The Life I Knew

When I close my eyes all I can see is the chaos around me. I am reminded of the pain I feel and the brokenness within. I cried out to You; all I could say was, “I am broken.” Emotions going wild, feeling so many things at once. You have been my stability. You have been my comfort. You have been the only safe place for me to run. It hurts. How long will it last? My life at the moment is me here and You on the other side of this current hell. I am scared. I am alone. One step in front of the other; You’ve given me the courage to move. As I step on this narrow road, there are no safe rails. The only sure thing is You. One step after another I draw closer to you. Things rise up attempting to keep my eyes off of you. Anxiety attacks, but You shield me and I am no longer afraid. I am walking towards You alone, apart of me has gone. My breakthrough is coming. I know You will see it through. I trust You.

Life Alone

The last thing I want to be doing is writing. The last thing I want to be doing is planning a Celebration Service. Lately I have found myself doing things I don’t want to me doing, or I never thought I would be doing.

I have been sharing my journey about my husband stroke and believing for God to manifest a miracle. He did, just not how we prayed for. My husband went to be with God almost a week ago and I can’t begin to express what I have been feeling.

I have felt shocked. I have felt scared. I have felt alone and I have felt angry. I have cried out to God telling Him this isn’t how things should be! I never expected to be a widow, now. I didn’t expect for my life to be broken this way.

As days go by I am getting stronger, still it stings. My life partner taken away, when all my faith and hope was in him getting better here. Doubt began creeping in and I felt myself having a hard time believing what God said or has been saying. I felt cheated out of so much, especially out of a marriage. I guess I still feel angry, but I am surrendering it to God. I don’t want a bitter heart towards Him. He is the only one who has been strengthening me during this difficult time.

The Shock

My husband going to be with the Lord, left us all in shock. Some of us taking it harder than others. I am definitely one of them. He was my best friend. The one person I had been able to open up to and who had been there for me for the past eight years! Taken! The one who helped me walk with God. The one who was a big part of my spiritual growth… simply… my BEST FRIEND. I felt lost. I still do, to be honest.

Last Sunday, I felt myself in a state of panic. I was crying and felt as though I was going insane. The enemy has been using the reality of it all to torment me. It wasn’t until I heard God lead me to say certain things out loud; helping me to accept the reality.

“He is no longer here, he is now in Heaven. I am no longer going to see him here at home. I won’t see him when I go to bed and when I wake up. I will do things without him and there will be things that will remind me of him. There will be moments when I will think about him, but he will not be here. I am planning his service and I will be ok.”

These are some of the things God led me to say out loud. Once I did, I felt a peace come over me and an acceptance of my current reality. The enemy had me in a faze, keeping me from accepting it and every time I would snap out of it, I would remember and just breakdown.

I had to disappear a few times while my family was over to just cry and pray. Loss, especially of your spouse is HARD. My supposed to be life partner. We were supposed to do life together. We were supposed to serve God together. We were supposed to do so much more than we did!! That makes me angry, and it hurts. 

Writing

The very thing that brought me joy and the very thing that I have loved to do, had now become the very thing I didn’t want to do. It was my husbands joy to read my blogs and anything I wrote. I can still here his words of affirmation and how my blog blessed him. This is the first blog, where I now know he is no longer here. I won’t be able to ask him, “Babe did you read my blog? What did you think?”

I still remember the first time I showed him a writing of mine. He was the only person I had ever shown. I trust him with everything. He was my truest best friend, in my entire life. That’s what hurts me the most, not having that anymore.

Writing reminds me of him, but all my writings for God. More than ever, I know I need to keep writing and share what I am going through, because I am not the only one going through such things. It hurts. Again, it’s the last thing I want to be doing, among a few other things.

I want to write and let out everything I feel, until I am no longer broken, until I am no longer hurting, until I no longer shed a tear; until I can finally think of my love and just smile.

His Heart & Life

My husband always had a heart for God and for people. His character, his personality… there isn’t a person who wasn’t impacted by the person he was. He gave his life to serve God and others.

He helped me in  many ways. I didn’t know until recently, that when he and I met, he was determined to help me and help me walk and grow in God. He literally did. He was my first real friend there, when I began attending the church. He knew all my secrets. He knew my past. He knew everything about me, yet he still loved me; unconditionally. Through him, God poured out his real love into my life. I knew acceptance, and I knew worth.

My husband has been used by God to bring healing and restoration and to show me that a woman could be respected, loved and truly cherished. I have been thinking about that lately and I have realized that through my husband, God set a standard for me on how I should be treated and see myself. He has shown me who I am and my worth. It has taught me to no longer feel the need to depend on another man, like I used to.

He has given me the courage to want only Him. He has healed that part of my life. He has strengthened me and set my true identity into motion. I don’t need another relationship to feel whole. I just need God.

I was my love’s first love. He waited on God for me. That I will always cherish. There is a quote I recently seen and it made me think of him. He would tell me how God told him I was the one. He was and will always be that special man to me.

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A Widow, But Not

The first thing that hit me hard was, “I am a widow. I am alone.” I took that pretty hard. I lost my best friend. The life I knew, immediately shaken and broken… until I received a revelation.

Jesus is the ultimate GROOM. I am His bride. I am not alone. 

I made a promise to myself that I want to live with the same kind of heart my husband had. I want a heart after God’s and for people. I want to honor my husband like that. That’s something he taught me. That’s something he imparted to me. That’s something that helped me grow in God and find that healing and restoration. I want to be able to do that for others. To be able to love them past their flaws, their past and help them see who they are in God and how God sees them.

He would always tell me how God sees me and he would live it out until I started believing it. Love was the hardest thing to accept, yet he was always patient with me. That’s what helped me open up more and more.

That’s how God is with us.

His love is patient… it never ceases and never gives up. 

 

 

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Best Friends since 2010. Love of my life since then.        Alfredo Hernandez Jr. April 16, 1979-August 31, 2018          I love you babe. See you later! 

God looked around his garden
And found and empty place.
He then looked down upon the earth,
and he saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering,
He knew that you would never get
well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough,
And the hills were hard to climb.
So He closed your weary eyelids,
and whispered “Peace be thine.”
It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn’t go alone
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

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He is rejoicing with God, now. He is healed and free from sickness. He is finally worshipping God with so much freedom. That makes me happy. I know as days go by I will be stronger and ready to face new adventures, together with God.-Stephanie

Never Abandoned

Where to begin. What to write. The days have seemed so long, my heart grows impatient at the thought of what I cannot have right now. My heart is still being mended; the pieces are slowly being swept up from the floor. The world I had known, shattered at the blink of an eye. I find myself struggling to hold on, but nonetheless, alone I have not been. I look around me and I begin to panic, he isn’t here right now, his voice I don’t hear… his embrace I cannot have for awhile longer. What I feel inside, just wants to break free, but nothing good will come of it. I am hurting. I am his wife, he is my husband. What I am feeling, no one else understands. For what was one, is currently broken in two.

Feeling Alone

It’s been almost four weeks since everything happened. Read: Confia En Mi (Trust In Me)

As a wife, in all honesty it hurts. I am in pain. Each passing day I am getting stronger and learning how to fight this battle without my husband. (In every other storm in my life, he was always there…) There are days where all I can do is cry. There are days where I am feeling so strong, and there are also days where I feel so anxious and the thought of not being able to see him, touch him or speak with him causes me to feel so desperate. Today was just one of those days. Not being able to see the changes I am longing for when I wanted to, is what has been difficult for me. 

I found myself really missing my husband’s company, his touch and his voice; his smile and laugh especially. I know he isn’t here, but sometimes it feels like I “snap back into reality” and it hits me that he isn’t home, yet. It hurts me. I know God is breaking me from dependency on my husband and teaching me to fully depend on Him. I am still human, and it still hurts.

In the natural, there hasn’t been much change with my husband’s condition, if anything, all the updates up until recently have been nothing but negative, to the point where certain doctors had given up on him. I remember being in the cafeteria with my dad, last week and just crying. I felt so hurt and so sad at how the doctors were saying that there wasn’t anything else they could do and how they basically were expecting him to die. 

By the grace of God my husband is still alive, after the doctors saying that he only had, “one to two days of life left.” God will always have the final word. I rather believe God, than people.

I am truly blessed to be surrounded by a family of Faith; people who are with me in praying and declaring life in my husband. The very people who are believing with me for a miracle. In that area, God has reminded me time and time again that I am not alone and I am not fighting this battle alone. I can finally rest.

I am especially thankful for both my mom (mother in-law) and my dad.

What We Cannot See

Though these days have been the hardest of my life, they have also been the most strengthening ones as well. I have been learning how to fully trust in God’s word and not on what I see or hear from other people.

The enemy has worked so hard through the doctors to try to get me to pull the plug on my husband, saying that there was nothing else that could be done, followed by the “urgency” they had to talk to me about my husband donating his organs. It was in that conversation that had both me and my mother in-law second guessing their intentions. (We knew it wasn’t them, but the enemy.)

It was in that very meeting where we were told the “expected” life span on my husband. We didn’t receive what they said. I told them I wasn’t going to give them the ok for them to take my husband’s organs. (That was when we felt that group of doctors just give up like it was their final attempt to convince me that there was no hope for my husband.)

This is only a small portion of what I had to endure and what I have had to listen to from them. No hope. Attempts to discredit my belief in God and what we believe He can and will do. All trying to sway me into giving up hope on my husband. I have not and will not give upon him. I have made that VERY CLEAR, more than once. We all are not giving up, even if some of the doctors already have. If I wasn’t fighting for my marriage then, I am FIGHTING FOR IT NOW.

God still has him alive. He’s sustained him this long. I know something amazing is about to happen. (When man says there is no way, God makes a way… and we are already seeing that happen.) Complete restoration in his body.

I used to be afraid of sharing such HOPE because I wanted to wait for it to happen first…thinking that if I did before it happened, it wouldn’t come to pass…but God has set me free from that. He’s reminded me that as children of God, we have the power to speak into existence what we are needing. That’s called faith-seeing something that is not, as though it was. I don’t need to see in order to believe.  I am not afraid anymore. I trust Him.-Stephanie

Never Abandoned

Going back to that day at the hospital. It was such a heavy and sad atmosphere at the hospital, in my husbands room. I felt so down and so anxious. It wasn’t until I was sitting with my dad, having lunch, that it hit me. I was starting to feel the negativity that was lingering around there. I broke down, but then remembered God’s promise:

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I began to cry and just thank God. I was thanking Him because people may leave or abandon us, but He never will. In our darkest hour, He is still there with us. It brought me so much comfort. In that moment, God spoke into my heart and told me: “I am with him. He is not alone. He is in my hands.” I had to truly, truly trust Him in this. To this day, I have seen his faithfulness. ❤

That day, my heart was heavy for my husband. I was in pain. That same night, or a day later I began to feel free and see more of God at work, when I recognized that even in all of this, my husband isn’t a victim…he is a SON OF GOD.

Since then things have been looking up. A new group of doctors working with my husband have been keeping in touch with me and keeping me updated with things. It’s just a different vibe. (We have been praying for the right doctors/people around my husband.) God is so good. 

Everything is in his timing, not mine. Though I would love for things to change at the snap of my fingers, I am not God and do not know what’s best. Only He does.

He is the orchestrator. Everything flows perfectly and beautifully when He is given His place in our life and circumstance.  

Spiritual Warfare

This has definitely been a season of brokenness, pruning, remolding and humility. I have had to let go of certain things. I have had to surrender a lot of things at the cross. I have had to humble myself and ask for forgiveness. I have had no choice, but to trust Him completely; with my life, especially with my husbands life.

It has been a life changing experience, for sure.

What I am most proud of is being able to stand up to the enemy. Standing face to face with him in all of this and reminding him who I am and whos I am. Though I have been knocked down, it has only made me stronger in Him and who I am. I’ve stood my ground and not backed down and because of that I have been able to see the support from my, FATHER.

I am not a victim. I am not a “aww poor” wife. I am not a damsel in distress. I AM A DAUGTHER OF GOD. A fighter; A Warrior.

The hardest thing at the beginning of all this, has been, in all honesty…having faith; being able to see past what is right in front of me. I thought I had so much “faith.” I was so wrong. I thought I was strong, but I was wrong. I thought so much of myself as a “spiritual” person… but I was wrong.

We really don’t know how strong our faith is, until it comes time to fully put it to work.  It takes the hardest storms to show us who we really are.-Stephanie

My way of thinking and my own understanding had to take on a “renovation.” I am just now getting it. I am now able to see beyond the natural, and truly believing what God has already said in His word and because of that I am learning how to fight the right way.

 

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For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.-Ephesians 6:12

This current battle, I have learned to fight on my knees and with a humble heart. It’s been through prayer, fasting and seeking God that I have been able to overcome the attacks and the sudden blows. It’s been because of all that, that I have been able to lift my arms in praise to Him and how I have been able to steadily stand on the ROCK. I am not longer easily shaken and because of who I know I am in Christ, I have become a not-so-easy target for the enemy.

Prayer is one of our many powerful weapons we’ve been given.

 

 

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Confia En Mi (Trust In Me)

The days have been rough. News after news, but none of it good. My heart so heavy with pain, all I could do was cry out to you. Sitting at his side, I pleaded for good news, you lifted my head and said; “I have already given it to you.” My heart felt comfort, how right You were. Your word is true and Your promises are sure.

It’s Been Two Weeks

These past couple weeks have been the longest and most painful weeks of my life. I have felt so many different things, things I have never felt before. From anxiety to panic attacks; from fear to hope; from sadness to absolute peace. My life has taken on a dramatic change and I know without a doubt it’s for the better.

I have been broken to my lowest and I have been able to see how far I was beginning to wander off track. God revealed to me how I have been lately, it broke me and humbled me. I saw myself through His eyes and I did not like what I was seeing. “I am so sorry,” has been my cry, for days.

From thinking I had a relationship with God these past couple months, to what I am experiencing now… night and day. I haven’t felt this connected to Him since I gave my life to Him, eight years ago. 

It’s sad to say, but it’s taken all this for me to recognize it.

My Reality Is Not My Ending

A few years ago at a women’s conference, a guest speaker shared her story about a promise God gave her. She shared how God promised her a son. When she became pregnant and up until she gave birth to him, there had been complications and a fear of losing him. It was then she cried out to God and reminded Him that her child was a promise from Him. Because she believed and trusted God’s promise, she knew that wasn’t the end. She knew her baby would be fine, because God promised him to her. At that time, the baby was already a couple years old.

She went on to share the story of Jesus on the boat, in the middle of the storm:

Jesus Calms the Storm

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”-Mark 4:34-41

Jesus, the savior of the world. The One who died on the cross for the world. 

This story impacted my life in ways I cannot explain, and up until recently I have been holding on to that word, what that woman shared. The reason Jesus was sleeping on the boat in the midst of the storm was, because He knew that wasn’t His end. God’s promises and will hadn’t been fulfilled yet, on His life.

Jesus knew that there was so much more He still needed to do and that place, on that boat, wasn’t going to keep him from completing what He was meant to. God’s promises are always fulfilled. 

Which leads me to my, “reality.” I have been contemplating sharing this, here. The thought of re-thinking about it, reminded me of the pain and everything else I have felt. I have been going back and forth and asking God whether to share it or not. Yesterday at service I was given the opportunity to share a bit with the congregation about what’s been going on and what the doctors have been saying. It was the first time I have spoken about it publicly. While sharing it, I noticed it had a few people reflecting on things. One even told me that it blessed them.

The Stroke That Change Our Life

On July 21, 18- a day that I never saw coming. It was supposed to be a nice and relaxing get away. My husband and I stayed out of town for the weekend, it was the first time since before his heart surgery. We were both excited about it and were having a good time until that Saturday night.

We had just gotten back to our hotel from the baseball game. Things got a little intense and all of a sudden my husband began acting strange. He wasn’t himself and I began feeling so emotional. He wasn’t responding to me. He would mumble.

While sitting on the bed, he looked at me and began to cry. He wasn’t acting like himself at all. He then said something that caught me off guard… “I don’t want to go.” I didn’t know what he was talking about. A few seconds later, he grabbed his head and let out a cry. I was beginning to freak out. I texted his LVAD nurse and told her what was going on. I was messaging his mom, and both told me to call 911.

After that moment with my husband, he got up from the bed and stood right in front of me. He starred at me, blankly. He couldn’t speak. When he tried, nothing came out. He kept focused on what he had in his hand. I was scared. I didn’t know what was going on.

I called 911 and a few minutes later, the ambulance came and took him to the hospital. From my understanding, my husband was having a stroke. They ended up taking him to the nearest hospital.

Panicking and so anxious, I didn’t know what to do. I stayed at the hotel to pack up and check out from the hotel, to be with my husband. It was dark out. I didn’t know the area. I don’t like driving in places I am not familiar with. I had no choice.

So Much Fear

Driving to the hospital and trying to remain calm, didn’t prepare me for what I was about to find out once I got there. I was led to where my husband was. Immediately the EMT shared with me the news, assuming I knew what was going on. The only thing I new was that my husband was having a stroke. What I did not know was, it caused bleeding in his brain. I didn’t know a blood vessel had burst. I didn’t know that he had thrown up in the ambulance…

At hearing that, my heart sunk. I started crying and a huge sense of fear flooded my mind. At that very moment I felt so alone. I felt so scared. The first thing I did was call his mom and tell her what had happened.

When I had finally made it to the hospital, they had been preparing to take him to Stanford Hospital. I was so emotional, there was no way I could have been able to drive up there, let alone be there alone. My brother and sister in-law drove to where I was and from there we went to Stanford.

Confia En Mi, Trust In Me

It’s been two weeks, and my husband hasn’t been “responding.” It’s been two weeks and every single time I speak with the doctors, it’s more bad news than good; especially this last meeting we had with the doctors.  In these two weeks, God has been doing so much more than what anybody can see, let alone understand in their own minds.

After days of tears of guilt and regret, God has been restoring me. God has been remolding my life and has been teaching me how to trust Him, even when I cannot see. I have been learning to walk solely by faith and not by sight, or what is being said.

We have had encounters with God’s faithfulness, His presence and Him just confirming thing after thing, that proves to us that my husband is going to be OK.

My faith has been tested. I have finally been able to tell God, “Your WILL be done,” and actually mean it.

How many can actually make such a statement and actually mean it? How many can say; “God, your will be done,” but underneath really mean, “but what I want.” That was definitely me, before all of this.

That moment I told God that, was the very moment I meant: “Papa, your will be done, no matter what it means. Your will be done even if it means you taking him home or lifting him up from that bed. Your will be done, I surrender my best friend into your hands.”

At that moment I stepped aside, let God intervene and gave Him is rightful place. 

Before leaving the hospital, this last Saturday one of the doctors mentioned something with my husbands condition and if in any case things got worse through the night, they’d be calling me. I was like, “ok”.  That entire day, God told me to not fight what they would tell me. He told me not to say anything. I listened. I felt peace and a huge sense of calm. I haven’t gotten any phone calls, which means everything is ok. There is only God to thank. ❤

Learning to leave the life of my husband in my Papas hands has helped me be at peace. Though everything right in front of me screams, “give up!” My hearts says everything is going to be ok. He is going to rise from this, stronger and on fire for God. God has told me, to trust in Him. That’s exactly what I am doing. He isn’t a God that lies. He has made us promises and I know they will be fulfilled in my husband’s life, as well as our marriage, because this isn’t our end!

My husband is a worship leader at our congregation. It wasn’t a coincidence that this stroke attacked my husbands speech, voice and his right hand. (He worships with a guitar and happens to be right handed.) 

People may think we are crazy, but we know the God we serve. Even now, there are doctors that think we are, “fooling” ourselves. Why? Because they are only believing what they see and what they have seen.

God’s Ways Are Not Our Own

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.-Isaiah 55:8-9

I still don’t know why this happened to us; to me or my husband. I have not thought about asking God, why. I know better. I also know that everything happens for a reason, even the most difficult things. I know that in the midst of the storm, He is always there. I know that in the middle of the fire, He is doing something in us.

In all of this, He has been removing certain things from my life; habits, fleshly habits, attitudes, etc. This “fire” has been purifying me and cleansing me from all things that have not been pleasing to Him, at all.

In the midst of all this pain, fear, anxiety… I have learned what true peace is. That peace that surpasses all understanding. In the midst of the bad news and the things I see, I have peace and have that unwavering assurance, that everything is going to be, FINE. God will be glorified and others will see that He is real. ❤ In all of this, all I can say is, “THANK YOU! Gracias, Papa!”

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.-Psalm 40:1-3

Another verse that has brought my heart so much comfort and peace through out these couple weeks is:

He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.-Psalm 91:4

God’s promises are your assurance that you will make it through whatever life throws at you. Trust in Him, even when you cannot see the why.-Stephanie 

 

 

I Still Believe- Jeremy Camp

 

I have been given the courage to share what’s been going on. I have been given the courage to “relive” that painful moment, because I know God will use it for His glory. My deepest heart’s cry has been, “Lord use my pain for your Glory.” It will be done, I know my will bless someone else.  Out of all this, God has proven to me that He is holding me up in his righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Forgiveness, a powerful tool it is. It sets a prisoner free, later to discover that the prisoner was me. I have made mistakes, I know that full well. I am human. I am not perfect, and I do not claim to be. I have hurt the ones closest to me with words; with actions. I have looked back, tears I have cried. “I am sorry”, I cried out to You. I have asked for forgiveness, but do I really believe that I am? For it is easier to forgive those who hurt me, but why is it hard to set myself free from torment and guilt? The past days have not been kind, my stomach in chaos; I need to be set free. I am not the bad person the enemy makes me out to be. I am yours. I am your Daughter. I have been forgiven. Help me to believe it’s true. Help me to live in this truth;

“Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.” -John 8:36

The Days Have Been Hard

Words cannot express how this past week has been. Tears have been cried. Things have happened that I never imagined would happen to us. My husbands health has been a storm! I have been dealing with anxiety, stress and panic attacks.

Never have I experienced such “anguish,” before. I have been in this place in the past, but this time it’s been hard. Waves of regret, waves of guilt, waves of condemnation have flooded my mind trying to get me to surrender.

But nonetheless, God has manifested in mighty ways. What He has been doing in my life hasn’t been easy. It’s been a rough encounter; one of discipline and of freedom. One of them being; seeing the wrong of my ways, attitudes and so on. It all came to me like a flood when things happened with my husband’s health.

We Want What We Want…

…but when it comes down to it actually happening, we automatically feel regret. That was me this last week. In my heart I have grown an attitude towards the situation in my marriage, which only came from selfishness. I had grown a callused heart towards God for how things have been going. Telling Him, “This is not what I imagined, or what I wanted.”

How quickly that changed when He allowed this storm to take place. When the thought of losing my husband became reality. I started to see where I was so wrong and began pleading to God for help; for changes.-Stephanie

One thing I have been struggling hard to do is, forgive myself. Everything that I had done wrong and was doing wrong came to my mind. Tears fell from my eyes and I began thinking, “How could I have been like that?! How could I have acted like that and treated him like that?” I felt so much guilt. I felt so much regret. It broke me. 

Forgiven

As soon as your request to God to be forgiven is released from your lips, you are. God is not a God who holds on to offenses or wishes to “punish” you, the way the world portrays Him to be. It’s our lack of belief because of what we feel, that causes us to feel unforgiven. We think, to be forgiven means we no longer feel the pain or some kind of guilt. We have to remember that guilt doesn’t come from God. I am not going to sit here and say that it doesn’t take time for you to start believing it, because it does. It’s been almost two weeks since everything happened and I have yet to fully believe that I am forgiven.

The reason being; I haven’t been able to forgive myself, fully. God already forgave me. I need to forgive myself and let go of all the wrong I have said and done. It’s been a slow process, but I am getting there. Each day it gets easier.

What brings me comfort is what His word says:

Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!- Micah 7:18-19

Learning From The Circumstance

In life, we will always go through problems. It’s been promised.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”-John 16:15

God has not withheld anything that will help us and equip us for what life throws at us. There are signs and warnings that we seem to overlook because we think we, “know it all.” When things come suddenly and we are caught off guard, we question God’s existence or whether or not He is really for us. 

Everything that we go through is never in vain. I have said that over and over, because it’s true. There has always been a lesson to learn in every experience I have had. This one being no exception. It’s been a huge learning experience. I saw that with the utmost humility.

I have been learning how to be a better wife and what God expects from me during this season. I have been seeing where I can improve and allowing Him to remold me into the woman He needs me to be. I have been learning that life doesn’t just stop in the midst of the storm. I have been taken out of my comfort zone to continue doing things as the helper to my husband.

I wrote something last night. I shared it on Instagram and as I wrote it, it was a revelation to me and what God has been doing in my life these past few days.

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  • “In Darkness He Is My Light.” It’s been a rough few days, today being one. I honestly find myself still struggling to trust God, fully. I know He is asking me to let go and let Him. I know He is wanting me to do something here, while my heart wants to be there. As a wife, we tend to have this nurturing spirit when it comes to our spouse (family) when they aren’t feeling well. It becomes a feeling that things would be better if you were by their side. What if you can’t always be right there? 
    I have been learning recently that life doesn’t just stop in the midst of the storm. I have been learning that as wives, we need to keep moving forward for our home, for our marriages, for our life & relationship with God. It’s in these moments that we have to trust God is there when we can’t be. It’s in those moments when we have to trust God to do what we can’t. It’s in those moments when we have to trust that God is there and working all things for our good. Wife, you are the helper. I have been learning that. I have been learning that being my husbands helper means I take care of things when he can’t. It means keeping my home in order when he can’t. It means staying connected to God for both of us when he can’t. My husbands health has taken a tole on him and what he’s been able to do. Soon I will be able to share what’s been happening, but in the mean time I stand strong and continue to trust God.
    🌸Wives, I pray for strength over your life. Those who are struggling with their spouses health, I pray for peace and comfort. I pray that no matter what your storm looks like, that you will find strength in God’s truth. I pray that God will guide you and show you what you are to do in the now. I pray for restoration and that God’s will be done. In Jesus Name. Amen. ✨Wife, You’re Not Alone. 

My Husbands Helper

After writing that, I finally got it. It finally clicked in my heart. It’s not easy to let go and let God. It’s not easy not being there 24/7, but it’s true. It’s POSSIBLE. (Luke 1:37) Life doesn’t just stop in the midst of the storm.

What I have being learning is, when our husbands can’t, we pick up the slack; spiritually, physically and in all aspects.  We seek God for guidance to do what we need to do. We take up the responsibilities, making sure things do not just fall apart. Wife, I get it. I know. You’re not alone in this.

You’re stronger than you feel. You’re stronger than the obstacles you’re currently facing. I am still waiting for things to get better, but in the midst of all this, I am trusting God. I am learning to let go of things I cannot change, and change the things I can. I am learning to pick up the slack for my home, for my marriage and for my family.

I am not doing it alone. I can assure you that. I have had to humble myself before Him and ask for forgiveness and for help.

Again and again, and again I have heard these words: “God is more interested in healing your inside, than He is at healing your circumstances.” 

A hard pill to swallow, but what good is it for Him to change our circumstances, when our hearts are the same and most likely will not appreciate what He does? This is for me. This is for you.

In order to fully trust God in the storms, is acknowledging that He did NOT cause the storm. The enemy paints a pretty picture that tries to turn us against God. All the bad things in life are caused by our enemy, not God, but He does allow them. The reasons are often unknown, but in all my experiences I have seen victory after victory. The sooner we recognize that the enemy only comes to: steal, kill and destroy, the sooner we are able to cling to God for help and see Him at work in our life and circumstances; giving life and life in abundance.-Stephanie

 

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.-John 10:10 (NLT)

Song On My Heart

Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship

 

 

 

Dear Spouses

Don’t take anything for granted. Wives, let your husband caress you and touch you. The day you no longer have that, is when you will be desiring to have it again. Same for the husbands.

Love each other and cherish each other. The days are not promised. Appreciate the time you spend together and never wish you had your own space. When that space is given, yet unwanted, you will be desiring to have them around again.

Never forget that you love each other. Never forget the promises you made to one another. Never forget the good things, but always strive to be better at creating even better things with each other.

Never be satisfied with taking, that you forget to out give one another. You are one. What hurts them should hurt you. What brings them joy should bring you joy.

Above all else, learn to love each other past the flaws, past the mistakes. Forgiveness is key. Above everything else, protect the friendship that first established your relationship. For when you protect that friendship, you protect your marriage.

Never take them for granted. -Stephanie

 

Wife, You’re Still Not Alone

I have wandered away, failing to see what’s right in front of me. Things I have wanted, I began chasing after though it left me without you. I kept telling myself over and over, “this isn’t what I wanted,” and angry I began to be. My rebellious heart pushed me away and through eyes of anger I was seeing everything. I don’t know what Your plans are, but I have learned to surrender and let go. I am not You; I know that full well.

Where To Begin

Lately I have been at a stand still. I have felt my world at a halt and honestly it’s left me overwhelmed and frustrated. Thoughts tormented me, telling me that I am losing so much. The thought of my life standing still while everyone else continues moving didn’t sit well with me. I was angry and feeling as though it hasn’t been fair.

After so long of doing what I thought I needed to do, I ran into a wall. I had taken the roll of God in my own life. Meaning, I have tried doing what I thought was best for me. I tried in my own ways to get what I needed, whatever it meant.

I was wrong, I was out of line… I was rebellious. 

Wife, You’re Still Not Alone

Is what I continue to hear God telling me, in all that his happening. Recently, on top of the health issues my husband has… his knees have both swelled up leaving him not able to move.

I have cried out to Him asking, “when and why?!”

It’s been over two years since my journey with my husband began. Since the day we said “I do,” it has been a uphill battle with his health. And days have gone by, recently, that had left me so hopeless.

For the first time I began feeling hopeless. One thing after another kept happening. My heart grew angry and I began questioning God. It got to the point where I only kept seeing what I didn’t want.

I didn’t want a husband who was sick all the time. I didn’t want this kind of marriage. I wanted out.

(I am just being honest.)

I was becoming selfish. In my heart is where I told God, “I am taking over.” Things started to fall apart and my husbands body just kept hurting that’s when I broke.

I became angry. I became frustrated. I broke down.

The Storm

In this storm we are in, you remain in control. You attempt to teach me what it is to remain calm but everything within me is fighting, fighting You. These thoughts, these emotions rage within and rebellious I have been. Puffing myself up, all I have shown you is that I think I can do it better; that any other way is better than Yours. I am so wrong. Everything is just falling apart. I can’t take it anymore. 

I want to run away. I want to give up. I just want to leave it all and just go. “Anywhere is better than here,” my mind torments. Painting a false picture of how better off I would be without You.

In the middle of this storm, I am at a stand still, a wall I have run into. That wall is You. I am fighting You, but a losing battle it is. I can’t overtake you. I can’t win. How foolish I have been to think I had a chance. I am only hurting myself. “Why are you fighting me?!” You question me, then wrap me in Your arms; calming the rage I have carried for so long. 

I look up to see that there is no going around; there is no going over. I stand still. I can’t go backwards. I can only go forward. I am in the now. The exact place You are. I fall to my knees, weeping; my face in my hands. I surrender. I back down. 

“Stand still in this storm,” You tell me. “Stay calm in the middle of this storm…I am here. Stop fighting. Stop rebelling.” 

Inspired by a song called: "In The Eye of The Storm"

When I think of this storm, I can clearly see myself standing in the rain and all the chaos happening around me. The thunder. The lightening… but I just remain calm and still. Nothing can touch me, nothing can harm me because He is there.

I had began doubting Him. I didn’t believe His promise: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” I have heard that verse so many times, but what did it really mean?

“Even when we do not feel Him near, He is there. We push Him away, but still He remains until we give Him his place in our life.”-Stephanie

Where Are You, God?

I dared to ask Him. He answered me… He was blunt. I dared asking Him after being rebellious, after pushing Him away from me and the circumstance. I dared to ask Him even after I kept Him out of my marriage. I dared to ask. 

He is a loving Father, though I was rebellious in my ways, His answer was gentle, but strong.

“I have been here the whole time. I haven’t turned my back on you, the way you have imagined. I have not left your side or left you to fight alone. It has been your choices and your own understanding that has pushed me out of the way. 

You have attempted to take control and do things in your own way, because you thought deep down inside, you could make those changes. That the circumstances would change by your own fleshly force and manipulation; anger, selfishness, isolate.

You have taken your will to take thing in your own hands. I simply stepped aside until you finally realized that you couldn’t, until you reached that wall you couldn’t break through. Me. 

So, I never leave you. I never abandoned you, but I do step aside when you decide to take up MY roll in your life.”-God  

After hearing those words so clearly, in my heart, I started crying. I knew exactly what He meant and exactly what I did wrong. It wasn’t in a punishing way. God doesn’t punish(the harsh ways the world punishes), He simply disciplines, because He loves us.

Hebrews 12:6 

After recognizing my ways and finally surrendering to God, a veil was torn. I felt strengthened and I felt at peace. Hope has been restored. He lifted me up and dusted me off, reminding me of how good He has always been.

Wife, You’re Not Alone

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I have so much to share. I have so many things that God wants to share with other wives, especially the ones who are going through similar things. I have felt alone, but it’s a lie. I have felt like no one would understand what I am facing in my marriage, but it’s a lie.

I want to be used by Him to restore hope. I want my messages to radiate God’s faithfulness in the midst of the storm. I want to bring freedom to the wives that think there isn’t another way out of what they are facing with their husbands health.

I am my brother’s keeper. What I do for my husband, I do for God. How I treat my husband, I treat God. 

We are our brothers keeper.

We are our brothers helper in the difficult times. 

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Social Media

Wife, You’re Not Alone” is my ministry. It was birthed after my husbands heart surgery back in November of 2017. I knew then that I wanted to share my journey and I know I will be doing just that.

I will be posting on my Instagram page- @wifeyourenotalone 

 

Things That Last

There are no words that can express what I feel inside the moment my lips begin to sing out to You. In the times of trouble, in the times I feel weak, singing love songs to You, makes way for freedom. I sing to you, not only when things are good and well, I sing to you when things are hard and all I want to do is fall, because in my praise and worship I find strength. In that moment of intimacy with You, I find rest. I find who I am and I can clearly see who You are, again. When words are few, the Spirit takes over, a joyous noise births forth. I cannot contain it. There is freedom. There is joy. There is life, in my worship to You.

When No Words Come Forward

These past few days have been such a struggle; emotionally, physically and mentally. There have been moments when my words wouldn’t come out, my mind so distracted and congested with insecurities.

I had it in my mind to skip on service and just stay home, but I didn’t let my feeling dictate my actions; so I went regardless of how I was feeling.

Last night during worship, I sang with so much freedom. It was the first time in a long time. When my words were few, the Spirit birthed forth a joyous noise that I couldn’t contain. Tears fell from my eyes and all I could feel was His embrace and comfort. I felt free, I felt stronger… In that moment, I wasn’t worried about anything, my heart was fully on Him.

I have truly missed that. Spontaneous worship; singing. 

 

Letting Go Of Those Things That Hurt You

“When something has been planted so deep within you, placing down roots, it becomes difficult and can hurt so much when it’s being pulled out of you.”-Stephanie

These days have been just that for me, moments when things that have been hidden deep inside, have been slowly yanked from my life. Things such as; hidden insecurities, bitterness, unbeneficial relationships, deep desires; things that have been causing me to act out of character.

I didn’t see it until this morning, but those things were only hurting me. I received a message from someone that left me feeling so bitter, for it was picking at a sore spot in my life. I realized that God removes those things that are only hurting us, without even knowing it.

When it comes to things that we desire to keep, we become blinded to the fact that it is only causing harm.. and we wonder why we feel the way we feel every time we are around it, around them, etc.

That still small voice; our conscience tells us what is wrong, but we ignore. We care more about those things or the feelings of others, that we neglect our own wellbeing; sometimes or most of the time.

“With everything that I have encountered and have been through, I have grown to learn when it’s time to let go of things; people. It may take me awhile, but I don’t try to fight it, like I used to. I have learned to love and respect myself enough to start taking better care of myself, even if it means letting go of people, habits, things…”-Stephanie

 

Distractions

When we find ourselves in these situations, where we are so focused on other things, we forget who we truly are and what we are meant to do. We get so lost chasing after things; people, that we forgot to seek Him.

When something is out of order, nothing goes right and things just seem to fall apart. How many times has that been true in my own life? Many times, more than I like to remember.

Last night I was walking into that pit. I was forgetting who I am, I was forgetting what I am capable of… I was just forgetting the important things. I was becoming so congested with lies and insecurities that I was losing desire for everything.

It was causing me to wander off course. 

 

A Praying Spouse

I always give God thanks for my husband. The one who has been there for me through everything. He has seen the worst of me, yet chose to love me through it all. Through him, God spoke to me. He reminded me of who I am and what I capable of. Knowing that he prays for me is what strengthens me and keeps me protected.

Keeping things in my life that God has been trying to remove has caused a slight division, because of how it’s made me feel. I admit, that I have been putting things before my marriage and how they have made me feel… I have been taking it out on my husband.

I cannot stress enough about how holding on to things that we aren’t supposed to have can cause so much damage to our life and our relationships… especially when it’s a relationship with someone you’re not supposed to have.

 

Temporary vs Eternal

This is the reason we do not give up. Our human body is wearing out. But our spirits are getting stronger every day.  The little troubles we suffer now for a short time are making us ready for the great things God is going to give us forever. We do not look at the things that can be seen. We look at the things that cannot be seen. The things that can be seen will come to an end. But the things that cannot be seen will last forever.- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

What more important to you? The for sure thing or the temporary; the thing that brings temporary excitement? 

The things I have tried holding on to; I have grown to learn that they are not worth losing out on everything God has for me, for my marriage. I have had it revealed that what is awaiting for me, means so much more than what these temporary things can offer me.

‘No one loses out on learning how to hunt, for a temporary meal that only satisfies them for a short while, eventually they will grow hungry again.

It’s the same way with the things of this world and the things of God. This world offers only temporary things, while God offers things that will last and are beneficial; satisfying every single need.

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Is My Year

I said goodbye to another year. A year filled with joy, but also filled with pain, sorrow and sadness. A year that left me wanting more, more of You. I walked that road of self discovery, brokenness, only to find myself stronger. I am brand new, I am not the same. I stood tall until the end of year. The clock counted down and struck midnight, I couldn’t hold back the tears. We walked into victory. We walked into new beginnings, into new identities. We left behind the sorrow, to only embrace the joy. We left behind the old, to embrace the new. Tears ran down my face, gratitude filled my heart; tightly I held the man You have given me. We are walking out of the desert, into our promised land. I only have You to thank for that. This is my year. This is our year. This is the year for abundance and restoration.-…Heart of Grace

2018

Words cannot express my excitement for this new year. I literally feel like I stepped into something brand new. Like an old garment has been taken off and replaced with a brand new one; a clean one.

 

He will provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.- Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

 

Last year was a year that challenged me the most and really tested my faith. I found myself in situations that pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and led me to jump in without knowing what would come of it. My faith definitely grew and my trust in God has grown. From this, I cannot go back. For I have seen how real He is.

Last night, as we celebrated with our Spiritual Family, I felt so happy and content. I had one of the best times. The interaction, the freedom I now have to be around people… is a great feeling. I have really grown in that area of my life. I am no longer closed off, for I have learned to open myself up, but at the same time guard my heart. I have learned to allow people into my life, because I have wholeheartedly allowed God in first. Learning to trust Him and the people He’s placed in my life has been liberating. I have learned to depend on their support, prayers and company. I broke free from the shell that kept them away and me locked alone.

I walked into 2018: mature, confident, strong and ready.- Stephanie

I left It All Behind

The last months of 2017, were some of the toughest ones, but that’s when I decided to jump in deeper into God. I jumped like a child who is assured that their father will catch them. I was caught.

I am leaving behind the past. 

I am leaving behind the struggles.

I am leaving behind the insecurities and doubt.

I am leaving behind guilt and shame. 

I am embracing this new life with my God and my husband. 

God Has Restored

Through all that we have been through, God has restored something that I didn’t really know needed restoration, until all this happened with my husband’s health. I have a love for him that I didn’t have before. I have this closeness with my husband that I didn’t have before. It’s all because of God. It’s his love that I now have in my heart for my husband. I was corrected, my mind was renewed and my eyes were opened, allowing me to see the man that God has blessed me with.

This journey has been an exciting one, as well as a challenging one, but nonetheless it has been the most rewarding one.

From This:

November 22, 17-the say he had surgery on his heart. He has the LVAD implanted into his heart. That day as we sat in the waiting room, I felt nothing but peace as God assured me that things were ok. The surgery took four and half hours. We waited about an hour to hear from the Dr. When I got the phone call, I felt a little anxious, as I wanted to hear that things were ok, already. The Dr. had told me that everything had gone very well, just as expected. My heart rejoiced and I immediately told God, “thank you.”

He stayed in ICU for about a week then a couple more weeks in the hospital. They have been so amazed at how quickly he was starting to recover. (It’s a God thing.)

To This:

His life was restored through this surgery. God chose to bring healing to his life in this way. Until God completely heals his heart, my husband has to carry around that pack. It’s connected to his heart and that pack is acting as his heart. I mean, it’s pumping for his heart, allowing it to rest. So we constantly have to make sure he is connected to power. Yes, it has been overwhelming for him, but I have told him it’s a small sacrifice so that he could be alive and feel as good as he does. He sleeps with it. He walks with it. He showers with it. It’s temporarily a part of him.

Seeing him so happy and enjoying life brings me so much happiness. I honestly feel like I have my husband back. The husband I have always desired. He amazes me, daily. I see him pushing hard to recover and I see how dedicated to doing so. It inspires me

What he lost passion for, he is now gaining it back, and that’s playing guitar. He was born to worship God. Before the surgery, his health was taking a tole on him to the point where he couldn’t play or lacked the desire to do so. I am so grateful that he plays again, it makes my heart happy. I believe that’s what he is meant to do. (He loves his Christmas gift. We named it Soul Fire. ) Only greater things are ahead.

This Is Us

26165413_322109958309246_4239540591672644910_nThe last selfie of 2017. My best friend. My love. My everything. ❤

I am excited to see what God has for us this year and how much more we will be growing together and individually. -Stephanie 

 

God chooses to use the toughest parts of your life;  marriage, so that He can be glorified by how strong he’s kept you, by how much your faith has grown, by how high you can lift your hands in praise in the middle of the storm, by continuing to walk when the enemy has tried to knock you down . -Stephanie

Nothing is ever in vain.

He Loves Me

Feeling emotional and wide awake, I come to you. I hear you calling me, out of bed I am. I desire to be with you, to hear your voice and see where you’re leading me to. There is a new season around me, inside me. It’s something I cannot comprehend, but I know in the right time I will. You’re calling me; with all my heart I say, “Here I am.” Expanding my horizons You are; bringing me out of the shell I had wasted so much time in. You’ve opened doors I never imagined. I am overwhelmed by You. Lord, you’ve seen all, you know all. I have recognized it’s because of you, I have endured and made it through. Your unfailing love, no one can take that revelation, that conviction away from me. For I have experienced it many times; you’ve made your love known to me. You Love Me.- …The Heart of Grace

Wide Awake

Lately I have been spending more time with God in prayer and study time. I have been learning so much about who I am in Him and how much His love is true, in my life. With every obstacle, every situation has come His unfailing love.

The love that never fails. The love that is always there, when nothing or no one else is. He is love. In this season I have been in with my husband, all I could feel is His love and support. Things have been falling into place so effortlessly. It’s as if we are walking and things are just falling into place as we continue forward in the way God has for us.

We have been trusting God through this entire journey. Not once have we, or have I doubted Him, on the contrary. I have learned to step deeper into His truth, his word. I have learned to trust Him like never before, and He has not let me down. Trusting wholeheartedly in God has opened many doors and has set so many things into place. We are being taken care of by our good, good Father.

This New Year

In this new year, I believe with all my heart that it will not be like any other year. It will be a year of restoration, a year where God will finally make all things new. In this case, restore what the enemy has stolen from my marriage; what the enemy has stolen from my husband.

Intimacy. Health. Determination. Purpose. Life. 

We have been faithful, acknowledgment from God himself. We have received a word from Him telling us that a lot of things are about to change, and we believe it. More than ever, we are determined to stand strong together and walk into the new things God has in store for us. (This year of restoration, I believe is for ALL who have been faithful and who have been trusting in Him, especially through the difficult times.)

What wins the battles is our obedience to Him. 

What Was Once Lost…

Intimacy. God has begun restoring that area in my marriage. Not only sexually, but also reconnecting me with my husband and him with me. We have this new affection for each other that had been lost in everything that has happened with his health & the selfishness I had carried in my heart during that time.

These past few weeks, God has been correcting, removing things and remolding me, as well as him. Our minds are not like they were. Our eyes are not seeing the bad like before. We have this joy in our hearts that has given us the strength to fight this good fight, together. I don’t feel alone anymore. I have the spiritual support from my husband, because I know he is reconnected to God; now more than ever. We are walking in order.

God blesses when things are in His order. 

His Joy Has Been My Strength
The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.-Psalm 28:7

It’s something I cannot explain, for it’s something that is meant to be experienced. It’s a peace in the middle of the storm that assures you that everything will be ok, when all that is around you is a chaotic mess. It’s being able to stand tall when everything or everyone around you is trying to pull you down. It’s being able to say to God, “I love you and I trust you,” when all your flesh wants to do is scream out, “I give up!” It’s being able to sing songs of praise; gratitude to Him when all you want to do is cry and break down in defeat.

Many times have I wanted to walk away, not being able to handle the pressure. Not wanting to deal with the inconveniences of the problems. It was because I didn’t know how to deal with those things. Though I have wanted to walk away so many times, it has been God’s love that has kept me where I am . It’s been His love for me that has disciplined me and corrected me. It’s His love for me that kept me from falling into the pit that was waiting for me the moment I decided to walk away. It was Him, He is love. 

I Am Not The Same

It’s evident in my face. It’s evident in my speech. It’s evident in how I now carry myself. I know who I am and whos I am. I know who is for me and not against me. I know who has watched out for me and my husband; our marriage this entire time. The things we have experienced and witnessed, nothing or no one can tell me that God isn’t real, because only He could have set all those things in place, protected us from harm and opened doors that were desperately needed.

“I have made Him a promise, I will not stay silent and keep to myself all that He has done us, me, in my marriage; in my husband’s life. These things are too great to keep to myself. What God has done for us, He desires to do for everyone else, everyone who will humble themselves and acknowledge that they need Him, His help.”-Stephanie

 

Lord, I Am Grateful

Here I sit, reflecting on the goodness of my Father. As I stare into the trees, I am reminded of all that we have overcome; all that we have endured. Not once were we alone, not once were we facing this trial alone. “I am grateful,” my heart joyously proclaims. I am grateful for the battles you have won.-Wife, You’re Not Alone

A Heart Of Gratitude

I find myself drawing my strength from a song. It’s been one my husband and I have been clinging to these past few weeks. When listening to it we can’t help but be grateful for the good and especially the bad; (this journey.)

Gratitude has helped us maintain an open heart to everything going on and has allowed us to really see God’s goodness manifest in our lives. 

We have understood that some things we face are unavoidable. They are things we must face in order to strengthen us and prepare us for something greater God has in store for our marriage. The perfect example of this is found in the life of Jesus. He faced the ultimate trial for you and for me. (Going to the cross for us.)

During this journey; the road to restoration, God has been opening my eyes and heart to understand His plan for me and my marriage. It’s been difficult, as my flesh has kicked and screamed; saying, “I can’t handle this anymore.” It’s been a lie.

God has never given me more than I can handle, and has not led me to a place where He didn’t provide a way to overcome it. -Stephanie

That’s what I have been seeing. Especially in my husband, the one who’s literally going through all these changes, in his health and body. I see how God is faithful in my husband. I am encouraged and daily given the understanding I need to be there for him and no longer see this as, “overwhelming.” I now see it as a growing opportunity and a change to mature. (That, I have been doing.)

All this has been a blessing for my marriage. It has brought my husband and I closer. Especially since we have been living away from home since his surgery. We have learned to truly rely on each other and be there for one another. It’s what we needed; unity, the sense of oneness.

His Way Is Not Our Way

“My ways are nothing like your ways.” says God.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:8-9

How true that is and how much we have been seeing that recently. I have had it in my mind how I expected things to go, how my husbands healing would manifest. I prayed so hard for things to turn out how I wanted them to, or how we wanted them to. That’s not what God has done. For our prayers, mine especially were selfish. I prayed for things to happen a certain way, because deep down in my heart I wasn’t willing to face certain things. I wasn’t willing to endure the hardships that would come along.

(November 21, 2017)

I am now a firm believer that God chooses not to reveal certain things to us for this very reason. I told my husband the other day that if I knew what our marriage would be like right when we started dating and the things we would be facing now, I might have walked away. (In all honesty.) I would have seen it as “hard.”

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Top Pic: (When we first started dating) Bottom Pic: (November 23, 17)

Because His ways are higher; He chose to allow us to go through it, instead.

It takes a strong woman to go through what I am going through. I do not say that with arrogance, but with humility. I have been humbled by all of this. I have been disciplined and corrected. I have said this before, the last thing my mind wanted to do, during all this was walk away. My heart has been opened in many ways. Ways I thought were already opened.

I have grown to love and appreciate my husband more and trust God’s timing. My heart desires so many things, but during this season all I can hear God say is, “nothing is in vain and I have given life and life in abundance.” -Stephanie

All I can do is continue to praise Him through all of this. All I can do is wait on His perfect timing. All I can do is stand by my husband’s side during this time and see God manifest in ways we never imagined. Lord, I am grateful.-Stephanie

 

Grateful

by Elevation Worship

This is the day, that You have made
Whatever comes, I won’t complain
For all my hope, is in Your name
And now Your joy, awaits my praise

I give thanks, for all You have done
And I will sing, of Your mercy and Your love
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful!

When I was down, You brought me out
You set my feet, on higher ground
So here I stand, You are my God
Your faithfulness, my Solid Rock

I give thanks, for all You have done
And I will sing, of Your mercy and Your love
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful
I give thanks, for all You have done
I won’t forget, all the battles You have won
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful!

And as we lift our hands up
The heavens open, heavens open
So let our lives declare the love
Our God has spoken over us
And as we lift our hands up
The heavens open, heavens open
So let our lives declare the love
Our God has spoken over us!

I give thanks, for all You have done
And I will sing, of Your mercy and Your love
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful
I give thanks, for all You have done
I won’t forget, all the battles You have won
Your love is unfailing
Lord, I am grateful!..