The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice”John 10:3-4, NLT
Hello friends!! I know, I know, I have been beyond MIA and completely left you hanging…but I am here and ready to bring you up to speed. You last heard from me in an extremely devastating time. I had just lost my grandfather and was processing through my emotions of how different life would be without him…man…grief is rough. Especially grief from losing someone so tragically and unexpected. I can’t say that it has been any easier, though. I miss him like crazy and as the holiday seasons approach, it hurts on a new level. Since that time, my whole world has completely shifted and just flashed before my eyes…so…here we go.
Since my divorce in 2017, I have lived with my parents. I utilized my time over the past few years to regroup and rebuild my life and see what steps the Lord had in store for me. I had a few setbacks along the way with my car accident and other poor choices, so I don’t know that I fully used that time to my advantage…but in the end, I think I got it right. This year has taught me so much. I have spent countless hours, days, weeks, and months putting in the work on myself. I stopped worrying about being alone forever and started to love myself on a new level. I worked my way in to the uncomfortable process of just being myself and making decisions for me…with no one else in mind. Let me tell you, it was EMPOWERING. If you have been following me on here for sometime, then you have read those lovely little words from my therapist at the beginning of the year and how I am “co-dependent”. Nothing like someone labeling you with something to light a fire under your butt and get to work. It was a difficult journey of self-discovery but I can honestly say that I am writing this right now with complete confidence that I am no longer that broken and bruised woman with no self-worth who felt the need to allow myself to be used in an effort to feel loved. I love myself and I am proud of my accomplishments. I have learned how to be responsible for my own happiness and get fulfillment in life all on my own. It is so freeing to just be comfortable being me and following where the Lord is leading.
I took another big step this year as well. In October, I bought house plans to begin the incredible journey of building my first home. I cannot even describe the excitement and pride I have felt in knowing that I did this. Me…Lauren… the broken and confused woman who had absolutely nothing after divorce, has completely built a life of her own from the ground up. It makes me emotional to see just how strong I really am in the midst of the trials of the past several years. I never thought I could do it on my own, but I did. So now, I will have to sit here, impatiently, over the next SEVERAL months as this all unfolds and turns into the greatest adventure I have had so far.
While I am waiting through the process of building, I thought it was best to move in with my grandmother. It made the most sense for me and for her. It is a hard time in life right now with the holidays, so we can keep each other company and learn this new way forward together. Moving out from my parents house was HARD, though. I may have shed a tear…or a few thousand. My parents are some of the most incredible people on the planet and I am beyond blessed to have them in my life. I value their guidance and wisdom far more than I could ever quite explain and without their unconditional love and support over the course of my life, I don’t know that I would have had the strength to pick up all the pieces and made it to where I am now.
It is so crazy how your whole world can change in the blink of an eye. It has been a challenging, sad, and remarkable year all rolled into one that is for sure. One thing that has been consistent through it all, though, is my love for the Lord and the journey He has been leading me on. I have never been more sure that I am walking in the will of the Lord than I am right now. I don’t have any internal struggles with my decision making and I am walking in peace for the first time, in a long time. For now, I think I have caught you up to speed….or maybe I haven’t….I do believe I may have left out a few important events…you will just have to wait and see. I promise to not leave you hanging for months this time, so I will see you next week.
To the one feeling lost,
Today I pray for you. I pray that your spirit is stirred to seek out the Lord and set your gaze on His will and direction for your life. I pray that you embrace the journey of self-discovery and finding your way. I encourage you today by letting you know that you are NEVER alone. He is always right there beside you, waiting for you to grab His hand and follow His lead. You are loved today and everyday. You have purpose far greater than your human mind can imagine. I am here, in your corner, praying for you.