New Beginnings, Love, Loss, and Learning How to Grow Up

Carrie Bradshaw said it best, “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.”

That one statement could write this whole blog, but if you know me, you know that ain’t ever gonna happen. It’s been a couple weeks since my #ForwardFriday posts, 1) because I have been traveling, 2) because I have been busy, 3) because I have been traveling. Which pretty much sums up my current status, sitting in a hotel room in Houston, Texas. Yep, my hair has looked like crap for two days in a row and I’m pretty much over it. Don’t judge.

But anyways, back to the very inspirational, maybe too personal, blog post that will soon come to you. I’ve been traveling and I haven’t had a chance to write what has happened. But what had happened was…(TV show quote – it’s okay, get the next one.) But honestly, it is so much that I needed a blog post about all things twenties to fully get the point across. So, here goes…

I’ve learned how to start over, to believe that new beginnings meant I had to begin again. 

I had to let go of…love. Iscarrien’t it amazing. love – just the word causes you to smile, jump, or immediately think of chocolate (all the single ladies….HEYYYY) It causes us to do things we never thought we would. We squeal and talk in stupid baby voices to communicate with a human who could care less. It causes us to stay up all hours of the night because we can’t imagine missing out on something. It leads us to make decisions based on someone else, instead of ourselves. It’s the greatest gift, the most sought after intangible, and yet, the hardest thing to ever let go of. We fight so hard to love, only to fight even harder to learn to love again. And if you think I am being dramatic, just wait, your turn in the ring will come.

Love is brutal. It’s a war of fighting against what we might desire, and what God intends to be. 

To start over, I had to let go. And with letting go of anything, there comes a loss. And I’m going to be real. It hurts like CRAP! Like nasty, yucky, 12 full hours of crying crap. It wasn’t easy. It was really hard. You learn to love, to believe, to fully engage with the idea of that coming to be – ladies, you know you can relate. You truly believe you “heard” right and only to follow your broken heart, you are thrown the dumb attacks of the Enemy making you think you did something wrong or you somehow “deserved” this pain. It’s cycle you have to break. You have to learn to look past the past, and onto what else is around you and in front of you.

So you get up, you pray for strength, you repeat scriptures you don’t even believe in the moment, only to have some hope that the God of power, love, joy, hope, and strength will bring you comfort and peace. And He does. Always, He always shows up. Then you learn to forgive, which then helps you to fully start over.

Sometimes a love you feel was only supposed to be one-sided. That’s the beauty of Jesus – He’s our example. 

Then, if you’re lucky, you get to go on a cross-country trip to even find yourself even more. To put airline miles down as proof that God has something in store for you. That the sunrise of your life isn’t just for Instagram, it’s to signify a new beginning.

So I left. I went to San Francisco, California. The state of sunshine – which ironically, not so much actually, is what I needed. I needed to see the view of beauty, to realize all the beauty I already had. It was a lesson I walked into – literally. I walked, everywhere. God taught me that the new beginning season I am in is for a purpose, that the loss emptied me for the purpose that He could fill me up with something new, something right, something divine.

To take hold of anything new, you have to let go of what you used to hold. It’s a process. It’s growing up. 

I was emptied, and now I’m half-way full. Only recently have I realized that I finally feel like I am literally “growing” up. Everyday God reminds me of who I am. And everyday I fall more and more in love with God, and you know what, I have never been more in love with myself. I love who God has made me into being. I smile bigger, my laugh is louder, and my heart is renewed. I feel a peaceful season of stability and joy coming – and you know, that was prophetic – so I’m gonna take that.

We all change. We love so hard to have to let it go. This is our temporary home. So new beginnings will be constant, the cycle of defeating lies and learning to ‘grow’ up in the process will be a cycle we always repeat. But thankfully, God gives us the ways in which we can make sure the cycle does look different. The rest of our lives it will be different battles – maybe not a broken heart, but a lost child, a unexpected loss of a job, cross-country moves, or a heart-wrenching diagnosis. It’s a battle of learning to see the beauty in the midst of where you are – no matter if you feel you are overlooking the Golden Gate or on the dirt roads of West Texas.

In conclusion, (because I can’t stop saying that from 8th grade English,) Carrie said it best, but I’ll say it differently – “Don’t forget to fall in love with LIFE first. All of it.”

Whether it’s a new beginning, love, loss, or learning the cycle of ‘growing’ up – fall in love with it. Your heart might be broken like mine was – and somedays still is – but that doesn’t mean life isn’t worth love. Don’t miss out on what’s coming because your stuck in what will never be. It’s not worth it – but you ARE worth it. You are worth immeasurable, abundantly beyond anything you could ask or imagine. (Eph. 3:20)

Fall in love with life, friends.

XOXO

jess

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