A Time To Build Up


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“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. . .”-Ecclesiastes 3:1

I sat in her office several times in the months before graduation. Numb. Passive. Indifferent. As if my mind had given my heart a shot of Novocaine to numb the ineffable pain, numb those emotions that flare up, numb that over-thinking mind.

“Are you excited for graduation?” she would ask.

“No,” I would shrug, nonchalantly, “I’m just. . .not ready. I’m not excited at all.” And I wasn’t. All I saw in the rearview mirror of my life was mistake after mistake after mistake, 4 AM bedtimes, moments of severe self-loathing, and never really being seen no matter how badly I wanted to be seen.

And let’s be real honest here. . .senioritis is real and eliminates motivation anyway.

She would talk to me about how much I had to look forward to, what I had to offer, how hard I had worked, and how I really needed to pass Intro to Public Relations. I knew it, every word. I cared only enough to get through but, at the end of the day, I saw my life going nowhere. For me, there was no light at the end of the tunnel and too often life was one endless, hopeless wasteland where God never showed up. It wasn’t that I didn’t have dreams or goals, but it just seemed like too much.

And all the psychologists said? Depression. Amen.

And all the others said? Drama queen. Amen.

And Jesus whispered? Follow, love. Follow.

2014 was about being broken down and weeding out things from my life. I thought I had it down and I thought I was strong, but I never gave myself a chance to truly and completely heal from the years that led up to me being broken. I never allowed myself to be still and I never allowed Jesus to work in me, so yeah. . .2015’s been a bust.

So I’m sitting here now before a virtual audience to announce that I’m unplugging. I’m backing away from social media, from family, from friends. For the longest time, I’ve been told how to feel, how to respond, how to think and with all these opinions coming at me, I became numb, overly sarcastic, and cynical. I asked for the opinions because I needed to be validated by someone in this huge world, but I asked the wrong people for validity.

Listen to me: Not one person on this planet can give you the affirmation you truly need. That’s one of those God things. There will always be someone prettier, smarter, or more talented. But there is only one you, flawed and beautiful as you are. And you are loved beyond measure. There is ONE voice you need to be listening for and to be honest, a lot of those other voices are nothing but noise. I’ve been metaphorically sitting in a room full of screaming people  for a long time. And I need silence. I need stillness.

I’m not embarking on a quest to learn who I am and what my purpose is in this life. I already know that I’m meant to write and that I’m a stubborn, self-centered individual. No, I’m leaving today to learn who He is and who He sees when He sees me. Essentially, I’m leaving to get my heart broken and to regain focus.

I had a solid ten subjects I wanted to write to you about today. And this was not one I considered until last night. I wanted to talk about being enough, about mental illness about quitting my job, about starting another job, about fear, about masks, about wildcards, about purpose, about broken pottery made in Italy, about things that cannot replace Jesus, and about being found.

And I’ve been sitting here, holding a little notebook with a pretty slick-looking lion plastered across the front and a gold pen, writing and stopping and starting again and scribbling out–particularly in my mind.

If I’m honest. . .I’ve been sitting here thinking about what to say for two weeks. Maybe longer.

I swear on my life that I will get back to those subjects because I believe those things are relevant. However, for now, I’m going to head into an emotional and spiritual storm that’s been several years in the making. Maybe I’ll come out refined–maybe I’ll crumble and crawl back into my comfort zone. I’m not sure.

But I do know Who will pick me up.

And I do know Who will pick you up. And I do know that if you need to back away too, there are always arms wide open. Don’t be afraid to be alone. Don’t be afraid to be broken

As for the blog, I’ll be doing some traveling soon so I definitely plan on blogging about my new adventures. But other than that. . .I’ll be back in January when I finish Ecclesiastes 3ing this mother in the face!

Much love to you all,

Mandie