Welcome to The Tearoom! This week we have the lovely Kayla Nelson with us, sharing her journey of how she realized that as a broken woman, she needed to come to God first to truly find joy in the midst of the trials of life. I hope you are encouraged by her story. Thanks so much for sharing with us Kayla!
I had no joy. Joy was a distant word that I only remembered knowing. My life had become a fog of uncertainty, pain and comparison causing more pain and loneliness. I couldn’t grasp a hold of joy or the meaning of the word, or even find which way to look to see an inkling of it. I walked around in a daze of discouragement, anger and pain.
And then we had to say goodbye to my husband for 8+ weeks for the military.
It was during that time that I began allowing Christ to work on my heart. He began showing me the darkness in my heart in a way that only He could show me, filled with grace, and through it bringing me hope.
When I began reading through the Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartin, I started to realize just how stifling and disrespectful I had been to my husband over the last year and a half that we had been married. I was broken and humbled, and I became so grateful for the sacrifice that my husband was making for our family. He started out as my hero and now he continues to be my hero every day.
I regained a small glint of joy from praying for my husband during those days.
Then I began reading Be the Mom by Tracey Lanter Eyster with a dear friend of mine and it gave me the freedom to be a flawed mama. It did not shame me for my mama-flaws, rather it gave me grace for my mistakes and a way to solve the issues that I struggled with.
My glimmer of joy was growing.
Six or so months after my husband came back from Basic and Tech school, my joy faded again because we were being foreclosed on. The weight of being the only one that could deal with the mortgage company weighed so heavy on me. I grew afraid of cars driving by on the road, afraid anytime there was a knock at the door. The people taking photographs of our home for the mortgage company did not help my security nor my joy.
And then we moved. The weight was lifted, I no longer had to worry day to day where we would be living. I began trusting, trusting that my Heavenly Father was in complete control and that He was freeing me from my burdens through our first move.
The flicker was reignited and growing.
My heart was growing in maturity and I was feeding my soul by going to church and being in community with the congregation.
There was no stopping the growth of my glimmer of joy now!
We moved again – the weight was lesser this time although the move was twice as difficult.
Another dear friend started doing a book study with me called Salvaging My Identity by Rachel Lovingood and Jennifer Mills. I chose it to help encourage her as she transitioned to college but I believe that it actually saved me more than it affected her.
At this point my little bit of joy was creating light. I was seeing Truth and my burden was being laid at the foot of the cross daily.
Each day was a stepping stone to a more joyful me!
Then we had to move. Again. We were blessed by a family friend from our new home church through them accepting us as renters in their GORGEOUS old home. This is the point where my little glimmer-turned-light ends up BURSTING into full blown weightless joy.
So many months after we moved I dreaded having to ask our landlords for a little extra time to pay rent. It stresses me out incredibly after dealing with the foreclosure to have to ask for grace. But, our landlord is the. most. gracious. person EVER. The way she answers with love and understanding and offers me assurance that it’s not a big deal.
It moves me so deeply – I just CRIED one day after talking to her because I was so ashamed, relieved, embarrassed, thankful – pretty much all of the emotions and something else inside of me cracked.
I had been even more freed. Thank you Rachel – Jesus used you in amazing ways that day.
Then I started blogging. Yes, I had been blogging for a year prior, but this time was different.
I mapped out a direction on paper and dove right in.
I began it as The Accidental Nomad Life blog. The name is derived from our many moves and transitions throughout our short six years of marriage. It was where my heart was, it was a good place to begin.
After blogging a few of our stories I decided it was time to share my darkest, most life-changing, hardest, scariest story. The root of my dark days and loss of joy. The beginning of my self-disgust, shame and nothingness.
I wrote the story. My hands were shaking, my heart was racing, my vision blurred and I stopped. It only took a few minutes.
And I continued. I had to get it all out, I had to process, share what other people could also be facing but afraid of sharing. I continued so that it might bring hope, encouragement, life to another person that doesn’t realize where they are until they read the story.
Then it was out there. It was free. I was free. I had processed and brought truth to that dark time. I saw it for what it was.
A time. A season. Darkness gripping me and a way for my enemy to hold me back and to diminish my joy.
I was winning. I had won when the story came out. The mountain of making it out of my pit of darkness and unidentified self back to my Joy – I had FINALLY completed the journey!
I. Am. Free.
I. Found. Joy.
Kayla has been married to her husband, Andrew for almost 7 years, they have 3 boys – aged five, three & one. They have moved 4 times over the course of their marriage which is where the title of Kayla’s blog, the Accidental Nomad Life sprung from. Kayla blogs frequently as her stay at home job; she loves photography, graphic design, and anything crafty and DIY. Kayla has a heart for sharing her story and encouraging people – making the social media life less perfect.