Let Us Begin

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today.

I’m Back {On Being An Awesome Hermit}

on September 15, 2013

So…

it’s been awhile.

 

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook recently and I had to laugh because it pretty much sums up the past year of my life.

 

 

When I last wrote in July 2012, I had just said goodbye to Seraphia and wrote with a heart “pierced through and poured out until empty” as I tried to regain my footing on our new reality.  It wasn’t just that but the truth that I was also still healing from the massive emotional toll of miscarrying Veronica, in the aftermath of medical school and in the midst of Johnny opening a private family practice, continuing to work full time and log more volunteer hours in a week than is probably healthy for anyone while still striving to first and foremost be “mom” – with all the varied things that beloved title entails in a given day…

As you can probably imagine, I was barely managing to hold it together but tried with everything in me to just. keep. juggling.

 

and then in September, a mere two months after Seraphia, I miscarried again…

making our tiny Joseph Paul the fourth baby my heart grieved,

the third in less than a years time.

 

It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak.

 

I.

was.

done.

 

and one by one, I started to let all of those balls drop

 

because although some days were more successful than others at keeping it all going,

one thing became abundantly clear:

I just needed some time

time to be still in the Lord’s presence,

and enough time with Him to not just say but still believe with every fiber of my being that He IS good,

time to breathe His Spirit deep into my soul and allow Him to reveal to me His perspective on it all,

the time and space of sacred silence to allow His miraculous work of healing/recreating my broken barely recognizable heart to begin.

 

I desperately needed to be made new.

I longed to rise up out of those ashes transfigured and transformed, to more closely resemble the woman Jesus was undoubtedly longing for me to be.

and I heard him beckon me time and time again to just “Be Still and Know that I am God”.

 

and so I did.

 

I took a huge step back from all that was required of me outside of my home and gave myself permission to cut out everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

So I do sincerely apologize if you at any point in the last year reached out to me in any way (phone, invitation, e-mail, facebook message, etc) and were met by silence.  It was definitely not anything personal and you were not alone!  I pretty much threw all etiquette to the wind and ignored everyone!  (Hence the oh so appropriate meme at the beginning of this post – it was the year of being a bad friend and an awesome hermit, my year of healing and transformation)

As it turned out, becoming a bad friend was just the beginning.

I also bowed out of all of my volunteer work as gracefully as I could – something that was incredibly hard for me to do.  I am not good at saying “no” to things like that but there was no question that it had to happen.  Something just had to give and I didn’t want it to be my sanity.

Turns out God was pretty serious about His desire for me to be still too because He answered a prayer I had prayed for as long as I can remember and moved some mighty mountains for our family allowing me to quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom!

My days changed in a dramatic way and I spent a lot of time enjoying my kids: spending long leisurely days at the zoo, reading stacks upon stacks of library books, playing board games for as long as their little hearts desired, extended bed time routines way longer than I ever would or could have before cuddling, giggling and hearing their hilarious takes on our days.

I started taking really good care of myself and even picked up a few hobbies.  I did all kinds of fun DIY projects around the house and taught myself how to knit dish cloths just like my Grandma Cason used to make.  I actually began using my gym membership on a daily basis and working incredibly hard while I was there.  Not only that but I would take the time after to sit in the steam room or lay by the pool with a good book and protein shake!  I underwent a food sensitivity panel that eliminated over a dozen things from my diet – the most dramatic being gluten, yeast, and egg yolks.  It drastically changed the way our family ate because all of the sudden it wasn’t so easy to just pick something up quick, go through a drive through, or order a pizza anymore.   My health required me to get really creative with meal planning and prepare healthy well rounded meals for my family on a daily basis.  I had fun discovering new recipes and liked the challenge of making food that met all of the requirements of my diet taste good.  I had expected that kind of allergy-free food to taste like cardboard but ironically, we ate better and the food was fresher and more flavorful than ever before.  My naturopathic husband put me on an extensive daily supplementation routine too.

Wouldn’t you know it, I started feeling healthier and happier than I ever remember being!  All of the sudden I had tons of energy and could think more clearly.  I felt strong, looked forward to getting up in the morning and didn’t need a pot of coffee to drag myself out of bed anymore. I was excited about what the new day would bring and felt the peace of not having to struggle through each day being pulled in a million different directions, trying to multitask and serve everyone but me… My mind, body and emotions were all coming back into balance and I felt truly healthy.

All the while that was happening, the Lord was ministering to me

and slowly,

slowly,

slowly,

that light within me that was left barely flickering last September was fanned back into flame.

 

And I am happy to report that even in the midst of some fresh heartaches and the fact that God certainly is not nearly finished with me yet,   I am indeed transformed.  My heart is not the same as it was a year ago.

 

This little light of mine is ready to shine once again in my little corner of the blogisphere.

 

I have missed place!

It’s good to be back.

 

-Alison

 

(As I was writing this post, I couldn’t stop humming this song…)

 


8 Responses to “I’m Back {On Being An Awesome Hermit}”

  1. Julie says:

    I’m so glad you’re back :)

  2. Nannette Salasek says:

    Well, I must confess…I was one of those people that feared your silence was due to something I said or did. I kept thinking mourning Seraphia must have continued to be on your heart, but I was not sure. Tears of joy are falling down my face…some are bittersweet. I am so happy to read how well you are doing and at the same time, can’t help feel jealousy. I love hearing your physical and spiritual and emotional triumph over the crosses you guys have carried and yet, my heart is breaking not knowing why our Lord is taking so long to show my family out of this hole. With a husband that has lost his job again and six children that need their mom to just be present, I am almost numb. I feel like all the tears are done and I am spent. I don’t think God wants me to work long hours and not be there to make dinner, help with homework, or just hold my children that are very aware of the stress mom and dad are feeling. I miss the days that I was a stay at home mom and all the work that came with it. I want to take back any complaint that came out of my mouth back then! I see our kids affected by my absence, and feel like I can do nothing to stop it. Alison, I do see hope thru your experiences…thank you for sharing, thank you for listening.

    • Alison says:

      Oh Nannette, I truly am so sorry that you felt you said something to upset me. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We are so grateful for all you did to reach out to us and help us prepare for Seraphia. Your friendship is a gift! Thank you for sharing your heart. I had no idea you were going through such a valley right now. We will certainly hold you close in prayer as you walk through this season. Be encouraged that it certainly won’t last forever and the the Lord is very near. Two books that really encouraged me and continue to are “Hind’s Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard and “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. Have you read either? If not, or even if you have, I think they may be worth spending some time with. I pray that they can minister to your heart as they do mine. (I am sending you an e-mail with a job opportunity link Ched may want to apply for. I think it could be a good fit!) Love, Alison

  3. I am glad you are back, Alison. It is wonderful to have your presence in my life, even if it is only over the internet. I am praying for you (and I often ask my local Catholic Motherhood to pray as well) and am so grateful that you are sharing your journey with us. You are an amazing witness and an amazing woman and I am so glad to see God working in your life. It gives me great encouragement to keep trusting, believing, praying, and just being grateful for my own gifts which are filling my cup to the brim every day. Miles separate us, but I am always journeying with you in Christ. Many many blessings!!

  4. Rhonda Oertle says:

    I love you, Ali.

  5. Mary Young says:

    Praying for you and Johnny and family everyday through the green scapular. My Mom has always said to me to take one thing at a time… sometimes it would be one day, and sometimes one minute … Praying for a showering of continual blessings to fall upon you and your family… and the strength to deal with anything less… BIG HUGS & BLESSINGS! Mary :)

  6. Sarah K says:

    Oh, Alison…This was so seriously beautiful. As always, the Lord used your words to convict my heart and bring tears to my eyes.

  7. Katie says:

    So beautiful! I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. yet, I am so happy to read the joy that comes from this post! And I know too of the great little blessing that came to your family! I look forward to reading more now that you are back.

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