Last night a wave of sadness just overcame me. This week I kept thinking, why does this have to be my story?
I look back to all the ways my story could have been told. Scholarship player at UNC. But instead I was told I could walk on. No national championship. Chance to try out for the US National Team for field hockey, only to blow out my knee. Reporter at NBC Philadelphia. Pregnant with twins or having our baby boy. This list could continue of ways it could have gone.
That was my life and the possibilities that God put before me. But instead, I am finding that the story God wants to tell in my life is one a girl with bipolar disorder that serves in the disability community. A woman that is raising two beautiful girls that suffered with late losses in pregnancy.
The first paragraph sound a lot more alluring and honestly so much easier. But that is not who I became. I was a high-level athlete. But instead of writing a book on my career as an Olympic athlete or journalist, God used the disciplines of training to prepare me for my work ethic and devotion to my career in the field of education. To work as a team player to hopefully someday make systems change. The tenacity that I had is only driving me to want to go deep in pursuit of systems change in my work.
Having a mental health condition was honestly my worst nightmare. I don’t use that term lightly. My family faced intense pain with what my mom’s condition and at 17 years old, that news was devastating. Through soul searching and encouragement, 20 year after diagnosis, I am proud exactly who I am, bipolar and all. This disorder is the fabric of who I am. It’s the story of where God has reached down and showed me that I depend on Him and Him alone. I take medication that keeps me stable but when depression or anxiety creeps in, I find Him. In long walks with my dog, in music, reading the Psalms, I hear His voice. I am never alone and face the dark paths with confidence knowing my Savior is beside me.
The recent loss of those babies did not destroy me. I still don’t know why my son could not be part of my story. I don’t understand why He chose to take him almost halfway through with no explanation. Why is that my story? Why is it that He chose suffering to show me how deeply I could feel loved?
I have come to the place that it’s because this is not my story I tell. It is His story in my life. God’s hand has been in every aspect of my existence. Look closely and step back and you can see Him in your life too. Throughout time He is always been a God of redemption, especially in the toughest circumstances. For me, suicide attempts and death were no match for Him as that is where He meets us most. The darkness of our lives. He only light. We just need to see Him and feel Him. Not push Him away.
The love of Christ is so vast that the oceans and sky are small in comparison. That story of His death is one I need to know. Every ounce of pain and suffering were cast onto our God so that we may have Hope and live forever with Him. That story is perfect and I don’t even deserve to be part of it.
So, I will let Him work in my life as He sees fit. I may not get to pick out the ending of each chapter I live but I trust in the One who does. Even in my darkest hours, He has picked me up and shown me deep love. He freely opens His arms with His powerful presence.
As much fun as it would have been to be a reporter or athlete, this girl will gladly take a messy, at times painful life. I have always said, I am His beautiful mess. In my job, motherhood, marriage. I will let Him write these pages and trust that it is all meant for purpose. We all have this purpose. I hope you seek out yours with me.