Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

I ran across an old boyfriend’s picture today. Not just any ol’ boyfriend, but the one who broke my heart, the one who shattered it into a million pieces, the one I was certain was “the one”.

I prayed for him. I waited for him. I loved him.

I cried over him. I lost weight over him. I was desperate over him. I stayed in bed for a week solid over him, and then went out every night for a month solid over him. At the time, I would’ve given just about anything to have him in my life. I was so sure he was it. So. Stinking. Sure.

I’d been good. I’d watched all of my friends get married. I’d stood up there and been a bridesmaid for every single one of them. I held their dresses while they peed. I caught the bouquet. I smiled and I cheered and I blew bubbles as they drove away. I waited patiently for my turn. I waited patiently for the right guy, and then after a year of doing everything right, the right guy didn’t even want me anymore. He didn’t think I was the right girl. He tossed me aside like I was nothing.

I kept running it over and over in my head, completely melted into my mess thinking “God, why? I don’t deserve this.”

Timehop popped up on my feed today, and reminded me of a business that I was frantically trying to make grow a year ago. After countless attempts at failed endeavors, I was pretty sure I’d finally found my calling.

I was having so much fun with it. I was successful. I was making money.

I worked my tail-end off. I went to conferences and retreats. I read books and I listened to podcasts and I did all the things good entrepreneurs are supposed to do.

I was good to my customers. I invested back into the business. I teamed up with other women and supported them. I donated money to worthy causes. And then I watched my business stall as other women’s business thrived. So I worked harder. I worked smarter. I gave up time with my friends, time with my family, any and every bit of a social life.

And then one weekend, I sat in a meeting with other leaders in the industry and felt a tug on a my heart that said “You’re not supposed to be here anymore. Trust me. There’s something else.” So in complete confusion and utter collapse, I closed up shop, embarrassed and defeated, and hoped my heart wasn’t leading me astray.

I begrudgingly handed it back to God in a mixed state of hope and hardship thinking “God, why? I don’t deserve this.”

Someone mentioned an old friend in passing conversation recently. I held back tears at the mere mention of her name. She was my person. She was my sister.

Gahhhh, I loved her. I would’ve done just about anything for her, but she went in a new direction, one that didn’t involve me. I can’t even explain how it broke my heart to watch her go, how it pained me to stand still as the distance grew between us.

I tried. I gave gifts. I wrote nice, little notes. I reached out. But, despite my best efforts, that was the end of our season. I still miss her deeply to this day.

I remember wondering if something was wrong with me, certain I wasn’t funny enough or good enough or pretty enough or rich enough to even spend time with. I was wrecked with loneliness thinking “God, why? I don’t deserve this.”

But here’s the thing—yes, all of those experiences absolutely broke me, but they also built me back up in an entirely different way. Yes, they set me back for a short time, but they also set me up for something entirely new. Yes, they changed my wiring, but they also changed the way I operated and the way I learned to live and to love.

All of those nights where I thought God was holding out on me, He was really just holding me in his hand, protecting me from things that were never meant to be. Things that were meant to be a stepping stone and not my final destination, destinations that had been saved for someone else.

That boy who dumped me, he was just good practice so I would know how to love my husband with everything I have. That business that didn’t pan out, it was just practice so I would know how to pursue my dream job, and so I would have the confidence to keep going even when things got rocky. That friend who broke my heart, she made way for an entire new group of friends, an entire new tribe, who would encourage me and build me and spur me on every single day, and who would teach me the true meaning of sisterhood.

Now, I look at my husband across the kitchen table at dinnertime—my good, good husband. I snuggle with my beautiful babies on the couch every night. I am crazy passionate about the work I’m doing. I laugh so hard tears stream down my face when I’m with my friends.

Life is far from perfect. It’s a mess and it’s chaotic, and it leaves me restless and worried so much of the time. It’s not everything I imagined it would be. We fight. There are bills. There are so many bills. There is sickness. There is pain.

But I can honestly say that I lay my head down every night with a heart overflowing with gratitude into every nook and every cranny and every weak spot thinking “God, why? I don’t deserve this.”

I don’t deserve this much love. I don’t deserve this many gifts. I don’t deserve all this much goodness.

So to every girl who just got dumped by the man of her dreams, to every girl who just had a business fall flat and fail in spectacular fashion, to every girl whose heart is in pieces on the bottom of her closet floor over a friendship that didn’t pan out: hear me. Hear me loud and clear, my sister, my friend because I believe this with all of my heart:

Sometimes hard times don’t harden you. Sometimes, if you will just keep growing through them, they will teach you to be soft and strong. They will make you vulnerable and real.

Sometimes hold-ups don’t hold you down. Sometimes, if you can just believe, they will lift you higher than you ever imagined.

Sometimes stumbling blocks don’t block you from good things. Sometimes, if you will get back out there and keep climbing, they will be the very blocks that build you into the most beautiful version of yourself.

Sometimes the end of the road isn’t the end of the journey. Sometimes, if you will just keep running forward, you will find they are only the beginning of a brand new path, the one you were meant to walk down all along.

Sometimes, when you’re crying out alone thinking “God, why? I don’t deserve this.” He’s gently whispering “No, my child, you don’t. You deserve so much better. Trust me.”

 

Originally published on Amy Weatherly

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Amy Weatherly

I want women to find one thing in this group: fulfillment and freedom in the fact that they are loved and worthy, and that they have an essential role to play in God's kingdom. I want them to rest in the knowledge that THEY MATTER. They are absolutely essential to God's master plan. And as they begin to sink into their roles, and memorize their lines, I want them to take a deep breath, and discover the courage to step out onto that stage. Follow Amy on her group page In & Out Beauty by Amy.

Celine Dion Announces Heartbreaking Diagnosis

In: Living
Celine Dion in Instagram video announcing diagnosis of stiff person syndrome

When the movie Titanic when was released in 1997, a gaggle of us as teen girls fell in love. Maybe it was Leonardo DiCaprio and his dreamy blue eyes. Maybe it was the tragic love story between Jack and Rose (still think there was room on that floating board for two, Rose). Whatever the case, we flooded the movie theaters (hi, I went three times) with our teenage tears.  And to this day, when the sad flute begins to wail at the start of “My Heart Will Go On” I crank up the volume and belt along with Celine Dion....

Keep Reading

Say “Alexa, Thank My Driver” and Help Holiday Workers Earn Cash? Done!

In: Living
Amazon package being delivered on doorstep

The actual air temperature when I woke up yesterday was -14F. It was the kind of morning when the air hurts your face, a phenomenon we northern states dwellers are well acquainted with.  Not half an hour later, I heard the rumble of a delivery truck outside. As I peeked out the window, I watched the driver jog up the driveway to place a package at our front door.  In the double digits below zero wind chill. Before 8 a.m. With an air of joy?! If it hadn’t been so early and cold, I would have opened the door to...

Keep Reading

The Holiday Season’s Hottest Dish: Boundaries

In: Living
Woman wearing Santa hat smiling

This holiday season as you’re making preparations for family visits, school parties, church events, food drives, travel, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and general merriment, you’re going to want to include this season’s hottest dish. You’ll recognize most of the ingredients as they’ve been around for a long time and they’re not hard to access, but to be fair, the recipe can be tough to follow at times. Placed just between your stuffed turkey and your stuffed calendar, be sure to make room for boundaries—the plate of protection that everyone is talking about this year.  The dish itself is fairly inexpensive to...

Keep Reading

It’s Exhausting Being a Teacher and a Mom in the Month of December

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom and two kids smiling by Christmas tree

I absolutely love Christmas. In fact, I start listening to Christmas music right after Halloween. I’m always itching to put decorations up as soon as my other family members are willing. I love the magic of the season, the giving and the meaning behind all of it. By the time November begins, I’m ready to take on the holidays in full force as both a teacher and a mom. If I’m being honest though, Christmas as a teacher mama is both magical and downright exhausting. There are parties for both my own children and my students. There are gifts to...

Keep Reading

Being a Working Mom When Kids Get Sick Is Complicated

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom holding baby on couch

I didn’t know what my ringtone sounded like until I went back to work after maternity leave. “You know it’s always on silent,” I would say every time I missed a call from my husband. “What’s the point of having a phone if you never answer your calls?” “Who calls these days? Text me like a normal person!” It was a circular conversation, lighthearted, and not intended to bring about change. He will always prefer to call, and I will always prefer to keep my ringer off. But when I got my first early pickup text from my daycare provider...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

Keep Reading

What Single Moms Really Need

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mom holding toddler on hip outside on dirt road

No, you’re not a single mom for a weekend. I’ve heard it said at social gatherings, in passing at church, and on social media. Perhaps the words are being uttered in a state of awe as if comparing themselves to valiant warrior princesses, knights in shining armor, heroes.  Usually though, it’s an under-the-breath complaint about being left by their otherwise attentive and loving spouse for the week or weekend. “I’m a single mom this weekend; my husband is on a golfing trip with his brothers.” “My husband is away for work, so I feel like a single mom this week.” ...

Keep Reading

Netflix Drops “Harry & Meghan” Docuseries Teaser—and It’s a Doozy

In: Living
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry kiss in black and white candid image

We’re running out of time for surprises in the calendar year, but it looks like Netflix is poised to deliver one more—and it’s a big one.  The highly anticipated docuseries featuring the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, is ready and we’re getting our first glimpse.  And judging by the official teaser, it looks like this 6-episode series will be bringing the drama.  The one-minute teaser for Harry & Meghan opens with an off-camera voice asking, “Why did you want to make this documentary?” Music plays while black and white candid images of the pair flash...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You for All the Extra Things You Do at Christmastime

In: Living
Child hanging handmade snowman ornament in classroom

Dear teachers, I know this time of year is especially crazy for you. The weeks leading up to winter break are full of extras. There are festivities to invite siblings, parents, and grandparents to. You know how important that kind of family involvement and support is, and you’re so often the one who fosters it. There is crafting and present-making to ensure every student has something to gift to their loved ones on Christmas morning. It is so important to their little hearts to be able to give, and you’re the one who makes it possible.  RELATED: Dear Teachers, Thank...

Keep Reading

When Mom Died, We Had Tea

In: Grief, Grown Children, Living
Table set as a tea party with framed picture of a woman, color photo

My mom was never, ever without a cup of Lipton’s tea. Like a dear friend, it held her hand, kept her warm, provided comfort. She boiled water in her navy-speckled kettle, then poured it into a cup and, completely ignoring the recommended four-minute steep instructions, immediately lifted it to her lips. It always mystified me how her mouth didn’t suffer third-degree burns. Mom’s penchant for thriftiness compelled her to use the same tea bag multiple times; only when it disintegrated and leaf particles floated to the surface did she accept defeat and reach for a fresh yellow packet. RELATED: Moments...

Keep Reading