[00:00:00] Hello my friends and welcome to Shining Through. I promised you last week that there would be some fun episodes coming up because I had some crazy adventures lately and so this is one of those times where you get to go on an adventure with me. I promise at the end that it will relate to your adventure that you are on in your life right now too.
[00:00:24] Do you remember in episode 37 when I got stuck in Big Bend because of a crazy storm and I was in a rural campsite for multiple days not being able to leave?
[00:00:35] I thought that that was a pretty wild story that was a one time thing that we're not gonna have that issue again. But I was just in Northern California a little bit ago and the weather did a similar thing and tried to kill me again, but it taught me some amazing things just like last time and I'm excited to share those with you today.
[00:00:54] First off, you probably know by now that I live in Texas. So why in the heck was I in Northern California in the first place? Well, my little brother picked the redwoods as the magical place that he wanted to get married and I love that because they're so beautiful. We decided to make it into our spring break family road trip. We drove down to San Diego and spent a week there before heading up north to be at his wedding and we made sure that we had a plan to get there in well enough time so that we weren't rushing cuz it was a seven hour drive between San Diego and Santa Cruz where we were going.
[00:01:27] So we left the day before everything was gonna start to head up north because I wanted no delays. I wanted a good night's sleep to be fresh and ready for my brother and his soon to be wife.
[00:01:37] So that morning we packed everything up and hit the road by 10:30 AM. I thought that was plenty of time for a seven hour drive. We'd get there, with some stops, probably around six. Well, we didn't anticipate that the crazy storm that blew in out of nowhere would turn that seven hour drive into a 12 hour drive and as we got closer and closer to where we were supposed to go, the weather was crazy and we kept getting these warnings that the roads were gonna be closed. So I called up my brother and said, "What do we do? The roads say that they're closed." And he reassured me and said, "Don't even worry about it. The locals all have chainsaws in their trunks. And when this happens, the trees fall on the road, the locals will cut 'em up And within a few minutes they'll open the roads again. Not a big deal."
[00:02:26] So I'm thinking, "I trust my brother. No big deal. We'll get there. It's gonna be fine. Even though the drive was taking forever and the weather wasn't my favorite, but I desperately wanted to get to that lodge where I knew that multiple family members would be arriving that night or the next morning. So we kept plowing through, holding on to the thought of that lodge.
[00:02:46] Well, as we got closer, the map gave us this option. Instead of going down and up through the mountain with the lodge, there was an option to go around and down from the top and it avoided multiple roads where they said there was possible flooding.
[00:03:00] So we're like, "Yeah, sweet. Let's do that. We'll go down from the top instead of up from the bottom. But what we didn't know was that the roads from the south were main roads and the roads from the north were like crazy canyon roads that were back roads and not nearly as easy to get through, especially on a crazy, terrible storm day.
[00:03:20] So we're starting to drive through and we see exactly what my brother said, where there's trees that are falling down onto the road and they're cut on one side of the next. And there's cars that have driven through and you can kind of tell that somebody's cleared the path, but there's leaves and branches and debris all over the road, and we're feeling a little bit nervous, but we keep on going. And the further and further we got into that mountain, things got so crazy because it wasn't just trees we were dodging, it was power lines.
[00:03:50] If you know anything about redwood trees, their roots do not go very deep. They gain their strength by connecting to the roots of the trees next to them. So naturally, if a road has cut through the trees, the ones right next to the roads are very weak, and they fall down and grab a power line on the way down and pull it to the street. And just in those moments where I have the thought, "Maybe we should turn around, this isn't a good idea. I'm a little bit nervous about this." I'd see a car coming the other way and I'd think "They just went through it so we can do it too." and I'm telling you, my friend, it was over two hours of clenched fists with white knuckles just trying to get through this maze of a street that was completely covered.
[00:04:35] And the only thing that kept me sane was the beautiful smell of those freshly cut trees. I can tell you, I like can still smell it in my nose because it was so pure and strong and I would just take in a big breath and think, "We're just gonna get to the lodge and it'll all be okay. And then it'll be cleared by morning and everything will just go as planned." This was the thought I had rehearsing in my head over and over and over again.
[00:05:04] Now I told you I left at about 10:30 that morning. Well just after 10:00 PM we pulled up to our destination and it was completely dark except for one generator powered light that was at the front desk with a very somber looking attendant waiting to talk to us. And as I walked in holding my breath, he said to me, "I'm so sorry, but because of all of the power outages, with the power lines down, we can't give you lodging tonight."
[00:05:37] And my heart stopped. I was gonna do anything I could to bribe that man to let us sleep in those beds. I didn't care if there were lights, there were beds, and I had just spent 12 hours in the car with four little boys holding tightly to the side of my chair because of this crazy storm. And I was exhausted, I was emotionally strained, and I just needed relief.
[00:06:02] And this man had the power to give me relief, but he said to me, "Sorry, you can't stay here. This city won't allow it. And so I can't let you in." I felt so deflated and I asked him, "Well, can we come back tomorrow at least?" And then he said something that made me want to scream. He said, " If history's any teacher, this power outage will last three to four days, which means there will be no power on this mountain until Friday at the earliest." My friends, my little brother was getting married on that mountain in two days, not three to four days. He was getting married on Thursday and I wanted to panic. Not only did I not have a place to rest, I had just driven from Texas to go to this wedding, and my brother had gone through so much to plan it and there was a possibility that none of it was gonna work.
[00:07:02] And I honestly had a mild panic attack in that moment. Is everything canceled? Where in the world am I supposed to sleep? I don't wanna drive back through where I just drove. That was so hard for me. What in the world are we gonna do? We don't even have cell service to tell my brother what's going on."
[00:07:20] I had been super anxious about this crazy drive, and I didn't feel like I had anything else to give. I was hanging on to this point, and now there was no relief.
[00:07:33] Have you ever felt like this on your healing journey—where you're just pushing through praying that you can get there so that you can find peace?
[00:07:42] Maybe you're waiting for someone's sobriety date who you love dearly and you just want so badly for it to come to show you that you're not in a place that you used to be.
[00:07:54] Maybe you have a newborn child and you just feel so exhausted and you're waiting for those sleepless nights to pass so that you can feel like you have a brain.
[00:08:05] Maybe you have a teen who is in one of those phases that drives you crazy, and you just don't know if you have the strength or patience to navigate this phase, and you just want it to pass.
[00:08:17] Or like my brother, it could be a big wedding or a presentation or a project that you have just sacrificed your self-care because you're trying so hard to get through it, and you know that on the other side it's just gonna be so much more relaxing.
[00:08:35] Or like so many of us on our healing journey, you're holding your breath waiting for a moment where you won't feel triggered anymore. If you could just heal a little bit more or more time would pass by then maybe just maybe that gut punch wouldn't happen so often and you could move past it quickly instead of feeling like it turns your world over every time it comes up.
[00:09:00] If you've gone through any form of trauma on any healing journey, you know what I'm talking about.* Those moments where we feel like peace and relief and comfort is just right out of reach, but we think we know where we're gonna find it if we could just get there.*
[00:09:19] But my friend, things don't usually happen the way that we expect them to. The pressure often doesn't get released.
[00:09:30] The sleepless nights are traded for other parenting phases that bring their own bag of challenges.
[00:09:36] That teenager may grow up and move out of the house, but then you feel anxious about what they're doing when you are not around, or the person that they're gonna marry or whatever it is that you can borrow trouble from in that phase.
[00:09:50] Or that sobriety anniversary ends up just being a date and nothing changed. It didn't bring the light and the hope and the changes in the relationship that you thought it would. Life is still on the other end.
[00:10:05] *No matter how hard you try, there will still be the ups and downs of life and some things are just hard and triggering and uncomfortable.*
[00:10:18] Like when you're driving for hours and hours in a van with four little boys pushing through to get to a lodge that ends up closed and then you can't get down a mountain because all the roads end up closed, no one will take you and you sleep in your van in a church parking lot.
[00:10:36] This moment that I have and the one that came to your mind when you were thinking about those moments you've held on for, did that moment have that peaceful relief that you were searching for? And even if it did have some relief, did it stay?
[00:10:54] My guess is that it didn't because here's the truth about these moments:
[00:11:00] The reason there's no relief is not because everything went wrong. After all, I believe that things have a way of unfolding the way that they need to unfold so that we can get to even better destinations, places that we didn't have on our radar, but are better for us in the end. And these places that we hold onto praying that the destinations will solve all of our problems... *The reason why they don't give you peaceful relief is because you're relying on something that can't give it to you.*
[00:11:35] Other people's choices can't actually give you peace.
[00:11:39] Wishing the past would change isn't gonna move you forward.
[00:11:44] Having a comfortable place to land that you swear will fix all the things, may be a nice vacation for a minute, but you go back to your real everyday life.
[00:11:55] *And my friend, life never stops being life*.
[00:12:00] When you keep expecting the things around you to change so that you can feel better, you set yourself up for more disappointment and more triggers that leave you feeling powerless and hopeless. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here's my invitation to you today:
[00:12:20] *Stop chasing that thing that you think is going to fix everything*. What you want at the end of that dream is to feel something. Peace, hope, courage, joy, relief. Whatever feeling you're holding out for, yearning for, the truth is that you can feel that right now. Truly. Because feelings grow from within you, not from the things that are going on around you.
[00:12:55] The things around you offer you stories and you get to choose if you take those stories, those beliefs, those thoughts. And when you make them yours, they create the feelings of unsettle and discomfort and overwhelm and fear and trigger, but they don't have to. You don't have to pick up those stories. You don't have to believe them. You can build strength from within you.
[00:13:23] *Those feelings of peace, of joy, of hope, of courage, of relief. They are fruits of faith, of surrender, of a willingness to trust the unfolding of life because you know that God is at the helm and you are willing to let Him guide you. That is where you find those feelings, not in the things that go on around you.*
[00:13:50] My friends, that is what it means to shine through: to embrace that inner woman of faith, who knows how to recenter and find peace no matter what's going on. Who embraces a full range of feeling with self-compassion and grace. Who doesn't indulge in shameful, overwhelming, or fearful thoughts. Instead, relying on the guidance of your inner light as you walk forward on your healing. It's possible! I know it because I have watched it happen in my own life. I used to have so much reliance on those moments where I desperately needed to find that relief.
[00:14:33] And can I tell you, on that mountain I wanted to freak out. I wanted to say, "God, why did you do this to me? Can you not see how hard this is for me?" But I actually was able to let it go, find that faith, find that light, find that peace from within. And because I had space for that, as we were pulling out of the lodge trying to figure out what to do next, I felt this pull on my heart saying, "Go look at the cars in the parking lot, see if there's anyone you know."
[00:15:07] As we were looking at the license plates to see if any of them looked familiar to us, my sister pulled in right at that moment. We would've been gone and there was no cell service, but she pulled in and we were able to connect with her and be together, even though we were sleeping at a church parking lot, which by the way was one of the churches of my faith, which happened to be a block away from where we ended up after winding through the mountain trying to find a way down.
[00:15:38] God's hand was in it. I felt at peace that night. I didn't know what was gonna happen to my brother's wedding, I didn't feel like we were in a very safe place, and I didn't know where we were gonna sleep the next night. But I had faith and I had the tools to know how to process what was going on so that I could find relief from within.
[00:16:02] And just so you know, my brother's wedding was beautiful. It was not perfect, but it was memorable and beautiful and I wouldn't have it any other way, even with the crazy moments. That's how I feel about my own healing journey, and I know that you will feel that way too.
[00:16:19] You can look back at your healing journey a year from now in awe at how strong you feel, how liberated you feel because of the places where you realize you've been stuck and you don't have to stay there.
[00:16:35] Together, we are going to make that shift in your life so that you can shine through.
[00:16:42] I know you can do this, my friend, and I'm so excited to see your light and how it will move you forward.
[00:16:50] Keep shining, my friend. Your inner light makes all the difference.
[00:16:58] Are you getting my TLC Tuesday emails? They are filled with tips, insights, and invitations to help you add light to your life. Go to www.thelightcoach.com/subscribe and make sure you're included. Because big things are coming and I don't want you to miss them.
[00:17:16] Together we can create a healing journey that's full of peace, hope, confidence, and joy.