The Bad, The Good & The Beauty.

I have seen my life take on a transformation. One I did not expect to happen the way it did. My life, caught under a violent wave; being tossed and pulled under; pulled under by anxiety- coming up, gasping for air the wave of pain, sadness and loneliness only pulled me back down. I began to believe that I would not come out of it. I was in the deep end, with no help in sight. I had to learn to swim. For it was either sink or fight to stay afloat.

My feet, finally on solid ground. Though days are harder than some, I am walking along still waters. The woman I am becoming, who is this? I do not recognize. She is free. She is strong. She is confident. She is brand new. The look in her eyes is like none I have seen before. The radiance in her smile, I can’t remember the last time I saw it.

The bad, the good and the beauty of it all- is the pressure that is forming this diamond of a woman.  

Widowhood

The poem above is a truthful aspect of widowhood. Especially when it happens all of a sudden, without a warning; without having the time to actually say, “goodbye.”

This was/is my journey. I remember feeling as though I was suffocating with panic, anxiety and so much fear.

As of July 21st, I have been reminded of the journey that would change my life forever.

The night my husband entered the hospital and never came home. August is quickly approaching and I feel those waves trying to overtake me again. I am being reminded of every feeling and every detail of those moments; every day up until August 31, when my husband took his final breath and went HOME.

I look back from where I am now, I am not the same woman. I look at myself in the mirror and see a much stronger woman. I see a much more confident woman. I see a woman who was once broken, now being made whole. I can see maturity; for I no longer have that little girl mentality. July 28, 2019

I look at this picure of myself and I see a woman with a strong and powerful story to tell. I see a woman eager to reach so many other women who find themselves on this same journey. A woman who desperately wants to embrace the brokenhearted and tell them that everything is going to be ok; that God truly loves them.

For what God has done for me through this season of widowhood, He can and will do for those who place their hope in Him. 

You’re not alone, love.

What you’re feeling; anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness is temporary. You will get through it. That’s a promise. 

 

Emotional-I

To say that I have it all together and I no longer cry or miss my husband would be a lie. I have cried two days in a row, just missing my husband. I wore his button up shirt last night, I even sprayed some of his cologne. Tears fell from my eyes and I didn’t understand why. I cried out for him…

I sat on my bed and played some of his favorite worship music. In that moment I felt him near me. I felt peace and I felt rest.

I often wonder when this sting, this pain will fade. I have not gotten an answer. There is no such time frame for one’s grief. For me, it comes in waves. I have not had one of these breakdowns in weeks. When it comes it hits me so hard.

Moving On

With this, I still struggle. I take a few steps forward only to look back and realize I am doing it without him. Guilt settles in and I just want to stop and drop to the ground.

“We were supposed to walk this road together!” My emotions continue to cry out. I know that this journey ahead, I was meant to walk alone, with God. For what lies ahead, is far more great that what I had to let go of and what I have lost; the life I once knew.

Honesty

Lately I have felt numb; numb in a sense of not knowing what to feel, what to think or what to say…or write. I remember how I was always inspired to write and share what was on my heart… lately it hasn’t been that way. I can easily make excuses and blame on me not having no time, but that would be a lie.

It’s just a mood I have been in. Like just allowing the motions to play out.

Widowhood changes everything. It changes who you are. It changes your routine. It changes your whole being and ways of doing things. It changes the course of your life.

I am making sure that it leads me to something greater; with purpose.

 

I feel alone a lot, because of not having my husband here with me, but I know I am not literally alone. 

I miss having a companion to do things with and share things with, but I know that I have others to enjoy the company of and talk to. 

I miss the hugs and comfort of my love, but I know I still have that from my family and friends. 

It’s been all about learning how to change my perspective on things like that. It’s the difference between sinking and swimming. What has helped so much, is letting people in and being there for me through it all. Especially during those moments when I felt like I was drowning in anxiety and loneliness.

There are some battles you cannot defeat alone, widowhood is one of them. -Stephanie

Without the struggles, without the pain…I wouldn’t be who I am becoming. It has all been necessary.

 


Image result for While i wait


While I Wait…

I will continue to seek Him.

I will continue to allow Him to form me and remold me into the companion my future husband is needing, while God is doing the same in them, for me.

I will continue to go were He leads and do what I am meant to do.

For this season of widowhood is a freedom in disguise, to fulfill the purpose still meant for my life. It’s an opportunity to walk closely to Him and intimatley connect with His heart. It’s a beautiful journey. 

 

A Word of Advice

Image result for encouragement for widows

Your feelings are valid. In no way am I belittling any other kind of loss, but to lose a spouse is different than losing another kind of loved one. (I lost my mom; I have also lost an aunt that same year.) I am no stranger to loss. But losing my husband has been the HARDEST.

Today I found myself thinking of those times when people would belittle my grief, as it wasn’t necessary or that after awhile there was no need to, just because I knew my husband was in a better place.

This came from someone who has not known the loss of a spouse, but only of a child.

A loss of a spouse is like someone tearing a part of you away. It’s a deeper kind of pain that we feel. You’re entitled to your grief and the motions of it. People will not understand what it’s like to walk in your/my shoes as a widow, unless they, themselves have gone through it.

It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to feel what you need to feel, but all I ask is that you don’t stay there.

You can overcome. You can begin again. 

 


Isaiah 54:4-5

“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.
    Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.
You will no longer remember the shame of your youth
    and the sorrows of widowhood.

For your Creator will be your husband;
    the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
    the God of all the earth

 

I Don’t Want To Be.

I don’t know where to begin. Words have gone and all I have are thoughts; thoughts that silence me, no words to flow from my lips. I plot in my own mind how I will react to the next one, my heart just hardens. This person, I don’t want to be. This person, is no longer me, yet I am being pushed to it. I think I am getting stronger. Capable to endure whatever comes my way: words, actions… but in reality I am just shutting down and becoming numb.

Emotionally drained; I cant do it anymore. The cares to give are starting to become no more.

I Am Not Myself

I see myself in him. I see how I was and I don’t like it. All that is being reminded to me is; we reap what we sow.

The one person that truly cared about me, I made so many mistakes with. I see it clearly now. My heart hurts and I wish I could take it all back. I wish I could ask my husband for forgiveness. I wish I can have a do-over.

I hate the person I am seeing; in myself. I hate the person who I am not… I have to fight to keep my feelings from being hurt. I have to fight to keep myself up. I fight to protect myself… something I no longer had to do. I feel like as soon as my husband died, I reverted to that guarded girl. That girl no one was going to hurt… someone I don’t want to be; emotionless.

I am guarded and I hate it.

So many things cause a person to change who they are; into who they used to be or who they never were.

I feel myself fighting to NOT become who I used to be; this cold and careless person. A person with a hard heart and not caring about anything; a fiery cannon of a mouth. That’s not who I am anymore.

Lately specific things and circumstances have caused me to lash out and be on the defense when all I really desire is to feel safe. There is no safe place there, yet… I shouldn’t have to wait for one to be, in order for me to remain who I truly am.

 

I am not alone. God is with me. 

I am not who they say I am or how I think of myself. God loves me. 

I shouldn’t be afraid of winding up alone. God will never leave me or forsake me. 

 

Therefore nothing or no one should make me feel a way that I don’t want to feel.

I want to care.

When I think about my husband, I remember how he would always call out the best in me. I remember how he would always remind me of who I truly am. I remember how he just loved me even when I was wrong. I remember his patience for me and how much it helped me.

There are times I can just hear his voice; him telling me things to encourage me. That’s what has kept me going on those days I feel SO ENADEQUATE due to words and actions.

 

I AM NOT HOW OTHERS TREAT ME.

I AM NOT WHAT OTHERS THINK OR SAY.

 

How I have seen myself lately, has been through eyes of not being good enough and through the eyes of comparison. It has distorted my identity and has really shaken my confidence. It’s like I am being made to feel small, but God says I am seated in Heavenly places.

My heart… is the wellspring of life. It’s also something I have been fighting to protect. When this whole time, I could have just allowed God to protect it. I am the prodigal “daughter”… I have run away. I desire to return; into the Father’s arms, in my rightful place. 

 

My Prayer

Related image

A man should always protect the delicate heart of a woman, ALWAYS.

Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.

cropped-bespoke-for-kate_soft-pink-bridal-headpiece-with-silk-flowers-and-pearls-2-1.jpg

On the Rock I stand. For God has placed me there and there is where I want to stay. A wise decision it is; the storm has hit, but I have not fallen. The storm raged, yet I’ve stood my ground. He upheld me with His righteous right hand, still I stand.

As days pass, the pain begins to fade and transform into joy. This hit was hard, I stumbled. Yet I did not fall. Like a child learning how to walk, so am I; learning to live this life alone, with Him.

Fear, a close companion in this storm, but deep inside is breaking free.

On the Rock I stand. For God has placed me there and there is where I want to stay. A wise decision it is; the storm has hit, but I have not fallen. The storm raged, yet I’ve stood my ground. He upheld me with His righteous right hand, still I stand.

Not The World’s Strength

It’s been a week and a day since my husband’s passing. Each day is getting better, but I have my days. I have been grieving in my own way. Keeping myself and my mind busy has been helping me a lot. Many people told me that I would experience “this” and “that”, but I told God I didn’t want to go through them. I am not going to experience depression. I am not going to deal with anymore anxiety attacks. I’m just not, because I am determining myself to trust God and cast all my cares. God is FAITHFUL.

Yesterday was a rough day. All week I have been up and down with no time to sit and just “grieve”, and after yesterday I think it’s a good thing. I stayed in bed until after 3pm. I woke up really missing my husband, I felt down and I didn’t feel like doing a thing. I had allowed those emotions get the best of me.

I had no appetite, but I made sure I had something to eat. I just felt weak…

God is good and I can’t say that enough. During this storm that began almost two months ago, He has been teaching me about what real strength is. He has sent so many people to tell me how strong I am or have been, on days where I feel the complete opposite, leaving me to think; how??? 

When we think of strength we think of someone who has it all together and isn’t fazed by what they face or that one person who is physically strong, but in God’s eyes it’s not it.

To be strong, is to be strong in the Lord. What I mean is, someone who clings to God without letting go in the middle of the storm. It’s someone who truly trusts Him even when all you feel is confusion, fear, doubt and so many other things. It’s knowing that you can rise up from the stumble, because you know God isn’t letting you fall. 

That’s where I am right now. I was hit hard. I was blindsided,  but not once has God let me fall. I stumbled, but I did not fall. I clung to God’s outstretched hand and allowed Him to lift me up. I am not backing down and I am not giving up. I trust Him. 

The last thing I want to do is let go of God.

Each Day is Getting Better and I Am Getting Stronger.

This has been my confession, especially when I haven’t felt it. Yesterday, again, was one of those days. The enemy had been telling me, “you’re going to have an anxiety attack at night. You’re husband isn’t here anymore. Why isn’t he here?” In all honesty it was getting to me and I felt such a heaviness on me, until I made a decision to change my thoughts and put the enemy in his place. 

I found myself saying, “each day is getting better and I am getting stronger.” It helped and I began to feel that oppression fall away. After everything I have been through in my life, I am seeing how each and everything has added up to prepare me for this season.

I am stronger. I am wiser. I clearly know who I am and how I am no longer an easy target for the enemy. I have gained more discernment that helps with distinguishing God’s voice from the lies. 

“I am the good shepherd, I know my own sheep, and they know me…”-John 10:14

He is the good shepherd. I am the sheep. I know my father’s voice. 

Proverbs 31:25

I have prayed this over my life. I am drawing courage from this verse. When my husband went to be with God, I immediately felt scared. I thought to myself, what do I do now? I am alone. 

Looking back, I can see how dependent I was on my husband. We did everything together. I hid behind him when I felt scared or when I felt uncomfortable around other people. I just simply hid… 

God has broken me free from that. 

In the past week, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone. I have learned to be around others, alone. I have learned to solely depend on God, alone. The day before yesterday, I was surrounded by a group of women I did not know and I felt so much peace and comfort; something I never experienced before. It was liberating. It was true freedom.

I have come to the point of being myself and no longer caring about what others think of me. It’s something that God has done down deep within my heart. I am now walking with my head held high because I am God’s daughter and He is with me. I am not alone.

I am learning:

 To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.-Micah 6:8

My entire walk with God, I never once felt that comfortable being alone. Each day I am getting to the point of true confidence where I feel I can do anything because He is with me. Each day I am growing into that courageous woman He needs me to be, because I am coming into who I truly am.

I don’t need anything but Him to feel whole, secure and confident. It’s an unexplainable feeling, one I never felt before. I know who I am without my husband, now. 

“You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”-Matthew 5:14-15

Now that my husband is Home (Heaven) I can no longer hide myself; my defense mechanism, my comfort zone…is gone. I made a choice: I now need to be bold. I now need to be courageous. I now need to be that Warrior; the Daughter of God. 

Front Line

I am now on the front line, a place I have desired for so many years. There are so many other women and young girls who need to know they are loved and cherished by a real God. Even before my husband’s passing, my heart was always for women and young girls; even more so now.

Like I said, I am not backing down or giving up just because of what has happened, on the contrary, I am putting on my armor and preparing to fight this good fight, the way my husband did his whole life.

I want God to use me. I want the things God has for me. Every hardship I have experienced in my life, I always said: “I am not backing down and I am not giving up.” I thank God for keeping me at my word.

 

Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to things of old. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.-Isaiah 43:18-19

 

 

Though you are gone, it still feels like you’re here with me. I can still feel your love for me. I loved you then, I still love you now. You’re my best friend. God’s love through you for me changed my life, I am no longer the same. You loved me at my worst and more so at my best. The woman I am now becoming, your prayers are coming true. I know you would be proud of me. You’ve looked out for me from the beginning, it still feels like you are, now. I love you now and forever. 

IMG_7426
April 16, 2016

 

 

Summer

A peaceful noise; the chirping of the crickets, the night so calm. How I love these summer nights; the warmth, yet fresh. The slight gusts of wind through the windows is like a gentle kiss. Relaxing. Peaceful. It is.

Summer

I have been loving these past few days; the weather in the high 90s and low 100s. I am enjoying it, though I haven’t spent so much time outdoors lately. I miss those days when we were always outside. When we yearned to plan picnics at the park, followed by a game of softball… a family favorite. ❤ I really miss those days. I was literally thinking about that today.

Summer has never been my favorite season until this year. Last year, is when I changed my lifestyle and determined myself to get healthy. I was so out of shape, two years ago. The heat just added to my distress. I was the type of girl who complained about nothing looking right, or feeling “fat.” I was. I was at my heaviest and so miserable. So, of course I was self-conscience.

I am happy to say,…

It’s not like that for me this summer. Lately, I have been looking forward to going out and wearing cute summer dresses and cute outfits, to show off my new confidence. Why? I feel proud of my accomplishments. I am able to wear things I never wore before like: chokers (I haven’t worn one since I was in high school), spaghetti strap tops, off the shoulder blouses, shorts, etc.. I fit into smaller size clothes. That makes me happy. Why? Because I know I am not where I used to be. Sure, I am still not where I want to be, but that is ok. ❤

Oh, It’s Just Me

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and outdoorTo be totally honest, this was the first full body photo I liked in a very long time. I always thought I didn’t look good. It’s amazing how my face reflects the confidence I have finally been able to feel. I didn’t have to starve myself. I didn’t have to start strict diets, like I used to. I have been loving my body. I have been strengthening it and nurturing it. It has taken me a really long time to “lose weight.” I see so many other women who drop weight so easily and it used to make me feel bad, but now it doesn’t.”-Stephanie

It wasn’t until I finally listened to my body and began giving it what it needed. I started doing workouts that were right for my body. I started making changes to my diet that were right for my body. I stopped following someone else’s lifestyle and began my own.

Since then, I have been happier, stronger and I have learned to enjoy the things I like. That is how  I began seeing so many changes. God is good. ❤

“Loving yourself is the best thing you can do for your body. When you learn to take care of it and nurture it, it will then begin doing what you need it to do.”-Stephanie

Image result for fearfully and wonderfully made-Psalm 139:14

Something Different

I spent all day thinking about my next blog post. (Ha ha) I am serious. I wanted something different. I wanted something other than what I have been writing about; though some things are still the same, I feel a lot happier. So I wanted to post about how I have been enjoying summer and stuff.

It feels good to do something different every once in awhile.

 

QUOTE

“Self-confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. How can anyone see how great you are, if you can’t see it yourself.”-Uknown

Image may contain: 1 person, closeupImage may contain: 1 person, closeupImage may contain: 1 person, closeup

This has been my favorite accessory these days. The wrap around choker. ❤ A few months ago I wouldn’t have thought about wearing it. It’s not the case anymore, and the feeling is amazing. 

Staring Insecurity In The Face

Days passed, days lost. I was surrounded by a fog, it slowly began to blind me. Blinding me from seeing Your truth, I was becoming vulnerable. Vulnerable to the things that once hurt me, those things that had caused me to wander so far away from you and how You see me. Approval from others, I was beginning to think I needed. I was putting myself in a place where I didn’t belong. I was trying to be someone I am not; as if who You made me to be, isn’t enough. I dragged my head so low as to think that who You created, wasn’t good enough for the world to see. So, imitation was becoming my limitation. I have gone through so much for such things still be an issue, but still deep down there are things hidden; things that still need Your freeing light. I am grateful for that still small voice. For clearly you speak into my heart and remind me of who I am, in You. -Heart of Grace

It All Starts With A Seed

I was laying in bed, (after all it is 1:08 am) of course I couldn’t sleep. Tossing and turning, things were just running through my mind. The baseball game tomorrow, that exciting live I did with a friend on Facebook, etc.

But deep down, I knew there was something wrong, something I needed to acknowledge. I knew exactly what it was, because as soon as I recognized it, tears flowed down my cheeks. It’s an insecurity that has remained hidden, until recently.

The insecurity of not being liked, or not being that one person everybody wants to be friends with.

It’s always been about trying to be “popular.” It makes me wonder how many young girls now a days still struggle with things like this. What they have had to do just to “fit” in.

The Cause

I have always been the one to take offenses so personally to the point where I would start doubting myself and always wonder what was wrong with me. Why don’t they like me? Why don’t they want to be friends with me? What did I do so wrong?

I have always tried to be likeable because the moment I did something that someone didn’t like, was the moment I was pushed to the side and no longer, “liked,” or talked about.-Stephanie

Not knowing then, that there was a greater plan for my life. I wasn’t meant to fit in, but stand out. It literally took years for me to finally understand that… at times it’s still hard, especially when I see certain things.

The truest friend is the one who remains your friend when everyone else is trying to make you look bad, to them. They will also be the one to accept you for you, regardless of your flaws, that everyone else seems to highlight. 

God is always that friend. 

The Past Is just That, The Past

There will be moments in life when you find yourself in similar situations; situations that will make you think, “this is just like last time.” Or “it’s going to happen again!”

‘That hurt teenager, screams those words, now. That teenager who put everything in their friendships only to be easily pushed to the side is feeling that all over again. That hurt teenager… 

…is me.”-Stephanie

 

My Hearts Cry

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.-Psalm 139:23

The light of God illuminates deep within our hearts and exposes those things that we never knew were there, those things that we have tried so hard to hide and those things we never wanted to “relive” again… but it’s all for a beautiful purpose.

For me it was one of those things that I didn’t realize I still had. There are so many layers when it comes to forgiveness.

The truest way to know you’ve forgiven someone, is by what flows from your heart the moment you’re in a similar situation, with the same person. 

God has been restoring so many of my relationships, because I have first allowed Him to change me. There are specific people in my life that I thought I had completely forgiven, until recently.

Flashbacks have come of things that were done in the past; trying to get me to believe that it’s going to happen all over again. I have felt afraid. I have felt insecurity. I have felt like that teenager who just wants to go run and hide in a cave.

The verse in Psalm 139 is one of my favorites. It’s my hearts cry, constantly. At times I am a little hesitant to ask Him, because I know I don’t always like the process. It’s been because of that, that I have changed. It’s been because of that, that I have been healed from so many other things and insecurities.

“What I have found time and time again is, when God is about to do something great in my life, or about to use me in a big way, something tries to intimidate me and cause me to run, hide and shrink back like a scared little girl.”-Stephanie

“The actions or behaviors of others is never a reflection of you, but reflection of who they still are.”-Stephanie

Everything You’ve Gone Through Is Used For You

In the heat of the moment, it’s so hard to see. It’s so hard to understand. It’s so hard to believe that, “What the enemy means to harm you, God will use it for good.” Being completely honest, I have asked God, “when???” I have asked Him, “Why?!” I have even asked Him, “Why do I have to go through this?”

I didn’t always like the answer, but I knew He was always right. Everything that I have gone through in my entire life, has made me the person I am today. The strong willed woman. The courageous woman. The angry woman. The wiser woman.

I am being taught to use those things for Him. Being strong willed enough to not settle for less than His best, less than His truths. Being the courageous woman, to go out and do what I am supposed to do, regardless. Being that angry woman that fights back against the enemy and against the attacks that come to my mind; those things that try to get me to shrink back. Being that wiser woman, knowing and discerning what’s going on around me so I will no longer fall into the trap that is set before me. 

It was during worship on Wednesday that those questions flowed from my heart, into His ears. His response was simple. “You’re more mature than that to be affected by this, again.”

It only takes a small answer from God to break us free from a big lie.  

Because of being in similar situations in the past, dealing with insecurity and unforgiveness and so on, I have been strengthened and given wisdom to overcome the next “encounters.” Sometimes I need to be reminded of that.

Nothing you go through is in vain. Nothing you suffered is in vain…if it’s been given to God, to be used as a tool against the enemy. 

Attacks will always come. Instead of seeing them as such, I now see them as tests; testing my maturity, testing my strength, testing my trust and faith in Him, testing me to see if I am ready for the next level He is wanting to take me to.

 

I am no longer that hurt teenager. I am now a warrior and daughter of God.-Stephanie

 

No Longer That Girl

I am no longer the girl I was before. I take a good look at who I have become and I am certain that I could not have done it without You. You alone have stuck by my side. Those moments I found myself on the floor crying out to You to come to my rescue; You were already there. I look back, not to reflect on the bad things, but to see how far You have brought me. Day by day I see myself walking out of the shell; stepping out of my comfort zones. I am not a scared little girl anymore with insecurities. I am now a woman with identity and confidence; a woman with purpose. Only You have seen all it’s taken for me to be who I am today, where I am today. No one but You deserves the glory, the honor. Your love for me is never ending; for that I am forever grateful. You took a broken girl and transformed her into a courageous woman, fearless of what’s to come. You have strengthened her and transformed her into a woman with purpose, a warrior. I can only thank You. -Heart of Grace ❤

Waking Up This Morning

I woke up this morning feeling so encouraged. I woke up with a specific song in my heart, and of course I can’t remember what it was. It was a worship song. I woke up feeling refreshed, especially after the week I had last week.

Since the year started, it seems like we have been under emotional attack. Things have not started the way I expected them to… but yesterday I finally understood why. There have been things keeping us from blessings, from doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Discouragement has tried to come in, but it was quickly casted out from our minds and hearts. Everything we have recently gone through has strengthen us, and is helping us with things like this. I feel stronger today. I feel like I am where I am supposed to be, in every aspect.

I Am Not The Same

In my time with my Heavenly Father, I was reminded of how far He has brought me. I was able to look back on my life and see the big transformation. From the broken and timid little girl, to a strong and confident woman. I have become a warrior. A woman who isn’t backing down from anything.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love & self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

I have been through a lot and have seen a lot to not back down from anything, now. God has proven is realness to me, time and time again. Trusting God while I jump into what He’s calling me to has been one of the biggest challenges, but the most rewarding things I have done. I have learned to trust Him in EVERYTHING. The most recent one has been my finances. We have been tested, my faith has been stretching… it’s been costing me to remain faithful. But I have been. I have been giving, when my flesh wants me to harbor it as long as I can. I have sown into people He’s placed in our hearts, when my mind screams, “YOU NEED THE MONEY!” I have jumped into God’s promises, believing that He will fulfill them.

God is true in what He says. Yesterday we received an unexpected blessing. It’s what we were needing and it was the exact amount that we had blessed someone with. It came when we least expected it. God is never late.

Jumping Into God’s Truth

“Jumping in with everything you have, only leads to even more.”-Stephanie

I have been afraid. I have tried to figure things out on my own. I have held on to what I thought I wouldn’t see again. That’s where faith is manifested and put to work in our lives.

Trusting God in everything, not only finances, but literally your entire life, opens doors you never thought could be opened. When we think there is no way, God makes a way for the things we need to come to us. Most of the time it’s from the people we least expected. It’s in a way we never imagined.

God is a creative God. Does what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants… all so that we can see how true and real He is. 

“When you think you can’t give a bit more, do it anyway. When everything in you wants to hold on to what you’re being asked to let go of, let it go. Because what we are being asked to let go of, God wants to replace with something so much greater. All you have to do is jump in and trust Him.”-Stephanie

So, if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.-Matthew 7:11

 

Believe That He Has More For You

 

This will always be one of my favorite pictures.

Like I say all the time: “God is good, always.” ❤

 

Body Image

I stood there looking into the mirror, the person staring back at me; I did not know. I have changed, I have changed in a good way. My body, no longer my own; the body from the past. There staring back at me I saw: confidence, self-worth, I saw a woman who no longer hides herself away. I never imagined such a body & such vision of myself existed beneath the insecurities & self-doubt. -…The Heart of Grace

I write today to express how I have been feeling lately about my own body. Though I had been in a rut, I look at my body in the mirror in amazement. Yes, amazement. I have not seen my body like this in years. I am happy. I am loving it. I am just content with how my progress is coming along. -Stephanie

Paint Your Own Image

Often times we determine ourselves to set goals that are based on someone else’s progress rather than what’s best for our own bodies. Every single body is different… I realized this a long time ago. Since my body has been changing, I am seeing that it’s not the “figure” I though I would have, so I have learned to love it anyway and stop “wishing” my body shape was like, “hers” or “hers.”

There’s there nothing wrong with the shape of my figure, just like there isn’t anything wrong with yours. The key is learning to accept it and love it as is.

Honestly

I have seen so many beautiful women online who flaunt their stuff with full confidence. It inspires me and challenges me to love my own body. I have been led to workout and take care of my body, which has helped me love my body a lot more than before. In no way does that mean that anybody has to do the same in order to love theirs. I think it’s amazing that there’s so many positive ways one can learn to love their own body. That is what we should accept.

Watching all these women show off their flaws, helps me to embrace my own. Yes, I still have the “pouch,” but I am not obsessed about it anymore. Little by little the problem areas are changing, I am happy with that.

When it came to my body, I was always self-conscious and insecure. I would look at other women with nice bodies and think to myself there was something wrong with me. I never imagined that the body I wanted was just underneath.-Stephanie 

It’s not the outer exterior that makes a woman beautiful, it’s the heart she has and the confidence she has in herself and how she sees herself. 

The Harshness of Your Words

To see change and to see yourself in new light, your opinion of yourself has to change. Our words paint a image and affect our reality. Though it can be a lie, you start to believe and live your life as if it were.

“I am ugly.” 

“I am fat.”

“I look like a fat pig.”

“You’re a fat whale.”

These are only a few of the many harsh things I have told myself… I began believing these lies to the point where my life began manifesting it. I hated myself so much that I no longer cared about what I did. I gained weight, it only added to my insecurities. I was trapped by the false image I painted through my words & thoughts.

21742234_269637850223124_188150978_o.jpg

 That’s a promise. 

Start by embracing where you are, accepting it and determining yourself to make changes. In the process you will learn to love your body, and in doing so you will see it change in ways you never imagined. Your body is for you, and not against you, it just needs the correct attention and nurture. ❤

I look at myself, now, in the mirror and words like these flow from it, “I have a cute body.” -Stephanie

 

 

The Time Is Now

“When change is involved, often times I feel the need to run and hide. A part of me tries to hold on to what I have known, simply rejecting what is unknown to me. Why is it that I become intimidated by the things unknown, when I know for a fact that it is bringing something new, something good? Faith. I say I have it, but when it is needed to embrace change, I push it to the side. Over and over again I have known change to be good to me, not to harm me. It brought me hope. What I have held on to for so long has already ran it’s course. There is a new season upon me, a new time to begin. Afraid I cannot be. I am not alone.” -…Heart Of Grace

There is a new season in my life. One that I know I should be embracing, for I have waited years for a time as this. A time where I must step out of my comfort zone. A time where my life is no longer my own, but a vessel.

Ever feel like you were meant to do something more than what you’re seeing or doing at this very moment? I feel that everyday. I become frustrated because I don’t know where to begin. All I can do is wait for God to lead, to guide while I do my part and prepare.

But what does that look like? I speak to the Father, I study, I write. For it may not seem like enough in my own eyes, but in His it does. I have been planning something, something that has been on my heart for a couple years now. Though I am excited, there’s also a part of me that is scared. From only a dream, it is now becoming reality. I have waited years for this moment, for the moment God would tell me; “You’re ready.” Over and over again I have heard, “It is time.”

I have lifted my hands and said, “Here I am.” All I have ever wanted was to share my story. To share what I have been through and how God helped me through.

Sometimes it still feels like a dream. There’s been moments where I feel as though I am looking around, but through a different set of eyes, like it’s not me. That’s when I become overwhelmed, but I shouldn’t be. For I am not alone.

“What God has called us to do, he will equip us and see it through. He is not a God who shares His heart’s desires with us and leaves us with no instructions. All we must be is, patient.”-Stephanie Ann

There are still so many other things I desire to do. Again, I at times become frustrated because I feel stuck. I want to create things, but don’t know what. I want to write, but I am not sure about what. I overwhelm myself with other things, keeping me distracted from what I am actually supposed to be doing…

“The moment you begin to feel stuck, frustrated or overwhelmed, it’s a sign that you’re doing everything on your own and it’s not the right time, or what you’re meant to be doing. For I have learned; what is of God will fall into place, with little or no work from you.”-Stephanie  

A lot has happened since my post: Changes I have grown, spiritually and emotionally. I have began to see myself as one who can help and lead, rather than one who needs help. (I will always need help, but I have walked into this state of new maturity.) I am learning to stand on my own two feet, rather than constantly leaning on someone else.

What has been difficult for me is the fact that certain people I was once close to are being removed from the path that God is leading me on. The more I try to stay where I want to be, the more things go wrong and I start feeling that tug on my heart.

“Where God is leading you, sometimes certain people cannot follow. Along the way, new people will be placed, to help you, to guide you. Do not try to hold on to what God is trying to remove. For it will always lead something better.”-Stephanie Ann

My calling is my own. Therefore, I must do what needs to be done. I cannot depend on someone else, nor can I wait for things to just, “happen.” There comes a time when God says, “I have done my part, now it’s time for you to do yours.”

“No one else can do what only you have been called to do…”-Stephanie Ann

The time is, now. The person is, you. Get up, leave your fears behind. Embrace the changes that are coming your way. Look ahead to  things anew, letting go of the old. For what is meant to be yours is yours. Nothing or no one can take that away. Walk in love. Walk in truth. Keep your heart humble and you will see greater things.         -…Heart Of Grace

Size Fourteens

“I sit here staring at this photo, I am in awe. Never did I think of how much my life would be transformed in almost four months.”-Stephanie

19466284_228555417664701_4282028028840345050_o

Progress report.

Since my last post:  The Beauty of My Body  a lot has changed for me: emotionally, physically and even mentally. For awhile it seemed like I had reached a wall, things weren’t changing and my weight was staying the same. I was depending more on the scale than the way my clothes fit and the differences in my photos. This last weekend I took a few days off from working out. I felt like I just needed the break, I was just not all there emotionally. It had been a really rough weekend.

Last Thursday, we went to Costco and I happen to see some really cute jeans. When I went to choose the size I wanted, I thought to myself; “I am going to get a smaller size, since I am losing weight.” I ended grabbing a size 14. A size that I have not been able to wear in a few years. Honestly, I was not expecting to fit into them any time soon.

Sunday came around and it was time for me to get ready for service. I didn’t hesitate or struggle to find what to wear…I immediately went for the new pair of jeans, yes, the size 14s. I put them on, and thought to myself; “Yessss! They fit around my thighs and hips,” sure enough they buttoned and zipped up! You can only imagine my reaction. 😀 I was so excited and so happy that I was finally able to fit into a pair of jeans that were no longer a size 16…(it took me years to finally get rid of that size.)

It’s a big deal for me, because the last time I was able to fit into 14s was when I was 23! Yup, seven years go. Eeek! These past seven years I had been stuck at a size 16. I guess you can say we were BFFs. LOL

I cannot express how bad I was feeling before I began this journey. Another thing that has changed tremendously is how I now view myself, how I treat my body and how I speak about myself. Because my mind has been renewed, my life has changed for the better. I am no longer mean and rude to myself. I no longer abuse my body when I feel, “fat” or bloated. I have learned to listen to it, and I have learned to rest when my body screams, “break!” I have also learned to nourish it, as well as treat it, instead of forcing it to a diet or starving it. Because of that my body has learned to work with me as well.

I now love my body. I love the progress I have made in almost four months. I am proud with how far I have come, the sizes I have dropped and the weight I have lost. I have currently lost 20 pounds, which is only 10 away from my first goal. Who wouldn’t be proud of that?!

So, the photo above is of me before I started my weight loss program and on Sunday when I first put on the size 14 jeans. (I was laughing at my face in the pic on the left. Not in a bad way though. I am just in awe at the difference between the two photos.)

It’s been almost 4 months since I started my weight loss journey. I decided to do something about my health when I got tired of always being tired, literally. I was in the worst shape, my health was getting bad and all I wanted to do was be in bed because my body always ached. Before this last time, I tried to lose weight. I would start, go strong for a few days and then just give up because I thought it was, “too hard.” I did this a few times until I became determined. I knew I couldn’t do it alone, that’s when I prayed and asked God for help. I have heard and believe that God is concerned with EVERY area of our lives, the small, the big. When I humbled my heart and asked him for help I was led to the program I am currently on. To this day I have been going strong. I have learned to love my body, eat right and learned what workouts are good for my body. I have gained confidence through this journey. That’s something I have never been able to say, in a long time. Since March, 2017 I have dropped 20lbs and have gone down TWO pant sizes. From an size 16 I can now fit into a size 14. This journey is proof that God concerns himself with everything that concerns us. That nothing is too small where he will not take the time to help us. All it takes is a true and sincere heart. I give God the credit for this journey, because I couldn’t have been able to get this far without him. That’s the truth. Many times, on my own I failed. I gave up and got no where… Not this time.-Stephanie