Throughout our life, there will always be change. Some we've asked for or prayed for, while other changes come unexpectedly. Change can be both good and bad, welcomed or feared - but no matter what it comes.
I strongly believe (now more than ever) that our entire existence is set up to prepare for different seasons of transition to enter and exit our lives. Our body, mind, and spirit somehow align - coming together when it is time. Sometimes in protection and other times in courage, so that we transition through smoothly.
2021 has definitely been my year of unexpected (and dare I say unwelcomed) transition. I am not a stranger to change, as my life has been a roller-coaster ride from the start, but it always makes me uncomfortably fearful. As a person with anxiety, I tend to love it when my life turns out exactly as I have planned. But the artist in me secretly rejoices every single time spontaneity happens. Suffice to say, a transition is always very bitter-sweet for me.
When the year first began, I had this gnawing feeling that somehow, in some way, my life was about to completely change. I just knew that something was going to happen and spiral me in the air so that I could land somewhere new in my life to start over. Sounds silly right? I know but, I've always been a very intuitive person - especially when it came to my own life. My inner voice always cries out - I just never listened much to it when I was younger. Now, I sit up immediately and take notice. Something I've promised myself to do, whenever that feeling washes over me. So January 2021 was that time for me. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what was going to happen, but I knew it was going to be life-altering - and that was making me very uneasy. With life-changing events, it's often never immediately seen as something "good". Life evolving manifestations are always painful, and incredibly challenging. So, whatever was coming, I knew I had to brace myself.
At the start of February 2021, the wave of change came roaring into my life, like a damn hurricane. Completely blind-sided and caught by surprise, in the blink of an eye, my life changed in seconds. When it hit, it hit hard! I now know firsthand what it means when people use the phrase "I saw my entire life flash before my eyes" because that's exactly what I saw. One second I was perfectly fine and safe in my skin, and three seconds later I thought it was all over. I had been scared before, anxious, overwhelmed with emotion before, but not like this - NEVER LIKE THIS! It was like watching a movie, and it was all happening to someone else. Almost like an out-of-body experience.
Since then, my life has been flooded with change. At first, I wasn't sure that I possessed the strength, resilience, or courage to go through this journey. If I'm being completely honest, I am still struggling with it. The fear and anxiety surrounding these new and continual changes are beyond overwhelming, most days. But somehow, I keep going.
I have always prayed loud and hard for the things that don't come naturally to me in my life. I have begged and pleaded with God to take this ever-growing and consuming fear that I have in my heart, that suffocates my life. I have prayed for strength and courage to always do what I had to, in order to be happy, and feel safe. I prayed that God would help guide my family to grow with me so that they could always support my choices - even if they did not agree or understand them. These have always been my prayers, in hopes that I could be happy in the life that God has chosen for me. For years, I felt as though He heard me but was still working on it - as I never felt strong, safe, fearless, or courageous in any way.
But as always, I never understand God's way. The universe has its' own time for things and its' own way of doing those things - I just wasn't listening close enough. Probably, because I was too busy begging for change that I thought was never going to happen. It's so funny how we perceive things, isn't it? We only see what we want to see. What I am learning is that everything unfolds as it should and that there are so many hidden meanings in the things that happen to us. We just have to be open to it.
A few different times over the course of this transition, I have heard an inner voice. At first, I thought it was my own, as I always try to talk myself through hard things. But, then I realized it wasn't me. Well, not exactly. You see, our inner voices, our intuitive natures, that is the universe / God / our faith speaking to us - guiding and helping us. I heard things like everything will be ok and I am with you. It was all very odd but I will tell you that it calmed me down instantly. Like something washing all my fear of the moment away. I certainly couldn't explain it, so that means it's not meant to be explained. Then, the other day, I was praying (again asking for strength and courage, and peace of mind) and I heard something again, from deep inside of me. "I will first make you strong, then I will make you happy" A phrase that I didn't quite understand. For the next few days, I tried so hard to understand what the hell that meant. First strong, then happy, what? I didn't get it! Then it happened, a bit of Saturday morning clarity.
I was laying in bed this morning, watching the sunrise, thinking about all that's happened in my life in a very short time. All that is still to come and I began to feel frightened again. So, I sat up, grabbed my cellphone, and began scrolling through social media, to take my mind off things. A monologue from a movie caught my attention. The clip showed Morgan Freeman speaking to a woman, in the voice of God. The woman was asking for things and he made her understand that everything she was asking for was in fact happening, only she didn't see it. I replayed it over and over again, listening intently. After the third time, I finally understood. Talk about seeing something, reading something at the exact moment in time, when you need it most. It finally came - clarity.
" If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or, does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If they prayed for courage does God give them courage, or does he give them opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for their family to be closer, do you think God zaps them all with warm fuzzy feelings? Or does he give them opportunities to love each other? "
I started to cry instantly because I knew that this message was meant for me. The universe was listening and God was always present in my life - giving me exactly what I needed when I needed it. Only, I never saw it. I didn't get it. Every moment in my life when things got hard, or scary, it was then that I got what I needed. All the journeys were ways in which to make me strong, more courageous, and to deal with the fear of it all. I wasn't just given that of which I prayed for but, instead the opportunity to demonstrate those attributes to myself by getting through what I had to. God created the scene where I would have to call upon that courage, that love, and that strength to believe that I could do what I needed to do. All the trials and tribulations, all the transitions and journeys - all meant to help me develop and use what I was given. After all, how do any of us know how resilient we are if we aren't given the chance to demonstrate that resilience? We aren't just strong, we are made strong by everything we overcome and see ourselves through. And it is within these times of change, that our loved ones support and grow with us. Show me a family that is close and stands together, and if you look beyond the surface, you will see how much they've gone through together. I guess I never really saw it that way before but, I get it now.
How silly I've been.
The hardest part about this particular life transition has without a doubt been that I have had to journey it alone, during COVID-19. For months, I kept thinking to myself, why do I have to go through all of this now, during a time of global pandemic? Could it not have happened before or after? Yes, I have an incredible village of friends and family supporting me, loving me, and seeing me through every moment, but when each challenge point arises, I have to see that part through all alone. This has been the scariest thing ever. This transition - the most fearful time in all my life. Why now? Because. Because I needed to be alone to become the strongest that I have ever been. That is why. I have to experience all the pain, all the fear alone - in order to appreciate what is waiting for me on the other side. All of this, to appreciate my life and make the necessary changes. I have to make, in order to fulfill what I was put here for. I have to go through this, in order to be happy.
"First I will make you strong, then I will make you happy"
This is all part of a master plan for my new life. Whatever that may be or look like, I am grateful.
I hope that you all remember this little story, the next time you go through a scary or challenging time in your life. You may not think that your prayers are being answered, but they are. You may not think that you are strong enough to make it through, but you are - you most certainly are. First, you must be strong, then you will be happy!