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Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I feel like I need to re~introduce myself.
I feel like over the past months of silence that I have been re~invented... and re~born.
Where do I begin.....

You know... so often and so many times I wish I could set you up before you sit down to read what I've written. To tell you to go grab a cup of coffee or tea (which I prefer) and pull up your most comfy chair. As if you were sitting across from me on my couch. Like old friends. And so many of you are.  Because for me this is me sharing my heart. I don't want this to be just some "blog" that you are reading. Some narcisitic outlet for me to do what I love most.  I hope that in these moments that you choose to spend in my little corner of the world  that my story will help encourage you, strengthen you, challenge you, resound with you, and build you up in your faith. I hope that as I pour out my heart about life... real life... raw life... that you will feel and see that you are not alone. That you can make it through every trial and season. That God is for you and not against you.

He is for you.

I often wish that I could hear what you are thinking while you read. I think that's why we do this, writers like me, with our hearts laid out. We love to hear feedback. It's like that back and forth conversation between friends.
I don't often get that glimpse... but I love it when I do. You sharing back is precious to me. It helps me to know that what I share might be making a difference.

I'm not anyone special.
But I'm crazy enough to think that my life is. That it matters. Just like I believe that yours does.

I have so soooo many things I want to share with you. I hope you can bear with me.
So much of life has been lived in the past year that it's crazy!
My Gram's passing was a game changer for me. It was permission that I needed to finally let go.
It was not only a defining moment and season... it was a re~defining of me.
I feel like I gained clarity and refining that I had been needing for a very long time.
A v e r y l o n g t i m e.
And here I am... sitting in an unfamiliar house in an unfamiliar place. A whole two states away from where I last wrote and shared my heart with you.
So much change.
I thought so many times over the past season and year of my life that I was going to stay always broken.
In so many ways... I was right.

I was right that I am broken.
So very bent and bruised.
When life sucker punches you you don't walk away unaffected, unhurt, or with feelings of being irreparable.
People can't always be trusted with your heart.
When you open yourself up you open yourself up for more pain than you ever thought possible.
When you feel betrayed it's like someone is ripping your guts out.
I kind of hate that I was right in what I thought originally about all of those things. 
I would rather have been wrong. 

Because of that pain it led me to more. When I finally realized how broken my life was, and the comfortable place I had convinced myself was okay to stay in, was not where I was supposed to be...
I finally found the courage to walk away from the very situation that was a  catalyst for so much hurt in my life. It was the very best thing I could have ever done.


Sometimes the hardest things are the best things.
Sometimes when you are crying gut wrenching tears of hurt they are actually tears of healing and restoration.
Sometimes... and I say this from a very raw and humble place in my life... sometimes when you choose to take those brave steps that create boundaries you can begin to allow God to define who you really are... you become better. I am going to say with as much confidence that I possess at the moment...
You will be better.
I am better.
And I truly believe that there is bravery in saying, "No more."
No more to people and things that try to straight jacket you into being someone that you're not.
No more to the lies that your not good enough.
No more to the belief system that settling is ever okay.
No more to standing in a place that tells you that you need to change but doesn't allow room for it.
No more carrying what you were never meant to hold.
No more believing that anyone else's opinions of you other than God's is more important.
No more thinking that an education is the only qualification for being useful.
No more assuming that there isn't anything, anyplace, or anyone better out there than where you find yourself now.
No more.....

You are a child of God. 
You matter. 

Y O U M A T T E R!
You are precious and delighted in by your Heavenly Papa. He loves you more than you know. Your value and self worth is and should be found ONLY in Him. 


I want to shout all of that out. Because I feel like so many of us need to hear it or be reminded of it.
I feel like so many of us have been wounded by unintentional, well meaning, good people that we feel the need to stay in the very place that is killing everything that we have been created to do for our Savior.
That may seem harsh...  but I've learned over the past year that life is harsh.
Sometimes it is hard, and broken, and bitter tasting, and sometimes it just plain sucks.
I finally found myself brought to my knees, like a kid in a game of mercy with my hand pulled behind my back in pain, with tears rolling down my face in anger and confusion...

"God.... where are you?!  Do You see us? Do You see how our hearts have been fractured and wounded and are broken? Do You know.... Do You know what we are supposed to do with all of this life "junk" that we are wading through?.... What do we do now God?... What are we supposed to do...?"

There was a time I would have hesitated big time before I prayed that.
It wasn't until I was sitting in my councelors office angry, hurt, and confused that he gave me permission to be honest with God.
His honest question to me stung...

"What are you afraid of? Do you think God can't handle your honesty? Do you not think He doesn't already know your heart? What are you really afraid of?"
I just sat there. Thinking.

What was I afraid of?

I was afraid that God was like all the fractured people in my life that had and were letting me down.
I was afraid that if I was really real with God that He would stop loving me. That His grace for me and my life was like so many I was surrounded by. That He was keeping track of all my failures and mistakes even though I was constantly apologizing for them... trying to be better.
That His grace was limited.
I was afraid that my honesty with Him on how I really felt would render me useless, worthless, unwanted, and a failure.
What I was really afraid of was that He would come back and tell me that it was all true.
What I wasn't being honest about was this... I already felt that way about myself.

It wasn't Him it was me. 
I had already for so long believed the lies that had been spoon fed to me that I had to be perfect or maintain an outward appearance of perfection to be worth anything at all.
Broken or real was not an option.
For me that was a real issue.
I didn't know how not to be real, honest, or true.
I think thats why I loved coming here. To this place. To be the real me. To feel. To have a voice.
I was even criticized for this. In a backhanded public sort of way.
I was humiliated into being cautious and careful.
Its one of the reasons I stopped writing as frequently.
Not that being aware and responsible is wrong... it's not. But when set by a standard that man sets up dictated by feelings and not the truths of God seeped in it... it's wrong.

It's wrong to believe that you have to perform perfectly to be accepted.
It's wrong to not have room to make mistakes, knowing that you will still be loved through those mistakes, so that you can grow and be the person you are meant to be.
God never said that we can't mess up.
In fact He has made room for it.
Lots and lots of room.
Look at all of His favorite people in the Bible.
Oh boy... did they ever mess up. Repeatedly.
He knows our frame.
He sees all of us.
He knows when we are truly sorry and when we are not.
He knows us better than we know ourselves. And He loves us anyway.
All of us.
The ugly parts. The broken parts. The needing to be fixed parts.
He loves us more than we can imagine....
And it wasn't until my husband and I finally came to our final game of mercy that we realized that it was never God holding our arms back.
We had allowed others to do that.
We had even given permission for it.
We were sent and had recieved the message that others deserved grace but I didn't.
It was in that moment of freedom.... of finally seeing the truth that we began to stand back up,  taking a position with our heads raised and our eyes re~focusing. It was then that we finally heard it....the answer to my heart rending prayer...

"I am here. I see you. Do you finally see Me? I see your hearts. I want to fix them. I know... I know it all. As for what you are supposed to do... Trust Me. It won't be easy. It will be hard. But I need you to T R U S T M E. I see far more than you do. I know far more than you know. Are you ready? Are you really ready to follow Me? Wherever I send you...
Wherever I tell you to go?"

I heard it clear. I heard it so soft but so loud that it filled every part of me.
I began to feel the scales come off my eyes.
I felt the straight jacket begin to unbuckle and fall to the ground at our feet.
I began to stretch my arms out like I hadn't in ages.
I began to feel my heart begin to beat in a way that I hadn't in a really long time.
It wasn't just one thing or one person that caused us to get to this place.
It was so many things... so many people that were tools that we allowed to push us into a corner and finally make us fight and get back up.
It sounds weird to say this... but I am grateful.

I am honestly and truly grateful.

Had we not experienced what we did in the last year we would never have found our way to a place that provided the very healing and restoration that we we're so desperate for.
It wouldn't have allowed us to meet people that gave me hope in humanity again.
If we had stayed in our broken places and not left we would still be stuck.
I had been praying for a long long long time that God would un~stick us.
The way He did it... not sure I would have done it that way. ;)
But He knows better.
He does.
And I can truly truly say that we are better people because He allowed the things that we needed to happen to get us to the place that we are now.
I never thought that just a few months could bond my heart the way God did with the people and place that He put us in. Our launching pad of healing. Our place that became a refuge for our hearts.
We weren't all right... and we weren't all wrong.
But we were in need of change. Of fixing. Of tearing down and restoring.

I am better now. We are better now.
It's funny but we aren't even all stable yet.
As I sit literally in a mess of packing boxes, what feels like a whole world away from our home, my stuff strewn here and there with feelings of uncertainty amid un~assurance...
I believe.
I believe that God took us from a place of what we saw as comfortable, a place of complete complacency and threw us into a place of discomfort and uncertainty.
I believe that if He hadn't that we would have begun to fall apart in a way that would have taken longer to repair.
I believe that in the midst of our tears, anger, dissalutionment and fear that He was walking beside and holding us every step of the way.
He still is.
I believe like never before that He gives us permission to be us. To fail. To make mistakes. To ride things out and try again until those things in us that needed to change are changed. Not by man but by Him. His grace. His love. Often He allows the hurt to help us to see and meet those that have the same purposes that He does. Others that have been where we are. Those that He uses to help in the process that we all need to go through to get where we need to be in Him.
I believe He doesn't expect us to be perfect.
Man wants perfection out of a life that is completely and beautifully imperfect.
Life is messy.
It can be good messy or ugly messy.
I believe how much we allow God access into it is what will determine that.
But it will never mean that we will be perfect. Not here.
What it can mean though is a Boundless.... Hopeful... and Exciting life.
We were meant and created to live for Him. To bring glory to God in all that we do.
We are going to fail at times. He knows that.
But just like when my kids mess up and do things that I don't like or approve of... I never stop loving them. I never stop hoping that they will wake up and see the mistakes and rectify them.
I am always willing to extend grace with a child who comes humbly to me and asks for forgiveness and who honestly wants and tries to do better. I am always hopeful that some day they will get it. That they will understand how much they are loved and valued. My prayer is always that they will see their purpose and strike out and live it.
God feels no less for us.
It's all over His Word.

His hope for us.
His plans for us.
His purpose for us.

His love for us.

And so with that... and oh with so much more to tell... I will close with this,

You are never too far that He can't reach you.
You are never too messed up that He can't fix you.
You are worth more and are valued more than you will ever ever know.
You have a purpose.
You will never be perfect but you can be whole in Him.
You're mistakes do not define you unless you let them.
Every wrong situation we allow can be rectified and turned around.
We have a God of restoration and reconciliation.

You Are Loved.

I can never say that enough.
I hope that like me that you will grab onto that and truly believe it.
Because it wasn't until I did that things began to change. On the inside as well as the out.

Blessing sweet friend wherever you are.
I am praying that wherever this finds you that you will find and see Him.
I am praying that you will honestly seek Him and begin to allow Him to do what He is longing to do in each and every one of us. From the inside out. Even if it hurts. Honest, true, gracious, and loving refining.
The only kind of refining that will set us onto the path of true living.
Where we can find the courage to get back up... So we can be free...

Be brave. 
For whatever He is calling us to. 
Even if it's a state... or world away. :)

Until another tomorrow....


 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 NIV

“The Lord your God is with you,
 the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you;
 in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17