For this week, I've been forced to look at my life over the last 12 months. The craziness that has come has been nothing short of a roller-coaster, but as always - God has gotten me through to this point.
- Weight Loss Surgery - the decision took about a year to come to fruition, but it was not easy by any means and the process was nothing short of the biggest mental roller-coaster that I've ever experienced.
- Church Merger - about two days after my weight loss surgery, we found out that our church home was being closed and merged in with a large church in the area. This was a very emotional process for me because Fellowship of Houston at the time was the only church home that I'd ever known, and for lack of better words - at the time I felt like an orphan... and felt like I'd lost part of the support system that I needed to get through the recovery from surgery.
- Finding a new Church Family - a month or so after the closure of Fellowship of Houston we found a new church home that believe me in many ways has become such a part of who John and I are. I know that it's not as much about the church as it is having a relationship with God, but having a good church family to build friendships with helps so much along the way. Our new family has gone above and beyond to make us feel welcomed, and I think we are now a real part of this church - or at least I think we'd be missed if we weren't a part of them. :-) (Our small group would miss us!! HA!)
- Job Layoff - After three years of working for my former employers - they laid me off in May, and believe me it was a blessing on so many levels - but an adjustment none the less. Also dealing with the realization that my "dream job" might not be on the path that God has set for me - and becoming okay with that.
- Turning 30 - Some people might think this is strange, but turning 30 is every bit hard mentally as any of the other changes I've been through. I had to come to terms with the fact that I'm not where I wanted or expected to be by this stage of my life, and be okay with that. Thank goodness I had the extra time this summer to work through that.
- My Baptism - This one was only an adjustment for me in that my spiritual journey had finally come full circle, and I had gotten through my fear of standing in front of a bunch of people to show my faith outwardly. I was never afraid to show my faith - it was just the fear of the ceremony and the audience. (I'm silly that way - remember the hives?!)
- Gallbladder Removal Surgery - Just one more aspect of my weight loss journey - it was really a matter of time before this happened once I had my digestive system rerouted... so it wasn't completely unexpected - but a little quicker than originally thought. Again, thanks to the lay off for providing a convenient time to get through this recovery process.
- New Job - Ahhh... the joy of a new job, with new challenges, and a new culture to get used to. It has been a learning curve to rival all others that I've dealt with in the past... but there are clear places where I will certainly make an impact to the department overall. If only those changes would start happening!
- A second Church Merger - we just found out about this yesterday, and honestly - I'm at peace about this one. Our pastor was approached a couple of months ago about this opportunity, and he was hesitant at first but prayed about it... and feels that God is leading us down this path. Another church in our area has asked to merge with us, but the difference is that our church will absorb theirs. They will become Cypress Family Fellowship, but we will be given their land and buildings to use for our newer/better church. So the difference this time is that we will not be losing our pastor, and we will be gaining a building with land to use instead of being a portable church. We still have lots of questions about how this will work in the end, and have to vote on the issue as well - but feel good about it overall.
- Finally - through it all - I've lost roughly 87 pounds, which is a mental and physical change that I can't even begin to explain in words right now.
You see - the last year has been a very scary time for me, but I've found strength through John, my family, and my friends... but most of all through God. So to bring it back to the song... this is how I can apply the words: "you can't stop the seasons & don't stop believing" to my life today.