Farewell

A step to move forward; letting go of the past is required. I am at a crossroad. I look at the options ahead of me, yet I still see what I wish still existed. I am at a standstill. With all my heart I want to let go and start anew, but there is something deep down within that remains afraid of the unknown that lies ahead. I look up to You, no words are said, You know the very look my eyes carry. With my face downcast all I can say is, “I want what You have in store for me.” Help me to let go of what was, for forgetting it will not happen. A day is coming when I will no longer look back on the memories and mourn, but be thankful for the opportunity given. I hear it again and again, “This had to happen,” and immediately I am comforted. You know the plans You have for me. I know they are not to harm me, for through the eyes of hope I see Your prosperity.

Farewell

September 15th of last year, was the day we celebrated the life of my husband. It was the day I thought I would be saying, “see you later,” but it turns out I have been trying to hold on to him for as long as I could. The process to healing has taken a bit longer. I have been fighting my way through, constantly saying, “no.”

I have been wishing things were the same, only to fully ignore what God had been trying to do. It was not to hurt me, but to give me a new future. Just like His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 says. This verse has been my everything during this season of widowhood. I was reminded of a poem that I wrote:

“You Know,” came to me at night while I was in bed. I remember feeling angry and doubting God’s goodness. I doubted that He cared for me because of what He had allowed to happen. I was angry at Him because I believed that He didn’t answer my prayers. At that moment that verse came to my heart and I repeated it out loud:

‘You know the plans You have for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me hope and a future.’ When those words flowed through my mouth a sense of peace came over me. It was a clarity that I needed at that moment to realize that He knew what He was doing. A vail was torn and it was a confirmation that something good was going to be coming out of this. My Father manifested Himself to me at that moment.

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Fighting The Motions

These past few months have been seasons of growth and a lot of healing. They have also been moments where I have been letting go of him, little by little, but fighting God every step. I have been taking baby steps because I have been afraid of “forgetting” him and acting like he never existed. Last night I felt like the time was soon coming when I would start taking down photos of him and I. I immediately shot back, “I am not going to act like he never existed.” This only proves that I am fighting God.

I often ask myself, “why is this so hard?” I have yet to get an answer. I wish I didn’t feel the way I do. I wish it was easy for me. I wish I was able to be fully obedient to let go completely, but I haven’t.

Every step; the good, the bad and especially the ugly have been necessary for growth and healing. There was no way I would have been able to skip over the harder parts just to get to the good.

Fading Away

It’s like a movie that is playing in my head, the memories of what was are slowly fading away until everything is gone. Pictures are being removed, clothes have been taken down… the realization that that part of my life is really over. I am afraid.

I am afraid I will forget him, but I know I have to say, “I’ll see you later.” I know it’s time. For I know that this will make way for the man God has for me. The best is yet to come. God’s best for me, he is yet to come. I am a single woman walking in the ways of God. This gift of a new start, I will not take it for granted.

I want to see the Goodness of God in my life.

 

Letting Go

As I let go, I am not forgetting. What I am doing is letting go of my past. Even now memories are being shot in my mind and they hurt. The very reason I am meant to let them go. Memories of the hospital visits. Memories of what it was like to endure hospital stays and so much more, I am letting them go. I am letting go of the sadness, the lonliness and the pain. I am letting go of the ugly, to fully embrace the good that is soon to come.

It’s what is best for me.

I will always carry the good in my heart and the good examples that were made I will carry into my new relationship. The lessons learned will always be in my heart, for they have made me wiser and have helped me see what kind of woman I want to be.

I will always have that special place in my heart for Freddy. He was my first real love and husband. I could never forget that. I am letting go of my past for myself, in order to move forward and also as respect for the man God is preparing for me.

My sister in law told me something that really made me think. She said, “after this step, there is one more step you will have to take. You will have to let go of all the photos and things of Freddy when God brings that man into your life.”

At that moment, I was thinking of how hard that would be, but now, I know when that time comes God will give me the courage and the ability to do it. It will be that fresh start He has been preparing me for… I will be ready. 

It’s all one step at a time.

 

 

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I Will See You Later

My life is a movie that is playing out and a sweet mystery it’s becoming. One step at a time, things are unraveling. Stepping into this new season and this identity, many doors have been opening. I have stepped through a new door, only to finally understand that the one behind me has already been shut. I take a look back and all I see is a closed door that can no longer be open. I begin forward, ready to embrace the new He has for me.

I now say, “I’ll see you later.” It’s time.

You were my best friend and I loved you. You were the best part of my life for those eight years. You helped me know God’s love for me in the way you loved and cherished me. Your friendship helped me through difficult moments at that time. I will never forget your encouragement and the words of life you spoke over me. You always reminded me of who I was and who you knew I would be. I will always be thankful for having you in my life, Alfredo Hernandez Jr. I believe you would be proud of the woman I am today. I know without any of this, I wouldn’t be where I am. You showed me how to love unconditionally. You showed me how to cherish every moment. These are things I will carry over when God brings the One.  Thank you for being the man of God you truly were. I especially thank you for teaching me what true worship is. You always had a worshippers heart. I will never forget that.

I will see you later. I love you.

With that I say, “goodbye,” to the past.

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2010 – 2018

Dare You To Move…

A song played at his service, as if he was telling me.

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone’s here
Everyone’s here
Everybody’s watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

 

Wanted

This blog post was written back in April. I have finally felt led to share it, as my new "perspective" on my journey fits in. I have come a long way since this post and I am truly thankful to God. My experiences have led me to truly wait on God and his timing for everything, especially when it comes to Him brining the right person and people in my life. It was said, "God sees the heart of the people. When we wait on God, we are set up for success."- Marcela Page 
She was referring to relationships founded on God. That word was for me. -Stephanie

The Truth

I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know what to say… for the first time I feel a block, as if something within me doesn’t want me to share what has been happening in my life. Loss. I seem to be familiar with this lately. I have cried out to God and asked Him why He has allowed me to go through so much loss and different types at that. I don’t understand.

I have been an emotional mess, trying to go in every direction; away from God. It’s left me broken.

Abandoned

I have been feeling this for awhile now. I have cried for my husband and even wondered why he would want to leave me. Anger arose within me and I just lashed out at him as if he could hear me. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to come back to me.

That’s something I haven’t felt until recently. These past few months I realized just how much my husband loved me, cherished me and appreciated me and it only made me miss him even more. It made me wish he was still here, so that I could appreciate him that much more.

Every loss I have experienced in my life has left me feeling abandoned or unwanted. Why? Because I have always placed my dependency on them. I made them my source of happiness, comfort and companionship and when they were gone, it always left me wandering: “What am I going to do now?”

Being abandoned, pushed to the side or enduring a type of loss does not mean you’re unwanted or not good enough.

Lies

The feeling of not being good enough can shrink you so low. I know this, well. Since my husband passed away I have been struggling with my identity; who I am without him. I was the one he cherished, encouraged and reminded who they were, constantly. He was my affirmation…

August 29, 2019

…Being without him made me feel lost, because when he was still here I knew where we were heading and I knew my place. After he left, I wasn’t so sure anymore… until the past couple months when I left the place that was “familiar.”

I am seeing God move in my life in so many ways, ways that I was beginning to think would not happen anymore. I had to step out in faith and allow Him to lead me to, “the land that He would show me.” I didn’t know what the outcome would be. I didn’t have all the details. I just knew it was time to go, and I went. 

 

A New Perspective

Referring back to the beginning of this blog; feeling abandoned, feeling not wanted… the enemy painted a picture in my head that had me depressed for awhile. I was beginning to believe that I was abandoned by my husband. That he wanted to leave me, that he chose to leave me alone. I felt not good enough, all over again. I was beginning wonder what was so wrong about me that I continued to lose people.

How wrong and twisted my thinking had been.

I Feel To Share This:

I know so many others feel this way. Especially those who have lost loved ones due to suicide. (Though I don’t know what that feels like, I wanted to tell you… it wasn’t your fault. You are wanted. You are loved. You are someone that others want to be around.)

As someone who suffered with suicidal thoughts, it was more about how low, unworthy, not good enough I felt, than it was to hurt those who cared about me. It was about how I no longer wanted to feel the way I did. 

God knows who needed to read that. He loves you!

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Things have been happening around me that has allowed me to see something new. I once heard a pastor say that it’s easier to lose (to death) a spouse than it is to be separated from them and constantly seeing them. When my husband passed away it wasn’t his choice. I know that he didn’t want to leave me; as he said it right before the stroke happened. Believing that has been making the healing process that much easier, though it hurts and I still have my moments. (I find myself right here, this week.) 

I have been a witness and have experienced being on the other side of the disrespect and someone choosing to hurt me, push me to the side and abandon me at my lowest. I believe things like that hurt so much more because they choose to do it and because it was in their minds; hearts to do such things.

Healing is coming to my heart because I am understanding that my husband didn’t have a choice to leave me. It was God’s will for it to happen the way it did. We had no choice. 

Knowing this truth, is brining comfort while removing the doubt, anger and the “whys.” I am beginning to move on and slowly feeling less and less guilty for it. It was not my choice, either. It was something that had to be done, though.

Knowing this truth is allowing me to accept God’s love. It’s helping me believe that I am good enough and that I am wanted. It’s allowing me to believe that His goodness for my life is true and that in due time I will see His promises finally unfold.

I no longer wonder, “why?!”

I no longer look at where I was and say, “I can’t believe…”

I no longer look at myself through eyes of widowhood, but of a single woman who has been blessed with a brand new start. 

I will be enjoying this journey and wait for God’s timing for a new a blessed relationship… I am worthy of every good thing. 

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.

 


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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

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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

 

A Blessing of A Friendship

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Today I had a very specific revelation; it became clear to me the very purpose as to why we go through so many different things… to be a beacon of hope for others who are going through the same things. To manifest understanding, support and the unconditional love of The Father.

‘He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. ‘

2 Corinthians 1:4

A few week’s ago I was reconnected with an old friend. During this time of getting to know them all over again, I have come to learn that we have gone through similar things; down to losing our mothers the same year, month and only three days apart. God works in such mysterious ways. 

I have learned that people do not cross our paths without reason. There are no coincidences. Things happen for a specific reason. 

Having this friendship and the love from my best friend Jennifer has helped me get my mind off  of my last relationship. I haven’t laughed so much, like I do now. This new friendship is one where I have been able to really be myself, again. The last person I was like this with, was my husband; someone who gets my humor and who has one just the same.

It amazes me how everything I have been through throughout my life has opened up my heart in such a way, now, that I never expected. Spending more time with Papa has really opened up my eyes and heart to see things how I never saw them before.

It’s a new maturity and love for the hurting and those around me who are struggling with the very same things I did. I have experienced the torment of anxiety. I have experienced the loneliness of depression. I have also experienced the sting of loss, on multiple occasions. So I get it. I know what it feels like. 

 I want my story to bring hope. I want my story to bring life. I want my story to manifest the goodness of the One who helped me through it all. I want it to be proof that if He could do it for me and in me, then He can do it in everyone. 

This new season of being “hidden,” being still has been a blessing. Like I said things are starting to come to life in a way I never experienced before. I love it.

It’s priceless. It’s special. I have learned to leave everything in God’s hands. 

 

Without understanding, we become impatient. Without understanding we push those who are hurting away, unless we ourselves have been in their shoes. -Stephanie

 

Be kind. Be patient. Be loving. You’d be amazed at the outcome.

 

No Longer Looking Back

“Just go, and no longer look back;” is all I can hear in my soul. There is a feeling within I never had before. A desire to go… where? I do not know. I just want to go, with You. There is a freedom I feel, one I cannot contain. Lead me; I will go. I cannot just stay when there is so much to explore. I have no one holding me back, anymore. I just want to, go.

Time To Move

I have always felt like I was not meant to stay in one single place. I always felt like God would lead me to travel/explore. I feel that desire so much more, now. I am single. I am no longer married. I am no longer tied down. God has allowed it to be this way. I still yet to fully understand why and I still have my moments of doubt.

Last night was one of those moments. I finally started to clear out the closet and remove some of my husband’s things. I feel like it’s time to change things up around here. I need a change. The familiar is only hurting me. It’s time to let go of the past, though it still hurts!

Touching his clothes was the hardest thing. I wasn’t able to get rid of everything. I just can’t yet. I stood at the closet holding his clothes and I let out something that I was holding in for so long. It was this anger, hurt and deep sadness that I had finally let out. I cried and at the same time I asked, “Why aren’t you here with me?! Why?! Why did you have to leave me?!” I was demanding an answer. I needed to know why he was no longer with me anymore.

I stood there for a moment just crying and allowing God to take away what I was feeling at that moment. I opened my heart to Him and allowed Him that part of my heart.

It was the beginning to a new and deep kind of healing for me. 

A post on my facebook blog page:

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“I cried out “why?!” This time I was asking him.
After letting it out, I am feeling better. I feel peace. I know it’s time and I know this is necessary. 🌸
🌸Everyday is getting better and I am getting stronger.”

This journey of widowhood and singleness has been a lonely and painful one, but I am starting to trust that He is always here with me as I begin this journey of healing and restoration.

Today

I left service feeling so unsatisfied, not because the word wasn’t good or anything like that, it was because of my desire. For some reason I cannot see myself, “just there.” Maybe it’s the culture, the atmosphere, but for someone reason I don’t fit in. There is something within me I cannot explain, nor am I going to try to. I just know what I feel and what I am meant to do. 

I continue to ask God what it means and all I can hear is, “just go.” But where?! That is still unknown to me. I know when it’s time He will make all things clear. The last thing I want to do is be rebellious, again. 

On the way home from service I had this conversation with my dad. I told him how I felt and all he said was, “just be led by God and know you do not have to explain anything to anyone.” He is right.

Singleness

      …is a gift.

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It’s a gift that not very many people are able to see it as. I was one of them, but now I am beginning to get to the point where I am wanting to explore so many things, alone with God. My ultimate companion. Especially after what I have gone through recently.  This last relationship I was in and how it ended, only left me not wanting to be in another relationship until the right one comes along; in God’s timing.

This new season I am in, I get excited at the thought of just going without the need to worry about who will agree or not agree or the need to share it all on social media; to be able to disconnect from everything and simply enjoy where I am going and where I end up. 

That is what I need. 

This season of singleness is allowing me to see so many things that I wasn’t able to before. I have the freedom to get up and go whenever God says to. That alone is a blessing. I never saw that before until I went to see my best friend. I felt led to take a road trip to see her and her family. I hadn’t seen them in years. It was a getaway that I needed. 

God used her to show me something. She made me see how much of a blessing it was to be able to take road trips and just get up and go whenever I wanted. She said that she wished she was able to do the same, but can’t because she has a family.

She has what I have always desired; children. Yet, for some reason God has not allowed that in my life at the moment. As much as it hurts and there are times I become bitter at the site of others having what I so desire, I am finally understanding that it’s not His time yet. I am finally accepting it.

I want to fall in love with God on my own. I mean, I want to encounter Him like never before and be able to travel with the utmost assurance that He is there with me and that I am not alone.

I want to truly experience what it’s like to be single. I don’t want to depend on a man to make me feel whole or wait for someone in order to do what I am supposed to do or to get up and go somewhere. I want to experience that kind of freedom. I want that kind of independence, while fully depending on Him. 

It’s my time. 

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Alone

I take a look at where I am right now. Tears fill my eyes and my heart with gratitude. I am feeling brand new; free. This journey of being alone, with you, a challenging one it’s been. I have fought. I have cried. I have questioned Your motives for my life, yet you continue to prove Yourself faithful in my life. This road ahead of me, I cannot see the finish line; the destination I so desire. I am moving forward with You by my side fully trusting Your lead. As we walk, I look up at You trying to understand where it is You are leading me to. I am afraid. I am scared of what I do not know. You stand there holding my hand, reminding me that with You by my side good things will come.

Road Trip

This weekend has been a big deal for me. I embarked on my first solo road trip. Months ago plans were made, but God being a good God chose to break the plans I, myself had made.

There was something about going on a trip that sat so well with my soul. It as if God was telling me to, “go.” I made the plans and followed through. I was nervous, I was scared. Of course, I was already beginning to overthink everything.

How am I going to do that? How is the road going to be? What if this? What if that?

Time and time again I have learned that I am able to do a lot of things once I am in the process of doing them. I mean, no one knows what they are capable of doing until they finally get up and do it. They then realize it wasn’t as bad as the lies were telling them. 

I have always been afraid of driving in unfamiliar places, because I never wanted to get lost, alone. Thank God for GPS.

But that’s not what made this trip a pleasant one. It was the very fact that I was alone with God. It was our very first road trip alone, together. I invited Him along and asked Him to watch over me in the process. I felt confident. I felt a new kind of freedom. A new sense of independency.

On the drive to where I was going, I spoke to Him. I opened my heart and shared with Him everything that was still hurting. I let out emotions, feelings, offenses and so on. I cried, I smiled… I had peace. I was happy that I was doing this alone. I needed that one on one time with my Papa.

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Never Alone

While away, I was sharing with my best friend how I have never really been alone. When I met my husband, I had just gotten out of a bad relationship. Soon after that break up, me and Freddy started our friendship. We hung out together and with mutual friends. It was him that helped me overcome what I was facing at the time.

We then got closer and it grew into a relationship. I never really had a season of singleness. At that time, God knew I needed Freddy. God used him in a big way, in my life.

Singleness

After awhile of being in a new relationship, I am back at being single. This time it has left me feeling so broken, so pressed down. It’s definitely not what I wanted (being broken up), but needed. God has been showing me who I am, single.

I am being broken from the need of being dependent on someone. He is teaching me how much more I am capable of on my own, with Him. He is giving me this new sense of freedom, that I have never had in my life.

I went from one relationship to the other because of the fear of being alone. 

For the past 8 years and 4 months, I never went anywhere alone. If I didn’t have someone to go with, I wouldn’t go. I missed out on a lot of opportunities because of fear.

So, me being so willing and determined to go on this trip by myself, was a huge deal for me and who I am now becoming.

Autophobia

  • the fear of being alone. (Click on the word fear.)

I never knew it was so bad until my husband passed away and this recent break up. I didn’t realize how much I depended on the company of someone to feel safe, whole, secure and so on, until it was no longer there.

The harder I tried to have someone around, the more empty and insecure I would feel. Anxiety was becoming a problem again. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t enjoy anything. It was starting to hurt being around people. Depression was already making itself in, again.

It wasn’t until God finally had me alone, that I was able to finally see how big the problem was.

We cannot overcome something until we clearly see what the root of it is.

So many tears have been shed. So many silent screams have been released to finally be where I am at right now. Yes, I still have a long ways to go. I still struggle with being alone, without a physical companion. I get frustrated because I want what I want and don’t have it.

God Withholds What We Want

… to give us what we need.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.

What we want and what God desires for us, will never go hand in hand. They will always collide and either we surrender to God’s perfect and pleasing will (Romans 12:2), or our own fleshly desires. Truth is, only one leads to blessings, while the other just leads to destruction.

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I have a lot of experience with this, than I want to admit. So many “lessons learned,” so many, “Lord, I finally get it,” and many, many of these; “never again!” 

All the things that have happened recently have all been things that were consequences of me following my own desires…

A New Kind of Loss

In the month of March, I experienced my very first miscarriage. It’s something that I am still going through and grieving. For awhile I was trying to push it to the side as if it didn’t happen, because of the break up that happen not too long after.

That’s where the sense of abandonment & loneliness started taking a toll on me.

That’s where the road of brokenness began to lead to the road of a whole new kind of freedom for my life.

This pregnancy came as a huge surprise. It was unexpected. When I found out that I was, it was so exciting and we were so happy, but then something changed. So many negative emotions came in like a flood and I was feeling afraid of what people would think.

I wasn’t married. My husband had just passed away…I was afraid.

There is something about the words, “You’re having a miscarriage,” that brings in a whole new kind of grief; especially since being a mom has always been my greatest desire. All this literally left me questioning God’s goodness for my life. The joy of finding out that I was going to be a mom, to devastating reality that there was no longer a baby. I have to accept that it was not a part of God’s plan for my life, yet.

No one knows what that is like, unless they’ve been through it. Women and men handle these things differently, it showed in my case.

I felt alone. I felt like I couldn’t be upset about it. I was made to feel like I couldn’t really show my emotions, so I didn’t really grieve until after the breakup. I was dealing with both at the same time, along with the loss of my husband.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I am just now standing back up. 

Road Trip and Miscarriage?

Without one, there wouldn’t be the other. It was because of everything that has happened, that I went away for a couple days. It was the push I needed to step out of my comfort zone.

I needed to get away from the familiar and do something new. Even in this, God led me to confront a part of my past. On this road trip, I had to pass a town where I once lived and experienced a lot of pain and brokenness.

It was the relationship there, that led me to God. I guess I still had some hidden anxiety about passing through and this time alone. On the way back, it wasn’t so bad. I passed through with a new sense of confidence.

It’s something that I know God will lead me to do regarding Stanford!! I’ve pleaded with Him and have said, “NO.” God is having me “pass” through places I have felt the most pain, the most abandoned and where I have experienced the most loss, to set me free. 

As much as I don’t want to, I know it’s necessary. I know I will not be going through it alone. Here is why:

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. -Isaiah 43:2

This is my reality right now. This is the road to my healing and restoration. It’s been hard to surrender to God and his plan for my life. I have been fighting and been so determined to not allow what I feel or going through to overtake me anymore.

Everybody’s journey is different. God deals with everyone differently; in ways that are right for them. Some are more harsh than others, but it’s because He knows how to get through to the hardest of hearts. 

God does not cause bad things to happen, but He does allow them. Most of the time it’s the misuse of our free will that opens doors to things to happen…then we blame God. 

I can’t blame God for what has happened, because I knew better, but I have anyway because I was avoiding the reality of my actions.

Even then God is merciful and still loving. I have been seeing it in my life. Not a day has gone by that He has not loved me or not wanted the best for my life. I finally see that.

Prodigal Daughter

I ran away from God to do what I thought was the best for me. I opened doors to things that He had already set me free from to make things happen in my own time. It left me broken. It left me confused. It left me not knowing who I was anymore.

I was humbled. Returning to the Father wasn’t easy. First I had to recognize my condition, my reality. I had to open up to people I trusted and confess what was going on. That, itself was hard. It was people who I thought were going to judge me, and because of that I went some time feeling so alone and isolated.  I needed that support and the help so badly that I no longer cared. I needed the help.

It was because of my transparency with them that has allowed me to run into the Father’s arms, again. 

He was waiting for me. When I returned, He was there to greet me and dress me in new garments of: purity, worth, and identity. It was then that I realized that His love for me never stopped regardless of the things I did or how I walked away from Him, rebelliously.

He was the first to greet me. He will always be the first one. 

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I Say This To You

God loves you. There is nothing  you have done or could ever do that will get Him to stop loving you. When God sees you, He never sees the impurities, or mistakes. He sees the blood of His son that was shed for you.

He wants you to know that it’s ok. Come to Him as you are. Never will He push you away, leave you or abandone you. That’s a promise. You’re the apple of His eye and His best creation. You’re His child…

… and YOU ARE SO LOVED!

 

COMPLETLEY BY LEDGER

You are the One
You are the One I need
You are the One who loves me completely
I don’t have to hide when Your with me
The best, the worst
I know You never leave
It steals my breath away
When You lift my face and say
Who I was, who I am, and who I’ll be
Has been claimed I am Your eternally
You are the One
You are the One I need
You are the One who loves me completely
In a world that’s full of mysteries
One thing is simple as can be
You are the One who loves me completely
Your the One
Your the One
You have called new life up from the dust
Faithful even though I’ve given up
You take the chaos that’s in me
And You create a symphony
From who I was, who I am, and who I’ll be
I am changed, I am Yours eternally
You are the One
You are the One I need
You are the One who loves me completely
In a world that’s full of mysteries
One thing is simple as can be
You are the One who loves me completely
Your the One
Your the One
Your the One
Your the One
All I am is forever Yours
Everything I’ve been living for
All I am is forever Yours
You have my heart, my soul
You are the One
You are the One I need
You are the One who loves me completely
In a world that’s full of mysteries
One thing is simple as can be
You are the One who loves me completely
Your the One
Your the One
Your the One
Your the One

Comeback

Written by: Stephanie Ann

January 14, 2019

 

“You look at me like I’m some easy target; like a bird with a broken wing, not able to fly. You stare at me & wonder how, how you can ensnare me in your grasp; never to come back up for air. I am not a weakling, though I am crawling. This season will pass; you’ll hear me roaring. I’ll rise like a lioness in the presence of her enemy; never backing down, never surrendering.”

Inspiration

There is a fight within me and I can feel it. Little by little it’s starting to break free. I’ve always been a fighter when things got hard… but I used it in a wrong way. I did more damage than good. This time around, I want this anger to stand for something; to create a change…within me. To no longer back down when things get hard & to no longer run the other way when I feel like it’s too much. 

I want to rise like a lioness and allow this roar within, be heard. I’m getting there. I still have a lot to learn.-Stephanie

The Ugly Side

“There are days I feel so good and happy and there are days like today when emotions and sadness come over me like a flood.
I walked out of Subway feeling so alone. I was missing him. Walking to my car tears began to fall down my cheeks. It was like I was watching myself from afar. I was seeing myself feel what I felt and I saw myself going through what I’m going through… I just sat in my car and just started crying. I couldn’t hold it in.
Guilt has come again, but in a different way. I have been reliving how things were and I’ve been feeling like maybe if I had been different with my husband he would still be here. If I took better care of him. Or if I didn’t push him so hard…
This was my day.
I wanted to leave work early and just hide away. I wanted to be alone and to push everything/everyone away.
I didn’t let depression win. I didn’t let isolation win.
I will have my best days and I will also have my worst days… eventually things will balance out and stronger I will be. 🌸
God is the God of comfort. This helps me through.”-Stephanie (January 9th)

The Ugly Side of Grieving

I have been walking into the deepest parts of grieving; that moment when all things are being completely stripped away; when all that I new is starting to become nothing more than a memory. I have been experiencing break downs, lash outs and moments of just me wanting to run away and go. Where? I don’t know… at the moment any place sounds better than here.

It was a Wednesday, I broke down at work while on my lunch. I had a moment where I felt like I was watching myself there in that moment. I was by myself.

I saw myself feeling how I felt and I felt what I was feeling… tears just fell down my cheeks. I couldn’t help it.. and at that very moment, I just felt so alone. 

I sat in my car and began to cry. I let everything out. I felt so weak that I didn’t want to go on with my day. It was that moment I wanted to revert, isolate myself and be alone. But I couldn’t.

I am going through these changes that no one else understands. I cannot be like everyone who is moving on like nothing has happened or like those who are ok because, “they know where he is.” I just can’t!

Of course, there life wasn’t affected like mine. He was my husband, the better part of me. I knew who I was with him, now I am not so sure. 

I am breaking cycles. I am breaking patterns. I am breaking routines. I have begun doing things that I never did before. I am re-finding myself and figuring out who I now am without my husband.

A Breakdown

In the last few days I have had multiple breakdowns. None like before. These have been from deep down; from the places that are still hurting. Confusion comes in; fear, doubt and the worst of all, the wondering of, “Why?!” 

I have been constantly tormented by that question. Why has this happened? I didn’t ask for it.

I have been completely honest with God. I have cried out to Him and I have yelled my frustration at Him. He continues to hear me.

This past Thursday I didn’t go to work.  I just couldn’t. I needed time alone to clear my head. I needed God.

A lot has been coming at me and temptations from every which way; my weakness and vulnerability have been used against me as though I am going to cave in… I am not.

I spent that early morning alone with God at the church. There I was able to just let everything out and cry without being heard. These past few times, all I have been wanting is to cry without someone asking me, “are you ok? or what’s wrong?” I just wanted to be able to without being asked. To know that it was ok to just cry.

Being in God’s presence, completely transparent helped to expose what was buried.

I yelled at God. I felt so much hurt and like as though He let me down. I told him, “Everything that I have ever asked from You have given me and You have always helped me in everything, but I didn’t ask to be a widow.” 

When those words were released from my mouth, I felt this “ahhh!!” moment. Like God was saying, “There, that’s it.” I have been so angry, but have pushed it aside trying to pretend that I am ok.

It’s just been so hard. I can’t move on the way everybody else is. I just can’t. I can’t avoid these steps of this grieving process. Like I said, no one else was affected the way I am.

This has been my reality…

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Random moments of sadness and breakdowns. I can’t avoid them… I am going through them though I don’t want to. I feel broken; waiting for God to put me back together. To pick up with pieces and turn me into something beautiful.

 

See the source imageThe meaning of the word everything: “the current situation; life in general.”

God causes (the current situation; of life in general) to work together for the good of those who’ve been called…

Reading the definition of the word “everything,” this verse made more sense to me. He takes my current situation and then uses it to benefit me in the long run. Though I cannot see it yet, He is working.

 

It’s Healing

“It’s  not a storm, it’s healing.”-Mimi

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I am no longer seeing this as a storm, but a way for healing; a way for restoration. 

 

To The Cutter Inside…

I see you. I know you. I get it. Life has thrown at you things you had no control over. It has even left you believing that it was your fault. Deep down inside you wanted to take it out the only way you’ve always known how; on yourself. Life has knocked you down, but still, I see something in you that desires to get up and rise. 

You thought you had no choice but to fight; as though there was no one there to defend you or protect you from what you felt inside. It’s your defense mechanism. I get it, but still, there is a way out. A place to cast your burdens; your cares.

You take a look at your life and wonder if things will ever get back to normal. What is normal, now? Nothing about what you’re going through is normal to you. What scares you the most is that you know deep down inside, nothing will ever be normal. I see it.

You often wonder if someone else will accept you and love you as much as the last one; such thoughts bring you torment. I can see it. I know it, but still, there is someone who does.

You look around and all you see is loneliness and you feel as though there is no escape. Your eyes, stuck on the problem in front of you and desperation runs through your body. You panic because you don’t know how to handle it. I know what that feels like, but still, you’re never alone.

Your emotions rage and you don’t care. This is your normal, but still, there is someone who desires to show you another way.

You ask, “How do you know!?”

My answer is simple; “I know because, I was you.” 

 

Thoughts of pain I can control tempting it has always been; the twisted lie that says things will be better if I did. All it was, was a temporary relief that only caused more pain, but in my mind it was ok because it was the only pain I was able to control. Though the scars remain, who I was, is gone.-Stephanie

 

Poem Inspiration

The poem, “To The Cutter Inside,” was inspired by my recent thoughts about cutting. It literally came to me on the way to Salinas with my dad, niece and brother. I was feeling a bit bitter, because today was supposed to be mine and my husband’s eight year anniversary.

It’s been a couple days since thoughts of cutting have came to my mind. Especially because of the mistakes I have made recently. I was feeling angry inside. I wanted to lash out, but in a way that “no one else would know about.” 

In the midst of what I was feeling earlier this morning; all I could think about was what other girls or guys are going through. That’s why I wrote the poem the way I did. As if I was talking to someone. I am; I am talking to those who cut themselves as an escape and who have been truly hurt by things they couldn’t control; whatever that may be…I really do get it. 

And there really is a God who cares about you; who loves you and desires to set you free, the way He did for me. You’re not alone. 

 

A Part of My Story

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This is my tattoo; my left wrist. For years I used cutting as a way to deal with the hidden pain and problems I had at home. In eighth grade I began seeing a counselor to help with the depression and cutting, but that didn’t help. There was a root that no one or nothing was able to remove…

Self-pain was the only thing that I could control when everything around me changed in ways that hurt me… it went on through my teen years and a few of my adult years.

Though the temptations still come, I have been set free. The root that no one or nothing was able to remove, was finally uprooted by God, the one who can reach down deep into the hidden chambers of the heart to bring freedom to our lives. 

Psalm 139: 23-24

 

The Cross

The cross represents: salvation, freedom, healing, restoration, protection and so much more; but those few were the very reasons why I got it over my scars. It was something symbolic that I was led to do for me. When Jesus came into my life the first thing He did was make me new, covering my with His blood; giving me a new life and erasing my past. In His eyes I am no longer a cutter, but His beloved. 

God’s word says in 2 Corinthians 5: 17 that anybody who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone (forgotten; never to be remembered by God) and given new life; identity.

 

My Safe Place

He gave me a safe place to open up and finally let go of the things that I had so buried deep in my heart and began restoring my life. I found that there was freedom in finally opening up and confessing to God what I was going through.

When we release a secret or whatever it is we are feeling inside, it makes room for God’s perfect love to flow in and start doing the good work in our lives. You were meant to carry heavy burdens. You weren’t meant to carry shame. You weren’t meant to carry guilt or blame.

God sees you and stretches out His loving arms and asks you to place on Him your heavy burdens so He can give you rest. –Matthew 11:28

 

What’s Helped Me…

Having the revelation/ understanding that God knows me better than I know myself. That He sees all things. He understands me and gets me. He knows my thoughts; He knows what I carry in my heart. He knows my every move, nothing surprises Him or catches Him off guard. To me that is important. To me is means that when I run to Him and confess what I have done, He is prepared to hear it and just hold me in His arms and help me through it.

He knew me before I was born; nothing I ever did surprised Him.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart…”- Jeremiah 1:5

God knows you. He has known your every move, every mistake, every thought… and still LOVES you. He says,

“My love, come to me as you are. Nothing you have done or do will surprise me. I loved you then, I love you now. Cast your cares up on me because I am the one cares for you. Rest in the knowing that I am never too far away. Find peace in knowing that I am the one who fights your battles. I am your defender, so you don’t have to fight anymore. Here my child, give to me everything that is causing you pain, so that I may heal you. Let me wipe away every tear and turn your sorrow into joy. Let me show you the life that was meant for you from the start. I love you.”

 


 

“You, you’re not alone
We’ve all been there
Scars come with livin’
You, you’re not alone
We’ve all been there
So, lift your head, lift your head
Lift your head to where your help comes from
You, you’re are not alone
We’ve all been there
Scars come with livin’

It doesn’t matter who you are
This world gon’ leave some battle scars.”-Scars by Toby Mac

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Reach out to God and He will take you by the hand. -Stephanie

A Woman; Her Body

A marvelous creation; a woman is. Created in God’s image, the splendor of His beauty. She is clothed in dignity and crowned with grace. The apple of God’s eye is she. He looks at her and a smile appears on His face. You are lovely. You are delicate, you’re made beautifully and wonderfully. The wonders of her body; so much it can do; what a masterpiece it is. 

Lately…

I have been thinking about what it is to be a woman. I have been learning things about myself and my body that I never really noticed or paid attention to before.

Sometimes I think it’s backwards, but I am now learning how to take better care of myself; my skin, my hair and so on. I am learning to take better care about my body and really learning to love myself, especially during this season of my life.

A part of me is gone; my husband. All that is left is… me. 

I have been led to share and open up about a part of my life that I used to think was unholy and shameful to talk about. I have realized that I am not the only one who has gone through or who is struggling with it.

I am a sexual being; with real temptations, but who now has self-control.

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It begins with Love and is all held together by Self-Control. You cannot manifest self-control in the midst of temptations if you do not love yourself enough to know that you and your body are worth so much more. ❤ -Stephanie 

A revelation I just received as I wrote that; the Fruit of the Spirit is also meant to be manifested to ourselves as well as towards others. How we treat ourselves, how we respect ourselves… it all paves the way for the way others treat and respect us.


 

Innocence of A Child

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to open up about something I had been dealing with. I was able to share with a group of women in the Life Group I started attending on Fridays. It was actually the very first time I spoke about it to anybody. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who struggled in this area as a woman. (But first, the seed that was planted…)

Something I want to admit; (Gosh, it’s not easy, but here it goes…) For a long part of my life I had been addicted to sex. There had been a root in my life that was planted when I was a little girl, which led to the kind of lifestyle I lived.

As a little girl I was molested by a family member. I didn’t know it was wrong. I thought it was something normal because it happened more than once. I grew up and again I found myself being molested by a family friend’s son… again I didn’t know it was wrong.

At a young age, the enemy had placed this lie in my head… that if they chose me to do things like that to me, it meant that they liked me. That’s where the root of “people pleasing,” became a thing of my life.

I know for a lot of people it has a different affect on them.

Growing up I tried so hard to be liked and gain attention, and like most women and young girls I did it in a lot of wrong ways. I had no respect for myself and didn’t care that I was attracting the wrong kind of attention, as long as I was getting it.

One thing led to another and I found myself having a hard time saying, “no,” especially when I felt like saying no.  I just wanted to be liked. I didn’t want to be rejected.

That was a fear I had.

 


 

Purity

Void After Void– I am sure many know what that means. After the body and mind saying it’s a good idea, later to wake up and feel so empty and filled with regret… this is why:

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Our bodies were meant to be loved, cherished and remain pure; even in marriage. I allowed my past to move in my marriage. If I saw myself then how I am starting to now, things would have been a lot better. What God has removed from your life, it’s because it cannot go where He is leading you. Impurity cannot be where Purity and blessing reside.

pu·ri·ty
noun
  1. freedom from adulteration or contamination.
    synonyms: cleanness, clearness, clarity, freshness;

That is part of the definition of purity. We have the mentality that to be pure is to be free from sexual immorality, never having done anything wrong or things like that; although it is true, it’s not the only aspect of purity. It can also be in the form of restoration, the form of being set free from that kind of life style. It was for me.

Purity isn’t the state of never having done anything impure, it’s what has already been done for us on the cross. 

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”- 2 Corinthians 5:17

This is His promise. 

Giving your body away and not loving it the way it was meant to leaves you feeling so empty and feeling worthless at the end of it all. What is meant to be cherished and respected only becomes a tool that one uses for fleshly gain. I say this because that is exactly how I felt after so long of doing the same thing.

 


 

Opening Up

Ok, back to what I shared with my lady loves:

I openly shared that one day God showed me something about myself…

I don’t know how to put this in words on this screen.. it was easier to say in person. (Ironic) At that very moment in my life I learned that I was like a guy who looks at women only as objects to satisfy a need. It got so bad that one day I had seen a good looking guy and began thinking so many things… I was never like that before!

All this sprung up after my husband’s passing. I realized that I even used my marriage to satisfy that need… and now that it was gone I began struggling, but this time it hit harder.

I had literally heard the enemy telling me, “now you’re free to do whatever you want with whoever.” The enemy knew where to hit me. He knew my weaknesses and even more so at a very debilitating time of my life; my husband passing away. 

I knew in my heart I didn’t want to be like that anymore. I knew that God wanted to change me and heal that part of my life for what is to come. I surrendered my sexuality to God. I surrendered those temptations and my sexual drive to God. I let Him make me whole and pure again. I allowed Him to fill that void in my life. That very void, I kept Him far away from for years.

I later found out that me being open and transparent was a blessing to someone in the group. That’s when I felt that it was time to share this part of my life with more people. It’s been a struggle for majority of my life and I am just now being able to walk in that freedom, healing and true purity.

It can be done for anybody who desires that change.


Be Restored

When I surrendered my sexual desires to God, when I surrendered my body to God, when I surrendered my impurity to God, He restored me. 

 

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What the world calls dirty and impure, God makes and sees pure. 

Woman, you are dearly loved. Created with special care. So delicate, so unique. When lies begin to make their way in, know that they are just that; lies. When God sees you, He doesn’t see your past. When you give Him your heart, all He sees is the perfect blood of His son. You are a new creation in Him and no longer the same. The world says that when purity is lost it can never be restored, yes it can. He is the God who restores. He is the God who heals. He is the God that makes all things new. He loves you. He values you. He cherishes you and calles you His own. 

 

Sometimes the way we choose to live are only manifestations of the wrong kind of seeds that were planted in us at a young age that we were not aware of, until we met Him.

Never judge. Never criticize. 

What was lost can always be found in Him.