I was standing on the edge of the road looking down at the water. As I strolled the path, I felt the wind gusting through my hair. The sound of the ocean was roaring through my ears. As I sat down to look out and embrace the moment, I had this thought: ”I just have to put my feet in.” That thought and feeling wouldn’t leave my body until almost instinctively I headed for the shore. I’m not sure what made those thoughts come to me. Maybe it was the desire to wash away the last season of my life. The season that broke me and rebuilt me all in one. I felt like I was a phoenix that rose from the ashes.
Before I started this journey, I was a broken woman, barely surviving. You see, I was in this journey to motherhood through unconventional means. In January of 2018, I became a foster mom. In February, I got placed with the best little baby girl the world has ever known. For awhile, I felt on top of the world. I was leading three ministries through transitions, I was a mom for the first time, and I honestly felt like I was rocking it all. Of course, we know that things never stay that way. My church had decided that I was not the person they were looking for to continue leading the ministries, so they started to look for someone else. They found that person and unfortunately I felt a tension in that relationship. It wasn’t his fault and it wasn’t my fault; it was the result of a bad situation overall. Shortly after that, I got a call for a little toddler, in which that “yes” turned my next season into one of the hardest I have ever experienced. All of a sudden, I was bearing the weight of disappointment and the feeling of being overwhelmed in a constant state.
Realizing I needed help, I heard about this Women In Leadership Cohort. I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I realized I needed something. The trajectory I was headed was not good for me nor the children I was caring for. So I signed up. That single moment changed everything for me.
I remember going into the first retreat so broken. I wasn’t sure the ladies would like me. Heck, I didn’t even like me at this point. I was stressed and overwhelmed and that was a baseline for my life. I remember people always saying, “I’m not sure how you do it.”; meaning be a single parent and work full time. Truthfully, I’m not sure how I made it through those first months either. It was clearly Jesus and coffee, because there was no other way. Parenting is hard enough, but parenting trauma is harder. Then factor in that I was in a position at a church that I loved so much but wasn’t happy anymore. It was a tough season. As April asked the hard questions and gave us room to search our souls, I began my wrestling stage. When I finally felt like I was ready to give up, life shifted. A job opened that seemed like a dream and I began my crawl out of the space I was in. Parenting was getting easier and routine began.
By the time we got to the second retreat, I was in a completely different place. Noticeably different. Even the other ladies could see the actual physical changes in me. Hope. I had hope. But I wasn’t done yet. I needed one more thing: forgiveness.
As my feet touched the water, I breathed in and out, thinking of the people, the hopes, the promises broken, that I needed to forgive. I felt the tinge of cold surge through my whole body. I felt alive. It was time to let go. Let go of it all. The journey was long and hard but it brought me to this place, this moment. The moment where I could look back and see the faithfulness of God. The point where I could let go of those hurts and decide to wash it away in the salty, cold water. In that moment, it was like I let Jesus Himself wash my feet as He said, “I am here, I love you, well done my faithful servant”. Then, as fast as it started, the moment was gone and I was on a plane back. But I will forever remember that moment. The moment I felt free.
first shared on Megan’s blog: http://www.megankallenbach.com/
Thoughts from Megan after our first coaching retreat:
Have some reasons (aka excuses) about why you can’t say yes right now? Megan personally paid for her own coaching group experience. Single momma of 2 foster girls, working full-time in job that was strangling her soul. She found childcare for her foster daughters. She sacrificed financially to make it happen. Her transformation mattered that much to her. She’s a new woman as a result of what she learned and did in those 6-months.
Say “YES”. You are worth it.