From Surviving To Living:

Embracing Grit, Grace, and Surrender | The Architect’s Daughter

The last year has been the hardest year of my life. I’ve found myself in the middle of my greatest fear, walking through the very situation I would have done anything to avoid. I’m learning life isn’t just a journey—it’s a series of tides. Each one bringing its own set of challenges, triumphs, and revelations. Life, like the ocean, can be both breathtakingly beautiful and overwhelmingly powerful—its tides shaping us in ways we never thought possible.

Life, like the ocean, can be both breathtakingly beautiful and overwhelmingly powerful— its tides shaping us in ways we never thought possible.

Heather Riggleman

So this year has been about the dissolution of something sacred, something I had bet my life on. And there’s no prescription for surviving that kind of loss. In the midst of life’s stormy seas, I found myself facing a perfect storm. My life was falling apart—or so it seemed. I had poured my heart and soul into a job that I LOVED dearly, only to realize that there was no longer room for growth. It was a painful realization, but one that ultimately led me to surrender to the divine plan unfolding before me.

And then there was my marriage—a relationship that had weathered its fair share of storms. My husband’s journey to sobriety was a rocky one, filled with setbacks and struggles. But it was in those darkest moments that I learned to surrender our marriage into God’s hands, trusting that He was working behind the scenes to rebuild us both.

But perhaps the most difficult aspect of my journey was the loss of cherished friendships. These were bonds that I had held dear for years that suddenly disappeared and I found myself learning to sink or swim. It was a painful process, but one that ultimately deepened my faith and strengthened my reliance on the Divine Architect.

On the shores of Bocca Grande in December, amidst the crashing waves and swirling currents of life’s trials I discovered the anchor of my soul as God whispered words of hope and possibility. With each step I took, my feet immersed in the salty embrace of the incoming tide, I found solace and strength in His promises. It was there, in the raw beauty of nature’s majesty, that I became acutely aware of His presence, guiding me through the tumultuous waters as I learned to begin again.

It is hard and it is holy all at once.

Early on, God said to me:
“You are not losing your life. And you’re certainly not losing your person. You are finding your person. And your person is you.”

Heather Riggleman

Loss is reductive, by nature. In loss, we lose things. The great mystery is that losing is inextricably linked to finding. To building, to beginning something new. We lose, lose, lose, and in that loss we find what was underneath—at the center, all along.

I know so very many of you are in the midst of your own loss.

Debilitating, life-altering loss.
Loss of relationship.
Loss of identity.
Loss of future.

Loss of hope.

Loss of what once was.

It feels radically consuming.

Like me, you worry this loss will disqualify you, push you under the tides, render you incapable and unworthy of what you thought you were good at. You’re tempted to flag down the people in charge to let them know:

you still have what it takes
you’re not incapacitated
that you’re not irrevocably altered’

You’re tempted to hatch a plan, find the solution, and fix it. And yet . . .Here’s the greatest truth I can give you right now about loss, building, and beginning again: Sometimes a wall is a door.

We run headlong into a wall that is unforeseen and unforgiving. It hurts like hell. But if we will actually let ourselves hurt, to feel it, to experience the pain, to experience the incapacitation, to look at the injury, to lay on the ground for a while, to live and muddle in the loss instead of trying to spring into frantic action, and prove we’re fine . . .we just might find that the wall was actually a door after all.

We just might find that often death must precede new life and that new life begins in the dark. And that transformation only takes place because things have fallen apart. Something old is falling apart so that something new can be formed. We just might find that loss the foundation of something new.

In the darkest hours of it all, we catch a glimpse of a self that bears the image of God. A self that cannot be consumed by circumstances. A self that is irrevocably loved. A self that is eternally held. No matter what. We find these things because of, not in spite of the loss.

In the last days of 2023, I my breath as I watched God take the broken pieces of my life—shattered dreams, fractured relationships, and faltering marriage—and begin to weave them into a tapestry of redemption and restoration. Like a skilled craftsman, He picked up the fragments that no longer fit tossing them aside and fashioned something infinitely more beautiful in their place.

As I emerged from the wreckage of my old life, I realized that what had seemed like destruction was actually the handiwork of a master builder. God had been busy behind the scenes, picking up the broken pieces and fashioning something infinitely more beautiful in their place. My life was infused with newfound grace and forgiveness, my dreams reignited with passion and purpose, and my marriage restored with a love that was stronger and deeper than before.

Through this transformative journey, Creative Connections Co. was born—a testament to the resilience, authenticity, and faith that had carried me through the storm. This website is a place where life, faith, and social media collide. It’s all of my gifts coming together to help others in ways I never imagined. As my feet found solid ground once more, I knew that I had a story to share—a story of growth, healing, and the unshakable hope that comes from trusting in the Architect’s plan.

So, welcome to Growing Boldly—a space where the tides of life are embraced with open arms, where authenticity reigns supreme, and where the journey is as important as the destination. May my experiences, insights, and thoughts serve as a beacon of encouragement and inspiration as you navigate the ever-changing currents of your own journey. Together, let’s dive deep into the ocean of possibility, knowing that with each wave that crashes upon the shore, there is beauty to be found in the chaos.

All my love,

Heather, The Architect’s Daughter

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  1. I always love your comments. You open up a new way of viewing, new thoughts and ideas. Love your writings and articles. Linda Standage

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