Intentionality

Alone, yet surrounded by people who love me.

Empty, yet doing things that should fulfill.

Broken, yet putting on a front that everything is okay. That I’m okay.

This was me two months ago. I didn’t know what I wanted from life or what step to take next. I felt lost – like I couldn’t find my way out of the mess I found myself in. Until I was intentional. Intentional with my time. Intentional with my relationship with God. Intentional with my attitude. I truly believe being intentional helped pull me out of the dark place I was in. But let me start from the beginning.

I grew up in the church. I memorized and recited bible verses like no one’s business. I knew all of the words to the hymns and songs on Christian radio.  People always referred to me as “innocent” or as a “goody two-shoes” because I generally refrained from anything that could get me in trouble and disappoint the people I care about. But I resented being seen as this person when I knew that it wasn’t necessarily true. This life wasn’t what I had chosen for myself – it was chosen for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly thankful I grew up in the church, but at the time, I wasn’t.

In January, after being newly single, I tried to live life without any concern for God or what was “good” or “right,” but just living for myself. Lucky for me, God must not have liked this too much and He kept putting roadblocks up that didn’t allow me to go very far down that path. At the end of January, on a night where my beloved Jayhawks had just pulled off a win against Kentucky – a night I should have been elated and ecstatic – I got into my car and cried. I didn’t understand what was wrong and nothing I did made me feel any better. I just kept seeing time and time again that whatever I was doing wasn’t making me happy, but rather making me miserable. Making me feel alone and empty and broken.

So I had some tough conversations with my best friends that helped me see why things hadn’t worked out in my relationship because, I’ll be honest, it was really starting to eat at me. Because of what I came away with from these conversations, I felt the need to reach out so I intentionally prayed so intensely for answers on what step I should take next.

Things turned out so well from that and just putting complete trust in God that whatever happened would be the right thing and knowing He would help me get through it, that I started intentionally praying when I was grateful, when things were tough, when I was anxious, when others needed it, whenever I could. I cannot tell you how much God has worked in my life through the simple act of bringing a genuine prayer to Him. 

By being intentional about my relationship with God and my prayers to Him, I grew immensely closer to Him in such a short time. I no longer feel like having God in my life is something that was chosen for me, but rather something that I 100% have chosen for myself.

This intentionality brought me out of a time when I felt like I could barely make it through a single day. This intentionality helped restore a relationship that I never thought could mean so much to me. This intentionality showed me God. I have seen what He has done in my life in the past two months. I have felt Him work in me through an intentional prayer and the faith that He will answer it.

If today you feel like you are in that dark place that you can never get out of. If you feel alone, empty, and broken, be intentional. Pray to God and have the faith that He can answer your prayers. Give it all to Him. Doing this has changed my life in a way I never thought possible and given me genuine happiness, and I know it can do the same for you.

When things get hard, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we can’t see it on our own. We have to ask God to help us up and through it. So if today you can’t see the light, intentionally pray to God and ask for His guidance. And then believe that He can do all things.

Starting From the Beginning

I have recently been thinking about beginning a blog – a place to publicly express my thoughts and, hopefully, inspire someone.  Today I had the extra strong desire to do this, so here I am.

Although I have only been around for 19 years, I have had my own share of ups and downs throughout my life like anyone else.  Even so, I have consistently been referred to as a positive person because I try to see the best in every person and in every situation.  I have the “unique” ability to put things that hurt me so far in the back of my mind that sometimes I can forget it actually happened.  For example, today marks the five-year anniversary of my father’s unexpected passing.  There are still days when I think he is here and I can talk to him whenever I need to hear his voice.  When I think about it, I miss my daddy like crazy and just wish he could have watched me graduate high school and that he would walk me down the aisle someday and witness other huge life events I will experience.  The truth is, I often forget the grim reality of him not being here anymore.  I don’t know if this is because I am just so optimistic that I’ve adjusted incredibly well or if this is solely because I’m delusional, but it is the truth.  Instead of choosing to dwell on something I cannot change, I am actively choosing to learn from my father’s death and become a better person.  As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  I firmly believe that God does not put anything in our lives that we cannot handle with His guidance, but He will allow obstacles to block our paths so we can grow.

The point is is that I have learned to look for the best in every situation.  Being positive brightens my days and makes my life feel like it is so much more worth living.  I don’t understand the point of constantly being pessimistic because the only person you are really bringing down is yourself.  Negativity holds you back, so why choose that for yourself?

I hope my blog will encourage people to take a positive outlook every now and then, as well as help me grow not only as a person, but in my spiritual walk with God, too.  I want to share my struggles so that maybe others can learn something and not make the same mistakes I did and not have to face the same heartaches.  I feel my best when I am helping others and I hope that I can inspire just one person to be optimistic and see the light.

Hannah