Hello! Welcome to my blog.
My personal mission statement is this: “To discover truth, to live an authentic, passionate, and purposeful life, and to inspire hope in the hearts of others.”
This blog is all about inspiring hope in your heart by sharing my story.
How I Got Here:
I was 49 years old.
It was August of 2007 while on vacation in the Florida Keys with my husband and two sons that I began experiencing unusual pain and stiffness in my muscles and joints.
By October, I could no longer work.
By December, I was forced to close the doors to my therapeutic massage business.
In March, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.
In April, my husband and I separated.
In August, we decided to divorce.
In January of 2008, our divorce was final.
In seventeen months time, my life completely turned upside down. I lost my health and the ability to care for myself and my family. I lost my husband, my home, and my lifestyle. I lost my career, my business, and my income. I had no insurance, no savings, and no investments. My 12-year-old son and I moved to Lakeland, Florida with nothing but our 10-year-old car and our 12-year-old travel trailer. And we started life over.
Not everyone encounters such a sudden turn of events. But, regardless of what gets us to such a place, when we get there, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt things are changing.
Sometimes this happens when we’re diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or a spouse dies or we’re downsized out of the only job we’ve ever known. Change like this hits like an errant baseball to the face. The blow hurts like heck and we find ourselves flat on the ground stunned, dazed, and disorientated.
At other times we welcome change. We’re bored, our life and work hold little meaning, and the best of us is going untapped. We want more and we’re on our way to getting it. The thrill resonates in our bones … we can feel it … the vibrant undercurrent is pulling us toward our dreams!
Regardless of what has brought us to this point, we are here. We want to live our destiny and be all we were meant to be. The really cool part of this process is that we grow and stretch in ways we never would have dreamed possible. I’m reminded of the Bible story where Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery (yeah, talk about a dysfunctional family!).
“Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now ….” (Genesis 50: 19-20 MSG)
I don’t know how He does it, but God somehow takes the crap life dumps on us, makes fertilizer, and nourishes us until we grow strong and true. That’s the way it is when we face change, too. It’s scary. We wonder if we’re made of the right stuff. Can I really do this? How? I’m too young … I’m too old … I don’t have the right education … I don’t have enough experience … I don’t know the right people … I’m not smart enough… and the list goes on.
God takes the raw material, us, along with the blowing circumstances that have knocked us to our knees, and creates the most fulfilling and rewarding life imaginable! But, it doesn’t come easy. I went through the typical stages of grief when my life changed so drastically.
First of all I had to accept reality. This meant dealing with a load of anger, disbelief, frustration, helplessness, desperation, and loneliness. Secondly, I had to grieve my loss. Just because something isn’t good for me doesn’t mean I want to give it up! I clung to the memory of what had been and I wanted it back! The good parts, anyway.
To top it all off, in the midst of all this grieving I had to figure out where I was going next and how I was going to get there. It seemed just too much to handle. And it would have been, by myself. Fortunately I had a wonderful support group including my parents, friends, and a wonderful program at church called Divorce Care.
The conclusion I came to after surviving this chapter in my life is this: I have a God-given purpose. The fact that I woke up this morning is proof I have more to do; I haven’t yet completed my reason for existing. Every day is a new opportunity to make my life count. This purpose has been given to me as a divine gift and I get to share it with others. How cool is that?
What I realize now, even though I couldn’t see it then, is none of this would have been possible if I wouldn’t have succumbed to the autoimmune disease that so drastically changed my life. I’m a new person now. I am finally living my life according to my values, priorities, and goals. My life is freer and filled with more passion than ever before. And besides that, God isn’t finished with me yet!
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” (Philippians 1:6 MSG)
For the year preceding these life-changing events I had prayed over and over again, “God, how do I get from where I am to where I need to be?” Things weren’t necessarily bad, they just weren’t as good as they could have been. My soul longed for more: more peace; more fulfillment; more joy; more power over sin; more victory in relationships and career; better use of talents; better understanding of God and how He works. Only God in His infinite wisdom knew how to bring me from where I was to where I needed to be. And, in the perfect time in the perfect way, He eventually brought it to pass.
I’m not saying my life is now perfect. It’s not. But I know in my heart I’m on the right path. I know I’m where I’m suppose to be. My life is no longer defined by others people’s opinions of me and what they think I either should do or shouldn’t do; it is defined by who I am in Him and what He’s doing in and through me. I’m at home with my life because its a result of divine design. I’m now using my gifts and talents to benefit myself and others. And God willing, someday I’ll be able to make a living doing what I love.
The only way I could truly find myself was by looking into the face of God and seeing myself reflected in His eyes. That reflection is the real me: holy, beautiful, forgiven, talented, blessed, adored, treasured.
Like most women, I love a good chick flick. Well, this is the most beautiful love story ever written!
God pursued me after I was snatched by the enemy (I was created by divine design, yet born with a rebellious, sinful nature that was headed straight to Hell). But Jesus, in His infinite love and mercy, went to hell and back (when he died on the cross and rose again) to win me back from the enemy’s grimy clutches (I now wear His cloak of righteousness and will spend eternity with Him).
So now I am the princess I was created to be, restored to His kingdom, surrounded by His glory, basking in His holy presence. I share in all He is and all He has. Safe, secure, never to be taken again. His stout walls and mighty soldiers guard my every waking breath. And when I sleep, I lie in peace, feeling his heart beating unending love as I snuggle in his warm embrace. I am home. Forever.
Welcome home, friend.
My prayer is that you, too, will see yourself mirrored in your Heavenly Father’s eyes.
God bless you as you live your destiny and become the person you were meant to be!