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Finding peace & purpose in the chaos

Sometimes what we are looking for comes at the most unexpected times from the most unexpected places. All journeys in life come with high mountains and low valleys. Yet in the moments that may feel the darkest or the scariest, we often discover great light and hope as we see ourselves more clearly.

market of clay pots

A little over a year ago, I sat outside my parents’ apartment on their balcony that overlooked the street and listened to a sermon that would set a ripple I never saw coming. During that time, I was struggling to adjust to post-grad life after college and working through a breakup. I went to visit my family for some space, time, and hopefully peace during a hard couple of months. I carved time out to attend this virtual church service, a few weeks before virtual became the only way to do anything, because I did not know where else to turn for answers.

The pastor preached on a passage from a book I had never read. He opened us to Nehemiah, where he talked with us about what it looks like for God to break out hearts for what breaks His. Seeing as how I already sat there brokenhearted, it seemed poetic and convicting to consider what it would mean to turn that heartbreak toward something more valuable. We are all created in God’s image, yet we are also each one part of a larger body. What this means is as God’s heart breaks for the pain and plight of His people and His world, we are called to break as well. But we cannot on our own break for every cause as God does because we are finite. Therefore, we each have our own callings. Our own areas in life where we feel the most moved to make a difference.

For me, these spaces where I feel the most saddened seeing brokenness and pushed toward action are in mental health, foster care, and anything affecting children. So, as I sat in the bitter February evening listening to that sermon, I asked God to break my heart for Him. In turn, He not only revealed those mission areas to me, but He also showed me how I could make an impact.

About a month after listening to the sermon and reading the rest of Nehemiah, I found myself lost without a direction for where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do next in my life. After a series of conversations with friends, I somewhat out of the blue started looking into grad programs related to ministry work and mental health. I came across a mental health counseling program at a university I had once visited in a city I always loved. It was a faith-based program at a Christian school. Immediately, I knew it was a perfect match and an answer to a prayer I almost forgot I prayed.

I won’t pretend that stumbling on the program fixed everything and magically made it all better. But it felt like a bunch of little pieces from throughout my life fitting together to reveal a picture that was always there, yet I was just now ready to see. I have been passionate about mental health and worked in any way I could to spread awareness and support advocacy for years. I love working with children and find the most fulfillment caring for others. And my faith is the most important thing in my life. So, a program where I could study family therapy and become more equipped to help kids and communities, all while growing spiritually, could not make more sense to the girl who was searching for purpose.

I tell the story of my journey as an example of how sometimes what we are looking for comes at the most unexpected times from the most unexpected places. People like to talk about the pursuit of happiness as a core goal in life. It’s vital in the process, however, to remember that as with anything it ebbs and flows. There will be high mountains and low valleys wherever you go. Yet in the moments that may feel the darkest or the scariest, we often discover great light and hope as we see ourselves more clearly.

Many of us learned in the past year that sometimes slowing down and pausing from the busyness of the world around us is the best way to figure out what’s working in our life, and what is not. As I’ve leaned into this path toward becoming a counselor, I have started paying more attention to my own mental health. In recent months, I’ve gained a better understanding of what self-care truly means and how to live a mindful existence.

It’s part of why I started this blog. I want to share with you more each week about what mental health and mindfulness are, how to love and care for yourself, and how to find your purpose, rejoicing in all that makes you unique.


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