In 2014, my husband Stephen and I moved to the coast of Georgia from our home in a north Atlanta suburb. We were burned out from working in non-profit organizations – him for 15 years and me for nearly 10. We knew we needed to change our lives before they became unmanageable. Stephen is open about the anxiety and depression he was dealing with during that season and how the last thing he could imagine at that point was ever being able to help anyone else ever again.
I, too, was feeling the burn of burnout, but wasn’t quite as ready to call it quits. Although we had moved to a beautiful little coastal town — a dream of ours come true! — we soon faced a family’s nightmare. The next 2 years would best be described as “the best of times, the worst of times.” While Stephen was getting better emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually, I went into the darkest, most painful time of my life.
It was during the initial shock of this season of sorrow that a safe, trusted friend reached out to me via text and simply said, “Even when it is dark all around you, and you don’t feel like you can take another breath, be open to beauty.” She reminded me that there are still things worth enjoying, life worth living, relationships worth cultivating and myself worth caring for – even when I felt the overwhelming waves of sadness, grief, fear, shame and guilt. I think every woman struggles with feelings of inadequacy in our relational roles – so whenever life presents us with evidence that says we don’t measure up, we believe it.
It was this part of my journey in particular that led me to this place now: of deeply desiring to cultivate a more beautiful life — even when there are so many challenges to try it again.
I do hope you’ll join me on this journey! You are welcome here.
With Great Respect, Hope and Love,