Hey friend. I see you. I feel your joy and excitement when you step out of the darkness and into the light. All of those moments when you thought you weren’t good enough and cringed when people asked how you were doing because it meant you would have to lie. Hear me friend. Open your arms wide and let the relief wash over you like a tidal wave. Breathe in the sweet smell of a healthy mind and walk through the gates of a healthy mind. It is time. You. Are. Not. Alone.

Do you ever wish you could go back to your former self and give a warning? Like, hey girl, right now you think things are bad, but they’re about to get a whole lot worse if you don’t make some healthy changes. Truth. Life has a lot of junk that we have to go through. As a matter of fact, I remember just after my sister died, thinking, “Why did God have to take her and leave me to deal with all of this crap?” It’s a lie that trusting God means we have this blissful life full of good times and potluck dinners after church where afterward we all frolic through wildflowers in our white dresses. Lie.

Truth. God tells us we will struggle on this earth. If life on Earth was perfect, then why would we need Heaven? So, let’s take a moment and get real about the lemons that we know we will have to suck on. If nothing else, you’ll feel better about your life when you’re done reading. Worst case, you have it much worse than I did and decide not to follow my posts anymore. I’m okay with that. Truly. My intention is to give you hope, which is something we all need--whether or not we realize it.

Struggle means something different to everyone. Mine began as a teenager.  At thirteen years old,  my little sister was killed by a school bus in front of our house. I was at cheer practice and had to be taken home by my best friend’s mom to find out with over half the town parked on the road watching. Then, because our town is small and never deals with anything  as horrifying as an eight year old dying, they reenacted the accident and left her on the road while they did it. We had to shut the blinds and pretend it wasn’t happening. As if teen years aren’t hard enough, try being the girl who’s sister died. God was there. He pulled my mom and my dad through like nothing I’d ever seen. I, on the other hand, buried emotions. Can you relate to that? It’s a defense mechanism with life-long effects both physically and emotionally.

Fast forward to college. First of all, I had zero desire to go to college. It seemed like a waste of time since all I wanted was to get married and start having babies. But, since my parent’s no longer had a second daughter to follow up and become whatever she would have become, I sucked it up and went. I failed my first year. No. Really. I failed hard. Between August and November I focused and did my best. Then, I met a boy. It was a blind date and he didn’t even attend college. He was a local farm boy who happened to have a cousin dating the girl across the hallway. When people talked about love at first sight, I honestly thought it was only in movies. Truth. God gives us the perfect partner if we pay attention and give Him a very specific list of demands. Which I had done. Enter the perfect man for me.

Four years went by, I dropped out of college, took on a full time night gig at Walmart, and planned to wait it out--the proposal I mean. Surprise! He told me he wouldn’t marry me unless I finished school. Okay, fine. I re-enrolled, moved back on campus, and graduated with a BA in Elementary Education. He proposed the beginning of my senior year and we were married the following July. Needless to say I was eager for the baby part to begin, so we decided to forgo birth control and see what God had planned. Apparently His plan was eleven years of fertility treatments and dozens of surgeries. I became a human pin cushion. The trauma was so profound that even after we finally found a doctor who got us pregnant, I questioned whether or not God truly wanted us to have a child. Suddenly I found myself daydreaming about horrible accidents happening. Someone always died in them. See how the mind is capable of stealing our joy? The emotional trauma of losing my sister, the repressed feelings, and the anxiety never left me. Even when I was happy, even when I was obviously being blessed, I couldn’t relax and feel safe.

Truth. God doesn’t want us to struggle. He created us in His image. We were literally made for His glory. But, we were also given free will. Just saying those two words gives me goosebumps. Free. Will. That means we have the choice to live our lives wholly for Him, or we can do our own thing and watch ourselves fail on epic proportions. (Thank you Adam and Eve.) What do I mean by that? Simple. My plan was to get married and have babies. My plan was to stay home raising those hypothetical babies. My plan was to live on a farm and have an idyllic life with organic gardens and watch sunsets on a rickety front porch in a rocking chair while the kids caught lightening bugs. Literally. Has any of that come true, you’re wondering? Yes. Most of it, anyway. But how we got there was nothing like I planned. Everything was according to God’s plan. He’s a bit controlling that way.

You. Are. Not. Alone. Whether you believe in God or not, He believes in you. Maybe you had children right away and fertility isn’t your struggle, but you have lost a loved one. Maybe you are in the middle of a struggle right now and think that no one else in the entire world has ever struggled as much as you. I promise you, friend,  God sees you. I see you. Two years ago I left the classroom to stay home with my beautiful children. Dawson, who was four at the time. Harper and Keeley, my twins, were one. At the time, I thought my life would be fairly typical of a stay home mom--cooking, laundry, cleaning, and watching kids play. Instead, God gave me a new calling. I began taking my dōTERRA business seriously. I met women from all over the world who had stories similar to mine in various ways. My community of leaders and members began to grow so quickly that I could barely keep up with all of the new names and faces. Truth. God loves us and wants us to thrive. I now speak to thousands of men and women whose physical and mental health have been forever changed. See? You’re never alone. Stay tuned, friend. I’m not finished yet. I haven’t even begun. Until we meet again...