Sunday, November 13, 2016


Four months ago, I went to church in my pj's. My husband had left me and my world was falling apart. The only thing I knew was that I needed Jesus. My pastor has always said to come as you are, and that is just what I did. I came that day completely broken. There was no other place I wanted to be, except in His presence.

As I sat in the same pew today, I was in awe at all He has done for me. I thought my husband leaving me would kill me. But Jesus sustained me and carried me. As I thought back to that day, I am amazed at how far I have come. Jesus has healed my broken heart and restored my joy. I am His completely.

I know I have shared this verse before, but I keep coming back to it. 2 Corinthians 12:9 "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. "

At my weakest, He drew me closer to His glory. I am amazed by His love every day, but it was at my lowest I was able to see just how fully and completely He loves me. It was at my weakest that I realized just how strong and powerful He is. Because of my weakness, I was more fully able to see just how wonderful He is. 

For weeks, Jesus was the very air I breathed. I would've never survived without Him. At my darkest point, I cried out to Him, and He saved me. I not only survived, but I feel like I have thrived these last few months. He took everything broken inside of me and restored it. I can never sing His praise enough for all He has done for me. 

I give all the credit to God. I hope as others look at me, they see His light in me. When they wonder how I was able to turn it all around and find my joy, despite the pain, I hope they can see His Glory and Joy inside of me. 

Without Him, I would be lost. But His Grace and Mercy are new each day. I wouldn't have survived without Him. He is my Strength, my Comforter, my Prince of Peace. He carried me through the storm and safely to the shore on the other side. He is always faithful. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


A month ago, my cry was "my heart, my heart." But now my heart proclaims, "my joy, my joy!"
My soul, it sings. My heart is full of love. I owe all thanks to my Lord, my Creator. 

He has carried me these last few months. Not once, did He abandon me and leave me alone. He has been my constant companion.

My soul sings of the love He has for me.

 His grace and His mercy have redeemed me.

His unfailing love has saved me.

 He has made me whole. 

I am beyond beautiful in His sight. That He would love one such as me is beyond my imagination. 

Which each breath, my soul thanks Him. Which each heartbeat, my heart thanks Him. 

 He is my God, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Deliverer, my Healer, my Joy, my Everything.

He has healed my broken heart. He has restored my joy to overflowing. 

Because of Him, I can sing, I can laugh, I can smile. He is always faithful. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

He Knows

I went out with some friends tonight. It was nice. Actually, I go out with friends at least once a week. Its good to get out of the house and feel normal. I've even adopted myself into a family. I probably spend more time with them than anyone else. I feel loved and welcome there; because they are so focused on Jesus, its where I always feel the most peace. I'm sure that is why I love them so much. They have the peace of God and that is the peace I need right now. Its the peace I always need.

Earlier this month, I hit rock bottom. I've only told one person just how bad it was, but I'm sure others have guessed. I reached the point where I just wanted to feel something else, even if it was a different kind of pain. On the worst night, I just sat still, crying to God to protect me. I didn't dare move. I didn't trust myself. But I trust God. After that is when I admitted to my friend how bad it was. I've spent many nights in prayer over coming those dark thoughts. I'm so grateful for a God who never gives up on me. For Jesus, who understands the pain of betrayal. For a Savior who died to save me. 

I've picked up running. Not very far or for very long yet, but I'm working on it. Some nights I run to distract myself from the pain. When I get home and my legs hurt, I am just grateful to feel alive. It also exhaust me so I can sleep better at night. But some days I run because I need to prove to myself I can do hard things. I hate running. I've never understood why people would pay to run in a race. But I think I'm starting to get it. When I hit a mile on the treadmill, I throw my arms in the air and cheer for myself. Last night, I ran 2 miles. I was so proud of myself I almost cried. I'm an overcomer. 

The pain gets less and less each day. I'm starting to feel hope again. I'm starting to embrace life again. All is not over. God is just getting started. 

Tonight, when I came home, the devil started in on his lies. He tries to attack me constantly. He tells me lies like "I'm not good enough," or "I'm too ugly." When one lie doesn't work, he tries another. Tonight, I heard him tell me that maybe if we had had real TV, than he would've spent less time online and, therefore, never left me. 

I rebuked him and told him that I didn't need his lies. God knew this would happen. Even more, God started planning on it years ago. And then it just hit me. How much God has set in place, over the years, for this moment in my life. I know I can't even see all of the details, but I can now see several of them.

In 2012, we started looking for a home to buy but it took us over a year to find one. We looked at several, but none of them felt right. The one that we did put an offer on, fell through. I just felt like we needed something small that we could afford on only one income if something happened. And so we kept looking. When we bought the town home, it felt small, but so was the payment. The thing that really gets me is, at that time, I was still running from God. I didn't think I needed Him, but He knew better. He knew what my future held and He knew what I would need. I've stressed over a lot of things the last two months, but not once has my home been one of those things. Even when I wasn't seeking God, He was taking care of me. He knew that one day it would be just my income to support me. He set it up so I would have a home I could afford on my own. 

Just over two years ago, I woke up with the desire to go back to school. I had tossed around the idea for years, but it was like there was an sudden urgency. Still, at this point, I wasn't focused on God, but He was focused on me. I've no doubt He was looking at my future and He knew I needed to go back to school. He knew that I would need the job I have now to support myself. He even helped provide the funds so I wouldn't need to take out student loans. Even now, as I worry where I'll find the money for next semester, I know that He will provide a way. 

I know that it was God's will that helped me get the job I have now. After my second interview, I knew I had blown it. I told God that. And than I put it in His hands and I knew that His will would be done. When I was offered the job, I knew it was all because of God. 

Then there is the big moment where He finally called me back. I was thinking about that at bible study last night. God is always working, all the time and everywhere. He first found me on the phones at work when a customer called me back to tell me that God was real and he prayed for me. At the time, I didn't think much of it. But it planted a seed and two months later I found myself inside the church I now call home. 

I believe that God is in every detail of my life; not just the big moments, but the small moments too. I'm even convinced He put Blue in that tree for me to find. 

God knows. This blessed assurity burns within my soul and so I have to write it out so I don't forget. I may have turned my back on God, for a time, but He never once stopped loving me. His love is unfailing. He truly has planned out every detail to make sure my needs are met. He wraps me in His peace. I look back over the last two months, and I don't even know how I survived. When I felt like I couldn't take one more step, God carried me. During this time of darkness, I hold fast to Him. I know that He will get me through this. And not just through this, but that there is something amazing on the other side. 

God has given me life. When I feel like I can't do anything else, He is the very air I breathe. Each time I seek His peace, His love floods over me until I am made new. When the pain crashes in, He pulls me back into the light. He knows my pain and heartache and His heart breaks too. I would be lost without Him. God knew that. God knew I would need Him and I'm so glad I have Him.

Monday, August 15, 2016

God's Army of Angels

Last week, I had a booth at the County Fair to sell makeup with my friend Christy. I had learned that the jerk was bringing his girlfriend to the rodeo on Saturday. We are still legally married until the judge signs off in November, but apparently that didn't matter to him.

I realize I can't avoid him forever, but it just hurt that he would do that so soon after he left me. Obviously he has no respect for marriage, but it still hurt. I had thought about just staying home that day, but I really need my business to do well, so I decided to go.

I spent all day praying for God to guard my heart and to protect me. I prayed that He would surround me with his army of angels and keep me from harm. God is always faithful!

Literally all night, our booth was pretty dead. But there was a five minute window, just before the rodeo started, when our booth was literally surrounded with people. So many people that I couldn't even see the booth next to us, let alone the entrance where people were pouring in from the parking lot to go to the rodeo. As I looked around at all the people, I knew God has sent His army to protect me.

Monday, August 8, 2016


In the past, I've paid tithing, mostly because I felt like it was my duty. I've been greatly blessed and I want to return it. But having my income limited has really shown me just how much paying tithing means to me.

I've always paid tithing when I got my monthly paycheck. Then I would pay it on Josh's paychecks that he received every other week. That usually left just one week of the month where I didn't have any tithing to pay. But even then, I usually had an extra $20 in my wallet. When I lost the second source of income, paying tithing on it was one of the things I missed the most. For 3 long weeks, I had nothing I could contribute to tithing bag as it was passed each Sunday and it broke my heart.

This is where I can hear Pastor Dee say "God is here to get your heart, not your money." And I know that is true. But it broke my heart to not contribute each week.

As I sat down to budget my first paycheck of living on my own, tithing was the very first item on my list. I can not express the joy that filled my heart yesterday as I placed my envelope in the bag. I will admit, I thought about splitting it up, so I could give some each week. But that didn't feel right. I don't want my blessings to be portioned out, so I won't do that with my tithing.

As I learn to budget and live on my own, I know that I will have to cut back in some areas. But my tithing will never be one of them.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Psalms 16:11
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Jesus, I am less lost in your presence. Your peace floods over me like a river. God, I know what the world would have me do, but I want to know Your will. Search me deeply O Lord, and let me know Your will. God, I know I am held up by Your righteous hand. Please just let me see which way I need to go. The fear paralyzes me. I know that is not of you, but of the enemy. That is why I continually seek Your peace and guidance. Please speak to me God. Tell me what you would have me do.

In Your word, I find your answers and promises. I am scared to take this step, but I know that You will catch me. I know You will carry me through this storm. I know that when I get to the other side, you will bless me more than I can even imagine.

Your timing is perfect. You are always faithful. I will praise you during the storm and give thanks to you continually for all you bless me with. The storm rages all around me, but in Your presence, I will not be harmed.

I give You my heart Jesus. Its all I have left to give. Right now, it feels so broken, but I know You are the only one who can fix it. Mold it to Your will. Restore my joy.

Psalms 63:1
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Psalms 61:1-4
Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lad me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.

The Lord is my refuge and strength

Blessed is she who believes what the Lord has said.

Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.

The Lord is my refuge and strength

1 Peter 5 :6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Psalms 16:8'I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Job 8:21
"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with shouting."

Psalms 118: 14
The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

Exodus 14:14
The Lord will fight for you, you need only to BE STILL.

Psalms 16:11
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Mark 9: 23
And Jesus said to him, "If You can? All things are possible to him who believes."

Psalms 46:10
"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Luke 1:37
For nothing will be impossible with God.

Isaiah 55:9
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Jeremiah 29: 12-14
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find ME when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, 'declares the Lord.'

Thursday, July 21, 2016

My Heart


Last night I poured my soul out to you. I have been all week, but last night, I was overwhelmed by your peace. Its another moment I wish I could bottle and never forget. I want to write it all down in hopes I never forget.

As I prayed Jeremiah 29: 12-13 "Call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." 

I broke down. I have felt so dead inside I didn't think I had a heart anymore. So many times I have wished it to stop beating. And when I put my hand to my chest, I can't feel it beat inside of my body. So I cried out. How can I seek you with my heart when it feels broken beyond repair?

As I continued to pray, I read Ezekiel 36:26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." 

I looked to the heavens and, through the tears, I laughed. Okay God, you win. I don't think I have a heart anymore, but you will create in me a new one. God you are the very air I breathe. Let every breath be of you. Let every thought turn to you. May I only see you. Body, mind, soul and heart, only you Jesus.

How I wish I could curl up, shut out the world and just bask in your presence. Work, family, stress, it all gets in the way and I let it cut me off from you. Then the evil one starts to slip in and muddy the waters of my peace. Guard my heart Jesus. Surround me with your angels so the enemy can't attack. 

2 Thessalonians 3:3 "The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."

Micah 7:8 "Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is light for me."

On and on I continued to pray for your strength and comfort and I praised you for your peace. 

2 Chronicles 20: 15,17 "Do not fear or be dismayed... for the battle is not yours but God's....Stand and see the Salvation of the Lord on your behalf. Do not fear or be dismayed, for the Lord is with you."

Over and over I prayed those words until they were committed to memory. I am clinging to your promises God. You are always faithful. I follow you into battle and I will praise you in the storm. The enemy has no power here. Not over me or my heart. I give it all to you Jesus!

Romans 8:31 "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

I prayed until I thought I was done. I could feel your peace and I knew I could sleep. But as I laid in bed, I continued to bask in your love. The weaker part of me asked for a sign, a glimpse, something to know your plan.

And then, I felt my heart beating in my chest. It wasn't the answer I thought I wanted, but it was the answer I needed. You will protect me. You are my strength. Let my heart be completely yours. Help me to be still as I cling to your promises.

Ephesians 3:20 "God is able to do Exceedingly, Abundantly, Above All that we ask or think."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Exceedingly, Abundantly, Above All

This week, I've been in crisis mode. I've spent hours on my knees crying to God. Each breath I have breathed, I've asked for His strength. I've poured over scriptures looking for the perfect answer. And though my usual favorites have brought me some comfort, I still slip back into panic mode frequently. I've  spent hours in my prayer journal. I'm so glad I have that. It is my light of hope in this darkness. Each night I've fallen asleep, singing a song of comfort, but each morning I awaken, back in the same state of shock. 

Last night, I I turned to my blog. I was trying to find the words to write a plead to Jesus. But first, I read my last blog post, God Is Able. What sweet joy that brought my soul! God Is Able. I fell asleep last night repeating these words over and over again. 

God Is Able
Above All
God Is Able

For the first time this week, I woke up in peace. God Is Able.

My problem still looms before me, but it doesn't feel so hopeless now. Exceedingly, Abundantly, Above All, I know that God has this. I want to bottle this feeling and hold on to it forever.

Jesus is my constant comfort though this storm and I know He will guide me to calmer waters. And I know that His miracle is going to go Exceeding, Abundantly, Above All I can even imagine. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

God Is Able

I just read an amazing book "God Is Able" by Priscilla Shirer. I ordered it in the mail earlier this week and it came yesterday. The second I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. As in: I almost skipped dinner to keep reading it, but instead I stayed up 2+ hours past by bedtime, just so I could finish it.

The book is based on Ephesians 3:20-21.

Read it again. 

Now read it slowly.

Let it sink in.

(Its okay, I had to read it a few times too.)

God Is Able.

I wish I could buy a copy of the book for everyone I know. The least I can do is share some of my thoughts here.

We all have an IT thing in our life. An IT that we don't think we can get past. An IT we think we can never heal from. Each one of us has an IT. I started the book because I have a huge IT right now and I can't see how to fix it. I decided to write a list of my IT's. I was too scared to write the big one down first, so I started with a few others. 

I have a lot of IT's. Once I started writing them down, I couldn't stop. I then spent the rest of the book realizing that my IT's are nothing compared to my GOD. God who is all powerful. God who is all knowing. God who is always faithful. God who goes exceedingly, abundantly, above all!

Exceedingly, abundantly, above all. I loved how Priscilla Shirer said God goes beyond beyondness. What you hope for, God can do even more so, far than you or I could ever imagine. 

But I also noticed that the scripture doesn't say immediately. Sometimes, it takes time. Sometimes, He has a big plan in place and you can't see it yet. But don't stop waiting patiently on God. He is always at work. He created the galaxies, your problems are nothing to Him.

I couldn't help but think about a few of my recent blessings from God. Last fall, while walking with a friend, we found a kitten. I immediately picked him up and within seconds I had named him Blue. We had been content with just Zipper & Gaby, but immediately Blue became a part of the family. 

Six short months later Zipper passed away. I was heartbroken. But as I was praying last night, it all clicked together. Right after we found Blue, Zipper started to get sick. I took him to one vet, but they brushed it off. A few months later, I took him to another vet and that is when we learned his time was short.

When I found Blue, I had not idea how much I would need him. But God did. God knew I was going to have to say goodbye to Zipper and that my heart would break. In His loving care, He gave me Blue as my comfort for these lonely nights. I couldn't see that until now, but God always knew.

This spring I had another big IT in my life. I felt like I had hit a wall with my schooling and I was ready to give up, or at the least take a break. But I felt like if I did that, I wouldn't go back. God opened some doors and helped with a few things, but I was still in a slump. As I started the summer semester, I kept thinking, "I can't do this." I would also think about calling the college and dropping my classes.

But each time, something got in the way. I'd go a few days and then think about it again. And again, something would get in the way and I'd forget to call. Finally, I reached (what I thought) was a breaking point. I was going to take the summer off and then see how I felt in the fall. As I was driving down the road, I dialed the college and asked what I needed to do to drop my courses for the summer.

I had literally missed the drop deadline by 12 hours! If I had called the day before, I would've been able to drop my courses and get my full tuition back. But like always, something came up and I didn't get the chance to call. I wasn't willing to loose my tuition, so I decided to push through and stay in my classes.

And you know what? This has ended up being not only an easier semester, but also a fun one. I was so caught up in everything else, that I couldn't realize that. But God knew! He knew I would later regret quitting. Even though I still don't know what I would have done come fall semester, God knew and I know that He did everything so I could keep going. God knew that when I did eventually get around to this class, I would end up loving it. God knew that I would find the time to work hard. 

I still have several IT's in my life, but suddenly, they don't seem so impossible. I  have no idea how God will handle them, but I know He will.

I still have my list of IT's, but suddenly they don't seem so big because I know God Is Able. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Be Still

When the Israelites left Egypt, the Pharaoh changed his mind about letting them go. Exodus 14:7 says that he took 600 of his best chariots and boldly chased after them.

The Israelites were in a tight spot. They had an army closing in on them from behind and a sea looming before them. They had no where to go. For all appearances, they were doomed.

But then in Exodus 14:13 Moses told them "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today." and in verse 14 he tells them to stand still. "The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

Can you imagine the fear?

The panic?

The chaos?

And what does Moses say?

Be at peace, stay calm, be still. The LORD will fight for you.

Such simple words.

Be still.

Stay calm.

Do nothing.

The LORD will fight for you.

Help me to remember there is no problem beyond your loving care. You are GOD and there is absolutely nothing you can't do.  Any attempt I would try to make would be worthless in comparison to your great power. Don't let me doubt when things feel hopeless, but instead let me put my trust in you. The enemy may come at me from every angle, but you, God, are all powerful. You split the Red Sea to save your people. You will do the same for me. The enemy may attack, but I hold fast in you. Jesus, I will stand still and let you fight this battle for me. I know you will show up and do a mighty and great thing.  Lord, I will stand still and let you fight my battles for me. Your name be ever praised.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

To Everything There is a Season

Lately, I've struggled with some changes that I felt needed to take place. I've tried, but it's still been hard to find a a balance. I wanted things to change, without any action on my part. I've gone back and forth many times. But in the end, it's been about choosing my husband and God.

It's been hard because this is something that was not only a big part of my life, but also a huge part in my journey that led me to Jesus. So to turn my back, it felt like a betrayal to me. But I guess that's the thing, I want to point my family towards Jesus and when things feel like they are trying to pull myself, or my husband away, it's time to put some distance between those things and us. 

God has done so much to help, but still I've resisted. I've prayed and cried for there to be another answer, but each time I've heard God say, "This is what is best for you and Josh right now. Trust me; it will all work out." 

Last night, as I once again prayed for a different answer, I read Ecclesiastes, chapter 3. 

I believe God is telling me it's okay to let go. It served its purpose and I will always be grateful. But sometimes the things that were once good, instead become something that holds us back. Its hard, and it hurts, but I'm trusting God that it will all work out for the best. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Finding Peace During the Pain - Saying Goodbye to Zipper

These past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time on my knees, seeking the peace of God.

On March 26th, I took my cat Zipper to the vet because I thought he was diabetic. Instead, I was given the devastating news that his kidney's were failing, and his days were numbered. They recommend switching his diet in order to buy some time. They were optimistic he would still be with us for a few months.

Zipper joined our family right as we started our infertility journey. At first, we thought he was a girl and we named him Hope. When the vet corrected us, that he was indeed a boy, we changed his name. From the time he came into our home, he was my baby and I was his momma. We shared a bond that I have never experienced with my other pets.

The next week, his condition continued to worsen. Again, I found myself at the vet asking what else I could try. I just wanted some more time with my baby boy. We tried an IV, and experienced slight success. The next night, while saying my prayers, he started to purr. He'd hadn't purred in weeks. God honored my prayer to have just one more night where he felt like my baby boy again.

Sadly, our time with Zipper was cut short. Instead of months, we were only given 3 weeks. Saturday his condition worsened drastically and we knew the end was near. We went to bed Saturday, thinking he would leave during the night.

Sunday morning, he was still with us, but in a lot of pain. I was in near hysterics. I couldn't find the words to pray, so instead I asked my husband to pray. He tried to get out of it by saying he didn't feel comfortable praying because he feels like he doesn't do it correctly, but I told him to just speak to God.

It was the most beautiful prayer my husband has ever prayed. Immediately, I felt the peace of God wash over me and I knew everything would be okay.

That afternoon, I felt like Zipper was still hanging on, that he didn't want to leave. But watching him in pain was breaking my heart. Again, I went to God and begged Him to receive my Zipper into his loving arms. To give him peace. Again, I felt the love and peace of God wash over me. I felt like I needed to walk away so Zipper could let go.

As I sat on the couch with my husband, suddenly our newest cat, Blue, jumped up and started loving on us. I know it was at that moment God welcomed my cat home. Blue has been one of His blessing in disguises through this ordeal. When I brought him home last fall, I thought I was nuts to take on a 3rd cat. But I believe God knew I would need him at this time.

Zipper isn't a cat that will be easily replaced. We have Gaby, but she is the kind of cat that prefers to be on her own. God, in his loving kindness, knew I would need a cat that would cuddle with me over the next few lonely nights. He also knew I wouldn't be able to open my heart to a new addition after Zipper's death, so he sent us Blue before the trial.

I know to some, that a cat isn't anything special, But to me, he really was my baby. How grateful I am to God for his love and peace during this time. He truly does comfort us at all times and in all things. We just need to ask Him for his peace and then let Him do the rest.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

My Testimony at Women's Ministry

A few months ago, I was asked if I would share my testimony at Women's Ministry in April This is what I shared.

I love the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15. Have you ever felt like the lost son? Or have you ever felt like the older son? I have felt like both, so bear with me as I tell the story in a different order.

Luke 15: 25-29

25: "Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 

26: And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.

27: And he said to him. 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.'

28: But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.

29: but he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;"

For years, I felt like the older son. I was a good kid growing up. And for the most part, I was a well behaved teenager. I got good grades. I went to church every week. I was married according to the traditions of the church I was a part of it. In my mind, I did it all right. For all appearances, I had a firm foundation, in my religion.

So when life got difficult, I couldn't understand what I had done wrong. As we started down our path of infertility, I often found myself asking why? When someone close to me found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy, I struggled. I asked God, "I did everything right. Why did she get my reward?"

Like the older son, I felt betrayed. And just like the older son, I missed out on the enjoyment of a new nephew because I was too caught up in my pride. I kept crying about how unfair it was, how I had been wronged.

Right around this time is also when we decided to pursue adoption. For years, we poured our hearts and souls into adoption. Eventually, we met a beautiful young girl and she choose us to adopt her little girl. But then, half way through her pregnancy, she decided to choose another couple.

Again, I cried out like the older son. I had waited patiently. I had continued to follow my religion. Why was I not being rewarded for my efforts? Looking back, I can now see that I was strong in my religion, but I had not built my foundation on the rock of Jesus.

After our adoption fell through, I went through the motions of church. I was there, but I wasn't. I hated Sunday because it meant putting on a smile and pretending that everything was okay. I remember the last Sunday I went. The topic was how families could be together, but only if they were sealed according to that religions teachings. I remember thinking, how can that even work? Our baby is gone forever. What about divorced families? What about families blended families? What about broken families? Over time, I would realize, God isn't like that. God is too loving. He would never separate families. We went home that Sunday and I told my husband I didn't want to go back.

This is when I became the younger son. I'm not saying I took all my wealth and started a life of drinking and loose living. But I did turn my back on my Father and I went the other way. I told myself I didn't need God. I could handle life on my own. Without the pressure of religion, I thought I was happy.

Thankfully, it didn't take me hitting rock bottom and eating with the swine to change my mind. Honestly, I'm not even sure what it was. A yearning stirred within my heart and continued to grow. I knew I could go back to the religion I had grown up in, but I wanted something more. My heart was seeking Jesus.

But also, I was scared. I had only ever known one church and I didn't know how to venture out and find another. But my yearning continued to grow until I could no longer ignore it. How grateful I am for a loving God that never stops loving his children.

Eventually, I expressed this desire to a friend. She told me to just pick a church and go. If I didn't like it, try another one. But I still hesitated. Finally, she told me she would go with me.

My first week, I wasn't sure what I thought. It was so different from what I had grown up with. But a good different. I must have felt something, because I kept coming back. Within a few weeks, I had fallen in love. When I'm here, I can tell that this is a group of people chasing after God and He is running towards them. I no longer hated Sunday's, but looked forward to them.

Luke 15: 20 "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him."

God never gave up on me. He never stopped looking for my return.

I've had several awe moments since then, but my Noel is my favorite. At that time, I wrote the following:

A few weeks ago, they had their ladies Christmas party. I decided it would be fun to go. I was thrilled to walk in and see an old Jr. High School friend there. She hadn't been there for a few weeks, so I hadn't seen her yet. We had dinner, played bingo, did a gift exchange and there was a message shared that night.

The pastor's wife was the one to share the message. She talked about the first Noel. She talked about how it means birthday, most importantly, Christ's birthday. But then she went on to share how we can all have a Noel in our hearts. I left that night with the realization that I did not have a Noel of Jesus in my heart.

I had been reading a book the pastor had given me, "More Than a Carpenter," by Josh D. McDowell and Sean McDowell. As a college student, Josh McDowell claimed that Jesus wasn't really a God. His friends challenged him to study it out and prove it. During his studies, he learned that he was wrong. Most of the book focuses on his research. It was good, but still, I hadn't felt what I had hoped to feel.

Sunday morning, before church, I finished the book. The last few chapters were the best part. It helped me realize its okay to let go of my pride. To admit that I can't do this on my own. I need to open my heart back up to God and let Him love me the way He wants to love me.

I finished the book just in time to head to church. As I was getting ready, I realized I was EXCITED to go. It wasn't about responsibility or guilt making me feel like I needed to go church; it was something I WANTED to do. These past few weeks, I have felt a calmness come over me. Sunday has become my favorite day. Attending this church rejuvenates my soul so I can face the next week. It has made me want to be a better person.

This Sunday, the service was amazing. I loved how one lady put it when I introduced myself. They preach Jesus: about His word, His grace and His love. In the middle of the service, the lady that has really taken me under her wing, suddenly asked me if I had a bible. When I told her I didn't, she went and got one just for me. She is one of those people that you can tell she loves Jesus and she wants to help others realize that He loves everyone. She has treated me like a dear friend from the second I met her. 

During the sermon, the pastor had us stand, close our eyes and repeat a prayer after him. It was about turning ourselves towards Jesus. By the end, I was bawling, begging God to forgive me for my stubbornness. For trying to take Him out of my life. I told Him I forgave Him for the injustice I felt had been dealt to me, but really, it was about forgiving myself. 

That was my Noel moment.

It wasn't a Heavenly chorus singing. It wasn't a trumpet going off.

It was a soft whisper of Him telling me He loves me.

Luke 15:20 "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." I am still in love with this moment. I can remember exactly where I was standing when I felt the love of Jesus wash over me.

I don't care what you have done in your life. All you need is Jesus. I could go on and on, but that's what it comes down to. Once you give your heart to Jesus, He takes care of everything else. Giving my heart to Him was the easiest and the hardest thing I have ever done.

When I opened my heart to God, I had to let Him clean out all the junk. All the pain. And I had a lot of pain. We tried for over 10 years to become parents. For years, I told myself I was okay; I was, to a point. But there was still some things I had pushed down into the dark places. I thought I could ignore them and they would go away. Its not like I was haunted, but I know I wasn't 100%. But God took care of that.

Sometimes trust and healing in Jesus come all at once, but sometimes it has be to handled piece by piece. Let me share a few more of my awe moments.

When we decided to no longer pursue adoption, we knew that meant the end of trying to become parents. The chances of us becoming pregnant on our own, are nearly impossible. But we made that decision because we were ready to move on with our lives. And I was okay with it. Well, for the most part.

But then my past revisited me. I had to come face to face with my infertility and come to full terms with it. I had someone close to me trying to get pregnant after taking previous medical actions to pretty much end their baby making abilities. This haunted me, day and night. Those deep things I had pushed down came roaring back up. I knew once I dealt with it, I would be fine. I just needed to face my demons. I thought I needed to do it on my own. I remember telling my friends and my husband, I needed to deal with it. How wrong I was.

Let me share again from my past writing: This was last fall when the Vernal group invited us over to join them. Mary Bondi spoke and then took time to pray with each of us that choose to come up.

Last week, I was finally able to let go. It was the hardest and easiest thing I have ever done. Standing there, before God, I was so scared to let go. I don't like giving up control. But truth is, I've never been in control.

I've spent months telling myself it doesn't matter. I've spent months stalking and trying to figure out things before they even happen. I've lost sleep over something that hadn't even happened. I couldn't take it anymore.

So I gave it to God. I gave him my doubts about the situation. I gave up the pain and the fear. I trust Him. He is in control and things will work out exactly like they are supposed to. If I keep holding on, it will just make it harder. But by giving it to God, I know I can do this.

The instant I gave it to God, I felt such peace and love. God knows me better than I know myself. The last few weeks, I would start each morning telling myself that day would be different. I wouldn't dwell on it. But by noon, I would be obsessing. Each night, I felt like I had let down not only myself, but also God. But the next day would be the same.

I was praying for strength, but I was still holding onto the pain. Once I let go of the pain, I was scared it would leave a void in my heart and soul and I would just take the pain back. So I continued to pray for God to fill that void. And He did. I have a peace inside me that I never thought I would have.

Some days, I have to turn it over to God again. But I do it before I can even let it back in. Even if I have to do it everyday, its worth it for the peace I have found.

When I gave it to God, he healed me completely. All the pain, all the ugliness, all of it. I wish there was a way to tell you how wonderful it was. But until you experience it yourself, you just can't quite understand. During that moment, I had my fist clenched as I was bawling, begging God to take my pain. I remember Mary saying, "Let it go. Its okay. Open your hands and give it to God." Even then, I still was stubborn for a few more moments and I continued to squeeze my fist. But after she urged me again, I did just that. I opened my hands and lifted them up. Immediately, I felt my pain leave and it was replaced with the love of God. His peace rushed in filled my heart, filled my soul. In that moment, I was healed.

A few weeks later, I went to the Woman's Retreat. I had actually hoped to seek God's peace over my infertility. I hadn't counted on being healed the month before. So during the worship time, I was hanging at the back of the room, just enjoying the light of Jesus that was there in that room. Its in those moments of praise that God speaks to you.

Clear as day I heard God  quote from Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans that I have for you," God knew about my infertility and He knew how our adoption would end. God knew it would hurt, but He needed us to help her. In that moment, I heard God tell me our adoption had gone exactly like He had planned. It was like the last hole in my heart was healed. It wasn't something we did that made her changer her mind. God always had it planned that way. Suddenly, it was all okay. Everything went exactly as God planned it all those years ago when we tried to adopt.

I could go on and on about how Jesus has changed my life over the last year and a half. In Him I have found joy, healing, peace. I treasure these moments often. And I try to write them down, when they are fresh, so I never forget. I've started a prayer journal that I take nearly everywhere with me. Inside it I have some of my favorite scriptures, prayers that friends have sent to me and prayers for my friends and family. Even on the worst of days, I can open my book and after only reading a few pages, I am lifted up.

So here is my prayer for you ladies.

Lord, you know every heart here. You know our joys, but you also know our pains. We've tried for so long to heal on our own, but we can never seem to find that ultimate peace. God, we come to you now and ask you to give us your peace and healing. Wash over us with your love. Jesus, help us to give up the burdens we carry and give them to you so that we may find your rest. Jesus, we praise you because you are the ultimate healer from all pains and sins. We come to you now, seeking you Jesus, so that your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds, in this we trust, Amen.

Friday, March 4, 2016

God is near the broken hearted

Its been a week where I have prayed for a miracle. For comfort. For peace. For understanding. There were several moments when all I could pray was  "please Jesus."

My heart is so heavy today. I'm so glad I have the comfort of God to see me through. The peace in knowing that my friend is now in the glory of God. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Personal Invitation

This month, Roosevelt Christian Assembly is doing invite a friend to church.  But I want to spread this invite to the world. If you don't have a church family, find one. Open your phone book and choose one. Go for a few weeks. If it doesn't feel like a good fit, then try another one.

How many of us drive past church houses every day, but never stop to go inside one? I drive by 4 different denominations almost daily. When I did decided to find a church, that was my plan. Try one for a few weeks. If it didn't feel right, go try another one. But I know the spirit led me to where I needed to be.
A big part of it has been that I feel like its home to me. I feel like a part of this large family. But most importantly, I can feel God there. On a cold December day, on the 2nd row, I forgave God, and myself, for all the hurt of the previous years. On a beautiful June afternoon, I entered the waters of baptism and gave my heart to God. 

I could tell you how happy I am.
How much I love it. 
How God completely healed my broken infertility heart.
How I am a new person in Christ.
He has done huge things in my heart and life and I know He's not done yet. 
But I don't want to be that kind of annoying friend.

Instead, come see for yourself what Christ can do for you. You will be amazed at how He will change your life, once you let Him. He's just waiting for you to make a move.
We meet on Sunday's at 10:30. They have a nursery and children's church. If you don't live in this area, I think most churches have a sign that state what times they meet. 

I could go on and on about how much my life has changed because of Jesus, but instead, I want to share it with you, so you too can be made new in Christ.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jesus is My Foundation

Oh Jesus, wash over me with your love. Left me up to your presence. Hold me Jesus. Hold me.

Jesus, my foundation is built on you. I stand on your word in Matthew 7: 24-25.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it have been founded on the rock."

God, the storm may blow against me, and the sea may beat upon me, but I stand firm in you. You are my rock and you will not let me fall.

Flood me with your presence Jesus. Overwhelm me with your love.

Jesus, I praise you, for you are always faithful and unfailing. I trust your word. I love you Jesus.

Jesus, I praise your strength. You are all mighty and all powerful. With you, nothing can shake me.

God, I give you my heart. Take this struggle from me. Let me find rest in your glory. Give me the everlasting peace you speak of in Philippians 4:6-7.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

Grant me your peace God. Wash over me with your love. I seek for your peace. I praise you for your love.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Peace of God

So many times, I want to tell people, "You need Jesus."

Feeling lost and alone? You need to find Jesus.

Are you hurting so much you think you will drown? Reach out to Jesus.

When the guilt is too much, give it to Jesus.

I don't mean to sound self righteous. Because here is the truth.

I need Him too.

Every breath that I take, I need Him.

Every moment of every day, I need Him.

He sustains me during the hard times. He carries me during the dark times. He is my joy and my rock.

That's why I'm trying to help people see. Once you give it to Jesus, its not so hard. 

I wish the one thing I could get my friends and family to understand is the love and peace of Christ.

Philippians 4:7 has quickly become one of my favorite scriptures. 

It almost seems too simple. 
The Peace of God. 
The Love of God. 
The Strength of God.

Once you have that, nothing can shake you. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Come As You Are

The church I attend, Roosevelt Christian Assembly, has a great motto: Come As You Are. I've always loved that I don't feel the need to dress up to fit in. If I come in my blue jeans, I fit right in. Some do where dresses and ties, but most people just come as they normally would to any other outing. 

I've thought about this a lot lately. This motto really covers more than the way you dress. 

Come As You Are
Don't dress up. Don't cover the fact that you aren't perfect. Don't pretend to be something you aren't. 

Come as you are.  
No need to cover the sins and the scars, Christ will take care of that. 

Come as you are. 
Don't worry about fixing yourself, let Jesus do that for you. Any changes you try to make on your own won't stick. But with the blood of Jesus, He can wash everything away and make you new. 

Come as you are. 
Jesus is waiting for you to reach out to Him. Trust me, He will catch you the instant you do. 

Come as you are.  
That's what Christ wants. He wants YOU. Bumps, bruises, the whole mess. 

Don't believe me? Read the bible. Jesus sought out those who needed healing. He healed the blind and raised the dead. He forgave the sins of those who came to Him. 

Come as you are. 
Don't wait until you can put on a happy face, while pushing the pain down. 

Come as you are. 
Let Christ take that pain from you. 

Come as you are. You are weak, but He is strong.

Come as you are. 
Because that is how He created you. You were made in His image.

Come as you are. 
Don't wait until the timing feels perfect, because the time is now. 

Come as you are.