Jesus Calling. The very first book that really changed my life. I'm putting off writing as I search unsuccessfully for the picture I want to use for this post. I know it exists somewhere because I remember taking it. It was a sunny weekday in Cawker City. Probably a Friday because I decided the perfect way to spend my lunch hour was to grab a Lime-a-rita, my journal and this book and sprawl myself out in the yard in my swimsuit, covered in tanning oil. When I find this picture, it should confirm that this was spring or summer of 2013, a very difficult year.
Drew and I got married and moved to Cawker City in September of 2012. I love this man with all of my heart, but MAN I effing HATED Cawker City at the time. Thankfully my job in Manhattan worked with me and allowed me to work at home, but I was still traveling two hours, one way, to go into the office a few days a week. I would work at home Monday. Wake up super early to drive into the office on Tuesday. Stay with a friend, the amazing friend who gifted me this book in fact, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, come home on Thursday after work and work at home on Friday.
For the first year of our marriage I didn't even feel like I had a home. We were surrounded by "Drew's People" and I had no people of my own. I felt no sense of belonging and when people in the office would ask me why I moved to Cawker City, my mind would reply, I don't fucking know. Most days I would just smile and say who knows what, but it's very possible I actually verbally replied that way a time or two.
I was miserable and I blamed my husband for it. Though in my mind I knew that we had made this decision together, it was HIS FAULT that I was so unhappy. We moved back here for HIM and it was HIS DUTY to cater to me and cheer me up. I fell into a "If I just had ____, I'd be happy." mentality. It's probably a good thing at the time that neither of us had any idea what a budget was because it would sure be hard to plan for all of those purchases! The funny thing is that I hardly remember any of the purchases, but I feel like I bought a lot of little kitchen gadgets. Typing that out makes me feel weird!
If you are now wondering what all of this has to do with Jesus Calling, here we go.
I didn't know where to go. I didn't know what to do. I knew that I was extremely unhappy and I knew that deep down, my husband was not the source of that unhappiness. In a moment of I can't live like this anymore, I saw this book on my shelf. I thought maybe, just maybe, if I read it every single day, it might help me. After a few weeks in, I remember texting Krystin and thanking her for this book that she'd gifted me years ago. That somehow, this book KNEW what I was going through and was speaking directly to my heart. I continued reading this devotional consistently over the next year or two.
I think one of the most powerful things about this book is that it is written as if the Lord is speaking directly to you. Sometimes we need to hear the Lord's voice speaking into our hearts.
I didn't realize until years later that this book actually changed my life. Looking back on those years, this book taught me that the way to true happiness is through the Lord. Through the Lord, you create happiness within yourself and it is never dependent on any other human, ESPECIALLY your spouse. It showed me what it is like to cultivate a relationship with God and keep watering it. It also made me realize that when you don't water it, it starts drooping just like a philodendron. Droop...Droop...Droop. (<---Mom, if you're reading this, I'm guessing you just laughed out loud to that.) But just like a philodendron, once you start watering it again, it perks back up!
I searched and searched and never found the picture described at the beginning. I gave up and asked my bestie to send me a pic of my original copy that I've passed along to her! I've gifted this book to many people in hopes that it touches their heart like it did mine.