Living In The Shadows

When someone moves away or leaves us it’s difficult to sometimes process, “why”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a co-worker that has left, a family member or friend who moves out state, or someone dieing it’s difficult. For me, it was my sister moving away from me. A little over two years ago, my sister and brother (in-law) moved away. Ash and I were inseparable. We worked together, worked out together, rode to and from work together. She was my little sister who I needed to protect from the world. Regardless of what pain or hardship it might cause me. However, there was one area I was not stronger in – and that was a walk with Jesus. She had such a strong relationship and walk of faith with Jesus. A relationship I longed for from a distance. To hear like she heard. To see like she saw. There was so much that I saw in her that I wanted, but didn’t know how to obtain it.

Little did I know, God knew exactly what He was doing when He had them move.


Let me preface something. For as long as I can remember in my walk with God, nothing has ever only happen for one solitary thing. (Read this for more on this subject.) This situation did not waver from God’s pattern.

When Ash left, I felt abandoned. I experienced the worst sadness, depression, loneliness, and hurt. My heart hurt. I am pretty sure some anger was wrapped up in there somewhere as well. At first we talked all the time, but then life happen, and we stopped talking as often. It wasn’t until a recent conversation with my mom that I realized exactly what God had done. The ripple effect of her leaving caused me great blessing in the midst of my flesh hurting. I made a comment to my mom about how I missed her and how I felt all alone. I have no “friends” to grab coffee with or go shopping with. (Read “All Alone“) My tears began to stream down my face in my moment of piercing honesty as I poured my heart out to my mom. Exposing that I felt so alone and just wanted her back in my life so I could have my friend back wasn’t easy to admit because deep inside I felt like I should have dealt with these feelings by now. This felt a little shameful to me.

My mom offered up a new perspective to me. One that completely changed my outlook on her living so far away. She said, “Being away from Ash has been the best thing for you. You couldn’t live in her shadow anymore. You gained your own relationship with Jesus.” More tears began to fall from my eyes but this time out of joy. She was right. While my flesh was upset over her leaving, I had turned to Jesus and gained the same level of relationship with Him that she had. The very thing I longed for was right in front of my eyes, but as long as I was living in my sister’s shadow, I would never have found it.

Today, I live with a renewed spirit of thankfulness. If Ash had never moved, I may not have advanced to where I have in my walk with Jesus. God knew EXACTLY what I needed in that moment of my life. Scripture says, ” The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him…” (Psalm 37:23). That is exactly what He did. He ordered my life to go as it needed to go and I just had to trust He knew what He was doing (admittedly, even when I didn’t think He did, lol.)

My challenge to you is to review your life. Whose shadow are you living in? What are you keeping yourself from? Maybe you know the answer to this, maybe you don’t even realize you are in a shadow. Find the Son and your day will brighten up. Your walk will become stronger. Your life will change drastically.

My saying is this: If you want something different? Do something different. 

I challenge you to get outside of your box (or your shadow) and press, press, press!! The pain you may feel temporarily is WELL WORTH the longterm benefits.

It’s strange how we can think we know where we are headed or what we are supposed to do and then BAM! it changes. This is where I am forever thankful for the scripture, “my steps are ordered by The Lord.” (Psalm 37:23). My life recently has felt like a world wind. I’m generally someone who welcomes changes; however, the recent ones and in the manner in which they came, were a little overwhelming.

But when you constantly push against something, eventually you get tired. At some point, you have to surrender to what God is trying to do. If you don’t – really – you only hurt yourself. Whatever the situation or thing He is wanting you to do is going to prepare you for something. Who knows, maybe it’s even the place where a door will open to all your dreams coming true. And to think, you wanted to push away! While I can’t say I am 100% happy with where I am right now, I can tell you I trust God 100%. So if this is where He has me in life then this is where I stay for now. In my past experience God has never placed me somewhere that wasn’t good for me. Sure, there are times when I don’t understand it. There are times when I can’t possibly see what good is going to come from me doing something or going somewhere or being around certain people… but there is always a reason in the end. Maybe it’s a lesson I had to learn to strengthen me for what is to come, maybe it was to help make a difference in someone else’s life, or maybe it was just to see if I could honor Him with the best attitude possible.

Whatever the reason, I trust Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make all your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6