Over the last couple of years, my family life has become strained a bit. I have always been the type of person who “goes with the flow.” I never really plan too far out. I never had huge dreams for a specific job, or to find my husband by a certain age, to have a certain number of children, or to live in a certain place. I guess you can say I’ve just always taken each day at a time, and whatever God had in place for me, I nurtured and waited for the next chapter or situation to present itself and go from there.
I met my husband, got married, and before I knew it, I was the mother of two wonderful children. This is the only time in my life when I felt I knew my purpose on earth, and that was to be their mother. I take so much pride in being their mother. I was very hands-on when they were young; they never really had a babysitter besides a family member; we were in multiple playgroups; I always had something planned to help them to gain experiences to mold them into diverse individuals. I did deal with some ridicule for “trying too hard” with them, but it didn’t phase me much, as it was what I felt was right, and I never doubted myself.
As they grew up, nothing changed except a little less hands-on, and I let them grow in their ways as I should. When college came into the picture for my oldest, this is when it became hard for me. For the first time, I wasn’t needed and even necessarily wanted around as much as before, and it was difficult for me. Nothing was ever mean and intentional, it was just life, and my kids were growing up and spreading their wings.
At this point in my life, I became frustrated and sad for the first time. I have always been an energetic, happy person, but now my purpose that I took such pride in was not as needed as much and I didn’t know how to have that strong of a desire for anything else- at least yet. I had a strong urge to turn to God. I tried to get my family to join with me in growing our faith, but at that time in their lives, their desire wasn’t as strong as mine, so I often watched service online.
But finally, in March of last year, I took a bigger stand for my family and myself. I started attending church in person. I tried to lead by example and daily encouraged them. I was at church almost every Sunday with a family member or two or alone. It didn’t matter. I took it seriously, I listened with all my heart, I tried to learn all I could, I prayed hard, and I leaned on God for everything. God became my focus, and my life started improving so much, and positivity surged up and surrounded me.
This was a domino effect, I started to notice my family leaning in toward God as well, and everything was so much better. I came to a place in my heart where I accepted my now simpler job in life as a mother. God started impacting all of our lives and yet again grounding us, and it was so amazing. I now desire to grow as strong as I can in my faith.
I will never forget a turning point for me, one Sunday I was at church by myself, and that particular day Pastor Tige was delivering the sermon. I took communion, and just as I always had, I began my self-reflection and silent prayer as I sat there waiting for communion to end. The tears overwhelmed me. I was sitting there crying for no apparent reason. But the truth is that there was an apparent reason- I was overwhelmed with thankfulness and faith. The Holy Spirit was working in me and I felt it to my core that day. I’ll never forget it. I kept wiping my eyes, worried that others would approach me to make sure I was okay. I was definitely okay! It was such a wild feeling but a wild, beautiful feeling I will never forget.
This November, my family made big moves to decide to put our house that we had lived in for 16 years on the market. It sold in a weekend, and we were searching endlessly in a tough market in South Florida. The decision to move was a quick one, one that was desired but we didn’t have to do, but wanted to do. I had many friends ask me during this time if I were nervous or worried, and you know what – I wasn’t at all. I put all my faith in God, and I prayed for guidance and a clear path, and he led us right to our destiny in this chapter of our lives.
I wasn’t worried about the house searching process. I just wanted clarity. I prayed hard the week we decided to put an offer in. My husband and I both felt strongly that it was the right home. This might sound silly, BUT I will never forget the moment when we were in a group chat with our kids, showing videos, pictures, etc. and my daughter noticed that the address of the home is 3560. That only makes any sense to you when I tell you that the home we lived in for 16 years, the address is 356. That was the wink from God I was seeking, along with many others along the way.
Starting a new chapter in a new home sounds great and exciting, but that is not the most exciting part. The most exciting part is the growth I have gone through and my faith in God along the way. The process was easy because of God. The more I leaned in and trusted, the clearer my path was. He continues to give me “little winks” along the way.