Being Independent Doesn’t Have to Leave You Lonely {Real Conversations Series}

To say that Meredith Bernard has captured my heart would be an understatement. Truth is, she’s wrapped around it. Her true-to-life words and straight-to-the-matter honesty are a breath of fresh air in this often less-than-real world. That’s why, when I read the words you’re about to, I knew that God had given me a go-ahead to embark on this journey of Real Conversations—and that Meredith needed to be first to speak. Please join me in warmly welcoming my farm-living, ice-cream making, sister-in-Christ to this space…

Real Conversations


For years I lived in the misguided belief that the quality of my life was up to me. I was the only one who had control over my outcome, because my decisions bore their own fate. A self-described loner, I not only felt safe in my singularity, I took pride in it.

More than once I found myself saying that no matter what happened, I would always be able to take care of myself. I made sure of it with two college degrees and a stubborn, independent personality that I could have just as easily written an award-winning dissertation to back up.

INSERT LIFE.

The death of a parent, marriage, divorce, job change, pregnancy, marriage again, child number two, three church moves in three years, and eventually quitting my “safe” job for my “dream” job with all of the benefits that the world says aren’t benefits at all.

Sometimes life rewrites itself in ways we don’t ask for, understand or want and sometimes God uses our self-absorbed decisions to show how very little in control we are, after all.

Meredith - Guest Pic

There came a point I realized the quality of my life was indeed up to me, but not in the ways I had once thought. Yes, my decisions brought outcomes and in many instances, consequences. But the decision to bear them alone proved more than I could bear.

AND THEN CAME FEAR.

When I realized that I really didn’t want to be alone, that I really did long for and need people, I feared that my decisions had left me alone for good.

INSERT GOD AND GRACE. 

One by one, little by little, as I gave over to God what I could no longer carry, nor wanted to, He replaced my fear with friends. Life-giving, soul-mending, tried-and-true friendships that I assumed I had forever forfeited through my selfish and sinful life choices.

The thing I now see, that I never had before, is how very much one life needs other lives to live life full.

He keeps showing me how very much alike we all are in the very different skin we all wear. And He loves us enough to bring people into our lives that we need, just when we need them, for as long as we need them.

We were created to worship, serve and love God…together. <==== Click to Tweet ]

Because two or more souls glorifying their Creator beside one another can shine far brighter and reach much further than one alone.


Meredith - Profile PicMeredith is a perfectly imperfect Daughter of the King, wife to her cattle man and “Mama” to two Littles ages 4 and 6. After giving up her “stay-on-the-road” job for her “stay-on-the-farm” dream, she now uses the passion God has given her to encourage others through her Lens and her Pen. In-between learning to homeschool and make cheese, she is on a quest to find #TheSTILLife.  For a few laughs and maybe a few tears, follow along with her kitchen mishaps and days raking hay and chasing dreams on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


You can also find these words linked up at my favorite spots:  Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday), Kelly Balarie (#raralinkup), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday), Bonnie Gray (#faithbarista), and Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory).

42 thoughts on “Being Independent Doesn’t Have to Leave You Lonely {Real Conversations Series}

  1. Handing fear over to God allows the space that fear once filled to be filled with something else…hope for healing, love for others, restoration for the tired soul (I could go on!). I am so glad that God fills up those spaces with His goodness. Thanks for being real here and for encouraging us all to never walk this life alone.

  2. “Sometimes life rewrites itself in ways we don’t ask for, understand or want and sometimes God uses our self-absorbed decisions to show how very little in control we are, after all.” –> YES, I’ve been there, Meredith. I’m pretty sure letting go is going to be a lesson God is always teaching me, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to keep trying and living this life with him.

    Tiffany, I’m glad you linked up this post at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  3. I can so identify with the church hopping. We had a hard time finding a church when we moved from AZ to TX. Four years ago we finally found our church home. Glad to be next to you at Beloved Brews.

  4. It’s funny that it took me so many years to understand grace. It’s almost embarrassing, to some degree. And now I look for it everywhere and see it even when I’m not looking. This was a beautiful story with a beautiful message. Glad to meet you, Meredith! (Thank you for featuring her, Tiffany!)

    1. I hear you, Jennifer, and I’ve truly been embarrassed by my lack of understanding, but there’s grace for that, too. ;) And I really believe the more I do begin to understand of God and His ways, the less I actually understand, you know? His love is a beautiful mystery. So glad to meet you, as well, and I’m so thankful Tiffany threw the doors wide open for me to be here. She is a beautiful host. I appreciate you leaving words of encouragement today!

    2. I think in God’s grace, He only shows us its fullness in glimpses…often when we need it most and even when we least expect it. It’s a gift to receive and there is a unique joy in paying it forward. xo

  5. Oh Meredith, as Tiffany said your words always breathe life and truth. I was once that loner too, although I didn’t call myself one. My reasons were people let me down. But you know what? There’s grace in that too, and when we realize He is the only Perfect One, we can extend it to each other. Love you and your heart. You are a beautiful testament to HIS grace.

    1. Yes, there is so much grace in that, too, dear Abby! You are right, the realization He is perfect, we are not, and we all need what He has and we can all offer the invitation to others is so freeing and beautiful. Blessed to be walking alongside you. <3

    2. I’ve known that let down too, Abby. It can be hard to find you’re way back from that…but yes, we walk in His grace and He faithfully brings the right people to travel beside us. So, so grateful that He knows what we need. xo

  6. Meredith,
    I can identify with working my way through the cycle of ‘independance’ . . . and yet just as gently and sweetly as you shared, God reveals my real need, for real dependance – always depending deeper upon His Word, but also inviting, accepting and welcoming the way He graciously chooses to send vessels of His choice to minister, even if just for a moment, it’s glorious to receive such gifts of grace.
    Blessed to be here today!

    1. Oh, so blessed by your words, Jessica. Yes, it’s so great how God lovingly reveals our true need for dependance in and on Him and then graciously allows others to fill the gaps we make along the way. Thank you for being here and sharing your own truth with us. Blessings!

  7. Beautiful post! I’m so glad that I don’t have to be alone anymore. For years, I felt very alone even though I was surrounded by people who loved me. But then… Jesus. He’s so good! He always knows just what we need! Blessings!

    1. Praise Him that He knows just what we need, just when we need it and is always faithful to provide it in the ways only He can. <3 So glad you are walking in freedom with me, friend!

  8. Beautiful truths here. We don’t have to carry our burdens alone and we don’t have to despair when we make bad decisions. God is so faithful to forgive and extend grace and give strength and provide all our needs including that of friends. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you for being here to share with me, Gayl. It’s been such a burden lifted to let go of the past and cling to the Hope I have in Christ. It really is amazing the depth and breadth of His love, isn’t it? Resting in it with you tonight.

    1. Oh, I’m touched that you were touched, Dana. I never want to speak anything but truth in love, and sometimes it doesn’t come out that way. I’m glad that is what you found here today, though, and it will be my aim as long as He gives me opportunity. And for all other attempts that don’t make it out just that way…Grace. <3 Blessings in your own journey friend.

  9. What a delightful post! I can so identify with this as I have control issues as well. And then, when my parent’s health began to fail (I’m an only child) and then my kids started leaving home, I was a nervous fear-filled wreck! God carried me through those times and continues to do so, as I continue to place my trust in Him and His goodness (which I was just reading about again this morning)!
    Thanks for this wonderful testimony today on Testimony Tuesday! And have fun with that cheese (I didn’t know anyone still made cheese)! That’s so cool!

    1. I think there are quite a few of us that deal with that battle for control, Ruthie. Like Meredith said, I think when we acknowledge that before God and recognize that, while He wants us to be an active participant in our lives, He is fully able to direct our paths – then we come face to face with His glory. Doing that side by side makes the journey all the sweeter. Thanks for joining in the conversation today.

    2. Oh yes, control issues! Just a few of those in my life, Ruthie. ;) But God, right? For me it’s really a day-to-day surrender. Some days I do pretty good, some days I do pretty bad. But thank God for grace and that it’s renewed daily. And yes, cheese! It’s so fun. Do you follow The Pioneer Woman at all? I channel her as much as she says she channels Lucille Ball and my favorite character of all time, Vivien Leigh. (and we share the same middle name, so there must be something there…I’ll think of it tomorrow.) I digress…she has a great blog post about making mozzarella cheese and as fun as she makes it look, it really is! Try it sometime. You don’t need raw milk, you just need a few friends to make it really fun. ;) Blessings and thanks for being here today!

  10. Beautiful encouragement here, Meredith. This encourages me today: “Sometimes life rewrites itself in ways we don’t ask for, understand or want…” because it’s so true. But how wonderful that we don’t have to go it alone.

    1. Yes, Betsy! That’s just it, isn’t it…how wonderful we don’t have to go it alone. Praise Him! He not only gives us HIMSELF, He gives us others to draw us to Himself. How good He is. <3

  11. As always, sweet Meredith, your words speak deep to my heart. My life is rolling along my way…insert reality–everything I can’t control…fear–lots of fear…INSERT GOD AND GRACE. Well, this just about describes the whole gospel in a nutshell, doesn’t it? And when we break it down so simply this way, we can see that we ARE all alike. So thankful for God and His love, and for friends like you to share this amazing journey of His grace. Blessings!

    1. I’m double blessed by you, Sabra. I miss you and still wait for the day we can hug and laugh (and maybe cry…well, at least me) in real life. God has given you to me as a beautiful mentor, prayer warrior and friend and yes, I just keep realizing that no matter how different we all are, we are still so very much the same. <3 Blessed to be on the journey with you.

  12. Aww, you have me wrapped around your heart, too, friend. <3 I’m so glad God crossed our paths and beyond thrilled to be able to start this awesome series for you. Praying the words shared through all your guests will relate and encourage others to embrace and share more of their own journeys in their own ways. Our trials become our testimonies and the more I realize that, the more God can use it. Love you!

    1. Amen, Meredith. There is power in our stories and I’m so grateful that you opened up this conversation with such honesty before us and God. He truly is the Author of our faith and I know that many will feel welcomed to share their own testimony because of yours. Love you back!

  13. I am so blessed that you shared your story. I can relate to thinking that we can walk through life with full control and in need of no one else but ourselves to make it through. I love how you describe yourself as an imperfectly perfect daughter of the King because you have also described me. Your story gives me a reason to pause and remember that I, too, would not be where I am without the grace of God. Thank you for these honest and beautiful words.

    1. Oh, I’m touched that my words gave you pause, Mary. That’s the best thing I could hear, because it’s what I strive and need so often. I’ve been really contemplating living “a still life” and that takes pause, you know? It’s a beautiful thing when achieved. Glad to be walking in His love, forgiveness and grace with you Sister. <3

  14. Meredith! Thank you for spilling the words that so many of us have felt- for different reasons and in different ways. These are the sticking words for me: “He keeps showing me how very much alike we all are in the very different skin we all wear. ” Amen! Praise God for His grace in the mistakes, the fear, and in our relationships! Love this- love you!

    1. I love and miss you, Karen. I’m so glad Tiffany had enough faith in these words to allow them on her site today. And I’m so glad God has enough love to keep showing me over and over how much I need not only Him, but the beautiful souls He keeps putting in my path. Including you. xoxo {{hugs}}

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