I believe the answers to life's mysteries lie in the hearts and minds of those who feel unseen and unheard.
4 years ago, I took the leap into blogging.
Blogging gives people a space to be seen and heard in a world that can't be quiet.
Although it wasn't easy for me to put myself out there at first, I also believe life shouldn't be comfortable. There are few people brave enough to share their story authentically and I believe that is precisely why God gave us one. We have a responsibility as Christians to share our story with others in order to provide hope and share with others the love God has poured out through our difficult circumstances.
So my goal is to be as transparent as possible because life isn't a family of smiling faces with color coordinated outfits. It's both messy and thrilling.
In fact, almost 4 years ago, I couldn't even pull myself out of bed.
Let me rewind the tape for you a bit. This was our home; the home we had just moved into less than two months before my world went black.
It was 2015, a somewhat lazy summer Saturday afternoon. My family and I were relaxing, our baby was taking a nap and her older sister was playing in her room. I had just finished up my last year of teaching and I was preparing for my new life as a stay at home mom. I was excited about being able to homeschool my children, have more time to spend with them, and decrease the anxiety I was having about being stretched so thin for so long.
However, on this day, in just one sentence, every hope for the future seemed to crumble into a heap of dust on the floor.
Have you ever been in that place? Where your life as you know it is so broken there isn't a thing in the world that can peel your face off the floor? Where hope is nonexistent and your soul is shattered?
He told me we needed to talk.
He never wanted to talk.
"I don't think I can love you the way you need to be loved."
It was if the entire world froze. The clocks stopped ticking, the birds stopped chirping, the sun began to dim, and my heart stopped - like the slamming of a jail cell door.
There I was: new town, a half painted house, two kids, no job, no money of my own, and now, no husband.
The next month or so gave way to even more devastating news. Not only did my husband not love me, but he had revealed that he was in love with another woman.
For months, he engaged in a relationship with another woman while still living with me. From late nights working, to not coming home at all, to missing saying goodnight to his children, he chose her over his family again and again. When he was home, he was checked out - texting, calling, and reassuring his other woman that she was the woman of his dreams and that I was a mistake.
There were many nights when he would saunter in past midnight after being with her and hop in bed with me. To him, it was a game; a game in which he showed no concern for how his actions affected both me and his children.
For me, it was the epitome of selfishness. It was heart shattering - the culmination to every moment in my life when I felt unseen and unloved.
One particularly dark evening, I opened the cover to the Bible he had given me on our wedding day just minutes before we said our vows. Inside the front cover, in his messy, chicken scratch were the words:
"To my beautiful new wife: May God's word be a reminder of his love for you just as the ring on your finger remind you of my own everlasting and unconditional love."
We built our marriage on that promise - words that were supposed to get us through those inevitable seasons when love would feel nonexistent and we might allow feelings to take over instead.
After I read that, I looked over and he was standing naked, looking into the bathroom mirror, laughing, and as he turned to look at me, he said, "I bet you wish you could have some of this."
Suddenly, almost as if I was seeing myself for the first time, I realized that I had suppressed who I was our entire marriage so he could shine. I lived my entire life in fear of what other people thought of me and failed to put up boundaries with the people around me.
After this realization, I began packing up the entire house into boxes. I was angry at myself for accepting this kind of person into my life and was ready to start over by doing the things that made me happy.
I found a job as an upper level manager, started working on my master's degree, and began digging into online business. I was on a mission to uncover my passion and purpose in life so I could experience the deep joy of living life with authenticity.
I was terrified of owning an online business. Did people really make money doing this? Would my family think I'm crazy?
I often wondered if anyone would want to listen to what I had to say. I even questioned whether or not it was something I was capable of. After all, I had spent a lifetime determined to live outside the spotlight - easily looked over, easily forgotten, and often unseen.
I pivoted so many times, I felt like a failure. In fact, I stopped it all for a while, feeling defeated.
I spent money on website designers, courses, e-books, and tools that promised to help me turn my hobby blog into a thriving business. But I was frustrated that I was trading dollars and time for information that was only filling me with overwhelm. There was so much information out there and I didn't know who to listen to or what I could do to really take my blog to the next level.
Finally, I went through a period where I completely shifted my mindset. I invested in a business coach, attracted the man of my dreams, and finally learned how to develop and grow my dream business - helping other Christian women who feel unseen and unheard to develop the confidence they need to step forward into their purpose.
If I can be the voice of truth for you - the one who helps you see that the Lord has already placed everything you need inside of you to accomplish your purpose, that you are lovely and capable just the way you are, and that you are worthy of everything your heart desires...then all my unseen moments have been totally worth it.
Because you see, beloved, my passion is YOU and inside of you is the answer to one of life's mysteries.
Now it's up to YOU to unlock it.