Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Stranger and A Soulmate

Last night I left the house to pick up my son from work with tears streaming down my face and sobs drowning out the sound of the radio. I was just tired. Tired of life. Tired of pain. Tired of the ongoing frustrations and disappointments that continue to come that can't be controled. 

As I pulled up to a stop light, I could barely contain the flood of tears. I put my head down on the steering wheel and waited for the light to turn green. A few minutes later,  as I pulled up in front of the movie theater to pick up my son, I was startled when I heard a tap at my window. I turned to find a woman staring at me.  

As I rolled down the window,  she looked at me and asked if I was okay and if there was anything she could do for me. I had no clue where she had come from but I looked at her and said no but thank you. I explained to her that life is simply hard at the moment. That there's really not much that can be done other than simply taking one step at a time. She in turn looked at me and said, "just know that you are loved and I will be praying for you." With that she walked away. 

I don't know who she was or if I will ever see her again on this side of Heaven, but in that moment I was convinced that she was a Divine appointment. A moment of God making Himself known and reminding me that I'm never alone.

My husband and I have been reading through the book, Facing the Giants by Max Lucado and just yesterday the chapter we read was on Jonathan and David. It talked about the idea of a soulmate and the way God provided us a soulmate through Jesus. That He's always there for us, will never disappoint or hurt us but will love us and walk with us through the most difficult times. 

I couldn't help but think that maybe that woman was a reminder that no matter how hard life is Jesus is always right there.  And that even in the midst of tremendous hurt or trials He is still there creating something good for His glory in the most beautiful of ways!

Friday, December 29, 2017


The screams. The threats. The insults. Each one pierces our heart leaving our heart shattered and broken. The sting of betrayal that flows so easily from the lips that once confessed an undying love perpetuates an ongoing battle to understand love.

Why are we so unworthy of being loved? What is so wrong with us that respect can’t be granted? What have we done that has earned us this kind of treatment to the one we’ve given our heart?

The tears stream. The cries and sobs continue through the night as we lay in the darkness searching for the smallest glimpse of daylight.

How did we get here? The questions flood our mind. Are you angry with us God? What can we do differently to make it end? How do we make him happy? How do we make him love us?  How do we make it stop?

But before our questions go any further, daylight comes.  There is  a voice, a soft whisper. It is a voice so kind, so gentle yet so overwhelming that it shakes us to our very core. A voice that shouts love with reassurance and hope. A voice that reminds us of our worth and purpose. A voice that has claimed us and protects us. A voice that brings justice and truth to the broken and discarded. A voice that draws us in and quiets our hurting hearts. It is a voice that sings over us with great amounts of love and acceptance. A voice that quiets our fears and gives us the strength to press on and stand tall. This voice claims us as His own, His daughter, His treasure. We may not be seen or treated that way by some but the God of the universe loves us, has claimed us, redeemed us and called us by name. And it is His love alone that will heal and comfort our broken hearts and envelop us in peace!    

For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Not my plan...but His.

Disclaimer: This post is based solely on my life experience.  This is my perspective from what I knew and witnessed.  This will not be the experience of every individual living in the sales world but this was mine and God has used this experience to reveal Himself to me by choosing this particular avenue as a means to shift my perspective.  

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts”, says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.ft
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways and
my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

I spent years in the sales world.  It is a business that I do not care much for and struggle to accept.  A few months ago, when my husband quit his job to start a sales job, I felt hopeless and angry.  It was a world I did not want to reenter.  After twenty years spent in that world, a world of numbers, dollars signs, crazy hours, dishonesty and manipulation all at the expense of family and integrity, I did not want to go back. 

This was not the plan I had in mind.  I did not understand why it felt like God, once again, had let me down and left me alone.  I was struggling.  Life was already hard, and it was as if He continued to pile on the difficult faster than I could even wrap my head around what was happening. But as usual, He knew what He was doing and as I sat back and patiently tried waiting to see where He was going to take me, I found myself filled with delight.

Life does not ever go as planned.  Ever.  And I am learning that my plans are truly less than spectacular compared to the faithfulness that arises out of the goodness that comes from trusting God’s plan.  His ways are much greater because He is so much wiser. If I trust Him to unwind the obstacles of life instead of trying to unravel the ball of yarn myself, what He will create is far beyond anything I could possibly put together on my own.

Over the last few weeks, I have seen God use my husband to change my perspective and show me the opportunities that are available to serve and act with integrity. As my husband has put his faith into action before the dollar sign and the numbers game,  I have watched him walk out his faith by sitting down with a young woman lost in addiction to share the gospel and buying her a bible instead of pushing a sale.  I have watched him choose to put his family, his marriage first by choosing not to work weekends and to be home every day when I get home from work at the expense of not getting that extra appointment.  By sitting with me in an emergency room and taking care of me all day on a day when his plans were to work.  To watch him make our marriage his priority and through that choice, seeing God bless his work while strengthening a marriage that was weak and imploding under the crushing weight of difficult circumstances has allowed for a complete perspective change.

Knowing that each day, my husband prays for someone to share the gospel with and looks for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus which means not always getting “the numbers” inspires me.  Striving to fulfill big worldly dreams isn't at the top of our priority list.  Because of our life experiences, our hearts are set toward people and sharing the hope that we have found in Jesus by offering encouragement and love to those God places in our path.  It is an incredible thing to witness my husband do that daily and through it, God blessing us by providing all we need while strengthening our home and our marriage. However, I will add, that it does not mean we are free of struggles but it does mean we are becoming stronger together to overcome those struggles. 

Little did I know how different this world, the sales world, could be.  By simply making God the first priority and our marriage a priority before a job, and realizing it is more important to share the gospel than to sell something, everything is falling into place.  Little by little, we are figuring this life out together. Learning the importance of trusting God’s goodness when we do not always understand His plan. There is definitely a learning curve, but He is gracious and kind and continues to draw us to Him as we seek Him above the distractions of this world.  Trusting God’s plan is not always easy but His plan never fails.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Out of the fiery furnace

One of the stories I loved as a kid,  back in the days of Sunday school,  was the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3). It was one of those stories that allowed me to visualize the amazingness of God as I imagined three men walking into a big fiery furnace and surviving. It was such an awesome and powerful story. But as a kid, it was all about the fiery furnace.

It wasn’t until the adventures of adulthood that I began to see a different part of the story. The part of the story where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego make a bold statement before the king.

You see within this story these three men refuse the command of King Nebuchadnezzar to bow down to another god and so the king then commands that they be tied up and thrown into a fiery furnace for not complying. And that is when the grand move is made and these three men take a stand and proclaim that God could deliver them from the furnace but even if He chose not to deliver them, He is still good. What a powerful statement in the face of death. This story brings such clarity and a perspective change.

Sometimes we find ourselves thinking our life circumstances are so horrific that there is no chance of survival. It appears that the darkness seems to consume everything around us. The pain seems too great to handle. And in those moments of desperation it is easy to lose sight of God.

I know for myself personally, I find myself questioning God. Asking Him why. Why is this happening? Questioning His purpose and His plan. Unable to look ahead to the bigger picture. But I believe that those moments are simply part of our humanity which leads to the development of greater faith. Because it is in those weak moments where He reveals himself in the strongest ways. Where He reaches out His hand and reminds us of exactly who He is and what He is capable of doing. Just like He did for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they walked out of that fiery furnace. And just like those three men, God is with us, standing beside us and waiting to walk out of the fiery furnace with us (Deuteronomy 31:6). It simply requires trust and surrender.

Now as simple as that all sounds, it doesn’t mean we won’t have those moments of weakness where we doubt His goodness. Where we doubt His plan. But thankfully, even in our doubt, He doesn’t desert us. Instead, He is always there waiting. Patiently waiting for us to take His hand as He too leads us out of that fiery furnace.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Expose the dark places

Last week I shared a story. I shared a part of our story. I woke up Monday morning feeling weary and defeated. The nudging of the Holy Spirit prompting me to write, to be open and to share. His voice was so strong and not something I could ignore. He was asking me to expose the dark places that have become a part of our life. To be real. Because it is only when we are willing to expose the dark places that God’s light can begin to heal and restore.

Being real is never an easy thing to do. However, when darkness is beginning to consume all those things around you, sometimes the only thing left is to reach out to those who will listen and to ask for prayer.

It’s an amazing thing that happens when we respond to the nudging of the Holy Spirit and choose to listen to His voice and trust His prompting, even when it’s scary and difficult. When we obey, He begins to work in ways that can change the entire direction of our life.

Little did I know when I shared our story on Monday that by Thursday my world would be yet rocked once again. That at 6:45 in the morning, I would awaken to discover a secret that would totally change my world. But God knew.

You see the day I shared our story a friend recommended a book which I immediately ordered and began to read. The words found within the first few pages began to calm my spirit and minister to my heart. The more I read the more I could feel God’s presence and the Holy Spirit speaking to me. The encouragement that came through the realization of not only sharing our stories but being authentic was timely.

We all are going through something and we each have the ability to help others when we’re real with people. But not only that when we share we give room for the Holy Spirit to begin to work miraculously in our own life.

You see, Thursday morning when I discovered this secret, my initial reaction would have been to run. It would have been to give up and go the other way completely. But God knew what my Thursday was going to look like and He provided a way (through a friend and a book) to prepare me for what was about to happen. Through the tears and the darkness, His still small voice screamed into my heart, “I am here! Trust Me!” He knew and had already prepared the way for me. His peace consumed my heart which allowed me to trust and move ahead.

You see it’s easy to get caught up in the cries of darkness found in this world. To surround ourselves with people who would rather tell us that we should give up or stay silent. It’s easy to hide in shame or to pretend like hard things don’t happen. And often times we don’t want to share with others because of our own shame or the guilt we feel for our own sins, but when we stay silent we leave little room for God to move.

Last week was just another reminder of how amazing and good God is. How He provides for us in ways that, in the moment, we may not understand. But oh how undeniable His awesomeness when we are able to look back and see His hand and know that everything is going to be okay because He is always there!

We live in a world that attempts to silence God. Where people discourage us from sharing our stories and attempt to shame us from being authentic. But use your voice and don’t be afraid to share! We serve a great God who is able to do far more than what we can comprehend and this world needs to hear it!