Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What A Good Year

"For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done"
- Psalm 92:4


I've always heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. Honestly, I don't think I have words to even begin to give worth to any of these pictures. They capture priceless events and relationships.

I never saw 2014 coming. I could not have planned nor predicted this past year. These past 12 months have been months of adventure, growth, joy, and radical change. I'm a completely different person because of what God has done in my life this year.

I am filled with the inexpressible and glorious joy that 1 Peter talks about when I recall all the precious moments of 2014. They truly are things that I will treasure in my heart for years to come. I'll look upon these days and be reminded of the Lord's good and sovereign will. He knows what He's doing, even if I don't understand His ways.

I took a risk in January. I accepted an invitation. I entered into uncharted waters, trusting that God was leading me in every step. Everything changed. Looking back, I often ask myself What would my life look like had I not said yes? I can't say. What I can tell you is that the risk was worth it. I didn't lose anything. In fact, I gained so much more than I thought I would. God surprised me. He's good like that. Always.

Entering into 2015, I don't see how it could possibly compare to 2014. But, God is capable of so much more than what I limit Him to. He loves surprises and He's unpredictable. Who knows where He'll take me.

One thing I'm certain of...

God knows best. I can trust Him.

How was your 2014? (Happy New Year)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Called By Name

"I have summoned you by name; you are mine."
- Isaiah 43:1

"What's your name?"

I try to make this the first question I ask when I meet people.

Think about how precious your name is. You may not be all that crazy about the name you've been given, but it's yours. You are familiar with it.

I was once told that our names are like music to our ears. That amongst hundreds of people, we can still hear our names when they're called.

Learning and remembering people's names is something I've made a practice of. If God calls us by name, why shouldn't we do the same with those we meet? People notice when you remember them. And asking what someone's name is instills a sense of value in them. It shows that I want to know who they are.

I've been a receptionist at a hair salon for the past three years. I've had time to learn most of our customers' names. They light up when I recognize and recall who they are. I love it! This is one of my most favorite parts about my job.

I was at Starbucks a couple weeks ago. While I was waiting to order, I overheard the manager talking to one of the employees. She said his name a couple times. Brian. Brian took my order. He handed me my drink, and I simply said, "Thanks, Brian."

You should have seen his face! I freaked the kid out.

"How did you know my name?!" he asked.

"I heard your manager saying your name." I replied.

He smiled.

Remembering a person's name takes intention. I call it Daily Ministry. It's so simple, yet so impactful. I get to show people Jesus just by calling them by their name. I get to show them that they have worth. And that is awesome!

I'm changing the world, one name at a time.

Try it: For one week, take time to ask for and recall the names of those you meet. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Want to Be Beautiful

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
- 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20

This verse popped up earlier this week. At first, I didn't really think too much about what it was saying. Then, God brought me back to it through heartbreak.

I've always believed, to some extent, that I'm not loved and I'm not worth loving. I often feel like I'm annoying and in the way. Sometimes I think about what would happen if I just disappeared. Would anyone notice...? Small, meaningless events trigger these thoughts. I'm left hurting, feeling small and worthless.

Without going into detail, these beliefs overwhelmed me this week. They've been building up, and I've been doing nothing to combat them. The other night, I was brought to my knees before God. I retreated to that dark place of painful loneliness, weeping and asking God to help, questioning His love and faithfulness.

How could You ever love me?

When I compare myself to others, inadequacy always wins. I often try to make myself enough through my own efforts, putting forth all I have to win the affection of those around me.

I want to be beautiful.
Make you stand in awe.
Look inside my heart,
And be amazed.
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough.
I just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful.

I try to make myself beautiful with my relationships, my activities, my accomplishments, and whatever else I think will make me look good. I fight for the attention of the world, and when I lose it, I'm left questioning my value.

What am I worth to You, God?

In the eyes of the world, we have no value, but in God's eyes, we are priceless. The world tells us that love must be earned, but God says His love goes beyond anything we could ever do. We cannot earn God's love or attention, simply because we have it completely.

"Everyone is worthless in the eyes of themselves. But when you look at yourself through the eyes of Christ, a King who came down to be born in a manger, to live life with us, to wait as many of us have had to wait, and then to ultimately die for us the most excruciating painful death, but also to take on the sins of the world. Something completely spotless, devoid of all guilt, devoid of all anything to do with what we deserve, He took it upon Himself and He says you are so incredibly loved, so immensely valuable, and so infinitely beautiful to me that I came down so that you could be with me forever."
- T. B. LaBerge

When I look to the world and my friendships and my things for value, I'm always going to turn up empty. But when I look to the Cross, when I remember what Jesus did for me, I am reminded of the love that lead Jesus to death. The Cross gives me value.

"In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
- 1 John 4:9-10

God makes me beautiful.

If God can accomplish His purposes in this world with a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours? I'm thankful for this pain, for it brought me closer to the heart of God and a better understanding of the value Jesus has given me. Has pain ever brought you into a greater understanding of God's love?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Beyond My Limits

I want to be real for a sec... I'm tired. Ever since school has started, I just feel drained.

Over the past 8 months, I've been pushed to every possible limit I have. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, you name it. I've learned a lot about myself over this period of time though. Above all, I've learned that I am capable of more than the limits I place on myself.

I started running back in January. I've never really considered myself to be the athletic type and I've never really enjoyed running. Honestly, I hated running, with a burning passion. So it makes perfect sense for me to sign up for a running group right? That's exactly what I did, and that one decision changed the course of my life.

When I started, six miles seemed like such a far distance to run. I finished my first 10k (and my very first race) four months after signing up for that group. Not only did I finish the race, but I had under a nine minute pace. I surprised myself. That gave me motivation to try newer, and much more difficult things.

I registered for a GoRuck Challenge. GoRuck is an organization that sells backpacks and other various types of gear that are military quality to the general public. They also lead military-based endurance events. This challenge that I signed up for was one of them. I had no idea what the hell I was getting myself into. Pain... A lot of pain. That night was by far one of the most difficult and most painful nights of my life.

Let me give you a quick run down of what happened that night...

We started off in Washington Park at 9 p.m. on a Friday night (May 29th to be exact). For two to three hours straight, we did push-ups, and bear-crawls, and push-ups, and thrusters, and push-ups, and man-makers. Did I mention push-ups? And all while wearing a 30 pound pack. It. Was. Awful. From there we took to the streets of Downtown Cincinnati. We were ordered to do frog jumps for a whole block. Onlookers watched with amusement and curiosity. I was in pain.

You can't finish this. There's no way.

We ran some. If there was any more than an arm's length between any of us, we payed for the break. Lunges... Oh, so many lunges. We reached the Purple People Bridge and were there for a good 45 minutes or so doing additional exercises. We did push-ups there too. And flutter kicks. Eventually, we reached the Mt. Adams steps. It probably took us a good hour to reach the top of these damn steps. At one point, the guys leading us, the Cadre, asked us to face down the steps and do push-ups. How the hell... We couldn't get it right, so we had to bear-crawl back down the steps and hold a squatting position for 30 seconds. Then we bear-crawled back up those steps.

You can quit. You could be in bed right now, sleeping.

We reached the top. I was tired. We were only four hours in at this point though. I knew we still had at least 8 more hours left. It seemed like such a long time, especially under these conditions.

Can I finish?

We slashed our way through a couple thickets. We approached a field in Eden Park. The challenge - run to the bottom of the hill and form a security hold in 30 seconds. We failed. So we had to sprint back up the hill and do it again. And again. And again. I lost count of how many times we repeated that. I was tired.

Give up. Go home.

We spent a couple hours in that stupid field. We moved on. I forget all the other things we did along the way. There was so much. I was so tired and in so much pain. Then I saw the sunrise... Hope. There was hope. I could do this.

I finished.

That Challenge was, by far, one of the hardest things that I have ever completed. But I completed it. That's the point. There were so many times I wanted to give up and go home. I wanted to stop. But I didn't , and it was worth it. That night changed my life. I learned a lot about myself and a lot about the value of a team.

The greatest lesson I took away from that night was that you're capable of more than the limitations you or anyone else places on you and that a good team will help you overcome anything.

Since that night, my life has become something I never could have predicted. God's my Cadre though. He's much more gentle, but He pushes me to my limits and asks me to go further. He reminds me that He is my strength and that, with Him, I can go beyond any and every limitation I may encounter.

What exactly does this look like?

Well, I hated running. I love to run now. It's what energizes and excites me. And I make so many friends doing it.

That's another thing. I am naturally an introvert. When I was younger, I didn't talk to anyone. I talk to strangers all the time now, and I kinda enjoy doing it. I've made a few friends too.

I've always been scared of leadership positions. I help lead a running group now.

I placed these limitations on myself. God brought me to them and asked me to cross the thresholds. I obeyed. This obedience led me to great discomfort and ultimate transformation.

I always wonder what would have happened had I not signed up for that running group back in January? What would my life look like? Honestly, I can't say.

This is what God has been doing in my life over these past 8 months. I look at all these pictures, and I can't help but think There's so much more. These pictures don't do it justice. I can't adequately explain to you the change I've experienced this year. It's incredible. I'm thankful.

So, I'm chasing my limitations. I'm striving to cross them all. God's in the lead of course. I'm just following Him. He's inviting me to my limits and challenging me to go beyond them. This is going to be exciting. Hard, yes, but anything worth doing always is, right?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Flashbacks and Freedom

"Just do it. You'll feel better. You'll be happier. It's easy now. Just do it."

Those dark words took me by surprise the other day. I had been best friends with that voice not too long ago. The voice had beckoned me once again to turn from hope. I was eating and started to feel that familiar guilt and lack of control. The temptation of throwing up started to look real attractive. I started to prepare myself to follow through with it when...

I was reminded of freedom.

Bulimia's a hard cycle to break. Binge, purge, repeat. Once you do it for so long, you start to lose hope of ever escaping. It's addicting, but far from enjoyable.

Hearing those words took me back to all those horrible, empty nights spent in the bathroom. The memories of the endless cycle of shame quickly flooded my mind. Did I really want to return to that?

A few years ago, there would not have been a choice. I was a slave to the disorder. It controlled my thoughts, my choices, every concept of my life was dictated by this sickness. I would spend vast amounts of time planning and thinking about my next "episode." I didn't enjoy the cycle of this awful disease, but I didn't know how to break it.

Thank goodness Jesus is stronger than I am.

When I was tempted to dance with those demons again, the Holy Spirit was close by to remind me of what I had received in surrender to Christ's strength:

Did I really want to sacrifice these things for what I had left behind:
Lack of control.

I'm reminded of when Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt. They had been literal slaves to the Egyptians for over 400 years. God used Moses to grant them freedom and lead them out of this bondage. They were grateful at first, but encountered difficulty when going through the wilderness. They became hungry. God fed them with this rain bread stuff called manna. It would fall from the sky. The Israelites were given just enough to be satisfied. Eventually, this wasn't enough, and they began to complain to God about their misfortunes. Numbers 11:4-6 says, "...And the people of Israel also wept again and said, 'Oh, that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.'" These people had been slaves and they were longing to go back to their bondage in Egypt just for a meal! They had forgotten that their food was free simply because they were not. I find their thinking to be foolish, but I'm also prone to it.

I was a slave at one time as well. There are still times like the other day when I think about returning to the chains I was freed from. There are even times when I try to put them back on. They just don't feel the same. I've experienced freedom from the bondage of my sin and the more I walk in this freedom, the more unattractive sin becomes. Although this freedom requires a lot of pain and sacrifice, it is well worth it. I don't want to return to Egypt anymore because what I've encountered in the wilderness far outweighs what I've left behind in Egypt.

Is there anything you think might be keeping you from freedom?

Friday, May 23, 2014

I'm Thankful

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
-Psalm 9:1

I have a lot to be thankful for...

I'm thankful for mornings. I just love how fresh and new they feel.
I'm thankful for the sun. It powers everything and gives us light every single day.
I'm thankful for colors. They paint the world and make art come to life.
I'm thankful for my senses, for they allow me to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste all things around me.
I'm thankful for laughter. Even in the darkest of times, laughter has the power to ignite joy.
I'm thankful for seasons, for they allow the appreciation of change and transition.
I'm thankful for an education because it takes me to new places.
I'm thankful for my body. It's not model material by any means, but gosh, my body does so much for me.
I'm thankful for my parents. They have done more for me than I could ever recount or repay.
I'm thankful for my sister, for she is a friend I will never lose.
I'm thankful for Crossroads. This church is changing my life.
I'm thankful for Regis and the people that I work with there - all 20 of them. Work makes me smile because it's where I love to be.
I'm thankful for music because it evokes all kinds of thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
I'm thankful for community. My close friends hold me accountable and remind of the important things in life.
I'm thankful for sleep. Who doesn't like to sleep???
And food. Who doesn't love food? Eating is a form of entertainment for me.
I'm thankful for YoungLife and the relationships and experiences I've encountered through it. Without this organization, I'm not sure where or even who I would be today.

This list does not even scratch the surface. There is so much more that I could include here. As I grow older, this list becomes longer. However, without God, this list would cease to exist...

Therefore, I'm MOST thankful for God. He is the very source of every good and perfect thing you can think of (James 1:17). He brought me to where I am now and cares enough to lead me to better things. He healed me. He's transforming me.

I often wonder what my life would look like if I weren't a Christian. Who would I be? What would I be doing? How would my life be different? When I look at the world and I'm confronted with the broken emptiness of it, I'm reminded that I have been given the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for.

I'm thankful that I will never have to experience life without Christ again.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Finish Line

As some of you may know, I took part in Cincinnati's piggest, I mean biggest, event of the year - The Flying Pig Marathon. I ran the 10k and it was my first race ever. My journey up to this point was unexpected, to say the least. God threw me a curve ball. It all began with a story...

I've mentioned before that I was involved in YoungLife pretty actively from the time I was a sophomore in high school. I went from being lead as a student to being a leader. I never planned on leaving that ministry. God loves surprising us though.

One Sunday morning a couple months ago, I was debating whether or not I wanted to go to Crossroads (my church). After weighing the options in my mind, I dragged myself out of bed and went. I don't think that I will ever forget that service. It changed the entire course of my life.

At the time, I was going through a dry spell with God. I just felt distant and wasn't really interested in pursuing my Father. It's a good thing He never feels that way about us! He is constantly pursuing all of us at all times. That Sunday morning, I was reminded of His love for me.

A woman shared her story. I sat there, and I just took it all in. I was close to tears as I was reminded of the saving grace the Lord brought to me when I was in the darkness of my own story. We both struggled with eating disorders. At the end of the service, she discussed beginning running groups at all the Crossroads sites to train for the Flying Pig. I signed up and I started running. At the beginning of this journey, I was headed one direction, however, as I ran, God took me in a completely different one.

God told me fairly quickly where He wanted me to run. I stopped leading and got involved at Crossroads. I never imagined that this would happen so quickly. I fell in love with the community as I got more involved and met more people. It was awkward at first, but anything new always is.

These past 12 weeks, my life has changed drastically. Words don't do it justice. I never thought that I would be where I am now. I have Jenny to thank for sharing her story, for had she chosen not to do so, I don't know what I would be doing right now.

Crossing the finish line at the 10k represents more for me than just completing it. To me, that finish line symbolizes:
and ultimately a new beginning.

Our God is full of the unexpected. He can't be tamed. He invited me to run and challenged me to trust His lead. I'm excited to see where He takes me next.

Here are a few glimpses into my past 12 weeks:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
-Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, March 1, 2014

My Broken Record - The Story Behind My Scars

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Revelation 12:11

I really don't know where to start here. I have been dreading this post. I've known that God has been pushing me to write this though, and I am going to trust Him on this. Very very few people have heard this story. I have kept it hidden because there has been so much shame preventing me from sharing it. The scars are still fresh and they're still sensitive. Covering them up does me no good, but sharing them, as risky as it may be, could help someone else. A dialogue in Thornton Wilder's play, "The Angel That Troubled the Waters" reads, "Without your wounds, where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and women. The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living. In Love's service, only wounded soldiers can serve."

My story is a gift. One of infinite value, and I often don't treat it that way. I am littered with the scars of my journey, physically and emotionally. I shrink back from sharing the truth about my past because I really don't know where to start or even how to go about disclosing it.

"What happened?"

My stomach falls through the floor every time I hear those words. It's not even that I care that someone knows. It's the fact that for a split second, I am completely naked before them. That's how I feel. I'm caught. I don't know how to explain it. I can't. Honesty is the only way out. I am forced to own up to my weaknesses.

So where to begin.....

Growing up, my life was pretty normal. I had a really good childhood. I lived in your typical American family - a mom, a dad, and a sister. I'd spend my days playing in the mud, exploring the woods that surrounded our neighborhood, riding my bike up and down our old country road, and bringing home any critters I laid my hands on. Snakes, frogs, birds, a deer... My parents loved it.

Throughout my elementary years, I attended a private Catholic school. I was taught the foundational rules of what it meant to be a "good" person. How do you measure what's good? To me, it was through the people I interacted with. As long as everyone was happy with me, I was "good." That lie took root and began to grow.

As I entered middle school, my parents made the decision to pull my sister and I out of Catholic schooling. The transition into public school was awkward and a little bumpy for me. Bodies are changing, hormones are raging, everyone smells, and they're all just trying to fit in. Middle school is rough for everyone. I was the new kid and I was so shy. I was timid and nervous. I didn't know anyone in this new school. And I was naturally awkward. Fitting in was hard for me.

I eventually found people to call friends. I did everything in my power to gain their approval and their friendship. One day, I came to lunch and found that they had brought broken glass to school. They were cutting themselves with it. My first thought was If I do it, they'll like me more. I came to school the next day with freshly scarred wrists and bandaids covering them. I will never forget the reactions I got. Those friends were happy about what I had done the night before... So I continued to do it.

As the years went by, I lost touch with these people, but the cutting continued. I found myself turning to it when I was overwhelmed. Anger always seemed to get the best of me. I carried this secret with me into college.

My freshman year of high school, I went on a diet (another one). Food had always been an issue for me. I had been on and off diets since third grade. By the time I was a sophomore, I had lost a lot of weight. I felt good, and people were telling me I looked great and praising me for how well I was doing. I liked the attention and it fed into my need for approval.

As high school continued, I started to stray a little out of my comfort zone. Well... Actually... I was pulled out of my comfort zone kicking and screaming. Someone invited me to this Young Life thing. I thought it sounded dumb. But my parents had been looking for opportunities to get me involved in something. So they made me go.

I actually ended up enjoying it and those Young Life folks who were once the weird strangers became my weird friends. So kudos to mom and dad.

If you've never heard of it before, Young Life is a Christian ministry focused on reaching middle school, high school, and college students. Young Life changed my life. It's where I learned about Jesus. This ministry showed me what better love looked like. It demonstrated real genuine Christianity. And ultimately, God used Young Life and the people in it to save me.

As I continued to get more involved in Young Life, I found that I was growing so much. Mentally, socially, emotionally, and... Physically. It was the summer after my junior year of high school. I was looking through pictures that had been posted on Facebook from summer camp. I came across pictures of myself and was overcome with shame. And the more pictures I looked at, the more shame I felt. I was disgusted and embarrassed. All of the weight that I had lost my freshman year, I gained it all back. I felt like a failure. I felt inadequate. I had to do something about it. I began to watch what I ate and by the end of that summer, I had developed an eating disorder.

I became obsessed with my weight and what I was eating. As time went on, it got worse. I would spend hours counting calories and planning meals. Numbers clouded my thinking. I knew I had a problem, but I was finally beginning to see results in my weight. I was headed toward my target and I was not about to give that up. I was determined to see this through. As the number on the scale decreased, people's compliments increased. Once again, I was receiving praise and admiration for my weight loss. I loved hearing those words. They made me feel valuable. They made me feel like I was doing something right. I felt loved. Eventually I began to believe that I had to be skinny if I wanted anyone to like me. I thought that if I gained any weight, I would be disgusting and alone. That no one would want me.

As the eating disorder progressed, I became more aggressive with the self harm. People would ask why I was wearing long sleeves when it was so warm outside. I would ignore them or change the topic or lie.

I became a Young Life leader when I started college. Within 6 months of my placement, I was asked to step back. The eating disorder had taken over my life and the self harm was out of control. My secrets were starting to leak out. My friend asked me about my eating habits and I came clean and told her the truth. My parents saw my scars and suggested rehab or counseling. I had finally come to the point where I had to make a choice. Was I going to keep slowly killing myself or was I going to accept the help that was being offered? I only saw one reasonable option.

The first few months of recovery were rough and ugly. I developed bulimia. I would binge on huge amounts of food and spend hours in the bathroom trying to throw it all back up. I was so angry and so frustrated. The only thing that seemed to offer immediate relief was hurting myself. I can remember sitting in the bathroom counting each cut I made. 1, 2, 3... I reached 1000 a couple times. If you look at my wrists, you can see those memories. There was so much pain, but I didn't know what to do with it all. I was numb. I began to withdraw and my thoughts took a dark turn. I didn't want to live anymore. I felt like a burden to those around me and thought that my death would improve their lives. I believed that had I died, my death would have gone unnoticed.

I was hunched over the toilet one night and I couldn't get up the food that I had eaten. Humiliation began to flood my thoughts. To this day, I can't explain that kind of guilt. I laid there, curled up on the floor, and just cried and prayed. I was cringing in my shame. I wanted to die. I was ready to give up. On everything. It wasn't worth it to me anymore. Nothing was.

In that moment, I heard, "You're not as big as you think you are. But your life has purpose."

I began to heal. The eating disorder began to recede. And I started to see the light at the end of this dark dark tunnel.

Over time, that light became brighter. God has shown me that my life was planned in advance. He had a purpose for me before the beginning of time. He showed me the amount of intention in my existence. I have been incredibly blessed with the gift of being, rather than not being. Psalm 139 has taken on a whole new meaning for me:

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:13-16

My words don't do my story justice. This is just a glimpse. My life has much more substance, much more weight. As heavy as these things may be, I would never trade them. They're hard, yes, but so beautiful when held under the light of Jesus. I have only Jesus to thank because had He not intervened, had He not saved me, I would not be here to tell this story.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's Been A While

July 22, 2013

That was the last time I posted anything on here. It doesn't seem that long ago. God is teaching me a lot about how precious our time is. I don't really have much to say for this post. I don't really have anything deep to share. Just wanted to drop by and say I'm back, baby! (Well... for now.) You may be wondering what took me so long...

Life gets crazy and one thing leads to another. Eventually it all begins to blend together. You get lost in the mundane and life becomes dull and routine. The vision of intention becomes blurry and you're aimlessly wandering. God always finds a way to jolt you. This is what happened to me a few weeks ago.

Life had become tasteless. I lost sight of the mission. I was tired, I was weary, and I was ready to give up. Then, God showed me something I never saw coming. He friggin hammered me. I don't think that He wants me to disclose all the details just yet. He's still writing this chapter. What I've learned, though, is that there is purpose in EVERYTHING! And I do mean EVERYTHING.

I was reminded of my own story a few weeks ago. The story of how Jesus healed me. So much has come from that day of reminiscence. SO MUCH! Words could never adequately describe the overwhelming feelings I've had. I mean I have been overwhelmed with the sovereignty of the Lord. His control is glorious. It is beautiful! As each day passes, I come to know more about Him.

But why have I been absent from here so long?

... I've been running ...

My primary motive in creating this blog was to share that story of how Jesus rescued me. My testimony is a gift. It is a gift, not only to me, but also to anyone who I share it with. My life testifies to the power of Christ and is proof of His presence and existence. I can honestly say that had Jesus not intervened, I may not be here. Several months ago, God told me that it was time. Time to let down my walls and make myself vulnerable to this broken world.

I knew at that moment that my next post was to be my testimony. God was asking me to publish my crap. So, my natural response was to avoid this request. The thing about the Father is that He ALWAYS gets His way. That day I was reminded of my broken record, God was confronting me. He was reminding me of His truth and His grace. Romans 8:1 was ringing loud and clear - There is therfore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

So, this is foreshadowing my next post. I'm in the process of writing it now. I feel like I'm in over my head, but I know God will use my words somehow. Even though I'm struggling to find words, I am confident that He will use this next post to build His kingdom. That alone is well worth the risk.