How frustrating is it to do a puzzle and then get to the end and realize, oh, my gosh, I’m missing a piece?! You almost want to call the manufacturer and be like, nooo! I need it. I need my piece. You need the satisfaction. Because how many of you know the joy of doing a puzzle is actually all about putting the last piece into place?! So, why is it that, in life, we’re always feeling like there’s one last puzzle piece we haven’t found yet?
That is a lie I have listened to more times than I would like to admit. A lie I have convinced myself as truth since being faced with a hard dose of reality after graduating college.
I’ve had a love for nature for as long as I can remember. I spent most of my childhood camping, hiking, going to museums, exploring outdoors, asking questions about literally everything. That eventually led to one single class in high school where my passion for the environment truly took root and motivated me to pursue a degree in that field. Unfortunately, I had this unrealistic expectation when I graduated that a bachelor’s degree with no relevant experience would guarantee me a career job. I was in for a rude awakening.
“You’re a bad kid. I’m sick and tired of you.” These were the words of my father as he physically beat me.
“I don’t want to be with you anymore. You mean nothing to me. You’re not worth it” These were the words I heard from my ex-wife while in divorce proceedings.
“You will never do ministry again. You’re not cut out for this. I don’t ever want to see you here ever again”. These were the last words from a pastor who dismissed me from ministry.
They say our social media is a highlight reel, and they’re right! I wish I could tell you that it all matches up but the truth is, it doesn’t. Believe me, there’s a whole other side of life behind the scenes. A lot of you know this, but I know there’s a lot of you that don’t. Only those close to me have been in constant prayer over me to kneel and stand by my side. This isnt easy to admit and say “out loud” but I think it’s totally worth sharing. I’ve been in a battle. A battle within myself. A spiritual battle, physical and emotional, all at once!
Anytime I go away for a few days and spend some time with God, Satan is waiting around the corner ready to derail my spiritual high with trials and temptations. After the All In Retreat, I was hit with all sorts of trials over a course of a week. I like to say I deal with anxiety and stress pretty well. But I know the war Satan wages in me is in my thoughts. I’m such a deep thinker that it can really take my focus off of God and my mind will go all over the place and look for quick fixes to ease those thoughts.
The first time I recall truly hating Valentine’s Day was when I was a sophomore in college. I had been cheated on by two different boyfriends in a year’s time, and I felt the need to vent that anger to anyone who would listen! I remember rallying with my girlfriends to decorate black t-shirts sponge painted in white, pink, and red with messages like “My Valentine is Ben & Jerry’s,” “Kiss this Cupid,” or my personal favorite on my t-shirt reading “Happy Satan Day!” I donned my black t-shirt with its anti-love message for the world to see because on the inside, my heart had been broken one time too many. Each year as this day would come around, my heart grew darker and bleaker for everything this one day stood for. I let it steal my joy year after year, and I spread that darkness to those around me all in the name of heartbreak.