Healing is Possible. God is good.

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A few years back when I began college again I was taking my first writing class and asked to share a personal event that changed my life. I would go on to receive an A on not only the paper but in the class. I told myself when I felt ready I would share, because I always feel that someone out there in the world can be helped through our experiences both good and bad. So…here I am sharing my essay with you all now 4 years later..

 

“My heart was racing as the Doctor gave me the news.

I’m sorry, Miss Ogle, but you’ve had a miscarriage.

And just like that, my life had changed. Whatever the rest of her speech was seemed to all be a blur. I couldn’t focus on anything other than the fact that my heart felt as if it was being torn from my chest. It wasn’t just a baby I had lost that day, but a part of myself as well.

The drive home seemed to last forever. Mom trying to make small talk with me. I could tell she didn’t know whether to give me words of encouragement or talk about something else completely. I chose to change the subject. After all how could I be this upset about someone I had never met? I wasn’t even showing yet. This was embarrassing. I walked into the house and plopped on the couch. I glanced to the corner of our living room which was already piling up with baby items. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” lying across the coffee table. What now? Then the phone rang. Of course the downside to being in a tight knit family is no situation is ever private. I needed a minute to process this without having to describe in detail what had happened.

I kept replaying the Doctors visit over and over in my head. How could this be? I felt the tears coming, warmly falling down my cheek. And then a surge of anger came over my entire body.

“How could you do this to me, God? What have I ever done to deserve this? I would have been a great mother!”

The only way I could get my emotions out was to have something or someone to blame it on. And the easiest target was God. After all, he is in control of everything, right? At least that is what I had been raised to believe, but my faith had been tremendously shaken.

For the next few hours I laid crying on the couch and attempted to nap but couldn’t stop my mind from racing, or the annoying buzz from my phone going off in what seemed to be 10-minute intervals. I decided there was nothing left to do but pray. As I began to pray for guidance in this situation my mind went back to 7 years ago. An event that to this day gives meaning to my life.

It’s 7th Grade, and I’m wide awake on a school night. Pondering life after a deep conversation in my English class that day of where we all came from. My response:

“Well God made all of us of course!”

I became very surprised when there were a few opposing views from my classmates. My grandmother was a pastor at our local church, and I had been raised to believe in God from the time I could remember. But all of a sudden it occurred to me – is this what I really believe or is this just something I have been taught?

God, I need some answers. If you are really there listening, I need proof because I’m not so sure I believe this stuff.

My prayer was done and I headed to bed.

About a week later, I find myself walking down a busy street with my best friend Aleia. As we trotted towards the local gas station we noticed a red balloon in the middle of the busy traffic rolling around in a mud puddle. And it didn’t matter how many cars whizzed by it was not popping. Upon seeing the balloon Aleia dares me to grab it, tie it to my wrist, and walk into the gas station wearing it. Challenge accepted. I looked both ways and raced to the center of the street. I grasped the slippery balloon in my hands and noticed lumps all over. I had saved it just in time before it popped! I return to Aleia laughing hysterically.

I can’t believe you actually did it!

I was about to tie the balloon to my wrist as I was told, when I noticed a note card with a message stuck to the back of it.

“God put it in my heart to send out this balloon. To whomever finds it needs to know that you are loved by him.”

My jaw dropped and I instantly began to cry.

Okay, Okay you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to!

No it’s not that! You don’t understand!

I began to explain to Aleia the prayer I had made a few days prior and the significance this balloon actually had. This was not just some old lumpy balloon. This was my very own message from God himself! I went home excited and told the story to mother and called grandmother. God is real grandma! He is real and he sent me my very own note saying so!

I made a promise to myself that day that I would never question God again. And I would try, no matter how hard the situation, to remember the excitement I felt in that moment.

So here I am 7 years later, just losing my first pregnancy. And it’s the hardest thing I ever had to go through. It’s easy when things are going your way to have faith and to thank God for your blessings. It’s another story when you lose something so special to feel thankful at all. I realized in that moment that this situation is when my faith counts the most.

Hebrews 11:1 states “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I could sit here and cry and wonder why this happened, or I could trust that God in fact has a plan for my life. It may not be turning out the way that I wanted at 20 years old, but there is hope for what I cannot see nor understand at this time.

I struggled with this situation for a long time. But the more I prayed and trusted God, the more peace was brought to me. As the truth behind my 8 year relationship with my high school sweetheart came to light, it eventually ended. Drugs, cheating, and lying all took a part in breaking what I once thought was something so solid, but what really shook me was the fact that he eventually ended up with one of my best friends. After I accepted the situation for what it really was I realized that if I would have had a child in that relationship, they would have been brought into the world in an abusive and toxic environment. This is not how I want to raise my future children. This whole time I had been putting all of my effort into a relationship I knew wasn’t right. I had put aside my own needs and more importantly I put my boyfriend in God’s place. When your priorities are mixed up the rest of your life becomes chaos. And It doesn’t matter how good your intentions may be, it will eventually catch up with you.

After taking time to pray and reflect on everything that happened I thought of my red balloon. I realized that if God would send a curious 7th grader a message, he surely would not leave me alone now to deal with such a traumatic event. I could feel his presence with me and a peace that no amount of kind words from family or friends could offer. Even though losing my baby was difficult, I will now be able to offer a more stable environment for when I choose to have children in the future. I may not know all of the answers as to why bad things happen. But what would be the point if I knew it all? Isn’t that the joy of life? The unknown? Having faith that in the end you will be exactly where God intended for you to be? And it will be better than anything you could have imagined.”

 

4 years after writing this essay I am now married and my husband and I are opening up the conversation about trying for children soon. At one point in life I thought I had lost all hope…I truly believed I was unlovable and the thought of being pregnant again terrified me because of my miscarriage. While I still feel the miscarriage looms in the back of my mind from time to time…I am so happy to finally be in a stable relationship that will allow us to create life & grow a little human that will change the world in some way. How beautiful is it that through all of our mistakes, hurts, trials, etc….God listens. He listens and he guides us to the exact place we need to be in order to fulfill our life purpose. We are about to celebrate 2 years of marriage next month and I honestly can’t wait for the day we get to say we are expecting. I will forever mourn the loss of my little one at age 20….however I know I will be that much more appreciative for the one my husband and I will bring into the world in the near future.

 

Healing is possible. God is good.

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How to “UnFunk” Yourself

FUNK.

We’ve all felt it. The every looming FUNK phase in our life. It comes and goes. Sometimes provoked by crappy circumstance, and sometimes not. However for some reason when it hits..it hits HARD. And it feels even harder to come out of. Literally every aspect of your life can be brought down by the ominous FUNK.

I was in a bad funk the first half of 2018. I was running two online businesses, managing a company of women succeed in their own ventures, & still attempting to manage my every day life as wife/daughter/sister/friend. Until one day my world stopped.

On March 1st, my birthday, my beloved grandfather slipped into his next life as I held his hand. My soul was shattered. My eyes are welling up with tears as I type this and still remember that final touch of his hand. How would I ever be the same? I wouldn’t.

My funk then turned into a deep depression and I attempted to (and still attempt to) navigate through the emotions of grief. How could I just go back to work like everything was normal when such an important soul was lost? I wanted to shake the world and tell them all to STOP!!! This man meant something..haven’t you all noticed? Do any of you care? Do you even understand what he was and is to my family and I?

I struggled for the next few weeks to even get out of bed. Not only for my loss but seeing how this loss impacted my family. My mother who lost her father…my grandmother who just lost her mother 3 months prior now losing her best friend & husband. Talk about gut wrenching…. I begged and pleaded with God to PLEASE let my Grandfather send me some type of a message. I just needed to know he was safe. I just needed to know what I should be doing next. What should I be doing? How will I be doing it?

On the morning of his Birthday July 3rd I was getting ready to head over to my grandmother’s house. My sister had planned a special balloon release in his memory and for celebration of his first birthday in heaven. As I was getting ready I randomly started hearing this song in my head.

“Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin

I then started having this memory of a fish. Some random toy fish on a board that you could hang up. It had a red button on the bottom and would move its head/lips and sing this song. The song just kept repeating itself in my head. I knew I had heard this song before (who hasn’t), but I wasn’t quite sure where this memory of a toy fish was coming from. I blew it off and left for Grandma’s house.

When I got there we were all visiting and this memory popped up again. So I asked Grandma..

“This is so random. I’m not even sure if its real or if I dreamed it. But did Grandpa by chance have a toy fish back in the day that sang the Don’t Worry Be Happy song?”

“Yes he did! Im surprised you even remember. You were so little when he had it. You used to make him play it and sing it to you all the time.”

Chills.

Call it what you want…that was my sign from him. I had been spending the last few months so worried about what was next & how/what I should be doing. He heard me. And this was his advice. When I got home I thanked God for this message & decided I no longer wanted to be living in this funk/fog/depressive state. I had to stop worrying & be happy because this is what my Grandpa wanted.

Which leads me to the whole….How to UnFUNK yourself portion of this. I recognized that while part of my funk was completely based on circumstances I couldn’t control…there was a whole other side of it that I COULD. I recognized that I was overwhelmed. I had 2 businesses to run, a community of women to train/help, and still maintain a semi-normal social life through all of this. Why was I overwhelmed…what was I lacking here?

Structure.

You see being an entrepreneur and working from home is amazing however…there isn’t a schedule unless YOU create one. And I needed it desperately. And not only did I need a structured schedule of time, but I needed a new perspective. My mind went back to my grandpa who suffered his whole life with Polio. Never being able to walk on his own. But he still showed up for his family, friends,…and more importantly HIMSELF. He showed up everyday with his crutches determined to work and do what needed to be done. And here I am healthy & able and I sleep in, groan about work, never go to the gym, become so overwhelmed with my own lack of schedule that I procrastinate and let things pile up. How selfish of me! What a gift it is to be awake, able, and alive today to make a difference! I needed to practice gratitude. Even if it was in the smallest way.

So I made a schedule. I started off by writing down what my ideal day would look like. If I lived in a world where I was a morning person, I could start my day with a fresh & positive perspective, & I had more time to accomplish my never ending list of tasks…what would that look like? I mapped it all out hour by hour. As I was staring at it I realized…I could do this. There is no reason this cannot be attainable for me. If I want to live the girl boss life…I HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. NO EXCUSES.

So I challenged myself. For the next 30 days I would stick to this routine Every. Single. Day. I would show up for myself just like my Grandfather did. I would not continue to take for granted the days given to me. Here is what some of this new routine looks like for me…

6:00 wake up (alarm is set to Don’t Worry Be Happy song)

-Do NOT check social media first thing. Devotional/Personal Development time, let dogs out, Breakfast/Coffee, & clean kitchen & living room for the first hour of the day.

7:00am Social Media Check in. Catch up on all missed notifications, messages, emails etc. And make your morning post. (Which usually ends up in some inspiring tid bit I reflected upon from my personal development I started the day off with)

9:15am Mon/Wed/Fri Gym Class (This may vary depending on what class I choose to go to. And if I decide to go on a Tues/Thurs class in the mix thats extra brownie points. (Literally…I can enjoy an extra brownie for working out more)

10:30am-11:00 Shower & Snack

11:30am- Facebook LIVE Get Ready With Me on my Beauty Page

1:00pm- Boutique Shipments

2:00pm-Deliver to USPS

2:30pm- Walk Dogs

3:00pm Catch up on house cleaning

 

And the rest of the day varies depending on what events or appointments we may have. But you get the overall view. Being able to TIME BLOCK my schedule and say…okay Im giving myself X amount of time to focus on this one area…. After that time is up…my work is up and the rest can wait until tomorrow….THAT has been a LIFESAVER. I realized that I’m a one woman show. Thats okay..but I need to be realistic & strict with where my time is going. If I want more hours in a day..I need to get my butt up earlier instead of sleeping in. If I don’t want to feel overwhelmed and flustered while I work….I need to set boundaries for myself on when Im focusing on what area and keep that promise. Which means leaving some messages unread if they come during a time that Im focusing on something else. And THATS OKAY!! For my sanity, for my productivity, for my soul. I also utilize a paper planner not just my phone! I have it set up in 3 sections.

-3 Things I MUST get done that day (If I do more great, if not thats okay too)

-3 Things of Self Love (How am I going to invest in ME today)

-3 Things of Gratitude (Small or Big doesn’t matter..writing out what you’re grateful for helps you actually visualize it and appreciate it more)

Combining my phone calendar, alarms, and paper planner has truly kept me on the structured path & I think I’ve finally found a system that works for me!!

It has now been exactly 21 Days since I started this “UnFUNK yourself” schedule, and let me tell you, It has been LIFE CHANGING. Some days its been difficult for sure. Some days I stray from the actual outline, but overall It has given me a new motivation for my day to day. I’m actually excited to get up early and show up for myself. To spend time with ME. That way I can be the best version of myself and pour more inspiration into my work & into others.

One of the personal development books I’ve been listening to on my audible app is the book “Girl, Wash your face” by Rachel Hollis. It really helped further push my perspective towards a positive light even in the midst of darkness. It helped me recognize that I should be showing up for myself like I do my friends. How can I expect to be running every aspect of my life efficiently if I can’t even keep promises to myself?? I highly recommend if you’re trying to learn better habits or create a new schedule that you read this. (You can grab it here)

The truth of the matter is the FUNK will always be here. It will creep up unexpectedly and still suck to go through. However we are not completely helpless. We have a choice. A choice to show up for ourselves and continue to show up every day. We have a choice to show gratitude for even the smallest of things we have. I challenge you all to take some time and write out what your ideal day looks like to you. Then come up with a game plan on how you can achieve this kind of schedule. Do you need to get up an hour earlier? Do you need to block out some time to dedicate to specific tasks? Do you need to set alarms on your phone to remind you? (Like I do!)

After 21 days of keeping this promise to myself I can confidently tell you it has started to change my life. All areas. For the better. And I know it will do the same for you!

Happy “UnFUNK”ing babes!

-TheMavenLife

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