So, our lives don’t always end up looking like our dreams that we had as small children, right? Life sure can throw curveballs!
I mean, if you had asked me as an 8 year old, where I would be in my mid 40’s I would NEVER have told you that I would be a divorced, single mom of 3 teenagers. In fact, that kind of thought wouldn’t have even been an option in my mind. However, like most of you know, life throws us some curve balls from time to time.
One of the major curve balls I experienced was after 19 years of marriage; my high school sweetheart/husband looked me in the eyes and said, “ I no longer choose you. I want a divorce.” In that moment I wanted to crumble to the ground and disappear, however, for the sake of my children, I knew I had to be strong. So, I decided, ok, if this is happening, I’m going to have to turn into Wonder Woman – nerves of steel, able to carry the world on my shoulders – in order to keep life moving forward for my kids. My plan worked great for a while. People who knew me would say things like “ wow, you are so strong,” “ I could never handle this as well as you are, how are you doing it?” On the outside I was focused, determined, and unaffected by the curve ball life had just thrown me. My kids didn’t see me cry and they saw mom doing her best to make life as good as she could for them.
Then, I met some wonderfully amazing people at The Journey Training, who challenged me to see relationships, my life, and myself from a different viewpoint.
At the Journey Training, they created a safe place for me and gave me full permission to feel. They had shown me that life is not meant to be done alone and that its highly important to be real with others.
They share a quote by Walt Anderson; “ We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.”
Because of the curve ball life had thrown me, I had stopped trusting and had lost my love and joy for life. I thought I was showing my kids how to be strong and move on but in reality I was modeling how to hide your emotions and be fake.
I decided to take the new knowledge and tools that the Journey Training provided me and make a change in my life. I opened up and was real with some awesome people who truly cared about me. This reopened my heart to the joy and love for life. I also realized that I needed to implement these tools with my kids in order to help them.
Now, as a parent, I don’t share everything with my kids because they don’t need to shoulder adult responsibilities. However, I was able to open up and be real with them about what was happening in our lives and how I felt at times. By being vulnerable and real with them, it gave them the opportunity to trust me even more and to find their voices to share with me what they were feeling. It brought us closer together as a family and I looked like Wonder Woman to my kids while still being as vulnerable as a lobster in my time of growth and adjustment.
When we try to be the super hero, we shut others out and isolate ourselves. When we choose to be vulnerable and real and trust others, we allow for them to step into their amazing vulnerable selves and we can do this thing called life together. Only then are we open to fully feeling and experiencing the great love and joy our Creator truly desires for us in life.