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Me @ 39: Gimmie My Stuff Back!

Let's first stop and acknowledge that I have officially raised an 18-year-old! For the past 18 years, I have started my day on July 7th, waking up to pause, listen, reflect, and share my thoughts.

There are a few people who I know have read just about every birthday post and to you, I want to give a huge THANK YOU!! Over the years I've been very inconsistent with my writing, sometimes I'd only get this birthday post out, but you all came and read it like I deserved a faithful audience and I'm grateful. And if I'm being really real, I needed it.

Over the past six years, I've felt myself go from a dedicated warrior to a passive participant in life. I went from intentionally praying and going after the things I believed God promised to me to simply taking whatever happened to come my way.

Now, of course life's circumstances played a big role in this. Here's just a high level glimpse:

  • 2018 - Unexpectedly pregnant with our first child, got so sick I was hospitalized for a weekend

  • 2019 - Had our first child and quite positive I was on the brink of post-partum. Then got pregnant again coupled with a sicker pregnancy + another hospitalization

  • 2020 - Pandemic comes for all of us + had our 2nd son (w/o everyone able to help cause the pandemic). Note: My mental was pretty jacked by this point (high anxiety)

  • 2021 - Adjusting to raising 2 kids under 2, finished nursing our second son, then Breast Cancer diagnosis

  • 2022 - Actively in treatments (chemo, surgery, radiation then more chemo)

  • 2023 - Treatments end and the sloooooooow process of rebuilding/healing begins

  • 2024 - Continued physical/mental healing + realizing the damage

All this to say, ya girl needs a great therapist! LOL But, I'm serious, do share if you have one you love cause I'm shopping around.

On to the point!

From my college years up until 2018 (with the exception of 2010 - a story for another day), I distinctively remember being generally focused, clear about the direction I was headed, and committed to growing in my knowledge, experience, and understanding of God and His word.

I did a podcast in 2015 on prayer with my good friend and birthday twin, Chrystal Hurst. This conversation gave a good glimpse into my prayer life at the time. It was rich, deep, and intentional.

These days, I'm struggling to sit and pray for 5-10 minutes...they are "as I go" prayers. Meaning I'm literally praying as I go from task-to-task and place-to-place.

For almost three years (2020-2023), I was afraid to be outside the house by myself. I especially wasn't going out with our sons by myself, not even for a walk down the street we lived on.

We would sit in our driveway for outside play.

Part of it was just a mental limitation issue; then during and after treatments, it compounded to a physical limitation issue. I physically was unable to do basic things like walk across the room without setting off a heart episode. I mentally was afraid if I tried to do too much physically, I'd pass out or die and at the time, my children were too young to get help or make phone calls.

Now at this point, some would go straight to blaming the devil and absolutely I could, to a point, but honestly, I think I just handed him over some of this stuff.

I mean, I straight played dead.

Defense mode, deactivated.

The only will I had was to live. I did the bare minimum to do so.

At first the bare minimum was resting as much as possible, then I added consistently changing my diet, two years later, I added physical activity.

This is around the time I started looking around at everything I'd let go of without a fight.

At 38, my vision started to clear as I emerged out of what felt like an ever-changing obstacle course of life with new challenges at every turn.

I'm not gone lie, I'm still dealing with PTSD from it all (like for real send me your therapist recs).

I'm starting to live and dream again, I'm driving again, I see the clouds parting and the sun shining, but there's a part of me that's afraid to run full speed ahead because, "what if it's not over?"

What if I have a recurrence?

I still have a sporadic irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath sometimes; what if it escalates into something more serious?

I'm just sharing a small glimpse into the ongoing battle, but I feel the warrior in me awakening.

She's wiping the crust out of her eyes, looking around and squinting in attempt to make sense of it all.

She's picking up and dusting off her weapons and she's gathering her fellow warriors because she knows she can't do this alone.

Rebuilding takes a team.

Rebuilding takes time.

Rebuilding takes tenacity.

From a practical perspective, these are the things I'm committing to do at 39 as I reclaim and rebuild:

  • Spiritually - More time in prayer and reading God's Word

  • Physically - Working out & Eating well (starting back after today cause I gotta have cake! :)

  • Relationally - Engaging my husband, children, and our community more, not doing life alone, more phone calls, meet ups, and hang outs.

  • Personally - Reading and writing more, being more vocal, asking more questions

  • Professionally - Growing the business, sharing more of who we are and how we serve. Creating new opportunities for ourselves and others.

I'm going to add quantifiers to many of these in my journal so I can better measure progress over time.

In the meantime, I'm making good on two of these commitments at once by starting a book club! I mean, it's a book club for at least this one book, we'll see about ongoing once we get into this thing - ain't making no promises beyond this one. Lol

For those who are interested, I'd like to hit the relational and personal bucket by reading through and discussing, Dr. Sarita Lyon's book, "Church Girl" which releases August 20th.

If you'd like to join me, you can sign up below and I'll send out more details now and as we get closer!

Hope to see some of you in the book club and in the comments with those therapist recs! :)


Check out my previous birthday posts:

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