I want to start by just thanking everyone. The fear, anxiety and anticipation of sharing my story was real. I spent the day preparing myself and my heart for the unknown. I had moments of knowing, hearing, and feeling the Lord draw close to me that day but I also had satan beginning to attack me and my strength. I can tell you that day wasn’t easy… but it was necessary and it was something the Lord was clear about me needing to do. I had so many of you reach out telling me that you had experienced something similar, wished you could have been there for me during that time, or that you would be sharing my experience with those you know and love. Please know from the bottom of my heart how thankful I am and how honored I feel that the Lord has me in this very place at this very time to love back on you and pray for you. As the days have gone by I feel certain that this part of my life will not be in vain and that the Lord has something in store for me far beyond this blog. I know that He is preparing my heart and a way for me to share on a larger scale to ultimately bring awareness and glory to Himself. I would appreciate your prayers!
I have been planning to post again since my last post but haven’t had peace about what I was going to write. I wrote out a long post again about high school, but it doesn’t feel right for some reason. It almost feels like that time is gone and dealt with so why bring it all back up. I will quickly say that high school was difficult. High school is such a pivotal time in the lives of teens and decisions are made that I think can impact the rest of your life. With that being said, God is good and bigger than any choice that you make. Changing schools to Trinity Christian had a huge impact on my life. Not only did we have THE BEST coachie but the girls on that squad become family to me. I learned some of the most valuable lessons on and off the mat with those girls. Also while cheering at Trinity I was introduced to a ministry that continues to be near and dear to my heart… Christian Cheerleaders of America. (don’t worry Rose you'll get your own post LOL there is way too much to say here).
I will include this part that would have concluded my long drawn out saga of high school. It’s really the only part that matters….
The Lord tells us to be strong and courageous.. to never lose sight of Him. When I look back on this time in my life I can say that the Lord was near, He had a plan, and he was faithful. You see its not always easy to stand up for what you believe in. You may have enemies, you may be drug through the mud but at the end of the day who really cares? I have never apologized for being me and doing what the Lord has called me to do till this day and I don’t plan to now. Parents teach your children to be BOLD and BRAVE and to stand up for themselves and their beliefs. Remind them that you are a safe place, encourage them and let them hear you say that you are proud of them and that you love them. That is so important.
I spent the next 2 years at Baylor University meeting some of the greatest girls and sharing some excellent memories in Chi Omega. I will never forget those times! When it came time to go to nursing school I decided to go where I knew my heart belonged… Liberty University. It was always the plan to go there in the first place after high school but I got scared to go that far away. I think it was the Lords plan all along for me to go to Baylor first. I learned valuable lessons there! During my time at Liberty I struggled to find my way at times. I had struggled in school some at Baylor and I think that just followed me. I was always a good student and knew I wanted to be a nurse but the road was LONG and HARD.
Nursing school isn’t easy… anyone that has gone through it will tell you that. The thing that has stuck with me the most, though, is having a professor look at you and flat out say “maybe you aren’t cut out for this” or “maybe this isn’t the Lord’s will for your life”. It makes me cringe still to this day. I gave up on my dream of becoming a nurse… because if my own professors didn’t think I could do it, why would I? Please know the influence you have on others! I finished my first degree in Religion: biblical studies and Master in Leadership from the seminary there at Liberty when I knew the Lord was still calling me to nursing. I fought hard to be reaccepted knowing that those same professors still believed I couldn’t do it. I had to see them every day for the next year and 1/2 knowing that at any moment it could be my last semester. BUT GOD HAD OTHER PLANS! I graduated with my BSN that December…. I proved them wrong… There will be another post for this.. so if you are a nursing student stand by… believe in your self, put blinders on, and work. You can do this!
Before going back to finish my degree I married my college boyfriend who I had dated for many years. Our first year of marriage was hard, he was working 2 jobs and I was in nursing school. I would say that we saw each other in passing at best… but we knew it was only for a season. After graduation I got a job in Texas so we decided to move back, which I was thrilled about. I struggled with a lot of things at this time because I had been so busy and then my life was so calm… I studied for my nursing exam and I think life caught up with me. Depression became a huge factor in my life. I didn’t pass the exam the first time, which meant that I lost my job and couldn’t start until that next summer…. 6 months of waiting…. studying again and falling deeper into depression. If I could describe this time in my life it is just dark… all of my failures in my life, all the things that were said to me by my professors, all of my doubts were true…. I WAS A FAILURE. This has got to be one of my biggest fears to begin with.
Fast forward to May…. I took the test again and passed with the smallest amount of questions needed. I got my job back at the hospital… there was HOPE. If I could have only seen in the future. You see for so long I was told I couldn’t be a nurse… I didn’t have what it took that once I did...I surrendered my LIFE to the career. I started working 5-6 shifts a week, wanted to know everything I could, wanted to be trained on everything possible. My identity became my job… and my marriage fell apart. I made mistakes…. and because of these mistakes he decided the best thing was to move out. To this day I don't blame him. I failed at something that was important to me, something that I had vowed and committed to before my family, friends and the Lord. I was in a bad place… I will admit that… I know my part in all of this. Hear me when I say that a marriage falls apart because of 2 people…. it is not one sided. So now what??? Where do I go from here??? I had nothing!
My life for the last 5 years has been HARD. I gave up on the Lord- I hated Him if I am honest. I had been a Christian since I was a little girl and things like this weren’t supposed to happen to people that were trying to do what was right. To say that I ran in the opposite direction is an understatement. This is a time that I am not proud of… that I am thankful even still for the protection that the Lord had over my life. The thoughts of needing out of life were there all the time. Turning to the things of this world in order to “deal” with my pain and failures became a lifestyle. Work became my home, my family, and my only safe place. When I was at work I didn’t have time to think about me… I didn’t have time to be depressed. I walked away from a life I knew, a family that loved me and sought after a life that made me feel better. I found love in friends… some of which never cared about me at all. It’s interesting to me that people who are suffering often find each other. In the back of my mind I longed for someone to be the church to me. It’s crazy to think about now… but it’s so true. I had a lot of people telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. I had a lot of people trying to guilt me into a life that I wasn’t ready for…. but I had very few people come along side me and accept where I was. Tell me that they were praying for me, or that they loved me. You see it’s easy as a Christian to tell someone that they aren’t living a life that reflects the Lord, its easy to point out faults and failures but what I needed the most was LOVE. What I needed the most was someone to stand beside me and say life is HARD and I love you. Not shove the bible down my throat, make me feel guilty or tell me how wrong I was. I needed the church to be the church. This is what I think is wrong these days with our culture. People go through hard times, unfortunately some run hard in the other direction like I did, but that is their journey. Pray for them.. please pray for them… but most importantly come along side them, meet them where they are, and love them.
I posted the other day that I am often overcome by the grace of God and I sit here and just cry. I am so unworthy of Him! I have made so many mistakes in my life… IT IS OVERWHELMING. But I serve a God who is perfect in my imperfections, who loves me despite my faults, and forgives me when I run to Him. God is good. I had a lot of people praying for me during the last few years and I want you to know that the Lord has heard you. I am still finding my way back completely but God is faithful. I have prayed for many years for a relationship that would glorify Him, that would be evidence of His grace and He has heard my prayers. I feel so unworthy to be loved so well. I am often afraid that I will get in my own way and that my mistakes will follow me, but to have a man look me in the eyes and tell me that he loves me despite my imperfections and failures is something I am so thankful for. To have a man that knows what I am thinking or feeling without having to say a word is frightening, but refreshing. To have him go before the Lord to pray for me when I am stressed or worried, and commit to praying for our future is something I will never take for granted. To our friends and family, THANK YOU for praying for us and mostly thank you for loving us. I can’t wait to take y'all on this new journey of rediscovering the lord, love, and happiness. God is good friends don't ever doubt that.