I have started on this journey about a week ago. I am going to be the first to tell you that I have NOT stayed on task but you know what, that is OK! We all know that life can get busy. I have found the best time for me to chew on the nuggets of truth in this book is at night just before bed. The main take away from this past week has been when we read through 1 Samuel 17 and examined the things that David had been called when he choose to take on the giant Goliath! He was called conceited v.28, wicked, young v.33. I don’t know about you but I do struggle with the lies the enemy feeds me. That I am not good enough. I doubt myself and my ability. How many times have you, “heard a lie, you treat it like truth, and it begins to define you, like a label. And then you act out of that label.” (p.15) Satan wants nothing more than us to be defined by HIS label so that we don’t do God’s work that he has designed us to do. So, be encouraged to be brave as you go through this next week. Don’t let the enemy tell you that you are not good enough because you are already more than enough!
When you read that word, what comes to mind? Scandals? Unfaithful? Cheater? Worthless? Anger? Leave them now!?! Many thoughts can cross a persons mind. When I think of this word it brings shame.
One month ago today, I found out that my husband had used the internet to look for other women to talk to. Gasp you say?!?!?! I was filled with anger and hurt and feelings of being unworthy and not enough. I wanted to run as far away as I could from him. He had done the unthinkable and hurt me. I didn’t make it very far as I called and talked to two trusted people who told me to turn around and deal with the situation because running was not going to resolve the issue. I am BEYOND GRATEFUL for those wise people!
I went through emails and read the lies. He pulled down his profile, and closed out the email. You might ask, can’t he do that again and YES he can do that again. However we have hunkered down hard and made the choice to turn towards Jesus. In the days following God’s timing is perfect! We had planned a trip to Florida but did not go. Instead we spent the next four days, with each other. Mostly phone and tv free. He knew there was a problem and we dug into God’s word, and a wonderful book that walks through the affair of a pastor and his wife. It brought hope and even brought healing as we forgave each other.
Wait, each other???? You were in the wrong too? YOU BETCHA! When I moved to Indiana, I signed up for classes at Ivy Tech. It was about 45minutes away from where we lived and I found friendship in a professor that as I look back on was an emotional affair of the heart. There was NEVER any physical unfaithfulness throughout that, however I was getting my emotional needs met through the professor. You see, I didn’t tell my then husband about all the times we had met for coffee or lunch. We connected and had a special bond. Not a typically friendship bond. This bond we had, we laughed and would talk for hours. We got each other! He knew me….he knew when I was having a rough day. He dated other women but always kept me on the side. I met each of his girlfriends. They knew about me but his realtionships with the girls never lasted. Later he stated it was because of me. As I look back this made me feel used.
When I went through my divorce he walked with it through me. My ex accused me of having an affair with him. I DENIED it because I did not see it as such. In my mind an affair was sexual. I am BEYOND GRATEFUL that God opened my eyes to see what was happening! One night he and I were walking while I was going through my divorce and he asked me when I would be ready to date and immediatly said in a year but I always said I didn’t want to date him because I enjoyed what we had and didn’t want to ruin it with a dating relationship.
Byron met him and tried hard to find something that he could pin point that an affair was going on but at the time he couldn’t. Again, God peeled back the dirt from my eyes to be able to see my own sin during a time when my husband was struggling. I have asked for forgiveness from my ex husband and my husband in regards to the affair of the heart and emotions I was having with this person.
I am grateful that God is in the restoration business and is allowing Byron and I to turn something broken into something beautiful. Stay tuned for more.
Matthew West has a way to take a story and write something beautiful! This is what I have been listening to this week. This songs is my heart beat.
It’s been over a year since I have posted! So much has happened in life! Currently life is in a good place. God has provided us with an apartment MUCH closer to our jobs, which leaves a lot more time for life living! We were driving 1 hour and 30 minutes EACH way to work. Both of us! Let’s just say, we functioned! Now we are living life!
I am blessed beyond measure with an husband who is not afraid to speak truth when it is needed. Since end of May, I have been trying to let go of a friendship I had for 6 years. It was HARD!!! That person had been through the highs and low of various parts of life. They had been there through losses and cheered through the victories! But as only my husband can do he spoke truth, it was hard for me to swollow and let that relationship fully go. Oh, how freeing it was though!
Now, we are building new friendships in our community! I had not ridden a bike in 12 years and 2 weeks ago rode 15 miles! I have people cheering me on as I work to get healthy and focus on a 5k in May 2018. We are living life and it’s a beautiful thing! I am grateful to be where we are at in life.
Weekly I am meeting with a group of ladies for dinner. It’s a beautiful thing to have a community of people to live life with.
While I have been a college graduate for just shy of a month, I wanted to share some thoughts on the things I have learned from going back to school as an adult.
- Know your Learning Style! This is so VERY important! I learn best by classroom interaction and conversation. I show what I learn best by writing a paper or doing a project. I do not test well. I was very fortunate to have professors who worked WITH me and allowed me to write papers instead of taking tests. They knew I knew the information. Thank you Dr. Spaulding! Stretch yourself in how you take classes. During my first semester in college I took courses with underclassmen who were just fresh babes out of high school. It was refreshing to see things through their eyes but I was also able to bring my life experiences into the classroom. I then went to my co-hart and adult classes, one night a week in which I thrived. Once I got married I lived a little too far to drive to campus once a week and I took classes online. I knew this would be a challenge as I am NOT an online learner!
- Come expectant and ready to be stretched because YOU will be stretched! I didn’t have a clue what to expect coming into college as an adult. All I knew was that I would receive a piece of paper that would enable me to have other career opportunities. I am so glad that I finished and went OVER the mountains that at times seemed impassable.
- Having at least one person if not more in your life that has your end result at hand will keep you focused on the end result is VITAL! I can not tell you how many times I wanted to give up! I am grateful I had my husband to kick me in the butt and keep me focused. My kids motivated me, my parents motivated me and my friend Kevin motivated me! I would not be where I am without the pushing of all these people. My advisor pushed me and told me I could do just when I thought I couldn’t. Do NOT isolate yourself!
- You have to give up to go up! Yes, there are times where you will have important deadlines and you will have to choose between an activity or the assignment. My advisor actually told me that sometimes you have to prioritize and if that means missing a Sunday in church to get your homework done then do it. School is for a season.
- Reach out to your professors WHEN you are struggling. I will not say IF but WHEN because you WILL struggle. Going back to school as an adult versus a young person is totally different. Your professors WANT you to succeed! They are for YOU! I saw Grace more time than I care to count by professors who were FOR me! Grace in action is beautiful!
- Finally WALK ACROSS THAT STAGE!! Yeah it may cost you some money for the cap and gown but it is SO WORTH IT!!!!!!!!
Over the past few years God has showen me Grace through different people in my life. You see when I divorced my ex, I was filled with shame despite the freedom that came. I was shameful because I was leaving the extended family. But my ex’s extended family has been quietly cheering me on. The first Christmas his Grandmother who has since passed set me a Christmas card and I knew she still cared. But what amazed me is, my ex’s Aunt Vicki and Uncle Ralph and his Aunt Bev and Uncle Mo who have reached out to me over and over again each year and are celebrating with me as I complete the course of attaining my bachelors degree. They STILL Love me despite the circumstances. It breaks me each time one of them sends me a card or a message on Facebook. This is what LOVE and GRACE looks like.
So, this summer has been an emotional filled one. My ex and I have experience mediation and it is quiet an emotinoally roller coaster. B kept gently telling me that once I forgave my ex I would find freedom. I’d been fighting it! A few weeks ago we were at a Matthew West concert and he played his song “Forgiveness” and I immediatly knew what I needed to do. You can hear a song and know the meaning but in that moment it was speaking straight to my heart. I looked at my husband and said you are right, I need to forgive. I didn’t say much more to him about it but rather this past Sunday at church the message was on Forgiveness. Are you seeing a pattern here? Well, I made the choice to forgive on Sunday and have felt freedom. Don’t get me wrong last night I was a mess of pain and hurt but the anger was not there that has been. Today we had mediation and I am at peace with how it turned out. It’s amazing how something so simple can cause us lots of pain and frustraion.
C-Section….those words brought FEAR! Fear of the unknown! Fear of not being in control. My doctor had advised me that a C-section may be in my future if my placenta did not move up! It had been low lying the whole pregnancy but some how a few weeks before it had moved up enough to try a Natural delivery. I had talked to a few nurses in the months before my delivery and one said something that was life changing “WE PREFER C-sections!” That eased my mind! I had high blood pressure and was on bed rest until Mothers Day. We went in that afternoon after church to try to ripen the cervix which we were not successful! I stayed in the hospital over night and was miserable! My doctor tried again the next day. No progress and I was tired! She came in that afternoon and said, “we can try one more time and have a baby tonight OR I can send you home, get some rest and we can try again on Wednesday!” I wanted to go home more than anything! I went home, which was maybe 10 blocks away, fell as lee and woke up to a feeling of wetting the bed. I went to the bathroom to only have my placenta falling out all over! I wanted clean clothes and my ex wanted me in the car! I got in the car and GOD had everything planned out to a T! I got there and the nurse that worked with me was still there and I begged her to stay with me! She did! My doctor and the anesthesiologist was at the hospital. The surgeon was on the golf course and came in, in his golf gear! I was rushed back to the OR where my daughter was born 30minutes later! I was awake, she came out pooping, peeing and screaming! I don’t remember too much after that. I remember shaking and seeing my daughter. I was asleep due to pain meds and being anemic and woke up the next morning!
Timmy was perfect pregnancy, perfect c-section on schedule with lots of water but 5 weeks later he was in the hospital fighting for his life.
William was scheduled February 16th…but a few weeks earlier I went in for a check up and the nurse said…I bet your going to have this baby today! I laughed! Well, she was right…I was admitted to the hospital for high blood pressure and protein in my pee. I do NOT like being on bed rest at all! So, I tried to get up and go walk the halls to find a Dr. Pepper but the nurse said, “What are you doing? Get back in bed and lets see how much this cost you!” The next morning, I ate breakfast and knew when the doctor came in around lunch time that a c-section was going to happen. This was my second emergency c-section. William was born at 36 weeks…he was 6lbs. That c-section experience was by far one of the best. He stayed in the OR with me until I left! The staff was so fun, we were talking about roller coasters while the doctor was digging and prodding to get my baby boy out!
1 Peter 2:9The Message (MSG)
9-10 But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
This morning as I was reading my devotion from Christine Caine’s book, this was the verse that she referenced.
Growing up many of us may have had images of being a princess or a prince like we say in the movies begin swept away but then life happens and this may or may not have been how your life has turned out. God however has a different plan for our lives and wants us to share what HE is doing in us and through us because we are HIS Choosen! We are HIS royalty! That is so exciting to think that we are HIS Princess and HIS Prince! No matter how our lives have turned out here when we call upon HIM and choose to follow HIM we become ROYALTY!!!!
So, if you have never made that choice I challenge you to say YES to your heavenly father! He will NEVER leave you nor will He EVER forsake you! When we say YES, I will follow you! He will walk beside you! Does that mean that following Christ is an easy road, NO WAY!!! As a matter of fact it can be very challenging BUT this is when we are weak we are STRONG! When you call out to your Abba, He will give you a peace to calm the storm ranging inside of you!
So, for many many years Facebook has been the first thing I woke up to and the last thing I said “Good Night” to! I’d check Facebook many times throughout the day! While I’ve enjoyed being “Friends” with people on Facebook…..those relationships are not going to last. Real life relationships are going to last. That is what will matter in the end. My relationships with Jesus needs to be number one. It needs to be the first thing I wake up to and the last thing I say “Good Night” to. Will it matter how many likes I had on a post…NO….what will matter is did I look up from my phone and make eye contact with that hurting person and smile. This was an EASY choice for me. I thought this would be a difficult choice because of the amount of time I spent checking Facebook but it was not. When God is in it, it is so much easier. The chains are broken and victory is mine! Between my husband making comments about people posting everything in their life on Facebook to the pastor last Sunday sharing about how Jesus was about relationships. I thought I used to be that person and I want to get back, being about relationships. Facebook will NEVER fill an empty void in my life that can only be filled by Him. I may check it every now and then but it will not fill my life. I am feeling good about this choice. Jesus is a better way. People are a better way!