Three Points of Pain

Pain changes all of us, at some point we all experience it. No matter how much we try to out run it, hide from it, or even walk into it. It finds us…

Here is three points I think our pain serves us instead of devouring us:

I. Your Pain Is Proof

The proof is in the pudding! The pain you have experienced in your life is proof that there is a war! It is proof that no matter what is or was thrown at you, God will sustain you. Think about it? If you look back on to some of your fiercest battles in life, you should be destroyed? Right? Some of us have walked through abuse, some addiction, some cancer, some disorder and destruction, some horrible financial crisis that should have brought bankruptcy. My point is that it should and very well could have taken you out, BUT… you are reading this? You are proof, that no matter what came. God sustained you; that doesn’t mean that you were correct, or prayed perfect prayers. It proves that it rains on the just and the unjust, but God is the same in the past, present, and future. You are a walking, talking testament that no matter how hard it rains, you remain because He is faithful!

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 
20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 
21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 
23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?
25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

II.) Your Pain Has Purpose

Your pain is not in vain! The uniqueness of your pain is so that your pain could provide comfort to someone else. Think about it, how many times have you went through something so painful that you thought I am not going to come out of this! Only six months after the pain you are sitting next to a beautiful soul going through exactly the same thing! If you will choose to see your pain in a different way, God will send you people to comfort and pray for. Your pain has a purpose, it isn’t a coincidence what you have been through. God let the pain happen for a purpose. God saw way down the line, He saw you! He knew that diagnoses was cancer, He knew that your pregnancy would not carry to full term, He knew that job was going to end and leave you with a pile of debt. Here is the amazing thing, He knows, He doesn’t stop it, He purposes our pain to provide for one another. If you think about it for a second it is actually a smack to the enemies face. The enemy will use people and places for inflicting pain, but God uses pain to provide a way for the gospel. Think about the gospel story, Jesus, fully God and man. Chooses to be born of a virgin, in swaddling clothes. He grows up, only to be highly persecuted by his own community, schemed against, gossiped about, run out of town, threatened to be thrown off cliffs, Invited to suppers only to be mocked even more. Nothing Jesus endured on this earth was without pain. Then you have injustice, a mock trial, trumped-up crowds screaming crucify! Beaten, and killed on a cross. Humiliated and shamed as He hung there. Even after His death the mockery still ensued. Put in a borrowed tomb. Sounds to me like a whole life of pain, but look at what God did with His own son’s pain? He saved the world!


For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

1 Peter 2:21 ESV

If we are in Christ we are called to pain for a purpose, that is to use the pain of this life to testify to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t think your pain was all in vain, it wasn’t, it was meant to glorify God.

III.) Your Pain is Preparation

The painful things that come in this life have will, or are making way for you to handle the next hurdle. Look back on things that you have been through in the past. I can remember a time where I was dealing with two harrowing things at the same time. I remember dealing with the death of my best friend, and that same afternoon I walked in from the funeral my husband looked at me and said well: ” They decided to shut down the mill indefinitely.” What was incredibly painful was not just the loss, but the months that led up to the failure! We fought so hard! Fought hard for Chris’s job to be saved on our knees and get her help! We stayed camped out in ICU rooms and the endless tests and procedures, medications, only to bury her at thirty-three years old. Then to come home to more loss, but you want to know the good news, I am standing here four years later, and I can see that God purposed my pain. He allowed us to go through the pain to help people that are dealing with total financial loss, He has allowed me to hold the hands of families living with addicts; He has allowed me to love on those families knowing the sting of their pain: the endless prayers, the tear-filled pillows, and bible pages. To give them comfort even when the ending is bitter and hard to swallow, not every story ends happily ever after and I have learned to rest in that — knowing that the pain I face today is prepping me for my purpose in Christ. Making room for my gifts and talents to glorify Him. Looking back there are so many stories of excruciating things I have personally walked through, but just glancing back long enough to see God’s hand prepping me for where I am standing today. He has done the same for you and in the hidden place is working all things out.

“Your pain is not a death sentence its a resurrection story.”

You are Lazarus, Jesus’ dear friend, who he weeps for, but calls forth out of the grave into life and life abundantly in Him. God does not take pain lightly, He identifies with it and purposes it for the furthering of the kingdom. Will you let Him use all your pieces? Even the broken ones?

God is really good at using the most painful things…

20 Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross. 21 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got.22 But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. 23 You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message – just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message. 24 I want you to know how glad I am that it’s me sitting here in this jail and not you. There’s a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world – the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church’s part of that suffering.25 When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth. 26 This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. 27 God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery, in a nutshell, is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. 28 We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. 29 That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.

Colossians 1:20-29 MSG

14 God, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!

Jeremiah 17:14

Perplexed, but not driven to despair

Photo by Studio 7042 on Pexels.com

Righteous are you, O Lord, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart.
Jeremiah 12:1‭-‬2 ESV

Jeremiah is asking the Lord some bold questions here in verses 1-4. Jeremiah has just learned that the men of Anathoth, Jeremiah’s hometown (Jer. 1:1) schemed to have him killed. They ordered him not to prophesy, or he would die by their hands. Just wanted you to understand Jeremiah’s state of mind and how brokenhearted he must have been.

I don’t know about you, but anytime any form of persecution comes whether it’s rejection or the most severe cases giving our life to follow Christ. I believe it still hurts the worst when it comes from your community, friends or family.
It seems that our enemy loves to stir up those in a community against each other. I believe every single snare or pit that is dug for the body is to get us to pick each other apart to the bone. Sometimes we do it innocently, and I have done it. I know we all have. I believe once we know and see it, we can change it, of course through The Holy Spirit.

I suppose I am more tender to it because I am in a calling of my own that the enemy loves to persecute me whenever he gets the chance. That is a part of the territory and believe me the Lord is and has brought this tender-hearted girl long ways. I would do it over and over a thousand times over, because persecution keeps you humble, full of humility, and honest in front of the Lord, in my opinion. I believe that is why in the book of James it says during various trials and tribulations count it as joy! It is refining your faith.

So, Jeremiah is complaining to the Lord why does he allow this to happen! Then he says, Lord! You know me, you have seen me, you have tested my heart toward you (Verse 3).

So he went from complaining to pity party in a matter of seconds! We do the same thing. We feel like everything is wrong, when in fact God is strengthening us. It is okay! It’s our flesh dying! It is not ever going to feel good.

I love verse five which caught my eye because in Hebrew five means grace. How fitting! His grace is sufficient. Here is God’s reply to Jeremiah (Jer. 12:5)

“If you have run with the footman, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan? For even your brothers, the house of your father. Even they have dealt treacherously with you; Yes, they called a multitude after you. Do not believe them, Even though they speak smooth words to you.

Last thought, when you are following Jesus, and He has called you to something that even leaves you with your mouth wide open. Don’t be thrown for a loop when the enemy of our souls stirs up persecution. Unfortunately, he will, but down deep in your soul know this. No matter what remember that God is allowing it to happen to purify your faith. He is allowing hard situations to test your heart toward Him; He is strengthening you spiritually so you will be able to run against the horses of our enemy. We are warrior’s, and we have to be cross-trained. Remember that we do not wrestle against people, but we fight against our enemy Satan. Eph. 6

Making All Things New

I love spring! I love that all the barrenness of winter is leaving, and new life is waking up. I am not a big fan of winter, but without winter we would not appreciate spring, would we? Most of all I love seeing the growth and the newness of what spring brings!



Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Sometimes it takes a season of winter or two ( lol ) to see a ” new thing ” come forth. A new way that God wants to do something in and through us. The only way that we will ever perceive a new way is to do a ” new thing”! Even though I perceive it to be mundane, it could be exactly what Isaiah 43:19 says, a stream in the desert to my soul.


Isaiah 43:19
Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

God is moving; He was moving when Isaiah wrote this verse; God was moving towards the cross. God has finished the final work through Jesus, but He is still doing new things. Still actively moving in us and on behalf of us. I love how this verse says DO YOU NOT SEE IT? Oh! That question hits me, just like the Jews missed Yeshua (Jesus) our Savior! We can be so caught up in our daily lives, daily rituals, the busyness of life, and miss what God wants for our lives. We can be so caught up in religious activities and good works and miss God if we are not actively reading and dialoguing with Him in the scriptures, we can miss Him and miss the small blessings He brings to us daily.

I think more than ever we are losing something spectacular in our relationships with God. It is dialogue, the word of God is going to deal directly with your heart. It is going to speak to places you thought were dead and barren. God’s word was meant to be opened and we are supposed to ask questions and allow Him to answer us with His word. Ask, and you will receive. Seek Him and you will find Him. Knock and He will answer you! ( Matthew 7:7)

This past weekend I went to a leadership conference. I love how God uses these conferences to fill us up and to speak to us clearly through our leaders inside the church. Plus, let’s be honest just getting away and in a new atmosphere can bring clarity in itself. I suppose that is why I love going so very much. It is about God doing a ” new thing” in me and for me.

He used leaders to directly speak to places of uncertainty with the word of God. Directly into my circumstances! That prompted me to ask God more in-depth questions and to confirm His will through His word to me personally. Guess, what He did!

If I had chose to just shrug off what I heard God speaking and go on my way, I will have missed something God has in store for me. I haven’t always been walking with Christ. I would say seven years total that I have had a real relationship with Jesus. For years I believed, and I accepted Christ, but I never accessed our relationship. I simply didn’t think I had too! I missed those years, but I know now I never have to miss Him again! I have heard the loud critics voice in my ear, saying: ” You are taking that out of context!” “God is not saying that or why would He say that to you.” I don’t have the most exquisite way of saying it, but here is what I have experienced with the word of God and the Holy Spirit. The word of God is God’s very breath, all 66 books, from Genesis to Revelation. I believe and want God’s very breath to breathe in my life every day. The Holy Spirit is the power, wisdom, knowledge and understanding that I must have in order to take God’s breath in. I wish that for everyone, but as a person who lives in reality, I know that some won’t. That does not stop me though!!! I love God’s word, for goodness sake, anyone who knows me has seen my library of commentaries and my resource ” stuff ” I am not writing this to defend myself; I am merely writing this to express what God has shared with me and has helped me so much along the way. So here it goes:


English Standard Version
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV

If we are going to perceive a new thing that God wants to do in us or through us we have to be actively dialoguing with Jesus in and through the scriptures. That means you ask a question and He answers back through the word of God. In the verse above this paragraph, I want you to read that out loud. The word of God is alive, full of God’s spirit, and the word of God divides the lies that life throws us daily. The word of God redirects our motives and our thoughts.


English Standard Version
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2 ESV

The only way that God can transform us is by the renewing of our minds. Sound’s like God is directly saying to us that if we want a new mind He will give it through the scriptures. God radically wants to transform us, but we have to be willing to find it in the word of God.

Do you sense God is wanting to do a ” new thing” in your life?

Are you confused or unsure about it?

What is leading your walk with God?

All three of these questions are easily solved. The answer is to be found in the word of God.

I challenge you this week, ask God a question in your life. A problem that is throwing you for a loop? See, if He will not lead you to the answer! He is faithful! There are amazing conversations to be had with The Lord of the Universe! What are you waiting for…

Here are some more scriptures about God’s glorious word.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 
Philippians 2:14-16a
Psalm 119:105 
Psalm 119:9
Matthew 4:4
John 1:1 

Get up, Sister!

Get up! Sister…

We need you to rise and take hold of who you are in Christ. We need you! We need your voice; we need your words, we need your personality. We need your hands and feet to proclaim Jesus. We need you to realize who you are in Christ. You are not a mistake, a joke, a failure. You were purposed to be a solution in our world. Your life and the events that have happened were not so you could roll around in ashes, NO, you were created to overcome the ashes for beauty.

You have not been through it all in vain, you have been through it all and have remained. You are still intact not with a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and sound judgment. You are not defeated, Get up! Sister

Rise and take hold of what God has put before you. Do not back down now! You are not weak-willed you have been trained and sustained so that you can stand with confidence. You chose to endure when no one saw; you chose Jesus when everything in you wanted to jump ship. You chose the good portion, and it will not be taken away from you, just like Mary at Bethany. At the feet of Jesus trusting and believing, listening and learning. Instead of busyness, you chose Him.

You filled your lanterns with oil, trimming the wick so the flame would not go out. Yes, maybe at times the flame has waned, but it has never gone out. Get up! Sister. There is still more oil to store. There is a wick that needs trimming so the flame can burn bright once again.

Get up! Sister and read your Bible out-loud when the enemy whispers His lies. Fight him with the word of God and he will flee. There is no other way!

Get up! Sister and dismiss the voices of others who do not have any oil for this time. Dismiss the Martha’s who are bitter because they chose to be busy when Jesus was inviting them to sit and learn. We need you, girl! We need you standing full of confidence in Jesus with us; there is plenty of room, we saved you a seat. Take it!

Get up! Sister and find your identity in Christ for yourself. Fill your vessels with oil, the word of God. We need you, we are waiting for you to rise up.

First Steps

In The Beginning…

First I want to help prepare your heart for what is on mine through a quick simple but pure prayer. Here is my prayer….

Heavenly Father we rejoice in today as it is a new day.  Help our hearts and minds to be fully aware of our surroundings as we go through our day today.  Help us to remove all negative chatter in our heads that could cloud a message from you today.  If it is the first time ever hearing your word through my post Lord,  may it be a Blessing to them.  I pray it offers to them a place of peace in their own story or a hope to fill the emptiness that may be robbing their joy.  Heavenly Father open your gates in a mighty way through using my story to relate to theirs and bridge it to yours. I pray for healing, restoration and courage to be overwhelming to the souls embarking on this journey with me.  In Jesus name, Amen! 

Where do I begin today? This is a typical thought a woman asks herself on a daily basis. Literally!  Well I do anyway.  As a woman we are made to multitask.  From balancing the single life, wife”ing”, mom”ing, boss”ing”…. our jobs consist of cooking, cleaning, driving, working, appointments, school schedules, friend sleepovers, grocery shopping, among so many other jobs, should I go on? 

We all began somewhere! Genesis 1 explains the beginning of time.  It’s one of my favorite books to study because the magnitude of wonder.  I can read it over and over again. It just fascinates me to know how the Heavens and Earth was created.  How God created Man and then Woman.  How he breathed Life into it.  How just a word from God was spoken and “POOF” there it was in all his Glory, the Sun, Moon and Stars. Just look outside at all the wonder around you.  I’m in aw of it everyday. Do you see what I see? 

Humble Beginnings….

Just like the beginning of the Earth and it’s being, so is the story of our own lives.  To be a part of a story that started with adversity from the very beginning, it humbles me. My mother was married at 16 years old.  She married a friend who was so kind to her. He Loved her so.  I know she married him to leave her life back home. So she didn’t marry him for Love. That was her first big mistake.  She and my grandmother were just alike. Beautiful, charming, full of life, exciting, spontaneous, energetic, the life of any party, literary.  Shortly after marrying the first man, she divorced him. On to the next one. With him, she had two sons. Throughout that marriage, she was not able to stay faithful. It ended and then she got mixed up with my father. Then I came along. In three years my mother had three kids just that quick. Three kids and no way of being able to take care of them adequately.  She was always unsatisfied in her life still searching and seeking the wrong things and getting mixed up with the wrong kind of people.  I won’t share much more of her testimony because of two reasons, it’s hers to tell, and unfortunately for her,  she is no longer here on Earth to say it.  She left this place 12 years ago at the age of 48.  So very young.  Without God in her life she ran it ragged. Her body just couldn’t keep up with her wild spirit.  I lost her long before that though.

My Beginning….. 

At the age of 13 years old I became the property of the Bluegrass State! I was originally from Elgin, IL.  I ended up in Kentucky when I was 9 years old.  After my mother had me, she went on to have my sister with another man and then I had a younger brother whom also had another man as his father. So I’m part of a 5 sibling group and 3 of the 5 have different fathers. My mother ended up meeting and marrying number 3 after all her children were born and his mother lived in Kentucky.  Hence the how I got here.  Long story short that marriage lasted 6-7 years before he decided he had enough. I couldn’t blame him one bit.  So all this time I’m being raised by a person who is faithless and as lost as a kid in the kitchen looking for the dishwasher. All you mommas know what I’m talking about! 

It was unfortunate for her because she too had the same wild beginnings I did except my grandfather an army Veteran was too stubborn to let my grandmother go.  I also think back then too that marriages tolerated much more than they do today.  My grandparents were married for 41 years before he passed away from his injuries serving in World War II.  

His passing was a blow to my mother’s spirit that just fueled the devils schemes.  She spiraled our if control and made so many bad choices that they all caught up with her. She left my brothers on their fathers doorstep and never looked back. She moved to another state with a new husband and 2 young girls. Alcohol and medications were not a good fit for her. I believe she had some mental health issues that she, like many others do, medicate themselves with substances that mess with their heads even more negatively.  

I ended up in court one morning in front of a judge pleading in a letter that I wanted to stay with my ex-step-grandmother.  Say that several times fast.  I was at an age where the abuse and neglect had me pleading for change.  The judge granted that my sister and I could stay with her until my mother got her life in order. That order never came. She gave up her rights in court a few weeks later and then left the state.  From that day forward I was to find my place, my identity as a child marked with bruises and battered was over.  But who was I now!

It happened on my 13th Birthday the last day I was to be in my mother’s guardianship.  I was exhausted from sitting in the dispatchers office until the early morning hours trying to decide for myself and my sister do I tell them that I want to go to my ex-step grandmother’s house before we go to a foster home. The dispatcher knew I had her in my mind but prior to that time my mother was being detained and in one last shot at her abusing me she placed her hands around my neck and was choking me telling me I better not call her. It took 3 officers to get her off of me.  So can you imagine a broken young adolescent girl abused in front of police how I must have felt?  

Someone out there reading this has a similar story of the beginning of their childhood like mine.  Beyond just the abuse that I sustained from my mother’s hand,  I also had been molested by a neighbor at the negligence of my mother’s. So I’m 13, puberty, witnessed all the men my mother had encountered,  molested, beaten, broken spirited and barley holding my head above water believing I had no worth.  

Through feeling so incredibly alone from a physical person I was introduced to God shortly after this nightmare was coming to an end.  I started looking at life in a new light. Even though I had see the world for what it is without God, I always saw a silver lining of Grace and Mercy. I had always felt with all the opportunities that I faced where I shouldn’t be here but I still am as a higher force than man could ever explain. I knew in my soul that there was a God before I actually knew of him.  I have my ex-step grandmother to Thank for the introduction to him. For her prayers and influence in my life.  She is no longer here with us but I know she is looking down with a big smile. 

You see in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, you can read about the beginning of time. As you read along you will soon read further into how the world became what it is today. How sin just took over the hearts of men and women.  How they turned from God and how they caused self-inflicted blows to their own stories by choosing Evil over Goodness.  

Let me hope that in this first of many posts you find this encouraging and not depressing in any way.  I’m encouraged every day by my humble beginnings. I may not know exactly what to do looking forward in my life, how I can raise my children to be God fearing instead of fleeting because I can sometimes get a little self righteous due to my knowledge of the word, which can back fire. I’m human in every sense of the word.  I fail every day to say and do something I should in the Glory of the Lord. The Power I have that others can as well is the Gospel of Jesus Christ who died so that I can live again.  I die to myself everyday waking up to a new day. I have more gratefulness than I did the day before because I know our life is a vapor.  I’ll go more in depth with that later.  

So I want you to go with me on this journey to do understanding your identity Through Christ Jesus.  The Bible App has reading plans. Come along with me while we read together Bible in a Year.  I’m having to go back and read due to a stroke I suffered last February.  If you have had a stroke and are reading this My Heart Burns for you! I get it! You are doing great! Keep up the recovery! You got this! 

In the meantime end this time with your own prayer to God.  You are Blessed. Know you are Blessed! Show Gratefulness!  Most importantly be Thankful to God for his provisions and his Sufficient Grace! 

Cassie

Introductions Are In Order

I am so thankful to begin this new year as a part of this ministry.  Before I jump right in though, I think some introductions are in order.  I am a true believer in the fact that, for you to understand and get a deeper look into the heart of a message, you need a pretty good picture of where that person has been and what God has rescued them from.   A visibly transformed life can have a major impact on the world around you.

Ten years ago, if you would have asked someone to describe me, I’m afraid they would’ve used adjectives like angry, lost, empty, aggressive, broken, self-destructive… I’ll stop there, I’m sure you get the picture.

After moving around for a good part of my childhood as a military brat, we finally settled in Western Kentucky where most of our family was.  Within our home, there was no prayer, no Bible reading, no foundation of faith.  I don’t blame my parents.  They were both very young and did the best they could while dealing with their own childhood trauma.

To spend as much time as I could with my grandmother, I began going to church with her every Sunday.  The bond that I had with that very special lady is something I could never describe in written words.  We were inseparable.  I remember sitting beside her each Sunday, in amazement, as she gracefully played the piano during worship. She loved me like I had never felt love before and made me feel deserving of that love.  Around the time I would be starting middle school, something terrible happened.  My grandmother was life-flighted to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis because her heart was failing.  I can remember my aunt picking my sister and me up from school and taking us to the movies to keep us distracted. Fortunately, she was blessed with the opportunity for a transplant, and it seemed like everything was going to be ok.  She lived for eleven years after the transplant.  The last two years of her life were the two years of my life that the devil used to catapult me into a lifetime worth of anger and emptiness.  The medication she had to take to keep her body from rejecting the new heart destroyed her kidneys.  She began dialysis several times a week but was withering away.  I watched her light and life slowly fade as she suffered every second until the end.  The questions, fueled by anger, started flowing.  Why her?  She went to church! She played music in church! She loved the God that was supposed to love her back! She was too young! Could there really be this all-loving God? No, there couldn’t, He wouldn’t do this.

That anger combined with a life that was in a constant state of chaos due to a lack of involvement, lack of faith, substance addiction, abuse, and family members who were out of control…I was left to let the anger, sadness, and loneliness open the door for the devil to make himself at home.   I began trying to fill that brokenness and emptiness with every terrible thing this world has to offer; partying, attention from anyone willing to give it, and more and more anger.

When I was 21, I became pregnant.  Of course, we had to get married because that’s what a good southern woman does to save face.  But this wasn’t all bad.  I started to feel a little peace and happiness.  I thought I loved the man I was marrying, we were going to have a child, I was doing great in college and could still finish so everything was fine.   The day I had to say goodbye forever to that baby, I felt myself break.  I can remember it vividly.  Any anger that had been buried came erupting to the surface.  That was it! There definitely is no God, and if there was, He could care less about any of us! That is what I told myself for years.  I was an anthropology major in school, so there was no shortage of professors who were quick to reinforce that thought with scientific facts and figures.  And boy was I ready to argue with anyone who dared to try and convince me that there was a loving God and that “He had a plan”, and that “there was a reason for everything”.  I was educated, had an aggressive personality and was motivated by so much anger that the devil had a field day with me.   I did what I could to try and convince everyone around me to give up on all those silly stories and rules created by men to control society.   The only person I know I successfully pulled away was my own mother.

My marriage was anything but happy.  How could it be?  We were so young, and I was so volatile.  We each turned to different ways to numb the pain.  Two years after the loss of our first child, we were both preparing to graduate college and had big plans for our future.  But God had a different plan.  I became pregnant with Chloe.   It was a shock because due to health issues, I wasn’t expected to be able to have any more children.  When that child was born, I felt myself begin to heal.  Just as I felt myself break when I said goodbye to my first child, I felt myself, LOVE.  Really love.  I knew then that she was sent to me for a reason and that there had to be “something” or “someone” out there because this kind of love could not be explained with science.  But I had no understanding or faith to fall back on.  I was the poster child for someone who was “lost”.

I struggled for years after Chloe was born.  Her father and I couldn’t seem to get through past hurts, and our marriage was so unstable that we divorced when she was one.  I was a single mother moving from place to place and job to job.  I know now that I was moving every year because I was running.  Running from my sadness and emptiness.  But no distance ever made a difference.  I was still angry and lost.  Along the way, everywhere I went; I met and got to know bold Christian men and women that tried their best to lead me to Jesus.  Each planting seeds.   I would always disregard them though.  Until one person, someone I had grown to love, all but forced me to go to church.  I started attending on Sundays.  I enjoyed the singing and meeting new people but would zone out and not pay attention to much else.  But one day was different, I woke up feeling different.  I went into the church, sat in my pew by myself as usual and listened, really listened.  I didn’t feel alone.  I had been so ashamed of myself for so long, thinking that even if there was a God, “How could He love me now? Look at what I’ve done, what I’ve said!”  That day, I heard and felt that He does love me because Jesus loves me! He suffered and died for me! ME! Not just the righteous people that have never fallen.  Me!  I could feel Him right there with me as I fell apart.  Almost like He had His arm around me as I finally let go of all that anger, shame and guilt and gave it to Him.

On August 8, 2009, at the age of 28, I was baptized.  And I’ve never been the same.   The devil didn’t and still doesn’t make it easy, but now “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

I saved the happiest part of my testimony for the end.

The sorrow I felt for convincing my mother there was no God was unbearable.  I prayed for years for God to allow me to bring my mother to know Jesus. On Mother’s Day of14910490_10209443515783872_6246060035715518067_n 2017, my mom gave her life to Jesus and was baptized.  Now we worship Him together!

You see, that is what we are created to do.  To be transformed through God’s Grace and to live it out each day to be a living testimony to those around us.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me down a path that helps those as lost as I once was.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“ ‘The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ ” “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15: 21,24

Hearing the Heart

woman standing on green grass

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I think the worst downfall for me is a transition. I mean really how much of us like drastic changes? I know for me I fight with all that I have and the funny thing is I always end up loving the difference. That is where I am currently, right smack dab in the middle of hard change. ( I am sighing at this moment whispering. It is, what it is.) One of my commentaries said: ” Sighing is just groan for home, a cry for redemption.”

Psalm 38:9 ESV

O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

 

Even my subtle sigh is heard, nothing missed by the sovereign ears of God. There is great comfort in that for us today. That we would be understood by the creator of life, acknowledged by the lifter of our head’s. It seems when I am tossed around in the waves my heart goes directly to the Psalms, such practical and heartfelt cries to the Lord.  That He not only hears my physical cries, but even more, He actually listens and knows the ache of the heart like a melody.

woman wearing white top covering her face while leaning on white painted wall

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Psalm 139:3-4 TPT ( Passion Translation)

You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.

 

I am reminded to give Him the invitation to search my heart throughout my life. Not just while the ache is the loudest, but when the ache is dull. Continually search and know my heart, Lord.

Psalm 139:23 TPT (Passion Translation)

God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.

woman standing with mountain as background

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I invite you today, maybe if you are in the middle of rough transition and your heart is just aching. I merely want to remind you we are all on a journey. A journey with God through this life into the next. A mission is often long and challenging, but it is worth every step. Don’t give up now! Just because you are on the beginning of a new path doesn’t mean that He is not with you. The route could be dark with a blanket of dense fog appearing, but what gives illumination is the beautiful unfolding of His word. It will cast light on the next step. Hang in there, keep praying, keeping reading your Bible, most of all keep worshiping through the transition there is power in His presence.

woman standing on brown wooden plank

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Psalm 119:130 ESV

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.

 

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This simple truth sets an aching heart upright and redirects us right back into the loving gaze of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Psalm 46:10 ESV

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”