Imagine each aspect of life as a stone laid out on the ground. It's easy to forget to cherish the stones, and rather walk over them day after busy day. But what about if we took each stone, chose them ourselves based on importance to us, and stacked them in a beautiful balance? What if we looked at our unique stack of stones each day and felt a deep joy from living the life that we've shaped and intended? Imagine if we had the loveliest balance in our lives.
My entire life changed about a year and a half ago. My stack of stones was knocked over and trampled on. Everything that I had perfectly placed fell apart. I struggled with depression, self hate, confusion, terrible habits, and went through a major faith crisis. It wasn't until I made the conscious choice to pick up each stone, dust it off and polish it, and place it in a balance that I became alive again. And that process was not easy. You can say I hit rock bottom, no pun intended, before being okay.
But since identifying the stones I want to be in my life, and putting them in their right places, my whole life shifted. The past 7 months have been the happiest I've been in so long. And that's what inspired this blog. But first, I'll fill you in on the rock bottom that I hit before I could become balanced.
I'll tell you a little bit about when my whole life was turned upside down. It was October of 2016, and I was living in Cape Town, South Africa. This is after I spent over a year preparing, fundraising, dreaming, and getting ready. I thought the move was forever. I loved Africa, working with children, and being a missionary. I sold everything I owned to pursue this life that I felt called to. And after being there for 4 months (and after a bunch of shit hit the fan) I was coming back to America.
I felt way too many emotions to even count; fear, depression, confusion, abandonment, loneliness, anger, betrayal, anxiousness, sadness, and defeat, to name a few. The things that happened in South Africa hurt me so deeply. I didn't even know the severity until months later.
And in the midst of the pain I was trying to work through, the depression and heartbreak, I felt an extreme pressure to "get back on the mission field." I was still living on financial support, had the seemingly perfect opportunity to join a missionary family connected to the church I was a part of, and I was being asked several times a day "what's next, where are you moving to, what are you gonna do now?" It was a battle to even get out of bed in the morning.
I felt like I had to get back out there. I committed to join this ministry in Portugal feeling like I had no other choice and that it must be the right thing to do. I assumed that God wanted it, since so many godly people wanted it for me. But it wasn't at all what I wanted or what I felt was right.
When my confusion was so overwhelming and darkness started to flood over my daily life, I had to pull back. I announced that I wouldn't be going to Portugal, and just like that, I felt instant relief. I knew I made the right decision to focus on healing from the pain I experienced in South Africa, and chase a few dreams that I knew God had for me in America.
Once I decided to stay in America, everything fell into place.
I was suddenly free to pursue things I knew God had put on my heart- going to school for Social Work, being a voice for orphans, living out the passion I have for adoption. I could chase these dreams that I hadn't felt the freedom to chase before.
Only a couple weeks after deciding to stay in America, I met my boyfriend. He's been the biggest blessing to me. He's really saved me in a lot of ways. I know that God put him in my life at just the perfect time. He encourages me to live as the best version of myself and he is a daily inspiration for me. I want to spend forever with him.
I started Mary Kay around the same time that I met him, and that too has been one of the best things that could have happened to me. I was suddenly surrounded by positive dreamers who encouraged me to be the most beautiful version of myself. I get to do this awesome job helping other women experience such a inspirational environment, feel beautiful, and have fun!
It's been both difficult and magical figuring out how to live in America after living overseas on-and-off for the past 5 years.
I've been recreating myself, finding what I love, believe, and care about. And as I've been in this amazing new season of my life, I've found that it can be awfully hard to balance all the things. But I'm too in love with the life I am getting to live now and the opportunities that God has given me to let it be too overwhelming. I want to intentionally take it all in and get to experience everything that is important to me. I want to live the loveliest balance.
Take a look around my website to see the parts of life that I am choosing to intentionally make a part of my life and live for. I can't wait to write more about each of them!
I'm super excited that you're going to follow along as I write about my attempt to live the loveliest balance. I invite you to identify those most important things in your life that you want to stack beautifully and let's do this journey called life together!