Josie’s Story

Josie’s Story

All she wanted was to love and be loved…

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3

Things weren’t always all giggles and smiles.  In fact, the last five years have been my happiest, but it took a good ten years of hard knocks to get there… {Self-inflicted hard knocks.}

I have waited a long time to tell this part of my story.  I guess I was unsure of what to share.

I thought about writing out all the gooey details of bad decisions, heart break and confusion but that would take you all month to read, and me too long to write!  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  I thought I could write a brief summary of events, but then I would risk not telling you enough, leaving you unaffected.

So I prayed about it…

The outcome?  A common thread really.  The greatest contributor to much of my failures.

FEAR.

Such a tiny little word with the mightiest of impacts.

As a school girl, I was terrified of thunderstorms.  Like wouldn’t leave my house, slightly shake and experience small anxiety attacks terrified.  As a tween I was afraid of not fitting in.  I bought into trying cigarettes {which would turn into a thirteen year habit} did what I could to hang with the ‘cool’ kids, and often sacrificed what was right for what was accepted only to be left feeling conflicted and discontent.

This trend would follow me to high school and college.  Afraid of being of being alone, I would pursue a relationship that I knew would never be good for me.  Afraid of being rejected I would do almost all things necessary to keep and maintain this relationship.  I tried to live the way he lived, do what he did and be what I thought he wanted.  Ultimately resulting in losing my own real identity.  This too would be a hazardous habit for years to follow, an addiction really.  I was addicted to this relationship, or the idea of it, like he was to partying…

Because of all that I sacrificed to keep this relationship, I could not fathom ever being without it.  For years I would allow this relationship to consume my thoughts, effect my actions and destroy my emotions.  For years.

When a thought is repeatedly accepted in our minds, it eventually becomes a truth- this can be dangerous and sometimes irreversible.

There is a lot involved here and that is putting it mildly.  However, I will say this, all I wanted was to love and to be loved.  I drew a perfect picture of what this should look like in my head when I was a very young girl.  Once I thought the opportunity presented itself, I did everything in my power to create, change, manipulate and orchestrate anything necessary to have this in that relationship.  In his defense, he could have never known that so young I would commit so deeply.  In my defense, his interactions with me allowed me to do so- his interactions when I was not in his presence,  VASTLY different.

Afraid to lose him, I stayed committed for over twelve years.  Even if he did not.

After years of lying, hurt, substance abuse and cheating I finally had enough…

He never made me stay, his promises did.  I think at some point you deserve what you tolerate.

Afraid of what my future would look like if I stayed, I had to go.  If I continued on the path I was on I knew that the love I always wanted would be nothing but a mere dream.  However, since I have visibly seen with my own eyes, relationships with love that is healthy, mutual, joyful, committed and Godly, my heart would not let me give up on myself.  What I would soon learn is that God did not give up on me either…

In 2007 while this relationship was ending I also lost an uncle to suicide- I was there when it happened and it was truly the worst day of my life to date.  I am not trying to be dramatic, but the truth is, I was at a very low place after all of this took place.  Not only did I question people, I questioned God.  In my mind I knew Him, lived a good life and could not understand why the cards He dealt me were such a lousy hand.  With frustration I threw my hands in the air and told God, “If You are real then I need You to show up right now.”  I could no longer maintain the appearance of a ‘good relationship’ and a ‘joyful life.’  I tried, to my own demise, to make my life what I always thought I wanted, and I failed miserably.  I knew that His Word said, “I HAVE A PLAN FOR YOU…” (Jeremiah 29:11)  I just wished that I would have believed Him sooner…

The good news?  His plan was still in motion. I made things hard, He didn’t. He showed up in a huge way once I finally surrendered my efforts.  When I was truly content with being single {actually preferred it} he introduced me to my husband!  I know it was Him because nothing and no one could have ever picked a more perfect person to satisfy my heart’s needs.  If I had to go through all of those years of heartbreak all over again, I would in a nano second if I knew that the end result would be the gift of my husband… After seven years together and two kids later, I have to give credit where credit is due- God surely knows that which makes our hearts most content.  All He wants from us is to believe Him for it.  I have learned to trust Him through my fears.

Although fear is still something I have to constantly surrender, I am thankful that the Lord has proven to me over and over again that He is able to be trusted.  These days my fears still exist in different ways, but at least now I understand that I don’t have to let them be true of who I am.  Trusting God in that dark time for me, changed the course of the rest of my life…  He is worthy and able to be trusted in all things.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10



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