In Due Time…

Driving back home after a fun and full day, my eye’s just about welled up with tears.

My heart felt like it was about to burst with sweet feelings of joy and thankfulness to God. For so long, I’ve waited and prayed. For so long I’ve asked God for friends and company on this lonely walk and driving home, the realization hit me, God heard me. And I am literally in the process of watching God is answering my prayers! This day is proof of that!

But, let me start back at the beginning.

A year ago I felt so alone. I ended my engagement with my fiance, my best friend of five years, after learning he had been lying to me. I then moved with my family to a new town, four hours away from the place that had become my home. I knew God was directing my steps as I made these decisions, but what I was not anticipating, was the fact that this would propel me into a long season of loneliness as my hurting heart healed.

Soon after moving, two things were at war inside me. I was anxious to find a community and meet new people but also scared to really open up and tell people about my past. So I prayed. I prayed that God would bring people into my life, new friends to start making new memories with. I was tired of being lonely for so long but reaching out and making new friends in a new area is not a skill God has blessed me with.

I attend an amazing church with my family that is solid on the scriptures and has helped my growth in the Lord so much, but the church does not have many other young adults my age which didn’t help me in my struggle of feeling lonely and longing for community.

Weeks turned into months, Summer came and was over before I knew it. I packed my summer so full of serving and traveling that I had no time to really feel lonely. But after Summer I was again back on my knees, praying to God, asking him for a friend. I prayed but when God said nothing, I still got up each day and kept going, not knowing when or how God would answer my prayer. And let me tell you all, it can be so hard and discouraging when you pray so hard for something you want and know is good, but God doesn’t seem to be doing anything.

But suddenly, just in these last few weeks, God has been working! The first thing God did was bring my sister back into my life. She moved back in with the family during the Holiday season and it has truly been an answer to my prayer having her back and going on outings and adventures with her. And then, God brought another new friend into my life. It happened so fast and out of the blue. I’m honestly still just in shock and amazement of how fast God can work sometimes!

This new friend was a girl my age, in a similar place in life, who has so many similar interests. It’s really quite a neat story how we met. We just happened to cross paths a few times a few months ago. We found out we had many common interests but didn’t actually get together until just recently. I have traced back all the ways and things that had to happen in my life in order to make meeting this girl happen, and let me just say, wow. God is a God who works in all of the tiny and random details of life. God truly does use everything, even the things we deem as a waste, for his good purposes. The fact that God was doing stuff in my life months ago that would make meeting this girl happen just blows my mind.

But back to my story, and this weekend. My new friend invited me to go Skiing on the weekend with some of her friends. It was the most fun and sweet time I’ve had in a long time. I honestly didn’t feel like I had to try hard to connect. It was so easy and natural meeting the two other girls that came with us. God was bringing more friends into my life through this new freind. On the last run of the day, while riding on the ski lift with one of the girls, I had very heartfelt conversation and learned that she had also gone through the pain of bringing her engagement to an end. What are the odds that God would bring another girl into my life, who has a similar story to mine. A girl whose is a couple more years down the road of healing which gives me so much hope to know that I’m not alone.

God is so good!

This is why I almost cried driving home from the skiing trip. I’ve been praying for so long to not be lonely and for a friend, and God has heard me. I am once again reminded that all of our times are truly in God’s hands. Everything we go through has a purpose in Gods’ plan. Even when it feels like we hit a dead end or our life takes an unexpected detour, God uses all of it.

The other day this verse kept running through my head from psalm 16 – “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Surely I have a beautiful inheritance.” I am beginning to see the lines falling around me, and they show me that God is good and has good things planned for me. God may ask us to walk through hard seasons and long seasons of waiting or loneliness. But we must remember this; He does hear each and every one of our cries to him. In due time God will bring us out. In due time God will bring his plans for us to completion.

“But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands;”

Psalm 31:14-15

Looking Back

It’s 2022! What happened to the time!  Where did it all go! 

I can’t believe we are here again at the start of a new year. I wish I could tell you I am confidently going into this new year with purpose and direction.  This is not been the case for me.  But to be honest with you all, I don’t have any clear ideas or directions for this year.  I’ve been struggling with feeling directionless and unsure about this new year. And, again, to keep being honest with you all, I keep thinking about where I was last year and where I was hoping I’d be by the end of this year.

A lot happened right at the beginning of my 2021 and it feels like it has taken me this entire year and more just to recover. But I know this one thing, and I hold onto it dearly; that God is faithful.  Even though my year didn’t go as planned it was not wasted. God has shown me that even when I don’t have direction, He is with me still and leading me in the day by day. 

Seasons of uncertainty are still seasons of growth.  This is definitely something I’ve been seeing ring true in my life.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:6

I’ve been seeing everyone posting their resolutions and plans for 2022. I’m not in the mood the create some “on-the-spot” resolution, so I figured today it would be a nice change to look back on the year that is past and all the ways God has been with me and guiding me. 

January 

January… The month my world felt like it had ended. I think can truthfully say that I’m not lying when I say that this was the hardest month of my life. When I had to walk through the raw pain of heartbreak.  I remember the days leading up to the break-up. I felt like I was walking on a tight rope, convincing myself things were going to work out if we kept the balancing game up just a little longer. I was happily planning our wedding and being in love was bliss, but there was a dark shadow that was slowly beginning to show. I was slowly discovering my perfect dream was actually a lie and when the pieces all finally started to come together it was shattering. January was the month I officially ended the relationship and returned the ring and that’s all the reminiscing I want to do about that hard day.

But I also want to say that in the midst of my greatest heartache, God was with me. God met me in new ways and comforted my heart during the early stages of my hurt. I remember having an overwhelming peace as I began walking the long road towards healing.

February 

February came with lots of change which was soothing to my hurting heart. The month started with a trip to Arizona to visit my grandparents for a few days. Then, as soon as I flew back to California I moved with my family from Sacramento to Redding. The last change that began in February was starting a new job (preschool teacher/aid at a headstart).

Looking back now, it makes me smile to think how God was caring for me during the early stages of my broken heart. Distance and busyness is what I needed to keep my heart from falling into despair and that is what God brought into my life.

March 

March was filled with the exciting adventure of exploring a new town! I visited all the coffee shops in Redding and picked out a few to become a regular at. I drove around exploring my “new” town and got lost more times than I can count. March was also full of many hikes exploring all the beautiful waterfalls and mountains that are pretty much in our backyard up here! I may or may not have also jumped into an icy cold river for a polar plunge challenge…

I also began to see my faith growing in great ways as I continued seeking God with my hurt heart. With a heart that was still hurting, my dependency on God grew. I learned more and more to find my source of comfort in God and daily surrender to Him.

April

 In April I made my first trip back down to the Sacramento area to visit a few friends and go rafting on the American River again. Then towards the end of April I traveled back down to the Sacramento area to work a week at my camp’s living history program.

Time was doing it’s work on my heart and I was starting to feel the healing happening in my heart. I began writing more and more about God and I even started a new blog and Instagram account to encourage others – More of Thee Co. Inside my soul was a growing passion to live for God and share God’s truth.

May 

May was filled with more hikes and exploring the beautiful mountains. The highlight of May was hiking Caslt Crags with my Dad. In May I also chopped my hair the shortest I’ve ever gone, along with adding highlights. It took me awhile to get used to my new summer look, lol

In May my preschool job came to an end and I prayerfully began looking for a summer job to keep me busy. May ended with one more trip down to Sacramento to work at my camp. This was a very hard trip for me and it triggered a lot of hard feelings. But God comforted my heart like only He can. God gave my hurting heart a verse in Ecclesiastes to hold onto and a message of encouragement from the group I was serving.

June

In June I began a new job working at the local rock climbing gym during their summer camps. I also drove down again to Sacramento to work a week at my camp. It was a week full of cooking, rafting, rock climbing, and more rafting! I also learned that Redding summers are no joke and the heat is insane. I invested in a new toy to help me stay cool – A paddleboard!

July

Probably my favorite month and busiest month of 2021. July started with an epic backpacking trip with my Dad in the Trinities. We hiked a total of 28 miles in three days and camped at a beautiful meadow. We saw many deer, one rattlesnake, and three bears (only one of the bear sightings was a close encounter).

I also balanced my new summer job at the rock climbing gym with driving down to the Sacramento area to work at my camp again. And then in the middle of all of that back and forth driving I flew to Florida to visit my sister and go to the Epcot center (not to mention a car issue happening right in the middle of all of that craziness). Last but not least, and right after getting home from Florida, July ended with my church’s family camp.

The trip to Florida and all the sweet times I had with my sister is a trip I’ll always remember. God used my sister to encourage my hurting heart and all the laughs we shared were good medicine to my soul.

It was also during July that God began reminding me of the simple truth that He is my shepherd. So many times I found myself feeling lost and I kept crying out to God for direction. God kept bringing the idea and message of Him being a shepherd to my heart and it gave me so much peace. I read Psalm 23 while sitting in the beautiful lush green meadow we camped at. And then our church’s family camp theme was the Lord as our shepherd. God was so good to me.

August

In August I drove up to Oregon for a week to volunteer at a Joni and Freinds Family camp. This was my first time volunteering at a camp other than my camp in the Sacramento area. It was an experience I’ll always treasure. I met new friends and served God alongside other Christians. God’s love was displayed in so many amazing ways at this camp and I felt God’s power and presence was very present at this camp as we served all the families affected by disabilities.

September

September began with one last adventure up to Oregon. We had a mini family vacation up in Sun River Oregon. My family and I hiked, biked, and paddle boarded up in the beautiful area near Bend. The rest of September was bittersweet as summer was over again. Many things came to an end but many new things also started. In September my family finally caught Covid and it ran its course through the house. Covid for me was mild. I was out sick and exhausted for few weeks but in the long run thankful to finally have Covid over with.

I did not return to my preschool job in the fall and instead, I continued working part-time at the rock climbing gym. I also began leading a bible study for the first time. Being the leader of a group has been a humbling and growing experience for me in so many ways. I’m so humbled and thankful for God calling me to this new way to serve Him.

October

October was full of once again searching for direction and crying out to God for answers. A growing interest in rekindling an old passion for sewing was beginning to grow in me. I started working part-time at Joann fabric while I began planning my own sewing business on the side (My sewing shop on Etsy is officially up and running now and it’s called – RosenThreads).

November

In November I turned 26 and once again had to grapple with the idea that I’m not living my life according to my timetable, but God’s. And that God’s plans for me are always better, even when I don’t know yet what Hes’ doing. My family played mini golf for my birthday and I finally did something I’ve always wanted to do; buy huge number balloons for your age and take pictures with them.

We had a simple thanksgiving and I survived working my first black Friday in retail. November ended with my sister and brother arriving home after their time Flordia proved to not be successful.

December

December was full of Holiday fun and hard feelings resurfacing again. The Holiday fun included driving up to the forest and finding a tree, Going to a very impressive lighted garden tour in our town, and my sister and I driving down to Sacramento to visit a bunch of our dear friends before Christmas. But amidst all the business of the season, my heart was hurting a bit more than normal. This was a hard Christmas season for my healing heart. The highlight of this month was our Church’s Christmas eve Service and singing Christmas hymns. Singing worships songs to God has truly been the only way I’ve been able to completely escape all of the pain that still lingers in my soul and fully find Joy in God. During the Christmas Eve service, I was truly able to grasp the amazing beauty of Christmas and the gospel.

We had a very simple family Christmas, which was just what my soul needed. Then, on New Years Eve, to close out the year was drive up to Lassen National Park to see all the snow and go snowshoeing. The best way to end out the year in my opinion.

And there you go. There is the “kinda long” summary of my year. Though my heart still hurts at times, I’m grateful to be able to look back and see the progress. The pain comes and goes still, but it’s not constant anymore like it was at the beginning of the year. God has shown me so much and taken me to many new places this year that would never have happened if things went how I initially planned it to go at the beginning of 2021. But most importantly, looking back reminds me that God has been with me every step of the way and He will continue to be with me as I move forward into the New Year.

So here’s to 2022! Whatever God has for me, I want to be ready to follow.