Last year was the hardest year I’d ever, ever experienced. I’m certain many of you had those the seasons where one minute everything seemed to be going well, then in a split second your entire life changes. Writing about it is one thing, but living it, that’s an entirely different story. It felt like I’d been sitting in a dark cave, trying my best to recuperate or at least gain some semblance of sanity. In that time, I immersed myself in a number of hobbies to create a distraction! I figured it was time to reinvent myself. Let me take you down the list. 

Pottery- Very expensive and messy. Drive was way too far to make a cup and the class was loud. 
Paint and Sip- I did several of these and left each time with a giant flower on canvas, along with a giant headache from the cheap wine. Another loud class, added to my headache. 
Knitting- I started a blanket for my daughter. It was very relaxing, but the blanket’s not complete. It’s been a year and it’s sitting in a complimentary paint and sip bag. 
Redecorating the bedroom’s- A lot of saved pictures of potential decorating ideas. No real incentive to make it happen, but I did buy a calf skin rug for the living room around the time I decided to become a vegetarian.
Gardening- I bought a lot of soil and several bags of vegetable seeds (all on sale). Still in the garage. It’s been a year. 
Japanese sword fighting- It seemed like such a great idea at the time. I mean I had the sword and the outfit. However, the students were heavily in Japanese anime and computer hacking. I stood out like a sore thumb. Every student helped me and they were really good, but it was an eight o’ clock class on a Tuesday night and messed with my Tuesday night tv seesh and sleep. 
Brazilian jijitsu- I had serious anger issues and needed to release it somehow, but I realized, crying when you got hit only made your opponent beat you up more, so I left. It’s a barefoot sport and I don’t like feet, so it made the class even more distracting. 
Kick boxing- Another bare foot sport. I don’t like feet near me. I especially don’t like walking around bare foot, with sweat on the floor. I showered a hundred times after each class and had visions of microbes burying themselves beneath my toes nails. I changed my pajama wardrobe into boxers and wife beaters and shadow boxed before bed every night. I wore aloe infused socks, though. 
Israeli Combat Training- My favorite of all! I learned how to disarm a 250 lbs. man by doing some swift tactical moves, ripping the skin off the assailants trigger finger and taking his weapon away. Fun for a while, but exhausting and it made me angrier at life. I found myself writing rap songs after class and free-styling with a back pack and bandana. I did it for six months and slept for another six. 

During the time I looked for a hobbies to distract me from the chaos around me, I kept feeling Father God nudging me to sit still and let Him fight my battles. Instead, I tuned Him and did a lot of hanging out in places I had no business being. Unfortunately, neither the company of others or hanging out brought me any peace. By the end of the last summer, I was emotionally, mentally and physically drained. I finally submitted to what Father Got had in store for me and chilled out. 
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to   
                          be still.” -Exodus 14:14

How many times in our lives when we face a hardship, a death, a dead end job, or a sudden shift in a relationship, do we bury the pain and affliction with a distraction? We quickly move on to someone else, believing they are the answer to all our relationship woes. Love and lust, if you will, exacerbates an already underlying problem. You take job that has great pay, but it does nothing to help you excel in your area of expertise. Again, we use money and things as a distraction to face what we must to grow and mature. Imagine making the same mistakes well into your 50’s that you had the chance to fix when you were in your 20’s? Better yet, who wants to be the old man or woman in the club or bar looking for true happiness? HA!
When I became born-again, my life changed, all for the better. God moved deeply in life, shifting things around, it left me spiritually awestruck. This was all part of His plan, unfolding for what’s to come. The distractions I created did nothing to really help me heal the way Father God wanted me to heal. I had to truly submit to His will in order to grow to the woman I am now. 
Within a year of healing and facing everything from the past to present, I learned more about My God and how He wants me to live the second half of my life. I know I am a Child of God and only His opinion matters. I feel liberated and free after letting go of the distractions, even freer knowing that He is fighting all my battles. There’s a peace I’ve never experienced, even when the enemy uses people to pull me away from my peace. I compare it to a passing thunderstorm, quickly moving, until it stops and the sun breaks in. The storms never last as long as they use to and there’s more sunny days than stormy ones. With all the distractions gone and the pain and hurt laid to rest, I can rest in God knowing that I can disarm a 250 lbs. gunman, while knitting a blanket,  painting flowers, and walking on the path Father God has set for me. 


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