Flourish Flock Feature | Katie Crocombe

Yes, it's me sharing for today's Flourish Flock Feature... you see as I was putting the schedule together, I realized that my birthday was going to fall on a Thursday this year...

And, while I had considered doing some sort of post on 35 things I've learned {yes, I am indeed turning 35- yikes!} in my life, I thought maybe it'd be fun to answer the questions I ask others on a weekly basis... 

After all, I typically have a hard time with the manager who manages people in roles they've never once had {or been remotely close to} or the person who says, "I know exactly how you feel" and yet has never been through a similar situation.

So, keeping that in mind, it only seems right that I should step into what I have the privilege of asking so many other women to do week after week.

Share where you currently live:

Atlanta, GA

Share where you grew up:

How long do we have?! Kidding, sort of... I lived in quite a few places growing up... If someone's looking for a rather quick answer, I'll say that I grew up in Florida given that I lived in Jacksonville all through high school. Prior to that we lived in Orlando for a period of time and then before that New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Kentucky. And I was born in Savannah, so I guess deep down I've always been a Georgia peach ;)

Share about your family/your job/living situation:

Matt and I will be married 2 years this August- yay!! This is a second marriage for both of us and we both could not be more thankful for God's grace and authoring of our story.

We have our girls, Bella (9) and Ava (7) (both from my previous marriage), 50% of the time. During the school year they are with us Mondays, Tuesdays and every other Friday, Saturday and Sunday... And then in the summer we typically we do a full week on and then a full week off as it's just easier with various travel plans, camps, etc.

Matt works for a public accounting firm here in Atlanta- he's actually celebrating his 10 year anniversary there today- so proud of him!! And then I, after years of other work (& life) experience, became trained as a life coach and founded Flourish + Co. I absolutely love the privilege of walking alongside women in life and encouraging them in their uniqueness, callings and passions. I am also big on making sure I have flexibility in my schedule to really be present with the girls and available for them when they are with us.

Share your favorite book and/or podcast:

Goodness- this one is hard for me as I am a huge fan of books and learning... most recently I would say You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons. A little bit further back I would say Unashamed by Christine Caine. And then there are many, many others.

In regards to podcasts, I listen to quite a few but would say my favorites are the Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, Christy Nockels' The Glorious in the Mundane and Sarah Bragg's Surviving Sarah.

Share your favorite quote and/or Bible verse:

Another hard one for me as I have MANY... in order to narrow it down, I'm going to share one that I consistently claim and even had the opportunity to tie into a retreat I led this Spring.

Psalm 37:4 - "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart"

Share your favorite beverage: 

A vanilla latte with almond milk or a margarita

Share one of the biggest losses you’ve experienced:

Hands down I would say my divorce and everything that went with it are the biggest loss I've experienced to date. As of this October it'll be 4 years that we were no longer together and in some ways it seems like a lifetime ago and in others it seems like just yesterday.

While I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was for the best, that doesn't mean that there isn't incredible pain- gut-wrenching pain quite frankly- at times as it relates to the girls. The dreams of being a mom who is present for her children- there to kiss boo boos, to host every birthday party, to be together on holidays, to play tooth fairy and more, and more- have to come to what feels like a screeching halt in many ways. 

While I do of course still have them with me every other holiday and every other year for their birthday parties, etc. it doesn't mean that the years they aren't with me hurt less. I will say that time makes it feel "more normal" and might lessen the sting a bit, but in a lot of ways I've come to accept that this side of heaven my heart will always hurt a bit in this way.

Share some of the choices that have been most helpful in continuing to move you forward and supporting you while you are healing:

110% investing in myself by finding a counselor who was/is so wise and loved me well even through sharing the hard truths at times, was the best move I made. In addition, letting go of the masks of "I'm fine" and "I can figure it out" and being raw and real with others was and continues to be incredibly healing.

And then being in a divorce support/recovery group through our church was huge. The "me too's" and the overall awareness of not being alone were invaluable... and then don't even get me started on the fact that it's through that group that Matt and I met and became friends for a while... and then eventually, well, you know, GOT MARRIED! :) Thank you, Lord, for your grace upon grace!

Share some ways you have tried to incorporate laughter and fun in the midst of the hurt:

I honestly didn't have much of a choice but to include laughter and fun as without those 2 things, I'm not sure I would have been able to put one foot in front of the other many days. I made sure to watch funny movies or shows, to continue to laugh at myself (oftentimes that's not hard to do, just ask Matt!) and surround myself with others who could help me find humor even in the darkest days.

I made a point to splurge for some flowers at the grocery store every other week, even while on the tightest budget, knowing that they provided some sunshine for me in my little apartment. And, quite frankly, reminded me that I mattered even when it didn't feel like it many times.

Share how this experience has been instrumental in leading you to where you are today:

Phew- this is a long one... And, since I don't have all day and it's honestly one that I continue to camp out around in my journaling, etc., I will attempt to just share the highlights for right now.

No matter what, as awful as this loss has been, I wouldn't change it for the world. I know for a fact, no holds barred, that this experience has refined me in so many ways. It's opened my eyes in many ways to pain and people I had no awareness of before. It's allowed me to more fully savor the moments I do have with my girls and to cherish my marriage to Matt as the greatest gift, outside of my faith.

It's also helped me rethink family relationships and friendships and what it means (more posts coming on this soon for numerous reasons) to stick by others through thick and thin and love well. I know my relationships are so much deeper and purposeful as a result of having my world turned upside down.

And, lastly (for now :), it's allowed me to find my voice again and to recognize in a fresh way that I have value and giftedness outside of what anyone might say or think or do...

Because I am a Daughter of the King, I am valuable and worthy of love.

And, through this realization I began stepping into my calling to help empower, encourage and equip other women in this way... and, I know that this journey has just begun which I am so incredibly thankful for!

*If you for a minute, for a split second, find yourself unsure of your value or worth, please send me a note- I would absolutely love to be praying for you and encouraging you, precious friend!

Share any tips/advice/love for others who have gone through something similar:

Don't be afraid or reluctant to accept help. It's such an incredible blessing to let others in to the trenches with us to love and support us. Not allowing us to lean on them can rob you both from great growth and redemption.

I would also encourage others, as they feel a little more removed from the situation, to be brave in sharing their story.  Sharing your story can be so incredibly healing and can also bring such purpose into the pain that you've gone through.

Thank y'all for reading... please know that I am a fairly open book so if you have questions or if certain things really resonate with you, I'd love to hear from you and even continue this conversation! 

Please always feel free to comment or email me at hello@flourishandco.com. I can't wait to hear from you!

Lifestyle Love Loss Self-care Divorce