Clean Slate | by Bethany Sousa
-Scroll to her bio for the video link to her song
When I think of spring, I think of renewal. I think of getting a second change. I think of cleansing and vulnerability with myself emotionally and spiritually. Seasons of transition and change in life cause a lot of clutter and damage to ourselves. I for one believe that Spring is the greatest time to purge those cluttered parts of our hearts, minds, and emotions. It’s quite incredible how much clutter we can each accumulate through life. Each and every single one of us carry a unique and individual suitcase, filled with specific life choices we either did or didn’t intentionally make. Yet, no matter what path our choices lead us through, we are always able to seek grace and freedom through Christ. He will always be near ready to take our hand and walk with us through the struggle of surrendering that bulky suitcase filled with so much clutter such as: shame, regret, self esteem, lack of courage, fear, anger, confusion, etc. Now, my story is specific to me and how I heard God through my own clutter, but I believe it will be encouraging to someone searching for similar freedom.
It’s 2016 and my emotions are falling apart. Everything I held dear in my world was fading away. Nothing seemed to be moving forward – only standing still. I took a huge leap of faith and followed a tug on my heart to move to Nashville. I had NO idea what was going to be here waiting for me, all I knew was that God had already gone before me. At least that’s what I felt Him continually whisper in my heart. And boy was He serious. I arrived and immediately life came alive in me! My first day in town I met up with a friend and I got a connection of a lifetime with a producer, started getting work, the creative juices were flowing! Life was really moving for me in ways I never imagined. I thought Nashville was going to be a place of rest, a place of transition before a city like New York or London. I had no intention on staying here longer than 3-6 months. But little did I know God had something else in mind. I found an incredible church, moved into a townhouse with a friend, started making friends, got a decent job… Yes life was looking pretty good for me. Until I prayed a very unique prayer.
It’s the new year and I always write a small list of things I desire to accomplish for the year. This one was particularly different because I threw in a few fun goals as well as a few challenging ones. My prayer consisted of asking God to clean house in my heart emotionally and financially. To heal and to restore broken parts of my heart. Without getting into too many details, my life slowly began to crumble. Leaving my job due to some unfortunate situations. Going under financial wreckage. Having nothing familiar close by that I was used to running away to. Life was in emotional chaos for me. My reality was quickly shattering the fantasy of my life I thought I was working so hard to build. Again, without getting into too many details, I was at a bare boned empty. In debt larger than I could understand. Yet, still, I could hear that faint – “I have gone before you” still whispering in my heart.
I realize not everyone reading this has gone through a complete overhaul of their life, but there’s something powerful about asking God to take a closer look and actually letting Him. In these past couple of years His hand has guided, protected, and provided in ways I couldn’t even imagine. There were days when I had 7$ to my name and I didn’t get paid for 10 days and some how I was able to pay for gas, or food. I made a conscious decision to not let the clutter of my emotional life continue to get in the way of how I was called to fulfill and live out my calling. I didn’t do it alone, but I did have to make the decisions and work it out on my own. I decided I wanted to be debt free by the time I was 30, and that meant I needed to hustle. Lesson one – financial freedom – and to trust that God has my everything, including my finances.
Then there was lesson 2, relationships. This was a deep and challenging lesson to work through. For my own sanity, I believe God knew I needed space to deal and heal from my life in a space where time was slowed down and people were loving and trusting. Transitioning into a southern pace of life has actually healed my hurts and pains that I either put there myself, or others had. Really taking the time to get a deep look, and actually really forgive, not just myself but family and friends too, I had to trust God with my heart. Trust Him, and no other man. He is the ultimate protector and lover, if I can’t trust Him, then how else would I love another? There is no perfect family, and no perfect person in this world, and my attempt to hide behind all my disappointments in others was no longer a cop-out I was allowed to hide behind.
I really had to learn a valuable lesson in vulnerability with the Holy Spirit. If I stay humble and grateful, even in the midst of pain, I will get to witness His grace. His beautiful and redeeming grace. I can’t count all the occasions I was lost in the wreckage so much that I count look up to see He was protecting me. However I have been able to reflect back and look at all He has done to redeem and restore me. I haven’t lived enough to have all the answers, but I have made enough mistakes to witness mercy and grace.
Click on this link for her blog video:
BETHANY is a singer/songwriter currently living in Nashville, TN. Her dream and desire is to partner with other artists collaboratively to help bring awareness to the audience an awakening of purpose. In today’s western culture, we have focused too music on selfish ego and not enough on the bigger picture–we’re all here for a purpose, and we all play an important role in achieving that goal in each other Art is such an intense expression and tool to use to help awaken peoples minds and souls of their own existence. Music heals us mentally and spiritually, and one of her main goals is to help bring that healing, one song at a time.