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8 Years

8 years ago, I was a very timid and broken young girl. I had made a lot of poor decisions, I was still reeling from my parents’ divorce, and I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I thought going to WKU would be a life changing, eye opening experience for me. It was, but not in the way I thought. I dreamt that getting away from Bullitt County rednecks, and into the real world would magically change me. The funny thing is, I wound up smoking a cigarette with a country fellar from Glasgow every week because he reminded me of the people back home. The party scene was fun for a few weekends, but I just got embarrassed with myself and learned nobody likes a girl who is an obnoxious drunk. I started coming home every weekend and once that first semester was complete (with flying colors, mind you), I came home.

(Note that I wasn’t saved at this time.)

I was still broken, still didn’t know what I wanted from life, but I knew that maybe what I had dreamt up wasn’t for me.

A good friend decided to set me up on a blind date with a young man from her church. She gave him my number and picture (my prom picture). The first time he called, I noticed immediately that he had a country twaaaang and a genuine laugh. We made plans for a first date and talked for probably two hours.

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Blind dates are weird, okay? But this was different. Once I saw him in person and was relieved he wasn’t ugly, I felt at ease with him. Okay. Maybe not. I fidgeted the whole time and barely ate my dinner. But I loved talking to him. His hair was ebony brown, he had a strong chin, he smelled amazing even from the other side of the car, and he was polite as could be. I knew I was going to marry him that night. Call it lust, call it crazy, call it downright bonkers. I just knew. 

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Five months later, I become his wife. He made a promise to love and cherish me forever; keeping up the deal when we struggled especially that first year. Our dreams came true – especially beginning when I accepted Christ and my life was changed forever. We were then truly able to be one, because we were no longer unequally yoked. We had babies, made a tiny apartment into a precious home, bought a house, made a million memories, walked through Lebanon Junction 500 times or more, and saw blessings way beyond our greatest dream or desire. This has all just been in 8 years.

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I was a broken girl, lost in sin and greatly desiring love. In 8 years, this amazing man has shown me love, He has shown me Christ. I can say that today many of those pieces are put back together and I know I’m living my life better than I could have dreamed as a young 18 year old kid.

Joshua, thank you for being the love of my life. Thank you for loving me even when I didn’t love me, for listening, for praying, and for living out this journey with me. You’re my entire world. 

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I feel like me.

 

image.jpgI feel like me again. 

I tell my hubby that every so often, after we have had a good day or even after a crazy one that typically would’ve drained me. I’m in a good place right now.

We’ve experienced change and loss, our kids are growing and challenging us more, and life hasn’t slowed down a bit. However, I’m learning to allow myself to roll with the punches when they come and to keep living. As I dealt with anxiety the last couple of years, just simple fear kept me crippled and hindered in most areas of my life. I tried to press forward, but the issue was so physical and so real that I couldn’t get past it. I still have my moments, but I will say that between learning more about who God is, maturing spiritually, and a little pill called Celexa has been key in helping me get back to normal.

Not back to normal; Better than I ever was.

Anxiety was a good thing in some ways, because it has forced me to question. It has forced me to get on my knees in prayer and ask the Lord to show me the truth over things I feared. It helped me settle a lot of questions I had and find peace. The Bible says that all things work together for good and I believe that played out in this difficult struggle. As I look back now, I can see how that challenge benefitted me in the long run.

I can’t say everything we have seen or experienced has been easy, but it has helped us to grow in ways that we couldn’t imagine before. I am not naive and sheltered, like I once was, so I do realize there are so many uncertainties and things to be afraid of. I can’t go back to being 23 and seeing everything through rose colored glasses. However, I can hand my fear over to the Lord, trusting that He is with me every step of the way, and press forward in the case of adversity and trouble. I can be honest about what’s out there and talk about it, but ultimately walk forward knowing that God has this.

I feel like me. Sometimes in the midst of changes and growth, you just want to feel slightly normal and sane. I’m so glad that I can say I’m getting there.

 

 

 

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Faithful

Going live is weird!!!! Every time I do it, I feel like I did when I had to give a special presentation at school and everyone is staring at me. Very weird. I didn’t feel like I could spit out my words! However, I enjoy doing what I do! I want Coffee & Grace to be a place where people can be encouraged and helped by me sharing how God is guiding me through the craziness of life!

I’m much better at writing than spitting out words, so here it is.

I’ve been saved for seven years and life has changed a lot. At first, everything was so fresh and new, because I had just accepted Christ and was amazed by the change He brought so quickly. I’m in a different season now. It’s a season of growing, preparing, training, and learning. Its a season of waiting, but still serving. It’s just different. Those rosy happy spine tingly feelings that I felt the first couple of years of being saved aren’t always here. That doesn’t mean God has changed or that He is any less present in my life. I’m just growing and changing.

His mercies are new every morning.

He has been with me since I knelt down at that altar on January 3, 2010 and asked Him to save me. Through every thing I have experienced, He has walked alongside me. He has used things to grow me, challenge me, and help me along the way.

He is still here today. Still faithful. After 7 years, where I know I’ve strayed at times, where I’ve doubted, where I know I felt that He was a million miles away – He is still here. He isn’t just still here, but He is still growing me and helping me through this life.

He is faithful. Not going anywhere. Not leaving my side. He is faithful to forgive when I confess my sin, chastise when I need correction, and guide me through days when I can’t see past the darkness of this world.

Faithful. Still here. And I’m still standing today only because of that.

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. His mercies are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23