It’s early. The stillness is calming as I look out on the water that looks like glass, the sun is just starting to peek through the layer of clouds spread across the sky. Last night my dreams were filled with random and stressful things. I was running through most of it. Physically running.
Is that what I’m doing? Running? I have sat down staring at this white page on the computer screen a dozen times in the last week. Nothing. There are millions of things swirling around in my mind. Good things. Bad things. Meaningful things. They just won’t come together to form a sentence.
Last night I spent some time on my good friend, Leanne Penny‘s blog. Her latest entry is about seasons of life. It hit me. Why am I struggling so much? Why do I keep trying to force words into a post? Why am I looking at my stats? I know myself well enough to know that if I had 5,000 “followers” I would be asking myself why I didn’t have 10,000. When really, that’s not at all what this is about. I have to remind myself why I started.
It was to share my experience, strength and hope with others as a way of giving back. A way of saying, “Thank you.” to the God who could have left me in the gutter. A way of spreading hope and healing for broken dreams.
I am a living, breathing example that you can have a plan for exactly how your life is going to go, but for the majority of us it will not look at all like we planned. If my life had gone the way I “planned” I would have been a published author by the age of 30, after I had grown tired of being a successful actress, model and Broadway singer. You laugh, but that is what I was aspiring to.
And then something went wrong and I turned into a wretched depiction of my former self. The more I self medicated, the more hollow I became. I was far from home and completely disconnected from all that had ever been good in my life.
It took an undercover cop, a u-haul, some garbage bags filled with my things and a trip across several state lines before I could begin at zero and build from there. I look back at that scared, emaciated, ego driven, 18-year-old girl and it doesn’t make me sad or regretful anymore. It makes me smile. To think of how far one can go to escape God and everything one has ever known only to find a better understanding than she ever would have had otherwise.
I am the face of redemption. I am cleansed and restored. I have been put back together. I am found. Never to be lost again. I am People of the Second Chance.
This is gorgeous and I am with you in a deep need for this reminder.
Thank you friend. 🙂
This was beautiful joy and the story of so many lives. Praise God, He brings us back.
Thank you Janie!
You said “It was to share my experience, strength and hope with others as a way of giving back. A way of saying, “Thank you.” to the God who could have left me in the gutter. A way of spreading hope and healing for broken dreams.” and I for one would like to say that you are awesome at doing this.
I have also asked myself Joy when I think about wanting to have an impact on other people’s lives would I be satisfied if God has only called me to reach one person for him? I then ask myself if not; why not. I think that we know not what impact we have on others and that our responsibility is to be obedient and let God take care of the consequences. It is hard to not know if we are impacting lives; to know is to be encouraged and I think God does that in his timing. I do want my attitude to be that I will do that which God wants me to do and to not continually try to figure out how “I am doing.”
That being said I am convinced that your impact is great upon people’s lives.
Thank you Mark.
I always appreciate your feedback.
I think I’m just in a rut and trying to refocus on what’s important and why.