I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska while my dad was in the Air Force, but I’m a southerner through & through. I grew up in Alabama, moving throughout Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties somewhat frequently. I always joked that my parents never got out of the habit of moving every few years. The house I consider my childhood home is not even the house I stayed in longest, but it was where I made the most memories. It was a big, beautiful house where friends and family often found refuge when they needed somewhere to stay, or just for dinner and a place to hang out. My parents could hardly turn anyone away. On “spaghetti nights” I’d find myself at the table–often sitting on an ottoman, barstool, or whatever other makeshift chair I could find–surrounded by loved ones. Rarely was it just our immediate family of 5, but we were all family. It was hard to find a moment alone in that house, much less actually ever feel lonely.
At the age of 21, I was an “Air Force wife” and stay-at-home-mother of two beautiful children. Things looked pretty perfect from the outside. We had a house in a good school system with a big back yard, two kids–one boy and one girl, a nice car, and a steady income that kept the bills paid, but a very few close friends knew my reality: I was in a toxic marriage and had discovered what it felt like to be lonely. Painfully lonely. We divorced five years later.
By 29, I was remarried. I thought I truly did I have everything this time: The perfect husband and kids, a house, car, good job, and a lot of love. But suddenly, the honeymoon phase was over and it was obvious something was still missing. When bad things would happen, my world would crash. I didn’t know how to have joy when things weren’t perfect… until I got involved in a Church of the Highlands Freedom small group. My eyes were opened, chains were broken, and I grew closer to Christ than I’d ever been. I learned what true joy and freedom in Christ feels like.
My life is fulfilling because of my relationship with Christ, rather than with those around me. My church has become like my old home. There is always someone to love on and lean on. It’s that place where I couldn’t feel lonely if I tried and I’m so grateful for that.
I wish I could write more about where my life is now, but I’m in limbo. I’m not sure what the Lord is doing in my life or where He is taking me and that’s difficult, but one thing I know for sure is that it’s going to be good. I have faith that no matter how lost I feel at times, my Father put me right where I am for a reason. I’m walking by faith, not by sight, and I can’t wait to see where He leads me!