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.

 

Begin

Hello, loves!

I know I have been MIA for awhile. Life has just been happening and I have been, or still am in a season of just being… silent. It’s been so hard to just sit  back and allow what needs to be done. If you are like me and like to share every. single. thing, then you know how hard it’s been. I have really been trying to be intention with spending time alone with God and just being led by Him.

He has really been speaking into my life and ministering a bunch of healing into my heart. I have been dealing, still with my husband’s passing and having to confront so many different memories I realized I pushed away because of them being so hard to think about.

One thing for sure is, He has really been speaking to me about what it is to start AGAIN.

 

When life hits you hard and you find yourself trying to get back to “normal,” and you realize nothing will ever be the same again, begin again.
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🌸For me that phrase is starting over, starting fresh. I have spent so much time trying to get back to my own “normal,” and struggled to realize that it is gone. Nothing is or will ever be the same and because of that, I am no longer the same. I am ok with that. 

🌸The heartbreak, the pain has made me realize that I am stronger. The wrong choices that led to abandonment and rejection have only made me wiser. 

Begin again, where you are. Sometimes it can be scary, but remember you are not alone. –Stephanie Ann

Silence

For me being “silent,” isn’t as easy as I thought.

Being silent has meant not posting things on social media just to show people what I was up to, making a point or trying to prove something to everyone. When I was told to cut back on doing that, I realized how much of it I was actually doing.

We live in a time when everything is posted online for others to see.

I felt it was meant in a different way for me. It was a way to keep myself from losing credibility about my walk with God and who I really am. 

Sometimes we can post something that causes us to lose sight of who we are or cause others to change the way they see us. It really does take just one post.

I posted on Facebook every single bad thing I was feeling, but then I would post stuff about how good God is… I knew something needed change.

Not only has this season of being silent helped me see where I have been wrong, it has also taught me to just listen. It’s helped me stay still long enough to hear from God and allow Him to bring to the surface areas of my life that I had just smashed down, never to be seen or thought of again.

It was time for them to rise to the surface because God wanted to set me free and heal that area of my life. 

Staring Death in The Face

A week ago my emotions were all over the place. I felt angry. I felt sad. I just felt emotional. I had no idea why. Things from my husband’s passing would pop into my head at random times and I would become teary eyed and just push them donw, again. I just didn’t want to confront them.

I was really missing him.

One night, as I was laying in bed, I kept tossing and turing. I just couldn’t sleep. Out of no where fashbacks from the hopsital where my husband passed away came to mind. All of a sudden I got a flashback of the day my husband died. I quickly sat up and began to cry. It was a cry that came from the pit of my stomach; a cry filled with so much pain. I told God, “no!”  I didn’t want to relive that moment.

All I heard was, “what do you see?” He was asking me to say out loud the memory that was tormenting me. I told him, “I see his dead body laying there, him so lifeless.”  It was the memory of when I walked into the room only to see him like that.

I couldn’t help but break down and let out many silent screams. Something was being broken and I was being set free. I felt so much peace when it was done and I heard these gentle words; “It was necessary for healing.” He then went on to remind me of how far I have come since my husband passed away.

God knew that I was still struggling with the breakup of this last relationship I was in. He told me, “If you were able to get through that (my husband’s passing) then can get through anything.” In other words, if I have been able get through the most difficult thing in my life, then there is nothing that I cannot overcome.

The same goes for you. If you have been through something so traumatic, so painful and have been able to get through, then there is nothing that you cannot overcome. He is your strength in times of trouble. 

‘God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.’

Psalms 46:1

 

Nothing Is Normal

Going back to the part above, talking about beginning again.

This whole time, after my husband’s passing I wasted time trying to get back to “normal” and wanting things to back to normal. I struggled to get into the flow of this new life before me ,because I was trying to hold on to the past; the good things.

In this season, I have been learning that it’s really ok to move on. It’s ok to starting living this new life I have been given. Day by day I am learning how to begin again and enjoy it. Whatever that may look like for you, whether you’re a widow, orphan, whatever circumstance you’re in, YOU CAN BEGIN AGAIN.

The hardest past about all of this; widowhood, miscarriage… is seeing it as a blessing and a fresh start. How??? By truly believing that God is a good God and that He has a plan for every single thing we go through, it’s also truly believing that it’s all been His will. 

That is what has gotten me through all of this. 

Every time I felt God to be unjust in all that He has allowed to happen in my life, this verse was always brought before me in so many different ways.

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. ‘

Jeremiah 29:11

Close friends/family would send it to me because it was on their heart, or I would hear it somewhere or I would be shopping and see it on a notebook. It was God whispering it into my heart, to remind me that His plans for me were NOT to harm me, but to prosper me. It was His way of reminding me that if I had gotten everything I wanted or believed for, it wouldn’t have been such a blessing.

We ask for what we think we need, but in God not granting that request it is Him protecting us and saving us for something so much better.

Yes, my husband is gone, but I still believe God has someone greater for me.

Yes, my baby is now in heaven, but I believe that God will bless me and future husband with a beautiful family.

Everything has it’s timing.

You want to know the honest truth and the reason I have been able to move forward and no longer feel guilty?

God told me:  my husband was only meant to be in my life for a season. He was used to help me grow in the things of God, bring healing and restoration to my life. My husband’s purpose on earth had also been done and it was time to go home for a greater purpose.

When that revelation came into my heart, it set me free. It helped me understand that it is ok to keep living my life.

It’s ok to keep living yours as well. ❤

The love my husband and I had for each other, will never fade from my heart. He will always have his place in my life. Nothing or no one will be able to take that away. I know I will just learn how to put that aside, the day God brings the right one into my life.

In the mean time I am still learning how to “drive” this new life, this new me. I am happy with it just being me and Him. 

I am in a very good place, emotionally.

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

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

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

All A Blur

My emotions fade away like a gush of wind, here one second and gone the next. Days have been a blur and my mind has been in a slumber. I finally come to, all I am reminded of is, what I no longer have. Nothing is like it was… nothing feels familiar anymore. I have stepped into new territory and honestly it scares me. I am afraid. I am no longer sheltered the way I once was. I find myself doing things I never imagined…  I still ask why. I still often wonder what the good of all this will be. I am still waiting.

I Am Not The Same Person

I cannot say this enough, I am not who I once was. Whether I like it or not, my life has taken on a huge blow… and it has changed the course of things. A sure path I once believed was the one I would be on for the rest of my life, no longer exists.

A new path was placed before me.. and I began to walk. Along the way I have encountered things and have done things I never thought I would do.

Most of them good and some… the acts of the flesh, but none regretted. I am finding who I am, though I know a few don’t agree with it. God loves me anyway.

I can feel the prayers of those who think I am in the wrong and who are scared for me. I feel the hypocrisy… I hate it. 

“I feel like screaming such things. Yes, it’s only been five months since my husband died… what? Did you want to see me depressed and miserable, still?”

There is no time limit for grieving. People move on faster than others; I still have my days. To say that I don’t would be a lie.

He Knows

Now a days, God seems to be the only one who I can truly talk to.. the very reason I have not felt alone. He knows what I have done; I tell him as if He didn’t know. I am honest and I haven’t hid a thing from Him. I know for a fact that He will never throw what I tell Him back in my face… and I know He isn’t condemning me.

“I have given God so many reasons not to love me, but none of them have changed His mind.”

These past few days I have been carrying a lot inside. I finally let it out. People haven’t spoken to me since they found something out. I feel people judging me and I feel people are not in agreement with the changes I have been making in my life.

All I can say is, you’re not me and don’t know what I am going through. You don’t know my heart. Unless you’ve walked in my shoes, you have no idea what it’s like. I really am doing my best. I am just not going to be what you expect of me. I am going to be who I need to be.

I Am Scared

I am scared!! I am scared to embrace what is right in front of me because I continue to look back and all I see is his face. I know others are still holding on to my husband. I know it’s gonna take time, but I want to move on already.

When is the right time?

I compare the what was to what is now and there are many differences, but I don’t want to back away. The uncertainty of it draws me in. I have fallen in love with the changes and the differences. It’s changing me and helping me to accept things I never thought I would… I truly believe it is helping me be a better person.

To accept what others may reject, is what is in my heart. To be there for someone who someone might have rejected, is what is in my heart. That’s where I am at right now. Let me.

It’s been proving to be a blessing, to know that nothing is a coincidence. 

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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. 

 

Truest Friend

I woke up today; still missing a part of me. There is a yearning in my heart to see him, to speak with him. I feel him around, as though You are trying to comfort me, but it only makes me miss him so much more. How does one move forward? How much time should pass? When is it too much or too little time? In my alone time with You, I cried out. With tears in my eyes and a heart full of pain; I confessed. I do not understand. In the not understanding it hurts. I trust You; my heart cried out. All I could say was, “You know the plans You have for me…” Immediately my heart trusts you. You are getting me through the most difficult time of my life, there is nothing You will not see me through. I believe You.

Memories

When I go back to the place where we met; immediately memories flood my heart. I can still see him there. His smile is unforgettable; his character contagious. Alone in the Your house I was surrounded by him; the memories of him. That was his place; the stage. He was your worshipper. 

I stood around the piano; I could still see him playing. I could hear him singing. Every part of Your house reminds me of him. The thought of now entering a new year without him, still stings! 

I felt a desire to go; You were calling me. 

You showed me so many things; reminded me of so many things. You do not let me forget the kind of person he was. I want to be like him. I want to have the heart he had for you. 

Letting Go

For the whole month of December I have been battling depression and so many other things, due to the thought of entering a new year literally without my husband.

I had found myself holding on to what has already happened and still the memories I had with him in 2018, when he was still here. In my heart I felt guilty stepping into something new and moving on, as though it meant I was about to forget my husband and everything we shared.

I sat alone in the church and I had this vision of myself. It was me there with one hand holding tightly to the past and the other hand outstretched towards what’s ahead. I was stuck in the middle; one foot in and the other one out.

I sat there; the exact same way. My left hand was clenched and my right was open. I cried… I prayed. I confessed and declared that me letting go of the past and what has already happened didn’t mean I was going to forget my husband or the memories, it meant that I was going to let go of all the bad; the hinderances. As I was praying and opening my heart to God I could feel my grip loosening up. He was there helping me let go; helping me let go of the hurt, the pain and every hinderance in my life.

I wasn’t alone. 

If I am being honest, I am scared. I don’t know why all this is happening. I don’t know what is going to come out of all this. I don’t understand and I made that known to God. I yelled it out, then I quickly realized it was the cause of all that I have been feeling. Once I expressed it, a wave of peace and calm came over me.

A weight was lifted from my shoulders. I trust God. I believe that He knows the plans He has for me and for all this that He has allowed to unfold. God isn’t a liar; nor does He rejoice in seeing His children suffer; hence my husband now being Home and well. 

The thought of “letting go,” well… it’s always been hard. I have always been the one to try to hold to things as long as I could because I never knew when it would come again. In this case, I am still longing for my husband, still trying to hold on to him because I think someone like that will not come again. It’s a lie.

Truest Friend

Never in my life have I met someone like my husband; someone so caring, so genuine, so loving. He accepted you as you were, without judgement. He made you feel safe to be yourself and open up to share the hidden secrets and would let you know that it was ok.

I remember when he and I first met; I felt that immediate connection with him, I was able to open up to him. Our sense of humors linked together… there was never a dull moment. That’s what I miss so much!

The feeling of being safe around him, I will never forget. I remember sharing with him a poem, that I never shared with anyone else. I just felt comfortable with him. Not once did I feel judged… if anything he showed me God’s love that much more. He accepted me how I was. I was broken when I met him. I was lost, I was confused and I definitely didn’t see the worth that he had seen in me.

Our friendship grew… never in my life was I my true self, the way I was with him, and him with me. Our friendship was our foundation. I know it was because of our friendship in God that we were able to overcome so many things we went through, thought it was hard.

He loved me like no one ever had. He saw the best in me that no one ever had. He encouraged me and made me feel like I was capable of anything, things I never thought I could do. I am doing a lot of those things. I know he would be so proud of me.

The hurt part of me thinks that I will not have another person like that in my life again. That’s where the loneliness comes in and I begin to feel his absence that much more. But I have to remember that God is the God of restoration. He returns to you 100 fold what the enemy has taken from you. I am learning to trust His timing. 

Change Me

In this season of waiting, I am learning to be new. What has taken me years to let go of, I am beginning to see the kind of woman I was always meant to be. This journey of purity and pruning has been difficult, but I have opened my heart and surrendered everything that has always been a disturbance to my walk with God.

Some may think it’s too soon, or crazy, but I have already begun praying for my future husband. I have made known to God what I desire in a man, but at the same time, God made me see something. He said this, “You desire a man like that, then you must first allow me to change you and heal you so you can be the woman that he is desiring.” 

It makes sense; how can we desire something, without first making changes to our life? In doing so we are setting ourselves up for blessings. We cannot be given something good, when our hearts/lives are still a mess… we would not be able to appreciate it the way we should, and the bad cycle would happen all over.

God wants to break habits and change us, not because He is controlling, but because He wants the absolute best for our life. We are not the wisest when it comes to making decisions for our life. If we are truly honest, we get ourselves in more trouble than we ought, because we “think” it’s best for us. We find ourselves in relationships that only leave us broken and empty because we “thought” it was right…I can go on, but you get the point. 

I don’t want to be the same. I don’t want to walk into the new year being the same me. I don’t want to take old habits into the new and think that God will do something great… I am being broken only to be put back together the way He originally designed me to be.

I am learning to be pure in my thoughts and in my way of living. I am learning what it means to truly be a woman and the beauty it really is. 

I am tapping into a side of me that I never really paid attention to. What is beginning to unravel is something beautiful. I am being made new.

 

My Heart’s Prayer

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.-Psalm 139:23-24

 

Change me. Transform me. Make me like You. 

 

You Know

You Know
Written by Stephanie Ann
October 21, 2018

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. I cried out to you. I heard you tell me You love me. I inclined my heart to You and showers of your love came over me. I know You love me; tears running down my face. Before I speak, You already know what aches my heart. As I draw closer, You are there drawing closer to me. You meet me here. Already knowing what I need, You swing Your arms wide open. I run into them. How I need you so much. I need You so much, for 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. I believe You. I really believe you. You reminded me of this, for You knew what I carried in my heart. Every tear You see, not one goes unnoticed. You have a plan for every tear. You save them for the proper time. To spring forth something great; watered with the tears I’ve shed. The pain; the hurt, the soil for Your promises in my life. For You know the plans You have for me; plans to prosper and not to harm me. Plans to give me hope and a future.

-Jeremiah 29:11

From My Heart

Nothing makes me feel more at ease than to know that God is near me; the broken hearted. On days like today; where I can have a great day and all of a sudden feel as though the rug was pulled from under me.

I am hurting. 

Every single time I feel like I do right now, I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11. It seems to be God’s anthem for my life and season I am in. It’s as though He is say, “Trust me, I have something planned for you. All this has a purpose. Be patient.” It never fails… I hear that promise over and over.

I have grown to learn that when God says something over and over, it’s for a reason. He repeats Himself until we finally get it.

Papa, I get it.

I know that in this very season of my life, God is having me wait. He isn’t letting me settle for what I think I need at the moment. He is teaching me to walk confidently in knowing that He has something better for me. I do believe Him.

He sees my heart and knows the very thing that has been causing tears to flow from my eyes; like right now. The thought that I will not be able to have again what I had with my husband still torments me.

God is a God who restores and returns back to us 100 fold what the enemy has stolen from us. We just need to be still and trust Him and His timing.

New Year

A part of me is happy about the new year, yet another part of me still wants to hold on. I am about to leave behind a year that I still had with my husband to begin a new one without him.

I don’t want to. (My heart screams!)

It’s as though I am standing before a grave not wanting to leave something that is no longer there; the life I knew. 

The life I knew is gone and before me is one that seems so foreign to me.

I am afraid; afraid of moving on in all aspects of my life.

 

 

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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.-Psalm 34:18

Not The Same

Not The Same

As the days have drawn near to Christmas, my emotions have been like a rollercoaster. I have felt the ups and definitely the downs. Today was just not the same.

My day started with going to service. Today was actually the Christmas service; although it was a great one and I saw a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time & my heart was filled with so much joy when I saw him, but it was just not the same.

I am not the only one who felt my husband’s absence. I am not the only one who knew it wasn’t the same.

To top it off it was my mother in-laws birthday today.

Looking at her face while a little boy was playing his violin in front of the congregation, I knew we were both feeling the exact same thing. We were missing him. I just kept thinking about her and what she must have been feeling; her son no longer here and it being the first birthday that she was not greeted by him.

With tears running down my face, I write this blog.

No one knows the emptiness we carry in our hearts… one that only God can fill.

I Know The Plans…

When I look back at all this and begin to doubt or not understand, all I hear is; “I know the plans I have for you.” I hear it in my heart. I hear it in a preaching… I just hear it over and over; like today.

Slowly I am starting to see it. I am starting to understand things after having confronted them. I have had to stare my husband’s death in the face and allow God to heal me. I had to relive those painful memories over and over until they no longer tormented me.

The other day I had to relive that painful moment where I was texting everybody to let them know that; “Freddy just passed away.” I remembered and felt how I did that very moment. I just started crying and immediately tried to think of something else, but I couldn’t. I had to replay that over and over until it no longer hurt me.

That’s what I mean when I say I have had to confront a lot of things…

From my experience, it is necessary to relive such things in order for healing to come into your life. We make the mistake of thinking that it’s not necessary. Some people can’t handle it and choose to bury it deep down inside, not realizing that it’s causing them harm. To not confront something head on, is to leave a door open for something to get worse. Nothing ever gets better by avoiding the problem. 

There were so many things I was running away from. I was running away from all this pain, instead of allowing God help me through it. I was becoming like the Prodigal Son. I ran away from home to do what I thought was best for me:

Hanging out with new people. Going to a new church. Doing things that I normally didn’t do… and so on. It was a lie trying to keep me from dealing with the real problem inside.

Me running away only lasted so long until I felt God tell me to “come” back home. (My home church.) I had been visiting another church after thinking it was what I was led to do. I was wrong.

Slowly depression was creeping in. It was on a Monday; during prayer at my home church that I felt God tell me this:

“The only way you are going to win this battle is under your covering.”-God

I knew exactly what He meant. The week before I had been feeling so drained and so unprotected against everything I was going through. I was feeling so alone I was becoming vulnerable and spiritually weak. After prayer I left feeling covered; protected by God.

I no longer felt alone, but that I was in my right place. I was with the right, “army,” for this battle. 

I have been noticing a complete change in my life; my attitude and mentality. I am maturing; I am growing. I have surrendered everything to God and have been allowing Him into my life, to be that friend I am longing for; that friend I lost when my husband passed away.

For someone to hold on to this promise: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future…” requires so much faith. It’s like I have jumped off the cliff with the assurance that He will catch me. And He has been. 

The Ultimate Promise

I have made God so many promises and not kept most of them; but this one I have even though it’s been so hard!!! Since day one of my walk with Him, I promised God over and over that:

No matter what I faced or no matter what came against me; I wouldn’t give up or let go. That I was willing to go through whatever it took to be where He wanted me to be and have all that He had planned for me.

It has not been easy and He knows there have been times I wanted to walk away.. but it was because of my relationship with my husband that kept me there.

No matter what I have faced or will face, I know I am the house that has been built on the Rock and not the sand.

Therefore these storms that have been coming at my life… cannot knock me down.

He is with me; I will not fall.