Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…

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Alone Surrounded By People

This goes out to all of those who are alone surrounded by people. An oxymoron I know, but to those who feel or have felt this way, it makes sense. Just imagine being in a room where you’re standing in the very center of the room. All around you people are talking and having a great time. They may even be engaging you in conversation; however, you feel disconnected, disregarded, and unnecessary. On the outside you smile and participate, but inside you wonder if anyone really sees you. I understand. I’ve been there. Sometimes all the cares of life converge on you at the same time. Maybe you have tried to express yourself to people, but they could not or would not understand. Maybe you thought that the people who care about you the most would “just get it”. Unfortunately, that is not always how things work. I understand the feeling of being overlooked and unappreciated. I understand the loneliness and the hurt. I understand the desire for someone, anyone, to prove to you that you are valued. In a perfect world, people would just know what those in their circle need. This is not a perfect world, but that does not mean you have to remain in your loneliness. Personally, I believe in God, so I know that with Him I am never alone. I also have come to understand that there are always people who love me. Even one is enough. Don’t allow yourself to be so caught up in the loneliness that you neglect to understand just how pivotal you are to the world around you. So, I dare you to reach out. To hope again. To dream again. To join the story of your life as an active participant. You matter.

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Never Alone

We all have those moments. Yes that moment. The one you just thought of. At least that is what I just thought of. The moments when you feel like you are all alone on an island-the only survivor from a plane called life. Sometimes it seems that everyone else gets all the attention, and like no one truly sees you. You watch seemingly everyone else around you get affirmation and applause, but you are the outsider looking in. You walk through life, often hurting, but it seems that no one sees you. You wear a pasted on smile, wondering if anyone will notice that your eyes are just a little too bright, hiding the sheen of tears threatening to fall down at any moment. You spend your time giving everything you have to everyone else around you, yet it seems that when you need someone, they are off giving someone else what you so desperately need. Inside you scream, but outside, you are the epitome of happiness. You have become a good actor/actress, so good in fact, that you can almost fool yourself. Almost. There comes a point though, when everything seems to weigh you down. That pasted on smile begins to droop a little. Still, it seems that no one sees you. You feel like the weight of the world is all on your shoulders, and if even a feather of a thing dropped on your shoulder, you would fall and never get back up. You feel alone. Yet you are never alone. Someone else is dealing with the same thing you are. Someone else is feeling your pain. I have been in this place when it seemed that I was the one no one seemed to see. It was almost as if even if I walked into a room no one would notice me. I convinced myself that no one cared, and that I was not important. I believed that if I were not around, no one would even miss me. I flirted with suicide. I thought about how I would do it, and what I would use. I even planned out when I would do it. Alas, it wasn’t to be. God had other plans for my life. Sometimes we get in such a low place, and we allow our emotions and negative thoughts to talk us into decisions that we can never take back. It is only because of God that I am still here today. That’s one of the reasons I believe in Him. Even now, when low thoughts try to come, and when it seems I am all alone, I have to remember that I am never truly alone. My circumstances may seem that way. I may not have a plethora of friends, or a list of people I can call on at any given moment. What I do have is the belief that God loves me, and that the people who are supposed to be in my life are. I also remember that regardless of how it may seem the complete opposite, someone in this big world does need me. I am never alone, because someone else is waiting on me to remind them that they are not alone. The cycle goes on, but only if I continue the movement. You may be in a low place. You may feel like no one cares. Know this. I care. I believe in you. You are never alone.

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Embrace the Moment

Since the last time I have written, it has seemed like everything has gone haywire…not in a bad way necessarily…but everything in my life has begun to change. I began to rebel at the changes in my life because I felt as if everything I was familiar with was being taken from me. I was being forced into a time of uncertainty, one in which I was not sure I would like where I was taken. I am one who historically likes to be in control of what is happening in my life. I have been this way for years, and at first I did not cherish the thought that I had to relinquish control. Some events have happened in my life that have completely flipped my thought processes 180 degrees. It is almost like I had to go from age 0 to my present age in a matter of months. I almost felt like the babies feel who are forced into unknown territory after the comfort of their mothers’ womb. They are brought out of the womb abruptly into a world that is cold after the warmth they have experienced for nine months. I imagine they almost want to burrow back in. I quickly realized that me turning around and trying to retreat was no longer an option. I had already been introduced to this new environment and into new situations, and now I had to follow through with where I had been led. So here I was, kicking and screaming, wanting to blame everyone and everything for forcing me out of my comfortable place–wanting to blame myself for choices I had made, thinking that those choices forced me into this uncomfortable place. What I realized though is that whether I made those choices or other ones, I would have eventually gotten to this place. Rather than continuing to fight and fret that I was no longer in a familiar place, I began to look around and embrace this unique place I had never been in before. As I began to embrace it, change continued to happen. People continued to turn away. Things continued to be uncomfortable. In the midst of it though I realized that in embracing uncomfortability I had changed. I had somehow become alright being uncomfortable, being misunderstood, and being different. I had grown to a place where I learned to live in the moment and knew that whatever happened I would come out ok on the other side of it. I had embraced the moments, and as a result my moments had embraced me–and I finally felt complete. I encourage you to embrace your moments. Whatever it is that is seemingly uncomfortable, no matter how alone or scared you feel, know that it will look so much better when you look back at it. When you embrace the moments, you grow in them, and you become everything that is in you to become. Step out. Embrace It. It’s Good For You!

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The Frustration of Now

I haven’t written in a while, but I have to admit that since the last time I wrote there has been a level of frustration unlike any I have experienced before. It seems that frustration introduced itself into my workplace, my personal life, my church responsibilities, my familial relationships…everything! I found that in the midst of this situation, though I have some that I can call friends, and though I have leadership at my church who are well equipped to assist, I found that there was no one I could really talk to about the frustrations except God himself. I tried talking to my husband, but no matter how much he loves me, I could see that he did not really understand. I tried telling a friend, but they provided temporary relief. After the conversation I was assaulted again with the frustrations that persisted in trying to choke out any remaining joy or strength I possessed. I realized that even surrounded by people there are some things that I am meant to go through alone so that no one else can get the credit for helping me to get through it. I had to confront the reason behind my increasing frustration, and once I did so, I found that my frustrations stemmed from things that ultimately are not under my control. I had been seeking control and trying to make things work out as I thought they should. As a result I felt as if my efforts were not producing the desired results. The frustration of this present moment is that it does not look like what I have seen it will be. In my haste to see things appear now as I have seen them in my future, I was becoming discontent and not living the here and now. Don’t get me wrong, some of my frustrations are valid especially as it relates to my workplace, but I cannot allow my frustrations to stop me from pursuing what I know is meant for me to have. What I had to realize is that today is a frustrating rollercoaster, but tomorrow could be the day that I actually come face-to-face with all that I have dreamed of. So, while it is frustrating in this moment, in the next breath I could be able to inhale a wave of relief. Do not get stuck in your now–in believing that because it has been like this for some time things will never change. You have too much vision in you…too much desire in you…too much fervor and determination in you…to allow the flame carrying your dreams to be extinguished due to the rain of today. If we just take a moment and look back we will see that we have been in a frustrating place before, but we have come through and grown past that moment. Just because this moment threatens you, just means that you have to stand up and face that which is trying to intimidate you. You are stronger than your fears and your frustrations. You have power over them. Frustration is a temporary situation, so don’t allow temporary frustrations to disqualify you from a lifetime of dreams.

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It’s been a while since I last wrote…there’s been a lot going on but I could not go another day without writing. Over the last couple of days I have been extremely focused with a goal in mind, so I have been working toward that goal. In working towards that goal I began to think about all the things that I have accomplished in life so far, a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, getting married and staying married for the past three years, beginning my writing career, etc. I am extremely thankful that with God’s help I have been able to accomplish all of these things. I also began to think about the people who I have around me in my corner who root for me daily. For a long time I struggled with trying to make everyone like me, and trying to make up to others for mistakes that I may have made, but I came to realize that you can’t force anyone to love or forgive you. You cannot force someone to believe that you are truly sorry for what you may have done that hurt, offended, angered, whatever the case, that person. Instead of trying to gain a bevy of friends, sometimes we have to take a step back and look at those who are standing with us still–those who have loved us in spite of our mess ups, those who have seen us at our worse, and those who still choose to love us. If we stop and take a look around, we will see that we are surrounded by these people who are a silent force pushing us towards our goals–a cheering squad if you will. Regardless of if you have one friend or 100 friends, that one friend can be worth the 100 friends. Be thankful for who you have in your life. True friendship and love is one of life’s greatest treasures. Cherish it when you find it.