From the glass viewing section of the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower. Some 700 steps up.
At first, I was thinking of a slow re-start to this blog. I was thinking, perhaps I should begin with a piece on being “Back in the Saddle” to outline my key motivators for coming back to this, and coming back to writing. However, after some failed attempts, I decided to just jump right in.
Often, life calls for us to step up to the plate, to walk the extra mile, to climb a mountain to get to where we’re really meant to be. In the last few years, I can identify some such moments that have pivoted me in different ways, and then ultimately in the exact direction I was always meant to be moving in.
From 2011-2012, I was called to step up and take control of my own body: to make myself fitter, and healthier, to learn to trust and love myself. I was called to challenge myself: to do one thing everyday that scared me, to learn to respect and honor my freedom by actually using it.
In 2013, I was called to step up and take a leap of faith. After 2 years of wandering and wondering what was missing – and how to “fill my soul”, I finally found my answer — in the most unlikely of places, too! One warm night in Bali, amongst the sounds of cicadas, lizards, a faint ocean breeze, and nostalgic praise music that felt like a blast from the past, I rediscovered the source of my salvation. Jesus.
This triggered a whole new set of opportunities to step up. Not just that, but opportunities to step away and step in. Step away from my old life, from bad habits, from cuss words, from the things that keep us from our best versions of ourselves. Step in to a new life filled with its own rich, surprising challenges. I had grown up a believer, baptized a Catholic at just a month old, and active in Youth Groups and Ministry until right before I ventured out on my own. But I had never realized how deep, vast, and rich my Christian life could be if I properly cultivated, beyond dogma and doctrine, a real, personal relationship with God and scripture, as much as possible unhindered by distractions, and selfish inclinations.
[Asa] took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land . . . ; and he restored the altar of the Lord. —2 Chronicles 15:8
New life in Christ was the greatest gift I could have ever received. And it was especially wonderful that I could share the journey with the man who has now become my husband. His own faith and steadfastness, and both the challenges (of which there were some) and the good times (of which there were many more) we shared in that first year of our “coming together”, helped me mature in ways I never expected.
In 2014, all that maturity, growth, and shared experience led to my next big step up: marriage, and in November, my love and I tied the knot in a tiny civil ceremony in Singapore in lead up to our larger celebration to be held in February of this year.
And now we are here.
And I am writing this, because after an epic wedding, and a crazy year of work, we are again embarking on another opportunity to step up, and this time it’s setting a brand new precedent to what that means. As I write this, the little one in my belly is quiet for the moment. I have just eaten a small meal and he is likely enjoying that post-snack buzz, but I can tell in no time at all there will be rolls and kicks, and reminders that as I grow, he grows, as I breathe, he breathes, as I love, he loves.
This was not in our original plan. We had expected to wait a year before even attempting to start our family. But God does have his own plans. And so it goes.
Out of all the things I’ve experienced and learned in the last few years, this has got to be one of the biggest, most daunting ones of all. It requires the most faith, the most trust. It is a monumental step up. But it is simultaneously the most exciting thing I have ever known. 22 weeks in, and already I know this step…this one is different. This one is teaching me as I go, and teaching me everyday, in fact, is teaching me every second, and will never ever stop.
Each day that I bond with the little one, I not only understand myself, my husband, and my own mother (and matriarchs) more, but I also understand God and His love even better.
What a blessing to be on this journey. What a blessing to be on this climb. Looking forward to continue learning, sharing, loving, and growing.