This is Why Faith is So Much More Powerful than Fear...
I know it has been a while since I have blogged, but we were in the process of moving and I just felt like I needed to step back from everything for a while to gain some perspective. It was a great decision. Anyways, I will be back to my art journey, and will be sharing the "Daily Gabe," "Kelly Thoughts," as well as some other fun things coming soon.
But TODAY, I wanted to share with you a post I made on Facebook the other day about my journey from hopeless and homeless while grieving the death of my son, to making a HUGE move to my dream home--all because I choose faith over fear:
In 2015 I had the worst year imaginable. I lost my infant son Elijah when he passed away suddenly, leaving my entire family devastated. His death was one of 4 deaths I endured in one year. My life was left in shambles.
My family was living in a hotel room, searching for housing at the time of his death, and just 2 days after he passed away I received a letter that we had to get out because we had overstayed the allowed amount of time. So in the middle of our grief and making arrangements to have our son cremated, we had to find another hotel, pack all our stuff up and move. We would have to move hotel to hotel monthly for over a year.
"Why would you want to stay in a hotel?" I kept getting asked. "Isn't it cheaper to rent an apartment?" Well, yes, it is cheaper to move into an apartment, but the upfront costs were more than what I could handle while still housing us in a hotel. And my income was so low that I couldn't get approved for an apartment. I couldn't go back to my full-time job as a lifeguard because it involved practicing CPR on an infant dummy, and I had just failed at CPR on my son. I also couldn't take the sounds of children at the pool, or the fear of someone actually needed help in another traumatic situation. So I had to take a part time position working in another role with the company I worked for. I had a hard time showing up for work. I was mentally exhausted. Afraid to leave my children. I had severe pains from anxiety and the stress from people complaining about their vacation while I was grieving my son was just too much for me.
I cried and cried every time we had to switch hotels. I begged God to provide a home for us. I was even prepared to walk across country (not even kidding) to raise money for a new home. It felt like we were cursed. I felt hopeless.
I tried thing after thing to keep us afloat. Some of them "failed," others I just gave up on...then I decided it was time to go "home" to rest. So we left the state I loved to go back to our home state and stay with family. And that's where I started to focus on being creative. I started to write books in my son's memory and sell them in local stores. I bought a school bus with the intent to travel, but my grief was so heavy we never did get it out of the yard. We lived in that school bus for over 2 years pursuing our dreams. My husband trained in MMA and fought a few fights. I wrote a few children's books, started to paint, and tried a million different things to support our family (selling cookies, dog sitting, teaching yoga...)
I LOVED my bus, I really really did, but in the back of my mind I just felt stuck. I kept thinking of my dream house. I kept thinking there is something more out there for me and my family. Something big.
I had promised my son Elijah that we would live our dreams for him, since he was no longer living on the earth and could not live his dreams. So I decided to get really creative. I made a vision board and set a date. I said by June 5th (Elijah's birthday), we would be living in our dream home. I drew up plans. I picked pictures. I put A LOT of faith out on the line. I knew that I could pull this off somehow.
My husband worked hard, and we saved. We put our tax refund away. I joined Facebook groups in the areas I felt connected with--something was telling me to go out west. One day, a lady messaged me about a house she was moving out of, and told me to call her landlord ASAP. I spoke with the landlord and she was totally amazing and helpful...and BOOM...it all started to happen.
I was finally getting our family into a home, after years of living out of hotel rooms, living with different family, and on a school bus...we were moving into a beautiful home with a mountain view just like I had asked for
We moved here with just enough, and everyday has been a new opportunity to practice creativity and learn that faith is far more rewarding than fear. We have made friends with people who have showed us genuine kindness from day one. And even though we are still trying to find our footing, I truly feel like we have found home. Elijah even has his very own special place here
My story is far from finished, but I wanted to share it, because I know there are others out there struggling. I know there are people who feel like there world is ending, or are hurting from grief. I know there are people being outcasted, and losing hope everyday. I see you, and I know it can be so very hard. I lost a child, I was homeless, had a cyber stalker who would attack me verbally any chance they could get, and I worried many nights about how I would ever survive the pain I was living in. BUT I held on, and I DID survive AND I found joy again.
I allowed the pain in, honored it, and wrote about it. I was open and honest, even when others didn't want me to be. Above all else, I was true to myself, even when it was hard. And you can do the same.
You can live with grief AND gratitude and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You can feel the hard times, and still be creative and overcome it. You can use your trauma to transform your life. But you have to make that choice.
You can overcome the hard, even when it seems like the hard stuff is endless.
This is my new home. This is my dream house. I made it here. Out of the homelessness. Out of the hopelessness. Not fully out of the grief. Not fully out of the hurt. But fully me, and loving all of it for what it is....my life.
Sending you guys all lots of love! Thanks for reading <3