Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tell It

"Your heartache is someone else's HOPE.
 If you made it through,  somebody else is going to make it through.
Tell your story."
{Kim McManus}


i've found myself completely confused by this season of life we are in.
 while we are probably the busiest we've been, it honestly just feels really restful. 
and good.
and peaceful.
like God is just pouring his blessing out on us and we are soaking every bit of in. 

it's hard for me though because i feel like the last 8 or so years, ive had this guard up.
like an armor. 
protecting myself, my heart, my husband, my kids, our babies.

so much of our life together has been spent in battle mode.

since brandon and i got married it felt like there was one big "life" thing after the next.
 a big move across an ocean 6 months after we got married, 
 another big move back 4 months later. 
3 kids with 2 huge devastating losses in between,
and many other trials few people know about.
 but they were hard. 
challenging and tormenting. and hard. 

i feel blessed to look back on it all and see how God bound Brandon and I together.
how he united us and how we've made each stronger and better through it all.
i'm so thankful for that. 

but i got really good at fighting.  
for hope, for my trust in God, for faith.

i knew who i was and how to be and what it felt like to be in fight mode. 
i tried my best to protect everyone i loved and keep them as close as i could.

 

so this season is just different. and new.
 and i'm learning who i am and how to be in it it.
i wouldn't say i have felt lost, 
but i have felt quiet. 

learning something new always takes focus for me. 
it takes a lot of inward processing and re-tracing. 
going back to what i've learned and where i've been in order to apply it to where i am now. 

it's taken me to prayer many times over the last few months.
last night as i ran, i asked God for probably the 29786th time, 
 what he wants me to do with this story ive been given.

 his response was simply:
"Tell it"

there is so much more to my story that i feel God pressing me to tell. 
so much He is showing me about it even now. 
i can feel those walls i built up chipping away.

it feels really vulnerable 
and scary.
and my instinct is to throw those guards back up.
 protect myself and my heart and my family,
keep myself in this safe box with other people at a distance.
  
but the parts of my story that feel so precious and fragile... 
 and the many layers I continue to see through it every day...
they aren't meant for me to keep stuffed down deep, locked away and hidden.
because then how can God use them? 




brandon and i got back saturday night from a trip to california for a pastors retreat 
with the other southhills pastors and their wives.
while our kids were being taken care of by sweet family and friends, who treated them like their very own 
{which in itself is such a huge blessing for this mama's heart}
we explored beaches, and restaurants, went on a boat ride in newport, 
made new, life-giving friendships
had smores on balboa beach, wore sweatshirts because it was so cold, 
watched sunsets, and listened to the waves crash on laguna. 

many times i would mindfully shut my eyes and take it in. 
rest in the peace. breath in the fresh.
cause it almost felt surreal.

it's a peace i have known before but not in this way.

One afternoon I sat with the other wives and we each talked about 
where we are right now. in this season of our lives. 

as i listened to the first two women talk, i felt myself tensing up
because i didn't know what i was going to say, 
i didn't know what i wanted to say.
 and truthfully, 
i hadn't vocalized where i am now, so i had no idea what words would come 
out of my mouth when i started talking. 

but as i started to, i could feel God not just speaking through me, 
but to me. 
i walked away realizing how much i had been keeping in,
how many emotions and thoughts 
i hadn't been able to process because i hadn't told them.

 
 



i think so often we wonder why we go through certain things. 
why we have to. 
and for a while i resolved that i personally may never know. 
but standing in the fresh air of california, eyes closed,
i realized i do.

it's prepared us for where we are now. 
for such a time as this. 
our new season. 

my story was never for me to keep. 
it's His story. Every bit of it. 
the hope through the loss,
the joy through the storms, 
the faith through the fear, 
and the peace through the rest.

It's all Him. 
and i will never stop telling it. 
even if its hard and especially when it's scary. 
i have to.

Only then can He really use it...
and that right there is my biggest hearts cry.


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22 comments:

  1. I feel like such a lurker. I always read your words and admire you- but tonight, I have to speak up. Thank you for sharing your story. Your heart connected me to so many people when I shared about Project Hope... you are doing BIG things; even if you don't see them yourself. Sending you big hugs, beautiful. XO

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    1. Kimmie, you blessed my heart. Thank you for your sweet words, they encouraged me!

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  2. Hey Laura, I found you through Anna's adoption auction this week and have really enjoyed reading a few of your posts. I feel like God is calling me to the same thing- to share- but I just don't know the "how" and "when" parts yet. :) Thank you for writing this post and sharing bits of your story. Praying that you can enjoy this season of peace that He is carrying you through!

    Heather

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    1. Hi Heather! So happy to have you stop by.
      I am so glad some of my posts have blessed you!----I think the key to knowing his plan is just taking the steps one by one and watching them unfold. Sometimes its just that first step that is the hardest.
      thanks for your prayers and encouragement!

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  3. Love your sweet heart. I love the openness that you share with. I'm certain God IS using you and WILL continue to use you and Brandon right where you are. I'm glad you had this time in CA to reflect! The pictures are wonderful!

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    1. I love YOU Annie. So thankful for your friendship

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  4. Sitting here drinking my coffee with tears rolling down my cheeks. We share more in common than just our first names and passion for fashion :). I lost my first at just 6 weeks, 3 months ago tomorrow. I've never known such sadness. And even though my heart hasn't completely healed, and I still think about that baby every single day, I have hope. I can honestly say that hearing stories, like yours have truly helped me heal, and seeing beautiful families, like yours really do give me so much hope. You really are so beautiful, inside and out, and I'm so grateful to have "cyber-friends" like you! XOXO

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    1. Laura, I am so sorry to hear and know about your loss.
      I know you are a strong woman and pray you keep holding on to hope.
      you've blessed me and i am praying for you!
      so glad God connected us.

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  5. I love your honesty. So many of us struggle with different things and it's not easy to share. The fact that you admit that and are willing to overcome it and share anyway is inspiring. I hope some day I have the strength to do the same. Your heart is beautiful and it shines through in all that you do and say. Thank you. Thank you for being you. And for allowing God to use you as He wishes.

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  6. Thank you for such a great post! It took me until 34 years old to find my husband, and 35 and 38 to have kids, while losing 3 more to miscarriages. I wondered for years why I was not married with tons of kids by the time I was 30. I have 2 great boys now, and an incredible husband. To keep myself from getting hurt from the miscarriages, I know that God had a plan for that, as awful as it sounds. I feel that I would have not appreciated my kids, or had as much patience if it was easy for me to have a great family. Every time I get frustrated, I remember what a hard journey I had to be where I am today.

    I love reading your strong words, and look forward to future posts!

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  7. After losing our daughter at 24wks this past January and struggling to get pregnant since then I have found solace in your words. I hear God speaking to me through your story of losing your own babies and I find hope in seeing how far y'all have come as a marriage and family. Your story is powerful and He is working it all to His glory!

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    1. Lauren, I am so sorry to hear about your loss.
      I really do hope my words and story can be of some encouragement to you.
      it is so heartbreaking to lose a baby, but we have the truth that we will one day hold them again in heaven. That is what brought me through most.
      praying for you through this season.

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  8. 'it's prepared us for where we are now. for such a time as this.our new season.'

    i loved that. i have such a hard time adjusting to different seasons. whether they'd be stormy ones or peaceful ones. basically because once a new season emerges i want to analyze the past seasons and know why, when really i should just breathe every moment in and let Him know the why's. such a beautiful post Laura, thank you so, so much for sharing.

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    1. yes im such an analyzer as well!
      ive found that just remembering to be in the present, helps when the season passes because i know i didn't miss anything. does that make sense?
      thanks for your sweet words leah!

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  9. Thank you so much for this post! I feel like I am in such a stressful in-between season of life. Sometimes I just long for my husband to be done with seminary and us be working full time in a church and starting a family. This is such a wonderful reminder that seasons are important and I need to be processing and sharing the struggles I'm going through now, before I'm in the season I'm yearning for (which I know will have so many struggles of its own). You really blessed me today!

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    1. aw im so glad i blessed you susannah. this season youre in is preparation for the next. take it all in!
      xo.

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  10. AMEN!!! Keep being a true inspiration to so many people you have no idea.... With a heartfelt THANK YOU for telling it!!!!!!!

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  11. You have a way with words. What a beautiful, heartfelt post.

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  12. been on my heart a lot too. :) sharing more of my story..HIS story. you said it all beautifully. love you!!!

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  13. Thank you for opening your heart & being transparent. I deeply admire that clear focus on the Lord & being able to open up.

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