So.. Funny story. I began writing this post on Tuesday night. I finished writing and I felt immediately lighter. I put a lot out there on this little MacBook Pro. Some things were heavy. Too heavy for sharing. Which is why I tucked this little story away and just pushed save. It was all about being stranded… And then it happened. I seriously became stranded, Friday. In my car. Alone. With a dead battery. And my thoughts immediately ran to this post. This can’t be why this is happening.. It was too soon to peel back this layer. Or maybe, it was His way of awakening my soul to see what I would do in a situation where I really was stranded. Where did my heart go. If this was the case, I failed miserably. I didn’t pray. Instead, I immediately called for help. I mean, I should know that most men carry jumper cables and I didn’t need a fleet crew to help me. All the while, I was just a couple doors down from a car center. Help was within reach; but my eyes were fixated on the present. I wasn’t stranded. I was just blind because I was taking full control. Like I do most every, darn day. So, here’s the story.
My coach said something so powerful to me tonight. “What if there are no wrong decisions? What if either path takes you to the same place? You know He’ll never leave you stranded…. Right?” Was that really true? And did I really believe it? “He will never leave me stranded.” Did I feel stranded when my dad walked out of my life at the age of thirteen? My head says no. But my heart says yes. Did I feel stranded when time never allowed feeding my daughter before work because I had to rush out the door to run to an audience of physicians who were going to begin their day regardless if I walked through that door. Yes and yes. Did I feel stranded when I shared my first political post ever in this election season and could feel the tension on the page? Big, fat, bold yes.
There’s two things I know to be true in this world. Number one, we shouldn’t set expectations for others – only ourselves. People are flawed and human and are made to be imperfect and disappoint. We must accept this, give grace and move on. And number two, He will never leave you stranded. Know this and believe this. “He, will never, ever leave you stranded.” I know this because, I’m living proof.
Sitting here tonight, it’s hard to believe I wrote these words on Tuesday and this played out only yesterday. This is how I have full confidence that God is in the details. Every detail. What I feel broken about now is this – What have I robbed myself of because I’m writing my own story instead of the one that is intended. Please tell me if these words hit you like they hit me? There’s something so beautiful that we need to realize no matter the side of the fence you fall. The remnants of the mess we leave behind is where the beauty begins. And it’s in these deepest valleys of life we grow the most. If you’re in a place like that now, celebrate it. Be so thankful God loves you enough to carve you into a stronger human being. Because He knows you can do it. And you will. Amazing well. Because of these simple words… He’ll never leave you stranded.
A friend recently shared with me that she had no idea of the relationship I had with my father. She pictured this strong relationship that was life giving – where he was breathing inspiration into this purpose of design and the beautiful spaces I’ve created. It’s exactly the opposite. When I actually think about it, every time I entered into a conversation with him, I felt stranded. From the college I chose to the basement I insisted I could design for our home – it wasn’t good enough. Stranded. Yet, I love what God taught me through this. When your happiness is dependent upon someone else, you’ll always be left disappointed. Rule number one, no one person should be your anchor. It’s funny, he doesn’t even know any of these words to be true today. There was a lot of brokenness along this path; but he made me stronger. Work harder. Never ever give up. Now having a family of my own, I’m wise enough to see that there has to be healthy boundaries drawn in every part of my life – and that goes for my work. I’ll never work as hard as he did; because he gave up the most beautiful thing of all, his family. Our story is such a beautiful thing. There is beauty in the pauses. And every turn makes me appreciate the bends in the road. Every. Single. Day. To say yes when we want to say no. To be firm when we want to cave in to the little ones. Because when they’re at their worst, they really do need us the most. That’s restraint. That’s real strength. And, that’s beautiful. And guess what, in every single one of those moments, I was never stranded.
This is why I remember saying long ago, “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I just knew I wanted to make something beautiful.” And this is it. I’m just beginning to realize that this just might be it. It’s helping others create this for themselves. Inspiring them to think big and dream bigger. Live in a home they love. Because being beautiful starts in a place that we can be honest with ourselves. It’s saying no when the world wants you to say yes. That is a healthy home. Beautiful things happen when we intentionally pause in life. We remember why we do what we do. We triumph. We create memories. And we pick up those that feel stranded. My hope is that those reading this know that they’re never alone. We’re all in this thing together. And it’s our responsibility to leave a piece of this world a little more beautiful than when we arrived. That my friends, is beautiful. I’m already well aware that I will fall. And I will fail; but I will never be stranded. And neither will you, ever.