It has been a while. Five months to be exact, there is so much to catch up on. For starters, I am now a college Graduate and I joined the WIFEY club!! So many exciting life changes, all to soon be up on the blog.
Before we get to those fun exciting posts. I’ve been dying to finally put into words the season I am in. Today marks my four year surgery anniversary. In previous posts I’ve shared about when I was molested resulting in a molar pregnancy. Hence needing to have the surgery.
While adjusting to all the free time I had newly acquired after every rejection of a job or sickness I felt began to put me in a state of hopelessness. Moments that were not taken up with either crafting, reading or worship became hard because as more time passed that feeling of helplessness/ hopelessness grew more and more. Even though, God is faithful and my husband was loving the feeling remained.
In that lonely place the tormenting thoughts and insecurities that I had received healing from all those years ago began to creep back up and became my reality. Ashamed I hid that and kept it to myself because it happened so long ago. Frankly, I felt like because God did such a work in me then, this shouldn’t be an issue in my life now.
My daily thoughts became
“I should be happy, right? Jesus loves me, He choose me! I just married my BEST FRIEND, he loves me, we finally get to do life together. I finally graduated College (thought that would never happen)”
On my lowest day, I began to hum “Hallelujah to the potter”. Over and over again, not knowing where that came from. I typed those words into you tube (because now their is a worship song for everything) not knowing it would lead me to my sweet friend Dante Bowe’s song “Potter and friend”. I began weep as I listened to the song. For the first time in months I felt the presence of Jesus in a real and tangible way. As he sang this verse something in me shifted.
” So put me on your wheel now
Spin me around, spin me around
Place me in your flame now
Till you can see threw me and I am ready to come out
And all that was broke It won’t be broken after this
No, Not after this
And all that was dead Its finding life again and a true friend that so Happens to be a potter”
These words brought me to tears. In a moment the hurt, tormenting thoughts, and reminders of what seemed so long ago that had become near were healed and made whole!
God is still a healer and a restorer. Whether it is one moment in his presence or a life time. Things do not have to stay hopeless and broken. Seasons can change.
” Hallelujah to the potter who came and made me new”
We live in a culture where everyone has something to say. Something to add to the noise but somehow we underestimate our impact on the small little part of the world we reside in. What you say matters, your life matters! One day your words, smile, thoughts etc. just might be what someone needs at the right time and suddenly they are never the same.
THIS IS MY STORY!
Your life matters…What’s your Story!
They say “A picture is worth ten thousand words .”
-Fred R. Barnard
By no means am I a professional photographer but I wanted to switch up things up this week and share some of my landscape photos. Most of these places captured in these image show have a special place in my heart because of memories shared. Hope this switch up in pace is one that that speaks to you more than words because ‘ A picture is worth ten thousand words.’
When my fiance joined the army, I didn’t anticipate all the changes that our relationship would face. After many conversations about him contemplating joining the army, I had my assumptions of what it would be like. What I didn’t anticipate was how the army would teach me so much about love.
“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Before Jacob joined the army, I was convinced I was fairly patient when it came to our relationship. BOY, was I mistaken! There have been times where we have gone two or three months with little to no communication. These times were hard and the only way we could talk was through letters. Man oh man, the excitement that I had for a piece of paper to come in the mail was so unreal. But, in those periods of waiting for letters in-between, I had to understand that he was very busy. The work that he was doing is important and, in some situations, could save his life or someone else’s life; so it matters. This was extremely hard because I would have loved to be able to talk to him as much as all my friends got to talk to their boyfriends or fiancés. But, as more time passed, I learned that all the waiting was worth it, because the time that we did get to spend with each other was precious
2. Love keeps no record of wrongs.
My little brother is always reminding me that people will not always remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. With us not seeing each other much during the first few months of him being in the military, it was easier for me keep all the little things that hurt me in the back of my mind. Holding onto things sometimes seemed easier when I wanted to be selfish and didn’t want to see how my reaction was hurting him. But love doesn’t do that. I learned that by doing this, I was putting a strain on our relationship and that it really hurt Jacob. We all make mistakes in every relationship and not letting them go keeps you from growing individually, as well as together. This also made Jacob feel guilty and take the blame on things that weren’t his to carry. Blindly, I didn’t see how it could affect his work. I learned that the hard way.
3. Love always perseveres
Jacob is my best friend, my confidant, my encourager and motivator. These last four years, Jacob has been my biggest cheerleader and my crying buddy when I needed a sob. Though, it’s more like I’m crying and he just listens and lends the shoulder that I need; in a lot of tough situations (in the season of life featured in the last blog post especially), he’s been a constant in my life and I have been the same in his. Through the tough times of being disappointed with life, growing apart, work, school, whatever; I learned that love is a choice, not a feeling, and in order for our relationship to persevere, we have to be committed to each other. We have to communicate and choose to see the best in each other; we have to get through the good times and the bad times, because love doesn’t quit.
These are just a few things that dating a soldier has taught me. The same way that they make a commitment to fight and defend us so selflessly is the same way that we should love and protect their hearts, because, somewhere along the way, my heart became like home to him and his became mine. With that same commitment, I have learned so much about giving my all to our future; being a military significant other is not for the faint of heart and, for sure, our hearts are (and continue to be) stronger than ever.
Abortions seem to be a hot topic. Should someone abort if they are unwilling to have child, cannot afford to raise a child, or are too young and it was a “mistake”? Often times this perspective is forgotten about: What if she must abort her child in order to survive. These are just some questions men or women, young and old have to ask ourselves.
With this presidential campaign this topic is hitting close to home for many people. For some they cannot imagine having to decide to abort a child or choosing life. Do not worry this blog post is not about Pro-life or Pro-choice. This blog post is about two stories that hopefully give a different perspective.
In the spring of 2013, I was raped. The more time that past the more I became insecure and ashamed. After a month of being in and out of the medical clinic at my university. With no solid answer as to what was wrong with me. On April 18th the question was answered. One of the nurses put the pieces together and decided to take a pregnancy test compiled with many other tests. The test came back positive, my initial thought was well…. That is very wrong because I am saving myself for marriage so that must be for someone else. Without really acknowledging that I had suppressed what happened to me to the point where I wouldn’t allow myself to believe that I was raped. Unfortunately with the change of events I had to come to terms with the fact that I was with child. Never before had the thought of abortion crossed my mind because that was never on my radar. But after that news it crossed my mind. When the thought approached I remember thinking about a verse that was so near and dear to me whenever I dreamt about having kids because in my mind it was something far off. Not just right around the corner.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart….”
Shortly after I was reminded of this verse I thought to myself, who ever this baby inside me; whether a girl or a boy, Jesus knows him/her and has a plan for their life. I came to a resolve within myself that I will grow to love my unborn child. Because someway, somehow I believe God has a way of making things beautiful. Long story short I had a molar pregnancy. A molar pregnancy for those who do not know, is a viable pregnancy, resulting in abnormal cysts in the placenta. There is no baby in this type of pregnancy and for me at 19 years old, that was a lot to take in and process. Twenty four hours prior I thought I was going to become a young mom, shortly finding out that was not the case. If they would have found the the molar pregnancy any later it could have turned into cancer. I thank God for that nurse who was curious enough to test if I was Pregnant. It made me come to term with what happened to me. But I am also thankful for that season because I can now empathize and understand what a lot of young teen moms feel. I’m 23 now and can not imagine what my life would have looked like. But I know when the time comes abortion will never be an option for my fiance and I.
This next story is the story of two people who mean the world to me. My older brother and his wife. About three days ago Greyson Azariah Mumba was born, he already is a blessing and a miracle. My older brother briefly wrote, ” Early on in the pregnancy a doctor told us that in order to save her life we may have to abort Greyson. We prayed and many others prayed.She is doing well and so is Greyson. God is so faithful! We believe that God has great things in store for this Guy..”
I remember getting the text from my older brother after that doctors appointment. The concern and fear that quickly followed after reading the first part was overwhelming. But further down I read more about how they believed that was not God’s will for their little guy and that they were asking that all their loved ones join them in prayer. So Praying is just what many people did. Greyson’s beautiful mother and father are a representation of how their faith in the goodness of God is a reminder that every child born or unborn matters.
Greyson Azariah Mumba is a MIRACLE, his beautiful mother is a MIRACLE, his life matters and so does every unborn child
Growing up I was convinced that my parents would change their mind on not wanting to give me a sister. With a little growing up I realized that you just don’t go to a store and say, ” UMM we want that baby please.” When I was younger that concept didn’t dawn on me; so I continued to beg my parents for a sister, if I wasn’t begging I was praying for a sister! Somewhere along the way I stopped begging for a sister and started to see what a blessing my two brother were.
Brothers are like full proof body guards, people never picked on me because everybody knew who they were. They taught me how to fight for myself; whether it be with my words or self defense. This taught me to have tough skin because if they weren’t around I needed to stick up for myself. Which was hard to think about because i enjoyed spending time with them. We did everything together, we studied together, played together, had all the same friends. In everything we did, we were each others biggest fans.
Growing up is a part of life, we all have to grow up, get an education, chase a career and start a family. While these are all good things and blessings, if I’m being honest I miss it! I miss having my best friends in the same house. I miss playing in the yard, getting into trouble because we were bored. I miss cheering them on at their sporting events, I miss it. Coming to college was hard because I moved out of the state I’ve never been to before, without friends or family. Starting over without your best friends in a place you’ve never been with a friend was hard. This scripture has always helped me with the transition in life.
“But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
This verse meant so much to me because that friend who sticks closer than a brother is the Jesus. He has always been there with the awesome memories with my brothers. Every good memory and bad memory he was there through it all! Now it is cool to look back and see how we are growing and doing different things and there is joy in that.
We are at the half way point of the semester and, let me be the first person to say, I am overwhelmed with joy. However, even with this joyful moments in my life, I feel as though I am also overwhelmed with projects, groupwork and exams. All those things have a great way of making me feel anxious about the next 9 weeks until graduation.
While I am excited about my upcoming graduation, there is a lot to feel anxious about; finishing college well, planning a wedding while I am still in school, searching for a job, and where my future husband and I will live. Will everything come together? These are just a few of the questions I ask myself constantly and, in doing so, I am unknowingly and knowingly making myself worry about the future. However, I love what Scripture has to say about anxiety and worrying:
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Can any of you add a single hour to the length of your life by worrying?
I read these verses and I am reminded that worrying does me no good; it doesn’t add to my days but, instead, takes away from them. Worrying and having anxiety about good things that are to come does not allow me to be present in the here and now. Worrying doesn’t help me focus on the work I have to get done for school or wedding planning. If anything, worrying and stressing about these things brings anxiety.
I love how Philippians says “but in every situation by prayer and petition give thanks and present your request to God.” This spoke to me, because when I fixate on the situation, it amplifies the situation and makes it bigger than what it really is. I guess the simple way to put it is:
Let go and let God!
Easier said than done, obviously; especially with regards to what the future holds. It is human nature to want to know what is going to happen. It is human nature to want to be comfortable and confident in what you are doing. I’ve heard people say this for a while and it used to bother me because I thought, ‘How is anyone supposed to learn to work hard, plan and be proactive, if you just do nothing and expect God or someone to just come and do it all for you?’ That is so strange and foreign to think of when you are struggling with anxiety. However, that is not the case; you give your best and leave the rest up to the Big Man Upstairs. Justin Bieber said this best towards the end of his song “Purpose”!!!
“ You know you’re trying to be the best you can be but that’s all you can do. If you don’t give it all you got, you’re only cheating yourself. Give it all you got, but if it ends up happening, it ends up happening.
That’s what—that’s what’s happening with me. It’s like, God I’m giving it all I got; sometimes I’m weak and I’m gonna do it…”
Due to a turn of events that accumulated at the end of last week my original weekend plans fell through. Although this wasn’t what I was expecting, the change in schedule allowed me to go to CRU’s fall retreat. This wasn’t just my first time, surprisingly it was my fifth time traveling to Camp Powhatan with CRU; yes I said fifth!!
CRU is an on campus Christian ministry I have had the joy to be a part of throughout my Radford experience. FALL RETREAT is… Well, it is just that a retreat! It is time and time again my favorite thing CRU does. I mean who doesn’t like a nice getaway weekend to escape homework, stress, and just the business that comes with being a student? Personally anytime I get to escape all the noise and business of it all, I take it!
Camp Powhatan has stolen a little piece of my heart. Hidden up in the mountains of southwestern Virginia I’ve made friendships and memories, and have learned so much about the character of God.
Every year at fall retreat on the last night is the famous fall retreat bonfire. In the fall of 2012 I had a hard time sitting outside in that cold mountain air, and although I enjoyed spending time with people it was hard to get over the loss of feeling in my toes. I also wasn’t too fond of making s’mores. Fun Fact: Chocolate makes me queasy, so I was not about it. To add to my discomfort and negative feelings towards chocolate, I was surrounded by a lot of people who had the same beliefs that I did, but I hadn’t quiet found a true friend, one who I knew would become my BEST FRIEND in this journey of college. Looking around it seemed like everyone else had found that. With this longing in my heart to find a friend I sat there to myself and began to pray. The prayer went something like this: “Well… I’m here. Everyone said to come to fall retreat. They said I would find community… and honestly I remember someone saying something about a best friend! JESUS you know I need a best friend!” Shortly after that, I can’t quite remember if I approached this girl or she approached me, but we ended up sitting next to the fire and talking the night away. In this conversation we began to open up about ourselves, our hopes and dreams, and our families and upbringing. Needless to say while we had some differences in our lives we had an overwhelming amount of similarities and we were more alike than I would have thought. Once the fire began to die out we proceeded to walk back to our cabins. All we had to light our very, very dark path was a lousy phone light. Quickly enough we found ourselves conjoined at the hip, navigating the long journey back to the cabins together. I remember lying in bed that night thinking “I hope I remember my new friends name and what she talked about because I couldn’t see her face well, even at the bonfire!!!”
So much has changed since then; I not only gained a friend that night I also gained a sister, and we have been inseparable ever since. What I didn’t initially realize that night was that I gained more than a sister, I gained a family! A home away from home, a sisterhood and brotherhood that I so desperately longed for and needed as a believer in Christ. Family isn’t always blood, and sometimes friends that come into your life at the right time, when you need them the most, are the type of family that you need. Friends who will cry with you, rejoice with you, and just live life with you. For me, my family away from home has always pointed me towards the one thing I know will never change and that is Christ. In times of hardships and confusion, when I felt like God wasn’t there, my local family was there to comfort and encourage me. At every fall retreat following I have been rejuvenated in the Lord, refocused on his goodness and who he is, and reminded of the way he answered my simple prayer at the bonfire. You see, my God is one who cares, who encourages, and who listens to me when I call.
My last Fall Retreat was nothing short of disappointing, and yet again I was reminded that college is but a fleeting season in life and that God is constant and remains faithful. I shed a few tears before leaving Camp Powhatan this final time. I was overwhelmed by the memories and friendships that God had put in my life, and I was reminded of those people who saw me through some of the hardest and toughest seasons of life, and for those experiences and connections I am forever grateful!