All A Blur

My emotions fade away like a gush of wind, here one second and gone the next. Days have been a blur and my mind has been in a slumber. I finally come to, all I am reminded of is, what I no longer have. Nothing is like it was… nothing feels familiar anymore. I have stepped into new territory and honestly it scares me. I am afraid. I am no longer sheltered the way I once was. I find myself doing things I never imagined…  I still ask why. I still often wonder what the good of all this will be. I am still waiting.

I Am Not The Same Person

I cannot say this enough, I am not who I once was. Whether I like it or not, my life has taken on a huge blow… and it has changed the course of things. A sure path I once believed was the one I would be on for the rest of my life, no longer exists.

A new path was placed before me.. and I began to walk. Along the way I have encountered things and have done things I never thought I would do.

Most of them good and some… the acts of the flesh, but none regretted. I am finding who I am, though I know a few don’t agree with it. God loves me anyway.

I can feel the prayers of those who think I am in the wrong and who are scared for me. I feel the hypocrisy… I hate it. 

“I feel like screaming such things. Yes, it’s only been five months since my husband died… what? Did you want to see me depressed and miserable, still?”

There is no time limit for grieving. People move on faster than others; I still have my days. To say that I don’t would be a lie.

He Knows

Now a days, God seems to be the only one who I can truly talk to.. the very reason I have not felt alone. He knows what I have done; I tell him as if He didn’t know. I am honest and I haven’t hid a thing from Him. I know for a fact that He will never throw what I tell Him back in my face… and I know He isn’t condemning me.

“I have given God so many reasons not to love me, but none of them have changed His mind.”

These past few days I have been carrying a lot inside. I finally let it out. People haven’t spoken to me since they found something out. I feel people judging me and I feel people are not in agreement with the changes I have been making in my life.

All I can say is, you’re not me and don’t know what I am going through. You don’t know my heart. Unless you’ve walked in my shoes, you have no idea what it’s like. I really am doing my best. I am just not going to be what you expect of me. I am going to be who I need to be.

I Am Scared

I am scared!! I am scared to embrace what is right in front of me because I continue to look back and all I see is his face. I know others are still holding on to my husband. I know it’s gonna take time, but I want to move on already.

When is the right time?

I compare the what was to what is now and there are many differences, but I don’t want to back away. The uncertainty of it draws me in. I have fallen in love with the changes and the differences. It’s changing me and helping me to accept things I never thought I would… I truly believe it is helping me be a better person.

To accept what others may reject, is what is in my heart. To be there for someone who someone might have rejected, is what is in my heart. That’s where I am at right now. Let me.

It’s been proving to be a blessing, to know that nothing is a coincidence. 

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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. 

 

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.

To The Cutter Inside…

I see you. I know you. I get it. Life has thrown at you things you had no control over. It has even left you believing that it was your fault. Deep down inside you wanted to take it out the only way you’ve always known how; on yourself. Life has knocked you down, but still, I see something in you that desires to get up and rise. 

You thought you had no choice but to fight; as though there was no one there to defend you or protect you from what you felt inside. It’s your defense mechanism. I get it, but still, there is a way out. A place to cast your burdens; your cares.

You take a look at your life and wonder if things will ever get back to normal. What is normal, now? Nothing about what you’re going through is normal to you. What scares you the most is that you know deep down inside, nothing will ever be normal. I see it.

You often wonder if someone else will accept you and love you as much as the last one; such thoughts bring you torment. I can see it. I know it, but still, there is someone who does.

You look around and all you see is loneliness and you feel as though there is no escape. Your eyes, stuck on the problem in front of you and desperation runs through your body. You panic because you don’t know how to handle it. I know what that feels like, but still, you’re never alone.

Your emotions rage and you don’t care. This is your normal, but still, there is someone who desires to show you another way.

You ask, “How do you know!?”

My answer is simple; “I know because, I was you.” 

 

Thoughts of pain I can control tempting it has always been; the twisted lie that says things will be better if I did. All it was, was a temporary relief that only caused more pain, but in my mind it was ok because it was the only pain I was able to control. Though the scars remain, who I was, is gone.-Stephanie

 

Poem Inspiration

The poem, “To The Cutter Inside,” was inspired by my recent thoughts about cutting. It literally came to me on the way to Salinas with my dad, niece and brother. I was feeling a bit bitter, because today was supposed to be mine and my husband’s eight year anniversary.

It’s been a couple days since thoughts of cutting have came to my mind. Especially because of the mistakes I have made recently. I was feeling angry inside. I wanted to lash out, but in a way that “no one else would know about.” 

In the midst of what I was feeling earlier this morning; all I could think about was what other girls or guys are going through. That’s why I wrote the poem the way I did. As if I was talking to someone. I am; I am talking to those who cut themselves as an escape and who have been truly hurt by things they couldn’t control; whatever that may be…I really do get it. 

And there really is a God who cares about you; who loves you and desires to set you free, the way He did for me. You’re not alone. 

 

A Part of My Story

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This is my tattoo; my left wrist. For years I used cutting as a way to deal with the hidden pain and problems I had at home. In eighth grade I began seeing a counselor to help with the depression and cutting, but that didn’t help. There was a root that no one or nothing was able to remove…

Self-pain was the only thing that I could control when everything around me changed in ways that hurt me… it went on through my teen years and a few of my adult years.

Though the temptations still come, I have been set free. The root that no one or nothing was able to remove, was finally uprooted by God, the one who can reach down deep into the hidden chambers of the heart to bring freedom to our lives. 

Psalm 139: 23-24

 

The Cross

The cross represents: salvation, freedom, healing, restoration, protection and so much more; but those few were the very reasons why I got it over my scars. It was something symbolic that I was led to do for me. When Jesus came into my life the first thing He did was make me new, covering my with His blood; giving me a new life and erasing my past. In His eyes I am no longer a cutter, but His beloved. 

God’s word says in 2 Corinthians 5: 17 that anybody who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone (forgotten; never to be remembered by God) and given new life; identity.

 

My Safe Place

He gave me a safe place to open up and finally let go of the things that I had so buried deep in my heart and began restoring my life. I found that there was freedom in finally opening up and confessing to God what I was going through.

When we release a secret or whatever it is we are feeling inside, it makes room for God’s perfect love to flow in and start doing the good work in our lives. You were meant to carry heavy burdens. You weren’t meant to carry shame. You weren’t meant to carry guilt or blame.

God sees you and stretches out His loving arms and asks you to place on Him your heavy burdens so He can give you rest. –Matthew 11:28

 

What’s Helped Me…

Having the revelation/ understanding that God knows me better than I know myself. That He sees all things. He understands me and gets me. He knows my thoughts; He knows what I carry in my heart. He knows my every move, nothing surprises Him or catches Him off guard. To me that is important. To me is means that when I run to Him and confess what I have done, He is prepared to hear it and just hold me in His arms and help me through it.

He knew me before I was born; nothing I ever did surprised Him.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart…”- Jeremiah 1:5

God knows you. He has known your every move, every mistake, every thought… and still LOVES you. He says,

“My love, come to me as you are. Nothing you have done or do will surprise me. I loved you then, I love you now. Cast your cares up on me because I am the one cares for you. Rest in the knowing that I am never too far away. Find peace in knowing that I am the one who fights your battles. I am your defender, so you don’t have to fight anymore. Here my child, give to me everything that is causing you pain, so that I may heal you. Let me wipe away every tear and turn your sorrow into joy. Let me show you the life that was meant for you from the start. I love you.”

 


 

“You, you’re not alone
We’ve all been there
Scars come with livin’
You, you’re not alone
We’ve all been there
So, lift your head, lift your head
Lift your head to where your help comes from
You, you’re are not alone
We’ve all been there
Scars come with livin’

It doesn’t matter who you are
This world gon’ leave some battle scars.”-Scars by Toby Mac

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Reach out to God and He will take you by the hand. -Stephanie

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. 

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.