Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflection . . . and the road to acceptance

Reflection; a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration
Acceptance; the act of taking or receiving something offered

It's New Years day, a new year and a new decade. With that, I'm sure many share in my reflection of time gone by. Unresolved resolutions or resolutions with really good intentions that were never started. But this year especially, it's not about things I haven't done or didn't finish. It's about a journey, a road traveled....and a destination. Just not one you'll find on a map.

A little over two years ago my husband accepted a job that meant a big move for our family. It was a necessary move as we had been out of work and although it was not out of state it may as well have been. It was away from where our children were born and everything that felt comfortable, everything that was home. The move was to be from the Dallas area to a small town about 25 miles north of Galveston Island and a very large body of water!

Things were preceding nicely. Our house sold the first day on the market and we were in the process of building a new one, and we had secured an apartment for the interim. But a new set of circumstances had reared its ugly head and we felt it was best to back out of the new home, which in turn created a new set of circumstances and more uncertainty. The day after we moved in a tropical storm came through and I fought back the tears as my son begged us to go back home. This place was now home. It's hard to be brave for your children when deep down inside you're falling apart. And then there was hurricane Ike, with a category 5 storm surge that resulted in the largest evacuation in the states history only 4 weeks after we moved in! So I moved to a place I didn't want to be to find myself and my family evacuating just weeks later with no more than a couple of suitcases and a box of our earthly possessions and important papers not knowing if that would be all we had left. It's an indescribable feeling to say the least. In the weeks that followed (and those prior) I was depressed. I didn't want to get dressed and I hardly ever left the apartment. My sweet husband would come home for lunch and take me for a drive just to get me out. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. It was getting close to the end of our 6 month lease and we decided to look for a house. That was definitely a turning point getting out of the apartment and back into a house and a neighborhood again. It also meant that our kids were changing schools yet once again. We were getting settled,  the kids were adjusting well and I was starting to meet a few friends and beginning to garden once again! But I was still less than happy about being here.

As time went on I continued going through the motions and my husband and I joined a couples bible study group. During one of our lessons, there was discussion on favorite places to be. One of the women told how her father in-law's favorite place to be was in acceptance. I thought to myself, wow acceptance would be such a great place to be since self-pity sucked. But it's not on map quest, so how to get there was the question. Well, what I learned is that there are no directions to acceptance and that the only way to get there is through faith. I was too busy being mad and feeling sorry for myself to see, really see where the road led. It's really hard at the time when everything feels so wrong to remember that there is a power greater than you making everything right. That the Lords plan is far greater than your own especially when it looks nothing like yours. For had we not moved here, to the Gulf Coast, I may not have discovered the photographer in me or my fascination for the beach and my love of the water. I believe that I have a purpose to share the glory of God and nature through photography and art with others.

In the last decade I have learned more about the things that matter and the things that don't and how easy it is to confuse the two. That being happy isn't about the perfections, but looking past the imperfections. I am just as grateful for my struggles as I am for my blessings. It seems that they are one in the same. And that as I come into a new year and decade that it's not about a new beginning but rather a continuation of a journey. . .to a place called acceptance.


colleenjstella said...

You truly DO have a gift Kim!!!

Kim Stevens said...

Thank you Colleen!!

Anonymous said...

Kim...this post touched my really are a natural at the beach...God always seems to know what we need-even when we don't-Reflection is always good-you made it to acceptance.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Beautiful story, good to learn more of you and your journey. Acceptance, such a wonderful foundation to live from each day.

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