This probably isn't something that anyone would notice, but I have most likely never, ever mentioned God on this blog before. That's because for the past almost 13 years I have had basically nothing to do with God, with Christianity, or with anything relating to either of those things. In a former life I was very into the whole God/Church thing for quite some time, and then - I wasn't. Some things happened that made me very bitter and hurt me a lot, and I pretty much turned my back on all of it.
One of the things that hurt me the most was just the hypocrisy of so many "church people". I knew that I never, ever wanted to be associated with that in any way. So I decided at the age of 18 that if I was ever going to be a Christian again, I would be all in. Until that point, I just didn't need it. And I have lived a very, very happy and content life all these years without any acknowledgment of God.
Of course this kind of freaked A out, because he just has this unwavering faith, and he couldn't understand my aversion. I would say it wasn't necessarily that I didn't believe in God, but I just wasn't totally sure and didn't feel like I needed that in my life. My mom is another person who tried many, many times to talk with me about things, but I always just said that until I felt like something was missing from my life, I had no desire to pursue that. And honestly, I have been perfectly, completely happy without it.
But over the past couple of months some interesting things have been happening. For one, I've been involved with the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at a local church for the past two years. Quite honestly, I did it just because a friend was and kind of rolled my eyes at the Christianity side of it. But suddenly, a couple of months ago, I had the intense desire to volunteer to be a table leader next year. Hmm. OK, that's kind of strange since being a leader at a church thing probably requires some kind of faith - but I went with it and volunteered. I also very randomly one day went online to search for ways to get involved in the church and found a women's bible study I wanted to join. Umm, what? Seriously, it's like something was taking over my brain/body and I would do these things and then kind of wake up and realize what I'd done later.
I also decided that I wanted to start going to the church where we go to MOPS. I talked with A about it, and we decided to try it out. He has never really been to a non-denominational church since he has always attended the Armenian church here in Dallas, but he was open to trying it out. We went a few Sundays ago, and the message seemed like it was made for A - it was about taking the time to rest, that you shouldn't work 24 hours a day, God made you to work but he also made you to rest, and so on. Since I haven't been blogging really I haven't posted about this, but A is basically advancing like crazy at work, and he is working nonstop. Non. Stop. He asked if I knew what the message was beforehand because it was so crazy how much he related to it. Then they also did communion, which let him see that even though the church may not be as traditional as what he's used to, they still have traditions that are important to him. So I felt like us being there that day was kind of a "meant to be" thing since he went in a little skeptical.
I've also been having just a lot of clarity on issues that I've always struggled with in life. For seriously the past twenty years I have felt like I have some greater purpose. I've never known what it is, but I've had feelings about certain things. The problem is, it's always seemed so far out of the realm of possibility, and also, there are way too many things that I have an interest in to choose which to pursue. I want to do this and that and this and that, and it becomes overwhelming so I just don't do anything. At all. I've felt almost like I've been stalled in this area of my life, and I couldn't figure out a way to get out of the cycle of dreaming so many dreams and being almost paralyzed when it comes to chasing them. I sat down the other day and started brainstorming, and things just started coming to me. Idea after idea, and all of the sudden I felt like I had the answer: I don't have to choose. I can pursue them all. Every single dream, every single idea that has been with me for all these years, I can do it. I honestly never even felt that was an option before because it felt too big. But suddenly it just seemed like that was the answer. So I've been working on things that before I thought were out of my reach.
And then. The craziest thing happened. I somehow stumbled upon this podcast Mom Struggling Well. Can't remember how. And I'm not so sure that I realized that it was a Christian podcast. But as I was driving around last Thursday while the kids slept (which is the only way Grayson will nap nowadays) I started listening to episode one. And I was so incredibly touched by what I heard that I immediately went on Instagram and searched for the woman who was interviewed that episode. I found her page, and the photo that she had most recently posted was of her in the Nashville airport, headed to Dallas for a women's conference called Hope Spoken. Now, I had heard of this conference before because I have followed one of the women who started the conference on social media for years. But I never felt like it was something I should go to because it was for Christian women - aka, very much NOT me. But Thursday I commented on her post and said something about how I had just heard her story on Mom Struggling Well and was so touched, and wished I had gotten a ticket to the conference. Almost immediately she commented back, as well as another sweet girl who said she heard people were still selling tickets. Then she tagged another girl who had a ticket for sale. And within about an hour I had contacted this other girl, talked to A, talked to my mom, and made arrangements for me to attend this Christian women's conference that I had NO business being at.
So I went. Alone. To a conference full of HUNDREDS of Christian women. So. Out. Of. My. Comfort. Zone. But I just knew I needed to be there. And man, did I need to be there. It was amazing. I met so many amazing women. I heard so many heartfelt, inspiring stories. I realized how insanely out of the Christian loop I have been, because I didn't know any of the praise and worship songs, didn't know any of the authors or books or movies they were talking about. But to be in a place where I should have felt so out of place, I have never felt more welcomed. I have never felt like I absolutely knew I was where I needed to be. I have never had such inspiring conversations and felt just such a - I'm actually not sure what it was. It just felt pure. It didn't have any of the yucky, icky, just all around grossness that I've associated with Christianity for so long. It opened my eyes to SO much. It let me see that these hundreds of Christian women were just like me with a little Jesus sprinkled in there. They were laughing and joking and sarcastic and sometimes saying "bad" things and drinking wine on break. It blew my mind. It was just so, so, exactly what I needed.
And now? Things just feel different. It's so funny. Just like I said before, life is funny. I'm praying more often. I'm listening to Christian music, which seriously would have made me sick to my stomach a couple of weeks ago. I'm finding that I'm more patient with Grayson, that I'm happier - like, from within, not just like surface happy. Things just feel lighter, if that makes sense. Someone that I was talking with today said that I'm in what they like to call the sweet spot. Things are just flowing and working out and it's just like God is making things happen. If you would have told me even two or three weeks ago that I would be writing a blog post about God stuff I would have said you are CRAZY. And it all does feel a little crazy. But it also feels very right. I never actually thought I would get to this place in life again, but it looks like I almost have no choice! Things are just happening and I feel like I'm along for some kind of crazy ride. And I have to say, I'm actually excited to see where it takes me.