Hope is a Journey….

Archive for October, 2017

Anchor

Over the past 3 1/2 years, I’ve struggled in a “Season of Silence.”   I’m not going to lie to you and say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, because – well, I haven’t.  I’ve built walls around my heart hoping to prevent even the slightest penetration that could result in more heartache.  In doing so, I’ve isolated myself not only from the pain, but also from the joy.


I went from writing music on a regular, almost daily basis – to only writing 3 songs in 3 1/2 years (2 of them were in the past month and a half).  I went from passionately advocating for others to struggling to be my own voice for myself.  I went from being deeply enmeshed in my community (on and offline) to being an outsider.  I went from my clear path to feeling like a lost wanderer.

Folks, I was drowning.

I was drifting away from my ship,

and I couldn’t see the shore – all I saw was this angry, relentless sea of nonstop moments that pummeled me without mercy.

…And then I noticed it.  There was a life preserver the appeared in between the swells.

It was then that I had to make a choice – to swim to it with every last ounce of strength that I had left OR I could stay where I was and wait for someone to come and rescue me.

I decided that I had waited long enough…and I began to swim.

It was scary.  Every wave that crashed on me felt like it was pulling me under, and I feared I wouldn’t be able to resurface.  Every breath I took was a mixture of water and air…

But I got there….And when I took hold of the life preserver…

I noticed that it wasn’t floating aimlessly…It was tied to the ship that I fell from….

And that ship was anchored strategically in place…

Waiting for me to return.

So here’s what I want to say to everyone out there who feels they are lost their own ocean of moments that just keep crashing down on you…

The ship is still out there….

There’s a life preserver waiting for you deep within those waves.  And it’s tied to your ship…you can’t see that yet, but it is….

And your ship, it’s ANCHORED and it’s WAITING for you.

So don’t just tread water waiting for rescue, swim fiercely KNOWING that your life preserver is out there, and it will be your rescue.

Anchor

Out on a limb
Trusting in you
Full of the promise
Faithful and true

My Hope & My Strength
My Rock & My Shield
Heading for war
On life’s battlefield

But oh, my soul…
I get weary, you know
And I want to let go…

But don’t let me drift
Away with the waves
Come be my anchor
Help me to stay
Strong with your purpose
Clothed in your light
Armed with compassion
To do what is right

To mourn with the hurting
Through the darkest of nights
To walk with the broken
When there’s no end in sight
To give so completely
That none can deny
Your Love is my anchor
And it’s changed my life

No I won’t be shaken
I will not fear
I’ll stand in the knowledge
That you’re always here
With you I’ll move mountains
With you I am free
You’re my faith, my foundation
The compass in me
But, oh my soul
It is well, don’t you know?
It is well with my soul
Just don’t let me drift
Away with the waves
Come be my anchor
Help me to stay
Strong with your purpose
Clothed in your light
Armed with compassion
To do what is right

To mourn with the hurting
Through the darkest of nights
To walk with the broken
When there’s no end in sight
To give so completely
That none can deny
Your Love is my anchor
And it’s changed my life

To give so completely
That none can deny
Your Love is my anchor
And it’s changed my life

©HRM17 9/3/17

Love and Light,

Stefani

If I’m Really Being Honest

Wow! It’s been a year and 5 months since I last posted.  I’ve thought about this blog countless times – wanting to share what’s been on my heart.  I’d like to say that ‘being busy’ was my reason for not posting, but…if I’m really being honest – I haven’t posted much because it’s been a really rough few years.  It’s been rough enough that I just crawled into my shell (I call this action, “Turtling”) and stayed there for the longest time.

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I was paralyzed in disbelief of the never ending swells of hardship that we have struggled to stay above water through.  Truthfully, I’ve been functioning (quite convincingly) in ‘Survival Mode‘ for longer than I care to admit.

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You see, ‘Survival Mode‘ isn’t as ‘safe’ as we all think it is.  I mean, don’t get me wrong – in acute situations – YES – it is a safe mode to be in (sometimes it is the only mode you can be in)…but to stay in ‘Survival Mode‘ for any length of time – well, it starts to eat you alive.

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It’s like a disease within your core and it slowly eats away at everything that you are, all of your dreams, all of your hopes, and…eventually, if you don’t stop it – the ONLY thing you’ll be doing in this mode is ‘exist’ – quite literally, you will merely ‘survive’ in this mode – there will be no LIVING.

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It’s a slow change…little by little you let go of the things that kept you grounded.  If I’m really being honest, for me, it was even easier to do this because of our move south.  It was easy to just let go of the things that made me SO driven – like volunteering, advocating, and connecting with others.  Moving south meant I didn’t have the connections, contacts, and the accountability that I had up in MA…and, if I’m being honest with you, I convinced myself that I was ‘just taking a break‘ from it all so that I could regroup and settle in to a new area.  That’s how it all began, and slowly – everything that ‘I loved to do’ became something that I ‘used to do.’

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If I’m really being honest with you….the only thing I did was disconnect, detach, and make excuses while the fire inside me was slowly being deprived of the oxygen it needed to keep me going.

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I had plenty of reasons for ‘shutting down’ – like serious health issues with both kids, adapting to ‘new medical norms,’ accepting progression of disease, financial struggles, educational ridiculousness…I mean, the list goes on and on – and – If I’m really being honest with you…we all have our ‘list of reasons’ as to why we’re ‘too busy’ or why we ‘don’t have time’ or ‘our plate is too full’ to do the things that we love, that we’re passionate about – that the world NEEDS us to do.

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You see, if I’m really being honest with you – I’ve been ‘stuck’ in this pattern for so long that I didn’t even know how to get out of it.  There was a feeling of restlessness inside my soul, but I was so STUCK that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

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It was like I had chained myself to ‘survival’

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that I was too afraid to just take the key that I had in my hand (the entire time) and free myself from the prison of my own creation.

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Now don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t completely void of living, I definitely spent some quality time with my family, made some great memories, led worship at my local church for a year, volunteered on a crisis team (also at this church) for a year, and even spoke a few times at events – but I was called to do more – and I robbed myself of so many opportunities to do so.  I regret not taking them, but the only thing I can do now is LEARN from those missed opportunities and make better choices in the future.

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So, because I’m really being honest with you – I’m going to tell you that I know I’m not alone in my experience…

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I know this because I’ve talked with people about it, I’ve seen friends living in ‘Survival Mode‘ and I see their chains – they look a lot like mine.

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I am here to tell you that you can have every reason in the world for shutting down, shutting the world out, holding back, and going into ‘Survival Mode‘ – but…
it. will. not. help. you.  

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It will not stop the chaos, it will not stop the fear, it will not stop the hurt, it will not stop the uncertainty, it will not stop anything BUT YOU.

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Yes, it will STOP YOU from healing, growing, changing, learning, and giving.  Often times, our deepest growth is born through our worst and most difficult times.  If we run from it, if we try and hide from it, if we think we can escape it – all we’re doing is fooling ourselves and denying ourselves the opportunity to grow – despite the immense pain or the obnoxious discomfort that we feel.

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There’s always a choice…you can OPT OUT of long term ‘Survival Mode‘ and choose to LIVEbut it will still cost you – it won’t be easy…there may be a lot of tears, a lot of heartbreak, and a lot of pain – – – but you WILL find your way through it.  I can’t tell you how long it will take, but I promise you, you WILL get there.

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And, when I say, “there” – I mean, you will get to a point where LIVING is again beautiful, rewarding, joyful, and brings you peace and happiness.

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For those of you struggling or unable to get out of ‘Survival Mode” – I get it – and there’s no judgment here….all I’m doing is asking you to do is keep fighting to release yourself from the chains of ‘Survival Mode‘ and step out into LIFE again.  It’s going to be hard, uncomfortable, painful, and maybe you’ll hate it for a while…but I want you to know that I’m here with you on this journeyyou are not alone.

Never-alone

I’m still making my way back from stagnant survival and I’ve been clumsily making my way through the healing process…it hasn’t been easy, and a lot of it has definitely NOT been fun – but I’m working on LIVING OUT LOUD and I am finding my way back to the things that filled me with passion and peace.

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For me, my faith has been my anchor.

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It has been a refuge that has held me steadfast – even when I wanted to let go and drift away in the sea of unrest.

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And, if I’m REALLY being honest with you…I’m pretty sure that I haven’t seen the last of  ‘Survival Mode‘ – but I am determined to never let it take root in my life ever again.

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It’s good to be back…

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Love and Light,

Stefani

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