The second time around…

We are ten months in and every day it gets better and better.  Life is good.  Marriage is great!  Things are different the second time around.  I do not mean that in a flippant way because I do not take this marriage lightly.  Being given this amazing second chance at love and marriage is a HUGE blessing.  With this marriage, I am navigating it from a different perspective.  I have solutions to old problems and ways to make things work that did not the first time. 
We begin with faith.  What I did not have the first time around was a marriage where God was the cornerstone.  The foundation of it all.  It was not a marriage where God came first.  I now know that the secret (and truly it is not a secret if you read your bible) to a wonderful marriage is having a foundation built on God.  It is amazing the difference when both people put God first in their lives. 

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.  But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm.  But how can one be warm alone?  A person standing along can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

My husband and I make a great team.  We work really well together.  We support one another in all areas.  This makes our marriage strong.  However, just as the verse in Ecclesiastes says, three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.  We are even better because our marriage is like a triple braided cord because God is what holds us together. All that to say, the most important thing in marriage is keeping God at the center and that both spouses are believers walking daily with the Lord.
Now as I have mentioned in past postings, it is incredibly difficult being newlyweds in a house with five children.  A new marriage requires certain “things” to keep it alive and thriving.  Anyone with kids knows that those “things” can be difficult especially with teenagers in the house.  Overall, we make it all work.  All of it!  There are necessary steps that need to be taken in order to “keep the romance alive.” I will begin with a shout out to my friend and “sister” April Peck!  She gave us one of the best wedding gifts ever.  It is a picture that lists the Rules of Love.  I keep this picture hanging where I see it constantly.  It is such a great reminder for me.  The list is a little lengthy so I’m only going to share some of the important points  for us.
  • Kiss each other goodnight:  My husband insists on kissing me goodnight every night.  In the ten months we have been married we have not gone to bed once without kissing each other goodnight.  This simple act makes it a little difficult to go to bed angry.  Though I have gone to bed annoyed 🙂
  • Hold hands and cuddle: Huge!!  We are always holding hands and we always find time to cuddle.  Truth be told my most favorite place to be is in the arms of my husband.  There is just something incredible about being wrapped in his arms.  It is the safest place in the world for me because he make me feel safe.  He will not allow anyone to disrespect me or make me feel as if I do not matter.  He truly is my protector and will defend me to the bitter end.
  • Laugh together every day:  This is us.  We are always laughing together and having fun.  This keeps your marriage open to fun, which in turn helps to keep you close.  Have I told you about the time I cracked an egg over his head??
  • Be willing to compromise:  To me this means communicate.  You cannot compromise on anything if you are not communicating with one another about everything.  My husband and I talk about everything.  We do not agree on every topic. With that said, there is nothing off limits and he has given me the confidence to bring anything to him.  We talk about everything!  It is something that was severely lacking the first time around. 
  • Write love letters:  This is another big one for me.  He writes me letters all the time.  I never realized the simple importance of reading his feelings on paper.  I love finding letters he has left for me.  They are my reminders that when he is not with me, he is thinking of me. 
  • Remember why you fell in love:  Our situation is different than most.  He walked a very dark road with me and saw me through to the other side.  He has seen me at my worst and seen me at my best.  He knows all there is to know and yet he still loves me! This makes him my best friend.  After everything I went through and everything that he saw, he chose me.  He wanted me.  He loves me!  I fell in love with him because when the rest of the world walked away he was right there cheering me on.  He never gave up on me!
  • Live happily ever after: I’ve read many a Christian article about how happily ever after does not exist.  To those who would say such things I simply say “how sad!”  I agree that fairy tale endings are not necessarily real but I will not put limits on God.  I have seen Him do too many amazing things.  Love and marriage are His design and when we put limits on God’s design, it doesn’t speak too highly of our faith.   I firmly believe that when God comes first you can have happily ever after.  We still fight and argue like the rest of the world but with each battle I love him more and more and our love grows deeper and deeper.

I know there are those out there who would argue the point of God in a marriage.  I know there are those who do not believe in God or religion and that is ok.  I write as someone who has experienced marriage from both aspects.  I have lived both ways and for me, there is no better way to spend the rest of my life with my husband than with God at the center.  If you are someone who does not believe but are happy, let me leave you with this one question.   If you are happy now, are you not a bit curious as to what joy could possibly be awaiting you if you brought God into your marriage?  Just think about it 🙂

My Mom, my Hero

In my time working for a bank, one thing I saw my fair share of was the ugliness that can surface between family members at the death of a loved one.  I witnessed it repeatedly.  People fighting over money and position. Who would decide what to do with the money still left in a savings account or who was in charge of making the plans?  It was unbearable to witness but hurting people hurt people. It is just a fact of life. 

Not long ago my family encountered its own source of drama when there was a death within our family.  I will not bore you with the details, as I am sure you have experienced your own and my ordeal will seem no different.  However, I want to share with you a little about my mom and what I saw rise up out of the tragedy of it all.

It is not unusual to have drama within a family.  I know very well with five children of my own, each with different personalities, that when you put them all in the same room there will be arguing or differences of opinion.  The same can be said for my mother and her siblings.  I have witnessed it time and again, but this time I witnessed my mother rise above the ugliness and while doing so making a huge statement/impact to my children, my siblings and myself.

Events occurred, plans were made, and things were said without taking into consideration the plans or feelings of others involved. Anger arose within me as once again, self-centeredness triumphed and my mom was left hurt again.  My blood boiled and as I spoke with my siblings, I was ready to lead the charge to make it all stop.  I am tired of watching my mom hurt. Then I watched my mom.

Admittedly, I sometimes see her silence as weakness.  I do not understand why she allows so many people to trample her or at least that is how I see it.  Then today I was reading the book In the Grip of Grace yet again and came across this,

“Of all the lessons we can draw from this verse (John 17:20-21), don’t miss the most important: Unity matters to God. The Father does not want his kids to squabble.  Disunity disturbs him. Why? Because “all people will know that you are my followers if you love each other” (John 13:35).  Unity creates belief.  How will the world believe that Jesus was sent by God? Not if we agree with each other.  Not if we solve every controversy.  Not if we are unanimous on each vote.  Not if we never make a doctrinal error.  But if we love one another.

Unity creates belief.  Disunity fosters disbelief. Who wants to board a ship of bickering sailors?  Life on the ocean may be rough, but at least the waves don’t call us names.

All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.” Stop and think about this verse for a minute. Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ?

If unity is the key to evangelism, shouldn’t it have precedence in my prayers? Shouldn’t we, as Paul said, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3)?  If unity matters to God, then shouldn’t unity matter to us? If unity is a priority in heaven, then shouldn’t’ it be a priority on earth?

Nowhere, by the way, are we told to build unity.  We are told simply to keep unity.  From God’s perspective there is but “one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16) Unity does not need to be created; it simply needs to be protected.”

In the Grip of Grace- Max Lucado 

This left me thinking, how often do we find ourselves divided within our own family?  Differences of opinion or convictions can create quite the argument if allowed. It is the power plays and one-upmanship where the division commonly occurs.  

Where jealousy and selfishness are, there will be confusion and every kind of evil.
James 3:16

Do you know where your fights and arguments come from?  They come from the selfish desires that wage war within you.
James 4:1

This kind of behavior even happened with the disciples as they argued for position in the presence of Jesus (Mark 9:33-37). Peter thought he was better than the other disciples were because he walked on water.  John claimed top spot, as he was the “favorite” of Jesus.  Craziness. 

Jesus had a response for his quarreling followers and for us as well.

Whoever accepts a child like this in my name accepts me. And whoever accepts me accepts the One who sent me.
Mark 9:37

Wow.  Jesus used the word accept four times in that single verse leading me to believe this is something He felt quite strongly about and we should listen.  What should that say to each of us? The answer to an argument. Acceptance.  The first step in unity.  Acceptance.  It was not agreement or negotiation but instead the first and only answer was and is acceptance. 

There it was.  My mom’s “weakness” is not weakness but instead her strength.  She believes in unity. She believes in doing what needs to be done to keep the peace, which usually means conceding.  She also believes that we cannot change others and so we must accept them, flaws and all.  Ugh. That stinks.  You know what that means?  Many hurt feelings.  Being made to feel as if you do not matter.  What I am learning though is that her example makes me a better follower of Christ.  Jesus always put the needs of others before Himself.  He accepted people flaws and all. He offered them grace.  It is not always an easy thing to do but it is the right thing to do and because of it, He blesses us. 

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that no one can criticize you.  Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.  Hold firmly to the word of life; then on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.
Philippians 2:14-16

Over the years, I have witnessed my mom offer great amounts of grace to those who have caused her great amounts of tears.  She is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but she does strive to live a life of integrity.  Out of a family full of Pastors, Deacons and Sunday school teachers, she has taught me more than any other has.  She lives a life of acceptance and strives to create unity within our family.  She chooses to love and with that people know that she follows Jesus (John 13:35). She “makes every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3) as she puts aside her own wants and desires.  She loves the unlovable, offers grace to the undeserving and strives for unity at the cost of her own feelings.  That is the legacy that my mom will leave for her children and grandchildren some day. 

With that, I leave you with the words of my ever so wise younger sister,

“I’d rather be ministered to by people who’ve seen the pits of despair of this little thing we like to call life.  If one can come out swinging after tragedy/suffering of any kind, then all the more impact they’ll have on others. Also I find, those who have dealt with the “dark side” of life tend to be more forgiving, more compassionate and more open.  And all those make for the best types of Christians in my humble opinion.”

I think we would both agree, that is our mom 🙂

Lost Heros Found

Where the grace of God is missed, bitterness is born. But where the grace of God is embraced, forgiveness flourishes.
-Max Lucado

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.  Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

Hebrews 12:15

I had just left from a wonderful morning of worship and was heading home when the words, “every person in my life who I ever thought were great influences in my life ended up being a joke” came from my mouth.  I was feeling disappointed and angry.  My pastor had been speaking on how we each influence the world and asked us to think about those in our life who had been a great influence to us.  Every name that passed through my mind brought about feelings of hurt.  Suddenly my life felt like a joke.

Fortunately, for me, I have a husband who knows how to stay quiet when I have these moments.  He does not encourage my negative thoughts by adding insult to injury but instead just listens.  He knows I need to talk it all out and allow God to work  it out for me.

As I sat in the car with tears in my eyes, the thick black ooze of bitterness came pouring out of my heart.  I could feel the anger for each of these people rise to the surface.  I was a little caught off guard.  I really thought I had dealt with these deep nasty feelings.  Apparently, I had not. 

This week God has truly been working on me in this area.  I asked for His help and He has answered.  Monday as I was writing He led me to a book I have not read in quite some time.  Max Lucado’s In the Grip of Grace.   I came across this passage,

“Let me be very clear.  Hatred will sour your outlook and break your back.  The load of bitterness is simply too heavy.  Your knees will buckle under the strain, and your heart will break beneath the weight.  The mountain before you is steep enough without the heaviness of hatred on your back.  The wisest choice-the only choice-is for you to drop the anger.  You will never be called upon to give anyone more grace than God has already given you.”

OUCH! Wow!  Profound. My toes are a little sore. This means forgiveness. Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

In my head, I responded with “But, Max, that’s not fair!  These people do not deserve grace.  They do not deserve mercy.  They do not deserve my forgiveness.”

I continued reading,

“I’m not saying [they] he [are] is.  But are you?”

Ouch again!  His words continued jumping off the page at me.

“Besides what choice do you have?  Hatred?  The alternative is not appealing.  Look what happens when we refuse to forgive, “The master was very angry and put the servant in prison to be punished until he could pay for everything he owed” (Matt. 18:34).

Unforgiving servants always end up in prison. Prisons of anger, guilt and depression.  God doesn’t have to put us in jail; we create our own.  “Some men stay healthy till the day they die…others have no happiness at all; they live and die with bitter hearts” (Job 21:23-25 TEV).

I started rolling all that around in my head. It was a lot.  I recognize the heaviness he is writing about and I know I want it gone.  I began to think more about grace.  God does not just offer me grace but He offers it to everyone.  Not only that but He expects me to offer the same grace He offers me, to others.  All others.

As I was reading the words in the book over again, God brought this passage to mind.

No one is righteous- not even one.No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.All have turned away; all have become useless.No one does good, not a single one.
Romans 3:10-11

This passage led me down a different road. My perspective began to change.  Not everyone gets it right all the time.  No one walks every second of life in the will of God.  No one.  Why?  Because no one does good…all the time.  It is just not possible.  So what does that mean?  It means we cannot put people on pedestals.  I cannot put people on pedestals.  Let me just say that I stink at this.  I have a tendency to place people that I look up to on these beautifully decorated pedestals.  I paint them as perfect and sinless.  Then I focus my attention on wanting to be like them because I see them as being the epitome of “Christ likeness.”  Ugh.  Sinful.  My intentions are good.  Honestly they are.  The problem is that this expectation is unfair.  It is not possible. Why?  Because none of us are Jesus.  No matter how hard we try, there is no way we will ever actually be Jesus.  We can reflect Him.  We can act like Him but we will never be perfect and sinless.  My issue is that of putting the wrong person(s) on the pedestal.  It should be Jesus.  My attention should be focused on Him because He is the One who will never fall off that pedestal.   He is the only One who will never let me down.

It is so simple now that I have thought it all through.  So much time wasted placing unrealistic expectations on people who will ultimately fall. Huge amounts of my time wasted with feelings of bitterness and anger.  It is time to let it all go.  It is time to release that huge weight that has been holding me back. It is time to acknowledge that the people who I once considered influences in my life are not a joke.  I know, how nice of me 🙂 Seriously though the time they spent being a part of my life and what they did teach me was not a waste of time.  It is time to acknowledge that all those things I learned from them did in fact help to encourage and grow my faith.  It is time to forgive the hurt caused by the toppling over of the pedestal for which I had placed each of them.  Just as God offers me grace, I now choose to do the same.  

Hiding behind the don't judge nonsense…Please!!??

I was scrolling through Twitter when the picture to the left popped up in my feed along with the caption “There is a BIG difference between judging/criticizing and pouring forth the straight testimony.  It’s time we be honest and stop hiding behind the “DON”T JUDGE” nonsense.”  My shoulders slumped and my heart sank.  The arrogance of posting such a statement. Why do people post the things they do?  Is it a lack of understanding scripture?  Of grace? It is hard to understand the whys especially when it is posted by someone you know. In my frustration, I opened my Bible and began searching for answers and what God had to say.  The rest of this posting is where my time with Him led.   

For all have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.
Romans 3:12

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many.  But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.Romans 5:17 

My first question while searching became: Where does that kind of attitude come from? Is it a lack of understanding grace? I know it is a word they talk about and are aware of the meaning but it seems that they do not know how to extend or accept it.  My search then led me to my journal where I had penned this quote by Chuck Swindoll in which he refers to this kind of attitude as un-Christlike.  “Grace killers are notorious for a judgmental attitude.  It is perhaps the single most un-Christlike characteristic in evangelical circles today.” This led me to the book of Matthew where Jesus referred to them as white washed tombs.

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees?  Hypocrites!  For you are like white washed tombs-beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”     Matthew 23:27

I realize that the world out there is full of “Christians” who will judge and criticize those around them. They finger point and gossip all the while ignoring the incredibly large sequoia tree hanging from their own eye (Matt. 7:3-5). I guess what I am learning is simply this; avoid those that would be quick to point out your sin while ignoring their own. Avoid those that have developed alternatives to God’s grace. Those who opt for a list of dos and don’ts or leave no room for gray areas or who have developed judgmental attitudes toward those who will not follow their plans or opinions.  Why? Because those types of attitudes are un-Christlike.
There is an excellent book written by Max Lucado titled In the Grip of Grace, which touches on this as well.  I have read it several times and this particular passage gets me every time.

In Romans 1 Paul confronts the hedonists.  In chapter 2 he deals with another group, the judgmental moralists: those who, “pass judgment on someone else” (2:1 NIV).  Somewhere between the escort service and the church service there is the person who “points[his] finger at others” (2:1 MSG).

 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are, when you judge another; for in passing judgment upon him you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” (RSV 2:1) 

Who is this person?  Is could be anyone (“O man, whoever you are”) who filters God’s grace through his own opinion.  Anyone who dilutes God’s mercy with his own prejudice.  He is the prodigal son’s elder brother who wouldn’t attend the party (see Luke 15:11-32).  He is the ten-hour worker, upset because the one-hour worker got the same wage (see Matt. 20:1-16). He is the fault- finding brother obsessed by his brother’s sins and oblivious to his own.     

Max Lucado~  In the Grip of Grace

I love his straightforwardness.  He calls it like it is because at one time or another we have all done the same thing.  We have all compared our faults, our sins to that of another person. We have all made judgment calls against someone without all the necessary facts. He says,
The easiest way to justify the mistakes in my house is to find worse ones in my neighbor’s house. 
-Max Lucado
The great thing about God is that this scam does not work. Comparing ourselves and withholding grace to another is wrong and we are accountable for our judgmental attitude. Here is what Paul says in Romans 2:2-4 (MSG)

But if you think that leaves you on high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again.  Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself.  It takes one to know one.  Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection of your own crimes and misdemeanors.  God isn’t so easily diverted.  He sees right through all the smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.  You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from coming down on you hard?  Or did you think that just because He’s such a nice God he’d let you off the hook?  Better think this one through from the beginning.  God is kind, but he’s not soft.  In kindness He takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life change.

When the Holy Spirit lives within us, He touches those tender places in our heart revealing to us our sin when we begin to drift or turn away from God.  He leads us to repentance.  He also leads the right person to speak “forth the straight testimony.”   He sends someone who will speak truth, oftentimes-hard truth but one who will do so with great amounts of love and grace.  Someone who understands and has experienced His love and grace. Someone who has left judgement by the wayside and sees themselves just as unworthy of God’s grace.
Be wary of those who claim to choose integrity yet live a life that is critical and judgmental.  They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.  

Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, a bad tree produces bad fruit.  A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
Matthew 7:15-20

They are proclaiming a gospel that leaves little room for the amazing work Christ did upon the cross for everyone!

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.  And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.Romans 3:22


I need your help!

I need your help.  Today I am asking a huge favor of those who have found themselves reading this post. I totally believe you are not here by accident.  I believe that Someone brought you to this post for a reason.  Because of this, I need to ask something of you.

Five years ago, I began writing.  I did not know the purpose or reason at the time but God did.  God knew what was ahead of me.  He knew where my life was headed.  He knew the storm that was approaching and He began preparing me for the now road ahead.  I feel He has given me a purpose and a place to share His love and grace with those who need to hear.  He has given me a heart that longs to help women who are suffering from the loss of their marriage and struggling to find their identity.  He is now giving me the opportunity to be for others what I did not have.

If you have never dealt with divorce, it is hard to understand all the emotions involved and even harder to relate.  There is so much pain, feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, feelings of betrayal, fear and hurt that all never seems to end.  It is incredibly lonely. For me, with the exception of my parents and siblings as well a dear friend who lived two minutes from my home, I was alone. My church, my closest friends and my extended family abandoned me.  At a time when I needed love and support, there was none. It was not only lonely but also truly scary.  At a time in my life when I needed people there for me, they were nowhere to be found. I have encountered many others whose experience was much the same as mine.  Now that I have experienced this kind of pain and am aware how much it happens, I want to help make a difference in the lives of hurting women.  I want them to know that they are not alone.

Right now as you are reading this post, someone’s name has probably come to mind. Someone you know who is dealing with a struggling marriage or divorce.  It is not hard to think of someone. It is happening everywhere. With that said, here is where I need your help.  I am asking you for four things:

  1. I would like to ask for the names of those hurting that God has brought to mind.  Whether by email or Facebook, will you please send me the names of those women in your life who are struggling right now?  Maybe you do not know all the details and that is ok. I do not need details.  Knowing that they are struggling is enough.  It will only take a minute of your time to simply send me their name.  I want to begin praying for them.  I want to pray for their family. Women and their children (even the husband) who are dealing with this battle need to be covered in prayer. These families need to be loved on and shown that they are not alone.  It is a simple request.  Can you help me?
  2. I would like to ask that you give them my name, my email and number. Help me connect with these women.  I do not care where they live. I do not care what happened that brought them to this place.   I just want them to know they have an advocate, a friend.  Someone who will be a listening ear.  Someone who will pray with them.
  3. I would like to ask that you pass along this posting.  Repost to your Facebook, Twitter or forward on in an email to those you know.  Help me get the message out so we can begin praying.  Help me make a difference in the lives of those you know.  Let us be His hands and feet together.
  4. I would also like to ask that you pray for my husband and me.  For some time now, God has placed on my heart the desire to begin a ministry for women.  I do not know what that looks like or where it will begin but I know God is big and has already worked out all of the details.  We are now waiting for Him to lead us in the direction we are to go.   I am asking for your prayers.  Prayers for wisdom as to what steps we are to take next.  Pray that we will make ourselves completely available for whatever the mission ahead.  Also, pray for our family as God leads us into this next journey. 

There is so much hurting in our world.  So many people left without hope.  People need to know there is a mighty God who loves them and longs to walk with them through the darkest storms in their lives.  We need to be the light.  We need to be on mission.  Help me take the first steps in making a difference.  You can send your names to my email or through a Facebook message at

Thank you in advance for your help.  I truly hope and pray that you will take a second to help me make a difference in this dark world. 

Something to say…

When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country.  He returned to Nazareth, his hometown.  When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get his wisdom and the power to do miracles?”   Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers-James, Joseph, Simon and Judas.  All his sisters live here among us. Where did he learn all these things?  And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in Him.

Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.  And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.

Matthew 13:53-58
Several years ago, I was inspired to start a blog.  I remember the morning well.  I was driving home after dropping my fourth child off at preschool when the words of Matthew West’s song Something to Say played through the speakers of my car.  I also remember the goose bumps and the way the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I clearly heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, “You have something to say. Write about me to others.  ”  I remember grabbing hold of the steering wheel with both hands as I slowly peered through my rear view mirror to see who was in the back seat talking to me.  Imagine my surprise when the only “someone” I saw was my precious sleeping six month old. 

As I pulled into the driveway, I prayed.  Writing for others to read was not for someone like me.  It required transparency and vulnerability.  Neither with which I was comfortable.  I prayed some more.  For me, writing would be the easy part of this assignment because I could put my thoughts on paper.  The struggle would begin when it came time to hit the publish button.  Ugh. The agony and fear that coursed through my veins left me feeling nauseous.  I was so scared of coming across the wrong way and I did not want to offend anyone.  I hated the idea of opening myself up for “the world” to see.  Little did I know what was yet to come.

In the beginning, my readers were limited to the handful of people who knew about it.  Within the first few postings, I began to receive some negative anonymous comments.  I remember immediately wondering if I should quit writing.  I began to pray again.  Maybe what I heard in my car was the enemy.  Maybe he was setting me up.  My mind was all over the place.  I sat in tears as I searched for an answer.  Had I heard the Holy Spirit clearly that day?  What was the purpose of writing if I was only going to be attacked?  Then one morning I had a conversation with a friend who lived down the street.  She reminded me of the passage in Matthew.  I remember her saying that friends and family rejected even Jesus. She told me that I should not let the words of others keep me from being obedient to the Holy Spirit.  Her words were powerful that day and stayed with me.  Her words also reminded me that I had to “be like” Jesus.  I could not give up just because someone did not like what I had to say.  I also had to love even those who would say hurtful things.  The rejection was good and because of it, I grew those first couple of years.   My writing began to change and I became more transparent as I opened up and shared my life with those who took the time to read.    

I do not write a trendy blog about politics, food or fashion and so my audience is a little limited. I do not get tons of public comments and my blog is not shared by the masses.  However, what I do get are personal messages.  Messages from people who are hurting or need prayer.  People who are searching for answers. People who are questioning why bad things are happening in their life.  I get personal messages of encouragement or those wanting to share their own story.  It is amazing.  It is humbling.  It is God.

What I have learned through writing is that we all have a story to tell.  We all have been given something to share with others.  Five years ago, God began preparing me.  He has given me this amazing platform to share what I have learned though my struggles of divorce with those who need to hear.  I have watched as my story has traveled the globe and been read in places that I know I will probably never go. Those who need to hear of God’s amazing love and grace are finding hope. That is what God can do.  He takes our biggest messes and turns them into a beautiful message that we can share with those who are hurting and need to know Him.   It is incredible what God can accomplish through us when we say yes.  Everyone can make a difference.  Everyone has the ability to help change the world.  Everyone can live on mission!! Everyone has a story to tell! It just takes one simple yes when He asks us to follow.