Thankful and Blessed

Many times I have felt on the edge of hopelessness, thankfully God has never left my side.

Bottled Emotions

I love to attend charismatic prayer meetings during my college days.  I have two favorite parts, one is the praise and worship where I can feel God through spirit-filled and inspiring songs which help me release all negative emotions and accept healing. Two, group sharing where life testimonies and works of God are revealed.

There came a time when I feel so spiritually drained and tired because everything in my life falls apart. From a family divided with pride and principles, to a best friend who betrayed your trust, my mom was diagnosed with Anemia, to some people who consistently have interest in putting you down,  to all rejections, and to all misfortunes in my life. I had only one day in a week to let God know and ask for guidance and healing. That is during our Thursday prayer meeting.


This year, my faith and commitment was put into…

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I Only Wanted The Memory.

One Of Those Days

One Of Those Days.

It’s been almost a month since my last post. I’d like to say that it was for good reasons but it was no time or just didn’t feel…bloggy.

I will say that I’ve written so many good posts in my head while driving or cooking. Unfortunately none of them made it to paper or computer and I can’t recall what a single one of them were regarding.


So this post is to thank you all for hanging in there, waiting on me to get something new posted. I will give you a proper post by Thursday (Wednesday nights are when I like to write because the house is relatively quiet).

Mountain of God

I’m finding that writing this week’s entry is more difficult than I would like it to be, so procrastination ensues. I’m in an extremely vulnerable state and I’m pretty sure that I’m not handling it well. The good news is that I don’t have to handle it! I took the pain and fear inside me for most of the day, I then shared it with a select few and now I am releasing it to God. It’s a hard thing to accomplish when you’re talking about dealing with, truly, the biggest fear you have.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

I know in the deepest part of my heart and soul that God has great plans for me and my family. There is no doubt and no pride in this statement. He has proven it to be true, time and time again. I’ve heard Him speak parts of the plan and as you know, I’ve been stepping out and living it. All this said, I am clinging to my faith right now.

I have had several medical issues since the birth of my daughter, all of which I have been just dealing with since I don’t have health insurance. Last month I received a letter advising me it was time for a mammogram. I had my first one done at age 28 because of the serious genetic risk on my mother’s side of the family. I was cleared and told that having a healthy base line to work from would make detecting even a slight change easier. With the cost being so great for the test and Rob still off work, I dismissed the letter. September rolled around and I received another letter stating the same information. So again I shrugged, knowing that it wasn’t possible to have it done in the timeframe they were advising (October 12th).

Almost two weeks ago, I had a minor meltdown due to pain from one of the issues I’m experiencing and confided in a close friend. I explained to her in detail (which I will not do here because for most of you it will be TMI) what’s been happening and just crying because I didn’t think I could go on much longer enduring it all. I even told her about the mammogram and gave her an extremely brief history of how breast cancer runs in my family, which lead me to share with her my deepest fear: discovering I have it and dying from it leaving my daughter motherless at an early age. Yes I’m concerned about the rest of my family but I was a daughter who lost her mother too young (even though I was an adult I was only 24 and she was 45). Breast cancer has either been the “gateway” to other cancers taking the lives of the women of my family or the reason I’ve lost 3 aunts – one of which was 34, my mother and my grandmother. These are just the ones I know of since my mother wasn’t close to her family. My friend asked me if I was really ready to believe that God could heal me that minute if I just asked – of course, I was. So we prayed and I cried and she prayed more. Let me tell you that God is so good – the intense pain I was crippled with faded right then. The next morning Rob was going through the mail and we had received a letter from the welfare office (we had applied for food stamps since we have no income and I have yet to find employment). This letter explained that we were not only eligible for food stamps but for emergency stamps that were backdated – PTL! Reading further down, the letter also informed us that we both would receive health insurance, which they dated for the week before the letter was sent.

GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS! even before they are prayed.

I was so overwhelmed – I’m still overwhelmed. I called my friend and told her the news and she was as filled with joy as I was. My mind is still trying to wrap around the full power of this miracle.

After having to do the enrollment online and wait a day for it to update, I called to make the appointments I needed. Again I was just floored by the miracles, I was able to get scheduled for this week at my doctors AND October 12th was available for the mammogram.

I Peter 5:6-11 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”

I was fully aware that I would need to have some lab work done. I was mentally prepared that we would have to begin treating my PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) again. I was not prepared for a large mass to be found in my left breast. I think I spent most of my morning in shock/disbelief. After hiding it inside for most of the day, all I wanted to do was call my mom and cry. Yeah, a slight problem there. So I called Rob’s mom and shared it with her first. She gave me words of encouragement and prayed with me. I knew, after ending that call, that I needed to tell my husband. He just put Rene down for her nap and came in the room to lay with me when I told him the appointment hadn’t gone well. I told him about the mass.

I love my husband and I know he will always be in my corner fighting. What I had let slip from my mind, the fact that I have an even bigger champion in my corner. Nothing can ever be bigger or stronger than our God. It is God who has carried me through every storm I’ve faced and I know that it will be Him who not only lifts me through this storm but uses it for good.

I leave you with this thought: We can’t honestly appreciate being on the mountain top if we’ve never made our way through the valleys and obstacles to get there.

and an inspiring video from Third Day

The Challenge Part II

This is long overdue, for that I apologize.

I went a bit further with the challenge I issued in my last blog. I “manned up” and did 48 hours of real honesty and openness. It was more difficult than I realized it would be.

The first 24 hours weren’t so bad. I openly spoke to my husband regarding issues where in the past I would be more guarded with my answers. I would even, hide, the whole truth. There were things we spoke about that were painful but the raw honesty we expressed to each other helped us to understand the other one’s mindset and to work all the way through the situation. I spoke the words that I would bottle up regarding super sensitive topics. In the end, it allowed us to grow closer, to work harder for each other and to allow festering hurt to start healing.

As much as I’m banging on the honesty train I feel that we should also understand what is appropriate to share. I’m not giving every little detail, because frankly – you don’t need to know them. What you need to know and to get from my words is the fact that honesty, even when it seems harmful, can heal, restore and strengthen any relationship – especially marriage. It takes two to commit, two to say I do, two to create new life and two to grow apart. The great news is that it also takes two to grow together.

The second 24 hours was where I struggled. This is when I wanted to cry “UNCLE” and give in, instead I held fast, prayed and endured. I’m thankful for the strength to march through and see a victory. What causes a small twinge of pain was how I got there. I don’t know how many of you have ever had to sit in front of someone you love and tell them that it would be easier to act as if they didn’t exist than to try to not love them. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing this challenge lead me into due to an extremely hostile situation with a family member. I am and will forever be grateful that our family follows the Lord! I truly believe that God was leading us in our words and our feelings. We both were cleansed from past situations and have found a way to work together toward a better future.

I would love to hear from anyone who took up the challenge, be it here or privately. For me, I’m glad I pushed myself the extra mile and that my family is benefitting from it. I’m glad you are reading this and receiving something from it. As for me, I’m excited to finally open myself up and allow God to use me for His Kingdom.

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

The Challenge, Part I

24 hours ago, I issued a challenge to a dear friend of mine. The challenge was a rather simple one, or so it would seem – to be open and honest for the next 24 hours. I’m not talking about random blurting. I’m talking about when given the opportunity to open up, to expose our “ugly” – we take it and put it out there so all can see. It leaves you vulnerable, exposed but it can also free you, heal you.

As a self-centered society, we have conditioned ourselves and others to hide what I call our “ugly”. Ugly is essentially all the things we hide or suppress from the world around us, so that we don’t look flawed, wounded. I feel this is especially true for us women. How are we suppose to help each other heal, grow strong, be encouraged when we don’t allow others to know the ugly? The simple truth of it – we can’t. We enable ourselves and those around us to hurt / suffer in silence. Somehow it’s been engrained that this is what we MUST do. We shouldn’t dare inconvenience others with our issues. This is why child abuse still exists. Why domestic violence is the “silent killer”. Why we feel so alone when in reality, we are surrounded in love.

As a child I suffered a good amount of abuse from the one man who should have been protecting me – my stepfather. Instead of protecting me from the world’s ugly, perverse ways, he opened up the door and shoved me through it. Physical abuse was the beginning of the show. I suffer from suppressed / memory loss, one of the earliest times that I can remember was at age 5. Bruises that needed to remain hidden, even from my mother. Scared that I had done something wrong I strived to be better. The beatings got worse and I couldn’t always hide the bruises. Once my mom figured out my first dark secret she put herself in harm’s way to prevent me from sustaining anymore beatings. Of course I have vivid memories of the knockdown, drag out fights between them. I’ll never forget the night I locked myself in my bedroom (I was about 14), fearing I would never see my mom again because he chased her out of the house and down the street with a butcher knife in his hands. The whole time screaming he was going to kill her.

*****I pause here to let you know that you need to focus on the escalation of the abuse and mental process. I warn you to not criticize my mother in anyway if you wish to remain in my life. There are more details not being given simply because they aren’t relevant to this post.*****

When I got to be about 9/10 (4th grade) the verbal abuse set in. I believe that this is when all my thoughts of not being good enough were sealed. I was berated for anything less than what his idea of perfect was. My looks were the biggest target – weight, clothes being the two main zones. This was also when I entered “womanhood” so yeah, talk about being screwed up. The next couple of years ushered in the sexual abuse. Now this is when my mental stability crashed to the ground. I realized during this time, also hidden from my mother, that I was only good for giving pleasure. That was my sole purpose in life. I took that ball and I ran with it! I finally found something that didn’t get me beat or yelled at – it also got boys at school to finally notice me. My worth was confirmed by one of the “popular” boys actually speaking to me. Of course he only wanted to meet under the stairway, after school, to fondle my breasts in seventh grade. His attentions continued that year under the terms that I didn’t tell anyone – he couldn’t dare be linked to someone like me. Finally someone spoke out, someone I got extremely angry with because she was suppose to be a friend. She took away the one thing I was good for! The authorities stepped in, gave my “dad” a slap on the wrist and then vanished. My mother made sure from then on to never leave me alone with him. Funny thing was the beatings didn’t really stop until I finally stood up to him, age 16.

I am still struggling to break the mindset that physical relations are the only thing I’m good for. I fight, more often than I’d like to admit, the feeling that I’m worthless.

I’m sharing just a sliver of my “ugly” in hopes of driving my point home. Had someone seen the subtle signs that were there, taken the time to care just a bit more than they were expected too, my healing could have started years ago – possibly even decades ago. I didn’t deserve my body being used in those ways and my mother didn’t deserve the shame and guilt that she silently carried.

So now I’m throwing the challenge out to anyone – everyone to spend the next 24hrs being open, honest, vulnerable! When someone asks how you are, answer with honesty!

“I’m feeling down”
“I need a random hug from someone who doesn’t know I need it. Someone who just wanted to hug me.”
“I want to run away from all the pain and sadness”
“I’m not as good as I would like but God is on the throne!”

Wonder how many will take me up on the challenge?