Breakdowns and Breakthroughs

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Hey, friends. This past week felt like life was sucker punching me in the gut, and Sunday night, I finally hit rock bottom. But as rough as that sounds, I am so thankful for these times. Why? Because one of my most favorite things about Jesus is how He uses my breakdowns to give me breakthroughs.

For your visual entertainment, let’s evaluate my definition of rock bottom (because looking back, it’s actually kind of hilarious.)

It was Sunday, and my time was booked solid from 8 a.m. until 10:30 at night. I hadn’t had time to eat all day, so I finally went to Wendy’s at 10:30, and I had to make a run to Walmart because I hadn’t bought food in weeks (This is why fast food is a very, very dangerous thing.)

So I get to Walmart at 11, with Wendy’s, and I also had homework due at midnight that I hadn’t started. I felt so overwhelmed that I started bawling in the Walmart parking lot as I shoveled fries into my face. (#college….It’s OK to laugh at my life.)

As I sat there, crying in my car in A WALMART PARKING LOT of all places, I realized that this is not the life God intended for me to live.

For weeks, I have been

Exhausted.

Stressed.

Worried.

Empty.

Distant.

Negative.

Busy.

If I’m being totally, completely honest with you guys, I haven’t been the best Alli I know I can be. I haven’t been giving people my full attention, and my Bible plans have been sporadic, at best.

One of my strengths is positivity, and I LOVE encouraging people and making them feel valued, appreciated and loved. But lately, I have been walking around like a zombie, ignoring the people and things that give me joy.

I haven’t worn makeup in weeks, I’ve been getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night and I haven’t been able to eat because when I get stressed, I lose all of my appetite.

That’s kind of depressing, right? It’s not the kind of person I want to be, and it’s certainly not the kind of person a follower of Jesus looks like.

But here’s the good news, friends. (Isn’t it great that with Jesus, we ALWAYS have Good News?)

Recently, I heard this quote that said, “Jesus is the plot twist in the story.”

We each have a story. And like every good story, each one is saturated in struggles. But our stories are never stuck because Jesus is the plot twist.

So I’m finally ready to surrender my story.

And it’s kind of scary to exchange your plans for God’s promises, but I promise you, friend, the freedom and peace is so SO worth it.

My original plan was to do this accelerated master’s program, where I would get my bachelor’s degree in May 2016 and then my masters in 2017. But to do this, I was taking 19 hours. So basically, I was sacrificing my health and happiness for the sake of “doing enough.”

But as I sat there in meltdown number 999, I knew God was shaking me, asking me to stop trying to earn his love and start accepting it.

So this morning, I marched to the registrar’s office and dropped two classes. I’ve never done that before. But you know what? I feel like I can finally breathe again.

And this is kind of scary because now I’ll graduate in May and when people ask me what I want to do with my life, my answer is still “LOL it’s a surprise! (nervous laughter.)”

But friends. That’s another one of my favorite things about God. As much as I want him to hand deliver His plans for me, it’s a joy to see every day as an adventure. Jesus goes on that journey with me each day, giving me ordinary days and ordinary people to create something extraordinary.

Jesus is SO good, friends. Jesus is there holding your hand when you’re stuffing fast food into your face and evaluating your life at Walmart. When you feel like you’ve messed up far too much to ever be lovable, Jesus is there whispering “I’m so proud of you, daughter. You are so loved. I made you so special.”

No matter where you’re at (this is coming from weepy Walmart girl), God loves you and has a plan SO special for you. I truly believe that he uses our breakdowns to give us breakthroughs and that our meltdowns can become miracles because “Jesus is the plot twist in our story.”

Love Always,

Alli

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