The scenic route.

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Now that I’ve got this blogging thing down, I’m ready to go back to the beginning. Back before I knew anything about Jesus or God or the Bible.

I’m going to go back to when I was living a miserable life. Back when I thought I was in control. The truth, however, was that I was spiraling downward faster than anyone could keep up with. I kept trying this fix, or that fix, for my many problems, but nothing worked because I was looking in all the wrong places.

I know now that the things I was looking for were all of this world. They were sinful and all they did was make me miserable, sad, scared, dishonest, lonely, unhealthy, and probably almost killed me.

Today, I truly believe those decades I spent living like that were for a reason: to bring Glory to God by sharing my redemption story with you here. Hopefully, I can also share the courage and love I gained from developing a relationship with Jesus Christ.

So stay tuned, friends. This is going to be a bumpy ride, but we’re taking the scenic route. There are plenty of miracles to enjoy along the way, and an unbelievable fairy tale ending.

(Hint: The girl gets her Prince!)

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“Tell me about Jesus”

I’d been alive for thirty six years.
Exploring this world, the joy and the fears. The ups and downs, the good and the bad. But when you depend on yourself, that’s all you have.
My family loves me, they did all they could, but what I was missing, was not found in this world.
Then came the day I just couldn’t bear what was missing from life, I’d looked everywhere.
Thinking I was alone, and wouldn’t survive, a call to a friend is what saved my life. “Tell me about Jesus”, I asked, with a cry. “I’ve been thinking, I’d like to give Him a try”.
And with that I realized I wasn’t alone, behold Jesus, my Savior, was there in the room. He’d always been there, He said,
waiting for this day, that I’d notice His presence and ask Him to stay.
I cried and laughted, He was filling my heart. Now Jesus and I won’t ever part.
The difference between living and eternal life, is the written Word, which is truly alive.
I’m not living for me, I never was. Alive without Jesus is only death with a buzz.
He died for my sins and my sorrows alike, and now lives in my heart; that’s eternal life.
And when my body can no longer sustain, I’ll be living in heaven with my Savior, My King.

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My friend, Sarah.

Stepping out in faith.

This is the first Sunday I’m going to church after starting my blog. I’m excited, but I’m mostly scared to talk to people at church about my blog.

On one hand I have this awesome testimony to give that I’ll be writing in future posts. Full of ups and downs, sins and sorrow, and fear and the search for faith. My testimony is full of amazing coincidences that are so clearly God at work in my life. In my story, God turns impossible into possible.

On the other hand I’m scared of being judged because of my past. The church is full of hurting people. They say that hurting people hurt people. I love my church and have good connections to the people there. However, I’m also shy, and don’t participate as much as I could. I pray that my story helps me connect with others and encourages others to share their stories too. By sharing our stories we are bringing glory to the name of God and connecting with one another.

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He loves unconditionally.

For my husband, Mark, who unconditionally supports me in this endeavor, I want to say thank you. I love him so much. Marriage is a covenant, not a contract. Marriage is dreamy and difficult at the same time. But if we keep focusing on God at the head and heart of our marriage, and loving each other unconditionally, as God loves us, we will succeed. Thank you, Mark, for being part of my messy story, for never giving up on me, and supporting me in all I do.

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Surrendering my box of problems.

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One of the first things I noticed after accepting Jesus into my heart was a decrease in my anxiety, which used to be so bad. I’d get panic attacks weekly. But having Jesus to turn to with my problems and knowing He understands because He lived it, has reduced the severity of my anxiety. And that was just the start. As my faith grows, I watch how Jesus uses the pieces of my life for good. I’m able to help others, which is something I’d never thought I could do. I thought I was worthless, unable to be any good to anyone. But letting Jesus in changed all that.

It’s so freeing. Jesus freed me of my old life that was scary and hopeless, and He has given me a new purpose. Imagine having all your problems in a box you carry around daily, it’s heavy and you really want to put it down. Well now I can put my box of problems down, at the foot of the cross, because of Jesus.

I close my eyes and visualize myself taking my box of problems, placing it at the foot of the cross, and accepting the peace that only God can provide. Jesus is my shelter, my purpose, and my friend. He will never leave me.

To think about Jesus sacrificing His life so many years ago for me is almost unimaginable. He is forever in my heart, and my purpose in life is to share His story, and mine, so that it might help someone else open their hearts to Jesus.

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The before, the after, and the Savior

My story has two parts.

The first part is scary, filled with debilitating fear caused by poor choices that lead to a life of addiction, depression, loneliness, homelessness, and despair. I was just trying to stay alive, but I was doing it wrong. I was making all the decisions, all the rules, and thought I was in control.  So despite a great childhood and amazing parents, I ended up wrecking my life.

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The second part of my story started in 2013, at age 36. That’s when God completely turned my life upside down (because apparently I didn’t realize the wreck that I was already) and I realized that I was not in control and I needed help. I wasn’t raised in church and didn’t know anything about God. But in that moment, when my life was wrecked, I knew I needed him.

So how does an atheist find out about God?

That’s what this story will be about. It’s too long of a story to tell just one blog post. So I’ll try to break it up, and on some days I’ll just write about my daily life and how God helps me to get through tough times and celebrates with me the in good times.

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I have a blog!

Woman_hands_typingI’ve been thinking about writing this blog for months. I kept making up excuses like I didn’t have time, I don’t know how to write a blog, everyone else is doing it, or I’m too shy and scared to tell my story. (I was so scared, in fact, I warned my parents that I was going to do this!) It should be said that I have the best parents in the world. The path I took in life is not their fault. They did the best they could with me. I truly believe I was meant to live the life I did for so long before meeting Jesus. If I hadn’t, this story wouldn’t be as amazing as it is.

I wasn’t just thinking about writing a blog, I was praying about it. For months, I prayed for a way to tell my story of coming to Christ at age 36 and how it saved my life. I wonder how many times God replied “write a blog” before I listened? My whole life was a big scary mess until I met Jesus. This blog will be the story of how I got from there to here, peppered with tales of my daily struggles and victories, and how I choose to look for God in every situation, good or bad. Because He’s there, but you have to look for Him, and you have to expect to find Him.

We can start today with the blessing of this blog coming to fruition. Last week, it was just an idea I’d played around with and shown a few close friends to ask for their opinions. Then one special lady, Tracy P., offered to help me make this blog look great, and she did. She’s a loving friend, giving and kind, and I can’t wait to meet her in real life one day!

In the mornings, which is about 4:30 a.m. for me, I start my day with an online bible study, IF:Equip. (There’s a whole story about that too, about how it almost never happened). This bible study was the catalyst that made my fire for the Lord burn brighter than this former atheist could have ever imagined! I’ve been doing it everyday for over two years. The ladies there are my friends, my teachers, my confidants, and a blessing, each one of them. So I’m going to go do that, and I’ll see you back here often. God bless.

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Join me at http://www.ifequip.com.

Do I have any God given gifts?

Before coming to know Jesus, I was selfish, self centered, and manipulative; always trying to change people to get what I wanted, and I was good at that. I was terribly shy with a very poor self image. I believed all of these things about myself, because I saw no worth in myself. All I ever did was hurt people in one way or another. Sure I’d try to make my parents happy, I got good grades in school, but behind their backs I was lying a lot. It was like a show I was putting on for them. I called it “putting on my happy face” to please someone and get what I wanted. But I was not ever truly happy.

A few years ago God allowed my life to be turned upside down. I was broken and alone. I hit rock bottom. The people who came to my aid were the same people who loved me despite all the things I’d done to them: my family, my fiance, and one friend.

As my life improved and I came to know Jesus, I wondered what good is there in me? How can I bless others when I can’t even see any good in myself? What do I have that could help anyone? Who wants what I’ve got? How can I encourage someone else?

Well, I’ve got Jesus, and that’s a great place to start.

This endeavor, writing a blog, is extremely scary and outside of my comfort zone. I’m going to be opening up and sharing things that are very personal.

However, my heart tells me that it’s the right thing to do, that by doing this I’ll be glorifying God by writing about how He was in every situation I ever went through, and how now I can see God in all aspects of my life, good and difficult. I want others to know that despite their situations, they are never alone.

Jesus is always there. He always has been, and always will be. We just have to open our eyes and hearts and let Him in.

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Jacksonville Beach, FL

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Did you read my mind?

This morning on IF:Equip, the online Bible study I do, they asked the question “What is God calling you to do?”

Well, just last night I decided I would go ahead and start writing this blog I’ve been praying about for months. I feel like God is telling me I made the right decision.

Yes, I will write this blog and share my terribly messy story that has more than a fairy tale ending. It ends with me being saved by Jesus. This blog will point to Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I will give all the glory to God. This blog isn’t about me, my problems, or my past. It’s about how I was saved, and how Jesus is with me in my everyday life. 

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To blog or not to blog

I’ve been wanting to write a blog for some time now. I guess it started when people kept asking me about my story of coming to Jesus. It is a good story I think. It started just three years ago, when I was 36. My relationship with Christ is still so new and fresh and freeing. I love it. It’s like I’m on a honeymoon with Jesus. So happy, even through the hard times. So loved, even when I’ve let myself or someone else down.

So I’m trying to decide, and have been praying over, whether or not to write a blog. I know nothing about blogs.I even dislike the word “blog”!

I’ve been asking my friends if they will read it. Actually, I’ve been saying “you will read it”.

So today is Sunday and I’m up way too early. But that’s OK. I enjoy the extra time to contemplate the day ahead, and be with God in prayer.

Would you read my blog?

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