• Abandoned.

    Abandoned.

    Nothing hits your heart harder than hearing your eight year old son say out loud, “I know what it’s like to be abandoned.”

     

    This simple yet profound statement coming from the mouth of my child should have left me in shambles. A natural thought process after hearing this should have been, “Is my greatest fear starting to manifest?” I should have played those words over and over again in my head to the point of exhaustion. I should have had the tortured thoughts of how my dumb mistakes in the past are wrecking his future. I should have realized that my innocent son was beginning to believe that he was not good enough for his biological father to want to be in his life. We’ve all heard the stories. A child is abandoned at a young age and every aspect of their life afterward is a picture of how badly someone broke them. 

    That’s how I should have processed his statement, but I failed to mention one little thing. Context. The context in which my son made this statement is absolutely key when understanding how I chose to process this information. The entire conversation went something like this:

    Elijah: “Mom, Dad, we need to make more of those bags for the homeless people because we gave out our last one today.”

    Me: “Yes buddy, we do. And we will. It makes God so happy that you like to give to people and help them.”

    Elijah: “Yeah, I know. And I can help them a lot because they got left and I know what it’s like to be abandoned.”

    This is why context matters so much. Context allows us to see something for what it really is. His statement reveals so much truth. Has he been abandoned? Yes, his biological dad did choose to step out of his life. He knows in his heart that someone who was supposed to love and care for him decided not to. He also knows that God will never leave him. He knows in his heart there are other people who are dealing with similar pains. He also knows that God wants to use him to help them. He knows that his biological dad isn’t around and may never be. He also knows that God brought Zach into his life to be everything he needs. He knows that his heart is sad. He also knows he can go to God, and us, and share his heart.

    I remember one journal entry I wrote a couple of years ago while praying specifically about Elijah and his life. God spoke so clearly to me about this exact issue. He comforted me in a way that only He could. “Elijah will be a rock for many people because of the difficulty he has faced at such a young age.” The context of our conversation proves that this word from God is already coming to pass in his life.

    So, how do we handle this? We pray for his dad. We talk about how unfair life can be. We allow him to be confused and upset and angry at times because those are all normal emotions. We tell him it is okay to love his dad and want to see him. We are honest with him when he asks us the hard questions and we do our best to share Gods love for him while he is processing his pain. I believe context revealed that what the enemy meant for destruction, God is redeeming.

    At eight years old my son understands that his pain has a purpose and his purpose is bigger than himself. 

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  • Praying

    Praying

    In July God told me He has called me to be a person of prayer. This was no surprise to me because at the time I had been placed in a situation that needed to be completely saturated in prayer.

    Zach’s mom was very sick with Leukemia. She had been in remission but it came back and it came back hard. We were faced with a choice. We knew because of the leading of the Holy Spirit, that we did not have much longer for her to be here with us. Some may say it’s ridiculous for me to say it was the Holy Spirit that told me she was getting  sick but it truly was Him. We prayed for her to be healed and we believed God wanted to heal her, but He kept ordering our steps in a way we knew He was preparing us for a very bittersweet day.

    You always imagine your wedding day involving the people who matter the most to you. So we wanted to make that happen.

    Fast-forward 3 days later, we got married in the hospital and our lovely Becky was with us- body and mind. It was a God-anointed time and we could not have had a more perfect ceremony. Just like He is always faithful to do, God came through and delivered on his promises to us. We were married! And it was not at all what either of us imagined it would look like, but it was so much better. After two nights of wedded bliss we received the call that we needed to come to the hospital because it wouldn’t be long before my sweet mother-in-law would leave us and go to be at the feet of her King.

    How beautiful it was that God was speaking to me in the midst of all the chaos. I have waited so long to be married and now I am! Glorious! But what I walked in to was something that truly only God could carry me through.

    We spent the next 48 hours awake at the hospital. I heard so many stories and made deep connections with my new family. But I also saw was how deeply this woman touched each person she came in contact with.We listened to the recordings of her piano playing, we sang hymns, and we talked about everything she was going to soon get to experience in Heaven. It honestly created a longing for Heaven in my heart.

    God, thank you so much for being here with us in this situation. Thank you for my husband. But God, what am I supposed to do? This situation is over-whelming. I don’t know how I am supposed to help in this situation, but you sent me here now for a reason. What’s the reason? Why me, and why now? Why does my sweet husband have to endure this just days after our marriage? And how in the world am I supposed to comfort him in this time? God- you orchestrated this to happen the way it did for a reason, but what is the reason? HELP. SOS. I cannot do this, even if I knew what it was that I am supposed to be doing.”

    There were a few times I would go out of the room and down the hall to the furthest bathroom and fall to my knees and lose my composure crying out for the pain that my family was enduring. I was exhausted, physically and mentally. The last week had been a complete whirlwind. I had my marriage license before I was even engaged and was married two days after being engaged. My new mother in law would be leaving us soon, and here I am. Sent.  He sent me to be the one to stand and pray for my family. Not just in the current situation but God told me that because he was giving me a new calling over my life.

    God told me to read about Hannah in the bible, so I did. Her prayers for a child went on for years and years but she persisted. She never stopped praying. She was faithful, and not only was she faithful to pray but she believed her prayers would be answered. She was devout and she was humble and she allowed God to strengthen her during her many years of praying. This is what God was calling me to do.

    So, I ran with it. I reached out into the world and found where prayer was needed and it’s pretty much everywhere. God started throwing it at me. Pray. Pray. Pray. I got on the intercessory prayer team at church. I started asking for prayer requests on Facebook. I began asking for the prayer request cards at church so I can pray over them during the week. I do my absolute best to actually write down every need, dream, desire, and thought that people bring to me. I pray over that journal that has the words written on it “Yes and amen.” Because that is His answer to us. 

     I do not have it all together. None of us do. I pray because I know I need him. I know you need Him. I know that with every fiber of my being and coming to Him in prayer keeps me in my right position. At the Fathers feet. Your prayers don’t need to sound fancy or eloquent or use big words, they just need to be honest.

    I am saturating my circle in prayer. I am reading the bible looking for people who were also faithful in prayer. I am looking to see where prayer was ineffective and asking the Holy Spirit why? I am also seeing where it had great power. We get to have conversations with the Holiest of Holies and that is what will draw us near to Him. The best thing about prayer is that to deepen our intimacy with God, all we have to do is speak and listen.

    I am not sure what your prayer life looks like, or if you even pray at all. Dude, maybe you don’t even believe in God or maybe you believe in another god. Regardless of how much you pray or who you pray to, you cannot deny your inner need to connect to someone or something. For me, I have found the strongest connection in Jesus Christ. In Emmanuel. And with that being said, I want to pray like Hannah. Relentlessly. Fervently. Passionately. Honestly. Faithfully.

    So, let us pray.

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  • GOD Intervention

    GOD Intervention

    Turns out a lot of people want to see her…

    so when I called to make an appointment they were GLAD to schedule me for January 2019. It was currently late Spring, 2018. They told me I could see one of her PA’s who are all directly under her and consult with her on every patient they have. You guys I was so so desperate and I knew God had led me here so he would MAKE a way. I agreed to see her and was scheduled for the beginning of July. They also had told me to call and if they had any cancellations they would try to get me in earlier. So that is exactly what I did. I called one day and they said oh, actually you can come in on Wednesday morning at 8:30. The only problem with that was I couldn’t drop my son off at school until 8:30. I called to let them know that I would unfortunately not be able to do that because he had a school assembly that day I had promised him I would be at and on top of the fact that I couldn’t even drop him off until that appointment time. Once again, God made a way. The receptionist said well I don’t know if you would be able to do this or not but we actually had a cancellation this morning if you could come in today? YOU BETCHA! So I got in there, had a very long talk with my doctor and did all sorts of blood work.

    The day it was time to come back and have my results and try to diagnose me I had scheduled some things for later in the day. I knew this appointment would require sufficient time and I didn’t want to be rushed or late. I decided to call and see if they happened to have any openings earlier in the day and she informed me they didn’t.

    No big deal, I didn’t expect to be able to change it but just decided to try. So I get to the gym and not even 10 minutes into my work out they called me back and said “Oh, actually we had an opening come available if you can be here by 9.” YOU BETCHA! So I hurried my butt up in the shower and got there. I looked pretty rough but who cares, they are doctors right? I’m sure they have seen worse. And at least I didn’t stink! I checked in at the front desk when they let me know that I would not be seeing my usual doctor, Audra Ball. I would in fact be seeing Dr. Audra Fox. This may mean nothing to you but it meant EVERYTHING to me. Remember the January 2019 appointment I turned down with the specific Dr. I had been referred to? That was her.

    God had made a way where it had been impossible for me to get in to the doctor I believe he wanted me to get to.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my Dr. Audra Ball but this was a DIVINE appointment. There was no way in the world all of this had happened by coincidence. This doctor was going to be the one to evaluate my results and talk it all out with me.

    After discussing my results and our conversation about my lifestyle and symptoms she decided that I definitely have this gene mutation called MTHFR.

    Gene mutation?

    MTHFR?

    What the heck is that?

     

    I’ll explain in the next blog, so be sure to subscribe for the final piece of the puzzle!

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  • MTHFR.

    So to continue on in this super frustrating journey…

     

    We found out that not only do I have that gene mutation but both of them. All that really means is I have low homocysteine in my blood and very low levels of folate. Not so terrible considering to keep the symptoms low all I have to do is take a complex b-12 folate supplement. So, that’s it? All of these years and symptoms can be managed with something as simple as a supplement? I still take my thyroid medication but all of the anxiety and depression and mood swings are all better. I would say they are gone but I would be lying. I’m a woman. I get worried, I get sad and emotional, and I can’t always decide exactly how I feel. But, that’s NORMAL. I didn’t feel like I was a bipolar psychopath anymore and it was awesome!

    One thing we couldn’t figure out though was my menstrual cycle and my levels of estrogen and progesterone, which contributes as all women know to the mood swings. We do know that MTHFR doesn’t allow toxins to exit your liver (hello liver cleanse supplements) and that could contribute to why my body stopped producing it but we don’t really know for sure. So, I am basically experiencing menopause at 26 years old because of the lack of estrogen and progesterone being made in my body. COOL BRO. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. But it did make sense. It makes sense as to why I am constantly hot and sweat easily. It makes sense why I get migraines. It makes sense why I have no menstrual cycle. Not being able to sleep and being forgetful. While it was nice to finally have answers about WHAT was wrong… It was super annoying not knowing WHY. It is still super annoying not knowing why and also not knowing what in the world to do to FIX it. I had never dreamed in a million years that I would ever be praying to have a monthly period. But here I am, 26 years old, wondering when it will ever come back. So far we have tried months of cycling progesterone and estrogen and different supplements that are supposed to help women with this and once again we are finding no answers.

    I will be quite honest. I want to have more children. I am frustrated. I am frustrated because at one point it was so simple for me to get pregnant. I literally was not even trying. Although I wasn’t trying not to get pregnant either. Remember I was 18 and right out of high school in an abusive relationship. But  now that I am happily married and actually want to start a family in the RIGHT god-honoring way, it seems that it is going to be such a battle. It seems as if it could be impossible. And even if it is impossible it LOOKS like it is going to be an all out war. My doctor gave me a referral to an infertility specialist and even that is looking very grim. It’s $250 without insurance just to SEE the doctor for your first appointment. And with the medi-share that I use, they only cover infertility if it is deemed medically necessary. GOOD NEWS! Because I have no menstrual cycle, I can qualify. Bad news? The doctor I was referred to is not a provider with medi-share.

     

    So that leaves me once again waiting for answers. It leaves me with several roads and a lot of questions. It leaves me frustrated. It leaves me vulnerable.

    But If one thing has proven true in my life so far and in this health journey it is that God knows the answers and He will lead me to them as I keep seeking him. I may not get the answer when I want it or get the answer I expect or believe is best but I will get the RIGHT answer at the RIGHT time.

    For now I must keep asking for him to guide me into HIS will and HIS best for my health and for the future of our family.

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  • What’s Wrong With Me?

    What's Wrong With Me?

    I’m not sure how many of you have had or do have any health issues. I am almost positive though that if you don’t currently have any, you will at some point. I don’t mean that to be negative but let’s face it, in todays society we aren’t the best stewards of our temple. We fill our days with errands and activities and work and leave hardly any time for rest and reset. We tend to not exercise much and some of us don’t exercise at all. We eat fast food and ingest all kinds of chemicals and pesticides and for the most part it’s simply because we haven’t taken the time to make it a priority.

    But what about the people who have health issues and are trying everything in their power to BEAT them? What about the ones like me, who have exhausted what seems to be every single option to find an answer? And even once we find an answer, we continually have to fight against whatever the answer is. What about those of us who are T I R E D ?

    I’m going to get right down to it. When I was 17 I was diagnosed with hypo-thyroid disease which is a fancy term for JACKED UP HORMONES. I fully believe this developed out of undiagnosed adrenal fatigue (another fancy term for TOO MUCH STRESS). I was in a very mentally abusive and exhausting relationship at the time which sent me into full out anxiety mode. Getting pregnant at 18 right out of high school, still dealing with the relationship, and now taking on adulthood. Yeah, it didn’t really help my stress levels. Continue on in the next years to come it was just constant anxiety and stress and depression as I dealt with what was now my life. I started battling it more and more yet my thyroid levels were all “normal”. I felt ANYTHING and EVERYTHING besides normal. Not to mention that emotionally my world was very very dark.

    I had horrible acne on top of that. I couldn’t seem to lose weight, and then I lost too much. My cycle was extremely irregular and then completely non-existent. I would have fits of rage and then deep depression. I couldn’t sleep at night. I mean I REALLY couldn’t sleep. I would wake up after sleeping for maybe 2-3 hours. This happened 5-6 nights out of the week. I developed migraines which literally could put me on the floor and unable to speak because of how painful they are. I would get bruises out of nowhere. I mean just really odd stuff. I can’t begin to even tell you how much money I have spent going to doctors and trying different things to figure out what the heck was wrong with me.

    We tried Benadryl to try and help me sleep, with no luck. Ambien was next but it didn’t help at all either and the side effects of it were not worth the risk. I paid around $450 a month to get rid of my acne. Thank you Acutane and Dr. Brazeal! At least that worked for me. I’ve tried tons of diets and workout programs some worked and some didn’t. When it came to my anxiety and depression we mostly have relied on neurotherapy which seemed to help a little but not a lasting difference. CBD didn’t make a difference for me either. No Tylenol or ibuprofen ever helped my migraines. We finally found imitrex and that will make them better for a while but I am still having them.

    I finally decided to go to the one place I knew I would find answers. Facebook. Let’s be honest, we have all done it! It was my last resort but I just could NOT handle the depression anymore. It was beginning to take over my life. I posted  on my timeline something along the lines of “Here is everything that’s wrong with me, here’s what I’ve tried, WHERE DO I GO AND WHAT DO I DO? SOS, SEND HELP PLZZZZ.”.

    When you post things like this people LOVE it because they get to tell you everything they know and it makes them feel smart. Trust me I know, I do it too. So I of course had about 600 comments (exaggeration) in a matter of 30 minutes. In the time I posted it I also felt like I was supposed to text one of my clients wives who I knew was very into natural medicine and extremely health conscience. I told her kind of what was going on and what she would recommend. She immediately responded with her Doctors name and some good advice and I told her I would check into it later when I got off work.

    I looked her up and I was AMAZED. She had referred me to the same doctor and doctors office that so many people on my facebook had mentioned. I don’t take things like this as a coincidence. I was so sick and tired of trying new doctors and new medicine and never getting any answers. I had prayed to God and told him please please just send me where I need to go. Not knowing why I felt like I shouldmessage her but doing it anyways ended up giving me the confirmation I needed to have peace about going to this doctor’s office and investing the time and money to find an answer.

    I took that was Gods way of saying “I have ALL of these people telling you where to go, but I know where your heart is right now so I am going to give you an even greater confirmation through her…

    All you have to do is ask.

     

    part 2 to come… subscribe to get the next part of the story!

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