.

snowy sunset-17.jpg

And lastly, the biggest life change of all? Becoming pregnant. I had a feeling on Christmas day.

We stood by the tree at my in-laws, wrapping paper covered our feet. Snow fell gently outside the window. Matt and I were the only ones left in the room. I stared at the tree, a reminder of hope. Of life and expectancy and promise. I watched the snow fall and looked up and whispered -- I'm late.

I didn’t take a test until a few days later and didn’t really believe the results when I did. I didn’t believe anything was happening until my first ultrasound at 8 weeks when I got to see the little babe wiggle and move.

That's all happening in there?

I spent most of the first trimester feeling fear rather than joy. It was hard for me to let myself believe I was pregnant, let alone celebrate, because I had walked through so many miscarriages with dear friends in my life. I assumed that would be my story too.

And I’m learning, it still could be. That’s the ache of it all. We follow a God that both gives and takes away. I wouldn’t dare to say I understand the depths of that statement quite yet. But the suffering of my sisters and brothers runs deep in my bones.

What I can say with boldness is this --  though we live inside a broken world, I have to chase the light. I have to come to the altar and lean on the cross. Not simply because it feels good or I'm trying to ignore all the hurt but because joy is promised there too.

snowy sunset-84.jpg

Pregnancy has carried both intense emotions and absolute numbness. There are days I’m completely overwhelmed and in awe of God's goodness. I'll feel my belly move and press on my stomach in the places it feels hard, wondering where on our baby it lands.

I marvel over His creativity and attention to detail. And in the same breath, there are moments of not wanting to feel anything, of not wanting to hold this gift too tight. For fear it will slip from my fingers. A self protection of sorts. A false way of keeping me safe from any pain or disappointment to come. Can you relate?

 

Though we live inside a broken world, I have to chase the light. I have to come to the altar and lean on the cross. Not simply because it feels good or I’m trying to ignore all the hurt but because joy is promised there too.

We find out in just a few weeks if we’re having a boy or girl. Any guesses? I haven’t got a clue! I can’t wait to know and begin referring to this little one as a he or she rather than a vegetable. According to the app, this week it’s about the size of a zucchini.

I could go on friend, but I think I’ll stop right there. I think we're caught up. Of course, there's always more but we can save that for another day. And honestly, I'd love to hear about you. Because this place is for us, not just me.

I hope you feel seen and welcomed in. I hope you know you've been invited. I'm so glad you're here.

So tell me, what's the view like from where you are?


Photography // Hilary Hyland