I am hesitant to hit “post” on this. When I launched this new site, I determined that I did not want it to be… self-indulgent. I desire to inspire and encourage you, not simply relive my own experiences for your entertainment or my own catharsis. However, I do feel like I need to explain my prolonged absence so soon after the launch, as well as introduce you to some of the things we will be covering here in the coming days. So here’s the story…
I’ve been in a hard place for a while now. I’m embarrassed to tell you how long, but if you look at the date of the last post… well, I’m sure you can do the math. It has been a humbling experience, because in most ways, there has been nothing wrong. My family is well, Jon’s job is secure, life is, for all intents and purposes, good. And yet, I haven’t been good.
And if I’m being really honest, it actually started even before the new web site launched. I turned 36 in July, and it really seemed to flip a switch inside me. I began to question my identity, my worth, my purpose. It was staved off temporarily when I had the opportunity in September to spend a few days with a phenomenal group of women in Buda, Texas. These were members of The 500—those of us selected to be on Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love launch team—who came together for a party (which turned into an extended weekend of get-togethers, meetups, and giggles) at Jen’s house to celebrate an amazing book that gave birth to an amazing community. The love, grace, and inspiration just oozes from those ladies, and I am so thankful to have been—and continue to be—a member of that family.
But all good things must come to an end, including my time in Buda. When I first returned home, I was revitalized, energized, and inspired. But it didn’t take long for me to begin to fall again. For months the only messages I heard were those of failure. I wasn’t involved enough; I was involved in too many things; I don’t clean the house enough; I spend too much time cleaning the house; I’m too hard on my kids; I’m coddling my kids. Nothing I did was right—in my own mind—and I sank lower and lower.
I know that more of the specifics will come out in the days/posts to come, but for now I don’t want to dwell there. Because I’m not here to relive the ugliness or ask for your compassion, but instead, to encourage you if you have ever found yourself sinking into those lies of self-doubt. If you have fallen into that pit of feeling inconsequential, rudderless, and/or lost, whether for months or days or even hours, I get it. I know how easily it happens, how quickly it can happen. And the worst part is that staying in the pit is so frustratingly easy. Just sitting there, listening to the lies in your head is miserable and isolating, but easy. It takes no effort. You know what’s hard? Climbing out. It really is hard, I know… but climb out anyway. Dig your fingers into the sides of that pit and pull up with all your might. Inch by inch. Because it is worth it. Once your head is above the rim and you can take a deep breath… you’ll know. It’s worth the climb.
And here’s the other thing I know: You are not left to climb out alone. God does not just leave you in that pit by yourself. He is right there beside you, and He will get you out. For some women, He plucks them out and sets them on solid ground in an instant. For others, He gives a nudge now and then and cheers as they climb. Either way, He will not leave you there. And when the time is right, He will take that dark hole in your life and turn it into something beautiful. Just keep climbing.
As I’ve been gradually making my way back onto solid ground, I have learned so much. About who God is and who I am, about focus and prayer and purpose. I am still climbing and still learning, but already I can see so much more clearly. And I cannot wait to share it with you. In the coming days, we will take a journey of HOPE about these things and more.
Join me as He makes something beautiful out of this messy life.
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of the dust.
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of us.
Beautiful Things, Gungor