This makes me really uncomfortable to talk about, but it’s time. It’s BEEN TIME.
I posted quite some time ago that I had found my way to Jesus, but I wasn’t ready to talk about it yet.
I shared that after receiving a lot of messages, from people who had questions about my church posts.
These were people struggling with their own faith, who were looking to me for an explanation, or perhaps help, or just some insight, knowing I wasn’t a woman of faith in the past.
I shut down all of those requests.
I flat out said no.
I was absolutely not ready to talk about it.
I honestly don’t feel particularly ready right now either.
Regardless, it’s been on my heart for months now, and this past Sunday, the message solidified for me that it’s time to share my story.
This is so emotional, and in depth, that I’m not sure where to start, so I will hopefully figure it out as I write.
Late last year I had an epiphany, and I only told one person. I text my friend Elizabeth, that I thought that God brought me to Austin to lead me back to him.
I look back over my life and I have had some the darkest experiences.
If you haven’t read my post on never being to broken to make a difference, please do. What I have seen is more than most people I know could imagine.
The thing is those weren’t the hardest times.
In dark times you expect to feel like shit. You expect to feel defeated, purposeless,and lost.
The hardest times for me have been the good ones.
I have been blessed with a shocking amount of success, friendship, and talent.
I have accomplished things in business most people wouldn’t dream of. I have seen paychecks I couldn’t even imagine. I have been recognized on stage in front of thousands.
I have friendships that have lasted over 25 years. I have friends that would do anything for me. I have celebrated the love of an amazing man, in front of a room full of people I adore.
I’ve traveled the world, I’ve helped so many people, I’ve gotten so many thanks, and my voice has been heard.
It was in those moments that it was the hardest.
Something was always missing.
Those were the moments where I didn’t expect to feel defeated, purposeless,and lost, yet there I was.
I searched and searched. I wanted to fill that emptiness with ANYTHING.
When I was heavy it was food, alcohol, drama, and overwork.
When I was healthy it was a little more validation, a little more money, a few pounds thinner, a few more followers, another award, another vacation …
Yet here I was.
Life of my dreams, settling in Austin, and I was SO EMPTY. I could not figure out what I was searching for STILL.
In all the travel, with all the things I’d seen and done, there I was, totally and completely, empty STILL.
I started trying everything I could think of.
Going new places, meeting new people, reconnecting with old ones, and so on.
I did mediation, and went to events, and did new workouts, and made new friends. I new something was missing, and I couldn’t place it.
I had an insatiable hunger, for something I couldn’t name.
I hired my amazing life coach Dani, to help me figure it out, or at least keep me committed to finding it.
When she asked me if I knew what I was looking for I said no.
When she asked me if I’d know it when I found it, I said yes. I would absolutely know.
I knew exactly the feeling I was seeking.
I also told her very clearly, it WOULDN’T be church, but it was the list I made of things to try, so I would go.
I was certain this would NOT be what I was looking for.
Very very certain.
Yet I still went.
I’ve mentioned before, that I asked my mother a few years ago, what I wanted to be when I grew up. She told me she didn’t think there was anything specific, just that I really wanted to be loved.
I wasn’t inside this church for even 15 minutes before I found myself in tears.
No one had even started talking yet, it was just music. Or what I thought was *just” music.
In one moment, without talking to anyone, hearing any messages, or even owning a bible, I was absolutely immersed in pure love and a weight I didn’t even know I was carrying, fell away from me.
I was home.
I couldn’t explain it, but from that point forward it was the only place I wanted to be.
I craved the Sunday service like someone who just had their thirst quenched for the first time, and was seeking more water.
I looked forward to it all week, and I wanted more. I joined the classes, I emailed the office, whatever I needed to do to get more of this in my life.
I’ve studied, and read, and listened to 100 old podcasts, made an Austin Stone Pandora station, you name it.
I felt so called to be in this space.
It all felt so right.
Every word spoken my the leaders, every song from the worship team, the women I met in classes, it was all exactly what I needed, when I needed it.
I am part of this amazing group of women now. From all different upbringings and places, all with different stories of how they came to Christ.
Just like with that worship time at church, the time with them is always absolutely perfect.
No matter how tired, stressed, hot, cranky or pregnant lol, I am feeling before I walk through the door on Thursday nights, I leave feeling whole and loved at the end.
I’ve seen it written that “God’s love can’t be explained only experienced.” and for me that couldn’t be any more true.
I’m not writing this to tell anyone what to do, or start any sort of debate.
I’m sharing this because I share all of me with you, and right now, this is the biggest part of my life, and keeping it to myself just doesn’t feel right.
I really do hope this helps some people, especially those who’ve reached out to me directly.
I am so incredibly grateful for the path I’ve walked to bring me to this moment, and I cannot wait to see what else God has in store for me, my husband, and our growing family <3