I just spent a week alone camping in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I was there all by myself for five days. Did I mention I was ALONE?
Does it seem odd that a single woman would make a 2,000 mile round trip journey by herself so she could spend time near the ocean? I am sure it does to some. But I am at a point in my life now where I realize if I don’t have someone to share experiences with that I am not going to allow that to stop me from doing the things I want to do. So I packed up my car last Saturday and I headed towards the Atlantic.
I didn’t go stay in some fancy hotel with an ocean view. Sleeping in a tent and being outside under the stars listening to the crashing waves is what my soul needed. You see, I have not been myself this year. I have been extremely distracted, depressed, disoriented, unfocused, unmotivated, and well I have strayed off course. Before I left last week I felt like I couldn’t even breathe. I was exhausted and in a horrible mood. I needed fresh air, new scenery, and a new outlook on things. I needed a soul vacation. I needed my life back.
It is so interesting how God answers prayers. Most of the time I just pray for everything to be okay and for things to work out the way he wants them to. But sometimes I ask him for specific things and I never seem to get a clear answer. Other times I ask for things and like magic, a door opens. This happens to me frequently but I am not always in tune enough to notice. Sometimes when he doesn’t answer…THAT IS MY ANSWER. But this time I noticed an open door.
So I have been grappling with a decision. The door opened while I was at the ocean soothing my soul and I don’t think that is a coincidence. If I explained my situation here, it would probably make absolutely no sense. Because on paper, it really doesn’t. In my head it really doesn’t. It only makes sense when I remember that I have a purpose and a calling and it is NOT to be miserable for the rest of my life. But it isn’t an easy decision. It is not a “hell yes!” decision. It means I am going to need to let go of some things that I have held onto for security and step out of my comfort zone. It means I am going to have to muster up every ounce of courage I have inside my bones and really go for it this time. Because this is it. Right now is all I have and by living in the now and walking through the next open door means losing something that is comfortable and stable. But in exchange for losing something comfortable and stable I will find me again. And I have missed me.
Change is scary. Making a big decision when you are really afraid can be overwhelming and almost paralyzing. But I do not want to remain in the same place my whole life. I can at the expense of losing myself but that I will not do. So I got quiet. I listened to the ocean. I prayed a lot. I focused on my breathing. And I heard what I needed to hear to give me the push to move forward.
My roommate told me that the difference in my mood when I returned home from how I was before I left was like night and day. That made me happy. Sometimes when I am so wrapped up in my thoughts and feelings I don’t even realize that I am on the way through to the other side.
My life has always been a series of hills and valleys just like everyone else. Things will always happen beyond my control to knock me back down again. But it is my choice to be willing to change my life when things aren’t right. It is my choice to stand back up and keep moving. I am terrified to be honest but I know I am NOT alone. God is always there holding my hand when I decide to close my eyes and jump.
Stacey ~ iamalive