It's been awhile since I have set aside time to sit and reflect.
To be quiet and still just for a few minutes.
I was intentional today about getting away to make this happen.

This rainy Thursday consists of a planner full of homework assignments to finish as I have a mere 8 days left of my first year of graduate school to complete, 4 days of work in a row beginning tomorrow, and other random places to be and things to do that keeps me running like crazy.

Since our trip to Nashville, I came home to a busy work schedule, a week full of break-out camp with church, and it has literally not stopped.
While I enjoy the business and tend to function better when life is really busy, I have realized my need to truly take some time for myself to be still and not feel rushed for a few minutes.

So this rainy morning I am enjoying sitting in a quiet corner alone in Rio Coco. (if you haven't been here in Vero you should definitely check it out!) 

I have wondered when the day would come that I could share my heart like I am going to, and that day is here.

As many of you know and have read my previous post, the last few weeks have entailed the best day of my life when my best friend asked me to marry him! Such an exciting time, and to be quite honest, its been so crazy and busy I'm not sure it all has set in yet. I still find myself looking at my ring, reminding myself that I am in the process of planning a wedding and the time I have so longed for is truly here!

While I shared bits and pieces of my journey in my writing up to this point, it was not the time for me expose all that I really was learning and going through as I was still processing and learning. I have known though, that in the right time I would share.

While I'd like to say the past year and specifically the last 8 months has been an easy time as we continued to transition into our new life back at home, this might have been one of the most difficult seasons of life for me. It is hard for me to admit my true feelings and honestly share with you the truth in my heart the Lord revealed to me through the past several months.

While I was genuinely happy for those around me, after 3 of my closest friends got a ring and started making wedding plans within 5 months of each other, I didn't realize it but it sent me into what I would call a panic mode. I didn't realize that deep down in my heart, stewing was jealousy, envy, and the lies from satan about what would never happen for me and put me in a place of almost being paranoid. Deep down if I was honest with myself and with God, I realized there was an anger deep within me that I needed to let go of. 
Where had all of this come from? Why did I feel like all of a sudden I was slammed with all these emotions I didn't know how to deal with? 

I've said it before and I will say it again.
The Lord truly brought me to myself.
This was a harsh reality for me.
The ugliness of my heart staring right back at me.

I'd like to say that I dealt with it, it went away and I moved on. Instead this was a process. A process to first own exactly where I was at. To admit all the true feelings I had, even the worst ones. To admit I was jealous, scared, freaking out, paranoid that I was going to be left, afraid that I would never have the desires of my heart. Never have my prayers been so honest, and in the same way, never have I felt the Lord be so near to me even when I felt like my life was far from being in the right place.

Little by little, the anger, envy, jealousy, and fears began to be chiseled away. 
Telling myself the truth based on facts, not feelings was an everyday event.
Mentally it was crucial for me to surrender my thought life to the Lord instead of letting Satan take hold of my thoughts.

While I longed so badly for this season of my life to be over, to have a ring and to feel the confidence that comes in moving to the next place, to begin planning for our future together and all that it would entail, 
I needed to be in this waiting place.

I never thought I would be saying or admitting this.
But I'm so glad that even though the days seemed long, that I was put in that waiting place. 

Even with Andrew, and certain things I could not share at the time, Him and I grew in ways I didn't ever think possible. His love, patience, and understanding with me during a time where I felt out of control is something I am so thankful for but also was crucial for me in realizing my need to trust even when I was not in control. I have said it many times before and will say it till the day I die, Andrew truly has been grace in my life and has made me and continues to make me a better person. 

By no means did all of my problems go away when the waiting time was over, but The Lord truly taught me so much during that time and I am thankful for the heart changes that have happened and are continuing to happen. 

The night that Andrew asked me to marry him, while it was the greatest moment of my life, in my heart I was reminded immediately of God's faithfulness to me.
In and through all of it, He was faithful.

He had given me the desires of my heart.

It is my prayer moving forward, that I would continue to be changed to be more like Jesus everyday. It is by no means something I am proud of, but I realize the growth that has come and the pain it took to get there. My faith and trust in God and Andrew grew during this season of life as I was forced to be out of the drivers seat and it is my prayer that I will remind myself of those long days, in my most desperate moments, to find confidence moving forward.

While I don't feel this entry captures even a hint of where I have been, I hope it blesses someone.
I hope if anything it encourages you to believe in the power of prayer, in God's grace and forgiveness, and also in His unfailing love and relentless desire for us to draw near to Him, and to find confidence in His faithfulness to complete all He has started within us.

I am still changing and I thank God for giving me the desires of my heart and for the opportunity to become more like Him! 


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