Have you ever thought about how often we say the word, "okay"? I feel like it is one of those words that can have so many different meanings and it can be used in so many different contexts.
To show exasperation: "ugh, OKAY."
To show disbelief: "Okkkkkkkaaaaayyyyyyy."
To show annoyance or anger: "k" *insert eye-rolling emoji here*
To show pride: "Oooh, okay!" or a phrase I commonly use; "Okay, I see you girl."
To show that you agree: "Okay, I see what you're saying."
To show humility: "Yes, okay, I was wrong."
Or what has been such a prevalent part of my walk recently: "Okay, God."
Ever since I graduated college, I have felt like that I've just been wandering around aimlessly. I felt like I didn't have a purpose. I spent 5 years of my life studying and working towards achieving this piece of paper, for what? To be unemployed, discouraged, and drowning in student loans? It was not easy. I was going through a lot of challenges that I have never had to face before. I constantly would find an open door, just to have it slammed in my face-which was so frustrating. I ended up moving home, working jobs here and there, struggling financially, having to depend on my parents, and just feeling utterly worthless. I have always been a believer, but my faith has been a roller coaster. Sometimes it's fun, other times it is scary...it goes up and down, and spins and makes me feel disoriented. We all have that kind of experience at one point or another.
This season of my life felt like the part of the roller coaster where it's not fun anymore and you honestly feel like you're going to vomit and the "get me off of this thing" thoughts start circulating through your head.
During the post-grad season of my life, I started experiencing a nasty depression. I have never personally dealt with that before and it sure did give me a different view of people who struggle with mental health. There would be days that I would wake up and just physically could not make myself move. I would sit on the couch and cry and I wouldn't want to be sitting there, but I just couldn't bring myself to get up. My depression would be triggered by situations around me and I feel like it was just deep-seeded insecurity issues that I've struggled with my whole life that just popped up to say, "hello!" because of the surrounding circumstances. I was at a new low. I mean, like all time, never cried so much in my life, never felt so helpless, kind of low. The funny thing about it is that despite my faith and conviction that God redeems us from these feelings-I honestly did not pray or try to turn to Him. Not once. It wasn't a forethought, but more or less an after thought.
I think the key to sharing this story is to be completely and utterly vulnerable. So viewer discretion is advised.
I was starting to become reckless. For a long time now, I have used my extroverted personality to my advantage. I became a lot more social and started going out more. I began socially drinking...a lot. Like, going out Wednesday-Saturday, a lot. At the time, I thought that brought me happiness and acceptance. I felt popular and like I didn't have any problems. There were a lot of close calls with my drinking. Particularly drinking and driving. Now, don't get me wrong, I would NEVER drink to the point of where I was absolutely not okay to drive. However, I would drive when I definitely shouldn't have. I never liked the Kayce I was when I was walking through this season of life. She wasn't as fun as she seemed to be. She was the kind of girl who would look like she was having fun out dancing, but actually would go cry in the bathroom stall. She would put all of her faith into men that she didn't need to be putting her faith in. She would crave the wrong kinds of attention. She was mean. She would lash out. She would not be a good friend to her friends. She was broken, ashamed, sad, lonely, and desperate for a change. Spoiler alert: the change did come. It didn't come drastically or miraculously. It came softly. Almost like a whisper, or a thought. It wasn't judging, condemning, or some huge revelation; it was understanding, loving, and a soft finger under the chin to help me look up.
It's not that I can't go enjoy myself with my friends, or go get some sawdust under my boots every now and then; It's the reasons for going to these things have changed in my mind. There is a huge difference in going because you truly enjoy it and going because it's a crutch in your life that is hiding bigger problems. I know I realized this long ago, I just didn't have the strength to walk away from that chapter of my life...but now I do. God started revealing Himself to me in ways that He never has before. All of a sudden, all of these situations I was in weren't dumb luck, coincidence, or a shut door anymore. They were God redirecting me to where He wanted me to be. Thankfully, God is a "I don't care how far you've run, just come home" kind of God.
Now, here we are in the Lent season (my fav). As Lent rolled around, I just thought that I really wanted to try and be more intentional in my prayer life and my personal walk with Jesus. I grew up Presbyterian and sometimes people would give up stuff for Lent, but it was never really a requirement for us to do that. One day, I was sitting at my desk doing my bible study in the morning and a thought just randomly popped into my head, "You're going to give up alcohol for Lent" and I said, "Okay." I'm almost 3 weeks in and haven't craved or wanted alcohol once. You see, that is God's way of speaking to me. Ever since I noticed it, I have seen so many different areas of my life where God talks to me it's almost a little spooky, but spooky in the best way possible. I actually have another account to God's way of speaking to me, but that's for a later post (hehe, teaser).
"Start writing again, I'll give you the words to say." and I responded with, "Okay, God".
"You're going to pray every day and night." "Okay, God."
"You're going to trust Me instead of yourself." "Okay, God."
"You're going to trust where I lead you." "Okay, God, send me."
"You're going to be part of something greater than yourself." "Okay, God."
"You're going to be just fine." "Okay, God."
You see, to experience Christ is to walk through the valleys. Throughout this season of darkness that I have been going through, I have seen that Christ is the light at the end of the tunnel. Our God is a loving and faithful one. Not once, have I ever done anything to deserve the love and grace that He has shown me. God met me right where I was; right in the middle of my sin. I am so happy that He did. Once you truly open your heart to hear the Lord and are subservient to what He says, you will be amazed at how your life starts changing. All it take is an "Okay, God" when you feel your heart being tugged one way or another. All of the closed doors in your life just mean that you're being redirected somewhere greater, all we have to do is open our hearts, be still, and listen. I was starting to open my ears and my heart and instead of turing my face towards the road that led me down a path of destruction, Jesus pointed me towards a path of sobriety, unconditional love, trust, and faith. It was a soft touch to the face, not a hard push towards darkness.