Nourishing and Flourishing

Cultivating Balance in an Unpredictable Life

I’ve converted.

Forgive me if this post is all over the place. It’s been awhile.

The past six months have been overwhelming, to say the least. I started grad school, a new internship (which I love), and entered into my second year of marriage. I have been preparing for this journey for quite sometime now, but embarking on the actual trip has been a whole other ballgame. I have learned a lot about myself; my tolerance levels, emotional thresholds, innate desires I never knew existed-the list could go on, people.  For instance, something I’ve been ignoring for a while now is the fact that I’ve converted from an extrovert to an introvert. I’ve been so terrified to admit that. It’s relieving and scary at the same time. I’ve always prided myself on being an extrovert. I didn’t “need” alone time, overstimulation wasn’t in my vocabulary, and people?? How could I ever get enough of people?! I mean, I’m going into the field of social work, how could I possibly be an introvert? Well, it happened. After realizing the past several years have been plagued with fears of going out with friends, going to parties, overcommitting, having zero downtime, and seeing visions of finding a remote island I could run away to for an extended period of time, I confess, I’ve converted.

Now, while this is still difficult for me to accept, (mainly because I feel like it changes who I am and I’m not sure I’m ready for that), I can feel relief and comfort in the fact that God is in control and change is sometimes always necessary. When I say change is always necessary, for me, it is. Change indicates growth, and if I don’t feel that I am growing, I become complacent and stagnant. Can I just say that crabby Kimmy has reared her head yet again and it’s taken several humbling arguments with my husband, fervent prayer, and stepping outside my comfort zone in order to see how very wrong I have been in so many ways these past several months? Whoa.

Crabby Kimmy

Crabby Kimmy

It has been a mighty long time since I’ve expressed my feelings on paper a computer screen, and I gotta say, it feels good. Blogging is not only therapeutic for me, but empowering. By being mindful and taking the time to express myself through writing, I’m simultaneously allowing myself to be free of fear, self-pity, and instead encouraged to step out and deliver some raw emotion to whomever wants to receive it.

Forgive me as I try to explain my recollection of a sermon I heard at church yesterday. I’ve been dealing with a lot of negative emotion lately, and I’ll be honest, I’ve blamed everyone but myself for my thoughts and behaviors. I’ve played victim and have done a mighty fine job of it. I knew something was off with my logic but was too prideful to do anything about it except complain some more. The beauty in this is the grace of God. Privately, I’ve been crying out to Him, asking for a transformation of self, but outwardly, I was still reflecting the nastiness I felt inside. Yesterday’s message spoke truth in a way I desperately needed to hear. Now, while there was so much to this message, speaking of preparing for Jesus, my takeaway was dealing with the internal self (I asked my husband to refresh some of the message so I wouldn’t totally lose you guys). When we feel emotions, whether they are positive or negative, it is more than just a reflection of the situation in which you are feeling those emotions–it is also a condition of the heart. Some may not agree with this interpretation, but it was so clear to me. My anger, hurt, jealousy, and frustrations aren’t coming out simply as a result of my interactions, environment, or other situations I find myself in, they are emotions that have been taking residence in my heart for far too long. I often find myself returning to this place and I’ve been confused as to why, although I think I’m starting to gain some insight. To bring this post full circle, I think it has a lot to do with my conversion from extraversion to introversion. I have lacked self-care in a lot of ways this year, although it may not seem like it. I’ve spent a lot of time with friends, going out, spending time with my husband, constantly filling a commitment on my calendar-some would argue it’s been a fulfilled year! However, while my old self would be thriving in this environment, my new self is becoming crippled.  Now, this is not to say that I don’t crave time with friends. I had an amazing weekend this past weekend and needed every minute of it, and it was spent in the presence of friends the majority of the time. The reality is that I need more of these moments and less of the busy, frequent “hangout” moments just for the sake of escaping myself and my sad reality. I can finally acknowledge my need for solitude, but more importantly, time with the Lord. I’ve been so afraid of saying no, hurting feelings, and feeling left out, that I’ve ignored my hearts’ true desires, as well as the Lord’s desires for my heart. I’ve damaged relationships in the process, ignored truths, soaked up lies, and walked in darkness. I live in a world of constant self-doubt and have been struggling with my identity for months, if not years. God has been there the entire time, even if I didn’t believe it. That is what is so beautiful about this terrifying realization for me-He already knew I’d wake up one day. He provided future grace for my old self so that I could engulf the new. He is sitting beside me, smiling, joyful that I am accepting an answered prayer. The prayer that He not only transform me, but that I learn to love myself as He loves me.

Give yourself a hug today friends, you’re totally worth it.

~K

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