Stretched But Not Torn

July 8, 2016

As I am starting to write this, we are still in Arkansas. It's been so good, yet so hard at the same time. I thought I'd come and be so ready to go back home, but honestly it's kind of hard to leave, but I'm also ready. Ah. I still just feel like an emotional wreck. Man, I have had so many ups and downs. There have been moments that I feel on top of the world and before you know I'm on the floor crying. Some of it is just so confusing. Part of it is because I feel like I just don't quite fit any where. It's as if I feel like I don't really have a home, or maybe it's just that I have two now. I'm not sure. But I feel as if I don't really fit into either one quite yet. It's a little exhausting. My heart is so excited for the future, but still missing parts of the past. I feel tired right now. I feel like a wreck. It's times like this week where I wish I wasn't so sensitive. I feel like coming back has made some old insecurities arise, but also a new found confidence. As many of you may know, I've struggled with body image for many years now and it was crazy coming back to Arkansas where it developed so heavily, yet I felt so confident. For the first time in years, I felt confident in my body. Guys, you may not understand, but man does that feel good. Yet it's so frustrating that my mind drifts. I wish to be able to focus on all the good, but my mind always brings me back to all the negatives. 

 

I know some of it is that I'm not as connected to Lord as I'd like to be or need to be. I long so deeply to be full, but as soon as I feel full I neglect time with my Heavenly Father. It's an awful cycle that often ends with me in tears and a deep and heavy pain on my heart. It kind of feels like my heart is pushing on my chest trying to get out. 

 

Contentment. It's hard. I always perceived it with material items, but often I forget it pertains to all aspects of life. That's what makes it hard. I could care less about material items, but man do I value people and feeling loved by those people. If I don't have that "feeling" that's when I become discontent. It sucks. And it's not righteous. But my value is not in a person's love for me, but God's. I think I'm going to struggle with that concept forever. 

 

 

Now, we are back and as I sit and re-read this I'm reminded that life is a mess. It feels good to be back. I love sleeping in my own bed and it's fun to get back to the things we've invested in here. We're back at the gym connecting with new friends and I'm getting ready to start with new clients. It's fun, but I'm not going to lie it felt so good to be showered with so much love almost 24/7. It's also really fascinating to realize how challenging it can be to live in Miami. We have grown quite fond of it, but man it also can be a draining place. It takes a lot of effort to do life here, but as I was talking with a friend I would not change it. It's hard, it's exhausting, it pushes us, but we have grown so much and I feel everyday I am learning something new. I have found so many new ways to connect with God. I would much rather be pushed and challenged so I can grow and learn than enjoy comfort and become complacent. It can hurt to be stretched, but man how it changes you. It's humbling, but it's good. I really believe that's how God intends it to be. 

 

Most days we have no idea what we are doing and it would be a lie to say I never think about leaving, but God is working in us and shaping us. It was funny. When Rusty and I decided we were moving here and had to raise support I wrestled with it so much. I knew God would provide, but it was so hard for me to ask others for money. I was the one who was hesitant and desperate to look for a job so we had financial security. But what's ironic is when we decided we were going to have some evenings to catch up with friends and share what God was doing, I was the one who volunteered to ask for support. Haha if you knew the irony in this, you would laugh. The thing is, I didn't even think about it until Rusty parent's brought it up. I am so bought in to what we are doing here and what God has called us to, that asking for support is just part of the deal and we need it. I am totally unashamed of that. That's so crazy! God has softened my heart in ways I haven't even realized. That's incredible. And what's even more amazing is the fact you has provided for us. He has been so faithful through out this whole experience. I think that's why I'm so bought in, I have no reason to doubt His faithfulness and provision. He's got us and He's not leaving us, so why should I question him and his calling on our lives? There's no need. Guys that is so cool to realize and it's amazing to see how far he has brought me through this season. I don't understand it all and don't even recognize it all, but He is moving and working in miraculous ways. 

God is faithful. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He equips us and provides all we are to do is trust and obey. Trust Him and obey His commands. 

So today, I say thank you. Thank you God for stretching me and growing me when I don't even know why. 

Smiles and Joy from the Butlers. :) 

Jo ButlerComment