Listen To The Music. It’s loud and clear.

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First post, huh?

Wow. The blank page… the “…” that gets erased 1,000 times. I know I’m not anyone special for having this “writer’s block” or this “first post fear”. But then, I told myself, I’ve been preparing for this my entire life.

And as this blog begins in its current location here, it’s far from “new” or “first”.  For as long as I can remember I have written down my thoughts. My fears, tears, wins, and losses. The GUTS of my being. Like so many, it began as a little girl with music. The lyrics…the storytelling. Whenever I was overwhelmed, worried, scared, or confused; it was in those artist’s words that I found solace. I found things I didn’t know I needed or would need. But they went with me, into the big, cold, beautiful world.

I remember writing a poem when I was younger. Maybe 12. And I remember my grandpa reading it. Like most kids, I was waiting patiently for a response. An acceptance. A smile. A “good job”. But instead, he said, “geez, where did you learn about feelings already? how do you know about loss or love?” and it would be over a decade later, sitting across from him in a dingy, cold, Dennys, where he gave me the approval for having “had experienced” to now be welcomed to “the real world” and been “double hit”.  See, he was talking about my then-husband who had left me for a co-worker in the middle of losing my biological Mom. Double stomach punch, he called it.
And double stomach punch, I felt.

Except this time, I didn’t write. I reverted back to bad habits I had picked up along the way.
Habits I had turned to when I wasn’t “old enough” to know anything, but I certainly wasn’t young enough anymore, either. I had seen enough by 15 to know I wanted nothing to do with this world or the people I was meeting in it. I had so much to say but thought no one could hear me, and the ones who could, weren’t interested. Oh, the things we wish we could tell our younger self. But even in those moments, I would feel God’s grace and whisper (ok, sometimes it was a loud YELL) to stick to being my true self. To stay honest, tender-hearted, giving, spontaneous, and kind. When the heartache came, I would literally be mid-cry and still be thinking “JOY is here” and “THIS WILL PASS”. “THIS IS PREPARING ME FOR WHAT IS TO COME.” “THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY.”

I spent a few years being incredibly angry and bitter for the things I thought I didn’t “deserve”. For things I wanted explanations or apologies for. For things that had taken the pleasing music and stories from my heart and turned them to lamentations. But here’s the thing about God’s love for us, and about our story… it keeps going. It lives on. It evolves. And what it has evolved into for me, is beyond my wildest dreams.

The joy and purpose I have inside me… the song and story I now sing… it’s more than I ever could have believed. It makes up for every tear. Every night I cried myself to sleep, or every shot I drank, hoping to find relief when morning came. It makes up for innocence taken from a little girl, and for the laughter and jokes of every breath that bullied me.

JOY is the light that keeps shining on past the evil in this world. JOY is the strong foundation that stands the test of time when the dust settles. JOY is what gives you second chances because you’re not afraid to start over or try again. JOY is what wins and it wins every time.

We all have a story. A song. Experiences that brought us to this place. But my hope in sharing mine as I go is to inspire others to keep going. To get back up. To change the direction of your life, if you aren’t happy with where it’s headed. To forgive, but to be courageous and fearless. To be bold and set boundaries where you see fit. To take chances and follow your heart (even if it means leaving everything you knew to move to Texas and trade your “like OMG” for “hey y’all”!

And if you’re reading this, and ARE that person not being heard… if you’re being told you don’t fit in, or aren’t enough, or don’t look like you should… HEAR ME NOW. THIS WILL PASS. THIS IS PREPARING YOU FOR WHAT IS TO COME. THIS IS NOT THE END OF YOUR STORY.

You have a purpose, and you can choose JOY, even in the pain. Even through the suffering. Even when it hurts like hell. My prayer for this blog, and for you, my friend, is that you read this, hear it, and believe it. I can’t do that last part for you. But it’s there, for you to make your own.

Finding your purpose might not come exactly when or as you expect it too, but joy…it’s right here. Right now. May your heart be so full of joy and your spirit so resilient and open that your purpose begins to unfold...

ALL OF MY LOVE TO YOU.

From the bottom of my heart, thanks for sharing in my story.
I can’t wait to share more and walk this adventure together.

Love,
Danielle

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