I just stopped… And now I’m starting again.
S&$%’s about to get real yall.
The last two years had been pretty normal. “HAD been”… past tense. (notice that?)
The last two months though, my life has changed. Changed completely.
On January 30th, 2015, I was fired from my job. F-I-R-E-D. I was mortified and embarrassed. I am not the kind of person to get FIRED. I have worked since I was old enough to babysit and then got a real job and have had one ever since. I went to college and then grad school. Hell, I held 3 jobs while I was a full time grad student just because I WANTED to. THREE! I was involved in organizations. I went to church. I did everything they way you’re “supposed” to do. (Not to say that people that don’t follow that same path aren’t doing it right… Yall know what I mean though... Let's not get all PC here... Moving on.)
Truth be told, I wasn’t happy in my job, and getting fired was God’s way of kicking me out of my comfort zone. Of course at first I was crying the ugly cry… you know the one... the one where you can’t breathe and people look at you like, “um… this is uncomfortable…I don’t know what to do now.” Eyes were swollen and puffy. It was bad yall. BAD.
I told myself I would take 2 days to cry and be mad and then I’d get over it. I believe that happiness is a choice and I was going to choose happiness and faith over anger and sadness. (I realize that that is easier said than done because I still have moments of anger… who wouldn’t? Don’t get me started…)
"Look for the silver lining!" I told myself. The Today Show. Kathie Lee and Hoda. Unlimited gym time. Glass of wine at 2pm on a Monday afternoon. Yes, please.
(SIDE NOTE: The reason for my firing was nothing illegal or really bad or whatever, but for the sake of not wanting to burn bridges, I'm not going to go into details. The people that REALLY know me know my heart and know my work ethic and know my strengths and weaknesses. I have come to realize that hardworking, honest, good people get fired more often than others might realize. It’s not something that people put on their Facebook timeline: “Feeling like S&%$ today. I got fired!”… Facebook is everyone’s highlight reel… not real life… okay I’m getting off on a tangent here. More on all that another time.)
Fast forward to two weeks later, Friday, February 13th. I woke up to a text from my dad that my brother was in the hospital.
He had been sick with pneumonia that he had been fighting at home for a while and he was now in the ICU. I packed enough stuff for the weekend and headed south to Huntsville.
I thought for sure I’d be back in Murray on Monday, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. When I got there, he was awake and talking. We had a few conversations during visiting hours and even had a few good laughs, but he progressively got worse.
My brother, Daniel Bridges, passed away on February 23rd.
At the age of 31.
Yall… That’s not suppose to happen.
But it did.
And we had to accept it.
I would write more about all that, but 1) this post is long enough as it is and is only getting longer, and 2) I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing this, tearing up already and I don’t need to full on ugly cry in a public place. You never know when your soul mate is going to walk through the door and that’s NOT the first impression I want to make!
If you’d like to know more, or rather the play-by-play of events those two weeks, here is a link to the CaringBridge page I kept updated through that time.
They say bad things happen in 3’s right?
On Friday, March 21st, my best friend and her family (including my 6 month old “nephew”, Lincoln) picked up and moved 11 hours away to Minnesota.
Who does that, yall!?
I did have to laugh when she texted me two days after she got up there to tell me they had gotten 6 inches of snow the night before. It was 70 degrees that day in Murray. (Note to self: I won’t be visiting Amanda in the fall, winter, or spring, or anytime where there is a CHANCE for snow on the ground. Ain't nobody got time for that.)
I know this sounds like a lot of complaining, but I felt like I needed to give some background information to get to what I really want to share with you all today… the reason I’m even writing this post.
I can’t tell you how many people have said to me these last couple of months, “I admire your strength” or “you’re so strong” or “I can’t even imagine.” This morning in church, the band sang the song Cornerstone by Hillsong. It’s my absolute favorite worship song and for some reason the words really hit me hard this morning.
Christ alone; Cornerstone
Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all
When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
The strength you see in me is not because of me. It’s not because of some magical power or some superhuman strength. “Weak made strong in the Savior’s love.” It’s also not a mask. When people ask me how I’m doing, I really am okay. I really am happy… through it all. In "EVERY high and stormy gale”. And the only reason for that is because of my strength given to me FROM GOD and my faith IN GOD; My faith that there really is a REASON for all of this. ALL. OF. IT.
Some might say, “Where was God when all of this happened?” when someone they love passes away too early or when a mother and father have to bury their son.
I say, “Let me tell you how my God showed up through every single step… Every. Single. Step.”
From the timing of my sudden unemployment to the random phone call my brother made just to chit chat the Wednesday before he was admitted. (We never just “chatted” on the phone.)
From the countless visitors at the hospital to the thousands of people praying for my family all over the world (LITERALLY).
From the best Celebration of Life Service we could have imagined, to gaining a sister I never had (Courtney (Daniel’s roommate) – I love you girl!).
A frequent topic of discussion that came up at the hospital was “How do people without faith get through something like this?” I really don’t know. I have no idea. Absolutely none.
I’m so thankful I’ll never have to experience that.
From everyone reading CaringBridge, I heard countless times, “You’re such a good writer.” And “You should write as a profession.” First of all, thank you. Second of all, although I don’t plan on getting paid to write, I do think its time to resurrect this thing. so get excited people.
I’m back, stronger than ever, with lots to share, and I'm excited about what the future holds.