A huge thanks to Deanna Ramsay for her post last week! Sometimes we get blindsided by life. I love how Deanna talked about being in need and how uncomfortable that can be for all of us, but how God provides for us through the hands and feet of each other. Beauty right there in the midst of a mess. Love.
Today, I’m bringing you the soulful, Audi Swift. Audi is a wife, a mother to three littles, a writer, and a deep well. When I asked Audi where she if feeling the squeeze in life and where she is finding space, she wrote about the process of reclaiming her voice — a journey of healing — which I so resonate with personally. I truly love this post, and I believe it will say something important to you.
Here’s Audi in her own words . . .
Hi! I’m Audi Swift and I’m so glad to connect with you.
I’m a native Oregon girl who lives in San Diego with my husband Jeremy and our three kids. I’m a confusing mix of girly-tomboy, athletic-writer and social-introvert. I love long delicious meals, being close to water and listening to dance music. I’m on a new journey of writing more seriously, which is both invigorating and terrifying. It is my hope that as you read my writing, God’s love and redemption speak to your heart despite all of my humanness.
When thinking on how I’m experiencing ‘the squeeze’ in life, a very current, very vulnerable struggle came quickly to mind. But as in anything that makes us feel see-through, an uneasiness quickly swept over me.
How can I share that I’ve spent over a decade of my life living within the framework of the lie “I’m not good enough”? Never a good enough wife, mother, friend, writer, etc. How can I share that I’m in my early thirties, with a husband and three small children and I’m just now realizing I don’t know my own voice?
The thing that is getting me down and leaving me breathless is that I am having to face the pain of my past. I am having to trudge my way through another layer of growth and healing in order to not stay stuck. The tension between staying stuck and moving towards growth is what makes the squeeze so very uncomfortable.
My past has seen me through well over a decade of tumultuous family years when I was entering junior high, a verbally abusive ex-boyfriend, an eating disorder that nearly killed me and the death of my older brother. Year upon year, heartbreak upon heartbreak, I believed I wasn’t good enough, resulting in unconsciously making myself small and not voicing my thoughts for fear of rejection.
If I’m being honest and if I allow it to, the squeeze of facing The Past can make me feel defeated, stuck and sad. The kind of sad that makes me want to stay in bed all day. The kind of stuck that makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to change the unhealthy rhythms from the past twenty years. The kind of defeated that makes me wonder if I’m letting my kids down. Will I ever come to know my own voice instead of the voice of my past abuser? Will I ever be rid of the shame that tells me I’m not enough? Will I ever not feel fragile and scared and like a child?
These are the moments when I’m in desperate need of space. I’m in desperate need of breath, light and truth.
Throughout my life, this place of space always comes in the form of alone time. And as our family has grown, I’ve had to hold this space as sacred, because it means life for every single person in our family. These days I’ve found this alone time in my early morning runs, before tiny feet are up and running around our house. Running alone is giving me the quiet and clarity a house with three tiny people can not.
And wouldn’t you know? Just when I need it. Just when I am feeling defeated, stuck and sad. Just when I’m breathless and my heart feels like failing…
God shows up and meets me.
As I run, I’ve been praising Him and pouring out my heart to Him. Most importantly, I’ve been trying to be quiet and listen. And in the hush of the morning, He’s been whispering His wonderful light and truth deep into my soul.
I’m removing your shackles, my girl.
You ARE enough because of ME.
I will give you a voice for the voiceless.
I whisper back, “Thank you, thank you, thank you”.
With each pounding footstep on the pavement, real breath comes inside of me and revives my heart. I am connected to my breath, body and strength. Instead of defeated, I feel lifted. Instead of stuck, I feel free. Instead of sad, I feel peace.
It is beyond me where the squeeze of facing this layer of The Past will take me. But there is something the pain from The Past has given to me: the confidence that the sacred, spacious place God is giving me today is enough to carry me through whatever squeeze might press on me today.
So today, I just show up. I breath in the space. I remain brave in the squeeze.
Even in writing this, I realize how both the squeeze and the space are vital to my soul. Without the space, I am not able to grow in the squeeze. Without the squeeze, I am not desperate and thankful for the space.
You can follow Audi at www.audiswift.com to read more of her journey and her beautiful writing. She wrote what I would consider a companion piece to this post on her own blog that I’d so encourage you to read as well.