*Originally began 6/5/18. Finished & published 6/9/18*
Now Playing: “Here’s To Us” – Halestorm
Verse of the Day (YouVersion): “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love…” (Psalms 33:18).
The last few days have been really tough, and really tough in a way that’s completely different from what I usually mean when I say that. There’s nothing quite like the overwhelming and persistent feeling of not being enough and not knowing what you’re supposed to be doing during a period of transition. The experiences I will be having are going to be completely different from what I was expecting and as a result, I’ve been straddling so many different emotions all at the same time. I’m simultaneously excited, overwhelmed, heartbroken, and determined, and in an attempt for full transparency, I have no idea what I’m doing. All this being said, I truly could not ask for a better support system to move through this with. On the daily, I say to myself I don’t know how I got lucky enough to be surrounded by so many incredible people, or to have had the opportunities to experience a second year with a job I love so much, but that’s not true. I do know how those things happened, and who I can thank for them.
Like my best friend said to me recently, “This is one of those things that you can really feel God in.” As always, God has something to teach me. Fun Shelby fact: My most preferred method of prayer is through writing them down almost as if they were letters. As I was preparing to write this and start my general “wind down” things for the evening, I flipped through my journal discovering that the last thing I prayed for (in written form, anyways) was discernment. I asked God to “help me hear [His] call, and most importantly, help me answer it.” I’m constantly in awe of the way God works, and in the different ways that I can truly see Him in everything. He’s been with me every minute of every day, even before I was aware that that was the case, and that remains to be evident.
Sometimes, okay let’s be honest, most times it is downright impossible to see where God is trying to lead us and what the lessons are that He wants us to take away when we’re experiencing these things. Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s often after the fact that I can see what was happening in the big picture. The other reality, is sometimes we don’t ever see those things. There are things that we simply don’t, and can’t, know. It’s trusting God through these seasons that can be challenging, but is absolutely a necessity.
I don’t talk about my faith with others often. For awhile there. I was trying to be relatively involved in the church I was going to, but once I experienced some moral differences, I started to feel as though I had grown as much as I could through that organization. The unanticipated consequence of that however, was that I lost ultimately began to lose contact with everyone I had “connected” with in that space. It’s an interesting kind of isolating to be the only one in your family and your friend group that practices a specific faith. I’m always willing to share my testimony, but that’s not really a conversation topic that comes up frequently outside of those “designated” spaces.
I’ve finally reached a point again of having people in my life who do share my faith and who I can have those conversations with. I’m under the impression that my best friend and I have so much more in common in this realm than we’re even (currently) aware of, and I’m so grateful to again have folks I can share that with. This being said, talking about God in public spaces, and doing so casually, is something I still struggle with. For a long time I was taught that these discussions didn’t have a place in everyday life even though they absolutely can. Faith is another of those things that is largely subjective, and is deeply personal, but can be so incredibly powerful when shared.
I’ve never been good at being vulnerable and opening up/asking for help when I need it, nor have I ever been good at sharing things without being prompted to do so. I’m lucky in the fact that the majority of my favorite people know how and when to push me to advocate for myself. Yesterday, my best friend and I had some really powerful and impactful conversations, and I know I will be carrying them with me for the foreseeable future. In these past few days, while they’ve been difficult, they’ve allowed a kind of vulnerability that I have a tendency to avoid. I know that I would have maintained that same pattern here if it wasn’t for my best friend and the straight-up gifts God has given him when it comes to knowing when those around him need support. He told me yesterday that I was getting better at asking for emotional support. I disagree, and I do hope I get better at it, but this last week, God moved us in so many ways to make sure that we both knew that we needed one another and were there to offer comfort and a listening ear. There’s a lot of love, support, and excitement that comes with this transition, don’t get me wrong. But there’s also a lot of hurt, confusion, and fear too that need to be acknowledged.