Hello old friends!
It's amazing logging onto the blogging world and seeing what everyone's been up to after about a month of unplugging and de-briefing.
It is my hope that everyone and their families have grown, been blessed, and enjoyed the beginning of what is sure to be a beautiful summer full of lasting memories.
The last few months have given me time to reflect on the hardships of my life.
From losing my father three years ago to the loss of a friend to suicide and beyond-
it's amazing to see (and read back on) the ways I've grown and changed as a person over the last few years.
I've always been very thoughtful about the things in my life that I share publicly- however, I have found great strength in the support that comes with sharing me heartache here on a blog.
Blogging came to me at such a bizarre transition in my life-
that between growing up and facing changes in my life triggered by tragedy.
I am increasingly more grateful each day for the hand that I've been dealt and I find within my lovely support group, incredible church family, amazing home life, and long-lasting friendships that I am blessed in so many more ways than ever imaginable.
As time goes on, I am increasingly grateful for the full circle that God provides.
Open and honestly-
God and I have been STRUGGLING.
There was a good two weeks this past month that I was about to throw in the towel on faith when people and circumstances around me allowed me to feel God's love in my heart.
This always seems to happen.
I can just hear him say-
"Here I am, and this is my love for you, these hardships in your life are all part of the beautiful plan that I have for you."
If you are a non-believer,
It is my prayer that you find it at least curious how wonderful this world is.
Because we live in a wonderful world.
A world full of cruelty, tragedy, unimaginable circumstance, hardships, and pain-
but a world also filled with wonder and joy and friendship and lessons of love and good intention.
Tonight I went to family event at the local park with friends, family, and community members.
The live music, dancing littles, and good food spoke to my soul.
I kept looking around at the things around me.
On what could have been a lonely Father's Day filled with sadness- I was loved.
I was dancing with my little sister and a few family friend's kids thinking about the euphoric normalcy of the moment....
I opened up my heart and this is what I heard from within, and it changed me.
It really changed me.
"Ellie, you are a normal person. A person whom sins, does good, and then sins again.
A person who struggles deeply, yet rejoices whole-heartedly.
A person whom has hit rock bottom countless times and with the strength of community, gets up again."
I was feeling prayerful in that moment and complete with what I believe to be God's word when I opened up my heart to this-
"Ellie, you are a normal person....Yet you come from extraordinary love that exists within an extraordinary God. & that is an extraordinary blessing."
& while I'm struggling deeply in my life-
this was a very happily ever after moment.