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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to write this post only to let my words sit with me for over a year. It’s been quite a year. December 15, 2013 changed the direction of my life forever; everything familiar, gone. The past 12 months and five days have been a whirlwind.

You never think having a broken heart could cause so much hurt, isolation, and destruction in one’s life, but it did mine. I picked up old habits, fell into depression so heavy I stopped caring about my weight and my life. New Years Eve of 2013 I remember wanting to end it all. Typing this is hard but even through the midst of the hurt and wanting to give up, God was in the midst of it all. He was in the girl who sat with me that night in silence as we both struggled together in our hurt. He’s been through the tangible and the unseen, He’s been with me through everything; I see it clearly now.

Everything in my life over the past year had a domino effect. When one part of my life fell, the rest went with it. I lost “friends,” gained friends, and lost some more. In the end though, I gained community.  The gain in finding people who were and are willing to walk with me through life was worth all the losses I faced. I’m learning now people who are truly for you will never allow petty arguments, theology, or their own feelings ruin what God so clearly brings together to display His glory.

All I felt over the past year was an emptiness, I felt incomplete. The familiar of what I had known for most of the past two years was gone, people who I confided in, trusted, and carried were merely strangers. Even now when we walk past each other, there are no words, only the cold shoulder. I’ve had nasty things said to me in public and in private. People who swore would have my back were quick to stab me in it the moment there was disagreement. 

Everything felt like an assault on my character. When one thing kicked me down another was right there behind it ready for the next beating. Yes, I felt like a helpless victim. 

When I turned 31 in October something inside me changed. I owe a lot of this to the women in my life who have supported me, encouraged me, and have been willing to carry my burdens when I was too weak to stand. Most of my writing over the past four years has been out of hurt and rejection. Yes, most of it is me playing the victim. This was/is my place to bleed. I have no regrets for being transparent and vulnerable with my story. Whether in the private space between me and a friend or in a public space like this blog. There’s no shame in that and no one should shame us for sharing our story. More people should learn to keep it real, God eventually exposes it anyway.

I may not have everything I want at this point in my life. Honestly, I saw my life completely different than it is now, but I did find one thing; real love. Real, gut wrenching, in your face, love. Not from a man, not from porn, but from the hearts of women who openly share their struggles and walk with me through mine. I see Jesus in every single one of them.

There was a lot of sorrow in 30, I won’t lie. A lot of hurt that spilled into other areas of my life and reopened wounds, but I can close that chapter of my life now. Thankfully and without regret or remorse. There has been joy in being 31, a joy and peace I can’t explain in words.  I can walk into a new year knowing I have what God knows I need and leave what He knows I don’t behind.

No matter who has hurt you, wounded you, or left you, don’t carry it around any more. Release it to God and let Him have it. Don’t try to pick it up again to relive what God has clearly told you to put down. I’ve had to tell myself this repeatedly every time I’ve wanted to send that text, e-mail, or show up at their door.

When God closes a door, leave it shut. Your heart will be better for it and so will you.

How will you spend the rest of your year — with regret or freedom?

#heartcheck

photo credit: Der Wunderbare Mandarin cc