Comeback

Written by: Stephanie Ann

January 14, 2019

 

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

Inspiration

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

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

Just Like A Rose

I never figured out where my love for flowers came from.

They are elegant.

They are beautiful.

They are uniquely created…

Just like you and me.

Created differently, yet wonderfully made.

We are God’s creation.

Written by: Stephanie Ann Hernandez (Pequeno) on June 21, 18
Inspired by: A photograph I took of a rose and my love for flowers.  

 

Staring Insecurity In The Face

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

It All Starts With A Seed

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

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

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

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

The Cause

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

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

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

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

God is always that friend. 

The Past Is just That, The Past

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

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

…is me.”-Stephanie

 

My Hearts Cry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything You’ve Gone Through Is Used For You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Rain, Coffee & Skincare

I sit here, alone. I begin to wonder about what the future will bring or if it will come at all. A long ways off I see what my heart desires, but in Your eyes it is not that far. I extend my hand attempting to grab hold of what I have been waiting for; it’s still out of reach. I am not ready for it. I look at you and wonder, “when?” All I can hear is you tell me to be patient. All I feel is you telling me is, “my timing is perfect.” I feel relief. I feel secure. For everything, I have placed in your hands.- Heart of Grace

Rainy Day

I sat here for a few minutes contemplating whether or not I was going to write. I haven’t written in awhile… life. I have been busy with so many things, one of them being my business. I began my business back in December, right after my husbands surgery. I prayed, I asked for guidance and I jumped in.

Since then it’s been a blessing. Who knew that Skincare and Makeup would leave me feeling so happy and relieved. Especially when it comes to finances.

I have seen God move in my business, because I have honored Him with it. Through this I have learned to trust in His timing. I have learned to give him full control as to what He wants me to do with it. Through this business I have been able to help so many people.

The Gift Of “Motivation”

When I began my business I had prayed that God would allow me to be a blessing to my team. Because the last thing I wanted it to be was just some, “business.” I wanted it to count for something. After praying for awhile, I was asked to share inspiration every Monday. It was an open door for me to share about my faith, to share encouraging words and share about my experiences.

“I believe that when we honor God with whatever it is we are doing, we will see bigger and better things; not just for ourselves, but for others as well. A person with the right heart will find so much happiness with helping others, rather than helping themselves.”

-Stephanie

Why I Started My Business

My husband had heart surgery, I have shared that before. He has an LVAD implanted into his heart. It is a pump that is taking up the role of pumping his heart. Because of that he can no longer be alone. I have become his caretaker. We prayed for God to provide, He has been. Being able to be here at home with my husband has given me a piece of mind. It’s helped me to draw closer to him, as well as God. It hasn’t been easy, but I don’t think I would have wanted anybody else looking after my husband.

“This is where I have really learned to be his, “wife.” Being there to help him. Being there to make sure he is ok. Being there for his appointments. Just being there for him. Being a Beauty Guide has opened that door for me. I wouldn’t change it. I am truly blessed.”

-Stephanie

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”-Genesis 2:18

My husband is my why. He is the reason why I am working hard. He is the reason why I push hard everyday to overcome insecurities and fears. Watching him has brought me so much encouragement. I see what he has gone through and I see how much he has pushed through and not given up. That inspires me.

 

Wonderfully Beautiful

www.WonderfullyBeautiful.com
Was inspired by one of my favorite verses.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.-Psalm 139:14

I knew I wanted my business to stand for something. I wanted a foundation for my business. When it came to create a web address, I was inspired by that verse. We are all wonderfully made. We are beautiful in the eyes of God. I wanted something that would motivate and inspire. I wanted to help restore confidence. I have been one who has struggled with that so many times. Especially when it came to my skin; my face. I hid it behind so much make up.

But I have been freed from that and now I can literally say I am comfortable in my own skin. I can go days without makeup. I can look as see that acne is gone; redness is gone. It’s an amazing feeling.

The Heart of a Giver

I set out to help as many people as I can. I set out to share with others what I have received. For the word tells us; “What you have freely received, freely give.” Whatever that looks like. It’s never my job to question what He is leading me to do.

“Because we have known what it’s like to struggle financially and now, knowing what freedom looks like. What I sometimes think is still a long ways off, God is bringing us closer to. When there seems to be no way, He makes a way.”- Stephanie 

I am learning to trust in His timing and not in my own impatience. 

 

I Have Experienced It

Before jumping into the business aspect of LimeLife by Alcone I was using their products. I dealt with oily skin. I dealt with acne and breakouts. I never found the right skincare or make for my face. My friend introduced me and I started trying their make up. I fell in love. I slowly began using their skincare products and I saw results.

Skin Care

 

Makeup

 

I am a real person with real struggles with it comes to my face. I am not someone who is just sharing something because it sounds good, no. It has helped me. Not just the skincare, but also the foundation. Switching over to this foundation, I have seen less breakouts, because it is not oil based. It’s waxed based and has a lot of skin benefits.

It wasn’t until I became a Beauty Guide that I realized I had been using the wrong shade of foundation. HAHA I was using a color that was too light for me. I am not a professional makeup artist at all. In fact when I joined I didn’t know a lot about makeup. I just knew they worked and I wanted to share them.”-Stephanie

 

My Heart’s Desire

Helping someone feel comfortable and confident in their own skin; men and women with natural and good for you skincare & makeup. Helping a makeup artist expand their business with professional grade makeup. Building a team of people who want change. Who need extra income.

“It’s not so much about me, as it is about helping others. For I have been blessed to be a blessing. And that’s what I plan on being. God has made way for me, now I wanna be used to make way for others as well.”-Stephanie 

Still Standing, I Am

You alone are my hope, the one I trust and have confidence in. In days of dread and anxiety, I turn to you; I find rest. I am planted deep in you. Coming my way, all things trying to knock me down, but you keep me steady and strong. Still standing, I am. -Heart of Grace

On Days of Dread

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.-Jeremiah 17:7

It never fails. I can have good days, days where I feel confident, strong and thinking I can do anything. Then there are days like today, where I am feeling dread, anxious and like I want to hide. The more I step out of my comfort zone, the more I also want to hide. It’s like my way of saying… no more. 

On days like today, I draw nearer to my Father. I seek His word, His comfort.

His Word, Poetry It Is

Through my walk with God, poetry has been my way of drawing closer to God. I have written out my feelings, thoughts, and everything that has been hidden. I have come to realize that His word too, is poetry. His ways of sharing what’s on His heart, secrets He longs to share with us.

I look deep within the words written and I can see the desire of those who were truly after the heart of God. Who sought Him in their most times of need. He comforted them. He disciplined them, He made them stronger; Strong enough to endure what they were facing.

Reading Jeremiah 17:5-8– reminded me of being connected to Him; the vine. Being deeply rooted in Him and how it keeps us strong no matter what comes our way. It showed me how much life we are given when we place our hope and trust in Him. It’s what I needed today.

Changes & Challenges

This past week has been a week of changes and challenges. I have been feeling challenged to step out of my comfort zone in ways that I never thought id be doing. It scares me, I dread it. I have even felt anxiety at the thought of what was being asked of me.

The changes I am currently facing, leave me feeling stronger, but at the same time, more vulnerable. But it’s in those places where I show my Faith and my trust in Him. I know that if I want to step into the bigger things that are meant for my life, I must first step up and step out.. where people can see me.

All my life I have been in the background. I have been hidden by insecurity, by self doubt, by opinions of others… but God is trying to break me free from that. Showing me that my place isn’t “behind the scenes,” anymore.”-Stephanie

“You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts in under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.”-Matthew 5:14-16

When They See Me, They See Him

The more I rise to the surface, the more they will see Him. The more I do what I am no used to doing, the more they will see Him. For it has never been by my own strength, or choice. It’s all been because of my obedience to Him. I have found that His ways always yield blessings and more benefit, than me doing my own thing.

If it was up to me, I wouldn’t be doing half the things I have been. I wouldn’t speak in front of people, I wouldn’t be seen.

I have to remind myself, over and over, that I am no longer the scared little girl I once was. That I have not been given a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. Because to make a difference, you must first be bold and be brave.”-Stephanie

Be Bold. Be Brave

These words have been on my heart for almost a month. They have been replayed in my mind over and over, especially when I am about to do something I am afraid of doing. These words have reminded me of who I am and Who’s I am. It’s been the theme for my life this new year. It’s a season that I am, where I am being taken to new heights, a new level; in my personal and spiritual life.

I have had desires in my heart for years… but I feel Him asking me; “How are you going to get there and do what you desire to do if you have not been set free from fear?” 

The answer is simple; I can’t. We will always feel afraid, but the freedom He talks about is having the courage to do it anyway and no longer letting thoughts hinder you. To no longer let what you see hinder you. To no longer let the opinions of others hinder you. That’s freedom, even when you feel fear.

I am getting there. Little by little, but I am getting there. 

 

“I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

For I hold you by your right hand-I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am here to help you.’

Isaiah 41:9-10;13

Know My Thoughts

Know my thoughts, O Lord.
You see deep within my heart.
In my distress, is there anything that remains, anything unpleasing to you?
Search my heart, Lord & discover the things I alone cannot see.
Bring them to light, that I might see.
Know my thoughts, O Lord, show me the things I must release; set me free.
Lead the way I must go, to live in your ways.
Then test my heart, see now that nothing remains.
You know full well what lies in my heart.
Thoughts of you is what I have.
Change my thoughts, to change my life; that I may walk in your everlasting.

-Heart of Grace

Written: 1/1/14

By: Stephanie Ann Pequeno

Still True

I woke up today, the WI-FI was acting up, I couldn’t enter my usual morning routine; putting my ear buds in and opening YouTube. I figured it was a sign and I was meant to be doing something else; that is exactly what happened.

I sat with God, meditating on a few things. I then felt to go through my old poems. As I read through all of them, I could clearly see that my desire back then, still remains true, today.

The poem of today was written 4 years ago. I still find myself calling out to God with the same request, to search my heart & to know my thoughts. A desire I have to expose what’s not of Him, so that I may be free to walk in His ways. I went on to read other poems that reminded me of the struggles I faced back then, and how God has changed me; strengthened me.

In one, called “Raging Sea,” I expressed to Him how I would never give up or quit… He held me to that word. He took those words I wrote many years ago, when I began my walk with Him and has made sure that I never broke that promise. Many, many times I have wanted to walk away, He’s never let me.

I am amazed at how much my writing has changed. Only Him, only Him. Today’s post was inspired by one of my favorite verses:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”- Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)

I truly believe that the person who cries this out to God is one who really desires more of Him and who is willing to let go of everything that comes to light. It comes from someone who is strong enough to confront the fears, the issues, the fleshly desires. The request comes from someone who has truly seen how real God is. Someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to follow Him and do what they’ve been called to do.

 

God Takes You At Your Word

When my husband preached in service about a week ago, he said something that really penetrated my heart. He said, “When we sing to God, and speak the words, God takes them and begins to work in our lives. So if you’re not willing to let God change you, then don’t say anything at all.”

Sometimes, in that precious moment of worship, or in the most time of need, we say things to God; we ask Him for help and to change us, but when it finally comes down to it, we shrink back and say to God, “never mind.” Why? Because most of the time change comes how we least expect, it begins to hurt and becomes an inconvenience.

“That’s why I said that those who truly request to God about searching their hearts and changing their lives, are ones who truly desire it and have their hearts set on God; what He wants. 

It’s being bold. It’s being brave. It’s being courageous. It’s trusting God to do the right things, regardless of how it feels and looks, to us.”-Stephanie

 

In order to receive healing, there must be pain. For healing cannot come without pain, pain cannot come without healing. The two go hand in hand.

In My Writing

In my writing is where I find you. It’s where my heart becomes so vulnerable in Your presence, sharing the deepest parts of me. I pour out all that I feel and everything else. You know all things before I even speak or even write. Yet you desire to hear all about it. I sit before you with my fingers on my keyboard and you stare at me with a deep desire to read what I am about to type. How you take delight in me, this way. Your love for me has no end. Your heart rejoices when I pour my heart unto you. Your heart rejoices when I open mine up and trust you with what I share. You’re my safe place, no other place have I known. I trust you with what I share, because I know You will never remind me of it. You take the darkest stories of my life and cast them into the depths of the sea, remembering them no more. Oh, how I’m in love with you; you with me. -Heart of Grace

He Delights In you

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.-Zephaniah 3:17

Like a parent who sits eagerly waiting to listen to what their child has to say, even though they already know, so is our Heavenly Father. He takes great delight in sitting with you hearing all about your day, about your life, and especially about the most vulnerable things.

God is the only safe place. 

The Hurting

“Hurting people desire to have a safe place. A place where they can release what they feel inside, without being judged or having things thrown back in their face.”-Stephanie

In this world there are a lot of hurting people. I used to be one of them. I never had that safe place where I could pour out my heart. Counseling didn’t help. I was always so closed off.  The times I would open up, only left me hurt even more, as what I would share only turned into a weapon against me.

Writing has always been my “safe place,” that’s helped me let go of what I carried inside.  It was then that I started feeling free.  It was my way of not holding anything back. I found freedom in writing. Even more so now that I have God in my life. I write to him, knowing that nothing will ever get out and that He will never throw it back in my face.

He is my refuge, He is my safe place to be myself and be vulnerable. 

When all else fails, let Him be your safe place. Let Him be the that place where you can open up and share your heart’s deepest secrets, deepest pain, deepest parts of you. He delights in you. He desires to hear all about your troubles, your joys, you. Let His love be your healing. Let His open arms be your strength. Let His eyes see you with acceptance and worth. You are loved.

In letting go, is where we receive.

Trust In Him

The Lord looked at you with favor in His eyes.

As you placed your trust in His hands, He closed His & sealed it with a kiss.

He looked at you with a smile on His face and said aloud, “thank you.”

Written: August 4, 2014
Edited: January 6, 2018

 

Written by: Stephanie Ann Pequeno

Inspired by: Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. 

 

As I go through my poetry, I am reminded of what my heart’s desire really is. My passion for writing is evident through every word I write. My expressions through my writing are far more profound than verbal words could ever express.

I read each word in my poetry and I am immediately taken back to when I wrote it. How real my heart was for God. I have come along way. I can clearly see how much God has delivered me from. I have grown. I am clearly not the same girl as I once was. I write to God, I write for God. It has always been my form of expression; of intimacy with Him.

I miss it. I miss pouring out to Him the deepest parts of my heart.

‘I have trusted Him through it all. Since the day I placed my trust in His hands, He has kept it safe.’ -Stephanie

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!..