Unexpected Waves

A few years ago I ventured to Lake Erie with a group girlfriends for a getaway. Our sweet friend Julie was kind enough to invite us to stay in her families cottage in an adorable community known as Lakeside. We arrived after dark; the air was cool and we could hear waves crashing nearby so a walk to the lake seemed like the perfect thing to do before settling in for the night. We stopped on a fishing pier and before long we were all lying on the pier with our faces towards the night sky taking in the stars, enjoying the cool breeze and the sound of crashing waves. Without warning a wave crashed over the sides of the pier. The surprise of the cool lake water ignited little girl screams. I immediately stood up, convinced we were about to be swept away into the lake. My reaction was an exaggeration and very quickly our screams and shock turned to laughter. The perfect story to kick off our girls' weekend.

When a chapter in life comes to a close or a season begins to fade for the birth of something new, what lies ahead can be a lot like the wave that caught my friends and I by surprise. I often think I have things figured out, especially when making a choice I'm confident is part of God's plan. When I walked away from my career as a naturalist to become a stay at home mom I expected it to be "easy," it was the best choice for our family. We prayed about it, wrestled with the decision, and in the end felt confident. But the unexpected happened; I experienced moments and even periods of time where I was crippled with fear and doubt. Fear of pursuing something new and leaving behind a career I loved. Fear of the unknown. Doubt in the difficult moments as a first time mom. Doubt in God's plan for me in this new season. The fear and doubt were like an unexpected wave and in a lot of ways it was crashing my world or what I thought my world should be like.

Although I felt paralyzed by fear and doubt, I realized I had a choice. As I leaned in and chose to trust God, the fear and doubt that had crept into my heart began to be replaced with God's truth. The more I clung to God's truth the more I began to see an emergence of words and stories, perfectly placed and weaved into this new season to move me away from fear and doubt and towards clarity and freedom. Slowly (very slowly) I've discovered beauty in a season initially filled with so many unknowns.

Clarity through words has emerged as I've read, prayed, and put pen to paper. The more I respond to scripture through journaling, the more God speaks to my heart in an intimate way. The more I write when my heart and mind are overflowing with words the more clarity I discover. Clarity of what I've allowed myself to believe defines me, freedom in knowing it's my Creator. Clarity of doubt because of the personal struggles I've faced as a stay at home mom, freedom in knowing this is my calling and I'm not alone.  Clarity of the root of feeling insignificant, freedom in believing and knowing how significant I am in my Heavenly Father's eyes. Clarity has consistently moved me towards freedom through God's word.

This season of leaving my career, motherhood, and becoming a stay at home mom hasn't gone the exact way that I imagined it would but it has been absolutely perfect because of the growth and beauty that has emerged as a result. I wouldn't ever choose for an unexpected wave to crash down on my life but this past season has revealed God's ability to use the unexpected in very powerful ways.

This season is changing for our family and we are moving towards a new chapter. It began as our family became three and in December our family will grow to four. We are expecting a little one and couldn't be more excited! As the news has become more of a reality with each passing week I've been incredibly thankful for clarity and the spiritual growth that has occurred. Noelle at NBrynn (check out her blog!) shared this quote with me at the end of a 30 day writing challenge she hosted through her blog: "We each have a story. Thousands of little stories, and as we give voice to those stories we find the truth of who we are and what this life is all about." I'm looking forward to more stories in this new chapter and continuing to place a voice behind them. And the reality is, there will be some unexpected waves, but the unexpected will become beauty in a story that is continually being handcrafted by God.

I can't share our news without saying congratulations to our little man who is being promoted to Big Brother!


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