Believing in Freedom

I’m continuing on this journey with Believe as my companion. It’s a blast! I think any time we know we’re learning and growing, we have the opportunity to rest in Joy. I’ve had some weird and disturbing things happen, not big things, but just…unsettling. I’ve put them in my saddlebag and continued forward. I’ll get them out later when I make camp for longer than a night.

I know I say “God showed me” a lot, but honestly, I feel dishonest and arrogant saying that I “realized” something if it came to me when God and I were talking. Maybe I’m overly sensitive to it, but if I learn something in a conversation with a friend, I try to acknowledge that when telling someone else about it. Anyway, that’s the explanation as to why you will see me say God showed me things. Because, he does.

Also, for my grammarians and punctuation/capitalization/spelling experts; beware. I am capitalizing specific not-usually-capitalized words for emphasis because they feel like proper nouns to me when used as I am using them. We may now continue!

God showed me something awesome and mindset-changing about my years of seeking Freedom. Remember, my first blog of 2019 was about God telling me that after close to twenty years, my word had changed from Freedom to Believe. I was so relieved. I thought the blessing was being free of the heartache of once again learning that I was not yet free. It is so much more than that! I should have known—God will never take us through something to have the only benefit be relief when it is over!

I didn’t go through those years just sitting around waiting for the gate to freedom to magically open so I could skip on through. I fought emotional, mental, and spiritual battles, day after day and year after year. I was exercising my heart, mind, and spirit as I fought for freedom from depression, fear, rejection, anger, financial crisis and other chronic imprisonment. I was becoming an authority on the subject of freedom. I was learning how to walk, climb, run, jump, and fight dressed in full armor while carrying a sword and shield. I didn’t just endure. I came out the other side a freaking beast! For every year that Freedom was my goal, I was in on-the-job training. What were your extended struggles? You have to know that those are your areas of victory for the purpose of authority.

What is the purpose of authority in God’s Kingdom? It’s not to just have it. My authority in Freedom is to fight for the Freedom of others. If Freedom were just for myself, I wouldn’t need authority. Instead, I have the authority of a warrior rising up within me on behalf of those I see still captive. Are you a victor over addiction or hate or anxiety? Whatever it is, you have authority to break other captives free! When God showed me this, it caused my whole being to jump. No matter how big the battle you may be facing, God is bigger. We have no idea how big he is!

 

I’m not laying down the old burden of a prisoner. I’m picking up every stripe and rocker of rank I’ve trained and fought for. I’m not questioning God’s leading any more. No more second-guessing. I’m suited up and ready and I’m already on the move. Who’s with me? There are others whom God has moved into position, and we’re running in synch even before we know one another.  Are you one of the new warriors?

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Believing in Words Fulfilled

Back in 1994 or thereabouts, I received a prophecy that set me on a course to becoming a different person. Strike that. It set me on a course to becoming the person God created, the person I truly am. In the prophecy was a small part as far as word count goes, not the complete thought behind the words, but with huge implications and confirmation of my dreams. It has come to mind over the past twenty-plus years, bringing both questions and redirections, and it’s been coming up frequently since this “Believe” adventure began.

The prophet said some specific things about words and speaking, then said, “…and out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water; and people will come and drink at your well and be satisfied at the life that is given.”

Wow, right? What an immense gift! However, when that word was given, I was both excited and terrified. Terrified because that was not how I saw the words that came out of my mouth. My mother had warned me growing up how sharp my tongue could be and how a sharp tongue cut people. As an adult, sometimes careless with my words, sometimes totally oblivious, I hurt those around me. I was not a fount of life that filled people up. After receiving that prophetic word, I tried to do better. I watched my tongue more closely, I paid more attention to how my words affected others. Still, I could not see how I would ever overflow with life for people to drink in.

Isn’t it beautiful that we aren’t the ones who create deep change in ourselves? My desire to live out that prophecy worked hand-in-hand with God’s plan to bring it to the surface. It’s who I was created to be. I had a sharp tongue as a child because I was created to speak with impact, but I was childish, and what was meant to be my strength had gone astray. Through the years, it was God who tempered and transformed my heart, changing what comes out of my mouth.

“…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45b

The abundance of my heart has become an overwhelming love of God—first from him, then for him, a peace I can’t explain, and a joy so intense it carried me through the year of losing Doug. I truly cannot adequately describe any of it because it’s all the work that God has done in me. My efforts were necessary. They weren’t about performance, they were my agreement that I wanted this change. And isn’t it beautiful that our meager expectations and humble efforts are always overwhelmed by the great things God intends?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a vision of myself in ministry, speaking to large crowds. There have been speakers that I respect and who inspire me, and I think, “I want to do that, but with the message God is giving me.” I desperately want to reach thousands, even millions, with the freedom and life that I have been so blessed to receive.

Today, I’m looking at twenty-five years of anticipation and work, and I am finally seeing that fulfillment of my God-given dreams is not on a far horizon. It’s looming right before me. God has set up what can’t be called anything less than divine appointments all crammed into three days, all unrelated and not something I was looking for. He’s accelerated the pace. I feel as though I’ve had a hidden ability as I sit on the sidelines, game after game, year after year, encouraging and helping patch up my teammates as they come in beaten and bruised; and finally my training and preparation are required on the field. My mind is blown, and my heart is excitedly gaining momentum for this adventure to blow wide open!

Wherever you are on your journey, know that God is completing his perfect work in you. In God’s hands, horizons become one step forward.

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Breaking Old Beliefs

For the last couple years, I’ve been asking God to change my mindset about money. I could see that I have a habit of anxiety that is not in synch with my experienced reality; and my mindset was indeed changing my experience. I am not able to enjoy financial successes because my mindset is stuck in crisis. I can see the successes, but my belief stays in agreement that I cannot change my level of poverty or wealth. I may not be homeless today, but I could be in a week.

A couple months ago God told me to stop praying about my finances. If that sounds weird or unbiblical, just wait. I lived in financial crisis for more than thirty years. I learned to pray fervently out of desperation and fear. That’s not how we’re supposed to pray, and it’s not how I want to live. Constant money crisis is no longer my daily life. I have more financial stability than I’ve ever experienced, even though I’m not completely independent. Where I lack freedom is in my deep-rooted belief about money as it relates to me. I still pray as if I’m about to be evicted or that I have no food and no food stamps. The anxiety, fear, and desperation are still there.

So, God told me to stop praying about my finances altogether and trust him. I did for a while, and then I forgot what he’d told me and started praying those desperate prayers again. This probably went on for a month, and then he reminded me about it yesterday. I was listening to a teaching about prayer. Here is a quick summary of a very small piece of the whole, but it’s the part that specifically applies to God’s direction to stop praying about my finances.

Matthew 6:7,8

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many wordsDo not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Emphasis mine)

This is followed immediately by the Lord’s prayer, in which we’re shown to ask for our daily bread. Bring your daily needs to him, then leave them. Don’t keep babbling. More words won’t make him suddenly realize you really need to pay your rent. Basically, calm down! He knows what you need before you ask it.

At the end of the chapter he tells us repeatedly to not worry and to trust God completely for our needs; to trust God so completely that we seek his kingdom rather than fulfilment of our needs. Seek his kingdom and his righteousness and all of those things—rent, food, clothing—and more will be ours.

My “fervent” prayer was simply a cover for my lack of faith and trust in my Father.

I don’t need breakthrough in my finances. I need breakthrough in what I believe. Bam! There it is! To break through my mindset, God is breaking my habit of desperation prayer. The next step in my journey to Believe is to stop praying about my finances. As I commit to this, I suddenly feel a weight lifting from my shoulders! Instead of desperation and lack of trust, I will bring gratitude, praise, worship, and the excitement and joy I have for this amazing journey. I love my life!

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Believing for Boldness

This is from yesterday. If these little thoughts keep coming this frequently, I might collect them and then post once a week. I don’t know… could you share your thoughts on that, please? Once a week, or whenever the thoughts come?

God wasn’t kidding when he said Believe is his word for me this year. Every day as I drive to and from work, I talk to God or listen to teachings or worship music. It’s my favorite time of the day. This morning as I left home, I was talking to God about being bold. I want to be bolder with what he has given me, and he’s been showing me that my future requires a much bigger boldness from me if the dreams he’s put in my heart are ever to be reality. My belief internally is very solid and bold to the point of audaciousness. If I trust you, and you ask me about God, you will get an excited, bold answer, full of confidence from my experience. I can’t count the number of times people have told me I need to write a book about it and share it with everyone. But…I am not as open in most settings where I know I should be. I shouldn’t worry if they believe as I do. I have experiences and faith that others need and I’m robbing them by keeping quiet. My silence is dishonest.

I want the kind of boldness that reaches the world and I was talking to him about that this morning. I felt the kind of conviction that gives you courage. I wasn’t convicted of a crime, I was injected with confidence that I could see growing toward passion. God will give me boldness. It will happen.

Then, as I was leaving work, I realized something. It’s been at the back of my mind, but it finally came all the way forward into a complete thought. In my department, I am treated differently from how the rest of my coworkers treat one another. It’s not disrespectful or bad, just different. I thought maybe it’s because I’m the administrative assistant and they’re ministry coordinators, but I realized that’s not true. One of the others is the admin assistant that I job-share with. She’s treated with great respect and her opinion is sought. Granted, she’s been at the job for years before I joined, and she’s involved in a different area of administration from me. But she is treated as an equal. I feel like I’m the child in the group. I thought perhaps that’s because I’m new. Nope. One of our ministry coordinators is only months on the job. To be honest, I feel I need more help than the rest because while there is a newer member to our team, I’m years behind in the professional arena. While we’re all near the same age, they were in the professional world for the years that I was a stay-at-home mom. I do feel very inadequate to the job. It would help if they weren’t all so intelligent and sharp minded. These people are so capable and intellectual, and they’re confidant but not arrogant. It is a bit intimidating.

I was thinking these things through and posed the question, “Why do I stand out as different and not an equal part of the team?” And I got an immediate answer. It’s something we hear all the time, but it hit home in a light-bulb-revelation kind of way.

“You will be treated according to what you believe about yourself.”

Wow! I know this, but with the things God is stirring up in my heart, it hit me with a new certainty! I believe I don’t belong, that I’m less qualified, less suited, less capable, less intelligent… I believe I’m less.

Right on the heels of that, God drops another bomb.

“How can you be bold if you believe you are less?”

Wow! He pulled our morning conversation right into our afternoon conversation! (Luckily, I keep a box of tissue right by my arm rest.) I cannot perform belief. I can’t pretend to believe. Thankfully, if God shows us something that we can’t do, he has a plan to complete that thing in us.

What a way to start a year! What do I do with this?

My future requires boldness beyond my ability. I cannot be bold because I believe I am less. It does not rest on my becoming the best at my job or the best at being a friend or a mom, sister, or daughter. This is the kind of belief that comes from truly believing who God says I am. How am I known in heaven? What’s my reputation there? This is a part of the journey I am so freaking excited about! I have needed this shift in mindset my whole life.

Yes! I can’t wait!

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Freedom to Believe

I discovered something about this move from “Freedom” to “Believe.” In continuing my reading of John, I came upon the phrase that everyone knows so well; “the truth shall make you free.” What made it stand out this time was what came before.

To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said:

‘If you make my word your home
you will indeed be my disciples,
you will learn the truth
and the truth will make you free’.
John 8:31-32

Through the years of seeking freedom, I changed so much. I’ve studied the Bible looking for answers, sometimes feverishly, but I also spent years listening to what God had to say. As his Word soaked into my spirit, it made the Bible come alive and make more sense. I got revelation, then the Bible confirmed it. Jesus—the word of God become flesh—became my home. I was learning the truth. It wasn’t just something I did, it’s who I became and continue to become. It took years, but that’s where my freedom came from.

I felt freedom fleshing out and becoming foundational for the last few years. As I go forward, I am walking out my freedom as the base for these next steps.

I can’t wait to share what I learn as I continue on my journey to Believe!

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Believe!

Things are changing for me in 2019! I’ll lay some groundwork for you. Doug and I didn’t really do the “New word for the New Year” thing that people do. We believed that God didn’t wait for a date on the calendar and had a theme and goal for us to have faith for and work toward according to our need in different seasons of life. We checked the theme each time it seemed something big was shifting, whether in business endeavors or emotional or spiritual breakthrough. For more than fifteen years, our word was “Freedom.” Each time we took strides or saw growth, I hoped for a new theme because I desperately wanted to be free and move on. But each time, Freedom was the word. It hurt, not because it wasn’t a good word and a good thing to have faith for, but because it meant we still weren’t free. Freedom was still on the horizon, in the distance. I learned perseverance. We kept fighting for our freedom, but eventually, I quit asking God for a new word. I knew what it was. Even last year, I knew my word was Freedom.

Then suddenly, less than two weeks into 2019, God showed up and transformed my heart and energized my mind with a single word. I was going about my day, not wondering about it or praying about it; I just heard it clear as day, “Your word this year is ‘Believe.’”

I was immediately excited—I may have squealed. Here it was; the next step, a new goal, new and exciting adventures in God! I’m free from the constant pursuit of freedom. I am so excited to have this new direction. Seriously, I can’t express my relief and excitement!

My heart has fully embraced “Believe” and I’ve been eating up everything that comes my way. Before Christmas, I was thinking I needed to read the book of John again. Then a friend put out an invitation to spend January reading John. I took the challenge. I found that of the 119 times the word “believe” appears in the gospels, 85 of those are in John. As a matter of fact, it appears more than twice as often in John than in any other book in the Bible. Another fun fact: on my drive to and from work every day, I listen to a few different teachers on YouTube, usually picking a random video (that I don’t watch, only listen to through my car speakers.) In the couple weeks since beginning this journey with “Believe,” the majority of those videos have been about belief and believing. Woohoo! I love it when I know I’m on the right track!

Part of my struggle has been that my believing—knowing something to be true about God—has not lived up to true believing—deep and joyful trust in the deepest truth of who God is. I’ve been asking him to help me truly believe, and he just told me he would!

In grasping new levels of believing what God says and who he is, I’ll blog the journey. As I learn, I’ll write and share it. Lord help me! I’ll be sharing what comes to mind and what I realize as I go. I’m sure that many of the posts won’t be fully formed or understood ideas, they’ll be my thoughts as I go. It’s a little scary, but exciting, too!

I hope you’ll join me on this quest. It’s going to be an adventure of a lifetime!

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Keepin’ It Real

I’ve been hearing a lot about being honest, open, and vulnerable; about trusting God and not giving too much importance to what people think of me. That’s a hard one. Part of it is that I want to be healed and whole so badly that I don’t like to land for too long on the ugly realities on my way to who I truly am—the girl God created me to be. I don’t want people to think that all the growth and change that God has done in me somehow regressed. I think I feel as though both my spoken testimony and the testimony I live every day of the total life changing love and kindness of God is somehow hypocritical if I struggle as I have been.

The other thing is that I really, really do not want to be a theatrical attention seeker. I don’t want to add to the plethora of rants we can’t seem to avoid bumping into these days. I don’t want to post passive aggressive, melodramatic quotes that get everyone stirred up to tell me how great I am. I don’t want to be needy! I want to be so strong that I never get to a place where I need a hug or a pat on the back. Not that I don’t want those, I just don’t want to need them. Unrealistic, you say? Don’t wreck my dreams!

All that to say, I am frustrated with what a rough, hard, difficult month this has been. I know why, but don’t understand why my mind isn’t working, why I’m struggling to keep up with my job, why I’m crying more than I have in a long time, and why I can’t seem to do anything but the bare minimum of life activities. Basically, I show up at work, do as good a job as I can, come home, sometimes make dinner, and sleep, although I haven’t had a normal night’s sleep for a couple years. If I had a fireplace, a decent mattress, and a mini-fridge, I’d never leave my room. (The fireplace is essential to that scenario.)

I know the holidays are harder for those who have lost loved ones, but the first week of December is full of big dates, and I can’t shake the…what? What is it that I can’t shake? I don’t know, whatever the weight is that falls on my head and shoulders in the weeks leading up to December. I’m not melancholy or dragging a bummer feeling around all day. In the midst of the heaviness, I have joy and peace, just not as full or saturated as I’m used to. I want saturation!

I have been trying to take care of myself a bit, though. I’m working on some Christmas projects, and that has made my heart feel good and like I’m accomplishing something. And I can honestly say that although I’m in one of those times when God’s voice seems to be too quiet to hear over the racket in my head, I know he is right here beside me. I know it in a way that is becoming almost as reassuring as when I hear his voice, see his vision, and feel his presence filling and surrounding me. Perhaps that’s what this time will bring about in me as the years go on. I’m trying to see this rough patch as an adventure. Instead, I wonder if I’ll ever have a normal night’s sleep again.

Here I am. Trying to keep it real.

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Unashamed

I love the way God works with me. It’s always interesting and always an adventure. In the last few days, he has brought one subject to me over and over: Shame. I find it interesting because I dealt with shame years ago. As it’s come up this week, I’ve felt immense gratitude comparing the grip it had on me in the past to the contrasting feeling of freedom today. Shame itself is gone. Why is God bringing this to me now?

The subject first came up during a discussion with a small group I’m part of at my church. There were a few personal and specific things I took away from that evening. One, shame is the only thing that ever made me want to hide from God. As a child, teen, and adult I talked to God about every pain and hurt, anger and hatred, joy and hope, and even about depression. My thoughts were basically conversations with God about life, but never about shame.

sad guy shame

I desperately wanted to hide this vague sensation and hide myself from God’s gaze.

Instead of looking to him, I cried “God, don’t look at me!”

Two, there must be an opposite. Our group leader asked what we thought the opposite to shame could be. My first thought was freedom, but it doesn’t seem head on. Love could be considered its opposite, but it’s too broad. Acceptance is close, but not quite center target. Shame is specific and menacing. The closest I could think of was “absolved” — “set or declared free from blame, guilt, or responsibility;” from the Latin ab-, meaning ‘from’ and solver, meaning ‘loosen.’ I love that! Shame cannot hold us because we have been loosened from all blame, guilt, and responsibility.

Three, shame is not always rooted in something for which we are guilty. Guilt goes outward in remorse for what we have done to another. Shame is an inward self-hatred filled with pain. In my life, it most often had no fixed point of action or thought. It was a vague companion, quietly tainting my thoughts.

Over the next couple days, I heard something about shame in numerous songs and teachings. One morning on the way to work, I was listening to Bethel worship music’s “You Know Me.” I was worshiping my heart out, feeling God touch the deep places in my heart that have felt neglected lately.

boys-freedomToward the end of the song, in quiet, spontaneous singing, I heard something I’d never heard before, “You never looked away. In the middle of my pain; in the middle of my shame; no, you never looked away…”

I was suddenly overwhelmed by the kindness and goodness of God. The thing shame made me cry for, God would not do. Shame made me want to recoil, cover myself and hide from the One I had talked to constantly since I could remember. I put my head down; I closed my eyes; but he never looked away. I hid and felt ashamed, but he never looked away. In his great love, his eyes were always on me.

He knows me. In the darkest, most painful times of my life—whether because of my own guilt or something done to me—he knew me and held me in his loving gaze. At my worst times, full of hate and anger, he knew me, and he never looked away. I know what it means to be absolved; to be free. He broke through the barrier of shame and showed me what it is to be his. I am accepted, and I am loved—fully, freely, without restriction or expectation.

I realize now why God has brought the subject of shame to me at this time. Someone else needs to know they can be free. Someone needs the hope that I needed. This freedom is not only possible for all, it is meant to be. It is envisioned for us by God. It’s what Jesus lived out for us. He died for you and me; but he lived for us too. He lived to show you who and what you are.

You are forgiven, You are loved, You are accepted. You are absolved. You are free. 

Just Breathe

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Just Breathe

I got the final phone call this morning. It’s benign. I feel as if a month-long asthma episode suddenly released my lungs, opening every gasping cell. I keep taking deep breaths, filling and emptying the lower lobes, confusing them with fresh air. Deeper and more cleansing than a perfect yawn, I’m breathing in new life and exhaling yesterday.

A month ago, I went into the ER with stomach cramps and emerged the next day without an appendix, but with the knowledge of a mass that didn’t belong. A week later I got the biopsy done. Ever since they found the mass, I’ve been taking the situation to God; trying to be reasonable, trying to remember that the fear was not my reality, trying to trust. I wasn’t even aware of the tightening in my chest and my clenching jaw. The biopsy came out benign, but we couldn’t be sure until we removed the mass and had the whole thing tested.  The surgery was set for one month after the appendectomy. Day before yesterday, in a lavender colored disposable nighty, I went to sleep in a brightly lit room, and awoke to hear the mass had been successfully removed and sent to the lab. Today, I was given the news that it’s time to breathe again.

Three years ago, cancer didn’t scare me, because it hadn’t yet grabbed me by the collar and bellowed in my face. Having felt its hot breath seeping into every crevice of my life, I can’t ignore its possibility as I used to. Will I ever face anything in this life before me that won’t be effected by that year, that disease, by death? I can see that I’ll carry that year with me, but I believe that someday, I can be free of the chest-squeezing fear. The more I abide in God, the more cognizant I am of his love for me; the more cognizant I am of his love, the less I am afraid. That’s how perfect love casts out fear. Time to breathe deeply, inhaling life and exhaling yesterday!

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My Friends Are Amazing

There are some details I don’t think I’ll ever forget from the timeline of the year we lost Doug. Hospital stays and emergency room visits don’t fade. The whole year is like a milestone. Wonderful, special friends and family walked with us, came alongside us, offered shoulders to lean on, and helped us maintain stability. Many helped us financially, giving more than we thought possible. As you can imagine, just as trauma and grief don’t suddenly stop, our financial problems didn’t either. This little story may be dry and a bit slow to start with a bunch of timeline facts, but hang in there. The awesome God stuff is coming.

During the year that Doug had cancer, we were supported by a couple VA programs that helped with rent and utilities for part of the time, by Evan, Quinn, and Aleina giving almost everything from their jobs, and by our family and friends giving finances, groceries, dinners, rides to and from Rochester, trips to Costco (Sam’s Club?), and so much more. The basics of life were covered. We survived. We had a home, food, and electricity. Without the love and generosity of friends and family, I honestly don’t know what would have happened to us. Every month I would tell Doug that all the pertinent bills got paid, he would cry and thank God. Our gratitude was overflowing. There are too many people to list, and uncountable kind acts and words.

Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say we lost both cars. I’ve been without my own car for two years. A good friend gave Quinn her car. It needed some work, but it has limped along and been the stop-gap we needed. It was an act of kindness and another answer to prayer. Another friend let us borrow a couple cars until he got them sold. Then, Aleina used a big chunk of her savings to buy two older cars  that we hoped would help us at least get to work and back. Together they were less than $1,500. Well, we don’t know cars or what we were doing (Doug always bought and maintained our vehicles,) and the people weren’t honest about the condition of these cars. One broke down before we owned it a month. Our close friends, the Dammeier’s helped us get it towed away.

We had spent as much as we could, and still didn’t have safe or reliable transportation. Luckily, Aleina works within walking distance, and the boys work within a few miles of home. I’m the only one who has to drive on freeways, and I work half an hour away. Joel Dammeier, who’s like a brother to all my kids, gave us his old car that he was going to sell. It was a lifesaver. Not especially safe or reliable, but better than what we were using. We had three limping cars for about nine months; and then, our most reliable car’s brakes gave out with a sudden swoosh of the brake pedal and a puddle underneath; luckily it was in our driveway! Then, we could finally breathe a little when Aleina bought herself a good, safe, reliable car. (She is really good at saving!) She let me use it for work, but I felt guilty every day taking her new car from her. All of that happened in less than two years.

Now here’s the part of the story I’ve really been wanting to get to. Jeremy and Stephanie are long time friends. They were in the youth group when Doug and I were involved in youth ministry. A while ago, God told them to set aside money that they had been using for something else each month; just set it aside until he told them what to do with it. After some time, he told them the reason they were saving it up was to buy a car for me. Stephanie called me and said, “We’re going to buy you a car.” I mean, who says that? Who does stuff like that? Jeremy and Stephanie, that’s who! That’s just the beginning! They had shopped around a bit and looked into some options that didn’t work out, when a friend of Stephanie’s said she had this little 2008 HHR that she got for her bakery business, but was selling it because it was too small. It ran well, was very safe and reliable, and the miles weren’t bad for its age. We went out to look at it. It had some issues, one being that the back doors wouldn’t open from the outside. We all felt we should pass on it and keep looking.

Stephanie let her friend know that we weren’t going to buy it and told her about the doors. (She didn’t know because she used the hatch and hadn’t tried the doors.) Then, about half an hour later, the friend texts back and says that if I still want it, she’ll sell it to them for about a third of her original asking price! Even in its condition it was worth a lot more than that. They bought it and had more than enough left over to get the issues dealt with. We’ll get the doors taken care of soon, but it’s been detailed and had a couple issues fixed. I LOVE my car! It is so cute, and I feel like a super awesome, slightly sassy, reasonably responsible person when I’m in it. I actually feel younger driving around! The AC and heat work great, which is really important in Minnesota. I just can’t fully express how grateful and happy I am for this car. I’m blessed; very blessed. Not just blessed because I have a new car, but because I have amazing friends who listen to God, and care for me and stand by me as I figure this new life out.

God has once again shown up in a big way. He is a kind and loving Father. Stephanie and Jeremy, the Dammeier’s, and others who have walked alongside us and helped us financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually have all shown the kindness of God to us. These are the new details and the new milestones I will remember forever.

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