You are loved, Child of God.

Hi friends!

God has been working pretty miraculously in my life over the past few weeks and I would love to share with all of you some of the things I have been learning about Him and myself. I would love to be able to get on here and say that everything is amazing and I have my whole life figured out but that surely is not the case. I have felt a lot of pain over the last year, but I have also found incredible joy.

I have used the last week to do a lot of reflecting on my life and the past year especially and I have been able to see just how much has changed and how much work God has done.

Over the past year, I have been heartbroken, experienced incredible love, searched for my identity in Christ and tried to figure out who I am. I experienced inexplicable loss and confusion, my world has been shattered and shaken, and I have seen wonderful renewal through it all. I have left jobs, and found new ones. I have felt despair and beautiful beautiful joy.

I don’t come on here to tell you all of my woes and praises, rather to share with you how great our God is. I am not one to usually do things like new years resolutions and reflections but God has done so much in my life over the last year, it has been very therapeutic for me to look back and see His faithfulness in all of it.

At the beginning of the year, I was struggling with the relationship I was in. I was heartbroken that it seemed to be coming to an end, we had been together for two years and thought we were ready to make plans for our future together. Little did we both know that God had other, bigger might I add, plans for us. When we separated in April I was utterly confused. Breaking things off, felt like the right thing to do then (and I don’t regret it at all now) but I was so ready to make plans with this man and to start a life together.

Now I look back on that time, and I can see that God had His hand in all of it and obviously knew exactly what He was doing. In getting out of that relationship I realized something very important and it was that I needed to focus on God before I could focus on a boyfriend or spouse. I think a lot of the relationships that I have been in, have been about me, what I want or what the guy wants and not about the plans that God has for either of our lives. Often when I think about the relationships I have been in in the past, I wonder “what I was thinking” because it caused so much heart ache when I was in the middle of it.

On this side of things though, I am able to look back and say, God was showing me exactly what I did and didn’t deserve from a man. He was showing me what it meant for me to be a Godly woman in a relationship, as a girlfriend and one day a spouse. God showed me how to truly believe that I am beautiful because I was fearfully and wonderfully made by Him. And then realizing that, I had to understand and feel that before I could believe it coming from someone else – or pour that into someone else, and make them feel special. I realized that I needed to see my worth through God’s eyes rather than the guys I had dated.

I, for so long put my trust and my heart in the hands of the boys that I was dating rather than in my heavenly Father and it always ended up disappointing me. Now I hope you are not reading this believing that I hold any resentment in my heart for any one of them. I have no hard feelings for any of the people that I have entered into relationships with, which I believe I have said before. I truly believe that God allowed me to feel that heartache and be in the yucky place so that I could truly see He has something amazing in store for me.

I could write about relationships all day long because I think this is one of the areas that I have grown the most in over the past few years. However, this year wasn’t all about relationships.

Over the summer I was working a full time job and absolutely loving it. In July, I ended up leaving and was crushed by the reality of it. It left me extremely confused as to what my next steps were going to be.

It seemed like my career path had been laid out at my feet and I was walking along the path that God had set out for me. I quickly realized that my heart needed to be protected in my career and that God was more important than any job that I had or was going to have. Leaving was one of the most gut wrenching decisions that I have ever had to make but it turned out to be one of the biggest turning points for my year and really my life to date.

Not long after I left that job, I went to see a doctor about a pre-existing condition that I had been living with since I was in middle school. It has been a long journey over the last ten or so years and I have endured a lot of pain to say the least. After I started college, my pain started to get worse and it was effecting my day to day activities. With my new found freedom everyday, my dad suggested we go to a specialist about my scoliosis. I am sure that many of you have heard me talk about this before or even seen the pictures that my mom has posted on facebook about it.

When I went to see the specialist, it became very evident that we needed to fix the issues that I was having and rather rapidly, otherwise my pain would increase and I would never feel normal. With all this new free time I had, it was like God had opened a door, and amazing opportunity for me to take the time I needed to have a corrective surgery and be able to recover without the pressure of returning to work.

This surgery was intense, and invasive. I was on the table for over nine hours and now have two titanium rods, holding my spine straight by way of over twenty screws. It was honestly one of the scariest days of my life, it came with a lot of unexpected issues and complications, some of which have still not gone away after five months. However, I have seen God through this so evidently, I am in awe of Him any time I think about what I have been through in this process.

Often when I was younger I would pray for strength and guidance over my life. I would pray that God would show me how strong I was and what I was capable of doing by giving me more confidence. It wasn’t until I was recovering from this surgery that I truly saw how strong I was. God walked with me through every difficulty I had. From being in the hospital for over a week, to being hooked up to countless wires, leads, catheters, meds and enduring incredible pain, I was able to see God’s mighty hand holding me up even in the darkest moments. I clung to His promise that He would guide, protect and strengthen me through this.

While I sit here and type this today, I am still recovering from this surgery, and will be for quite a while. God has stood firm in my healing and watched over me every step of the way. There have been many days where I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this and intensely regretted deciding to get the surgery. But in every moment, I can see God’s handy work, His almighty plan that He had all along.

Right at this very moment in my life, I am in a season of waiting. I am actively waiting on what the Lord has next in my life. I am waiting for His next beautiful miracle and step in his miraculous plan. I have never been a patient one, but He has given me so many opportunities to practice patience in this last year alone.

I cannot believe what I have endured this last year, but even more so how great God is. His love is so steadfast and enduring, He is there through the deepest, darkest storms and the moments of highest praise and joy. Pushing into Him, accepting the agape love that He gives me, and always coming back to what He has done for me has radically changed my life. He is radically changing my life every day.

So friends, I come full circle here to say that no matter what you are going through, no matter how happy you are or how much pain you feel, there is a reason – a purpose. God has a plan for what is happening now and whatever comes next. Do not fear, these circumstances will not last forever, they will fade eventually and a new season of life will come. Stay faithful to His word, ask questions, ask for His guidance, pray, pray, pray. He is always listening and He is many many steps ahead of us.

You are loved, Child of God.

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