Twenty some odd years ago, I was preparing for a life of marriage and family.  Learning to become the wife I thought I should be. Soaking up all the knowledge being thrown my way.  I was bound and determined that I would do this marriage thing right. I was nineteen years old and had dreamed for a very long time about being a wife and a mom. And it was all about to come true.

During an extended weekend of marriage counseling, it was repeated more times than I can count that, “you never speak negatively of your spouse to anyone.” The reason being that for you, a situation may arise that causes hurt or frustration that you and your spouse might encounter but later end up working through and are able to move on from in a positive direction.  But for those in your life that you might share this struggle with, they are stuck in that moment involving what you have shared and may not be able to look past the offenses of your spouse and so they then hold it against them.  That made sense to me and so that became a principle I held to with everything in me.

Fast forward many years later. I had spent many years married. Many things happened. Many things kept a secret because of a principle. I did not speak a negative word about my spouse. I followed those words of instruction as if my life depended on it and it cost me. a lot.

It wasn’t until yesterday, when I was having a conversation with someone that this was pointed out to me. I have been through YEARS of counseling trying to reconcile what had been done to me by family and friends.  I experienced some of the worst forms of betrayal, and I have been unable to figure out why. But now I better understand.

The lesson I thought I learned, and what I thought was good advice, ended up being anything but.

I had never once spoken ill of my spouse or the things happening in my home.  I never shared with anyone until it was too late.  And because I never spoke up. No one believed me.

A few months ago, our pastor was talking about marriage. One of the things he shared that stuck with me was that by the time most people turn to their pastors for help, things have gotten bad.  To the point, that it makes it difficult for staff to determine what is happening or how they can help.  He also said that usually by the time someone comes forward they have reached the point that they are beyond wanting to save their marriage.  As I thought about his statement, it made a lot of sense, and it can be applied to the “principle” shared with me all those years ago. Talk to someone before things get worse. Do not stay quiet!  Find a trusted person that you can confide in about what is taking place. Keep a journal. If you are not in immediate danger, write down events as they happen and then check in with someone who can help you process and decide what steps to take next.

At the end of the day, people mean well. But people are not always right. And this goes for believers too.

The takeaway of this story: no one needs to trash or demean a spouse to ANYONE because they are mad at said spouse. That is NOT okay. However, if someone is causing you harm, repeatedly, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally, DO NOT STAY QUIET. Tell someone! Abuse of any form is not okay and should not be kept quiet.


Aviary Photo_130595244444352172Liberty, not legalism, is what the Lord Jesus Christ offers. Freedom, not bondage. Relationship, not religion. We give up nothing for which Jesus will not abundantly offer more than we could ever hope or dream.

-Adrian Rogers

Not often in life are we given a do-over.  A second chance to get it right. When we do experience a second chance, it is definitely a beautiful blessing. 

I have been pondering that thought for some time now. How exactly does the idea of a second chance fair in the minds of those who follow a religion instead of Jesus.  What does that look like?

Back when my marriage woes became obvious, and my future included divorce, I repeatedly heard I would no longer be in God’s care or under His blessing.  It was typically followed up with that verse found in the Old Testament that says,

“For I, the God of Israel, hate divorce!” I, the Commander of heavenly armies, despise it when people wrap themselves in violence like a garment.  So guard yourselves: be true to your wife and not unfaithful. 

Malachi 2:16

The way in which some use God’s word to manipulate others is frustrating at best. As one who was manipulated, I remember being terrified at the notion and thinking that this predicament I found myself in was not one that I chose or wanted.  Divorce was the last thing I had imagined for my family.  Would God truly “kick me to the curb” because I was divorced?  Would He seriously abandon me in my darkest days?

Oh, the joys of legalism and the way it leads people astray.  For some, this kind of teaching could lead them straight down a path away from God.  Honestly, it led to doubt in my own mind and I withdrew myself from God and the church all together for a short time.  However, God proved them all wrong.

This next bit serves only as my two cents and comes only from my own experience of walking the path of divorce and walking it with God by my side.

In my opinion, there is no doubt God hates divorce.  I am confident He hates what it does to the people involved.  The heartache, the destruction, the negative picture it paints of His love and grace and everything else horrific that follows.  For me, it was the worst experience I have ever faced in my entire life and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.  Ever!  However, no matter what “religious” men say, God does not turn away His children and stop blessing them.  Instead that “God stops blessing you” statement just serves as another lie told by religious men/women to manipulate the scared and hurting.  

The more I think about it, the more I am confident that God hates divorce because there is no way He wants any of His children to endure the pain that it includes. Especially the loneliness. And He surely doesn’t want us walking alone.  I believe He hates divorce, however He does not hate the person struggling through divorce.

With that being said, divorce happens.  Whether we choose it or not, it happens.  For me, I did not file the paperwork and did not ask for it to be processed, yet happened.

Does that mean God no longer wants me and will no longer use me? According to some, the answer is yes. According to God, a gigantic resounding no! Nothing can separate a child of God from the love of God. 

But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.  For I have every confidence that nothing- not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing-can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Now being one who can usually appreciate the good and bad in life, my divorce allows me to say that though horrific, it served as one of the best things that ever happened to me.   I understand that may sound crazy.  You’re probably thinking this chick has fallen off her rocker, especially if you witnessed any of what took place over the last few years. But in all seriousness, it’s true.

The heartache and pain of my divorce left me with more than I could have ever dreamed possible!  Divorce caused me to search after God.  To run after Him in total surrender which brought me to a new place in Christ.  The heartache and pain brought me to a place where I finally understood His grace and His love for me and it taught me the difference between religion and relationship. Even more, it taught me faith and trust in the One who holds my entire world in His hands. 

Just because divorce entered my life, God did not leave me.  Not once. In fact, I felt His remarkable added presence during that time.  He never left my side.  Yes, there were plenty of dark and painful days, but His comfort and strength flooded my life! Because of Him, I made it through the darkest season.  But only because of Him!

I have countless regrets in my life.  A LOT! We all have regrets.  If given the opportunity, many choices in life would be done differently.  Unfortunately, certain choices just can’t be undone. Thankfully, because of Christ and His work on the cross we receive a second chance.   We can have a fresh beginning.  We can have more than we ever dreamed possible! Like abundant joy and a love relationship with the Creator of the Universe just to name a few!


A New Identity, A Pair of Broken Wings and One Great Hope

Seven years ago, writing became a big part of my life.  I did not know the purpose or reason at the time but God did.  He was aware of my impending storm and prepared me for the road ahead.  

If you have never dealt with divorce, it is hard to understand the emotions involved and even harder to relate.  There is so much pain from feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, feelings of betrayal, fear and hurt that never seem to end.  For me, except for 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 love and support were needed, I found none. It was not only lonely but scary.

After the trials and storms, He has given me a place and a purpose to be for others what I did not have. By sharing His love, His grace and His hope, I can help women who are not just suffering from the loss of their marriage but struggling to find their “new” identity.

Throughout the last few years I have encountered many women whose experiences were much like mine.  Recognizing their pain and being aware of how much it happens, leaves me with a great desire to offer encouragement to those hurting.  I want them to know they are not alone and they have a great HOPE.

Several months ago, I commented on a Facebook post of a friend. That same day I received a friend request from someone I did not know who had also left a comment.  Because we had several mutual friends I accepted and God began a work. Little did I know the way in which He was working, orchestrating a new journey for me.  

As I visited the profile of my new friend, I discovered that my beautiful new friend Megan and her husband are part of an incredible ministry, Give Her Wings.   While reading about this ministry, their mission and purpose left me overcome with gratitude. The mission:  Helping to give specific mothers who have left abusive situations a chance to get on their feet…to breathe…to heal their broken wings and fly free again.   Being one who understands and is passionate to serve those women who are left to start over, I wanted to help.  I wanted to do what they were doing but I was only one person. I didn’t even know how to start such an undertaking.

Time passed but the feelings grew stronger. It took time for me to recognize the nudging of the Holy Spirit to contact Megan.  I didn’t know what to say but began by sharing my story and desire to be a part of this amazing work God was doing through them. Much to my surprise my message was met with such encouragement.  God opened doors and made it clear that this ministry, Give Her Wings, was where He wanted me.  

Less than a month ago I received a special gift in the mail that touched my heart. Megan has written an amazing book also titled Give Her Wings.  This incredible book brought so much healing as the words spoke such truth and love as well as encouragement. It was filled with clarity, compassion and hope and helped to free me from the struggle of guilt I often experience. It is a great resource filled with practical advice for mamas searching for answers in what can be such a dark journey while giving excellent and much needed advice and wisdom to those walking alongside those dealing with abuse. It is a much needed resource for an area that is greatly lacking in many churches and one every pastor should read. To learn more about her book or to pick up a copy for yourself, click here.

So if you have made it this far into this post I have something for you to consider.  Right now as you are reading, someone’s name has probably come to mind. Someone in your life is dealing with a struggling marriage or with abuse.  With that said, I would like to ask something of you because there is something you can do.

First, you can pray. Whoever God has placed on your heart, say a prayer. You don’t need details because God knows. Realizing the struggle is more than enough.  It simply takes a minute to pray. Mamas and their babies (even the husbands) 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.  And we can intercede on their behalf by lifting them up in prayer.  

My second request is for you to visit the website Give Her Wings. The purpose of Give Her Wings is to raise gifts and money for mothers who have left abusive situations. Oftentimes, when a woman leaves an abusive marriage, she narrowly escapes with little more than her children and the clothes on her back. Give Her Wings desires to do all they can to help specific mothers who are living in very poor conditions presently.  Once there you can read more about the ministry as well blog posts and updates on mamas who have been helped. There is also a place to donate and support the ministry as well as nominate a mama you may know who needs help.  

There is so much hurting in our world.  So many people left without hope. People need to be reminded of our mighty God who loves and longs to walk alongside them through the darkest storms in life.  To know that we, the Church, are here to love and walk with them. We need to be the light. We need to be on mission.  We are called to care for those around us who are hurting and in need.

Help me take the first step in making a difference. Visit and see what part you can play in making a difference in the lives of those who need our help to heal their broken wings and fly free again.  Thank you in advance for your help as we make a difference in a world that often can be dark.

Can I go anywhere apart from you Spirit?
Is there anywhere I can go to escape Your watchful presence?
If I go up into Heaven, You are there.
If I make my bed in the realm of the dead, You are there.
If I ride on the wings of morning,
if I make my home in the most isolated part of the ocean,
Even then You will be there to guide me;
Your right hand will embrace me, for You are always there.
Even if I am afraid and think to myself, “There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me,
the light around me will soon be turned night,”
You can see in the dark, for it is not dark to Your eyes.
For You the night is just as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to Your eyes.

Psalm 139:7-12

God, a box and a slippery slope: No room for grace

I am divorced and remarried.  In my younger years my feelings on those topics varied greatly from where they do today.  I was guilty of judging those who were divorced and even them as ungodly. Their story did not matter to me. My focus was the choice made to walk away from a covenant put together before God.  I was judgmental and ignorant.  One might even add arrogant.

I’ve grown up a lot. Learned a lot. Realized that things are not so cut and dry.  And now understanding this, I love people with all the answers. The ones where everything in their world is black and white.  No room for error.  No room for grace. Sadly, I must admit, I used to be that person.

As someone who spent the entire first half of her life believing that divorce was an abomination against God, I will be the first to admit my own ignorance.  I grew up assuming, from what I was told, divorced people were not in God’s will and could not be blessed.  I heard, accepted and preached it. I put God in a box and did like many people, used it to manipulate and control.

You see for years, my God was not big. The God I followed could easily fit into a box. That has changed. Over the course of the last few months, I have come upon several discussions over sin and what constitutes sin.  From there, the discussions turned into what sins can be committed and one still be truly saved?  I got caught up in the discussion and started measuring sin. But this can be a very slippery slope. Those discussions served as a distraction and they distracted me from what is truly important.  Following Jesus.

So all this “discussion” turned into distraction that then led me to doubt.  Not in my faith but the people of my faith.  Wondering who I should follow.  Questioning my allegiance and loyalty. Am I too wrapped up in following people?   With that said, I’ve spent a great deal of time asking for direction and discernment. During this time, John 3:16 has played repeatedly in my head.  The words, “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish” have played over again like a song on repeat.

I grew up in church.  The first verse I remember memorizing was John 3:16, and it was the King James version.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only  begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

To this day, I remember that verse word for word.  It has been so hidden away in my heart, surprisingly enough, I often forget the words and their great gospel message.

So now I am going back to the start.  Back to the essentials of my faith.

God made a way when He sent Jesus. He loved us so much He gave up the life of His Son to save us even in the midst of our sinful ways. John 3:16 tells us that if we believe in Him, we are His. Believe what?  God is Holy and Jesus is the Son of God. We are sinners separated from God and in need of a Savior. Jesus lived a perfect life. He took our sin and our punishment when He was nailed to the cross.  Three days later, He rose from the dead.

If we believe those things while placing our faith and trust in Christ alone for forgiveness and repent of our sin, we are born again and become a child of God. The “basics” of my faith.

So as of today, I am walking away.  I am turning away from those who “believe” they have God figured out.  I am going back to my Bible and I am going to follow Jesus.  To read His words, His teachings and follow His Truth while I seek after His will for my life.  A fresh start.  I spent years of my life following the teachings of men and trusting their interpretations of scripture as gospel truth but it ends today.  I want to know Jesus.  To follow Him more intimately.  To do that I have to seek Him with my whole heart and allow the voices of the world to fade away.


My journey begins today.  I challenge you to turn off the world around you and focus solely on His voice.  It’s time to meet with Jesus.


I wore the scarlet letter “D” around my neck for several years.  Divorce. It was not a word I ever expected to find attached to my name. In fact, had you asked me in my younger years if I believed I would ever wear the title of divorcee you would have received a loud resounding no.  I would never be one of “those” people. That would have honestly been my answer.  Truly.  Well look at me now.

After sixteen years of marriage and five beautiful children, I found myself at the end of my marriage.  I found myself a single mom of five with no job.  After fifteen years of being a devoted stay at home mom, I had to figure out how to provide for six people on my own.  My identity as wife had been stripped away and was now a thing of my past.  The scarlet letter “D” hung so large and disgusting around my neck that is began to define me. With each marital status box check marked divorced, I sank lower and lower into a lesser version of myself. I began to lose even more of myself than I already had in many years of an unhealthy marriage. When I was young, I wanted so badly to “get it right.”  I was determined to do all the things God wanted me to do and to go all the great places He wanted me to go.  I had great plans for the plans God had for my life. That was the problem.  They were my great plans and somewhere along the way, it all went wrong.

Finding oneself within a community of Christians is incredibly difficult after divorce.  To find healing and restoration within a church can be even more difficult.  Throughout the process of my divorce I went to church.  I wanted comfort and direction. I needed guidance. But what happened was more times than I can count I left feeling discouraged and hurt from simple comments about “divorced people.”  The feelings of inadequacy grew into a pile that covered me with such weight that I could not breath at times.  As I would slowly attempt to dig my way out of the rubble and just begin to see some light someone else was there to add more weight to my pile, reminding me that divorce was a sin and that it disqualified me from God’s blessing.  The cycle continued. The digging, climbing and clearing of the horror and humiliation by those well meaning Christians in my life. A never ending cycle of pain.

It took a great work of God to get me through it all.  It took enormous amounts of time emerged in His book searching for His answers and not the opinions of others.  You see I had to come to the realization that we all have regrets.  We all deal with shame and guilt.  We all have sinned. We all continuously sin. It is an ongoing act for everyone.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  
Romans 3:23

Because of our sin, we all deserve death.  No one person is better than another.  

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

Suddenly it was like a light bulb went off in my head as I began to truly grasp that no one was sinless.  That was huge for me because somewhere in my mind I had created a lie that said there were those who walked the earth that did not sin.  What a lie I found myself believing. It left me feeling like I would never be good enough.  Then I discovered a “But God.”

But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  Romans 5:8

Let me tell you the significance of But God, in my life.  I want to share it with you because it is huge and it is freeing.  You see on my own I cannot live this life perfectly.  Nothing I do on my own will succeed if I do not allow God room to work.  This would be where But God comes in and changes everything. Example: I may feel that I have ruined my life because I am divorced but God showed His great love for me by sending Christ to die for me while I was still a sinner. (Romans 5:8) You see when we see a But God in scripture it signals a change or a clarification in what follows next. It signals a change in our life or a chance to challenge and grow our faith.  When God enters the picture of our lives,  He makes all the difference in the world because He changes everything and His mercy makes it new. It begins to change your perspective on things. That’s what happened to me. I realized that nothing I could do nor anyone else would ever be good enough to gain God’s approval, His love or His grace.  We are all nothing but disgusting sinners who need saving. But God gave us Jesus and it is by the blood of Jesus that God’s see me as righteous and no longer disgusting. So now  I shut out the world and I listen to what God has to say about me.

I am a child of God
But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become the children of God.
John 1:12

I am chosen, holy and blameless before God

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.
Ephesians 1:4

I am righteous and holy

Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy.
Ephesians 4:24

I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Jesus Christ

He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 1:7

My past happened.  It is done. I cannot change what has happened.  I cannot go back and make things different.  I could choose to continue to beat myself up and carry the burden of my past forever but that would just be stupid.  That would be like living in a prison forever.  When it all comes down to it, we all have a past, we all have sin and we all deserve death BUT GOD gave us Jesus.  Thank God and His amazing grace that because of the work Jesus did on the cross, He remembers our sin no more!  He has taken it and thrown it as far as the east is from the west.  He has redeemed the messes and restored the broken.  He has freed me from my past and He has freed you from your past too.  

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
Psalm 103:12

But the Lord will redeem those who serve Him.  No one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned.

Psalm 34:22

So Christ has truly set us free.  Now make sure you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

Galatians 5:1

There are days when the past creeps in and I find myself suffering with feelings of guilt and shame. Satan wants nothing more than for us to suffer with those feelings.  He wants us to be so paralyzed by our past regrets and choices that we cannot move forward because his mission is to steal, kill and destroy the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.  (John 10:10)  We have to remember that we are free! We cannot enjoy the life God has for us if we allow ourselves to wallow in guilt and shame.  So we must combat those lies of Satan with the Truth of God’s word.

Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “you are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

That is it!  The truth sets us free!  The past has happened but I will make the choice not to allow it to impact my future.  The choice is up to us. We can choose to either wear those chains of guilt and shame or throw them off and allow God to redeem our past and use it for His glory!!

My scarlet is letter is a “D,” but perhaps you have a different letter hanging around your neck. Truth be told I have many scarlet letters that I could wear. So do you.  Maybe it is an “A” for adultery or addiction.  Maybe it is a “G” for gossip or greed.  Maybe it is a “P” for pornography or pride.  An “I” for insecurity or “J” for judgmental attitude.
Regardless of your sin, regardless of the guilt, God is your only true answer and real source of freedom.

I am divorced but I am no longer defined by my scarlet letter of shame.  Instead, I choose to see myself as whole, forgiven and loved.  I choose to wear the title of Child of the One true King!  I choose to be free!

Grace Deficient

So imagine being told that someone has no desire to meet your spouse. Because of preconceived notions and judgements formulated in their own mind, they do not want to meet one of the most important people in your life. The one person in your life who has taught and demonstrated God’s love to you more than anyone else and they don’t want to know them. That was the dilemma I was facing. That was my heartache. But God quickly turned that dilemma into a great lesson. 

You see, over the course of a messy divorce, I learned a lot about people. I also learned even more about God and His unending love and amazing grace for His children. For those who would refuse to accept someone they have never even met based solely on assumptions and judgements and cast them aside leads me to believe that they may have a grace deficiency. 

 I have come to realize that when you struggle with any kind of sin, there will be those who stand on the sidelines casting their stones in your direction. They will point fingers, talk, and make their judgements yet stand confused as they cannot quite make sense as to how it is that Jesus is working through your mess of a life. I don’t mean that to come across arrogant. Instead quite the opposite. I am a sinner who feels unworthy of being used by God. I have failed on so many occasions but my Jesus did something amazing for me. He paid an amazing price for my life so that my life could be used for His Father’s glory. 

Imagine standing in a room full of people. You are there with your struggles and sin trying to make sense of a life gone wrong. Around the room are those who turn up their noses and point fingers making assumptions of every wrong decision you have made. Suddenly you look and there He is. There is Jesus. You suddenly become confused. Why? Because He is standing next to you. You don’t understand. You see, all those in the room pointing their fingers are the ones who have lived such good lives. They do all the right things. They say the right things. Why is He standing with you? Then He looks at you and speaks.

 “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do.” 
Then He adds,
 “Now go and learn the meaning of this scripture: I want you to show mercy not offer sacrifices. For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” 
 Matthew 9:12-13 

 There it is. In a nutshell. He is there with you because you get it. You know you are a sinner and you know you need His grace.

Sometimes it is hard for those who have lived such a “blameless” life to understand how it is that those who have messed up so bad in life can be used by God but that scripture makes it abundantly clear. You see, Jesus takes our greatest failures and our deepest regrets and biggest heartaches and He uses them to do amazing things. When we turn it all over to Him, seek His forgiveness in true repentance, He restores us. But not only that He makes us shine brighter than we ever did before. Why? Because we get it.  We recognize that we are frail, weak and sinful. We realize that before we did not get it. We were being held in bondage by rules and regulations that were keeping us from walking with Him so intimately. We now understand what it means to fall flat on our face and have the Creator of the Universe pick us up and say, “My child I love you.” We have been through so much and gotten it wrong so many times that turning down our noses at another is not possible. Instead we see a world full of people just like us. People who are hurting and broken, longing to be rescued. And that is exactly what He does. He rescues. He pulls us out of the miry clay and He begins to mold and fashion us into something so beautiful. But the incredible thing is that we are not just beautiful, but we are usable too. Because we have been beaten and bruised by the ugliness of the world, we’re easier to shape into His likeness. It is easier to mold us into His image because we yearn to be like Him. We desire to be transformed. We want Him. We long to share Him and everything He has done and given to us. We can’t get enough. We look at the world and see what He sees: The hurt, the lonely, the struggling, the abandoned, the beaten, the betrayed, the orphaned, and our hearts overflow with love for them. We see the world with His eyes and our hearts flow with compassion, mercy and grace for those who need hope, who need Him just like we did. And so, He uses us. He is using my husband. He is using me. He is using our marriage. Because of His grace we are being used to bring His Father glory and show His Father’s love to those who need rescuing. 

 As Christians, this isn’t new information. Throughout scripture that is always where you found Jesus. With the sinners, the downtrodden and the lost. He was with the ones who needed rescuing and He avoided the ones who “followed” the rules because they had no place for Him in their lives. That was the mission of Jesus. That should be our mission. Not to turn up our noses at those who stumble and fall but instead to offer them the grace, mercy and love that Jesus offered to us. Why? Because that is what Jesus would do!

The pain of the past

Today as I was stumbling through the vast articles on the internet, I found one that really hit home and brought tears to my eyes.  It touched some still sensitive wounds as I revisited a time in my life full of great amounts of pain.  As I read and discovered yet again that I am not the only one to have ever been mishandled by a church, a sense of relief washed over me.  Now it does not bring me joy to know that others have suffered and hurt the way that I have but there is relief in knowing you are not crazy and people, especially pastors, do get it wrong sometimes.  

I could have written the article I read myself.  It was as if I was reading my own story. That is hard.  As I read, I became even more aware of the need of better informing our pastors to the issues that are at the front of many difficult marriages.  Changes need to be made in the area of   “marriage counseling.”  We are losing families fast as the wrong advice is being given and Satan continues to get the upper hand.  
I cannot say enough about this topic.  I feel strongly about this topic. I want to help make a difference; I just do not know where to begin.  

So I will start here.  Here is the article that every pastor should read.  Be informed and knowledgeable so that the right direction can be given to a couple in crisis.  Please, please read and pass it along!
Click on the following link to be directed to the article.
I also want to include a link to the website of the writer of the above article.  She has a lot of great resources and helpful information to help women who are dealing with abuse, addiction, divorce and so on.  

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. 

After the two weeks notice…

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

Flannery O’Connor

This quote describes me pretty well.  My poor husband lives with this reality. No matter how hard I try to communicate my thoughts verbally, they typically end up a muddled mess.  I usually end up having to write him a letter in order for my thoughts to make sense. 
I enjoy writing. I mainly write for me.  I write to make sense of the craziness in my head but I also write for those who want to read about what is happening in this crazy family.  I know that for many my struggles became your struggles over the past few years and left you praying over all the outrageous things taking place.  So many prayers were said and tears shed. I know I will never know how many but I am thankful for every one of them. I am also thankful for all those who walked with me even when I did not know you were there. It is important for me that you know your prayers were being heard. God was and is continuing to work.  So with all that said my writing serves as a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness, His love and grace in the middle of heartache, darkness and pain and that His mercies are new every morning.  
Lately I have been thinking about my amazing and wonderful kids who drive me totally insane at times.  They have been to hell and back over the last couple of years and have learned a lot about God and seen Him work.  So all my thinking has led me to writing about them.  For those who knew us back in the day you know that financially we did well.  We had a lot of stuff, took many trips and bought pretty much whatever we wanted.  My kids never knew what it meant to be without the things they wanted. Boy has life changed. That is not our life any longer and their adjustment to this change has been quite incredible.
A couple of months ago I resigned from my job.  The sole purpose for my resignation…my kids.  Quitting my job was one of the hardest things for me.  I was good at what I did and had great potential to move up quickly.  I had found something where I could succeed and make a difference.  It was a hard choice to make but I knew it was the right one.  After everything my kids had been through, they were finally back home with their mom and they needed me.  Two of the five were flunking school. Their personalities had all but about disappeared.  The years of training them to love the Lord had pretty much been stripped away and so I took that GIANT step of faith and quit my job.  Meaning I lost my paycheck and my benefits so that I could focus on them.  I say that because the thought of losing those two things terrified me.  Let me make it completely clear to ALL who read this that financially we cannot afford for me not to work.  My husband works incredibly hard but trying to provide for ten people is a lot.  Without outside help financially we have put our feet in step with our words and stepped out in faith to trust God for His provision for our family.  My kids needed me and so now, I am left needing God to provide what we do not have when we need it. 
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Jesus Christ. 

Philippians 4:19
What does this look like for my kids? For my amazing kids who used to have it all it means that for now they cannot play sports, take music lessons, or dance classes because it is just not in the budget.  I cannot afford to put braces on teeth that need them nor can I buy them the clothes or shoes I know that they would love to have but they never complain.  They never ask.  Today I thought about the fact that I have a fifteen year old that trusts me to cut his hair.  I have had no training whatsoever but he trusts me enough to allow me to do it. I cut the hair of every person in this house including my own.  I do it and no one complains. It is crazy ridiculous to me.  How many teenagers would do that?
I am in awe of the way in which God continues to work. It amazes me to see how He is using our situation to bring our family closer.  It means more meals spent around the table.  It means movie nights spent at home together.  It means game nights and pool days.  It means vacations on a mountain in West Virginia enjoying the wild.  It is a totally different life.  It is a life filled with laughter along with love.  Yes there is still fighting among siblings.  It is not perfect.  It is definitely not all butterflies and roses. We still have our struggles and hang-ups but it’s a life now filled with God’s faithfulness and blessings.  We have been given a second chance to experience the God of the Universe and His unfathomable love all because of His grace and I am in awe of this new life I have been given every day! I am in awe of my God!
The bible is truth.  It is filled with God’s promises to His children.  This family has learned first hand that,
And we know that all things God works together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 

Romans 8:28

How do you know?

Today I posted a status on Facebook about finally finding the church where I belong.  A friend commented wanting to know how I knew it was the “right” church.  It is one of those questions where the simple answer is “I just know” but in my heart, there is a bigger answer and I want to be more specific.
Let me begin by saying, I have a history with churches.  I grew up in church.  I have attended church since before I was born 🙂  I have been involved within each church I have attended in some way or another.

Growing up, church became an important part of me.  With that said, that became a problem when church became a simple routine.  Part of my checklist for the week.

I grew up knowing that I had to go to church.  It is no fault of anyone just part of being raised in the south.  You go to church on Sunday.  From there it is what you make of it.  

I attended a church in my area for around ten years.  While attending this church, I believed it was the BEST church I had ever attended.  I thought it could do no wrong and I followed the leaders accordingly without questioning a word that was taught. I accepted all things as truth.  I believed that those in leadership were Christ-like and would “lead me in the way in which I should go.”  I placed people on pedestals, placing them above God,  which was wrong.  I learned the hard way and experience a lot of hurt to discover the true purpose of the church not to mention the true place of those of leadership within the church. God used a painful experience to open my eyes to those truths.
In The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, Tozer states that “…for millions of Christians, nevertheless, God is no more real than He is to the non-Christian.  They go through life trying to love an ideal and be loyal to a mere principle.”
It took time, but finally I realized I had spent many years going through life trying to follow an ideal, a set of rules/principles.  Furthermore, I was under the leadership of those who made their own rules, their own doctrine and expected those under them to follow as well.  If you crossed them in any way, they turned their back on you.  You did not question their authority.

While I was in the midst of the church, I could not see it.  I had family and friends who would visit and point out questionable things to me but I would defend my church and instead accuse those condemning my church as not being where they should be in their own walk.  OH PLEASE!  This is how we were made to think at this church.  If people did not believe as we believed, they were in sin.

Looking back on it now, it is somewhat scary.  Eventually that is what happened to me.  When I questioned authority, people were told that I was in sin and to stay away from or ignore me. (I would later discover this had been the truth for many others who found themselves questioning the practices of this church.) This is when God began to open my eyes.  This is when He began showing me my own ignorance not to mention arrogance along with my true need for Him.

It is also when I began to realize that God wanted me.  He did not want me following rules or principles set by someone else but instead total surrender to Him.  He wanted me to exclusively follow Him.

I have learned that when asking God for truth or direction, He will often speak in ways which leave you confident the question being asked is heard AND answered.  At the beginning of the year, I received a letter from my previous church that stated I had nothing to offer the people of that church and I was no longer welcome there.  For me, that was the final bit of closure I needed to let go and acknowledge the un-truths being taught at the place I once called home.

Knowing that Jesus spent the majority of His time with sinners should be the example for churches in how we reach people.  He avoided the Pharisees like the plague.  He ministered to those who needed His love, His grace and His mercy.  That is how you know you have found a church that follows Christ.  They reach out to those who need Him the most.

A church that turns away the broken or the sinful is not a church where Christ is the center. 

It took me a while to find a church that I trusted.  A place where people were genuine and truly living out the gospel.  I spent a lot of time questioning whether pastors I heard preaching were “real.”  It was not until I saw them “practicing what they preached” that I truly knew. The church I found was and is more interested in being Jesus to the broken.

It has become an amazing blessing to see Jesus alive in this world and to be a part of a church family where the love of God is lived out by those committed to being the hands and feet of Jesus. Following Jesus with a church family and a leadership team that truly loves not just in words but in action as well, has taught me much about God’s love, grace and mercy.

I do not believe my church is perfect.  I do not believe that any church is perfect.  Instead, I believe my church, all churches, are made up of imperfect/sinful people in need of a Savior.  And because of that truth, we each should be willing to do whatever is needed to take the love of Jesus to a world that that needs HIS love.