Walking In My Purpose

Along this walk I have found that it is messy and there were times that I was stuck … in the mud!

I’ve often times wondered why? Why me God? Why is this the path that You chose for me? Why do I have to carry this heartache and burden? I’m certainly not strong enough to carry this weight, so why on earth are You trusting me with it? I’m slowly learning that He had a divine plan and purpose for every ounce of pain that I walked through. Here’s the catch though, He had to trust that I’d be obedient with it. I have gotten off track more times than I can count, but deep down in the depths of my core, I know that my purpose is to shed light on my pain.

The pain of a broken home, the pain of being sexually abused and molested as a child, the pain of divorce, the pain of infertility, the pain of being a blended family, the pain of walking out an adoption plan. Like many of you, I have had my fair share of pain and heartache, some of which was brought on by my own choices. While God doesn’t sit and inflict pain on his children, there are times that He allows us to walk through it. By doing so, He can use it in a way to bring healing to our lives that ultimately allows us to help others. So that is what I am doing, I am sharing my pain in an effort to bring peace to someone’s chaos. Just know my brothers and sisters, that no matter what you are facing in this moment, you are absolutely NOT alone!

Let’s start with the first pain that I endured in my very early stages of life. For one, my mom was a teenage mother and my birth father was not in the picture after I was born. I was adopted at the age of five by the man that she later married. By the time I was in second grade their marriage was ending in a divorce. This is the point where my young mind had to start learning how to deal with the disappointments in life. For the sake of time, I will not go into much depth about any of the following statements. The sole purpose of this blog entry is to give an overall general picture of my life and how I have come to walk in “my purpose”.

After the divorce, I became a witness to the ugliness of what some are capable of. I lived with a step mom who consistently put my mom down and always talked trash about her. I began to feel as if I was not allowed to love my mom openly for fear of being chastised. I remember my heart hurting so bad for my mom because of the things I heard, but felt like I did not have a voice to say anything in her defense. I suffered silently through years of molestation and sexual abuse. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I finally became angry enough to lash out and tell someone what was happening. That is when my glass house began to shatter all around me.

You see, from the outside, everything was perfect. I was a student who excelled academically in the classroom and poured my heart and soul into the ball field. I was polite, well behaved and obedient, I gave my best effort at every challenge placed before me. No one would ever believe the horrible truths that went on behind closed doors or the hurt, pain and anger that I carried on the inside. However, once the cat was out of the bag and the truth was brought to light my world was absolutely turned upside down.

I had to leave the home I was in, I was moved to another city where I knew no one. I had to start my high school year without the friends and classmates that I had been with since preschool. I had to once again put on a smile and push through as if I wasn’t still fighting an internal battle from within. I wanted to crawl into a hole and just scream and cry and never feel anything again. Every dream I ever had as a child seemed to have shattered right before my eyes.

Fast forward to late teenage years where I was still just as broken, looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places and beds. No longer was I the over achieving student, I had not stepped on a ball field in years, and my soul longed to just be loved by someone, anyone. As a matter of fact, I quit school at the end of my eleventh grade year (I did obtain my high school diploma) and set out on my own path of self destruction. I left home at seventeen, was married eight months after I turned eighteen and began life as a married adult.

Needless to say, there was still a void in my life, there was this dull ache in my heart where something was missing. I had always longed to be a mother and I just knew that would make everything in my world better. Unfortunately for me, all that door opened was years of unexpected turmoil and heartache. The word “infertility” became a part of my every day life and my mind as it consumed my thoughts. Three failed marriages later and years of pain, hurt, self destruction, surgeries, fertility procedures and treatments, failed adoption and a miscarriage I had finally had enough.

I was done with the “just going through the motions” of life. I was miserable in a marriage that was strictly based on the physical aspect of sex. During my entire existence, that seemed to be the sum of what any man in my life wanted. While they pledged their undying love to me, it was always contingent on my meeting their sexual desires and needs. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing at all wrong with a husband and wife enjoying what God created in the form of intimacy. Where I struggled was being able to enjoy it because I was still tormented by my past. I had spent so many years, allowing men to just use me in that way while I was seeking their “love”. What I learned is when things got hard, it wasn’t “me” they loved, it was the physical benefits that came along with marriage. Any time sex was taken out of the equation, there was not a lot of substance left.

In all fairness, it was not entirely their fault. I take responsibility for shouldering my past hurts and pains as if they did not effect me; when in reality it rocked me to my very core. The mind truly is a powerful thing and the same hang ups I struggled with as a kid, I still struggled with as an adult. I still battled self image, self worth, being good enough, being accepted, having confidence in myself and overall just over compensating in some areas where I lacked in other places. I never allowed them in close enough to know just how broken I really was, because I feared if they knew the truth of how broken I was then they would leave. A lot of good that did, huh? Hurt people will always hurt other people and you just can’t have a healthy life long relationship with anyone if you both are not willing to be completely open, honest and transparent.

It was not until after I went through my third divorce that I finally had enough. I was no longer interested in the past continuing to repeat itself. It was during this time that I allowed myself to be completely open, honest, transparent, vulnerable and raw with someone who I had known for years. It was not someone new in my life, but someone who already knew most of my flawed past. I did not have an image to uphold or a good impression to make, I just let myself be me. I allowed the brokenness of my entire soul to be brought to light for the first time in my life. I am not sure why, I just felt safe, I felt like there would be no judgement, just someone to hear my heart. In my hurt of yet another failed marriage I let the ugliness from within come out for the first time to a friend that later became my husband.

For the first time in my life, I felt like someone saw me for me. He saw the good, the bad and the ugly, this time I was not just another means to someone’s sexual pleasure. I was a human being, a broken, flawed, hurting human that had been smiling on the outside yet completely dead on the inside. Can I just say how freeing it was to no longer pretend that I was this strong independent woman. I was finally able to bring it all out to the open and allow the healing process to begin. It has been nine years since that process began, but I have never felt more alive than I do today. I am loved with a pure heart by someone who loves me as Christ loves His church and I can not express strongly enough the importance of your mate loving God first. When we love God first we love others better. I am still a mess on most days, but I am free to fall apart and cry and express my feelings and emotions without judgement or condemnation.

Saying “yes” to this man, however, meant saying yes to a completely different emotional roller coaster. I now had to learn how to navigate the waters of becoming a step mom. Going from years of learning to cope with and navigate an infertility diagnosis, I am now faced with a new challenge in what is called a “childless stepmom”. I read books and devotions, we even joined a Blended Families bible study and I tried my absolute best to get it right. I remembered from my own childhood how hurtful it was to hear my step mom speak so negatively of my mom. Therefore, I knew what kind of step mom I did not want to be.

From the moment my husband let me into his life in the capacity of a significant other, I was always mindful of any conversations dealing with the kids mom. We never spoke negatively of her to them or around them, in fact we did the exact opposite and always encouraged them to be good and mindful of their behavior. Did we have upsets and moments that got a little heated? Absolutely, I am not going to lie and say it was always easy; because it was not and there were times that tempers and emotions got the best of all of us. However, we did make an honest effort and attempt to always be mindful of keeping our adult opinions between us and not in ear shot of little impressionable minds.

So begins my struggle of navigating a blended family while still carrying the hurt of not having my own children. I was still trying to wrap my head around the infertility and the possibility of never having my own children. I had only one Ovary and Fallopian tube, Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Did I mention my husband had a vasectomy after his son was born? So clearly, having children naturally was going to be a literal miracle of God. He brought into our marriage four children from his previous marriage so his heart was full, as far as, having children was concerned. So where does that leave me and my desires of becoming a mother?

But God! It was nothing but God, because God gave him such a beautiful heart for me and my desire to be a mom. He allowed my husband to see my pain and take my burden upon himself to carry along side of me. Together we set off on our own adventure to grow our little family. We looked at several options: vasectomy reversal, frozen embryos, IVF, artificial insemination and adoption. We chose to travel the road of adoption together and spoke to a couple of different agencies. We let our wishes be known to our friends and family. We even met with an expectant birth mom and dad, only to find out later that they chose to keep their baby. We eventually looked at the possibility of becoming a foster home.

As we were being obedient in the natural and doing what was pressed upon our hearts, God was doing a work in the spiritual. We later met a group of people that connected us to someone who would change our lives forever. Today I am the mother of two of the most beautiful souls on the planet. As I look back on the pain, hurt and heart ache, I can see how God has beautifully orchestrated all of that into an amazing masterpiece that I now call my life.

With each of these statements about my life and what I went through I am reminded of how I overcame each one of them. Although, I was never on my own because my Father in heaven always had a plan and a purpose for each of these seasons. He is ever so faithful to His promises to us, even when we are in our own wilderness. God has given me a voice and a platform to speak life into those dead areas of someones life and I plan to keep being obedient and loving on these souls by whatever means necessary.

To the little girl that is full of shame and feels her only self worth is her ability to please others sexually …. You are More!! You are Worthy of every dream and desire that is within you!!

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV

To the woman who feels “less than” because she is unable to conceive … You are Enough!! God will bring forth your children in ways that only He can!!

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV

To my lost brothers and sisters … You are not alone!! It is never too late and you have not gone too far for the love of our Father to make you whole again!!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Turn off the noise of the world and listen to the still small voice of your Father in Heaven. When you focus on what HE says about you then you will begin to see yourself as He does …. Forgiven, Valuable, Loved, Overcomer, Victorious, Worthy but most of all HIS!!!

May your souls be blessed and your hearts lightened at the reality of how much you are loved. Please show your love by commenting, liking, following and sharing =)

We Are Publishing a Book!

white book in white table near yellow wall
Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

Hi Guys,

I am so excited to be making this announcement. For years I struggled with who I was, I struggled with my past and with my inability to conceive. I never understood why God was taking me through so much pain and heartache. Today, I have a brand new outlook on life and a fresh understanding of what my purpose is. I was created to share the struggles, to show the hope in my situation. I began this blog as a way to do that, to spread hope in a world that is broken and hurting. As of today we are in the beginning stages of my first ever book. The timeline that the publisher has given me is 6-9 month so we are super excited to be introducing that to you guys in the next few months.

This first book is geared more towards children who are adopted. However, I truly feel like the promises of God that are shared in this book will touch any age group. If you are adopted or know someone who is, please be on the look out for “I Am Adopted … But What Does That Mean”. This book is being published through Covenant Books, so you will find it at any major book retailer and it will also be available on e-reader platforms. According to the timeline I have been given, we are looking at a release date of anywhere between September – December of this year, 2020.

In an effort to reach as many people as we can before the release date, I am going to be posting updates along the way. We are currently in the editing stage. If you are adopted, know someone who is adopted, if you have adopted or in the process of adopting, if adoption has touched your life at any point … please join us on this journey as we complete this project. It is my heart’s desire that this little book will help bridge a gap for young minds to understand their adoption journeys. Not only for the children, but for parents who adopt.

As a mother to three adopted children, I know that some day I am going to have to explain to them in greater detail about what adoption “is”. While I am forever grateful for the very open adoptions that we have, I know that some day there will be questions. Questions that I may not be prepared to answer without the help of preparing my heart for it. My babies know that they are adopted, and they know that they did not grow in mommy’s tummy. However, at their age (3,2 &2) they don’t really understand what all of that means.

How do you handle the; Why didn’t my “real” parents want me?, Was I not good enough for them?, Was I not worth more to them?. Questions like this have been tearing up the hearts of adopted parents for decades. So much so that some find it easier to hide the fact that their kids are adopted until they are older. Our family has decided on a much different approach. Our toddlers know they are adopted but I want them to understand the beauty of that and not the sadness. I want them to know how loved they are not just by us, but by the birth family that gave them life. Adoption can be a very beautiful thing when the situation allows. I understand that some are not like this, some are very painful, some are even done out of necessity to protect the life of an innocent child.

My heart and sole purpose for writing this book was to bring positive affirmation to what adoption means. My prayer is that adopted children will read these words over and over again and see themselves as God sees them. Shedding a positive light on adoption may help someone who is struggling with adoption in their own life. I know that my babies are loved by both of their families and I love that for them. I am excited about this journey and I invite you all to take it along with me.

Please like, share, comment, follow and invite others to join us on this journey.

The Strength of Womanhood

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 Philippians 4:13 (NK]V) 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

This scripture is so simple, yet so profound. It has encouraged many of us during our trials in life. As I sit here and ponder what I should share several things come to mind: I could share my past hurts, I could share how I overcame being wronged, I could share how I found strength to forgive, I could even share how God is giving me strength to endure my walk with infertility. 

All of these are worthy to share and they all show that I only overcame these trials by the power of God in me. Yet, I find myself wanting to share something much deeper, my fear. A fear that I have carried for a long time, something that I don’t share with anyone because the fear of rejection is paralyzing. 

I don’t think any of us like rejection, however, some of us can handle it better than others. I for one have let the fear of rejection keep me from doing so many things in my life. I look back and think of all the opportunities I have missed because I just didn’t take that step. I’ve been my own worst enemy for a long time. I know that God has a calling on my life and I know that He has a purpose for me. Unfortunately, I have let myself get in the way of stepping out into the places that He wants to take me. I am a dreamer and I have big dreams, yet I haven’t done anything to make them happen. Why, you ask? Well, because I am afraid. Afraid to minister to someone, afraid to write that book, afraid to teach others because my past will eventually catch up to me and tarnish any good that I’ve done. Afraid that those who knew me in the past will rise up against who I have become in Christ and cause people to question who I am today. 

I have spent so many years just being friendly and cordial to people, but never really seeking a relationship with anyone outside of my husband, family and children. I’ve loved on others, prayed for them, blessed them and done all the right things, but I’ve never encountered that unconditional love from a friend. I’ve never allowed anyone to even get close enough to test those limits, that is until recently. Over the past couple of months a few people have been brought into my life to challenge me and grow me. I began this class not really knowing what to expect, because I didn’t really know anyone, but in this short amount of time my heart has been touched so deeply. I’ve met some of the most amazing people and connected on such a deep level with a few of these individuals. I genuinely cherish these women who have been brought into my life because it is such an honor to be able to do life with them. 

I’m sure by now you are asking the question: what does this have to do ,with any kind of fear? Right? Well, the closer I got to these women, the more I loved them and knew that I wanted to be completely transparent with them. I wanted them to know me, all of me, the good, the bad and the ugly. We’ve cried together, we’ve laughed together, we’ve prayed together, but I needed to know that they would love and accept me in spite of who I was. It’s easy to love people that seem so put together on the outside, so shiny, so confident (as long as you don’t get too close), but what about those that are broken and hurting? Will they still love me if they knew my past? There was only one way to find out, be honest, share my story and see where it goes. So with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I shared something that I’ve not shared with anyone. Only people in my family and from my past know this about me because it isn’t something that I share with others. I don’t share it because I am ashamed and I don’t want to be judged or looked down on. 

My fear of rejection always takes over my wanting to be transparent, so I’ve just always kept my distance. This time was different though, I wanted to be who I was, I wanted them to know me, the whole me. So there we stood in the parking lot and I spilled the beans that I had been married before which I’m pretty sure they already knew that part. The part they didn’t know was that I’d been married several times, I am a three time divorcee. I can give excuses as to why I made the decisions that I did and maybe even convince some that I was right to make the choices that I did, but the truth is, there is no good excuse or reason. I just made poor decisions, and now I carry the burden of those poor choices. It has hindered me from being who God called me to be because I let my mind convince me that I’m not worthy to lead others. I’m not worthy to be an inspiration to others, I’m damaged goods and no one will ever take me seriously. I watched their faces as I spoke, but I seen nothing but love and compassion and the only response they both gave was: “Let it go, God has forgiven you, Stop living in a defeated state of mind”. My heart was overcome with joy, you mean they didn’t sprint to the car with an abrupt “we’ve got to go”. They didn’t look at me as if I was some leper. They helped me see that I was the only one crippled by this truth. They helped me see that in God’s eyes I was worthy and in their eyes nothing had changed. I was no different, then I was five minutes before I told them. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders. I knew then that I finally felt the true, genuine love of christian women who will forever, be a part of my life. With this new sense of freedom I was able to share with my life group leader this truth, and the response I received yet again was, “Let it go, stop holding on to that”. I was remirided that we all have a past, some are just more intense than others: So with my friendships still intact and no rejection to this point, I came to church on Saturday with a lighter heart. I came with a heart of gratitude and was able to surrender it all to God. After service I was approached by someone that I did not know who said she felt led to come over and pray for me. After she prayed over me and my husband, with several others standing in agreement with us, she told me that she felt like God was telling her to have me read the Book of John, there was something He was trying to reveal to me. That evening we got into bed and I picked up my Bible and did just that, I read the entire Book of John Saturday night earnestly searching for what God was trying to tell me. I read all of the miracles that Jesus performed and I was reminded that the same God that performed those miracles is the very same God that I serve today. I also know that the miracles He performed in the Bible are still miracles that He can and will perform today for those that seek Him. As excited as I was to read all of these miracles, I was sure there was something more and sure enough there was.

I found myself right there in the Book of John … I was the samaritan woman at the well who hung her head in shame because of the decisions I had made. I was the adulteress woman whose life was spared because Jesus reminded her accusers that they themselves were not free of sin. I was both of these women whom Jesus extended His grace, His mercy and His salvation and then told them to: “Go and Sin No More”. He already forgave my sin the minute I gave my life to Him. He not only forgave it, He forgot it. I was the one holding onto it, I was the one letting it hinder my ability to live freely in the grace and forgiveness that He extended to me. I was the one living in fear that no one would accept me, I was still hung up on the shame of these decisions. I kept people at bay not wanting them to get too close because of my fear of rejection. This isn’t God’s plan for our lives, He created us to have relationships with each other. Real relationships with real stuff so that we can grow and learn from each other. So after several confirmations and a word from God himself, I am now free of the bondage of this sin. He has given me the strength to overcome the stronghold that was over my mind. I realize that I am an overcomer only by the power that He places in me. 

A saying very near and dear to my heart is: “My flesh is weak, but He is strong· and His mercies endure forever.” I love this because it is so true, my flesh will fail, but His strength in me allows me to overcome these times and keep on going. God didn’t create us to live a defeated life. He gives us strength to overcome obstacles so that we can be warriors in His Kingdom. We have to be strong in Him in order to fight the enemy and press on even when our flesh is weak and tired. 

God’s word says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) And He said to me, ”My grace is sufficient for you, for mstrength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power qf Christ may rest upon me. I stand on the promise of this word because His strength is made perfect in my weakness. In my weakness He was able to renew my mind as to who I am. I am a daughter of the King of Kings, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He loves me and has surrounded me with people for such a time as this to lift me up and help me overcome my demons. 

 

 

NOTE: This entry was actually written a few years ago back in 2016. I came across this particular piece today by accident actually and felt led to share it. I do pray that it blesses someone because when this was written, it was during my time of struggling to become a mom.