Begin

Hello, loves!

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staring Death in The Face

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

I was really missing him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalms 46:1

 

Nothing Is Normal

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

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

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

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

That is what has gotten me through all of this. 

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

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

Jeremiah 29:11

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

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

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

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

Everything has it’s timing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am in a very good place, emotionally.

No Longer Looking Back

“Just go, and no longer look back;” is all I can hear in my soul. There is a feeling within I never had before. A desire to go… where? I do not know. I just want to go, with You. There is a freedom I feel, one I cannot contain. Lead me; I will go. I cannot just stay when there is so much to explore. I have no one holding me back, anymore. I just want to, go.

Time To Move

I have always felt like I was not meant to stay in one single place. I always felt like God would lead me to travel/explore. I feel that desire so much more, now. I am single. I am no longer married. I am no longer tied down. God has allowed it to be this way. I still yet to fully understand why and I still have my moments of doubt.

Last night was one of those moments. I finally started to clear out the closet and remove some of my husband’s things. I feel like it’s time to change things up around here. I need a change. The familiar is only hurting me. It’s time to let go of the past, though it still hurts!

Touching his clothes was the hardest thing. I wasn’t able to get rid of everything. I just can’t yet. I stood at the closet holding his clothes and I let out something that I was holding in for so long. It was this anger, hurt and deep sadness that I had finally let out. I cried and at the same time I asked, “Why aren’t you here with me?! Why?! Why did you have to leave me?!” I was demanding an answer. I needed to know why he was no longer with me anymore.

I stood there for a moment just crying and allowing God to take away what I was feeling at that moment. I opened my heart to Him and allowed Him that part of my heart.

It was the beginning to a new and deep kind of healing for me. 

A post on my facebook blog page:

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“I cried out “why?!” This time I was asking him.
After letting it out, I am feeling better. I feel peace. I know it’s time and I know this is necessary. 🌸
🌸Everyday is getting better and I am getting stronger.”

This journey of widowhood and singleness has been a lonely and painful one, but I am starting to trust that He is always here with me as I begin this journey of healing and restoration.

Today

I left service feeling so unsatisfied, not because the word wasn’t good or anything like that, it was because of my desire. For some reason I cannot see myself, “just there.” Maybe it’s the culture, the atmosphere, but for someone reason I don’t fit in. There is something within me I cannot explain, nor am I going to try to. I just know what I feel and what I am meant to do. 

I continue to ask God what it means and all I can hear is, “just go.” But where?! That is still unknown to me. I know when it’s time He will make all things clear. The last thing I want to do is be rebellious, again. 

On the way home from service I had this conversation with my dad. I told him how I felt and all he said was, “just be led by God and know you do not have to explain anything to anyone.” He is right.

Singleness

      …is a gift.

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It’s a gift that not very many people are able to see it as. I was one of them, but now I am beginning to get to the point where I am wanting to explore so many things, alone with God. My ultimate companion. Especially after what I have gone through recently.  This last relationship I was in and how it ended, only left me not wanting to be in another relationship until the right one comes along; in God’s timing.

This new season I am in, I get excited at the thought of just going without the need to worry about who will agree or not agree or the need to share it all on social media; to be able to disconnect from everything and simply enjoy where I am going and where I end up. 

That is what I need. 

This season of singleness is allowing me to see so many things that I wasn’t able to before. I have the freedom to get up and go whenever God says to. That alone is a blessing. I never saw that before until I went to see my best friend. I felt led to take a road trip to see her and her family. I hadn’t seen them in years. It was a getaway that I needed. 

God used her to show me something. She made me see how much of a blessing it was to be able to take road trips and just get up and go whenever I wanted. She said that she wished she was able to do the same, but can’t because she has a family.

She has what I have always desired; children. Yet, for some reason God has not allowed that in my life at the moment. As much as it hurts and there are times I become bitter at the site of others having what I so desire, I am finally understanding that it’s not His time yet. I am finally accepting it.

I want to fall in love with God on my own. I mean, I want to encounter Him like never before and be able to travel with the utmost assurance that He is there with me and that I am not alone.

I want to truly experience what it’s like to be single. I don’t want to depend on a man to make me feel whole or wait for someone in order to do what I am supposed to do or to get up and go somewhere. I want to experience that kind of freedom. I want that kind of independence, while fully depending on Him. 

It’s my time. 

See the source image

 

I Don’t Want To Be.

I don’t know where to begin. Words have gone and all I have are thoughts; thoughts that silence me, no words to flow from my lips. I plot in my own mind how I will react to the next one, my heart just hardens. This person, I don’t want to be. This person, is no longer me, yet I am being pushed to it. I think I am getting stronger. Capable to endure whatever comes my way: words, actions… but in reality I am just shutting down and becoming numb.

Emotionally drained; I cant do it anymore. The cares to give are starting to become no more.

I Am Not Myself

I see myself in him. I see how I was and I don’t like it. All that is being reminded to me is; we reap what we sow.

The one person that truly cared about me, I made so many mistakes with. I see it clearly now. My heart hurts and I wish I could take it all back. I wish I could ask my husband for forgiveness. I wish I can have a do-over.

I hate the person I am seeing; in myself. I hate the person who I am not… I have to fight to keep my feelings from being hurt. I have to fight to keep myself up. I fight to protect myself… something I no longer had to do. I feel like as soon as my husband died, I reverted to that guarded girl. That girl no one was going to hurt… someone I don’t want to be; emotionless.

I am guarded and I hate it.

So many things cause a person to change who they are; into who they used to be or who they never were.

I feel myself fighting to NOT become who I used to be; this cold and careless person. A person with a hard heart and not caring about anything; a fiery cannon of a mouth. That’s not who I am anymore.

Lately specific things and circumstances have caused me to lash out and be on the defense when all I really desire is to feel safe. There is no safe place there, yet… I shouldn’t have to wait for one to be, in order for me to remain who I truly am.

 

I am not alone. God is with me. 

I am not who they say I am or how I think of myself. God loves me. 

I shouldn’t be afraid of winding up alone. God will never leave me or forsake me. 

 

Therefore nothing or no one should make me feel a way that I don’t want to feel.

I want to care.

When I think about my husband, I remember how he would always call out the best in me. I remember how he would always remind me of who I truly am. I remember how he just loved me even when I was wrong. I remember his patience for me and how much it helped me.

There are times I can just hear his voice; him telling me things to encourage me. That’s what has kept me going on those days I feel SO ENADEQUATE due to words and actions.

 

I AM NOT HOW OTHERS TREAT ME.

I AM NOT WHAT OTHERS THINK OR SAY.

 

How I have seen myself lately, has been through eyes of not being good enough and through the eyes of comparison. It has distorted my identity and has really shaken my confidence. It’s like I am being made to feel small, but God says I am seated in Heavenly places.

My heart… is the wellspring of life. It’s also something I have been fighting to protect. When this whole time, I could have just allowed God to protect it. I am the prodigal “daughter”… I have run away. I desire to return; into the Father’s arms, in my rightful place. 

 

My Prayer

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

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

The Ugly Side

“There are days I feel so good and happy and there are days like today when emotions and sadness come over me like a flood.
I walked out of Subway feeling so alone. I was missing him. Walking to my car tears began to fall down my cheeks. It was like I was watching myself from afar. I was seeing myself feel what I felt and I saw myself going through what I’m going through… I just sat in my car and just started crying. I couldn’t hold it in.
Guilt has come again, but in a different way. I have been reliving how things were and I’ve been feeling like maybe if I had been different with my husband he would still be here. If I took better care of him. Or if I didn’t push him so hard…
This was my day.
I wanted to leave work early and just hide away. I wanted to be alone and to push everything/everyone away.
I didn’t let depression win. I didn’t let isolation win.
I will have my best days and I will also have my worst days… eventually things will balance out and stronger I will be. 🌸
God is the God of comfort. This helps me through.”-Stephanie (January 9th)

The Ugly Side of Grieving

I have been walking into the deepest parts of grieving; that moment when all things are being completely stripped away; when all that I new is starting to become nothing more than a memory. I have been experiencing break downs, lash outs and moments of just me wanting to run away and go. Where? I don’t know… at the moment any place sounds better than here.

It was a Wednesday, I broke down at work while on my lunch. I had a moment where I felt like I was watching myself there in that moment. I was by myself.

I saw myself feeling how I felt and I felt what I was feeling… tears just fell down my cheeks. I couldn’t help it.. and at that very moment, I just felt so alone. 

I sat in my car and began to cry. I let everything out. I felt so weak that I didn’t want to go on with my day. It was that moment I wanted to revert, isolate myself and be alone. But I couldn’t.

I am going through these changes that no one else understands. I cannot be like everyone who is moving on like nothing has happened or like those who are ok because, “they know where he is.” I just can’t!

Of course, there life wasn’t affected like mine. He was my husband, the better part of me. I knew who I was with him, now I am not so sure. 

I am breaking cycles. I am breaking patterns. I am breaking routines. I have begun doing things that I never did before. I am re-finding myself and figuring out who I now am without my husband.

A Breakdown

In the last few days I have had multiple breakdowns. None like before. These have been from deep down; from the places that are still hurting. Confusion comes in; fear, doubt and the worst of all, the wondering of, “Why?!” 

I have been constantly tormented by that question. Why has this happened? I didn’t ask for it.

I have been completely honest with God. I have cried out to Him and I have yelled my frustration at Him. He continues to hear me.

This past Thursday I didn’t go to work.  I just couldn’t. I needed time alone to clear my head. I needed God.

A lot has been coming at me and temptations from every which way; my weakness and vulnerability have been used against me as though I am going to cave in… I am not.

I spent that early morning alone with God at the church. There I was able to just let everything out and cry without being heard. These past few times, all I have been wanting is to cry without someone asking me, “are you ok? or what’s wrong?” I just wanted to be able to without being asked. To know that it was ok to just cry.

Being in God’s presence, completely transparent helped to expose what was buried.

I yelled at God. I felt so much hurt and like as though He let me down. I told him, “Everything that I have ever asked from You have given me and You have always helped me in everything, but I didn’t ask to be a widow.” 

When those words were released from my mouth, I felt this “ahhh!!” moment. Like God was saying, “There, that’s it.” I have been so angry, but have pushed it aside trying to pretend that I am ok.

It’s just been so hard. I can’t move on the way everybody else is. I just can’t. I can’t avoid these steps of this grieving process. Like I said, no one else was affected the way I am.

This has been my reality…

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Random moments of sadness and breakdowns. I can’t avoid them… I am going through them though I don’t want to. I feel broken; waiting for God to put me back together. To pick up with pieces and turn me into something beautiful.

 

See the source imageThe meaning of the word everything: “the current situation; life in general.”

God causes (the current situation; of life in general) to work together for the good of those who’ve been called…

Reading the definition of the word “everything,” this verse made more sense to me. He takes my current situation and then uses it to benefit me in the long run. Though I cannot see it yet, He is working.

 

It’s Healing

“It’s  not a storm, it’s healing.”-Mimi

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I am no longer seeing this as a storm, but a way for healing; a way for restoration. 

 

Truest Friend

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

Memories

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

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

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

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

Letting Go

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

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

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

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

I wasn’t alone. 

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

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

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

Truest Friend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My Heart’s Prayer

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

 

Change me. Transform me. Make me like You. 

 

The First One

The holidays have arrived, I don’t think I was ready like I assumed I was. The week came and sadness grew. All I wanted was to have my love here again.  With sadness in my heart; depression tried to make it’s way in. The power of God within me, immediately the door shut. I grew strong, I was able to stand. Thankful I became, for God has always been…

The Week of Thanksgiving

Of course, the week didn’t start off well. Monday came and I didn’t want to get out of bed for work. There was something going on inside of me; a battle. I was becoming sad and depression tried to come in. I was becoming very unhappy about the holidays. All I wanted was my husband back.

The thought of my first one without him in seven years, it was hard. Immediately I was thinking of not doing anything. I just wanted to stay home. I wanted to revert and be alone. I wanted to just sulk and be miserable; without anybody seeing me…

On days when I miss my husband so much, I feel him. There are times I feel that he is going to walk through the door or that I am going to hear him tell me something I need to hear. I still feel him so close; and that’s what’s hard… knowing that he isn’t. 

Always Something To Be Thankful For

To be honest, at the beginning of the week it became kind of hard to see the what I was truly thankful for. My emotions were all over the place and the last thing I felt was thankful. I couldn’t see the good because I was starting to focus of the who was missing from my life, now.

God always has a way to open our eyes and cause us to see what we cannot see on our own. When we believe that there is no way, He makes a way; for whatever circumstance it may be. 

After a rough few days during the week; Thursday came… (post from my Instagram.)

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“Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. 

-Psalms 100: 4

In the most difficult seasons there is always something to be thankful for. 

“Today I am thankful. Though there is sadness in my heart; I can smile and say, ‘Thank You, God.’ I say thank you because for the last seven years I was blessed with having my love with me during the holidays. Today marks the first Thanksgiving without him. I am not bitter. I am not angry. I am thankful because though he isn’t here anymore, God and my family/friends are. I honestly wondered how I would feel today and in all honesty, I’m ok. There are certain things that I am going to stay away from because they just remind me so much of babe. Earlier this week I broke down and the thought of everybody else moving on while I’m still here grieving. I told myself that I was going to stay home and do nothing…I didn’t feel like celebrating at the time. I woke up feeling the same way, but I told God how much I needed Him and I asked for His help. He answered. I am thankful for everyone in my life and who has made the effort. Words cannot express the gratitude and how much it’s helped me in this season. There is just so much to be thankful for, especially when you can’t feel or see it. I am thankful that my husband is home and happy! I am thankful to have my dad here another year. I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful.”

“There are no words that can express the longing in my heart to have you here with me. I miss you everyday and I often wish I could hold you again. I miss your voice and the soothing words you often spoke. My heart aches, but at the same time, it rejoices. I know you’re happy. Because of that I will be too. Oh, how I love you.-Stephanie

Avoiding The Familiar

Yesterday, it being Thanksgiving I broke away from something that was familiar. I went to my sisters house rather than my mother in-laws house like I had originally planned. Deep down I felt bad for not going over to visit.

Though I felt bad, a part of me honestly felt relief. I didn’t want to be reminded that my husband was no longer here. I didn’t want to talk about him like he isn’t here anymore; though he’s not. I was a coward, honestly. Little by little I have been avoiding familiar things because I don’t want to experience the way it will make me feel. I don’t like crying knowing I cannot bring him back. I don’t like feeling heartbroken and desperate to have him back again… so I’ve tried to avoid it.

It’s so easy to stay away from things that will make us feel uncomfortable, but we can only do that for so long, until God places us in a place where we have no choice but to face those things. I have been there many times. 

 

I Don’t Want To Be The Same

I enjoyed myself with my family. I let loose and had a drink, or two, or… I didn’t care. I was laughing, I was having fun; I was being someone that I no longer am. It felt good to be around my family and cracking jokes and making fun of the things they said and did. I had missed that.

I left feeling relaxed, but at the same time thinking about how I didn’t do that when my husband was around, so why now? I know there’s a void there that I am still trying to fill with things other than God. A void of loneliness; companionship. Lately I have been desiring another man in my life; so much so that I have been looking.  I have been wondering if that man would love me as much as my husband did or would he even accept me how my husband did.

It’s been such torment. 

I don’t want to be that woman who longs for men. I don’t want to be that woman who cannot be single. I don’t want to need relationships to make me feel complete.

I want God to be ENOUGH and all I need. My Confession: I am no longer afraid of being single.

 

For The Woman Who Struggles

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I am not perfect. The mistake I make is continuing to see myself as a widow; through the eyes of paid and loss. The mistakes I make; the sins I commit open doors to lies that get me to doubt. Each day I need more and more of God and less of what my flesh desires. I need to start opening up my life to God so that I can be used.

If all I did was pretend that everything was ok and not share the ugly and the real; it would help no one. I cry. I often doubt that God is all I need; therefore having the desire for a man. I often doubt that I will have another man who loved me and accepted me like my husband did. I am scared that I won’t be able to open up they way I did with my husband… I see it now all this is because I haven’t allowed Him to fill me completely and I have not fully trusted him. 

 

For The Widow

In the midst of what I was feeling and going through, I couldn’t help but feel for other women going through the same thing. Understanding their pain, yet knowing that there is someone who could comfort them…I was led to share this:

46650508_195356981372978_1403143662161887232_n🌸For the woman who grieves; you’re not alone. In these days as sadness comes to you, know that there is hope beyond the pain. There is strength for the weakness and joy for the sadness.-Stephanie 

My prayer: Father, cover every woman who is struggling. Protect them from the lies that try to bring confusion and anger. May You, the God of all comfort, wrap them in Yours arms and fill them with a peace that surpasses all understanding. May their hearts be filled with joy in Your company and the company of loved ones. On days of celebration I pray that they are touched by Your love and reminded that they are valued and cherished by You. I pray that the days become easier and they grow stronger. I pray for blessings over them and that all things fall into place; just as it’s been done for me. I declare courage over every widow. I declare protection for their hearts and minds; that nothing will harm them.

You are protected by God and covered by the blood of Jesus. No weapon formed against you will prevail. I pray that you have the revelation of how special you are and that this is not the end, but only the beginning of something great. You are loved. In Jesus name, Amen. 🌸

”He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭147:3‬ ‭NLT
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A Woman; Her Body

A marvelous creation; a woman is. Created in God’s image, the splendor of His beauty. She is clothed in dignity and crowned with grace. The apple of God’s eye is she. He looks at her and a smile appears on His face. You are lovely. You are delicate, you’re made beautifully and wonderfully. The wonders of her body; so much it can do; what a masterpiece it is. 

Lately…

I have been thinking about what it is to be a woman. I have been learning things about myself and my body that I never really noticed or paid attention to before.

Sometimes I think it’s backwards, but I am now learning how to take better care of myself; my skin, my hair and so on. I am learning to take better care about my body and really learning to love myself, especially during this season of my life.

A part of me is gone; my husband. All that is left is… me. 

I have been led to share and open up about a part of my life that I used to think was unholy and shameful to talk about. I have realized that I am not the only one who has gone through or who is struggling with it.

I am a sexual being; with real temptations, but who now has self-control.

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It begins with Love and is all held together by Self-Control. You cannot manifest self-control in the midst of temptations if you do not love yourself enough to know that you and your body are worth so much more. ❤ -Stephanie 

A revelation I just received as I wrote that; the Fruit of the Spirit is also meant to be manifested to ourselves as well as towards others. How we treat ourselves, how we respect ourselves… it all paves the way for the way others treat and respect us.


 

Innocence of A Child

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to open up about something I had been dealing with. I was able to share with a group of women in the Life Group I started attending on Fridays. It was actually the very first time I spoke about it to anybody. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who struggled in this area as a woman. (But first, the seed that was planted…)

Something I want to admit; (Gosh, it’s not easy, but here it goes…) For a long part of my life I had been addicted to sex. There had been a root in my life that was planted when I was a little girl, which led to the kind of lifestyle I lived.

As a little girl I was molested by a family member. I didn’t know it was wrong. I thought it was something normal because it happened more than once. I grew up and again I found myself being molested by a family friend’s son… again I didn’t know it was wrong.

At a young age, the enemy had placed this lie in my head… that if they chose me to do things like that to me, it meant that they liked me. That’s where the root of “people pleasing,” became a thing of my life.

I know for a lot of people it has a different affect on them.

Growing up I tried so hard to be liked and gain attention, and like most women and young girls I did it in a lot of wrong ways. I had no respect for myself and didn’t care that I was attracting the wrong kind of attention, as long as I was getting it.

One thing led to another and I found myself having a hard time saying, “no,” especially when I felt like saying no.  I just wanted to be liked. I didn’t want to be rejected.

That was a fear I had.

 


 

Purity

Void After Void– I am sure many know what that means. After the body and mind saying it’s a good idea, later to wake up and feel so empty and filled with regret… this is why:

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Our bodies were meant to be loved, cherished and remain pure; even in marriage. I allowed my past to move in my marriage. If I saw myself then how I am starting to now, things would have been a lot better. What God has removed from your life, it’s because it cannot go where He is leading you. Impurity cannot be where Purity and blessing reside.

pu·ri·ty
noun
  1. freedom from adulteration or contamination.
    synonyms: cleanness, clearness, clarity, freshness;

That is part of the definition of purity. We have the mentality that to be pure is to be free from sexual immorality, never having done anything wrong or things like that; although it is true, it’s not the only aspect of purity. It can also be in the form of restoration, the form of being set free from that kind of life style. It was for me.

Purity isn’t the state of never having done anything impure, it’s what has already been done for us on the cross. 

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”- 2 Corinthians 5:17

This is His promise. 

Giving your body away and not loving it the way it was meant to leaves you feeling so empty and feeling worthless at the end of it all. What is meant to be cherished and respected only becomes a tool that one uses for fleshly gain. I say this because that is exactly how I felt after so long of doing the same thing.

 


 

Opening Up

Ok, back to what I shared with my lady loves:

I openly shared that one day God showed me something about myself…

I don’t know how to put this in words on this screen.. it was easier to say in person. (Ironic) At that very moment in my life I learned that I was like a guy who looks at women only as objects to satisfy a need. It got so bad that one day I had seen a good looking guy and began thinking so many things… I was never like that before!

All this sprung up after my husband’s passing. I realized that I even used my marriage to satisfy that need… and now that it was gone I began struggling, but this time it hit harder.

I had literally heard the enemy telling me, “now you’re free to do whatever you want with whoever.” The enemy knew where to hit me. He knew my weaknesses and even more so at a very debilitating time of my life; my husband passing away. 

I knew in my heart I didn’t want to be like that anymore. I knew that God wanted to change me and heal that part of my life for what is to come. I surrendered my sexuality to God. I surrendered those temptations and my sexual drive to God. I let Him make me whole and pure again. I allowed Him to fill that void in my life. That very void, I kept Him far away from for years.

I later found out that me being open and transparent was a blessing to someone in the group. That’s when I felt that it was time to share this part of my life with more people. It’s been a struggle for majority of my life and I am just now being able to walk in that freedom, healing and true purity.

It can be done for anybody who desires that change.


Be Restored

When I surrendered my sexual desires to God, when I surrendered my body to God, when I surrendered my impurity to God, He restored me. 

 

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What the world calls dirty and impure, God makes and sees pure. 

Woman, you are dearly loved. Created with special care. So delicate, so unique. When lies begin to make their way in, know that they are just that; lies. When God sees you, He doesn’t see your past. When you give Him your heart, all He sees is the perfect blood of His son. You are a new creation in Him and no longer the same. The world says that when purity is lost it can never be restored, yes it can. He is the God who restores. He is the God who heals. He is the God that makes all things new. He loves you. He values you. He cherishes you and calles you His own. 

 

Sometimes the way we choose to live are only manifestations of the wrong kind of seeds that were planted in us at a young age that we were not aware of, until we met Him.

Never judge. Never criticize. 

What was lost can always be found in Him. 

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