The past few years of my life have been hard. They have been beautiful, and there have been moments I’d never trade for anything, but it’s been hard. There were moments that one door closed and another one opened, but then I reached the last door of the house I was in. And guys, I stood looking at that closed door for months. And suddenly, the entire thing burned down.
I didn’t understand. I’d overcome some of the hardest breakups, sexual assault, a motorcycle accident and the death of someone close to me. I’d dragged myself through panic attacks and I’d gotten out of bed, even when I had to crawl for the first few minutes. I’d grown and finally felt like I was moving into a space that felt authentic and safe. I felt strong. And now, I was standing in the middle of a fire burning everything I had built.
Here’s what I realized. Sometimes God can’t simply shut a door and open a window to help you correct your life course. Sometimes he’s just got to let it burn down because at the end of the day we all have agency. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that as soon as the smoke starts to clear he will be there with everything you need to build the home of your dreams.
And think of this little perk, all those random strange things you kept around out of obligation- you know the ones, that thing you have no use for but keep because someone gave it to you. The one you bought on vacation when you were 12, using your whole life savings, that never leaves your closet; you can let them go. And actually, you have to. Because they just got burnt to crisps.
This goes for all the opinions and false beliefs you held as well. Everything you thought you had and knew before just burned to the ground. Start forming healthier patterns. When your life comes crashing down, toxic people tend to leave. This should be a good thing, but as humans we tend to fear loss. We worry that everything we once held has disappeared and we try to do anything we can to hold onto it.
If you’re not quite understanding, think of it this way. You just finished the most amazing series on Netflix and you’re sitting there staring at the screen. What are you supposed to do now? This thing has been with you through putting on your makeup, eating, homework avoidance, breakups and girl’s nights. It’s seen you eat an entire carton of ice cream for heaven’s sake. You don’t do that with just anyone!
But eventually you dare to click back to the homepage and you start scrolling. After a few minutes, or a few days, you start to feel better. You start realizing how many cool shows you haven’t ever noticed before and begin adding shows to your list. Then you find the one. It’s funny and serious, it makes you think and laugh and cry. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted and more. So, you grab your box of pizza and settle into this new magical show. You’re happier than you’ve ever been, but it took ending the previous one to get to this point.
Okay that might have been a stretch, but you get the idea, right? There’s never a lack of love, opportunity, work, play, friendship or anything else you want. All you need to do is allow the old things in your life to leave- making room for the new things you want. There’s always going to be a scary pause between the ending credits and finding your new guilty pleasure. There will be time spent standing in the middle of the ashes of everything you used to want. But the most important thing is to keep your eyes on what you currently want. If you want something new you need to give it a space and time to grow.
Once you take the first few steps in rebuilding, and you start to trust yourself again, you will see the beauty in building a new home from scratch. You can literally create whatever you want to. Add a bowling alley or a pool or a guesthouse used solely to house your cats. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do and live the life you’ve always wanted to live. Take chances, and if things don’t work out, take faith in knowing that even if your house burns down and you have to start over again, life will always be there to catch you.