Thursday, December 19, 2013

Moving to KC-Part 1

Why we moved to KC-Part one

I have broken this into two blogs, because I believe every detail is important. Every detail shows Gods handiwork. I will highlight words that I need you to keep in mind, for these are the very signs that God SPOKE & SHOWED us. 

"I know the plans I have for you, "Declares The Lord. "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, but to bring you Hope and a Future." JEREMIAH 29:11

Not sure why this still surprises me... After everything I could possibly go through... This has become the scripture that has most attached itself to my heart. He knows the plans... And if I Were to reread the book "Love Connection." It's apparent that He plans things in ADVANCE, not on a whim. He doesn't just one day decide to fly by the seat of his pants and throw something my way. He knows the plans. He has them laid out. But... There's another side to this. We have the ability to CHOOSE to walk in them. 

Needless to say, Austin and I had been considering moving for a while. We felt like we had outgrown Springfield, like we needed to abandon the nest.  So knowing God is a Planning God, let me take you back. 

When I first met Austin, we always talked about our dreams and our future. We talked about things that were ideas... That we felt like could happen if we just believed. I trust in His dreams and he trusts in mine... Which is why we fit together so perfectly.  

The first time I ever got super excited for his music and him super excited for my future book, God had told us that there would be road blocks, literally and figuratively. We were driving in the car on the way to Austin's house when we were having this conversation and  we came up on a corner that had orange cones placed across it. Now I am no "expert" on these cones being there, but it was a God thing. Someone had literally placed them there for no reason, but as a prank. They served no purpose, but Austin and I knew someone would get hurt if we left them there, so we moved them off and set them on the side of the road. (It was obvious it was someone messing around, or we wouldn't have moved them)  but God came to us VERY CLEAR... AND SAID AGAIN "THERE WILL BE ROADBLOCKS, BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO STEP OUT OF YOUR CAR AND MOVE THEM." 

Yes, our dreams... They have had roadblocks. It hasn't been all easy and we haven't just cruised along. We have had to continually get out of our "car" out of where we are comfortable to GET UP, STAND UP, & move them.  This was the first time I had felt empowered by God asking me to get involved and telling me that my dreams were possible if I was willing to fight for them, if I was willing to persevere. 

After that, Austin and I dated and continued to talk about dreams and ideas... Our hopes and our expectations. One night after an evening out, we went to Jordan ValleyPark and like little hoodlums we climbed onto a nearby roof. We chatted more about Jesus and the road ahead. In this time, we looked across the way and a building stood tall with the name COOPER on it. We laughed and we speculated. Maybe COOPER would be our first babies name. :) I always talk about babies, so this was no different. I wanted the season to eventually turn into marriage and babies. 

Which, fortunately for us... We did get married. (No babies.....yet) Austin proposed to me that summer (2012) in Florida and we were supposed to be married the summer of 2013. But In OCTOBER, God spoke again very clearly that we were to be married in December, so we moved our entire wedding up 7 months!  Everyone came together and God provided everything-- more than enough. It was gorgeous. 

That next month, I worked a lot, but God came to me again and said "Write down your vision." (Habakkuk 2:3) So, I wrote down that I wanted to write Love Connection and have it done by Mother's Day. Which got me into high gear... Writing every free moment I had. On top of being a newly wed, we were both focused on making our dreams possible. Austin had written down that he wanted to make a mixtape. Which neither of us would have been focused on these things IF we would have been focused on a wedding that summer. 

Instead, we were focused on God and HIS PLANS. We fasted and prayed and by July 2013 instead of a wedding, our book "Love Connection" was published and Austin's first mixtape was out. (Of course that wouldn't have been possible without the participation of Jamie Ward, my birth sons MAMA.) 

With Love Connection on a roll, I called a ton of places to get speaking engagements for us and then FINALLY got a response from a few different places... Although not the ones I expected. I thought that if I wrote the book, God would take it to the top of books overnight or that it would be a best seller... He was moving on my behalf, but I wasn't as thankful as I should have been in the season that I was in...Instead I was invited to a broke chains concert in Lebanon, Mo. Which, I assumed would be small and not very significant. I honestly was ignorant and had no idea what I was getting myself into. 

Austin and I packed up our books (this is a story in itself, 200 books were bought for us by a man named Cory Mauck who runs the Zimbabwe Orphan program) and we went to the concert. When we got there it was awkward, all the women had on long skirts and I had on jeans. Which, sounds lame, but I felt out of place. We set up our little table of books and we set our sign out that said the books price. The people around us were giving away free popcorn, and free drinks, and free snow cones... When a little girl came to our table in an oversized shirt and pants that didn't fit. She asked "are these free." My heart broke when I told her they were 15.00. She walked away and then no one came over to the table for a little while.... Then God told me "put the sign away." I thought, then what was the point of coming...? People began to flood into the park and listen to the music and take advantage of the free popcorn and bounce houses. People stood on stage giving their testimonies, when Jeremy (the pastor) came over to me and asked if I would like to speak. 

I wasn't expecting it, but I told myself I would jump out of my comfort zone so I said yes and jotted down a few things that I wanted to say. After I spoke, a lady came up on stage and said that my books were there. I told her that I would take donations only, but that everyone should have one. 

When I got off the stage, people were already lined up at the table to get books. I hugged them, I cried with them, and I laughed with them as I signed copy after copy. When the crowd cleared... I looked at Austin, Lauren and Ryan (who came to help) as they were all behind the movement. We laughed and began chatting with everyone around us, getting to know their stories. 

Then Gods Spirit rested on the entire park. People began getting baptized right there...When they would come out of the water people began speaking in tongues and God spoke to me, "You have learned that when something is freely given, you too can freely give. I have called you to BREAK CHAINS in my Name." 

This was only the beginning to the great things that God was about to do. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Garden God

He has told you, O Man, what is good;
And what does the Lord REQUIRE of you
but to do justice, to LOVE KINDNESS,
And to WALK HUMBLY with your God? 
Micah 6:8

The bible has a funny way of taking us full circle. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and then.... created Adam and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:7). In this Garden, God walked with Adam, talked with Adam, taught Adam, and was pleased with His creation--His Friend.

He saw that Adam was lonely. How did God notice? Because God was so close to Adam that He KNEW his need. Adam was never documented saying anything about being lonely...but GOD saw it anyway. Adam was HUMBLY walking with God. He didn't have to beg for Him to fix His need. All He had to do was walk close to God. 

So God made Eve. (Genesis 2:18-19) Perfect in every way...just for Adam. However, Adam was not standing with God when Eve brought back the fruit. They were not right next to Him when they ate of it. Even though God was in the same area, they were not RIGHT next to Him... they did not even take a second to ASK him again if it was ok to eat the fruit. God gave them EVERYTHING they could ever want...and yet, their lack of going to Him before eating something He said no to, resulted in them being completely separated from Him. (Genesis 3)

Fast forward. We see that people now have to offer sacrifices to even get within a short distance from Him. That doesn't mean people are WALKING HAND in HAND with Him. It just gives them the ability, to hear Him... but even people can hear God from a distance. They can hear him drawing them close... they can hear him calling their name. Until they walk with God, they will fail. We see it time and time again through the bible. Continuous failings. A high priest had to go and intervene for the people, but the people could not have direct contact with the Lord. 

Then God, being His sovereign and merciful self, sends a Savior. A Savior that will GLORIFY His name. I believe that God misses His people. He wanted to walk with us, just as much as we long to walk with Him. So in Steps Jesus (Luke 2). He is born of a virgin and enters into our world... He brings hope to a people and everyone gathers to see him. He teaches. He instructs. He directs. Up until that day on the cross... and I can only imagine the hopelessness everyone began to feel again as their SAVIOR hung above them... dying.  I am sure they felt just as torn as Adam and Eve did the day that their Father said they must leave. 

This is the really great part though. Instead of being separated. Everything was undone. The curtain was TORN in TWO when JESUS rose from the GRAVE. & then this is where we come full circle. Jesus APPEARS to Mary in the GARDEN. Yes, the GARDEN. I believe this was for a specific reason to show that we again have entered the GARDEN because of His saving grace and resurrection. 

Yes, good news to everyone. Jesus was risen...and He lives. He lives with us... His Holy Spirit is inside of us. Which means, we WALK with God in this GARDEN of life. He is as close to us as ever before. He is no longer at a distance, but right up close...whispering in our ear... talking to us...teaching us... directing our paths... 

This is the God I know. This is the Jesus I know. The one that walks so closely to me that I can hear his voice saying "Take a Step. Walk this way. Enter this land. Read with me. Dine with me. Dance with Me." Yes,  this is the Jesus we should all know. He is our Garden God. He is closer to us than we even know. We no longer will give into Sin when tempted because God will be right by our side saying "don't eat that." He may have already told us that it's wrong...but until we walk with Him hand in hand we will give into Temptation, just like Adam did. 

For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for Good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments.... In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:13-22

This is the God we can count on. This is the God we can rely on. He is talking with us right now. He is sitting right beside us. We are one, reconciled with him because of Jesus. Let our eyes of faith see that He is present and WALK with Him Daily so that we may stand strong when the storms of life try to tear us down. 

I am praying that everyone finds this place... this Garden where we can walk hand in hand with our Lord and fall more in love with Him Daily... 

If we live by the Spirit let us also WALK by the SPIRIT. Galatians 5:25

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Foot Washing (by ELYSE FITZPATRICK )

Here’s the narrative from John 13:

Jesus . . . rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.” . . . When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (John 13:3–1012–15)


Think of it. The high King of heaven condescended to bow before the dirty feet of his friends and wash them. This act of humiliation stands forever as an example of humble love and service. Now, let me ask: Do you think that Jesus was simply instituting another ritual for his followers in washing their feet and telling them to follow his example? Although there probably isn’t anything wrong in having an actual foot-washing service, I think we’re missing the point if we limit our imitation of him to a simple ceremony once every six months or so.

This is the point of what I believe Jesus is teaching us. He has already spiritually cleansed each of his children from their sin. We are “completely clean,” as he said. But why then, if we’re already “completely clean,” would he encourage us to follow his example and wash each other’s feet?

We need to wash one another because as each of us traverses through this world, we are immersed in and subsequently sullied by every kind of sin, unbelief, and idolatry. Sometimes that filth finds a little crevice (or large gaping wound) to incubate in, and if we’re not careful, it can become infected before we know it.


You know, our feet are one of those places that, unless we’re very limber or under the age of five, we can’t really see very well. Not long ago I was taking an evening stroll with a friend on the beach. We were barefoot, and I couldn’t clearly see where I was walking. At some point I stepped on something sharp that felt like a bee sting, and by the time I got back to my car it was itchy and painful. Then, try as I might, I just couldn’t get a good glimpse of it.

Finally, when I returned home, I needed to have Phil take a look. I needed his eyes to help me see what turned out to be a little thorn that I was apparently allergic to. I don’t think it’s inconsequential that Jesus framed this discussion around our feet. We need to wash one another, to carefully probe, cleanse, disinfect, and heal each other, and this isn’t something we can see clearly enough to do on our own. We need the eyes and hands of others.

What’s really delightful about all this is that not only do we help others when we “wash their feet,” but our own souls are helped as well.

If nothing else, our souls are humbled as we experience Christ’s humility, but we are also cleansed in the process. As a biblical counselor, I can personally testify to the hundreds of times I’ve been encouraged, cleansed, convicted, and blessed when I helped someone else with their sin.

What I’m suggesting is that you look at the relationships you have with other believers in a new way. I’m hoping that you have begun to see yourself as an instrument that your Savior will use in your friends’ lives, and that you’ll begin to look for opportunities in which a friend can help you get at that painful, itchy thorn you just can’t see. Because I’m assuming that this might be new in your experience, I’m going to give you some practical suggestions about how to begin to live out gospelized fellowship.


First of all, let me encourage you to start small. Our Savior had twelve disciples, but he also had three close friends and one best friend. Start there. Start with two or three others who are willing to get together for biblical fellowship once a week or so. My guess is that you probably already do get together with your friends fairly frequently. So why not turn this visit, at least part of it, into a time of true biblical fellowship? If you’re very busy with small children or long commutes, then why not commit to talking on the phone at least once a week, with a commitment to visit in person for a couple of hours once a month?

It’s my opinion that this kind of biblical fellowship happens best in small groups that meet regularly during the month. My husband, Phil, and I presently facilitate a small group as part of our church’s communal life where we are primarily focused on speaking into each other’s lives through words of encouragement, correction, accountability, and the open confession of sin. I recognize, however, that most churches, even if they offer small group opportunities, do not structure the groups in this way. So, even if your church doesn’t presently offer this, you could still get together with your friends informally.

If you’re thinking that getting together with friends is what you’ll try to pursue, you could say something like this to them:

This is not primarily a time for us to chat. It is a time to share openly about our sins or temptations to sin, to point one another to our Savior, to speak of our graces and the way that the Lord is growing us. It’s a time for prayer and a time to ask questions about struggles mentioned in the past.

It can happen anywhere: at a coffee house, or in a home, or while taking a walk together. Biblical fellowship doesn’t mean that every single time you get together every one of the objectives must be met, but there should be given time for each and the expectation that something more than a superficial visit will be attempted

Body Building

Jesus is God... And when He walked the earth He was capable of all things! So why did He need 12 disciples? If He could do everything on his own because He was God himself... Why did He need help from 12 people who were outcasts and half the time seemed to never understand Him? 

..... because Jesus was setting an example for us. He wanted to show us the importance of a disciple. He wanted to build the Body of Christ. The body is made up of various parts. So Jesus chose 12 parts that would look to the head and help with the work that needed to be done. He chose 12 parts that were willing to be obedient and even if they didn't understand what they were doing at the time, they had a purpose and they fulfilled many things that the head knew needed to be done. 

Even though the disciples had to learn many hard teachings... They were able to look past their pride and their expectations and look to Jesus. Jesus would constantly have to explain what He meant. Sure, Jesus was Honest..but honesty comes with a price. It offends. It cuts. And often times causes brothers and sisters to get angry. 

The disciples consistently grew angry with what Jesus had to say. But they took it with a grain of salt and they stuck by Jesus' side so they could grow to do miracles just as He.  If they never stuck by his side because of His harsh truth, than they would have never built the church into what it is today. 

Jesus had 12 disciples he could trust... That He took the time to teach... And no matter how hard the teaching was or how confrontational Jesus had to be.. He had a mission: To spread the Word and share the Glory of God and SAVE THE WORLD. These disciples would help him do it. 

Yes I said HELP. It's a great example for us. Often times we try to take on everything by ourselves. We try to meet with everyone, teach everyone, grow everyone, and fix everyone's problems. But let me tell you, even when Jesus fed the 5,000 He fed their basic need-- He didn't sit and chat with everyone and get to know them. (yes I realize he already knows everything... But keep in mind Hes being an example for us) If Jesus would have taken the time to do that... It would have taken him around 13years to spend 1 day with each person. This is impractical. We can't do that all by ourself. We would wear ourself out. Luckily, we too have help! 

"And the disciples said to him, "Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?" And Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish." And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. "(Matthew 15:33-36 ESV) 

Jesus will do the miracle, we can deliver it. 

   Jesus had 12 disciples who he trusted to get to know these people and feed more than just the need of food. Jesus knew these 12 people could be looked up to... That He could send 1,000 people their way... And that they would help Him because He gave them the power to do "even more" than Himself. 

That's us today. JESUS is living on this earth... His Holy Spirit is Living inside of Us! He knows that the church shouldn't rely on just the pastor alone, but the 12 people the pastor appoints. & those 12 people should each make 12 disciples of their own. Why? Because if each person has 12 disciples... The church would be unstoppable.

The church thrives when it follows Jesus example... And it starts with us. 

"When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you." (John 13:3–10, 12–15)

This is how the church grows. This is the outreach we should strive for. But first we have to be willing to become a disciple under a Godly Authority that we trust. Yes, it is important to find council from God and His Word, but it is equally important to learn under someone He appoints to disciple you. When this person positively criticizes and corrects you-- don't be upset-- don't get offended because they are trying to grow you in truth. Be willing to be discipled, so you may be the one to disciple the generations coming after you... And in turn the church can grow And imprisoned people will be SET FREE. 
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40 ESV)

And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2 ESV)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Follow-Through, Friend

What does it look like to be a "friend?" What does it look like to have a meaningful, nurturing, fruit producing, true relationship like the one Jesus asked us to have with our friends? There's no one better to learn from than Jesus himself when trying to produce the fruit required to have a life giving friendship.  

First of all, Jesus never needed to gain anything from his disciples... He was able to have a meaningful relationship with his 12 disciples because he did not only call upon them when they could offer him something. Jesus did not have a million dollars, a fancy car, or worldly connections. He did not live the lifestyle many dream of. Although he wasn't earthly rich, He was spiritually rich. Because Jesus knew His position, he never needed to gain anything from his disciples. The friendship was pure. 

In modern day, If we were being honest--many of our friendships do not resemble that of Jesus and His disciples. We call people only when they have something to offer us... Or we talk to people if we think we have something to gain...and we don't invest ourselves into just listening to people if they can't provide us with something we need. Or Maybe we are busy?  Guess what! Jesus was one of the 'busiest' men on the earth.... Because He was a servant. He gave and gave, and then gave some more. 

“Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves. And you’ve stuck with me through thick and thin. Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God’s people. (Luke 22:27-30 MSG) --SERVE BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOUR PLACE IN THE KINGDOM. 

That couldn't have been easy. I don't think the problem is that we are busy, I think the problem is we value our time and think it is more important than someone else's. I am not saying we have to make time for everyone in the world to become extremely close...Because to be honest, there really isn't enough time to make the genuine friendships we want to make. Why do you think Jesus only had 12 disciples....? Not because no one else was willing to follow him, but because he was setting an example for us. He was showing us that friendships are more important than numbers.... They are investments. 

We have to be willing to invest our time. Care about each other. If we always say yes to everyone, and we never follow through...those friendships are meaningless. You cannot be a real friend if everything you say is just lip service. Faith without works is dead. Friendships without follow through and serving is dead. 

I find it extremely interesting that Christ chose 12 people... And he served them. Christ gave us the example that serving 12 disciples, 12 close better than 100 people serving us. 

Friendship is not based on how many people we can stack into our lives that can give us things, but rather how many people we can influence to be world changers and sharpen us in the process.... The investment is worth it... So serve and watch as your friendships are not only honored by the people you become close with, but by God Himself.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chasing Dreams

I find myself in a season of thankfulness. Although difficult in my current circumstances, I am continually reminded that He is my portion. 

This past few weeks I have been exhausted. I have been tested and tried in trusting God with all that I have. I have found myself worn out-- not for the lack of trust--but rather I am tired of trusting God to take care of the same thing time and time again. I am ready for a break-- I am ready to keep my head above water--not just pop up for a breath and sink back down. 

God is good. He is sovereign. I know He is going to do so much more than I could believe or ask. Through these trials, He is always faithful. 

I had a conversation just praying God would show me whats coming because as I sit chasing my dreams, down to my last dollar, He keeps saying,"the Harvest is coming." 

All I can do is trust, believe and follow and pray that through my perseverance I will see the point in all of this... In all of this struggle. 

Sometimes I wonder why I keep doing this. Why I keep chasing something when I seem to take 5 steps back and 2 steps forward... God ministered to me the other day on the way home from Church... And again in a dream. Many ways he kept saying "Press On. Keep Going Forward. My righteousness will pave the way and I will be in front of you and behind you." 

On the way home from Church this Sunday, my husband and I took the long way... We were just cruising when out of no where a car got behind us. There were several opportunities for this car to pass us, however... As we cruised and it pressed in on our tails... It never took up the opportunity to go around us and leave us in the dust. Austin and I decided to pull over and let the person pass-- and as we did, we watched the car turn on the street 100ft ahead of us. 

The Enemy... Is just like this. Getting up on our tails until we get so annoyed that we pull over on the path God has for us. & when he achieves his purpose, he pulls away. But if we would have just pressed on and moved forward 100 more feet, the enemy would have turned away and gave up because he would be tired of chasing us... 

Oh man! This is perseverance. To go until you feel like giving up and then go some more! So what's the motivation? How can we keep pursuing God in all of the struggle? What's the reward may be a question we ask.

Lets be honest, we wouldn't play a game if there was no reward at the end. What would be the point? If we went to a carnival and the man said here,"buy all these darts and throw them at a balloon... Oh yeah, and it's all for nothing. No prizes." Would we play? 

Heck no! I want a stuffed animal! I won't invest my time or money if there's nothing for me. Yes, that's our mentality. 
So as I walk this path of chasing my dreams, I ask God, "what's for me!? What's my reward?" 

But then he reminds me through spiritual mentors and His word that HE IS MY PORTION AND THAT IS IT. That is my reward. 

When I trust that and when that is enough, than I can focus on Him and focus on the difference that this novel will create, not the dollar that it will make. 

My reward for my dreams isn't a big house, a million dollars, or even a new car... No, my reward is my God, my Jesus, and in that I am fulfilled.

So here I go... Off to Colorado... Chasing a dream that only God can catch. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tough Love

How we view God’s discipline is so important. It may be one of those things we think we can skim over when reading Hebrews 12. We may think we get the “basic” idea and that’s all we need. Hebrews 12:6 says that God disciplines the one’s He loves. 

If we stop there and go no further. If we base our view of God and his discipline on this and this alone, then we will fail to bring people to Him that we could have brought. This is what I mean... If we listen to only this part of the scripture than we think God disciplines EVERYONE because He loves EVERYONE. We go about our day thinking “Tough Love” is what everyone needs because we assume that’s how God would do it.

We look at people and their lives and we say “Man, if they only had some structure” or “If they only had some discipline” they might get it. They might do something different. So we try to give people that don’t understand “tough love” discipline. We tell them the things they are doing wrong and how to fix them. We try to be helpful because after all this is what GOD does with us. He rights our wrongs. He brings our sins into light. 

But then we read further. Hebrews 12 continues on and says “He Chastises every SON whom He receives. So if we have been living on the first line of Hebrews 12:6 than our approach to our brothers and sisters and people who don’t know Jesus has been all wrong. 

Remembering the saying, Iron sharpens Iron... I think of how as Christians, we want to sharpen each other and teach each other how to live according the God’s word. We want to see each other strengthened. We know if God can do great works in us, we want to see everyone doing the works we know they are capable of. But what happens when the person your “helping God” discipline isn’t Iron? What happens when that person doesn’t know who God is? What if that person is a dainty daisy...with a flimsy stem.... with not so deep roots. What happens when Iron tries to sharpen a daisy? It cuts it down. It bends and breaks it. That’s what we do to a lot of people when we believe we are helping. 

Sometimes that person just needs an encouraging word; they need someone to speak life into their situation. We can’t try to sharpen an Insecure person...They don’t need to know their faults and their weaknesses... Insecure people know those already and they think about them daily... We don’t need to point them out and then try to tell them how to fix their life. No, We need to point them to the WORD. Insecurity will only disappear when we look IN Security. (the word) 

As much as we want to see people succeed and be the best person they can be, the best thing we can do for them is point them to God & His love. We don’t take them only one mile, we take them two. We don’t try to help only if it’s benefiting us, we help until they finally get it. We don’t give up on people...because God never gave up on us. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Love Connection "Prologue"



“I’d throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises.” Job 5:9 MSG

Laughter in the street below fluttered into the heightened loft windows and faded into a distant murmur as it reached my ears. As the sun lowered in the sky, it was clear that the downtown party had just begun. The clinking of beer bottles, the yelling of pre-drunk maniacs, the sound of jewelry jingling, and the hammering of heels on the pavement echoed in all directions. 

Next to me, a lighter flickered. I watched as a flame began to rise beneath a glass pipe that held my escape. The turn was soon mine to melt down my mind’s barriers and smoke what I believed made me sane. I continually looked into the hourglass of delusions where the sands of time defied gravity. Inhaling deep breaths of schizophrenic paranoia--exhaling all righteous judgment--the flame burned out.

“Want another hit, Lesa?” Chase asked with strung-out eagerness. 
Shaking my head back and forth, I implicated indicated doubtfully that I had enough. Both of us knew however, that enough was never enough.

We wandered into the bedroom where our dilated pupils met in agreement. Surrendering my body to his, we descended into the silky sheets, the only place we could define our relationship. Never having to wonder if the love was real when the conscious mind was submerged, I kept defending the relationship that had always been on edge--teeter-tottering on the cliff of disastrous heartbreak. It was as if we had flown away to our own never-land. The violent strike of reality had a potent sting when the initial gratification was through. As he rolled over--high to the point of exhaustion--Chase’s eyes rolled to the back of his head as he passed out, leaving me to wage war against my arising thoughts. 

Reflecting over the past five months, I realized that I was patient with Chase who had brought me into this surreal place.  I always thought things were going to change in my favor however, he was always in a mood that would snap hard one way or another. I never knew what to expect. It was the excitement of the unknown that kept me from walking away. 

The fights were physical. If things didn’t go his way he would yell at me, choke me, burn me with cigarettes, or even pour the alcoholic beverage he was drinking out onto me. How did I think I was happy in the midst of all this? Holding strongly to the few times he would make me smile made it me think it was all worth it. Who did I have if I didn’t have him?

Unveiling the truth that I rejected to see in my inebriation was that it hadn’t ever been my Never-land. I was living in his and it’s hard to live in a world that doesn’t belong to you. The only way to be happy would be to please the one who owned it. Not caring about my own well-being, this had been the life I held onto. The only life I felt I had ever known.

I stared at the ceiling and then gathered my tingling body up to make my way back into the room where we had started our promiscuous escapade. As I grabbed for the pipe that still held my desire, I lit up; I began to nimbly twirl the glass between my fingers and lightly breathed away the somatic sensation of discomfort that had started to catch up with my defeated mind.
Although I was alone, whispers filled the shadows. The sun peeked through the blinds that had been lowered and shut to prevent the concerns of the world from spilling in. As the light reached its hand into the gaps of every slat of plastic, it grabbed me by surprise. 

A groaning from the other side of the thinned-brick loft wall kept me aware of Chase’s presence. I contemplated the fact that it had been another sleepless night for me. Had it been three days? Or or even a week  since I had slept? Trying to decide what the outcome would be of his drug-induced slumber, I mulled over if he would remember the closeness that we had shared only hours before or if he would be furious that I had not stayed in the bed curled up beside him and then drown me in accusations of being unfaithful.
Creaky wooden floorboards harbored the exaggerated stomp of heavy feet. As the creaking had increased in intensity, so did my insecurity. As I averted my eyes to the floor where Chase would soon be standing, I prepared myself for it to become the all-too-familiar battle ground. 

A feeble, translucent face covered in rough lines of agitation, complimented by an indefinite number of scars from a confined experience, appeared in the doorway. I remembered when that once healthy, glowing face would look at me with eyes of adoration. Previously where his eyes had conveyed enthusiastic excitement—now gleamed rampant. His cracked lips tightened. Adjusting to the light that now entered the room, he fixed his stare from me onto the pipe that held a notably smaller amount. Biting his lower lip, he started to scowl. 
“Who was here?” He questioned irrevocably.  
“Just me.” I answered quietly. 
Repressed rage turned his face scarlet as he slowly turned from me and went back into the bedroom. A dissonant sound clamored and then quickly began to proceed in my direction. 

A dresser drawer is all I saw before the quick opening of blinds and a flick of hands. In a fluid like motion, Chase had happened to run past me with the dresser drawer that held all my belongings--what little I had--and he dumped everything out onto the pavement below. Shocked, I stared. Anger burned in my heart. As he smiled smugly, walking past me, I jumped up and grabbed him by his ears, pounding my fists as hard as I could on his back, chest, and face. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to kill him.

Screaming, I was thrown off his back and onto the floor. He laughed because he knew what control he had over me. I had no where else to go. If I left here, I would be back in my car. He certainly knew how to finish the game, almost too easily, his lips spoke two words that we both knew would eventually come…the two words that in the end, would release me from my prison… 

 “Get Out.” 


“So, what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you! Mind you, don’t despise the discipline of Almighty God! True, He wounds, but He also dresses the wound; the same hand that hurts you, heals you. From one disaster after another He delivers you; no matter what the calamity, the evil can’t touch you--” Job 5:17-19 MSG

Do you feel like you have gone from valley to valley--hurt, depressed, unconfident, confused, angry, bitter, to attempted suicide or succumbing to an addiction where you see no way out? Sometimes things seem to go from bad to worse in just a matter of months, days, or even hours. We wonder why the enemy is attacking us so hard or why God is letting this happen! ? Yes, by enemy, I refer to the enemy of our souls, Satan. Sometimes, it may seem as though the situation we are facing goes from difficult to impossible. 

  • What Calamity or disaster are you currently facing?

  • Does it seem difficult or impossible to come out of?

  • Have you looked for help or are you trying to face these challenges on your own?

  • Do you feel like you are being attacked in every aspect of your life?

When you feel discouraged, depressed, irritated, doubtful, or fearful...realize that the enemy is getting scared and trying his hardest to keep you right where you are. Don't let the difficult circumstances paralyze you. God is working behind the scenes so He can do a miracle in your life. You may seem stuck but I promise if you keep on moving and chasing after God than you will see him. He will come through for you.  Your situation may have gone from difficult to impossible because God knows you can handle difficult, but He wants you to trust HIM to do the impossible. Nothing can stop Him from conquering evil. All must bow at the presence of our King. 

Read 1 Samuel 1:1-28

Hannah's situation of wanting to be a mother went from difficult to impossible when God had closed her womb. It wasn't Satan who had made her infertile, it was God. Hannah wasn't the first woman in the Old Testament who couldn't bear children on her own. There was Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and the mother of Samson. The sorrows of these women were great. The many tears that were cried cannot be numbered. However, all of these women who had been unable to conceive were used by God. Their children, born not out of ease or comfort, had been prayed for and then the Lord blessed them through the tears that the women had cried. 

Trust that when God delays something that you want, He has something in store far better for you than you could ever imagine. He wants you to pray to him with the faith that you will receive. If you lack faith and you complain through your suffering--all the while God is trying to give you a miracle--you ruin for yourself the grace God is attempting to show you. If you complain through it, than when you finally get the thing you've been needing, it gives Satan the opportunity to make you feel guilty for getting your blessing because you had been undeserving with all the whining. So don't let him undermine God's miracles for your life. Understand that whatever you are going through, whatever the suffering, let it cause you to praise and look to God in faithful prayers--just like Hannah did. If God can restore her, He can in turn do it for you. 

We can rejoice too when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope in salvation. And this hope will not lead us to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Romans 5:3-5 

Love Connection "Chapter 1"



“You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep.” Psalm 88:6 ESV


Adapting to the environment, my car harbored the scent of spilt liquor and peppermint cloves, I nestled my head on a thin tightly-knitted sweater. Clothes were scattered around everywhere serving more as a covering to my floorboards and seats rather than to my own emaciated body. My eyes, heavy as if they took the stinging burden of hatred from my heart and carried it on their lids, fell captive to the weight and I quickly dozed off.

Discontent, I woke and thrust away the once-white towel I was covered with; it seemed to imprison me. I climbed into the driver’s seat. Shuffling around for my keys, I found them tucked away under a water bottle between the seat and the door. Anxiously placing the key into the ignition, a deep prolonged cry brought it to a start. The gas light flashed red and the small pin that fell below the “E” from my fuel gauge exasperated me. 

I knew I could stay in the parking lot and drive myself mad staring at the door to the loft that Chase lived in or I could try to get to the one place I knew I could drown my hostility. Chase had introduced me to his drug dealer and secretly I had been texting him. His name was Stephen and I knew that he would take me in and provide me with my mental escape. Taking in one last breath filled with envy, I turned my back and dolefully drove away. Rejection injected itself through my veins. A wall of lies had been constructed in my mind, effectively shutting out the truth. Believing I was worthless, without a purpose for living, a thief, a slut, deserving nothing, I found myself at the mercy of the man in charge of dealing the drugs that I cherished and that satisfied the craving that still held me close. 

As I pulled up to the simplistic townhouse that appeared as any ordinary home, the security cameras reminded me otherwise. Paranoia was reflected in every lens. Two cars sat side by side in the driveway, a vast variety of car parts littered the ground beneath, confirming Stephen was home. Both cars belonged to Stephen who had a fond affection for mechanics and “fixing up” broken technology. However, the projects never seemed to come to an end. If there was nothing to fix, he would create something to fix--taking things apart just to put them back together. 

The doorbell did not work, so I knew that I would have to knock softly. If I knocked too hard, he might think I was a cop and I did not want to cause any harm--to either  of us. Contemplating to myself that I just needed someone to take me in, I found my hope in Stephen. A worn out willowy figure showed up in the doorway. I assumed that it had been a few sunsets since he had last slept. A smile crept across his face as he welcomed me in. 

Passing through the living room, I noticed a trail of toys, and books, and a little pair of pink socks,  leading through the hallway and into the back room. My curiosity went ahead of me as we stopped at his room a few feet away from where the trail ended. 
“That’s my daughter’s room,” Stephen said in response to the puzzled look on my face.
“Oh,” I said aloud. My brain was trying to make sense of the situation. 

Irritation consumed me because all I had wanted to do was get high.  I was worried that his daughter might ruin my expectations because she would want to play and talk to me. When I was high all I wanted to do was float away and not be bothered, I enjoyed being left alone. 
“She’s with her mom and won’t be back for about a week.” He assured me softly. 
Stephen took my hand and escorted me to his bed. I couldn’t wait for what came next. He reached over me to his bedside table and grabbed a glass pipe hidden under a pile of cords and old broken phones. Lighting up, I melted into the pillows and found sheer satisfaction.

Deeper and deeper I went, further and further I buried myself in the bottomless well of my desire, letting my mind slip away for days into the fictional world where nothing mattered, all my emotions became entwined into one. What was this emotion, though? Was it joy, happiness, or something else altogether?  I didn’t know; all seemed foreign to me. Always craving and wanting more and more--never getting enough-- that’s what I knew. I knew the feeling of defeat and I was getting exhausted. 

Ready to just give up, I realized the true emptiness that my life had become. I had no motivation to change, just to quit digging. Putting down the shovel, I stopped going deeper, refused to climb out, and just laid there... collapsing back into reality. Nothing could get me high the way I wanted. What else was there?

Stephen started to notice my change in mood and appetite.“You haven’t eaten in days, are you sure you aren’t hungry?” Stephen questioned.
“I’m not hungry.” I assured as my stomach’s loud grumbles claimed otherwise. 
“Well, I am going to make a pizza. You can eat some if you want.” He sympathized as he stood up and peered down at the scrawny mess of me. Smiling politely I thanked him. He took good care of me and watched out for me. I was a wreck but from what I could tell--I was starting to have feelings for him.  

Waltzing back in with a whole sliced up pizza; he set it down on the end of the bed and then quickly left again to grab some napkins. I couldn’t take my eyes off the pizza. I reached for a slice only to find that it was extremely hot! As I pulled my hand away, Stephen walked back in and chuckled. 

“I could have warned you it was hot, but I thought you weren’t hungry,” He jested as he picked up a piece and handed it to me on the napkins he had left to get. 

“I am never hungry when I smoke this stuff,” I admitted, "but I am about ready to eat this whole thing.” 

Why was it so good? I had never enjoyed food so much!  After eating about 5 slices, Stephen made a funny face as he watched me scarf down the remaining pepperoni that had fallen onto my lap. “You’re eating like you’re pregnant or something!” he exclaimed jokingly. 

Paranoia hit me like a sack of rocks with those words. I realized that I was gaining weight in spite of my malnutrition. I also couldn’t remember the last time I had my menstrual cycle. My face dropped and Stephen became concerned. “I was just messing around with you, but if that could be something you’re worried about, I have tests under my sink. You can take one if you want.” He quizzically studied my face as I agreed. 

Jumping out of the covers, I raced to the bathroom and my heart raced along with me! I convinced myself this couldn’t be happening. Three minutes later, we had the results. A small red plus sign presented itself. Biting my lip, I displayed it to Stephen with anticipation that he would know what to say. Impatience parted my lips before he even had a chance to react. 

“I’m not mad. I actually don’t care. Now I just have a problem that needs fixed.” I claimed as my grip tightened on the pregnancy test. 

“Clinics are expensive. Let me know if you need my help. I am here for you.” Stephen concluded and then added, “but I know a few friends that have had abortions done. You’re going to want to do it as soon as possible, but I want you to think about your options.”

Promptly, I requested that Stephen provide me with answers, I questioned his knowledge. “Where do I go? Where do I start? How much is the procedure? Is it going to hurt?” The inquiries went on for days and after about a week, Stephen seemed uninterested. 

Not getting anywhere, confusion, followed by loneliness, blanketed me like a fog over a deserted road.  Blinded by this emotional fog, I pursued online sites I assumed would lead me to the exact clinic I needed to be rid of the ‘thing’ that was growing inside me.

After a week of seeking on my own, day in and day out, I got discouraged. The only thing I wanted to do was get high and stop thinking. If Stephen wasn’t going to be there for me, I needed to go somewhere that I would be taken more seriously. I slipped into some blue jeans and a t-shirt, grabbed my keys and said a silent good-bye. If Stephen wasn’t going to help me then I would find someone who would. 

I dialed my sister and called the first person that came to my mind that I believed would provide me with some sort of insight. I didn’t tell her the news over the phone, but I just felt like she already about my untold pregnancy.

Following two hours of driving and two sleepless days, I pulled up to my sister’s quaint little duplex tucked away in the small town of Lebanon. My sister met me outside at my car and handed me a cigarette. 
“It’s good to see you.” She said smiling while lighting up my cigarette. 

“Thanks for inviting me. It’s good to see you too. I can’t wait to just relax and get away from all the drama” I sputtered as I let the smoke pour from behind my lips. 

“So, what is it you have to tell me?” She tapped the ashes and looked at me quizzically. 

“Let’s talk inside.” I insisted. 

My sister was smart and possessed an indescribable talent. She had this way of looking at situations and turning the negative into positive.  She could make you feel better when the rest of the world tells you that you have made a huge mistake from which there is no recovery. As I Entered the house, I was ready to just crash. It was nice to be somewhere I felt I belonged. The fresh scent of cookies solidified the warm welcome. Nervously, I walked into the living room and sat, dreading the conversation where I would not only have to say out loud that I was pregnant, but I would actually have to believe it. 


That morning started out like any other at my house, feeding the kids, cleaning and other household chores. When I looked at my phone and saw my sister’s name I was a little surprised. Since I moved to Lebanon we rarely spoke on the phone or saw each other. Really, it had been that way since I was sixteen and had moved out of my parents’ house pregnant with my first child. Our lives had just drifted in different directions. Little did I know when I accepted that call that our lives would change forever "Hey there," I answered smiling.

"Hey what's up? Can I come over? I'm on my way and I have something to tell you," she replied directly.

"Yeah, of course! See you shortly." I hung up the phone and sat down. I had heard that tone in her voice before and knew in my heart what she had to tell me before she ever arrived. I knew because at one point, I had said those same words, in the same tone.  As I waited, I prayed that I was wrong.

As soon as she pulled up, I walked outside to meet her. I noticed she looked thin,  but it had been awhile, so maybe I was just imagining it. She followed me into the house where my boyfriend was now up and preparing to play his video games. They greeted one another and we sat down on the couch. At first we chatted about small things such as our little brother, work, school, parents, anything to avoid why she was really here. Finally though, the time had come to face it.

"So what did you need to tell me?" I asked mentally preparing myself for her response.

"I'm pregnant," she said looking at the ground.

Silently, I reeled. Why? Why did this have to happen to her? She has no idea what this even means!  I didn't want my response to be cold but I knew there were only two options. She looked up at me and met my gaze. "Abortion or adoption?" I asked to relay to her exactly what I had secretly been thinking.


The weekend ended too soon and I had faced some tough decisions ahead of me. However, it was back to reality and I couldn’t face it on my own. I wasn’t ready to go back to Stephen's; he had really not been of any help. Having to go back to the place I ran from, I had to confront the fears that had been growing since the day I found out about my pregnancy. I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to go home. 

An all too familiar house stood before me as I pulled into the short, steep, uphill driveway. The very house that I had abandoned hadn’t changed one shutter. This made it even harder; the broken memories had stayed stuck right in the cracks of those brick walls. Last time I was here, I had fought with my family, as I was a broken mess, and now, here I was coming back more broken than the stories the house held.

Taking a few exhausted breaths, I braced myself for breaking the news to my mom. I didn’t know how she would take it. One part of me was thinking of my sister who had also gotten pregnant, moved out, and was now raising a little girl while trying to keep her life from falling apart. The other part of me was thinking of the one way to rid myself of the same fate and not make my mother endure what she did with my sister. 

My perception was once you had a baby, there was no living your life anymore, there was nothing good--everything would be a disaster and it would be the end of me. I thought that having a baby before I was ready was the equivalent of prison or...  even death. 

I opened the obnoxiously thunderous garage door and quickly slid into the house and hoped that my mom would not hear me. I lucked out. She was in the bath and wasn’t getting out to see who it was. I hadn’t run into my little brother yet either. Perfect. I ran and jumped onto the sofa facing the TV and threw my feet up. I hated confrontation. As a matter of fact, I had never been good about talking about my feelings without getting really defensive or upset. Reaching behind me, I pulled out a blanket tucked away under tan throw pillows and wrapped it around me; only my hand and eyes were visible..  The sound of the bath draining kept me alert. 

As I waited for the conversation that was moments away from happening, I tightened my grip on my blanket. I had been sweating, but I refused to ditch the blanket. My Mother kept her house at a roaring 80 degrees and I didn’t have the courage to get out of the blanket. It was my hiding place where I felt a little security. Soon, she would be looking me over, asking me what I was doing home, and why I hadn’t bothered to call. Soon, she would be glaring at me as if to say, “ I know what you have been up to and I don’t appreciate you coming here and ignoring the elephant in the room.” Her eyes always had that way of looking into your soul and extracting information. It was worse than an interrogation room because I only lied to my mom to make myself feel like I knew something she didn’t.  Mothers have a sixth sense and they know what you think they don’t. 

However, my mom stayed in her room. I heard the springing of her bed and her lamp flicked on. She was tucking herself in. “Well that’s just great, now I will have to go in there and that makes it ten times more awkward because after I tell her the news, I will just be standing there waiting for a lecture...on the other hand, I could tell her and run out of the room.” I thought naively to myself, “Better yet, I am not even going to have a face-to-face conversation. I am already here, she can talk to me if she wants...but I am going to text her.”
My small purple phone was my saving grace. I began to text.

Hey Mom, I messed up. I have a proble. delete. 

Mom, I love you. I am sorr. delete. 

Would you forgive me if. Delete.

After a few more attempts and failures of typing and deleting what I was going to text her, I felt defeated. Finally, I took one last deep breath, gathered my thoughts and sent it. “Mom, please don’t be upset. I am sitting on the couch and am really confused about what to do. I am pregnant and I am scared. I tried to do it on my own and I don’t know what else to do. I just have a problem and I know that I can fix it. But I really need your help.”

Hearing my mom’s text tone go off, a few shuffles and a sigh, I begin to panic. By this time, I am drenched in sweat but even more scared to move now that the news had been delivered. Slowly, I hear my mom get up and come out into the living room. She looks at me with a calmer look than I would have ever expected.

“Is this true?” She inquired, holding up her phone.

“Yes.” I admitted sheepishly. 

“What do you mean by this is a problem that you can fix? I don’t believe in abortion. There are other options if you are thinking about taking that route.” she replied. 

Feeling a bit more courageous after my mom’s calm reaction I went on explaining.  “Mom, I know that abortion isn’t the right thing to do, but many girls have had it done. I am just confused because I haven’t been able to find any information and everyone that I have called has been rude and unfriendly. My questions haven’t been answered and I feel like that’s the only way to fix the problem. I am not ready for a baby. I can’t be like Kayla, that’s not the life for me.” 

“There’s always adoption. Let’s talk about it in the morning. You need to think about it and try to get some sleep.” 

Unraveling from my blankets that had failed to protect me, I curled up into a ball and after a few hours of watching mind-numbing TV and drowning out the looming decisions, I finally drifted off to sleep. 


My daughter told me that she was pregnant in a text. 

Texted me. Told me. She. Was. PREGNANT.

My first thought was that I already knew and should not have been surprised by her text at all. Even if I thought I was prepared, I still found myself with these words echoing in my head. 

I was disappointed. How could she let this happen?I already had one daughter with two kids and now another one who wasn’t married or ready to take care of a child. She couldn’t even take care of herself. 

Re-reading her text it clicked that she was talking about getting rid of the baby by aborting it...but she had no luck in finding out any information. I do not believe in abortion. I believed that if you get yourself into a situation you should step up and take responsibility for your actions. Did I not instill this in her?

I have tried my best to raise my children with the ability to make right decisions. I knew that the best thing for my daughter was for her not to raise this baby on her own and I was not willing to raise another child at this point in my life. 

While not wanting to initiate discussing the situation, I got out of bed to go talk to her. No words could describe the stirring in my stomach. I felt like I had failed. 


The summer was good to me. My friends and I were anticipating infamous vampire movie premieres and time spent by the pool with their babies. Ben and I were about to go to Florida for a friend’s wedding where I was doing the hair and he was officiating. 

In anticipation of the vacation/wedding I was also eager to see if I was pregnant. I was hoping I was this month as it would give me my ever dreamed of winter baby. Believe me, I planned this. Taking my temperature in the morning and calling Ben to come home on his lunch breaks to do the "deed" and make a baby--A a baby with his eyes and my smile, his freckles and my curls. We'd pray, after and talk about baby names, and how cool it would be the coming Christmas to be hugely pregnant. 

I would eventually withdraw money or use my tips from the salon to buy a pregnancy test as Ben loathed me buying them every month, preferring I waited till I actually had missed my period before taking the test. Cash left no record of my expenditure and the "five days before your missed period" marketing got me too anxious. 

This month, however, I was not pregnant. In my annoyance I buried the once hopeful test in some toilet paper and disposed of the useless, unpromising piece of trash. I was mad, again, at everything and everyone; I allowed the emotion to be brief.   This month Ben and I were going to take a much needed vacation and I refused to wreck it with my heartbreak. I shut down that part of my brain, that part of my heart, and opened myself to some fun and “suffering for Jesus” in Florida. 

During this time, my journal entries reflected hope. Though I doubted God would be gracious in His giving of a child, I was still amped on Him. I was seeking Him and His words and was incredibly fond of the Message Version of scripture. God was providing for us and we felt set. I was doing the latest workout in hopes of getting in better shape for pregnancy and Florida. Ben and I were doing the best we'd ever been doing, as far as communicating and relating. Though it often seemed very superficial,, we were okay with it, because the reality was too much to tackle. We had other activities to engage us including youth ministry, working multiple jobs, and hanging out with our buddies. 

The occasional "when will you guys start having kids?" or "what have the doctors said is the problem?” would set ablaze something we weren't ready to face. So we casually gave them a staple answer and moved on to asking them questions about their life. 

All in all, I just felt like I was in a season of want, and want for just one thing. I wanted and yearned for a baby. I wasn't speaking or believing like a heir to Christ. I lacked satisfaction in my womb, the very core of what I believed made me feminine.

Most times, though, everything was outwardly good or actually not bad at all, I still felt like I was in a pit. Small things were magnified by my poor attitude and lack of trust that God, my family, and my husband were going to pull through. Because, though, my day to day devotions were okay and I ultimately loved God, I honestly didn't trust Him or believe He was for me. This unresolved fact caused me to put that misguided trust in others. This was very dangerous, considering that humanity is totally imperfect. It only led to a continuing cycle of disappointment. 


You may ask why God chose to put you in your the situation your in. You might call out to him pleading with him to explain why you were left behind by a loved one, why your friends abandoned you, why you lost your job, or why someone would want to hurt you. But can I just tell you the WHY question isn't what God is going to answer.  It's not the question that will change your circumstance, your heart, or your situation. Let's say a child places his/her hand on the stove and it gets burned. Then they ask their mom, "Why did the stove burn me?" The mother would say, "Because it is hot." But what does this change? The accident still happened. Instead of getting the WHY answer, if we ask how, than then the child could have said, "Mom, how can I take the burning away?" She could simply come up with a solution and then, in the process, warn the child not to touch things that are hot to save the child grief for the next time a situation like that arises.  The same is true for us children of God.  If you ask how--it allows God to direct your steps and He will guide you to wherever you need to go. If you ask HOW you are saying to God that you are willing to follow his direction wherever that direction may lead. If you ask HOW then God will go before you and make a way. 

Read Psalm 119:57-72.

Do you believe that God can change your situation? Do you believe He can use this experience for something great?

What does Psalm 119:71 say about suffering?

Do you trust in the path God has set before you?

When you don't know the direction God wants you to walk, maybe all He wants is for you to be willing to go any direction He needs. Our God is a creative God. He created this entire universe. Everything has its purpose. You have never heard a tree ask why it was planted where it was. But God had a plan for that tree--birds live in it, shelter is provided from it, and someone may eventually get some shade from it. Whatever purpose that tree has, it stays grounded. If God has a purpose for a tree, don't you think He has a much larger purpose for you? Turn to and trust in God when the big choices arrive and give Him your open heart so that He can do miracles in and through you the whole time you are going through your circumstances.

Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way. Psalm 85:13 ESV