It’s Not All Roses

The steps of grieving differ from person to person. I have had good days and I have had bad days. I have felt peace, I have felt joy. Then I have felt sadness, and I have felt angry. I often wonder why this has happened. I wonder why my husband had to go. To say that I don’t feel every single emotion would be a lie. They come in spurs. They come all of a sudden; sometimes not at all. Days when it comes, I am hit hard. I cry. I throw a flesh fit and I confront God. I am in pain. I feel so alone. No one understands what I feel; if they haven’t lost a spouse, even then it’s different. I just want to run away, to a place I don’t know. I don’t want to be reminded anymore! I need to escape. I feel so trapped and I feel so isolated. Just leave me alone and keep your, “I am sorry for loss,” to yourself!

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I Am Angry (Ugly Side of Grieving)

Today was a rough day. I felt so closed off from everyone and angry that I couldn’t escape the place that is familiar. I am reminded of what I no longer have anymore and it makes me angry that it has happened this way.

Every single part of me wants to run away and avoid the memories that are being thrown in my face. I want to forget everything that has happened; yet people come up to me and say insensitive things; like leave me alone already. It already happened!

I want to lash out. I want to take what I feel out on every single person that crosses my path. I am angry at God; to say that I am not would be a lie. I cried out to Him asking Him why He took my husband only to leave me alone here. Why did He take him only to not let me leave the place where all I am is reminded of him and the pain I feel. I keep questioning Him out of the hurt and pain I still carry within.

I want to scream. I want to throw things around… I slammed the door and it made me feel better. I am human. An imperfect human. 

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Grieving

Greek: Lupeó (loo-peh-o)

  • to distress, to grieve
  • to experience deep, emotional pain (sadness), i.e. severe sorrow (grief).
  • hurt

I often look up specific words in their Greek or Hebrew meanings. I find that it adds a deeper meaning to scripture or anything that I want to understand more. Grieving; there is no wrong or right way to grieve or go through a death of a loved one. Everybody is different and the way people react is different. Feel how you need to feel, but don’t let it keep you stuck there or cause you to make wrong decisions. 

For me, it started with peace, joy and strength and all of a sudden the last few days I have felt nothing but anger, and the want to isolate and lash out. The anger and everything else I have been feeling has left me to question God. Something that I didn’t want to do.

It just hurts me more because I don’t understand why this happened. Or why I am now alone without my best friend. Or why I am now alone in the very place I met my husband and I cannot just leave and start over. It makes me angry feeling that I am trapped and cant just go.

While everybody is going on with their life, mine has been hit hard and I don’t know where to go from here or what to do!! It’s not fair. I hate it. I want to do what is best for me!! I don’t care if nobody agrees with it. They aren’t the ones feeling what I feel. (All I can do is cry out tears of frustration, pain and sadness, because I know that running away wouldn’t solve anything.

The enemy is trying so hard to knock me down and get me to walk away from God and what I am meant to do. I am tempted to just walk away, but yet that still small voice is evident in my life. That’s the very reason why I feel frustrated. I want to do what I feel, but God isn’t letting me and keeping me in where my flesh doesn’t want to be.

It’s a battle within. It’s a battle between what my emotions say is best for me and what God says is best for me. What is best for me, doesn’t feel like it. It just feels like pain and all  I see are reminders.-Stephanie

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The Outcome

If you were to ask me, “what are you going to do?” My answer would be, be where God wants me to be. Even though it hurts so much, I don’t want to rebel. I don’t want to lose everything that God has already been doing in my life and I don’t want to start all over.

It’s taken me eight years to be given the opportunities I now have. It’s taken so many tears, breakdowns and moments where I needed to learn to trust God. It’s my time, now. I feel what I feel, but God still loves me and knows my heart.

Though I may have my moments, this remains true:

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.- Psalm 23:6

I have been meditating on this verse since early this morning. Papa reminded me of it and remainder me how good He’s been and will always be with me. Now I need to be good with Him and humble myself before His plans for my life.

I want “to come back home,” and no longer be like the prodigal son who ran away and hit rock bottom. I want to do what He needs me to do and I want to surrender my will and what I don’t want. Because everything that I have not wanted has been hindering everything He has been wanting.

 

It’s just so hard. 

 

“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 41:13

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Peace In The Storm

A quiet night, alone I am; no one else around. I am emotional, I cannot deny. I want to cry, yet I want to stay strong. I have said time and time again, when you cry you are strong, but why do I try to avoid it? When I cry, I feel. When I cry, it hurts. When I cry I am reminded of what is happening around me; in me. I am comforted, yes. When the tears roll down my face, I feel relief and the pressures go. It seems like I am no stranger to tears and tears to me; oh how well acquainted we’ve been this past month. No one knows, only He. No one knows the reason for these tears, but He does. That is enough.

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Wife You’re Not Alone

It’s been a little over a month since everything happened. Days of brokenness, days of joy, days of chaos and days of peace; I have experienced them all. ✨This week has been the most rough of them all. I haven’t been able to eat right because my stomach had been in “knots” and anxiety was trying to make its home in my life and the thought of loneliness was becoming invasive. 

Because God is a mighty God I have been experiencing peace in the midst of all this. I have been experiencing God in such a way, that makes me feel WHOLE. Every void in my heart and my life, He has been filling it with more of Him. 🌸 I have learned to be real with Him. I have learned to express myself and just be simply honest with God about what I am feeling and what I “hate.” Yes, I finally broke down and told him the thing I hate. ✨ It wasn’t until I confessed that thing hidden that I began to feel free. All the chaos in my this past week led me to this confession: “I HATE BEING ALONE.” 

Then I heard this question; “Then why do you always insist on always having your alone time and isolating yourself?” ✨ I didn’t realize how pushed away from everybody I had been. I didn’t realize how isolated I have become, that being around people without my husband, hurt and all I wanted to do was hide. ✨THAT IS NOT FREEDOM, at all. (I would always tell my husband I wanted alone time. Now that I have it, I don’t want it. I just want him home already.)

“Though I still struggle with a bit of anxiety, I am experiencing PEACE. I am learning that I can have peace in this storm. I am learning that I can enjoy being out and about while in this storm. I am learning to enjoy everyone around me while in this storm. ✨THAT IS FREEDOM.”-Stephanie

Though my husband is still in the hospital, I don’t have to keep myself isolated and locked away until “things are better.” On the contrary, I need to surround myself with people who are there for me; praying for me and helping me get through this. ✨God is showing me who I really am and definitely making me courageous. All I can do is thank Him. 🌸

Just Write

I know it’s been weeks since my last post, and honestly it doesn’t seem that long. It doesn’t seem like it’s been over a month since this all began. That tells me God’s hand is on everything. Everything is going to be ok. 

I felt the need to write, writing has always been the very thing that has helped me through it all. I feel God wants me to do it more, now. Though my flesh feels it’s the last thing I want to be doing. I have hidden away for some time. I have been pushing away the very things that can help me through all this and waiting for that, “right time.” I have realized that there will never be the right time or the perfect time. Only the, “now.”

What I mean about that is, when God says. Most days it will be when you least feel like it or the hardest days. But I have learned over time that what I am going through and what I share, has always blessed someone else reading it. It’s a constant reminder to me that I am not alone in what I go through and that others are going to the same things, or something similar.

We are never alone.

Tears, Just Cry

I remember telling my sister in-law when this first happened, that I will continue to cry through all this until God doesn’t allow me to cry anymore. It was after her telling me to not worry about what others think. To this day, I still shed my tears. It’s hard. I can’t deny that. I can’t pretend that I am not a mess at times, in all of this. I can be a mess. I don’t have to have it all together. Why? Because I am still human and I know when I am weak, God is strong. When I feel like I can’t stand, God is standing for me and that’s where I draw my strength from. He is my strength through all of this.

The Hidden Place

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God sees all things, especially those moments when we are alone and tears just flow from our eyes. He hears what is so hidden in our heart. He hears what words cannot say. 

I once heard, “tears are silent prayers.”  It is true. Our tears manifest what we feel inside, good or bad. I have had a lot of sad tears flow from me expressing the very thing I was holding in; frustration, impatience, fear, pain, even gratitude.

Only He knows exactly what I feel, think and desire. There have been times where I hold back those tears when I am around others and as soon as my bedroom door shuts, they pour out. I drop myself on the floor next to my bed and just cry. I know I am not alone in that.

“It’s been in my hidden (alone) place with God that I have found strength. The very place where I have expressed to Him what I feel, the things I hate and what I desire. It’s been that very place where I’ve been drawing my strength from. Each day I need it. Each day I recognize that I cannot make it without him. I need Him.”

Speak Life

Speaking life is speaking words of blessing, comfort, hope, love and truth.

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When all that I hear is negative, I speak words of life. I speak the word of God over the circumstance and ignore the bad. This entire journey has been just that. Words have knocked me down, but God has lifted me up, but stronger. I have been learning to block out words of death and combat them with words of Life. I have been changing the way I speak and think, and it’s helped me see things the way He sees them.

I have had doctors tell me one thing, yet see God do the opposite. I have been hit with the worst news anybody can get, but I have seen God’s hand over my husband. I know it’s only going to get better. My husband is still alive. 

I am choosing to speak words of life, because I have seen God manifest miracles before. I was a witness to one, though I didn’t know Him and my heart was so far from Him.

I know He is the same God. I know He will do it again. 

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I will not give up. I will not surrender to the pressures of the storm. I know who I am and who’s I am. My Father is the Lord of all of Heaven’s army and I am not alone. He is my defender. He watches over me and my husband and is the one giving him new life. We have nothing or no one to fear. That is what brings my heart peace.  ❤

 

Do It Again- Elevation Worship

Things That Last

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

When No Words Come Forward

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

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

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

I have truly missed that. Spontaneous worship; singing. 

 

Letting Go Of Those Things That Hurt You

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Distractions

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

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

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

It was causing me to wander off course. 

 

A Praying Spouse

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

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

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

 

Temporary vs Eternal

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Strong Girl Vibes

Sometimes I catch myself in a certain place, a place that is familiar. There are times I have to remind myself of who I am; in doing so, I pull myself out of the pit I am walking into. It’s like my mind snaps out of the temporary trans. I am awakened again. I cry. I can’t believe how far I was wandering. Then I lean on Him. The one who comforts me and tells me, “you’re never too far gone.” I am dusted off, I am clothed in robes of purity, identity and cleanliness. I am made new.

Saturday Vibes

“Because I am human. I don’t always have it all together. I break down. I become an emotional wreck…then I choose to pick myself up and keep moving forward. I determine myself not to stay where the enemy tries to keep me. I am no longer a prisoner of my emotions, thoughts or the mistakes I make. I have been made free; sometimes it takes me a littler longer to remember that.”-Stephanie

Today is a day where I literally have not gotten out of bed. There is really no desire to do so, but duties call. I don’t feel like myself today. I feel very weak and drained. I haven’t felt like this in awhile.

In all honesty I am a bit emotional. The only thing keeping me, “put together,” is me reaching out to God for what I am needing today.

Strength. Love. Peace. Joy.

 

When There Is Pain, There Is Healing

I have learned time and time again that when I have these episodes, it’s because I am being healed of something, set free from something, or there is something there in my life that I haven’t fully acknowledged. That one thing is coming to the surface, to be exposed by Him, only to be removed and replaced with more of what I am needing from Him.

Yes it hurts, and all I want to do is hide under my blankets, but I can’t. There is true freedom in knowing the truth. Only then can it really set you free. There is freedom in knowing what the underlining problem is. For we cannot fix what we don’t acknowledge is out of order.

Last night I cried. I saw myself trying to be who I was set free from. I cried, because that’s not who I am. I cried out those words. I had to remind myself that the enemy can’t keep me there anymore. But it’s up to me to fight through; which I am.

“I lean on Him when I feel weak. I look to him when I feel like I can’t see where I am going. I run to Him I feel I can no longer walk on my own.”-Stephanie

 

Today’s Play List:

My constant reminders that His love for me, never changes and that I don’t have to be perfect in order to run to God. That he loves me in my brokenness as well as in my put together. 

 

Jordan Feliz- Never Too Far Gone

 

 

Hawk Nelson- Drops In The Ocean

 

We Are Messengers- Magnified

 

Micah Tyler-Never Been A Moment

A Closed Heart

A closed heart, self defense; a lonely road it can be. In constant watch, on constant guard; tiring it can be.

We take up a burden of being our own defender, that great task; we cannot handle. Our minds wander, suspicious of everyone we are; driving one crazy is all it does.

A closed heart, self defense; a lonely road it can be. In constant watch, on constant guard; tiring it can be.

Isolation arises, alone all the time is where our enemy wants us to be. Burned out; being our own defender, trusting no one. A closed heart, dangerous it is, for we care about nothing and do anything.

A closed heart, self defense; a lonely road it can be. In constant watch, on constant guard; tiring it can be.

-…Heart Of Grace

Poem Written by: Stephanie Ann Pequeno
(Inspired by recent events.)

It’s always so easy to shut yourself off, especially when you have been hurt over and over again. It’s easier to trust no one, especially after that trust has been broken. We make the mistake of building up a wall, thinking we are keeping people out and that we are protecting ourselves. We forget to see that wall as a prison, keeping us locked in and all alone.

I have been known for my walls. I had always shut people out, because it was the easiest thing for me to do. All my life I had that burden of defending myself from everyone and everything that tried to hurt me. I was very isolated, which only led to depression and loneliness.

To be honest, I find myself in that same place. I have been hurt, for my guard was down. I opened up and hurt I became. I am struggling to keep it open, for it’s not fair to those who truly care about me.

A closed heart keeps us at a distance from the people who truly care about us. We see every person as a threat, because of that ONE person who did us wrong. Not everyone is the same. I have learned that. Though it is hard for me, I still desire to keep my heart open. For when I do, I know I am given help to overcome.

I know it’s not easy, but with time all the pain, all the hurt turns into strength. You become stronger, you become wiser. 

Yesterday I read a verse that really spoke to me. It was Joseph speaking. His story; his brothers sold him, he endured so much suffering, so much pain and so much betrayal, but at the end he didn’t close his heart to those who did him wrong. After time, he was placed in a place of power.

20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.- Genesis 50:20

His attitude through all he had gone through was, humble. Joseph allowed nothing to change who he was or what he was meant to do. He guarded his heart, but not in his own strength, but in God’s. It is proof that nothing we go through is in vain, and that God always uses it for good, even the offenses, the betrayal, the pain, the hurt. It’s all about the attitude of the heart.

“You intended to harm me..” we say to our enemy, the spirit behind the offender, “But God intended it for good.”

God has promised that vengeance belongs to him, that He would take care of all who do us wrong, but not in the way we think, or in how we would do things. The battle is His and not ours.

We find endless peace, endless rest when we allow Him to be our defender. Like a child we are to rest in him, knowing that He will protect us. I can’t get over these examples; think of a child, one who is scared, who is being bullied… they run to their parents because they know they will defend them. That is how we are to be with God. We defend ourselves by running to Him. We defend ourselves by trusting in Him, because it’s there that our enemy cannot touch us. I still have a hard time surrendering. I, at times feel the need to help God defend me. I only get in the way and make things worse for myself. I become overwhelmed, I become angry, I become frustrated, I become depressed, I become closed off from Him and everyone else, and so on… the exact things the enemy wanted in the first place. -Stephanie

 

Standing behind our One True Defender, we are protected by things like that. God is mighty, God is powerful, He is never shaken. 

 

From My Heart

I am far from perfect, I constantly make mistakes. I fail to be the person I am meant to be, daily. One thing I know for sure is, I need Him. I have been hurt so many times, I have put my trust in and opened my heart to the wrong people. I am learning. I am growing. It’s becoming easier to walk away from things and people that are not meant for me. These experiences, are just that, experience. I am learning.

I want to be who I am supposed to be. I want to let go of everything that is hindering me. First, I must let go of trying to be my own defender; trusting God in every season of my life. Even more so now, because I just want to walk away from things.

“A closed heart, dangerous it is, for we care about nothing & do anything.”-Stephanie

 

Confession

I have been afraid. I have been afraid of letting people in. Afraid that if they saw these struggles, if they saw these things they would turn away. I have been afraid of speaking about what goes on. I have been afraid of opening up.

I know what it’s like to live in constant fear of being vulnerable and exposing the darkest parts of my heart. It hurts, it’s a scary thing. I also know what it’s like to be set free, to be able to walk around without those burdens weighing me down. I have learned to accept what has happened, and that I am no defined by what I have done or what has been done to me.

I have been given a gift. The gift of being His Daughter. For in that revelation, that new life, I can walk with my head high, because I am now defined by who He is and what He has done.-Stephanie