The First of Many Firsts.

Fall is here.
This time of year is typically my favorite.
Decorating for holidays.
Baking and cooking for friends.
The crisp air.
Bonfires.
Leaves changing color.
Seasonal scents at Bath and Body Works.

Fall was also one of my mom’s favorite seasons.
And now the realization that I’m transitioning into the first of many firsts without both of my parents.

As with seasons, we also go through changes.
Some of these changes are easy ones.
Many are not.

While I will still enjoy this time of year like I always have, there will also be a slight heaviness behind them from now on.
Decorating with my mom was one of my favorite things to do and this year will be the first of many that I decorate without her.

Holidays can be stressful.
The first holidays without our loved ones are often the most difficult.
I know that there will be some difficult moments in the months ahead.
But I’m glad that I know the One that holds those moments.
I’m glad that have friends to walk this road with me.

These firsts will come and go.
Eventually they won’t hurt as bad.

If you’re coming up on a season of firsts without a loved one, know that you aren’t alone.
These journeys are difficult enough on their own.
I’m always looking for company on mine.

You will make it through.
We will make it through.
One day at a time.
One first at a time.

WSPD14 Recap.

As many of you know, last week was National Suicide Prevention Week and Wednesday was World Suicide Prevention Day.
I had the the honor of sharing my story and a message of hope with Refuge that night, and it was such a privilege.
These are some top notch students and most days I wonder how I became so incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work with them.

As some of you may not know, I am now writing for this incredible organization called Project Semicolon.
If you don’t know about them, you should definitely check them out.
This is an opportunity that really came out of nowhere.
I happened to see that they were looking for some new contributors for their blog and figured it was worth a shot.
The worst thing they could say was no, right?
Much to my surprise they said yes, and I am now one of the newest members to their team.
Talk about a God thing!

This year was the first NSPW that I’ve participated in where I felt like I was a part of the story, part of the movement, part of the conversation.
I’ve transitioned from being someone that looked forward to that week because it was a chance for me to seek the help that I was needing, to looking forward to it as an advocate for suicide awareness and prevention.
I don’t need weeks like this to remind me that having the conversations are okay, because I’ve been shown in the past few months that they are always okay.

I’m in no way saying that I don’t still struggle with depression.
It reminds me that it’s still there.
I’m still coming to terms with the loss of my mom and still trying to make sense of all of it, but I’m not the egg shell that I was over the summer.
I’m not able to say any of this if it weren’t for the incredible people in my life and the endless grace from the Father.

Recovery is a daily thing.
A daily choice.
But I’m choosing hope.

NSPW may have ended.
But the conversations don’t have to.
If anything, they’ve only begun.
And I’m so honored to be a part of so many stories.
Being able to share with Refuge was one of the highlights of my story, and I’m looking forward to the many other opportunities that come my way.

You are worth it.
If you are reading this, there is still breath in your lungs and pages left to be written in.
If you are reading this, know that there is a purpose for your pain.
It may be hard or even impossible to see, but it’s there.
You aren’t alone in your struggles.
They matter and you matter.

I’m glad that I have people in my life that remind me of that.
My best friend.
My Peaches.
Refuge.

If you don’t have those people in your life, reach out.
I’ll be that person.
I will be your personal life cheerleader.
We all deserve that.

You weren’t meant to do life alone.
So if you find yourself walking solo, let me walk with you.
Life is too beautiful a journey to walk alone.

Until next time, enjoy this fun picture of me with my cute and petite best friend last week before our WSPD service at church.
Much love to you all.

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