Tonight, after 3.5 years, I finally figured out why I moved to Nashville. The answer - because God had beautiful relationships waiting for me here.
Tonight, as I sit here, for the first time, absolutely every single negative thing that has happened in my life has become positive, simply because I know that it all has lead me to this very moment.
Early today I posted this on Facebook: "It is so incredibly beautiful how God puts us on such detailed paths that perfectly collide with others, so that we then embark on beautiful friendships and relationships beyond the desires of what our hearts could have ever dreamed. And even if those relationships get broken, He can mend and sew them back together, so steadily, to where the seam can't even be noticed."
For such a long time I was living covered in camouflage. I tried so hard to force a permanent guard over my heart. I shoved down the woman I intended to be, to become the one who I thought the world expected. All dressed up in camouflage, ready to blend in. I do not know who I was doing this for, maybe it was to hide me from myself, maybe it was to hide from God. Regardless, He could still see me - and He was just waiting for me to take it off. So finally, one day, I did.
As soon as started to take off this disguise, I began losing the fear of being vulnerable, and that is when my life changed. God started placing the most precious people in my life. He started giving me new relationships and growing old ones. He started giving me the bravery to open up in conversations, just like He gave me the courage to start this blog, and He restored things I thought would forever be broken. It has been overwhelmingly incredible.
Camouflage feels so safe. No one will be able to see my pain, my past, my struggles. But why should we ever be alone in this? We shouldn't. And we don't have to be. It is so hard to take the camouflage off, because it gets so comfortable to be in - it just becomes a habit. A ritual.
At the end of the day, all we have are relationships. Not material things, not money. We only have each other; our breakthroughs, our cries, our laughter. When we strip off the disguise and overcome our fear of truly being seen, we can start to share with one another and our moments of weakness can be turned into somebody elses moment of strength. We can turn our struggles into to stories, stories that help, that make an impact and give a hand up.
Blending in feels so safe, but actually the safest place to be is in the arms of friends.
I haven't shared this with many people, but I'm going to share this tonight because it has made such a huge impact on my life. Shortly after my dear friend and producer Tim Johnson was diagnosed with cancer, I remember sitting in the airport with him on our way to NYC, he was very sick. We were talking about life when he said, "I would trade every Number One Hit I've ever had and all of my success for more time with my family and the ones I love."
He passed away a year later.
I will never forget this moment. Tim taught me a lot of things, but the value of relationships and how at the end of the day that is all we have, made more than a significant impact on my life. I will always carry that with me. Forever.
Connecting with the beautiful people around us in this world is the most satisfying and sweetest experience we can possible have. That is how it is intend to be, we were not created to be alone, hiding behind camouflage. We were created to hold each others hands and see the best in each other, even when we can't see it in ourselves.