Monday, September 19, 2016

God Came Through

Today I'm sitting back and enjoying the things that the good Lord has blessed me with.
(There are a lot of things by the way)

Something I like to do in the fall is to focus on having a grateful heart and expressing gratitude. Whether that be to God for all that he has done for us or to friends and family for all that they do and all that they are. With Thanksgiving coming up it always pops into my head that we have so much to be thankful for in every season of life, and it's silly that we only think to express that thankfulness one day of each year.

So today I'm feeling thankful for a lot of things but here's a few that are standing out to me:

- good coffee
- the opportunity to serve in my community
- the amazing summer I had
- God's love
- supportive friends
- my cozy bed
- my new job (!!!)

Segue into... my new job!

This morning, I had an interview and got hired on the spot. Heeeeyyo, thank the Lord. As many of you know, I spent the last year focusing on figuring out my health problems and I ended up quitting my job in September of 2015. So it's officially been one year since I quit my old job and took a solid year to figure out my health. Which ended up bringing me some real answers about my illness and some serious mental and spiritual healing. So many blessings.

Anyway, something that I struggled with in my time off work last year was feeling that my life was really empty. Spiritually, I was in a really rough place and felt really hopeless and lost my faith in God's plan for me. I also was mentally in a really dark place and was struggling with severe depression. And physically, I was obviously in a lot of pain and dealing with a lot which was why I had quit my job in the first place. I felt hopeless, lost, inadequate, unable, undependable, useless and completely and utterly alone. Not a good way to feel. Nevertheless, God came through. And I know that I've said that a lot lately. I say that phrase when I write about my transformation over the past year, I say it when I speak my testimony, I say it when I experience little miracles and moments of faith. But it's the best way I know how to say it plain and simple; GOD CAME THROUGH. He always will. You can trust in that.

What I'm getting at is that even though my physical suffering is still existent, the healing I experienced emotionally, mentally and spiritually has positioned me on a whole new playing field. I no longer feel hopeless, lost, inadequate, unable, undependable, useless or alone. I feel hopeful, found, capable, able, dependable, useful and loved. And this, my friends, makes all the difference. After spending a year feeling that my life was so empty; turning to God and letting him heal me and speak his truth into my heart filled me up more than any thing on this earth could ever fill me. I know that only God can satisfy the heart; because he made it. He designed it. He's got the key to unlock your fears, your insecurities, your doubts, your lack of faith. He's got you. You just need to let Him in.

And I say that so nonchalantly even though I fully recognize how hard it is sometimes to just let God in. It invovles the ultimate act of vulnerability, giving up your own desires, trusting completely in something that you cannot see and laying out all your broken pieces on the table in hopes that God will take your brokenness and make it beautiful.
And He will.

A year ago, I had no idea what my life woud look like now. If I'm being honest, I wasn't even sure I would still be alive. I figured my life was over as I knew it and wondered what the point was in trying to improve upon a hopeless situation. And now.. God is doing really big things in me. God has transformed my heart. God has given me opportunities that I never thought that I would have. God has blessed me with people to love and to care for and to enjoy life with. God has provided me with exactly what I need. God has given me a job that is literally the most perfect fit for me at this stage in my life and most importantly, God has shown me that even in my sickness and in my suffering I can still have a life.

One year ago I was basically bed-ridden and barely left the house and today I'm full of hope, full of faith, I'm laughing again, I'm volunteering, I'm working, I'm serving the Lord and I'm full of joy.

God comes through.
Trust me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

this summer was #blessed

How do you debrief a summer that was full of new friendships and new experiences, amazing memories, life-changing God-moments and sweet ministry? No idea. 

But I'll try.

This summer was #blessed .

But in all seriousness, God did really cool things in my life this summer and provided me with so many opportunities. My faith was strengthened a lot and I learned to continually depend on God and lean into Him for my strength; especially on the days when I was so tired that my eyes burned just from having them open for so long and my feet ached from standing and my brain was so foggy that I could hardly manage a simple conversation. God provided me with the strength I needed. He lead me and brought peace to my soul in every situation and challenge I faced. 

If you're reading my blog, you're likely wondering about how my health was this summer because that's usually the main topic of this blog. The non-sugar-coated, brutally honest truth about living with a chronic illness. I would say that overall, I felt quite a bit better than I have in a long time. Probably because I was a lot more active which I realize now was super exhausting while I was doing it but was really beneficial for my muscles and joints. They ached a lot less at the end of the day or at random times during the day when I stayed active. I also continued my gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, peanut-free, pistachio-free, plum-free diet (with the exception of a few cheat days so I could indulge in all things cheesey like poutine and nachos). In the process of this diet that I started back in April to manage my Lyme Disease symptoms; I have actually lost 25 pounds! And my digestion has improved drastically and I have a lot less symptoms when it comes to stomach pain. So praise God on that one!

There were a lot things to celebrate about my health this summer and a lot of little victories that I am thankful for. That's not to say though that there wasn't struggles; because there definitely was. As someone with a chronic illness, even if we are feeling overall "pretty good", that mostly just means that we are feeling like we aren't in constant-unrelenting-pain. There were a few days in particular this summer where I barely got out of bed and I did make a few hospital trips (three, I think). I came down with a bad stomach flu once, had two really bad Lyme flare-ups and ended up in the hospital because of an ovarian cyst that is still giving me a lot of problems right now. Thankfully, my bosses and friends at camp were extremely understanding and supportive when it came to my illness so shout out and thank you's to everyone at camp who helped me out this summer by getting me things I needed, finding me bath tubs to soak in, driving me to the hospital, preparing my special dietary restriction food and for all the prayers that were said for me and my health. I wouldn't have had such an amazing summer without all of you (You know who you are ;)).


And now, I am back home, settled in. I've been purging through my bedroom bit by bit and I am hoping to put together some care packages to donate to local families or people in need. If anyone is interested in helping me out with this, please let me know! You can email me at or message me on facebook if you know me personally. Also, if you know of a specific family or individual that is in need I would love to talk to you about finding what they need to help them out.

Thanks for taking the time to catch up on my summer! Looking forward to hearing about all of your summers. Sending prayers and love your way.