My how I have grown!!!

I have been doing a lot of difficult healing from things in my past. Pain that has been stuffed inside for so long has been covering up who I really was meant to be. I have been working with a Christian therapist and doing a lot of grieving. There are some days I just lay on my couch and cry. I thought it was depression until God showed me that it was grieving and normal.

Anyway, I didn’t realize what a positive impact it was making on me until last week.

Keep in mind that some of my problems in life have been going with the flow, never speaking up and defending myself or setting boundaries, never questioning anything and never planning ahead. I was simply a survivor.

Well I decided to start looking into getting another car. My original plan was to drive the one I have until it died and I had no choice. I do have a teenage daughter though and sharing the car has been a pain, there are already a ton of miles on it and small things are starting to go wrong with it, and I am in a position where I can actually do it right now.

So I started looking at cars on cars.com. As I was looking, this one car, my past dream car came up. It is a 2003 Monte Carlo in mint condition because it has had one owner who took extremely good care of it.

I remember about 10 years ago I drove one for a few days as a rental car and that just intensified the dream of wanting one. I remember how it felt to want it so bad and to go over every possible scenario of how I could get it, but finally realizing I couldn’t and probably never would.

This time though, I saw it and looked into it but also looked into 17 other cars because it no longer has the same hold on me. I searched reviews and Carfax reports. I then dwindled the number down to 8 cars with the Monte still in the running only because of the mileage and reports about it. I then took into consideration the year of the vehicles, mileage, and price. I decided to start with the Monte based on those reasons and also because it was at Stasek Chevrolet in Wheeling where I got my Cobalt, so I already trust them and know their body and service department are amazing.

I went to test it out and was amazed at the condition, it looks brand new and drove so nicely. I took it for the weekend had a couple friends check it out and they said most of the hoses and stuff under the hood looked brand new and the only issue was a creaking noise in the engine.

I was told by the dealer that I needed $1750.00 for a down and I only had $750.00 so I continued to pray about it and God brought the rest as a gift to me. This person who helped me mentioned that all they expected was to basically pay it forward in my life. I started having flashes of a time when I brought a woman who was in an abusive relationship into my home to help her get on her feet and at this time I was on unemployment and had no extra money yet managed to provide for her also. It was like God was reminding me of my faithfulness to help not only her but the others he has brought to me and now he was blessing me in this way also.

So now it was down to whether my credit was good enough to get it financed on my own. Last time I needed my parent’s to co-sign because I had a credit score in the low 500’s but I have been working on it.

It was worth it because I got approved.

Last thing was that creaking noise. I told them I wouldn’t buy the car if they didn’t fix it, so they wrote something up saying they would fix the noise in the steering column. I said “you don’t know if it’s in the steering column, I want it to say you will fix it no matter what”. So they changed it to say that they will fix the noise (: Another sign of my strength. In the past I would have been scared to say that or would have wanted that car so bad I wouldn’t have worried about possible future consequences.

I was so overwhelmed because of how responsible I have gotten and how strong. It is all because of God. I have trusted him and followed what he has wanted me to do in order to heal. All these great things about me were covered up by pain and I am now seeing them come up in me.

10 years ago the excitement and happiness would have been because of the actual car itself, the car would have gotten the glory, but that is the least of my Joy now. I am happy to have it but what it resembles to me now is God’s love for me and all the great things he is doing in my life and inside of me, to God be the glory.

He has helped me learn to not just survive but to plan ahead. I have been able to provide a car for my daughter to use and a second car so I am never stranded without one.

I thought about all these things and cried as I drove home in my dream car last night. I still can’t believe how he knew what car I wanted all those years ago yet he didn’t give it to me until he knew it wouldn’t be an idle to me. The meaning of that car is so different now.

His timing truly is perfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way…..

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Why I love my job!

Love INC has been working with this woman named Deb for a year now. When she came to us she was in need of a car because the car that she had was no longer able to be driven and was to costly to fix. But she wasn’t able to part with it because it was her last connection to her son who was killed.

She ended up coming in and volunteering with us and through these interactions we were able to see her pain from the loss of her son and how severely depressed she was. She would say that she wanted to die and be with her son again. However, she did say that coming to Love INC and volunteering with us brought her spirits up and she enjoyed the time she spent with us.

About 6 months ago she started having medical issues, which made her have to stop volunteering and she was in need of rides to her doctors offices and hospitals. We connected her with a woman named Carol from LifeBridge church who was willing to give her these rides and since Deb used to go to LifeBridge it just seemed right.

Carol and another woman named Martha faithfully took Deb for her blood tests, ultrasounds, and cat scans.

Unfortunately, Deb got some really bad news about a month ago. She was told that something was wrong with her liver and if she didn’t seek treatment right away she would probably die.

Deb debated just letting herself die because then she would be reunited with her son, but then after a few weeks she decided that she wanted to live and was now worried because she waited to start her treatment.

Well today was her appointment with the specialist and nobody from LifeBridge was able to take her but I decided that I would do it and I believe that there was an apparent reason that God needed me to this time.

When Deb came out of the office she was smiling and told me that she was fine. Her doctor came into the office and told her that he didn’t have an answer or reason but her last blood test came back and she was fine, death is no longer an option for her.

I said “it was God, I just witnessed another miracle”. Deb said she was thinking the same thing. It was at this point that I was able to share with her that when I found God I was miraculously healed of a disease that I had for 17 years and almost died from.

There is no mistaking that we have an awesome God who still heals to this day.

Deb was shocked the whole drive home but started telling me how all the sudden everything in her life is falling into place.

It was like watching someone come to life.

She told me about Carol and how loving, classy yet humble, and how welcoming she is.
How Larry another of our volunteers came over yesterday to look at the leak in her basement which has now produced black mold, and said that it would be fixed next week.

The best part yet is about that car that she couldn’t part with…. And the car she still needed.

She finally let go and junked it for $300.00 and found a neighbor who was selling a jeep that just needs a battery and a hose replaced and he sold it to her for $300.00.

I believe letting go of the car is her first huge step to healing from the death of her son. That her having this death threat was God’s way of her deciding finally that she wanted to live.

Disability seemed to be her only option for surviving but she is now excited to get this battery and go apply for jobs while being able to say she has transportation.

We prayed and thanked God for all the blessings in her life before she got out of the car and as she got out she told me “I love you” and popped her head back in and asked when she could call me to get back to volunteering.

So we couldn’t get her the car she came to us for, but through Love INC and LifeBridge partnering together we were able to be used by God to transform a woman’s life by loving her and not giving up.

Deb still has a lot of healing ahead of her but I believe that God has great plans for her life.

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Why I love my job!

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Leaving Egypt!

Numbers 14: 1-4 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

I have been feeling just like the Israelites lately.

God brought me out of my past to walk with him in freedom. Freedom from pain and destruction. He has healed me in so many ways and each time I am stronger and even more free from the bondage I was in, from the oppression in my life.

Now He is bringing me into a new season of healing, a season I have been wanting for a couple years and now that it’s here, I struggle with wanting to run back to my old comfort, the very things he took me out of.

I spoke in front of my Church this past Sunday and told them how I feel like the Israelites, part of me just wants to run back. I know though I never could fully go back, it’s not the same anymore, the things I know now have changed that. I could never find the satisfaction or numbing that I once found.

I am stuck in the desert, not wanting to move forward and not being able to move back. How long will I be here? I guess that is up to me and my willingness to walk forward with the Lord.

My boss shared this song with me a few weeks ago, before I knew any of this, so maybe it was God letting me know that He knew I would be here and that He is still with me, waiting patiently.

 

 

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I was delivered again!

Titus 2:3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.

So most of you know I was an alcoholic. God delivered me from some things immediately when I was born again, however drinking was not one of those things. I had gone a year without and hardly ever thought about it, but over the past year it crept back in. This time in the form of wine instead of hard liquor. It has been a daily struggle, like being tortured and imprisoned within myself.

I have screamed out to God asking what I am not understanding. His Spirit in within me, yet I do what I don’t want to do. 

He has brought me into a new round of healing something from my childhood, by joining a community group. Friday was the first group and we were given Scripture to read. Mine was the verse above. My body jolted when I read that, it’s like I was caught, like a little kid getting caught by their dad when doing something wrong. 

I knew God was telling me to stop. I got mad and asked Him how He expected me to stop now, when He was bringing me into the most intense healing I will probably ever experience. He told me that He wanted “all of me”, He wants to be my only comfort in this piece. 

Then my heart melted because the God of the universe, the creator of all we see wants to hold my hand and walk this healing with me. 

I woke up the next morning and felt like a close friend died. I was mourning the death of alcohol. Although it is still down the road, to me it’s like it died and no longer exists here.

I asked God if I am delivered or if I am just having a good couple days?

This morning in Church they let us come up and speak a psalm. I asked God what one I should read. I opened right up to Psalm 18 and walked up. As I read I cried and spoke with power, knowing He was telling me that I have been delivered.

Psalm 18:16-19 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. 

For almost 4 years I have struggled in this battle, feeling like a failure and like I was wasting time, God’s time.

It took Him 1 verse to change all of it. It was in His time. There is no way anybody could make the mistake of thinking that I have done this myself. None of the past 4 years was a waste, it was God’s perfect timing. I persevered and endured, I ran this part of my race and will continue to. Nothing is wasted or without reason.

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Me, responsible?

Matthew 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

I am feeling so much like that servant. I feel so blessed and like I am growing up. I am doing well in my new job and loving every aspect of it. 

I prayed to God to please help me to not mismanage His money and He answered by bringing a Christian sister to me to talk about financial planning. I met with her today and it is amazing, I am so excited to move forward in the small steps that I was given and to look forward to having life insurance for my daughter in the future, securing my retirement, and saving money. 

This is stuff that never crossed my mind before, now it’s a goal. I am creating a “financial portfolio” (: I am being blessed with more because I manage what God gives me properly, He is true to His Word. 

He is really making a new me. I am more disciplined and responsible in my life. I am allowing myself to have dreams and believe that they will happen. I am growing in so many areas in my life. I don’t think I can stand to be more happy. 

God showed me the other day, through a scary situation, that I am worth more than I thought, I deserve respect and honor. Now all the sudden I feel different, I am different.  

I am so glad I found Him and that He chose to turn my life around. 

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