From 2015-2016, I rose from death to life with Jesus. For years, I never realized my full potential, but since my hardest winter, I’ve been uncovering my purpose and discovering who I was created to be.
If we don’t know we’re trapped, how could we ever know to break free? Sometimes, our familiarities and the things we’re accustomed to imprison us with limited thinking that keeps us from dreaming bigger dreams. Sometimes, it takes a rupture—an agitation of some sort—to shake our foundation, to bring us to our knees, to expose us to the Truth, to wake us up from dead living. Sometimes, going through the worst is exactly what it takes to make room for the absolute best. I didn’t find my freedom until I lost everything, but had I not fought through difficulty, I would’ve never discovered who I was always meant to be.
Unpredictable 2015 was the year I broke free. Having lost my identity through constant lies I used to believe, I didn’t know I was suffering and that’s the irony. Back then, I mostly felt the pain of the breaking and being broken down deep. I experienced “the worst” that pruned me for today’s refreshing Spring. An unexpected separation cut deep and tore open the box of the life I thought I’d get to keep. What could’ve possibly prepared me for the dangerous wreckage of a split marriage? Nothing. Weakened by a single conversation that put Divorce on the table, the thick walls of comfort that I leaned on for years collapsed on me almost instantly. It got real, real quick—made me lose my appetite to eat. Surrounded by ruins, disoriented by unnatural disaster, just devastated by a mess I couldn’t clean—this was the ultimate starter pack to get free and become me. This was the soil I needed to be buried in so that His (God’s) Nissi could rise up creatively.
As soil is for seeds, so were my trials for me. What felt like an eternity in the dark in the heat gave me just enough time to develop from every negative thing. Though it wasn’t my favorite to work through the pain, I learned the beautiful art of persevering. Every trouble (minute or massive) aimed to pollute my heart with weeds. Instead, they became all the right stretches that produced agility in me. Patient in the waiting (though the struggle was real) I got used to the training. Because of what I faced, my capacity to grow expanded, breaking off the weighty chains that strategically restrained me. All the crap that made me weak tested every fiber of my being, but it turned out to be the very thing that helped bring about the necessary fertilizing.
What I’ve experienced first-hand is “that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [Him] and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT). There were definitely some days where I desperately wanted to produce my own reality. I really hated the not- knowing. Over time I just came to realize that no matter what would happen, He’d work out every detail way better than I could ask or think. This simple yet profound truth watered the depths of my soul, drowning out each deceitful, ungodly theory. It welcomed in this raging peace that compelled my heart to surrender completely. Owning my weakness, letting myself feel all the feels (within healthy boundaries), I maintained my own garden by letting Love take over and meet every single one of my needs. To my surprise and everyone else who knew my story, I began to sprout up from the dry and dead places that should’ve killed and destroyed me.
So, where does this all lead? That’s the real gold that I hope you’ll get to see. It’s not about me; it’s all about how Jesus journeyed sweetly with me. We climbed and fell together. He collected all my tears. He taught me vulnerability and encouraged honesty. He wanted in on it all, especially the raw, the real, the ugliest of the ugly. My choice to invite Him in at my worst cultivated this pure intimacy that’s only bred from going deep. Now that I’ve tasted, now that I’ve really seen, there is no going back; I refuse to retreat. I’ve reveled in new territory that’s provoked my heart to risk and dream.
By letting Jesus grow me, the things within—my passions, His dreams—began to grow simultaneously. What you’re about to see on the next couple of pages is the garden we’ve been grooming. What used to feel impossible is ready for my taking. Clarity of vision to see the dreams He’s proudly laid before me, a passion to live in risk of failing “out of the boat” on waters raging—these healthy blooms were planted early, long before I started breathing. The seeds have always been in me. My heart and my soul just first needed a tilling (a form of deep cultivation that’s necessary when preparing a new garden bed or when adding large amounts of organic material).
Now in the reaping, I’ve got a massive supply with a harvest so plenty. Taste and see the organically grown dreams, my heart’s vision for 2018. As you see my goals that’ve grown from within, remember this bouquet of blossoms I’ve sketched simply began as seeds. It’s not just for me, this adventure in risking; I’m only but an example of becoming. We all have a unique story to tell and we all were born to dream. Wherever you’re at within your journey, you’re beautifully becoming. Nothing held back, my life and my process exposed unapologetically—may my spring of life and passion to risk invite you to grow with me.