Hey ya’ll! Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you haven’t read my About Me section, I will give you a little glimpse of it here. I am sure you would like to know what you are going to read about. My name is Amanda, I am 28 years old, married to my best friend, and the momma to two beautiful girls with a little prince on the way. After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided to finally join the blogging world. I have contemplated doing so for a couple of years now. So here goes nothing! My life has been FAR from a fairy tale, but each and every hardship and bad decision led me to where I am today, and that is walking in Christ. Am I claiming to be the perfect Christian? Not even close! I am a work in progress and I fail more often than not. But what I would like to share with you is how my faith turned my life around.
Does this ring a bell?
Have you ever gotten to a point in your life where everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong? Or you look in the mirror and can’t remember who you truly are? All those passions, dreams, and hopes you had at one point are now distant memories. You have pushed everyone away that you possibly can because you aren’t letting anyone back into your life that could leave. Thoughts about the future with the white picket fence are non existent. Or your heart has hurt for so long that you don’t feel real emotion anymore? The thought of being such a disappointment to everyone is unbearable. But you did what you had to do right? You did what you had to do to numb the pain to take care of whoever you are responsible for and yourself. When someone asks you how you are doing, you reply with “I am doing great, how are you!?” When deep down, you don’t even know where this all started or how it got this way. And a part of you knows that you aren’t fine and you don’t know if you ever will be. You made it to the next day, and the next week, and the next doctor bill, or dance recital fee. But even that is just another check mark on the list. No relief was sought from getting something accomplished because the real problem isn’t a tangible one. You have absolutely no idea where to even start to figure out how you are supposed to get your life back on track. Or what the real problem is. You begin to wonder if you hurt someone in the past and this is your punishment. You begin to let your mind go on an adventure of it’s own trying to come up with anything that makes sense. But nothing makes sense and nothing relieves you. You are still broken behind your smile. You still cry so much you run out of tears.
If anything above rings a bell or hits close to home, you came to the right place. Right now you have no idea what my stories are about and probably aren’t prepared for what I am going to share with you. But I am finally seeing the light on the other side of the storm. I lived in that storm for 3 years. That was the most self-destructive storm I have ever been in and I have no intentions of going back. There is a way to turn your past mistakes into something beautiful. My past mistakes turned my life into an absolute MESS, rather quickly. But now, my life is a beautiful mess. My mess is part of me. It’s who I am. I am thankful for my bad decisions and hardships. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I wasn’t brought to my knees. The beautiful part about it all is that YOU don’t have to let your life get to the point mine did. You don’t have to be stubborn and think that you are capable of doing it on your own. I am here to tell you, YOU CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. Whether you are facing an amazing opportunity or your worst nightmare, you cannot, I repeat you CANNOT do this alone. We weren’t created to do this alone, which is why, it simply does not work.
A glimpse of my journey…
My stories are far from pretty, but they are filled with truth. Truth is sometimes the hardest thing to face in our lives, especially when we are having to look in the mirror. It is scary how fast your life can fall apart. I went from graduating from Mississippi College with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2012, working full time, preparing to take my LSAT and go to law school, engaged to Kk’s daddy, living in a nice home outside of Madison, Ms to living in complete chaos within 12 short months. But when you are walking in darkness, what do you expect? I wasn’t necessarily walking in the light even when I thought I had my life together. I know I expected everything to work out for me. With enough hard work and dedication you can accomplish anything right? WRONG. Instead, things only got worse for me. I made a lot of decisions I am not necessarily proud of, but I don’t regret them. Regret is an awful feeling to live with. You will convince yourself too much has happened to recover from. You will then let regret become who you are. I did. I don’t carry that burden in my heart any longer and it’s a relieving feeling.
From the loss of my mom, little brother, and dad, to a heart-wrenching custody battle and another baby on the way (with Caleb who is now my husband), I was brought to my knees, literally. I tried so hard to control every situation in front of me. I lived everyday in fear and survival mode, as my mother in law would say. Survival mode is a post of it’s own, and don’t worry, we will get there! I lost the 3 most influential people in my life all within a few short years of each other, from 2010-2015. My mom overdosed intentionally, my little brother had a brain bleed from a blow to the head and left in a bathtub (another post of it’s own), and my daddy passed away from heart failure.
And the downward spiral begins…
My life began it’s downward spiral after my little brother passed away. He was my baby before I had my own. He left with a piece of my heart that I don’t think I will ever be able to get back. My life as I knew it, shattered right in front of me. It hit me then that my mom was really gone too. On top of the heartache, there were a million different stories as to what happened. His close friends were gone and not with him that night, otherwise, he would have been there to walk me down the aisle when I got married. Each loss is a story of it’s own. That’s when my decisions were no longer rational or realistic. The only thing in this world that I cared about was making sure my precious little girl Kk (she was 2 at the time) was taken care of. I lived for her and only her. She was the only reason I was still alive. I was doing the best I could. My daddy was still alive at this time; however, he depended on me for advice and money and reassurance. Little did he know, I was running on fumes. I didn’t have the reassurance in my own life that it was going to be okay, much less be able to tell someone else it was going to be. I never understood depression until I lost my little man. And actually, I only understood the feeling of not wanting to be here in this world. I associated depression with suicide because that is the extreme my mom went to. However, I am now learning that depression comes in many different forms.
I was far from the role model my daughter needed me to be. She never did without and she was always safe and happy, but there was still something missing. As far as raising her with Christian values goes, I was failing miserably. I wasn’t a non-believer by any means, but Christ was absent in our home, before and after my life took a turn for the worst. Little did I know, I was on a journey to being the mom that God created me to be. Have you ever been in the car with someone who isn’t the best driver? More like every time they get behind the wheel it’s a death wish. The one you hold on for dear life, close your eyes, and use your dashboard brakes until you finally get to your destination? And when you get there you are in a full blown sweat and a think you may have had a mild heart attack on the way. That kind of describes how my journey went. I am the only one to blame for how rough my ride got. BUT, the good news is, I am now a momma that my children can truly look up to. I can now set an example for them that will guide them for the rest of their lives. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it,” Proverbs 22:6. You have no idea the joy it brings to my heart when I hear Kk (she is almost 6 now) talk about Jesus and how He died on the cross for our sins. If I can stop a world of heartache and pain down the road for her, that’s the biggest blessing I could ask for. I do not ever want my children to have to learn the hard way how beautiful life can be.
I know for a fact that if I were the believer I am now back then, I would have done things a lot differently. When you find your comfort and identity in Christ, your entire life changes. I didn’t open my heart to the Lord until I was pregnant with my second little girl, Harper, who is now 10 months old. She will be 1 year old July 2017. It was a little hard for me to wrap my mind around the concept of blind faith. I grew up going to church, so I wasn’t completely clueless. But I didn’t know the things I do now about scripture and the foundation of it all. I couldn’t fathom how someone I couldn’t see could possibly make a difference in my life. And how was I expected to just let go of my worries and fears and let God handle it? That was absurd to me. Trying to put Kk in God’s hands was the biggest struggle I faced. It seemed impossible. At that point in time, letting go and “giving it to God” meant I was losing control and I was a failure. Do you want to know why it was so hard for me? Because I wouldn’t humble myself. I didn’t want to experience humility. I didn’t want to admit that I had turned my life into a circus and I was the star of the show. I knew in my heart that it wasn’t possible to come back from the mess I had made. The occupation I chose, didn’t help my situation either. I began dancing in 2014. No, I was not a ballerina. I was a stripper, in New Orleans. That was an experience, to say the least, and a huge part of how I got to where I am today….once again, no regret.
There is hope…
I have only given you a glimpse of what I will share with you. I hope to save someone from getting to the point that I did. One bad decision after another brought people into my life that I will forever love and be thankful for. I met my husband. I met one of my best friends. I met my mother in law, who is a huge part of why I am where I am today. God put her in my life at the exact time I needed her. I had no one to guide me to Christ, to show me that our God is forgiving. That there is SO much more to being a Christian than just being able to spit out bible verses and go to church on Sundays. I learned the importance of learning who I am in Christ and having a true relationship with God. I learned that God can use every ounce of pain and sadness we have and turn it into something better. Without having someone disciple me and educate me, as much of a headache it may have been for my mother in law, I wouldn’t have understood the beautiful part of being a believer. I would have never given God a chance. It didn’t just happen over night. It took a lot of tears, frustration, anger, and pain to get the point of humility I had to get to. By no means did I make things easy for myself. As soon as I felt like I was making progress…BAM, something would bring me ten steps backwards. Through grace alone, God showed me He never took His hand off of me.
I hope you join me on my journey from grief to grace. ♥