With the new year comes fresh ambitions and long list of goals and changes for so many of us. I love gazing ahead in hope at all that could possibly transpire in the year ahead. But the past few weeks my mind keeps drifting back to a few years ago when my heart was heavy and hopes and dreams seemed great for anyone but me.
I mentioned in my post in the tour of Ally’s tour that we nearly lost her to a drowning accident. It was by far, the hardest thing we have ever experienced. I will never forget how helpless she looked that day and I still remember thinking that she was gone forever.
It was truly a miracle and afterwards I was so grateful to have her and never wanted to take a day for granted with any of my children again. But the night was hard. My heart was heavy and something dark was on my heels. Something I didn’t talk about because I didn’t want to seem ungrateful at the wonderful things God had done in my life and hers.
At the time I didn’t know it, but that darkness following me around was shame and it weighed heavy on my shoulders. I pushed through, put a smile on my face and stayed busy raising our three little ones, but my shame creeped into depression. It wasn’t until we lost our fourth baby to a a miscarriage in the second trimester that I started wondering if maybe I should speak with someone.
Six months later I called a counselor and I am forever grateful for the next few months where I visited her and she helped me out of the darkest part of my life. I was fragile and broken hearted in so many ways. She helped me find truth and hope and my way out of that heavy place of depression and anxiety.
Why in the world would I share all this here you may be wondering? Honestly, it is really hard to talk about. And I have only publicly shared it one other time, at the Women’s Event this past spring at our church. I knew in my heart that God wanted me to share my story of how He saved my daughter and then me, but it is never fun sharing the sharp edges of reality with anyone.
But to my surprise after I shared my story woman after woman walked up to me and thanked me. I never expected a thank you or really even anyone to understand, but the truth is we all have our valleys. We all have stages in our lives where we are stuck in a pit and worry we may never escape.
I want you to know that if you find yourself in a valley or a pit you were never meant to stay there. When I was depressed I felt so much shame and was pretty sure I didn’t deserve any good thing in my life. Maybe you can relate?
The amazing part is, after I got help a year later I looked back and cried at how I saw God working in my life when I felt there wasn’t one person in my corner.
He was lining up people left and right for what was to come. I went to my counselor in the fall and we bought the barn the next spring. It took a few sales for it to catch on, but the next fall we welcomed 1000 people to the barn and afterwards I cried and told Cam how overwhelming it was in my heart to see the work God had done in a short year. The Lyss a year prior to that could have never imagined putting a sale together and hosting that many people.
And as we continue to grow, start new projects and chase new dreams I am reminded of how I once was… broken, sad and ashamed. So full of pain that I thought there couldn’t possibly be one good thing out there for me. Now I see that there was a big plan and I would get to do things that I dreamed about as a girl and long forgot. I would get to see grace unfold again and again and never tire of it. Everyday I am literally blown away at the gifts in my life. I am overwhelmed by the support, love and encouragement y’all give us each sale, daily online and anytime we try something new. It is easy when you are down to look around you and it seem like everyone is doing great things, but that could never be you. But today I wanted to hop on and encourage you and remind you that that is simply not true. Don’t give up sweet friend. There are beautiful things ahead.