Begin

Hello, loves!

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staring Death in The Face

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

I was really missing him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalms 46:1

 

Nothing Is Normal

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

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

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

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

That is what has gotten me through all of this. 

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

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

Jeremiah 29:11

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

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

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

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

Everything has it’s timing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am in a very good place, emotionally.

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

Truest Friend

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

Memories

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

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

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

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

Letting Go

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

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

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

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

I wasn’t alone. 

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

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

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

Truest Friend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My Heart’s Prayer

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

 

Change me. Transform me. Make me like You. 

 

You Know

You Know
Written by Stephanie Ann
October 21, 2018

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

-Jeremiah 29:11

From My Heart

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

I am hurting. 

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

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

Papa, I get it.

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

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

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

New Year

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

I don’t want to. (My heart screams!)

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

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

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

 

 

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

Not The Same

Not The Same

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Know The Plans…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ultimate Promise

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

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

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

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

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

He is with me; I will not fall.

Something Different

It’s almost been two months since my husband passed away and there are things I still find myself hiding from because of guilt and also fear. There are days when I am so happy, filled with joy and excitement for the new things I am doing, and there are days like today when I just feel so sad; that’s when these kinds of feelings rush in.

Guilt; you’re not my friend.

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I cancelled on a friend. I was scared. I felt guilty, like I was doing something wrong. I kept playing the scenario over and over in my head. The more I thought about it, the more I just wanted to hide away. I often wonder when I will be ready to be able to do those things without feeling guilty. I wonder how long it will take until I fully have the freedom to live without guilt because he isn’t here anymore.


 

I have been so impatient with myself and this whole grieving process. It’s so new to me. Who knew that someone who was always emotional is now having a hard time expressing her emotions and knowing that it’s ACTUALLY OK TO? 

It’s like I am trying to hide behind this fake persona at times. (But I know I’m not.) There really are days when I feel so happy. I guess in “hiding” how I really feel at times helps me from falling into that victim trap and keeps me from shutting everyone and everything out. I can’t help it at times.

There are things that I am excited for, for it’s bringing my life freedom. There are things that I still fear, for it makes me feel uncomfortable. There are things that I am ready for, and things I find myself shying away from because I am just not ready… I wonder when it will be.-Stephanie


The days are getting better. I am getting stronger.

I take a good look at my life. Though so many things have change, I still find myself holding on to the past; to my husband. I find that I am ready to move forward, yet there are certain things I am not yet ready for. Something so small, yet a big deal it is to me. God knows my heart and sees it all. He is my shield. 

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Jehovah Magen:

God is my shield; my protector


When I needed You, You showed Yourself. You revealed Yourself to me in a mighty way. You reminded me that a shield You are for me. In my heart You placed this word, a true revelation it was. I was in awe; for what You revealed to me is what I needed at that very time. You amaze me; it never fails. You show up in my life, the very thing I need. I have everything in You. This is true. 

Something Different

I did something a little different with my blog. I just wrote without having a plan of what to write. I just let out what I had so heavy on my heart lately. You know what, it actually felt good.

I feel like I have been breaking free from patters and routines. I have been learning that my relationship with God is more than being inside four walls. I have been breaking so many barriers off my life that it is leading me to fully and fully trust that God is always with me and not just waiting inside a church building. It’s been so refreshing.

My life has been taking on some amazing changes; I like to call it renovations. I am doing things not on “script,” but things I am feeling led to do. I have been praying. I have been seeking His wisdom and guidance.

My life is NOT THE SAME, ANYMORE. I am not the same person. 

To be continued…

…Breaking the cyle. 

On To The Water

I woke up this morning; thinking of this, thinking of that. I sat it all aside to find You here. Before I opened my eyes You were here; preparing our time together. So many things to do, but only one is worth it to me. Meeting You in our place, so much joy it brings my anxious heart. You see everything within me; I cast my cares on You. Everything that attempts to drown me. You’re the only One I desire. I cried out to You this morning and I gave You ever desire and all things I yearn for. I know that in Your hands they are safe. I know You review all things and put in order what is of You and remove what’s not. My heart I open to You. Lead me and Your will be done. You are mine and I am Yours. It’s because of you that I do not sink when storms come my way. 


Like A Waterlily

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They float above the water. They do not sink. God created them to float and manifest their beauty. So are we when we learn to trust God and step out of the boat. We will not sink, but we will radiate the beauty that so entangles us. His beauty within us will shine forth for all to see. We will not sink. We will not drown when the storms come our way. -Stephanie


Learning To Live Righteously

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you the desires of your heart.-Matthew 6:33

It’s been almost two months since my husband went to be with God. Everyday since it all happened I have been struggling to walk, “humbly” with my God. I have been anxious about which path to take. I have been worried about what others would think of me about my decisions I am feeling Papa leading me to make and so on.

Living righteously? There have been times where I felt like I wasn’t. After reading about Abraham and how God led him and how he just believed, showed me that there is where I currently find myself.

The word says that Abraham just believed God and God counted him as righteous.

It shows me that being righteous in God’s eyes has nothing to do with what you do or don’t do, it’s about surrendering and choosing to believe God even when you do not see. It’s saying, “Lord I trust you even though I don’t understand. It’s pushing past what you feel to believe God and His ways.” 

That is me… 


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Trusting God

Seek first; Seek God first in everything you do. Seek out His will, choose to believe Him and everything that you desire; according to His will, will be given.

I was speaking to a friend two days ago about how I had to learn to fight. I was thrown into the front line and I had to defend myself against the attacks of the enemy. When I say defend myself, I mean I had to trust God completely for help to get through the death of my husband and even while he was in the hospital, dying.

I was attacked with anxiety, panic, depression and so many other things. In the midst of the hardest moments of my husband dying in the hospital, I had no choice but to learn how to fight back against the enemy.

I had no choice, because I wasn’t going to allow depression or anxiety take over my life. It’s been a spiritual fight ever since. I know it had to happen that way or else I would have never learned how to fight, the way I have learned to. I wouldn’t be experiencing this kind of growth if none of this happened. 

Everyday it’s about trusting God even when I can’t see and even when I don’t understand what He is doing out of all this.

It’s hard, but the outcome of trusting Him has been such a beautiful blessing in my life. I am not the same woman. I am stronger. I am wiser. I am more courageous than ever. I am learning to step out of the boat and onto the water, knowing that I will not sink. His love surrounds me and embraces me. I will never fall. 


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My Friday Night

Last night was a blessing for both my spiritual life and life in general. I stepped out of my comfort zone and visited a church for Worship Night.

Friday nights have been my “girls night.” I started joining my friend and her group of women from her Life Group. It’s been so refreshing to be surrounded by new people and hearing their stories. It’s been such a blessing for me and it’s been helping me get through all that I have been facing.

It’s allowed me to open up and share my experiences and what I have been going through.

Back to Worship Night; I wasn’t going to go because guilt had been forming in my mind. I was worrying about well, what would “they say or think about me coming here and worshipping with a different church…?” I was slowly backing down from the thought of going and enjoying God’s presence.

But towards the end of the day, I just felt to go. I am so glad I did. It wasn’t a coincidence that the songs they sang were ones that God used to comfort me during my husbands passing. It wasn’t a coincidence that God prepared something for me there.

I walked out blessed and feeling so much peace. A peace that I haven’t felt in such a long time. He spoke words of love into my heart all over again and He reminded me that I am not alone.

There was a time towards the end of the night that we all participated in communion. Before taking of the bread and juice, I received a beautiful vision of Jesus…

It was one I haven’t had before. It was a revelation that I needed in this time of my life. It was powerful and a tremendous blessing for my life and what I am being led to do.

I saw Jesus standing before me taking on Him the beatings; the criticism and all the judgement so I wouldn’t have to. It spoke to me in such a profound way and encouraged me not to worry about those things anymore, because He endured it all FOR ME. 

It was God’s way of saying; “Do not worry about what they will say about you. Do not worry about the criticism you will go through. Do not worry about the stones people may throw at you with their words…”

“Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.”

-Proverbs 29:25

He was showing me that He is my defender. He is my protector. He is my SHIELD. 

I just left that place so blessed. So refreshed and so at peace. I left there with courage. I traded my fear for courage and that’s what I received.

 

I will step out of the boat and on to the water. I will not sink, because He is with me.

Like A Waterlily

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Learning To Walk

I just want to hold you. I ran to you like the little girl I am, in your eyes. I threw myself in your arms and tightly I held you. That’s all I want to do; expressing my gratitude for all You have done for me. I am thankful. Though my heart still hurts, You give me strength to wake up each morning and get through the day. Papa I am stepping out of my comfort zone; I can hear how proud You are of me. My story coming forth; a beautiful masterpiece it’s becoming.

I am a giggly child excited about what is coming. I jump up and down clapping my hands at the thought of Your goodness in my life. There is no love like Yours; there is no love like Yours. I adore you, I love you. ❤

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Learning To Walk

In my time with Papa, I felt this urge to just hug him. I saw myself like a little girl running to my Father and just wrapping my arms around Him. I am thankful and I am beyond blessed by what He has been doing in my life these past few weeks; since my husband’s death.

I see Him moving around me, I see Him moving in my life… in every thing regarding me. I see how He is using my life to inspire others and at certain times I think to myself… how can it make such an impact on others? When I think something is small, God magnifies it for others to see; to see Him through my life and circumstance.

Lately I have been stepping out of my comfort zone like never before. I am learning to walk on my own with God. I am learning to open myself up to new and exciting things that He is leading me to and the people He is now placing in my life. It’s a season where I cannot stay quiet about what has been going on in my life.

Sometimes I take a small step back to acknowledge everything that is happening in my life and I am in awe. I just think; “Lord, it’s all you!” It really is because I have no idea how I am able to walk with so much peace, strength, courage and confidence, especially since it’s been only a month that my husband went HOME.

I give God all the glory. ❤

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It’s A New Day

I found myself reflecting on my life and how I have been given a unique opportunity. A new beginning in my walk with God. I was telling my pastora (pastor’s wife) that I have been given a new opportunity to serve Him.

I have said this before, but the way it sounds is not how I mean it. Now that I have become a widow, I feel free. Free to do what I am supposed to do. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just something that I can’t really explain.

I am free to move. I am free to go where God is leading me. I am free to serve.

That’s the unique thing about it, especially since I never thought I would be a widow at my age.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and said “yes,” to God. I said, “take my broken and put me together the way You see fit.” I said, “here I am, Your will be done.” He took me at my word and has begun His perfect work in my life. 

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When I Cannot See

In this season of my life, I am like Abram, before he was named Abraham. I find myself tuning my ear into God’s frequency and saying, “yes.” I am slowly stepping out of all that has been so familiar and comfortable for me, into the unknown that He is leading me into.

It’s has been such a struggle. My faith has been tested, but even then I surrendered my life. I have known that God doesn’t need much from us to do something big. He says if we only have faith as small as a mustard seed He can do amazing things.

He has taken my mustard seed and has begun a good work. The biggest struggle has been not knowing where, how or why. 

Abram was told to leave his native land, his family; basically everything that hindered him. That’s where I find myself. What I learned is, those places of “comfort,” are not just physical places or things… it can also be emotional things.

For example: I always hid behind isolation. For a long time that was my comfort place; a distorted way of thinking from the enemy. I thought that pushing others or myself way was a safe place. It was a comfort for me so that I wouldn’t confront those difficult things.

In this season God is challenging so many other women to confront such things that they think are comfortable. He is wanting to lead them into the unknown, but where it will be a blessing for them. He is wanting to expand their faith and do great and mighty things in their life, but only if they have that faith to trust Him even when they can’t see the outcome yet. 

God will never ask us to leave something that is so familiar to us only to abandon us in the wilderness. On the contrary, He is leading us into something prosperous, something wonderful and that is going to be a huge blessing to us and those around us.

In this season, God is taking all that I thought was insignificant and turning it into something beautiful that He is starting to manifest to others around me. He has been taking me through this unknown and revealing to me so many wonderful things.

Through the death of my husband, God has been calling me out and telling me to get up and walk. Well, walk where? I don’t know. I still don’t know what is going to come out of all that has happened to me. I don’t have all the answers and I definitely do not know where I will end up. I trust Him.

Like Abram, I am being tested. God’s promises cannot come to pass in my life until I fully trust and obey God. Abram would eventually become the “Father of many nations,” but first God has to test him and Abram had to have that faith to obey and go into the unknown.

The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” -Genesis 12:1

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The Unknown

I was sharing with a group of women how I used to be. I was opening up about how I used to need to know every single detail before I jumped into it. I needed to know who was going to be there, how to get from here to there and so on.

I needed to plan out everything before doing it. I hid behind my husband. He was my shield in those moments I felt so uncomfortable. But now I felt like I have been pushed to the front line, where I cannot hide behind anything anymore.

I have been fully exposed, but for a reason. I had been such a timid person for so long that God had no choice but to remove that shield in order for me to not have the opportunity to hide. In the midst of this exposure I have had to learn how to trust God. I have also learned how to fight on my own, with Him.

I have had to confront a lot of things that I always just pushed to the side. I am a stronger woman now, I am learning how to stand in the gaps for others and be that fighter God called me to be. I am not a timid woman anymore. I am not an easy target for my enemy anymore.

What God allows to happen is for a reason. It’s never to harm us, but to help us grow.

To this day, I still don’t know why things have happened, but what I do see is that I am growing from it and being used to reach women around me. I am fighting for those who are still trapped and chained by what life has thrown at them.-Stephanie

I am standing in the gap for them and I am not backing down or giving up.

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Talking To My Husband

A part of the healing process of my current grieving has been, “talking to my husband,” as if he was here. I know that he isn’t and I don’t do it in a way that isn’t biblical. I am fully aware that he is gone and his spirit isn’t lingering around. I know where he is.

But the thing that has been so hard for me was bot being able to text him or tell him about my day, especially now that I have been working. Last night I was asked to speak at the women’s life group. It was such a blessing for me and a step into what God is leading me to do.

On the drive home I was feeling that urge to talk to him and tell him how it went, so I did. I spoke as if I was directly talking to him and all of a sudden, I felt that he was telling me, “I am proud of you.” In my mind I heard his voice and tears began to form in my eyes.

I know it is God. God is proud of me. I know my husband would be so proud of me and all that I am doing and especially about the woman I am transforming into. There’s still apart of me that hurts and wishes I was more like this when he was still here. Sometimes I am hard on myself and think why did I have to wait until this happen for me to open up to God?

The answer is, some of us are so stubborn and hard headed that we need to go through something like this for God to finally get ahold of us. Even them, some people just rebel. I didn’t want to. I didn’t give myself a choice. I chose to surrender and trust God with my life.

In all honesty, that has helped me in my time of grieving. That’s why others are able to see me go through life with strength, courage, peace and so much more, that it leaves them in awe.

I have heard so many times, “I don’t think I would be as strong as you if I went through something like that…” My response is, what you’re facing might not be as big as what I am going through, but at the moment it’s big in your life… and if you’re able to remain strong in that, then you will be able to stand when something harder comes at you. Everything is just a moment of strengthening for something greater.

In God’s eyes, it’s a big deal. He cares for you and your circumstances. 

So am learning how to walk this road of faith; of trust. I am walking into the unknown and I am no longer afraid of it because I know the One who goes before me. The verses below have been such a blessing for my life in this season. I have been learning how good He is how He is the good Shepherd. He leads us on the right path. He protects us from harm and cares for us.

Applying it to my life, I am the lamb, He is my life’s shepherd. He has been leading me into new and exciting things, BECAUSE I HAVE ALLOWED HIM TO. I am not fighting Him anymore because I have fully understood that He is for me and not against me. 

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“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep -John 10:11-15

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An Open Road-I Still Believe

I look at myself, not in the physical; in the spiritual. I see myself standing before an open road. I look to the left, I look to the right; even straight ahead. I am filled with confusion, I don’t know which path to take. I cry out to You, You’re the only one who can help me. Alone to decide, I am and I am not sure what to do. You see my heart and know every desire; lead me in the way I am to go so I will not wander in the direction of my own wants. I am anxious, I just want to move. I am scared, too, at the thought of doing it alone. Every tear I have cried, not in vain they are. Lead me, I want to go where You are.

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Not Like Lot

Yesterday, being Monday, marked the finale of a three day conference at our mother church. It was a powerful service which ended in God moving and reigniting the passion in our hearts for what He has for us; for serving Him.

I stood there in the back crying out to God. Ever since all this happened with my husband, I have been more certain that I want to serve God. I want to be used to help women and young girls. It was so evident in my heart that I am meant to, but I am just not sure which path to take or where to start.

As I was standing there, I cried to God and this flowed from my heart without me even thinking about it: “I don’t want to be like Lot. I want to be like Abraham

I was surprised that I said that, let alone thought about it. But I knew it was God, because He knows EVERYTHING; even my thoughts. Lately I had been thinking of where my place is. I have been thinking if I should go, or if I should stay. The things that had me considering moving were things like: “They have it all together. Things are already established there… it will be easy to serve in where you want to serve. Or they are in need of servants/people to help out, surely they will accept you.” 

The things that were making me consider staying were like: “You have the opportunity to begin something new here and establish it… though there is nothing here, there can be.” 

Both had seemed appealing to me, but the last thing I have wanted was to move without God’s guidance and only because of what I don’t or do want to work for; if that makes sense. I want it to be all God and His timing, not me or mine.

The very fact that I cried out those words, that I didn’t want to be like Lot, and wanted to be like Abraham already gives me the answer I am needing; I just need the faith to walk it out… like Abraham did. 

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I Don’t Want The Greener Grass

Lot chose what was appealing to him, out of the selfishness and greed in his heart. He chose the beautiful, the very thing that he didn’t have to work for; everything was set and established. The very place he chose was a place that was filled with so much evil and things not of God; instead of being a blessing to him it actually brought evil upon him… he was influenced.

On the other hand, Abraham chose the overlooked. There was nothing there and it took him faith to be able to see the blessing of the plains. God spoke to him and promised him that he would be tremendously blessed because of his faith, his humility and obedience.

He wanted what God wanted for him even though he couldn’t see it yet and not what he was able to see. That’s where I find myself right now, in this very season of my life. 

Like Abraham, I believe and trust God even though I cannot see where He is leading me to or the blessings yet to come. I don’t even know what to expect, except that I know it’s going to be a blessing for my life.

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I Still Believe

I haven’t felt so connected to this song, like I do at this very moment. Though I have gone through so much and though it HURTS SO BAD, I can lift my arms and say to God, “I still believe.”  I would be lying if I said I didn’t have questions. I have a lot of questions and still I don’t seem to understand why my husband was taken. Pain and confusion still blur my vision of the bigger picture. I still cry for my husband, because I miss him so much. But through it all, I know God is still good and He is still faithful.

I know that He didn’t allow this to hurt me. I know that for a fact. Like Abraham, I can’t see the blessing, but I have faith that it’s coming they very way He promised it. 

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My heart’s song in this season. (Jeremy Camp lost his first wife years ago. That is where the song was birthed. I have also heard another testimony of Danny Gokey-Tell My Heart To Beat Again who also lost his first wife and how it affected his life. They show me how God restores and how He blesses even when they couldn’t see His plan.) It encourages me. I know this isn’t the end for me. ❤

 

“I Still Believe” by Jeremy Camp

Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I’ve never felt so torn before
Seems I don’t know where to start
But it’s now that I feel Your grace falls like rain
From every fingertip, washing away my pain
I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
Even when I don’t see, I still believe
Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind
It’s my heart I see You prepare
But its now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every finger tip, washing away my pain
I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
Even when I don’t see, I still believe
The only place I can go is into your arms
Where I throw to you my feeble prayers
In brokenness I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know Your near

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There was a time when I was crying out to God and all I could tell him was help my heart to beat again. This song came to mind and after listening to it, it touched me in a way that allowed me to encounter God like never before. He reminds me:

He is near to the broken hearted. He’s near to those who call on His name. 

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Tell Your Heart To Beat Again by Danny Gokey

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Beginning
Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
‘Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven’s working
Everything for your good
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again
Oh, so tell your heart to beat again

IMG_3546 WHAT YOU ARE FACING; THE LOSS THAT YOU HAVE ENDURED ISN’T WITHOUT PURPOSE. IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO HARM YOU. GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR IT, YOU ONLY NEED TO BELIEVE. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU ARE LOVED AND THERE IS A NEW BEGINNING COMING FORTH FOR YOUR LIFE. 

-Love,

Stephanie Ann ❤

 

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On days like today, I miss you. When emotions rise I turn around and realize you are no longer there. Tears fall from my eyes and I am reminded of the pain I still have within. A lot has changed. A lot has been taken. A lot, I am still adjusting to. I miss you. How I wish to express to you all that I am going through; the excitements, the joys, the ups, the downs. Lonely it can feel, but I know I am not.

I missed you yesterday, I miss you today and I will miss you tomorrow.

Story Behind The Poem

Today was an emotional day, if I am being completely honest. I was feeling really alone, down about mistakes I have been making (on my first two days in my new job) and I had been missing my husband.

Yesterday, I had such a good time at my new job, that on my lunch break, as soon as I got into my car, my first thought was; “I am going to text babe and tell him how my day is going.” I immediately remembered how I can no longer do that. It made me so sad.

For the past eight years, he had been the one I would go to, telling him about the kind of day I had. On days like today, I was reminded of what he would be telling me. I was sitting in my car at lunch and tears just began to fall down my face. God reminded me of what He would place in my husband’s heart to tell me.

Things like:

“You are an amazing woman. You’re smart and you will figure things out. I know things will get better. You can do this. I am so proud of you!”  

I couldn’t help but cry. I needed to let what I was feeling out. I went back from lunch feeling so better and stronger. I needed that encouragement from God at that moment.

A Lot To Get Used To

There is still a lot that I am learning to do on my own. There are a lot of things I am now doing on my own, and sometimes it scares me, but God has shown me that I have been more than capable to handle everything I am now going through.

I have been blessed with a job that I am really enjoying. He put everything into place for me. His promises for me are manifesting, without me having to do anything, but absolutely trust Him and continue to seek Him. I am truly grateful for all He is doing and has been doing for me and around me.

I am now learning to run to God, the way I used to run to my husband. I am learning to express to Him how my day has been, what I am feeling and allowing Him to speak words of encouragement into me, the way my husband would. He is my everything and I need to begin really opening myself up to Him. After all, He is ALWAYS here with me.

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I Am Growing

As a seed is planted and the plant begins to break ground spring forth, so am I at the moment. God’s promises of who I am meant to be are beginning to spring forth, breaking ground; breaking through old ways, habits, old characteristics, etc.

Because it has to do with the flesh, it hurts. God is springing forth new things; courage, strength, boldness, confidence, new identity, new capabilities… a brand new me. It’s the season of growth.

Embracing Widowhood

I have been learning to embrace widowhood and allow God to use me in this area. I have been learning how to cope with grief and what’s been happening. I have been clinging to God like never before, and I have been seeing Him in my life, like never before. I have been encountering God in a brand new way, in ways that proves He is so real. (I have already known that.) It’s been a revelation in a whole new way.

After my husbands death, God manifested Himself. He become more real than ever.

Love Notes

What I have been truly missing are the little love notes my husband used to randomly place around the house. It was so special to me when I would find a note that had been sitting in that spot for days until I finally found it. Things like that meant so much to me. It was such a loving gesture from my husband to remind me of how much he loved me and how he felt about me.

Lately, God has been doing the same thing, but in a different way. He has been randomly sending me “Love Notes,” when I need them most. He has been using people to send me scriptures, cards and notes. He has been reminding me of how much He loves me, how He is always here with me and for me. He has also reminded me that things will get better and how He is watching over me.

This was the recent “love note,” He sent me through someone.

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

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

– Isaiah 54:4-5

Like I didn’t have to work for my husband’s love and affection, I don’t have to work for God’s perfect love and affection. It has taken me a really long time to accept that, but recently it’s been a lot easier. I guess it’s because my heart first had to be broken and made new, in order to receive all that He is doing in my life right now.

Whatever He is doing in my life, I have accepted it. I have learned to back down and just surrender. With all this, I lost my fight; fighting for my own ways, fighting for what I think is right for my life. Only God knows what I need and the best ways for me to go. I’ve surrendered.

 

Self-Love

self-love
noun: self-love
regard for one’s own well-being and happiness

 

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Self-love is important to overcoming grief.

Be patient with yourself.

Love yourself. -Stephanie

 

I wrote that today.

It was a reminder that it’s going to take some time. It’s going to take me being patient with myself and knowing that it’s ok for me to feel what I feel, when I feel it in order to fully heal. It’s knowing that I don’t have to stay in what I feel and that I have a way out of it. My way out is, God.  

It’s a reminder that I need to love myself how I am, the brokenness and all. Because that’s how He loves me.  It’s a reminder that I am human and I don’t have it all together.

God never expects any of us to have it all together, that’s why there is a need for Him. 

COME TO ME AS YOU ARE. -GOD

 

No Other Choice

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I have always liked this quote, but now it has a more profound meaning to my life. Life has thrown me out of my comfort zone with NO choice, but to fight through the storms of: anxiety, depression, sadness, loneliness, fear, isolation and so much more.

When I say fight, I don’t mean on my own. I mean, not allowing myself to stay stuck in those places. I mean dealing with them without my husband around anymore. Without him comforting me like he used to. I had to learn to do it alone, with God.

Going backwards and falling into those traps was NOT an option for me, so strong is what I had to be an honestly, how I am handling things… I am manifesting a strength I never knew I had. I am doing things I never though I could or would ever do.

That takes special strength; that comes from God. Only God.

 

Song of The Season

Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship