When I began to take my faith seriously after the birth of my firstborn, lots of things turned around in my life. After the turmoil of being young unwed parents passed, things began to look on the up and up for our little family. Over time in my early 20s the love of my life and I got married, bought a home, started a business, added to our family, and enjoyed life to the fullest. As a couple we dedicated our time, efforts, friendships, and home to God's plan for us and things just kept getting better and better. Sure, little troubles came, but the overwhelming theme was so much happiness. It's as if blessings were being thrown at us. People around us always commented on our cute family and "perfect lives." I'm lying if I said I didn't love it. After being told as a teenage mom that your "life is ruined," it's like a big "IN YO FACE" when you get a happily ever after instead.
If I'm brutally honest (which I am to a fault) it felt like I had God in my back pocket. My heart was definitely loving towards Jesus, my worship was pure, and I did my very best to check off the "Christian checklist." Overall, however, I had God working for me. He was just like the genie in Aladdin granting all my wishes to fulfill my heart's desires.
Now here I am, creeping up to 30 (still only 28, just to confirm ;D) in the best times of my life. Complete, even with the scalloped white picket fence, literally. I do what God wants me to (within my comfort level of course) and He gives me a sweet little life. I'm not too upset with the set up I have going, really. I mean, what more can I ask for?
What more does God have to offer?
Slowly, I've noticed an unsettled part of my heart lately. I can hear myself asking the God in my back pocket, "Well what more do you have to offer?" Ha. Like God is on some kind of interview. I've recognized the feeling of discontent and disconnect in lots of areas and relationships of my life. There is a sadness that I can't shake and an unmotivated side of me that I've never experienced before. After 10 years at this parenting gig, I'm a little exhausted from the hustle. I'm not fulfilled in any of my roles, really. My friendships all seem in a drought, and talking to God instead of just about Him suddenly feels awkward and forced. When I look in the mirror, I want to tell myself the same thing I preach to my kids on a daily basis, "It's never enough for you."
How to Fill the Void
I've known for a long time that Jesus was the only answer to fill the deep void in my heart. I mean, I don't know my biological father so I'm aware that I always search for something to fill the desire to know who I belong to. In the beginning of my faith, I surrendered that space to God and I believe that led to an endless stream of purpose in my life. Somewhere along the way though, I hired God to work for me. Blessings were the drug and I was the addict. I adjusted my faith in accordance with if I got my way. Now, I'm at a place where that's not doing the trick anymore because it's not how God meant it to be.
I wish I could say I'm past that now and tie it all together with some knowledge and a cute bow, but life doesn't work in perfect blog format. I'm currently at the place where I'm aware that I've gotten off track. I've removed God from my back pocket and placed Him up again on the throne. I've exposed the void in my heart and am picking apart the cavity that's decaying it.
The next right step for me is to simplify my relationship with God. To go into each day, accepting God's love right where I am. No agenda for God to advance me, no plan for me to guilt myself back on track. Just an honest and open willingness to notice a pure love from Jesus himself, in my everyday life. Grace gets me through allowing myself this struggle when it seems like I've got everything going for me. But what's it to gain the whole world if I lose my soul, amiright? So now I'm on a journey again, to fall in love with Jesus, no strings attached, because God isn't working for me anymore.
This is Candace. She hates long walks on the beach and would prefer a short drive to get a doughnut. Her creative spirit leaves her husband constantly guessing which room she'll decorate next and her kids requesting elaborate birthday parties. She'll tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it. But don't worry, she'll make you laugh to soften the blow. Her heart longs to share the realness of her life and provide someone else a "me too" in a moment of isolation. Words are her thing; she writes to heal. God grasped a hold of Candace as a teenage mama, and she's been desperate for His love and sensitive to His voice everyday since.