I am leaving Urban Hallelujah.
For weeks I have wrestled with how to say that, and then there, just like that, I said it.
For the last couple of months I have been MIA, I have prayed, eaten through an entire package of Double Stuf Oreos, and then prayed some more. Poring over and wrestling to death the question: What is it God wants from me?
Because I fondly remember the day I cursed a crockpot and blew up the blogosphere for reasons I still don’t understand – with half of a million people reading that post alone! And how I cried to the point of hyperventilation in the bathroom because of all the mean things people said about me. People, I would later name “Amy” in an attempt at humanizing ruthless internet bullies and making their words sting less. A sweet, but failed attempt on my part.
How Rachel and I had seriously considered shutting the blog down entirely after such unexpected traffic. Which always makes me laugh, because while some people strive for that level of attention, apparently we just cry. Its just not who we are. And for some reason I am insanely proud of that.
How what began with just 20 followers consisting only of grandma’s, our grandma’s to be specific, grew to a whopping 100 people we didn’t know and who were not genetically predisposition to love us. How shocked we were when 100 followers ultimately grew to nearly 1,600!
…But how cruel it felt when just months later my heart broke and my life cliff-dived into a horrific nightmare. Allowing each of the 1,600 followers to be front-and-center to watch as I screamed, questioned and threw punches at God. How even still, I made God a promise to write through the mess, and how surprisingly glad I am that I did. The writing part, not the throwing punches at God part. Though I am certain He would agree, I’ve got a wicked right hook.
How to my complete surprise, God used so many of you to speak into my darkest days and to pray for my family when all hope seemed lost. How you sent encouragement, care packages (with said Oreos) and friend requests on Facebook.
And how because of that, I am certain if we were ever lucky enough to meet, I would hug you. Maybe even exchange crockpot recipes with you and laugh about all the silly places I put commas, but mostly just hug you. Because mere words couldn’t possibly portray how genuinely thankful I am for each and every one of you. Prayers like yours, saved my marriage and quite honestly, my life.
Yet, I am not the same girl that started this blog with Rachel less than two years ago. Depression and heartbreak have a way of changing a person, I suppose. Yet even still I can feel God pressing, keep. writing. through. the. mess.
Because of that, I feel the need to venture out on my own – to obediently continue writing, all while unapologetically owning the fact that this life of mine is not going the way I told it to. And that the reality of that, doesn’t make my life wrong, it just makes it different. Different than I planned. Different even, than I wanted. But not wrong. And that it is my responsibility to love myself through that, and to mercilessly do whatever it takes to find God’s face in it.
And so after lots of prayer, I have decided to start my own blog which thou shalt be named kristaortiz.com - named in part because my name is the only thing that HASN’T changed about me in the last two years (Though believe me it almost did, if you know what I mean. Awkward pause… I make myself smile.) And also because lets be real, Rachel is the more creative one of us and that’s all I could come up with on my own.
So my name is what it will be, and that is where you can find me.
I secretly hope to see you there. But in case I don’t, and given the chance our paths cross someday, please come say hi. And bring your best hug.
I’ll bring the Double Stuf Oreos.