Change

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The past couple blog posts I have been hinting at major life changes. I have been hesitant to share completely what has been going on because, it involved other people that I had yet to talk to. Anyways, it is time to share all that has been going on.

At the beginning of July, I went home to Ohio for a vacation. When I was there I had a beautiful nephew born and I got to spend a lot of time with my adorable nieces. Being surrounded by family really pushed me to reevaluate my life. Since I live over 2,000 miles away from my family, I really want to make sure that I am all in to where I am living and what I am doing.

When I was home, I realized that I wasn’t feeling happy. I have a super blessed life, but my heart wasn’t fully alive. I began to question my college major, my job, my friends, my relationship, everything. I, normally, feel really passionate about life, so there was something that needed reevaluating in my life.

I began doing a lot of research about majors and careers. I, even, looked into going to different universities. I struggled to find a place of peace within a degree. After multiple days, multiple conversations, I found some clarity on the choice of a degree (see this post on how that decision was made). I decided to pursue a degree in sociology.

Once that decision was made, I felt the chaos of reevaluating my life let up a bit. But still, I questioned the other aspects of my life.

When I returned to California, I struggled to reconnect to my life out here. I only felt a lot of anxiety and confusion. I felt alone and scared. I knew that the best way to combat loneliness is to open up. I knew I had to be vulnerable. I opened up to my boyfriend and some of my closest friends. Seeing their instantaneous support blew my mind. I knew I had great friends, but I thought I was being crazy.

I mean, for a long time, working for the church was my dream. I dreamed of having this job, and now I was considering quitting?

My friends and boyfriend were overly supportive of my dreams. They encouraged me to chase after my heart and to pursue things that make me feel alive. So, I took the next step. I talked with my mentor and boss.

I told her how I was feeling. But, I ensured her that I would end my time well and that me leaving would not be sudden.

I had no idea. 

One week later, another one of my bosses pulled me aside and told me that for financial reasons, I might have to be let go.

My mentor/boss and I talked and decided to pray in order to decide if she should fight for my job.

I began talking and asking my support system what to do. Asking if this was all coincidence or what to do. My entire support system agreed that this was not a coincidence. They agreed that this was probably the right step for me.

The next day, I was laid off from my job.

How wild is life?!

So now here I am, mourning the loss of my job.

Yet, embracing the unknown of the future.

This all happened so quickly. I am shocked, thankful, and confused. I do not know why this all happened or why it happened to fast, but I do feel like this is what is best for me.

But now, I am trying to find who Maranda is separate from this job, separate from conventional ministry, separate from this place. Who am I? What am I passionate about? How do I spend my time?

I am in this breathtaking space of rediscovering who I am. Remembering who I am without this place. So, I am taking a step back to decide where I will place my focus.

What are your top priorities in life? What is most important to you? Let me know in the comments!!

XO,

M

A Little Word about Fear (Car accident story)

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So a couple of nights ago I was driving on the highway and it was raining. Rain isn’t very new in Humboldt County (where I live). The rain started to pick up and I started to slow down my speed. I then hit this wall of weather. The weather turned into a hail, snow mixture. I lost traction. I spun and watched as the median wall came at me. It was crazy that I could do nothing but watch as I ran into the median wall. It was terrifying. My sweet boyfriend, Christian, was driving behind me and we were on the phone; he saw the whole thing. We got to a semi-safe place on the road and stopped. The hail kept pounding and the tears were streaming. Christian got out, checked on me and the car, and then talked to me on the phone the whole way home. I made it home safe. Thankfully, I was not hurt and my car was drivable.

(disclaimer: I know that it could have been sooooo much worse and I am not trying to come across as insensitive to someone in a similar situation & it has been so much worse.)

As I drove home that night I was, obviously, a mess and was just trying to wrap my head around the fact that it could have been so much worse. I was this mix of trembling fear and breathtaking thankfulness.

I feel like this experience was a great example of what fear can do.

Driving home after the accident was horrible. I was trembling the entire time, my breathing was sporadic, and the tears never stopped. I got home and lost it. I cried and cried and cried and cried. Christian just kept repeating, “you’re safe. You’re safe. You’re safe.” The days that followed were really robotic. I was in a fog of fear. I tried to avoid driving, making excuses that made sense in my head. And I called my parents. Thankfully, everyone in my life kindly pushed me to get behind the wheel again. I was scared. Fear was overwhelming and it controlled me. But I had a choice: partner with the fear or respond do it in bravery.

Fear is crippling. Fear is controlling. Fear is a monster. You cannot partner with fear. It will ruin your life.

I decided to face the road again & to feel every emotion that came with it. Over the next few days I cried a lot, randomly. Every time I passed the spot it happened, I would hold my breath and then the tears would flow again. Or when I would see the damage done to my car & more tears. Or I would think about how lucky I am to be alive and I would have more emotion. I refused to stuff any of the feelings down and instead, embraced them all. I, also, had to do a lot of positive self-talk as I faced the fears of driving.

I, now, have to deal with the consequences of the situation: decide to file a claim or not,  get the car fixed, get new tires, etc. I have to watch as my bank account gets smaller and smaller. I have to trust in myself and God, that this is going to work out financially. Every time I think about my finances I feel the anxiety rising. But, again, I will respond to this fear instead of sit in it.

I am facing this fear head on. I am exploring my options financially. I am talking to people that know these situations better than me. I am thankful for the money I do have and the money that is headed my way. I am sacrificing my time, energy, and focus in order to connect with peace, bravery, and love.

As I end this post, I don’t know if I have tips for you on facing fear, but! I can provide you with encouragement that you are not alone. Fear is a liar, killer, and thief. Fear is a sticky mess that pops up in the worst times. Fear does not deserve your time and attention. So, as you face fear (no matter how big or how small) know that you aren’t alone in this bravery. I am fighting fear, too. And I believe that with the help of a companion, anything is possible!

One last thing, facing fear does not have to look big like sky diving. Sometimes, it is just getting out of bed in the morning. Or, eating that day. Sometimes facing fear looks like letting the tears flow. So don’t think you have to move a mountain to call yourself brave.

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear how YOU are being brave these days! Comment below!

XO,

M

PS: This wonderful photo was captured by a dear woman in my life : Jess Anne Lehman.