I stand on the precipice of change, cautiously peering over the edge into the abyss that awaits me below. Teetering on the brink, I step carefully, placing one foot in front of the other, determined to stay upright and alive. I must not falter for death is a waiting adversary, one whom would greet me with open, yet daggered arms.
I have spent much of my life afraid of change. Change has always been the inevitable bearer of bad news, my brain telling me of all the ways I could have prevented it.
“We are getting a divorce.”
“I’m moving to Massachusetts.”
“We can’t be friends anymore.”
Change has sucked. It’s been hard. So, I’ve always approached change with an abundance of caution. I would delay decisions that I wanted to make quickly, because I have been afraid. Anxious even. I stayed in jobs longer than I should have. I’ve stayed friends longer than necessary. I’ve let myself become unhappy for too long.
So that is where this post truthfully begins. With change.
Let’s start with the beginning, and that will hopefully help fill in the details and catalyst for this turn my life has taken.
In the later portion of 2017, I noticed that something was amiss in my personality. I was feeling withdrawn and woefully abandoned. As it turns out, I was “in the grip” of what can only be described by a clinical term: depression. I was in a bad spot at work, no longer feeling comfortable in my own day-to-day, and I knew that it wasn’t okay. I sought help.
As months went by, with the help of my counselor, I was able to come to grips on various aspects of my life. Toward mid-January, we came towards a revelation that was truthfully unbeknownst to me; I was burnt out. You see, in addition to working close to 50-hours weekly, I was also a full-time college student, plus a highly-involved ministry partner in Middle School Ministry. I was balancing multiple plates in the air and I was teetering on the brink of having them all crash down.
So, after a lot of thoughtful prayer and advice, I made the decision to step away from Middle School Ministry at year end. As much as I have loved it, it truly has been a joyful nine years of my life, it was time that I hung up the ol’ dodgeball shoes for a while. Life has simply required it of me.
Let it be known, that was far from an easy decision. I have openly cried as a result. The kids have meant the world to me over the years, giving me some semblance of a purpose in my life. In some very truthful ways, I have lived my life in a way that has allowed me to be there for them. Most people don’t know, but I have been offered many positions over the years, including some generous offers to live elsewhere, but I declined them for one reason or another because they would interfere with ministry or take me out of state. In my mind, I could not leave them behind. God simply wasn’t finished with my work there.
I may someday return to a role in a Youth Ministry setting. I do not yet know where I will end up. But one thing is for sure, if I can, I will always be there for the students I have known and become friends to. Just because I am physically not there on Sunday mornings and youth events, does not mean that I stopped caring. I don’t have that ability.
In addition to my leaving Middle School, I needed to re-evaluate other aspects of my day-to-day. And I have. As must as it pains me to say, I have not been truthfully happy for a very long time. I’ve had momentary happiness, but at the end of the day, it fades. These days, my social anxiety can almost be overwhelming. My brain’s automatic response during conversations with people is a hurtful one, “they don’t truthfully like me. It is just pretend.” It sucks, but its something I am working on. Also another reason to step away, at least for a time. My brain doesn’t allow me to believe that I’ve made a positive impact, though words I’ve heard from others tell me otherwise.
As of now, I will not be attending Faith Community Church as it doesn’t fit me where I am in my journey. I just no longer feel as if it is where I belong. I have often walked out of the door feeling lonely, and I am in a place where I can no longer accept it. In recent months, I haven’t felt inspired to dive deeper into my faith. I haven’t felt connected save for existing relationships with people and in ministry. I’m sorry. But these are the hard realities I have to face.
Where does this leave me? Well, friends, I am fighting everyday to regain my faith. Reclaim the mantle of who I am supposed to be. I need to find out where my path is heading. I need to find where I belong.
The journey of change starts now. I’ve deleted social media off of my phone, because it serves as a distraction plus only serves to increase the feelings of being left out of various aspects of life. Social media puts my social anxiety into overdrive.
I’m going to be attending various churches over the summer to locate one that suits me where I am. To inspire and deepen my faith. To rekindle the fire. To allow me to truthfully be me.
I’m asking you to do a couple of things, if possible.
- Pray. Pray for me to rekindle my faith. To find my sense of belonging. To become whole again.
- Don’t be a stranger. If you want to talk to me, reach out. Comment on this blog if you don’t have my information. Message me on Facebook (it may take a bit for me to get it, but I will.) Text me. Call me. Invite me to a cookout. I need people who care about me to reach out. Please.
- Don’t read too much into the negative aspects, but know that I am working everyday to become better. Support me. Ask questions if you don’t understand.
At the end of the day, just know that I care about you. I have tried over the years to give my heart and soul to everything I do. It’s just time I give a little bit of that heart and soul back to myself a little more.
Thank you for understanding. Thank you for reading. Thank you for allowing me to matter to you.
I love you all.