Bloom with Grace

WELL, if you know anything about me, it’s that when I don’t write, I’m avoiding a process.

I thought that maybe if I pretended I was over it, didn’t care, then it wouldn’t hurt.

And man am I wrong again.

But then it’s beautiful because I get to pour out these random words, make them into sentences, and bring freedom to myself and to someone else.

It’s only February.

And my word for this year, restoration, has felt more like TURMOIL!

But when I take a step back outside of my emotions, I realize just how much restoration has been happening. I promise I’ll write an update next week on the things that have been in the process of restoration but for now, lets get real and dirty.

I sit here typing as tears form in the corners of my eyes, and I can’t even fully tell you why. Partly because I don’t even know…….  and partly because maybe I do, but for the sake of the drama-less community of DYL and the Holy Spirit always being like girl calm down, I generalize.

I am angry. I feel lost. I feel free. I feel stuck. I feel opportunity rising. I feel depression around the corner. I could punch a hole in a wall. I could crawl into my bed and not come out until Sunday night. I could be the life of the party and talk your head off.

I don’t share this for you to be concerned about me, or for you to pity me.

I am stronger than I know, and I always figure it out.

But what dilemma to feel so many different things all at once!

I left a place I called home and people I called family in October (which I’ve mentioned in previous blogs) and I never would’ve imagined that my entire being would be shaken by this. Silly I know. But it did.

My routine of life as I had known it abruptly changed. I had to make an attempt at new friends. I had to find a new home to attend on Sundays, at a new time, with strange faces. I had to really decide what LESLIE believed in. And I had to be vulnerable.

Which I have been, in building friendships, in trusting where the Lord was leading me.

But I am still hurting. The carpet was snatched from under my feet, and I fell hard and when I looked up, it was me who had done the pulling, without warning.

Like girl, can I get a schedule, an explanation, a 10 page research essay next time before these life-altering decisions happen?!? LOL

I can 100% stand by my decision to leave, but I wish I would’ve prepared myself for the heartache that I was about to walk into.

It’s heartache for many reasons but mostly because I forced myself out of my comfort zone and things I wasn’t expecting to change, changed.

I was complaining to myself today about the weather. It’s been raining and chilly again, when just last week, the sun was shining (80 degrees bright) and the wind was just right. I woke up two nights ago because there were loud thunderstorms at 3:00AM and the showers have been making an appearance on and off for 48 hours now.

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It’s that rain that sprinkles and doesn’t fully come down, the one where you can’t turn on your wipers, but you also can’t turn them off. The one that stops when you grab your umbrella but starts as soon as you start a conversation with the friendly stranger in the parking lot. It’s a rain you cannot predict… or trust.

And you know what that reminds me off? My emotions right now.

I cannot trust what they are feeling, because tomorrow, I might be laughing and loving my freedom, while last night I was sad and overwhelmed with this process.

But when you embrace the rain, let it fall on your windshield a few seconds longer before turning on the wipers, when you don’t get angry that your blowdried hair is going to frizz but instead you allow the waves and the curls to do their thing, when you don’t get mad that you cannot wear your suede boots but instead you pull out your shoes that have a little character and a little history to them, the rain suddenly doesn’t suck as much anymore right? Somehow NOW you can trust it. And what’s even better is that in May, the flowers will bloom. The one’s that died in our cold winter were replaced by new seeds, and these random days of rains are bringing that life, allowing the seeds to develop, to grow roots, to be planted, and then to be enjoyed in the summer on the hottest and brightest of Texas days.

See, I’m going to choose to embrace my emotions, to embrace the pain that I feel, the anxiety I feel when I walk into a new group of people to introduce myself, the awkwardness I feel when I share my heart with strangers only to find we do have things in common. Embracing though closely related is not trusting. I am not placing my hope in the wild emotions, but rather in the seed that has been planted; which is the Word of God in my life.

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The Lord has promised many things to me and my heart, both through His Word, but also through His presence. And I know that these showers of emotions and processes are bringing life to those seeds I am planting and have previously planted. And as I continue to be faithful and obedient, the flowers will bloom. I will bloom. My heart will bloom.

And you will too.

If it’s a hard season for you, if you are not where you thought you would be, if you are in the middle of a thunderstorm, if you are in the best season of your life, know that you are PLANTING seeds that will turn into beautiful flowers, or trees, if that’s more of your liking 🙂 The Lord has ALSO promised you many things.

I can’t tell you enough that the Lord is faithful. And if you don’t believe in that, the simple law of reaping and sowing is seen in every situation. You are sowing into your future, into your next season…. and you WILL reap the benefits of it. Both you and I will.

Embracing and Blooming and Dancing in His Love,

Leslie Tatiana ❤

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When the 20 Floor High Rise Falls

Happy Monday! I hope November has treated you well. I have absolutely no complaints about this month except that I hate how cold it has been but I’m sure many disagree with me lol I have grown in many areas this month and have truly enjoyed every week which I am so thankful for. 2017 has turned around and is looking bright!

I do have something laying heavy on my heart which means it’s time for me to write and process it out so I can heal, let go, forgive, or whatever else I need to do.

To be honest, I’ve been afraid of processing this. Because I never want my blog to be a place where “shade” is thrown or felt or talked about but then if it’s taken that way, I can’t control it. The point is I never intend for it to be taken that way. I just like to share my heart, my struggles, and what I learn in the journey.

I have also been afraid because I didn’t want to cry. Crying would make what has happened real and I wasn’t sure I was ready to comprehend that. I’m not sure if these words will bring those stored up tears out but I am finally ready to process.

Sometimes you spend years building a reputation for yourself. You lay down the cement and build each floor year after year until hopefully by the end of it, you can step back and see a beautiful high rise.

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On the first floor, maybe you have generosity and all that occupies those hallways is how much you have given to friends, family, strangers. Resources, time, love, without desiring anything in return.

Maybe on the fifth floor, you have all the things you are against residing. Like lying, stealing, killing, betraying friends, cheating, bullying.

And maybe ALL the way at the top, you have your goals for your friendships, relationships, career, ministry.

Only after 10 years of building, something, someone, or an event completely destroy it.

Well that’s where I am currently at, but not quite. (I will explain, hang tight)

In this case, I won’t share details because they are unnecessary to me. But I have spent the last ten years of my life building a life, a world, and a reputation for myself. I knew I was kind, loud, adventurous, a believer, a friend, a natural leader, a girl who was against this and that, a girl who stood up for this and that.

And in this past month, all that crumbled.

I felt as though a bulldozer came into the comfort of my heart and my home, knocked the walls down until only dust remained. And my heart was exposed, cold, afraid, and very fragile.

Along with building a reputation, I also had walls that were mighty and strong and impossible to get over, but those all came tumbling down in just one night.

Reputation is defined as the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.

And to simply put it, that is ALL that it is. Mere OPINIONS held. They do not control your destiny, your calling, your character, or your future. And that is why I am not quite crushed under the rubble.

I want to be someone who is more concerned with my character than what my reputation is made out to be. You see, if I spend another 10 years worried about what people think of me and how people view me, not only will I have not advanced, but I would have gotten it ALL wrong.

I am more concerned with what’s in my heart, what the Lord says about me, and how I am bettering people’s lives. I haven’t had the time, the energy, or the desire to defend my reputation because part of me could care less. I also know that God will do that for me.

How is my heart? How do I treat my friends? How do I handle my job? How do I love my brothers and sisters? What can I do to change someone’s day today? These are the things that my mind is on and that is all about my character, not the opinions held about me.

 

I wrote in my previous blog that I recently made huge changes because I didn’t like who I had become over time and this month, so much within me has changed that I am pleased with who I am becoming.

I have to remind myself that it is okay to make decisions for myself, and that I have no obligation to explain that to anyone. My circle knows my heart, they know what’s best for me, and they stand by me without me asking for it.

The best part about my high rise being demolished is that I am already at the bottom. There is nothing left of what was and I love that. I have the chance to be who He intended me to be and not who I made myself appear to be.

I want to encourage you if you are currently in a similar situation or if you have ever been there before and are still in the aftermath of it.

Take courage friend.

Your life is not over and your world is not crushed. Who have you always wanted to be? How have you always wanted to live your life? What are your dreams, your passions, the things that make you come alive? Now you can run hard after those things without a reputation holding you back…. Because as bad as it sounds, you no longer have one.

I won’t lie and say it didn’t hurt. It wasn’t a boyfriend/girlfriend breaking up with you type of pain. It wasn’t even as dramatic as me losing my breath and becoming anxious. Yes I was caught by surprise nonetheless, but it hurt in a way that ignited me to become better and to pursue my dreams even harder than I ever had before.

The Lord says you and I are whole. We are full of wisdom, we walk in power, in love, we laugh at the days to come because we are not afraid. He said He makes us strong, His peace surrounds us, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Speak that over yourself daily, especially when the reputation sucks.

He speaks LIFE over you and so do I.

We will get through this and the fruits to come are better than any 20 story high rise that was demolished. What a beautiful place to begin because He takes ashes and turns them into art to be displayed for His glory.

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead..” Philippians 3:13

Here’s to character and better days,

Forever Dancing In His love, 

Leslie Tatiana