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This is part of a collection of stories that are about Jesus, my life and millions of ways that God used to help me find myself and heal from my wounds. 1/

Think of this post as an introduction. An introduction into my story, an introduction into a series, an introduction into my why, an introduction towards healing.

Like many people who have gone before me, my journey has been exhausting. It is messy. It is heartbreaking. It is riddled with so much struggle that it almost seems unrealistic in nature, yet I have come to realize that I have walked and experienced all circumstances in my life not only for myself, but to share with anyone who will listen in the most authentic, vulnerable way I possibly can because without sharing our truth we often eliminate that relatability of our stories. Do not confuse my vulnerability with weakness.

Vulnerability EQUALS strength.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” Brene Brown

Here is my courage journey of showing up, experiencing the hard and sharing pieces of it along the way because stories matter. Life matters. Experiences matter. It all shapes us and creates us into who we are becoming. I forgot who I was for a while, so bewildered by the "rules" situated around me. When I started to be honest and share my truth - it got even more difficult. Being a pastors wife meant living in a fragile glass house of isolation. Everyone could look in, give their opinions, throw stones and you hid trying to protect your children, protect your piece of the story, hide your struggles and demons.

Often I have felt alone in the darkness of my journey and experiences. I thought that no one else was processing similar things the way that I was experiencing them. In the hard spaces that fill my life, I felt like there was a disconnect from my faith and my experience. I felt abandoned, bruised and battered. What I was feeling was triggered emotions that caused aloneness, shame, bitterness, controlled, afraid.

My story is unique to me, but my experiences are not unique, nor are the feelings that I have felt through my journey. Stories matter. Your story matters. No one can tell either of us that their personal journey is wrong or how they are feeling is wrong - for me, those feelings and experiences, they are mine. They are apart of me and have shaped me. Taking the time to write down and acknowledge the journey is a process in healing. In true vulnerable fashion - I am going to share pieces of my story - the raw, dark, not so fun pieces that have lead to a rediscovered faith and healing in a way that I never knew existed.

My healing is not over. My journey is not over. It is just my process of healing and freedom up until now. These life experiences shaped me and caused me to fully abandon my faith - only to discover the truth about who God is.

These are my responses to situations. It is a collection of stories about the Jesus of the Bible, who is abundantly different than the one preached from the pulpit of many churches. It is about life and a million different ways that God sought to infuse my life differently with a beautiful perspective towards a wholeness in my faith.

This is a series of 20 posts in my journey as I discovered freedom in my faith, healing in my hurts and an authentic vulnerability that simple felt like me. My hope is that you can use the healing steps that I share with you. That my honest feelings through experiences will help you in some way not feel alone. I want everyone journeying in their faith and the deconstruction of what they once thought to experience steps towards healing and freedom in and through their faith.

Let's be honest. Life is hard. We experience a deep sense of winter in our struggles and summer in our growth. All of these things are a celebration. I want to celebrate in the everyday circumstances of life. To see the beauty in the hard and difficult things. From the hard choices I have made to the bullying of the church in my life - and everything in between.

This is my story. A story of redemption, breath, possibility, heartache, loss, beauty and CHANGE.

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