Finding your passion in life

What are you passionate about? Have you ever really given it any thought? What is the one think in this great big world that makes your heart race, that gives you peace and happiness, that makes you tick, that completes you, that makes you who you are? What is the one thing in the world that if you were to lose it would be like a part of you died?

Now don’t say that you are passionate about your friends and family. Those are things that we are all passionate about. But everyone has at least one thing that really defines who we are . . . that one thing that we are ceaselessly passionate about. I will use a few of my friends as examples . . .

My male best friend . . . radio d.j. . . . comics and superheroes
My female best friend . . . business manager . . . law enforcement and helping church
Former co-worker . . . radio station engineer . . . making music
Former co-worker . . . organizer of beauty supply shows . . . animal rescue

What we do for our career does not define who we are. Our career is merely what we do to pay the bills. What defines who we really are is what we are passionate about.

Me . . . radio d.j. . . . writing

I saw a post on Facebook recently that said “find your passion and let it consume you.” Take a moment to think about that. When was the last time you fell in love with something so much that you let it consume you?

There are unfortunately too many people walking around the world right now that have no idea what they are passionate about. They are so worried about having the right job, fitting into the right social circles, and always being perfect that they never take a chance at finding what really makes them happy. To find your passion is to find what makes your heart happy.

Rescuing abused and neglected animals and finding them furr-ever homes makes my beauty show organizer friend happy. That is what fulfills her heart. Overcoming the demons of his very ugly childhood via the comic superheroes he loves is what makes my best friend happy. Writing poetry, short stories, even the posts on this blog are what makes me happy.

Many people are lucky enough to discover what they are passionate about. For those people it could even become their purpose in life. My beauty show friend would love to be able to give up her job and devote herself day and night to rescuing animals. But with the free time that she gets from work she has done amazing, life changing things for so many animals. She has found her passion and she has let it consume her.

What are you passionate about? Do you even know? If you could drop everything right now to do the one thing that makes you happy what would it be?

So, what are you waiting for?  Find your passion and let it consume you.

Until next time . . .

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Ready for change

I remember when I first got into radio . . . I was in love with it.  My dreams were big and the future seemed wide open.  I was going to take the radio world by storm and be the next Dick Clark or Kasey Kasem.  In the studio I felt at home for the first time ever.  I had found my calling.

Now, 14 years later, my “calling” has come to feel like a chore.  It’s something I have to do instead of something I get to do.  I would be perfectly happy right now to hang up my headphones and let my on-air name die quietly.  It’s not that I am unhappy with the station that I work for.  It’s that radio no longer means to me what it meant 14 years ago.  Some people might call it burnout.  Some would say that I’ve gotten jaded or disillusioned.  I would say that my priorities have changed.

14 years ago I was a sheltered, naive girl who was searching for acceptance within herself and from everyone around her.  I’ve since found acceptance from myself and I think I’m pretty amazing.  I am perky, loud, giggly, loving, devoted, and creative.  I am unique.  I am my own person.  I totally rock!  I am also impatient, short-tempered, foul-mouthed, and insecure.  I am human.

People are always growing and changing.  We’re not meant to stay the same.  If we did stay the same then I would still be in love with New Kids On The Block and be living in my mom or dad’s basement.  I’ve grown and changed since the first time I opened a microphone 14 years ago.  I no longer have stars in my eyes and no longer seek the acceptance of others.  If somebody likes me then I am happy with that.  If somebody hates me then that is their choice and their right.  I can’t change it.

For the most part I am a pretty private person.  There are just some aspects of myself that others do no need to know about.  My boss recently told me that I need to open myself up more to my listeners.  What I want to open up about with them I can not because the company doesn’t want to alienate listeners.  I love and work in the Bible belt.  How can being open about my faith alienate listeners?  Yet talking up a song about drinking or murdering cheating spouses is completely okey dokey.  I can’t say “praise God” on the air, but Carrie Underwood can sing about a wife and mistress murdering their shared man.  I am in the wrong forum apparently.  There is no wrong way to share the word of God.  I just need to find a new, more accepting outlet for those words.

It’s time to leave radio.  It’s time to step back from the 100,000-watt-powered machine of requests and cheap giveaways.  It’s time to walk away from the over-inflated, self-indulgent ego of the female morning show host.  It’s time to say goodbye to the general manager that, no matter what he gives lip-service to, wants the station to come first and foremost in everybody’s life.

Radio was my life, but it means nothing to me anymore.

But where do I go from here?

I used to be terrified of change.  A childhood filled with chaos and constant upheaval left me as an adult searching for stability and control, even if that meant I was left in an unhappy situation.  The only thing that mattered to me was stability, predictability.  God is working in me and in my life.  I no longer fear change.  I am excited about it.  I look forward to where God will lead me.

I am ready to leave radio behind, but everything happens in His time.  He will lead me away from the microphone and into the next chapter in my life when His time is right.

I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me.

Until next time . . .

You Are . . . (poem)

You are peace and love
You are discipline and guidance
You are the sun, moon, and stars
You are forgiveness and another chance
You are the light in the dark tunnel
You are dancing in the rain
You are sound of a baby’s laughter
You are comfort through the pain
You are quiet moments of reflection
You are praises loudly sung
You are a desperate prayer for strength
You are the thankful whisper rolling off the tongue
You are the tears of a broken heart
You are the sunshine peeking through the clouds
You are the warm hug from a friend
You are joy of worship so proud
You are our beacon when we are lost
You are our amazing grace when we are found
You are the wings we need to soar
You are our solid ground
You are father, leader, friend
You are our heart and soul
You are our Lord and Savior
You are what makes your children whole
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
03.27.14

Path Of Faith (poem)

Five-million directions
Which way to go
A plea to God
To share what only he knows
The path I’ve always taken
Is leading me away
God’s words are in my heart
But what is he trying to say
Trying to close my eyes
To take away what I want to see
Trying to open my heart
To hear what he’ll do with me
My former life is fading away
But I don’t know what lies ahead
Piece-by-piece I’m saying goodbye
To that part of me that’s dead
So scared of the unknown
But faith that God knows what’s best
I’ve taken his hand for guidance
He will take care of the rest
He knows how I can serve him
He’ll put me where I’m supposed to be
Until then I will walk in faith
On the path He lays out for me
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
03.26.14

Deliver us from evil . . .

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.  You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.  So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  And, “But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”  But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Hebrews 11:32-39
(Text courtesy of BibleGateway.com)
 

Today was a rough day.  I heard from the drummer last night.  Part of me knew that I would hear from him.  It was Tuesday and he is nothing if not consistent.

The drummer is my weakness.  If I were an alcoholic he would be my Bud Light.  Having recognized this I sat down with him a week ago and told him that I need some time away from him to get my head and heart straight.  It didn’t go well.  He got angry.  I lost my temper.  A week later (yesterday) I told a friend that I finally felt completely positive that the conversation I had with the drummer was the absolute right way to go.  I finally felt at peace with myself.  The first few days after the fight I was riddled with guilt and shame because I had hurt the drummers feelings.  I never doubted God and his leading me to rid my life of the temptation that I subjected myself to with the drummer.  I am a people-pleaser and to hurt anyone eats me up.  I wasn’t thinking that the one I needed to worry about not pleasing wasn’t the drummer.  I needed to worry about not pleasing God.

Yesterday I finally felt the weight of that guilt was gone.

And then BOOM!!!!

My phone vibrated last night with a text from the drummer.  Satan saw that I had reached a place where I was able to let go of that temptation and he threw it back in my face.  I was weak.  I took the lid off the proverbial bottle of Bud Light.  I responded to the drummer’s text.  He said that we need to get together for dinner soon.  Hey, Satan, do you really need to put the flashing neon on the sign?  I know what you are doing!”  I never said “yes,” but in my weakness I also never said “no.”  I texted him back with my schedule over the next few days in the hopes that he would see that I am too busy and lose interest.  He just texted back one of the most annoying messages that anyone can ever send . . . “K.”

I was completely distracted the rest of the evening.  I told my husband about it as soon as he got home.  Today at work I was still distracted.  It was so bad that it was actually interfering with my airshift.  My show was terrible today.  That was how much I had let this get into my head.  The thought actually crossed my mind a couple of times to throw in the towel, to get together with the drummer like he wanted, to give into temptation.  That was the moment that  I recognized that I was under attack.  I couldn’t see it last night.  As soon as I was done on the air I grabbed my purse and ran to my car.  I drove to a local park and found a picnic table where I could be alone.  I opened my bible and Hebrews 11:32-39 was the first passage I came across.

I read it and then re-read it and then thanked God for giving me just the words I needed to hear.  God always gives us what he knows we need when we need it.  Today he reminded me of that while I was sitting in the park.

Temptation is always around us.  We all have a weakness . . . mine is the drummer.  Yours might be shopping, or cupcakes, or work, or Facebook, or anything.  We all have something that Satan uses to try to distract us from God.  Last night and this morning I faltered.  God took my hand and lead me away.

“Thank you, God, for your unending patience with this sinner.  I am weak, but you give me your strength.  Through you I am made stronger.”

Until next time . . .

Temptation (poem)

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
 
Temptation or fate
Sin or purpose
A heart that is so confused
Faith in God
To not lead me astray
But too mixed up to see how he wants me used
An addict facing the urge
A pull so strong
Unable to walk away from what I don’t need
The taste so sweet
A high so strong
One more time won’t hurt me
Praying for recovery
Strength to sever the ties
But weakness leads the heart forward
A test of my faith
A lesson in letting go
Can I make it through a battle so hard
But what if there is a purpose
What if he is my way to serve
Is he my downfall or can I fix his heart
He is so lost
I am barely found
Bring me closer, God, before he tears me apart
Your fight is already won
Lead me through the battle
Strengthen my heart and guide my way
My sins will lead me down
An urge I can not ignore
Give me the strength to make it through the day
I am weak, God
I am yours
Take this broken girl and rebuild her for you
Your love is in my heart
But temptation is so strong
I need your strength to be who you want me to
One more taste will kill me
One more time will drown me in dark
Deliver me from the evil at my door
Blind my eyes to the need
Close my heart to the sin it craves
Help me fight the temptation so I see it no more
 
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Matthew 6:13
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
03.19.14

Their End (short story)

They sat in his car, drowning in the silence.  He was waiting for her to pour out the words she needed to tell him.  It was cold in the car, the heater having not yet overcome the frigid January air.  Her body trembled with nervous fear that numbed her to the frosty bite of winter.
 
“We could go back into the store,” he suggested between chattering teeth.  “It’s a lot warmer in there.”  He stared at her, hope barely masking the confusion on his face.
 
Despite the cold her palms were sweaty.  Her heart raced and screamed at her to not say the words that her mind was hell-bent on getting out.  She took a deep breath, the exhale making a cloud in the cold air between them.  She looked into his beautiful hazel eyes, trying to get one last memory of him before his eyes turned hard and hateful against her.  She hesitated.  She knew what her words would do to him, but she was ready to live with the consequences.
 
“I consider the day I met you to be one of the greatest days of my life,” she started weakly.  “There was just something about you that pulled me to you.  I could feel fate pushing me to you in a way that I had never felt before.”
 
“Watching me play my drums got you all hot and excited,” he joked, trying to lighten her mood.  She gave him a half-hearted smile.
 
“We became friends and I thought that was all I would ever be to you.  I also thought I was alright with just being friends.  You make me smile and laugh.  You let me watch you play and be your groupie fangirl.  I love being with you when we go out for lunch.”
 
She suddenly went silent.  She knew she could still put the brakes on the rollercoaster in her head.  She knew she could give him a smile and a hug and everything would be alright.  But she also knew that everything wouldn’t be alright.  He would go back inside to work and she would go home with a heart that still ached for him.  She knew that she had to stop the ache and the only way to do that was to break her own heart, and his.  She knew she had to let him go.
 
“I’m glad we’re friends, also,” he assured her as he searched her eyes for what she was hiding from him.
 
“The thing is,” she whispered, her head hanging low and her hair hiding her face, “I want more than just friends.  I want more than just lunch and a hug.  I want more than to be your groupie fangirl.  I want to be with you, Bobby.”
 
He sighed and leaned back against his door.  She stared at him, searching his face for what she hoped he would say.  Instead she saw the wall come down between them.  His truth hung in the air between them like a oppresive weight.  It stabbed at her heart.  Her tears froze in her eyes in the cold car and all she wanted to do was run away from him.  She wanted to take her words back and bury them in her frozen heart and run away from him until she no longer loved him.
 
“Heather, I will always consider you a friend.  I appreciate all of your support when you come out to watch me play.  I can’t give you what you want though.  I just don’t see you that way.  I’m sorry.  But we’ll always be friends.”
 
He opened his arms to her for a hug.  Her body longed to fall into his warm and comfortable embrace.  She wanted to lay her head on his chest, close her eyes, and listen to the steady, strong beat of his heart.  She silently wondered if it would calm the frantic speed of her own heart.
 
She didn’t move.  She couldn’t move.  There was no turning back from what her heart had started.  She got into his car with a goal of easing her aching heart.  She had only broken it more, but she knew that the only way out was to keep moving forward.
 
Pain and rejection crossed his face as his arms fell to his lap.  She could see that he knew she wasn’t done, and it killed her to know that he knew what was coming.
 
“You’ve never rejected a hug from me before.”
 
“I can’t do this anymore, Bobby,” she said weakly as she cast her eyes to the floor.  Her fingers tangled nervously in her hair.  Her heart pounded in her chest as frightened adrenaline surged through her chest.  She wondered how much a heart could take before it finally just exploded.
 
“You can’t do what anymore?  Please tell me that you can’t stay in this car anymore,” he joked, trying to distract her from herself.  “I’m freezing.  Can we please go inside.  If we are friends at all you will let us go in the store where it is warm.”
 
“I can’t do this anymore, Bobby.”
 
He searched her face, but she kept it hidden behind her hair.  “What are you talking about, Heather?”
 
A tear slid down her cheek as the words slid from her mouth.  “I don’t think I can be your friend anymore.”  She felt her heart shatter in her chest.  She wanted to scream at herself to shut up, to beg him to ignore the words she had just said, to fall into his hug and pretend that nothing was wrong with her.  All of that would have been easier than leaving the truth her mouth had just spoken between them.
 
“Are you having some weird girly moment,” he laughed nervously.  “Do I need to give you chocolate and back away slowly?  You are crazy, but that’s why we’re friends.”  The smile fell from his lips when he saw her tears.  “You aren’t kidding, are you?”
 
She just shook her head slowly.
 
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
 
She nodded her head.  There was no turning back.
 
“What do you mean you can’t do this anymore, Heather?  This is exactly why I never trust people,” he growled.
 
She watch anger tighten his body as he closed himself off to her.  His arms folded across his chest as a shield against her.  She had expected his reaction, but it was still painful to witness.
 
“I didn’t mean to hurt you, Bobby.  That was the last thing I ever wanted to do to you.  I know that you don’t trust people as a rule and that you believe that everyone is going to hurt you.  I never wanted to hurt you.  But what about all the times you have hurt me?”
 
“I have never intentionally hurt you,” he spat at her, his voice filled with ice and venom.
 
“Maybe not intentionally, but I have cried over you more times than you will ever know.”
 
“It’s not my fault you are so sensitive.”
 
“You’re right.  It’s not your fault.  But what is your fault is your callous, selfish, insensitive heart.  You claim to be so lonely, but you push away everyone who tries to climb over your wall.  You do it because you think you are protecting yourself from getting hurt.”
 
“I should have protected myself from you.  Then we wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”
 
“Yeah, because a life spent alone is so much better than a life spent with someone who cares about you,” she threw at him, sarcasm dripping from every word.
 
“You’re right.  It is.  I wish I’d never met you,” he spit at her hatefully, his eyes holding hers in a vice grip.
 
All of the air was forced from her body as his words hit her like bricks.  She felt like she had been slapped across the face.  All she could do was stare at him with anger and disbelief.
 
“In all the moments that you made me angry or cry I never,” she raged at him, “never wished I hadn’t met you.”
 
“Then why don’t you want to be friends anymore,” he begged her, momentarily allowing his broken heart to show.
 
“Because I love you, Bobby.  I fell in love with you so fast and so hard.”  She tried reaching out a hand to touch him.  She wanted to ease his heart, and her own also.
 
“Don’t fucking touch me,” he yelled at her as he jerked his body away from her touch.
 
“Bobby, please believe that I never wanted to hurt you,” she pleaded.
“Yeah, well, you did hurt me.  I hope you are happy with yourself.  You made me trust you.  You made me believe that you were different from everybody else in my life.  I should have known better.  You can bet that is a mistake I will never make again.”
 
She took a deep breath and fought to keep control over everything that was rushing through her.  She bit back her words of anger.  She swallowed the sad pleas for forgiveness.
 
“I love you, Bobby.  I want nothing more than to see you happy . . . “
 
“What would make me happy is if you got out of my car.”
 
” . . . but trying to make you happy is eating me alive.  I’ve lost myself in your world.  You hold my heart, Bobby, but it means nothing to you.  You said so yourself that you don’t love me.”
 
“Did you want me to lie to you?”
 
“Your truth would have come out eventually, just as mine did.  Actually, I think I’ve always known that you never loved me, that you never could.  I don’t know if you can love anyone, because love involved trust . . . “
 
“. . . and nobody can be trusted,” he finished for her, “including you.”
 
“I’m sorry that you feel that way about me.  I tried to be the person that helped rebuild your trust in people.  Would you rather I had lied to you today?”
 
“I’d rather you get out of my car.  I don’t need you.  I never needed you.  Get out!”  His rage boiled just below the surface of his control.
 
“Bobby, please listen to me,” she begged.
 
“Get out of my fucking car!”
 
“I’ll remind you that you had a choice whether or not to befriend me.”
 
“I never had a choice.  You forced your way into my life.”
 
“The night we met you could have let my leave and never said a word to me, but you did say something.  Do you remember what you said to me?”  Bobby stared at her with fire in his eyes and ice in his heart.  “Do you remember what you said,” she prodded.
 
“I said ‘I thought we were friends,'” he mumbled, casting his gaze out the window, “but that is not the foundation for a friendship.”
 
“No, but it was all the encouragement that I needed.  A while later I sent you that message on Facebook.  You could have ignored me, but you didn’t.  You wanted us to be friends as much as I did.”
 
“Yeah, and look at where it got me.  We were friends and now you don’t want to be anymore.  I should have ignored you.”
 
“Bobby, I know that somewhere inside of you there is a heart, and I know it is hurting right now.  For that I am very sorry.  I have to do this for me though.  I hurt every single day because I love you and I can’t stop it.  I am tired of wishing and hoping for something that will never happen.  You are not the only one who is hurting me, Bobby.  I am hurting myself and I’ve got to stop it.”
 
“And you called me selfish,” he mumbled, his face still turned toward the window and away from her.
 
“I’m sorry that you feel that way,” she said softly, sadly.  “If I don’t do it this way then I would have eventually started to hate you.  I never want to look back and hate you.  You mean too much to me.”
 
“That’s too bad because all I will see when I look back is the cold, heartless, bitch that you turned out to be”
 
“It didn’t have to be like this, Bobby.”
 
“Yes, it did, Heather.  We were always destined to end up here.”
 
She opened her arms to him, hoping for one last hug.  He stared at her coldly.
 
“Get out of my car.  You are no longer welcome in my life.”  The finality in his voice cemented closed the fate that she had set in motion.
 
“Bobby . . . “
 
“Get out,” he demanded.
 
“I’m sorry,” she whispered as she fought back fresh tears.  She looked at him for a minute longer, hoping he would turn his eyes her way one last time, but he didn’t.  He kept his face turned away from her and that would be her last memory of him.
 
She reached for the handle and opened the door.  The cold January night air bit at her tears.  She stepped out of the car and closed the door gently.  He never turned to look at her.
 
“I’m sorry, Bobby,” she whispered into the frozen night wind.  She hoped that one day her words would find their way to his heart.
 
She got into her own car and drove away for the final time from the music store that he worked at.  She hoped that store would bring him as much solace as it had brought him joy since she’d met him.  She turned out of the parking lot into the road.  She glanced into her rearview mirror hoping for one last glimpse of him.  She never noticed the oncoming traffic until it was too late.
 
The truck his her in the driver’s side door.  She was killed on impact.
Bobby went back into the store.  He never turned around at the sound of the car accident, and he never thought of Heather ever again.
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
01.29.14
 

This short story actually ended up being a bit prophetic.  This is essentially how the conversation went with the drummer a week ago minus the car accident and death.  I wrote this back in January and lost it.  I forgot about it until I found it in one of my MANY notebooks a few days ago.  It freaked me out just a bit at how similar this story was to how the actual conversation ended up going a month and a half after I wrote this.

And the truth shall set you free . . .

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5

That’s a pretty big request for a person like me.  I have a very hard time letting go of control.  Like so many people in the world I have a difficult time trusting anyone but myself as a result of past experiences.  Letting go of control to others pretty much goes hand-in-hand.  “If I can’t trust you to keep your mouth shut about a secret then why should I trust you to do this project for me?”

I spent many years believing in God.  I knew that He sent his son to us.  I knew that Jesus lived a sinless life.  I knew that Jesus took on all the sins of man and that God sacrificed His only son on the cross to save us so that we could spend eternity with Him in the kingdom of Heaven.  I know that three days later Jesus was resurrected.  I “knew” all of this.  But I knew it that same way that I know that there is a chance for rain tomorrow morning.  I had been told the story of Jesus on the cross so many times over the years that I thought I believed it, but unless it actually rains tomorrow morning then the forecast that I am reading today means nothing.  It is just somebody’s best guess.  After all, were you there to see Jesus on the cross because I know I wasn’t.

But in some instances a person doesn’t have to see to believe, yet if they look around they will see things that will make them believe.  I don’t know for sure that it will rain tomorrow morning, but it’s cloudy right now and we’re at that time of year where it could rain at the drop of a hat.  These things make me believe that I better find my umbrella tomorrow morning.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105

I can look back over my life and see ways that God was working to help me see him well before I opened my heart to him.  He wanted me to know him.  He wanted me to open my heart to him, but I kept my eyes closed and my back turned.

When I was fifteen years old I was in the choir at church.  We were planning a trip to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and along the way we were going to stop at churches to put on our performance.  We were a big choir so the cost would have been too expensive for the church to send all of us plus the pastor, choir director, and chaperones on this ten-day trip.  Each person who wanted to go on the trip was required to raise three-hundred-dollars to cover the cost of the trip.  The church gave us endless opportunities to fundraise.  We held car washes, sold pizzas, had a rock-a-thon.  If we could turn an activity into a way for the choir to raise money for the trip we did.  It was a crazy, busy year but we had so much fun.

During that time I was also in the band at school.  Music programs in public schools are horribly underfunded.  As a result the students are often left to fundraise to support the program.  My poor family . . . between choir and band fundraisers I was always selling something and draining their bank accounts, but they happily wrote those checks.

That year in band we were selling candy bars and as an incentive to participate our band director told us that each students name would be entered into a drawing for one-hundred-dollars.  I’ve already told you that I was the poor kid in class so one-hundred-dollars seemed like a gazillion-dollars, but I knew I would never win it.  God said, “Challenge accepted!”  At the end of the fundraiser my band director pulled me aside in class and told me that I won the one-hundred-dollars.  I was absolutely floored!  I had never held that much money in my hand before.

I could have taken it to the mall and gone shopping like many fifteen-year-old girls would love to do.  Instead I took it to church and put it in my account for the choir trip.  God was making sure that I had enough money for my trip.  He wanted me to see that he was looking out for me, that he wanted me to have the opportunity to go out and sing his praises to the people.  It took me years to see that it wasn’t luck that won me that money, but that it was him lighting my way to him.

Everywhere we look God is acting in our lives.  When we are frustrated that we have overslept for work and then get caught by every single red light during our commute God may be protecting us from some danger further down the road.  When new people come into our lives it’s because he has something he wants us to do in their lives, or something he wants them to do in ours.  When we are standing outside on a cloudy day and the sun peeks through the clouds for just a moment that is God saying hello.  Take that opportunity to say hello back to him, and thank him for giving you another day to feel the sun warm your face.

“And you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32

Open your heart to Him.  Let him come into your life and warm you from the inside out the same way he warms your face with the sun on a beautiful Spring day.  He wants to give you a fresh start.  He wants you to be his child.  He wants to guide you to live through him.

It was, truthfully, very scary for me to take that chance.  I tried to come up with every excuse that I could until finally God left me with no more excuses.  He refuted everything I had to say.  He removed every obstacle that I set up.  He wanted me, and I needed him.  Through him your old self passes away and you are reborn with a seat waiting for you next to him in Heaven.

I still have problems with letting go of control.  Accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior did not change my bad habits overnight, but I took the first step and gave him control over my life.  With his guidance I am learning to know when to relinquish control in other areas of my life as well.  I trust him with everything that I am because I know he will never lead me astray.  He will never lie to me.  He will always do what he sees best for my life.  Why?  Because he loves me.  When I start to question anything else in my life I know that I can hold to that one steadfast and unbreakable truth . . . God loves me, and always will.

He has opened my eyes to the truth and the truth has set me free!

Until next time!

Rebirth day

It has been several weeks since I posted anything.  The lack of Carrie-posts was not due (completely) to a lack of anything to write.  It was because there has been so much change in my life lately that I needed an opportunity to step back, take a deep breath, and asses it all.  Normally I fear change, but this has been an amazing, eye-opening experience that I could have never expected when I took the first step.

Yesterday I posted a few poems that earned me a few new followers.  To those new followers I want to give a warm greeting and say thank you for following me.  Allow me to introduce myself . . .

My name is Carrie Leigh.  I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.  I am a writer, reader, lover of music and cooking.  I am a d.j. at a Western Kentucky radio station.  I recently celebrated my rebirth day.  Yes, you read correctly . . . rebirth day.  On February 23, 2014 I finally accept Jesus Christ into my heart.

The adventure to the present started on February 22nd, or maybe it would be better to say that it started 37 years before that.

I am the product of several broken homes.  My mom remarried (and divorced) once after divorcing my dad, and my dad remarried (and divorced) two more times.  There were also several of my parent’s significant others that traipsed in and out of my life, and a and endless string of step-brothers and step-sisters.  Needless to say I have difficulty forming attachments, and take it really hard when someone I get attached to leaves my life.

My former step-father was an abusive alcoholic who felt the need to take aim at me.  One night found me and my mom escaping the house after his tirade finally ended and he fell asleep.  We spent the night with one of my aunts after we stopped at the police station on the way to her house.  He tried to buy my affection back the next day with a new pair of socks.

I was almost raped by a former boyfriend when I took him to the store to buy a Mother’s Day card for his mom.  Luckily a police car drove by and spooked him.  He then tried to blame it on me, and his mother threatened to get him a lawyer because I refused to take the blame for what he tried to do.

My father is a recovered drug addict.  He lost his business, home, cars, entire family except for me . . . he lost everything.  He and I didn’t speak for a long time because of the anger I had at him for throwing everything away.  Via letters through the good ol’ postal service while he was in prison we worked through my anger and I am sadly the only family member he has that will actually speak to him.

The relationship I was in right before I started dating my husband was mentally and physically abusive.  He would berate me, hit on other women in front of me, scream and yell at me, leave bruises that he made sure were able to be covered by clothing.  That was the first time I cheated in a relationship.  I had no control over that relationship.  I couldn’t get out of it and was completely unhappy.  So I found someone who made me happy, if only for a little while.

I am not saying all of this to you so that you will feed pity for me . . . “Oh, poor Carrie.”  There are people in this world who have it so much harder than me.  I know that compare to some people my life has been a cake walk.  I’ve always had a roof over my head.  I’ve never wanted for any necessity.  There wasn’t much money when I was growing up.  Yes, I was the poor kid in class, but my mom and dad always made sure that I made it to band practice and that I had a steady supply of reeds and cork grease for my Clarinet and Saxophone.

What I am saying is that everyone has a story to tell.  Everybody has a wound that needs to be healed.  I got so tired of holding on, of lying to myself that I was alright, that I didn’t need help.  I went to church with a friend on February 23rd and every wall that I had against God broke down.  I had no defenses left against him and, in tears, cried “God, I need you now!”

I was not raised in the church.  My family is Baptist, and I attended Baptist churches periodically as a child.  I went to mass at a couple of different Catholic churches with my father’s 2nd wife, and attended services regularly for about a year at a Methodist church when I was a teenager.  Out of all those churches and denominations I never found a place that felt like home.  I never felt the presence of God.

Then God sent me Brandi.  I’ve known her for almost a year, and she and I became close friends fast.  I was at work the night of February 22nd when she came to visit me.  She had gotten involved with a new church a few months earlier and renewed her relationship with God.  I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that everyone is brought into our lives for a reason.  Brandi was brought into my life to witness to me and help me find my way to God.  I promised to go to church with her the next morning, and I kept my promise despite the fear that almost kept me at home.  I was terrified!  I hadn’t set foot in a church in nearly 10 years.

The words she said to me that Saturday night left me with no doubt that God was calling me to take him into my life.  At church the next day that fact was completely undeniable.  As we sat there near the end of the service I could feel God pulling at my heart.  I could feel him holding his hand out to me.  I just had to reach out and take it.  I prayed and opened myself up to Him and nothing has been the same since.  I was baptized the next Sunday.

In the past three weeks life has not gotten easier.  I now see aspects of my life that I previously thought were okey dokey as selfish, prideful, and against God’s word.  I am working really hard to clean my life back up.  Unfortunately that meant that I had to hurt someone who had a become a very good friend to me . . . the drummer.

I have been married for almost nine-and-a-half years, and met the drummer last October.  I was swept away by him, and before I knew it I had fallen in love with him.  A couple of days ago I met with him and told him that I was trying to clean my life back up and get it back on track.  That meant that I had to let go of him for a little while.  The conversation did not go how I hoped.  Mean things were said, anger flared, trust was broken, and the potential for a future friendship may have been lost.  I can only pray and hope that God will lead the drummer and I into a proper friendship, not one that is based on improper intentions, if it is His will.  Does that mean that I do not miss the drummer?  Absolutely not.  He made me laugh and smile.  We got along well, and could talk about anything.  But consummated or not  adultery is adultery if the intention is there, and what do the Ten Commandments say about adultery?  But I still miss him, and pray that God helps me get my heart in the right place and helps the drummer see past his anger with me to be able to see that.

I make time to pray everyday.  I’ve found that my 45-minute drive to and from work is a great time to talk to God.  I have a great support system in Brandi, Church and my husband.  There have been a few occasions over the last few weeks (especially this week) where it seemed like it would be easier to throw in the towel and return to my former ways, but God has faith in me that I can overcome all the obstacles that are trying to keep me from him.  So I have faith that he will give me the strength, patience, and guidance to get me past those obstacles.

I can’t wait to see where God leads me.  Please feel free to join me on my new journey.  Brandi said it best that Saturday night at work . . . “Don’t change.  Just come.”

Until next time . . .

Uncrossed Paths (poem)

It hurts to let you go
To say goodbye to what could have been
There is a hole in my heart
That wants to let you back in
But the paths we’re on
Can’t stay together forever
We’re reaching for different stars
Reaching for fame and for Heaven
It ripped me apart to say those words
To know I would make you mad
To see the disappointment in your eyes
Shattered me, knowing what I had
I prayed that you would support me
I prayed that you would be patient and proud
I prayed that you would see my improvements
And praise me out loud
But you disappointed me, too
Your lack of faith in my put me in my place
And I saw our one-sided friendship
Written all over your face
And that brought it home that much stronger
How much I needed to say goodbye
Because if you can’t support me as I try to grow
Then, from the start, our friendship died
I’ve cried for what was
I’ll cry for what will never be
And somehow try to find the girl
From before there was a “you and me”
Goodbye friend who gave up so quick
Goodbye friend that had no faith
It hurts so much to see you go
And to watch crumble the friendship we tried to make
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
03.12.14