Change · Happiness · Life · Moving · Poetry · Relationships · Self-love · Starting over · Toxic Parenting · Words

Taste of Freedom

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I walked away from my old life and became someone that you wouldn’t even recognize anymore, yet you still continue to pursue me with your old tricks. 

It took me years to build up the courage to find some distance from you but even with the distance, there was no escape. 

You had, overtime, put me in my very own prison where you were the warden. 

You controlled me and intertwined your life with mine so that there was no way to tell where I began and you ended.

It was hard to find my way out but when you are drowning you will fervently search for that small pocket of air and I found it. 

I love you but I cannot have you near me.

I set myself free from the cage you put me in and I will never go back. 

Freedom tastes so good and in it I have found a deep sense of peace. 

I love you but I will have to love you quietly and from afar. 

You will never understand how much you hurt me or how much I tried to stay. 

You only see wrongdoing in me. 

I can live with that because I know the truth. 

I walked away from my old life and walked right into a new life, fuller and richer than I could’ve ever imagined, and I am staying here.

Do not look for me or worry about me. 

I am, for once, fully alive and fully okay.

Faith · Happiness · Life · Moving · Starting over · Words

Starting Over

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There’s something quite magnificent about a snowy day. Living out in the country, the earth seems to stand still and be silent. I love to peek out a window, from the warmth of my heated home, and watch the snow come down. It’s as if I am the one in a tiny snow globe, the snow shaken alive around me.

This country living is still relatively new to me. I’ve only lived here in Michigan for almost three years now. I grew up in Southern California where snow is non-existent. Days are even warm in the winter months and the sun is never hidden like it often is here. Longing for a simpler way of life, my husband and I packed up our brood of boys (and a cat and three dogs) and drove across country to our new home. Looking back, that five-day trip will most likely forever be a favorite memory for all of us. The five of us, packed in the car like sardines, our clothes and essentials packed snuggly in a black canvas bag that was anchored to the roof of our car.

Stuck in a snowstorm in Wyoming we had to stay an extra night in our hotel due to the roads being shut down. This was probably the highlight of our trip, being ‘forced’ to stay an additional night and add more time onto our trek. In true Johnson family fashion, we went with the flow. Our extra day was spent in the indoor pool/spa, a room surrounded by glass walls that gave us a front row seat to the storm happening all around us. Coming from California it was rousing to see so much snow. My kids came alive and were filled with giggles and smiles, their little hearts beating in sheer excitement. I’ve come to learn that snow has a way of doing that to kids (and adults if I’m being honest). Those freezing white flakes are a joy to play in.

Our adventure continued the next day as we piled in our car, each of us, I’m sure wondering what the future held for our family in this unfamiliar place we were heading to.

Deciding to move and start over when you are in your late thirties with three kids is not for the faint of heart and it was not a decision we made over night. It was a dream my husband and I spoke about in hushed whispers in the dark of night, a dream we wanted to make a reality but had no idea how. We owned a home, my husband had a great job, our kids were all in school, I had friends I had known since third grade. How could we just up and leave it?

God works in mysterious ways though because one day it seemed right. It felt right to finally take the leap and start a new life in a new state, clear across the country. It felt suddenly the right moment to start over. My husband and I both got the sense that if we wanted to go, now was the time and so we did. By the grace of God, everything fell into place and He made a way for us.

We are living proof that it’s never too late to start again. If you desire something and you have the courage to take action, it can be yours.

Sitting here, as I write this, looking out at the snow-covered countryside that is my front yard, I am filled with wonder. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and see the sun rising over a forest of trees, a new day dawning, I have to pinch myself because it feels so surreal. This place I forever desired to live, this place my husband and I dreamt about, we made it, we are here. God lead us and once again we are home.