I am not much of a writer and never would have dreamed that I would begin a blog, but here it goes. So, these posts will not be eloquently written or even exciting, but just me sharing a bit of my journey and what God is teaching me. My hope is that through this blog I will see more of God’s hand in this journey that I have a difficult time making sense of and that maybe someone can gain encouragement.
A little about me…I grew up in Florida and the beach is my comfort place. I am the middle of three girls, raised by two incredible parents. I am truly blessed with the family God has given me. My sisters are my best friends. I remember my mom telling me growing up, when my older sister and I were not getting along, that someday she would be one of my best friends. At that time, I could not imagine that, but my mom proved to be right (music to her ears I’m sure!).
In college, I was one of those who changed their major several times and even colleges. But I did eventually land on one major and one college. I attended Moody Bible Institute with a major in Pre-Counseling in the heart of Chicago. These were truly years I will cherish forever! It was an honor and a gift to study God’s Word in-depth for college….amazing! I developed formative friendships in my time there, who some I believe will be lifelong friends, no matter the distance.
One in particular made the most profound impact on my life, an adorable boy with long curly red hair and great dimples, who I met after only one month at Moody. He turned out to be one of my closest friends. However, I had not realized how great of an impact he had on my life, or my heart, until six months after graduation, when we lived on opposite sides of the country. This adorable boy I met when I was 19 turned into a handsome man who I am honored to say is now my husband.
My husband, Andrew, and I dated for five months while he lived in Washington and I lived in Florida. At the end of these five months, he flew to Florida for a very short visit in which he proposed. Two months later, I moved to Washington where his former boss and his wife opened up their home to me for the three months leading up to our wedding. Their generosity and hospitality is something I pray I will be able to pass on to someone else in the future. In October of 2012, I married my best friend.
We lived in Washington for only a short time, but it is a place we will cherish forever, in large part due to Open House Ministries and the youth we grew to love during our time there. After nine months of marriage, we moved to Colorado so Andrew could attend seminary and work as the high school coordinator at his home church, LifePointe. The Lord blessed us with a job for me in just over two months! I am the Be Ready Early Childhood Navigator at The Matthews House, which is a non-profit working with youth and families.
There is a major part of my life that I have not mentioned and that has to do with my health. The past few years have brought some of the toughest trials I have ever had to face. Unknowingly, my symptoms began while I was still in college. Senior year was hard on me physically, but I continued to power through and did not share the difficulties I was having with anyone (other then possibly my family…I honestly cannot remember). My health progressively got worse as time went on. I am thankful for a husband who is supportive and so very caring through it all. It is not what I would have ever wished to have to endure with my husband in our first year of marriage, but “in sickness and in health” right?
My family has also been a huge support and greatest advocate. I have been through countless testings with very little answers and have heard many times that there is nothing wrong with me. Although I know that there is something going on in my body, it sometimes did make me wonder if it all was just in my head. I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, after ruling out everything else. I have had mixed emotions on this diagnosis. We are pursuing one more testing and that is for Chronic Lyme Disease.
This is just a brief synopsis of me. There is a lot God is teaching me through my circumstances right now, but it can be heart wrenching. I am learning more about the heart of my Lord and what it means to truly surrender. The past few years have been some of the best (newly married, yay!) and yet some of the hardest that I have had to endure. I know God is sovereign and that it is only through His strength that I am finding perseverance in the midst of this season.
My sister and I were talking about the saying “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I do not think this is accurate. I believe that there are times in life when we are presented with circumstances that are more than we can handle. It is only through God and His strength that we are able to walk through life. God does not promise an easy road, but He is faithful and carries us through.