Christian Women's Magazine | Finding Hope

JBU Spring 2017 Cover

By Aubrey Adams

It's started. Packing. I've lived in one place for nine years. That's a feat! Growing up as a missionary kid, I spent four-year stints in West Africa broken up by one-year furloughs in America - split between two sets of grandparents 1,000 miles apart; then back again to the mission field for another four years, possibly in the same spot in the country, very often not. 

As a young child, I spent six weeks at boarding school, hundreds of miles away form my parents, who lived in a remote location, and one-week home on break for four grueling, heartbreaking years. Moving, always moving - never really ever belonging. Often I unpacked my bags, but never my heart. It was far too dangerous and far too painful. There was always a fear of losing control if I did try to unpack emotionally without having the ability or time to pack it all back in before the next move. 

In this house, that I've lived in for the past nine years, I was given the opportunity and safety to unpack, my bags and my heart, so I fell apart. I fell apart because it was finally safe enough to fall apart. I fell apart into a God I firmly believe never left me for minute in all of the darkness I saw as a child, and all of the pain that was experienced. He was the only constant through all of the inconsistency and, oftentimes, the only bright light that was evident, even if it was in momentary flickers in the darkness. I also fell apart into the arms of a man who has loved me unconditionally. God has given my husband the courage and love to embrace all the pieces that make up the lovely mess of who I am. 

In this house I've learned how to step out - one step at a time beyond the enormity of all my fears - to ask for help. I've learned how to work hard and how to press on in spite of the pain that often comes while working through trauma. I knew that pressing on to put all the pieces together in a healthier way was a way of fighting for my life, and a way of fighting for the lives of our children and their future, as well as fighting for my husband who has fought for me. We are building a legacy together. This house has seen our babies grow and our marriage grow as I have grown. These walls have become a house of healing, a house of hope. I will forever be grateful for all the growing up and growing deep that took place here.

As I pack up our home, I've realized that this is the very first time in 34 years of life that I've gotten the chance to pack and move as an emotionally healthy individual. Although I'm only moving 20 minutes away, and though over the years I've moved more times than can be counted, I've never processed those changes well or oftentimes at all. I've stuffed down great loss and deep sorrow. Now, I'm learning how to say goodbye, one piece at a time, as our belongings are wrapped and packed away.

As I pack in the quiet sanctuary of these four wall, my heart remembers the hard journey, the hard work of digging out of the destruction of Satan's lies that bound my life for far too many years into a lonely prison. I'm laying things bare as I've built a new foundation, a healthy life on God's truth. Finding hope and learning the value I possess, because of the blood of Christ that covers me as He calls me His own, I am rising strong. I am thankful for the hard work. I am thankful for the hard days. I am thankful for all the lessons learned during this time, because, without all of that, I wouldn't be the woman who is standing here today living with hope.

The lessons are never done, the growing is never over, but this season of my journey is coming to a close and I am hopeful for more blessed beginnings as this new season unfolds.

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