This past year has without a doubt been the hardest year of my life.
Approximately two years ago, I made a decision to leave my very fun job at a reputable retail store to pursue a career I really didn’t want. But the numbers and hours looked tempting so I went ahead with it. I didn’t seek out any Godly advice. I just went for it, and what a huge mistake that was for me.
At that point in my life, I wasn’t a very godly person at all. I was comfortable being an “ok” person. Not really having any type of goal or passion in anything I was doing. It’s hard to say but I think you could call me a “fake Christian”. I looked okay from the outside, but inside I was all kinds of messed up. I went to church a couple times a month, if I wasn’t being too lazy. My kids never really heard us talk about God. We would occasionally pray, but not frequently. I lived out the life of a stay-at-home mom but was utterly failing in every aspect of what it meat to a be a godly wife and mom.
I was constantly rude, self-centered, irritable, irrational, hateful, but most of all, just completely caught up in myself and making myself as miserable as I possibly could.
I kept feeding the evil little thoughts that I had a horrible life. A horrible husband. I mean, all I did was stay at home and keep the littles alive. Anybody can do that, right? I felt very unimportant. I felt as though this is what the peak of my life would look like. And it made me extremely depressed.
The whole, “grass is greener on the other side”? Let me be the first to say, I jumped the fenced. Want to know what I found? I found that the grass was greener on the other side, because it was fake. We all know the saying. And it is so painfully true.
So back to my story, I took a new job after leaving my retail job. This dumb, awful, HORRIBLE job was ultimately my demise. It was exactly what was needed to give me that title nudge in the wrong direction. The people I worked for were faker christians than even I was. And that is saying a lot. I was persuaded. Embarrassingly easily I might add.
I did not have the best marriage and I sought out advice from the wrong people. People I thought were there for me and who cared about me. Seeking advice from ungodly people is the WRONG thing to do. I mean, duh. But yet here I was doing it. I trusted certain people, and those people ended up failing me.
I put myself in this situation where I was tested, and I failed. I am not afraid to admit I failed. I have somehow mustered up enough of an outer shell to take whatever criticism gets thrown my way. And over the past year there has been A LOT.
It has been a year of consequences. Painful, unpleasant, agonizing consequences. And they have not come to an end. I face the same consequences day after day after day. Some things you simply cannot take back. Some things will never be forgotten. And unfortunately, if you are stupid enough to go down the same path I did, those consequences are something you will be forced to live with daily. And trust me, you don’t want that.
Oh how I wish I could go back and get some sense knocked into me. How beautiful my life was. I have 3 amazingly smart and spunky kids who are passionate, crazy, and all around, AMAZING. I got to spend every day with them. Not many women get to say that they were fortunate enough to do that. But I was.
I had a husband who loved me. Sure there were moments I doubted that and I will never say we had an awesome marriage. We struggled hard at times, most of the time actually. But I had him. He was mine and I was his.
All the little complaints I had, looking back on them now, they seem so miniscule. So unbelievably unimportant. It’s amazing to me how a seed so small can grow into something so big.
Back to the horrible job- After falling into sin and failing miserably at this job and marriage, I immediately realized being around people who are so incredibly damaging to me and unaware of their own troubling acts, I knew I needed to turn my life around and get back on track. Seems easy enough right?
Getting Back on Track is Painful
Living with yourself when you have failed so miserably is a very, VERY hard thing to do. People who are on the receiving end of your painful choices will have not much sympathy, I’m sure, which is understandable. But for someone who is filled with regret and shame, it can be a very long, hard road.
If you want to talk about the lowest of the lows, that was me. My husband and I were separated for approximately 6 months. (He is back home now.) He moved away and the kids and I only saw him occasionally. That was the lowest point in my life. Knowing I had hurt someone so deeply that they had to leave, and physically get away from me to actually allow healing within themselves to happen was hard to live with.
After my mistake, everyone around my husband and I were made aware of the situation, most of these people were made aware by someone other than me. That was forced upon me and it is what it is. Again, consequences. But when the people closest to you, your family, brothers, sisters, parents, when they are all made aware of what a complete a-hole you are and how you’ve hurt someone they care about, you will quickly see who really loves you, and who will turn their backs on you without blinking an eye.
I’d like to say I wasn’t abandoned and left to figure things out on my own, but I was. At least that’s how I felt. Some people managed to stick around. But everyone else, where were they? Where did they go? Did they ever really care about me, even like me to begin with?
I had never felt so alone and abandoned as I did then. I can’t explain the sense of despair I was in. It was hell. Pure hell. I cried constantly, hurt myself physically, and mentally I was a nut case. And all the while trying my hardest to parent my three children, most of the time, alone.
I can’t tell you the whole story of what I went through. I do not want to hurt any one or place blame on any other people. But the past year I have had to pull myself out of extreme verbal and emotional abuse. Some abuse I placed on myself because of an inward battle, but mostly the abuse came from other people.
Even as Christians, we have this tendency to kick people when they are down. It somehow takes the light off of us, and focuses it onto the other person. It screams, “Don’t look at me! Look at her!” And that is what I lived through, almost daily, for a good year.
There were many times in the past year where I was such deep depression, I wanted to end my life. The notes were written, the plans in my head were there, but God told me there’s no way He was going to let me do that. No, He had plans. He wasn’t finished with me yet. My story was not supposed to end there. I had no choice but to turn back towards God. Something I hadn’t done in a very long time.
One of the most powerful things you can do when you are hurt and in pain is kneel down, bow your head, and cry out to God. Prayer saved me. God saved me. There is no doubt in my mind, if I did not have Him in my life, it would have been over. Period. He saved me. And I will never stop glorifying Him for His love and mercy towards me.
It is weird to think that I’ve grown in the past year. It is a battle I face inside myself still to this day. My inner survivor says, “I’m tough. I’ve got this. I can survive.” But the other 90% of myself is screaming, “You will fail. You will never succeed. You are pathetic. You are worthless. You will NEVER come back from this.” And a lot more things I won’t repeat. Everyday I have to choose to get up and live. Even though some days I don’t want to. Even though some days the pain I’ve caused so many people is an enormous weight on my shoulders. Even though so many people have turned their backs on me. I still have to choose to get up and breathe. Just remember to breathe.
Even after surviving the worst of it, there’s still such a long road ahead of me. I take it one day at a time. And I can say with such joy that I am no longer thinking thoughts about self-harm. My marriage is slowly but surely being healed. And I can say with confidence that I know God will completely heal it, in time.
In all honesty, I could write out a ginormous list of why I think I am not a person worthy of forgiveness, love, or anything really. For some reason, even after you’ve made little accomplishments in the right direction, the past still looms and steals any joy you may have from any steps forward you’ve just taken.
I was never a people person. I’ve never been the most liked, or the person everyone wanted to be around. I’m very shy before you get to know me. I get anxious if someone approaches me or tries to talk to me. I feel very unworthy of attention from anyone. It is quite strange. And nowadays the self doubt is a lot worse than what it once was. I feel an insurmountable amount of hesitancy when it comes to forming any kind of relationships. I do not trust people and now more than ever I feel as though I have nothing to offer anyone.
And that right there is probably the hardest part of it all. As hard as you are trying to move forward, sometimes you just can’t. Maybe there’s someone who just won’t let you. Maybe that person will never see you as good enough. Maybe they will never really give you the time of day, because well, you messed up. And it is hard having those people in your life. It makes it so hard to move forward and move on from your past.
However, I have come to realize that what people think of me has little effect on me. Sure, that will take time for me to master. I am still concerned with what people think of me. I always have been. But slowly, I have been trying to change that about myself.
What God thinks of me is infinitely more important than what others think of me.
So, now what? Am I going to keep being a stay-at-home mom and try to go back to what my life was? No. Not quite. God has called me in a clear direction. I feel called to do something with my life. *announcement coming soon*
Since last year, I have taken many steps towards self improvement. I have big changes coming in the near future, and I am embracing every second of it. I can feel God working in my life and I have to let Him lead. I hope I make good choices for myself, and especially my family.
God willing, this next chapter in my life will be the biggest, brightest time of my life. I am choosing now more than ever to trust God and let Him lead where He may. I am surrendering myself over to His will and I am so excited to see what happens. I will never be 100% where I want to be, but I am open to embracing change within myself as well as in my life.
Have you gone through a tough time recently? If you have any questions or concerns, please comment below! I am here to help in any way I can. Struggles are real. I get that more than anyone.