Monday, October 15, 2012

My Choice

Recently I have gone back and forth between being overwhelmed at the "stuff" that goes on in our life, and being so thankful as I look around and back and see God's hand so clearly working. There are aspects of our youngest daughter's new treatment that honestly scare me. I get overwhelmed when I think about certain aspects of it (for example it is quite possibly going to be needed for the rest of her life). Today I have decided that I have so much to be thankful for, and that is what I'm going to focus on. So, here is a partial list of the things that I'm thankful for today!

~ A wonderful husband who supports me and loves me no matter what!
~ Amazing children who keep me on my toes and keep me laughing!
~ A faithful God who has promised to never leave me!
~ A beautiful house to live in.
~ Amazing friends who are there for me whenever I need encouragement!
~ Those who have really been like a second family to me (Earles and Keys)! ~ love you guys!
~ Medical Insurance that covers a good portion of our bills (I can't imagine the debt we would have without it, and even though I complain about how much we do have to pay I'm so thankful it isn't the whole bill!)
~ A good church that has really taught me who my God really is and has shown us God's love in so many tangible ways when we needed it the most.
~ The good school that my kids go to and the amazing teachers there!
~ The ability to substitute teach this year so I can be off with my kids but still have a chance to earn money to help with the bills.

There are so many more things that I could list, but it could take forever! :0) I'm choosing to focus on what I'm thankful for rather than what I'm worried about or overwhelmed with today. What are you thankful for?

Monday, September 24, 2012


I'm so thankful that I serve a God who loves me unconditionally and is big enough to"take it" when I get frustrated and question Him. I must admit I don't understand everything He does, (not even most of it to be honest) and that's ok, but sometimes that leads to frustration.

In the last few weeks I was really in a rough place. Quite honestly I was frustrated with God and wanted Him to act in my time (aka...heal my baby girl NOW!) I was tired of being patient, tired of doctors, bills, sickness, sleepless nights, and watching my baby girl suffer. I think if we are honest we all have these times where we wrestle with God. Jacob did in the Bible, and even Jesus did in this passage. It really is ok to wrestle with God when you don't understand. I think that when we do this is when we come to know Him, love Him, and trust Him more.

We go through "seasons" in our lives. It is important to know that the season you are in won't last forever. The tough times come and we don't see that there is a way out or that they will ever end. Don't believe that! Don't lose hope! God is there with you and He will see you through the tough times.

While our circumstances haven't really changed in the last couple of weeks I feel like I'm in a very different place today spiritually and emotionally than I was in my last post. I still do not understand, but I'm choosing to trust that God will completely and totally heal my baby girl in His time. This song really captures where I am right at this moment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Frustration and Discouragement

I admit it...I'm frustrated and discouraged. I'm tired and ready for answers. I know God can heal my baby girl, and don't understand why He hasn't chosen to do so yet. I don't understand how one child can have so many rare things going on in their little body. I know there has to be a root cause for all of the stuff my little girl is going through, but we haven't been able to find it so far...I hate seeing her struggle to breathe, and I'm so tired and wish she could sleep through the night. The medical bills continue to pile up, and although it's neat to see how God provides I'm really tired of fighting with the insurance company to cover what she needs, and the stack of to be paid can be discouraging.

In the last few days we have found that on top of all her other medical issues she is aspirating food particles which are turning into fat inside her lungs (this only serves to complicate her breathing issues). She also needs IVIG treatments which our insurance company is notorious for denying. We are hoping she will get them approved and that she can do the Subq (we can do it from home) because if not it means that we have to get a port put in her chest so they can access her veins when we go to the hospital for treatments. She is also getting sick again and that means she is sleeping even worse than normal (she has only been off antibiotics about a week). As a mom it is really hard to see your child suffer. I just want her to be well!

It's been quite a while since I have been this discouraged. I feel like I'm once again asking God what He is doing. I know He has us in the palm of His hand and that everything is going to work out, I just need to be patient (not one of my better qualities). Please join me in praying for my little girl! We need favor with the insurance company so she can get the treatment that she needs! We need answers on how to help her! We need to find the root cause of what is going on! I really desire to see complete healing in her little body and I KNOW that God can do it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Lately we have had so much stuff going on in our family that I have had to choose to focus on the good and choose to see God's hand leading, guiding, and protecting even when it is hard. Between our youngest daughter's continued health issues (we just found ANOTHER rare condition) and the drama of the possibility of another trial in New Hampshire along with life in general it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

Last night as I was laying in bed I decided to read in Psalms (LOVE having You Version on my phone) and I came across Psalm 136. Over and over again, in fact at the end of each verse, it states "for His steadfast love endures forever". It can be easy to just skip past something, especially when it is repetitive, but I think this phrase is repeated again and again for a reason. The passage talks about all kinds of things, both good and bad, and after each thing it says "for His steadfast love endures forever". To me this is such a good reminder that as I walk through this journey of life no matter what happens God's love will always be there! I hope this encourages you as much as it has me!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Answering the Critics

I typically do not take time to answer critics because I feel like it is a waste of my time. Often once someone has their mind made up about someone or some situation it is very hard if not impossible to change it. In this post I am going to answer some of the criticism that I (we) have faced, and then I'm going to leave it there, and move on to bigger and better things with my life and this blog.

1. "You are just a bitter person out for vengeance and publicity."
     ~ I am not bitter. You can ask those who I am closest to and they could tell you that this is absolutely not true. I have chosen to cooperate with the police investigations for a number of reasons, but mostly because it was the right thing to do. If by my actions or my story being told I can prevent the abuse of one child or give courage to someone to come forward about their abuse and find freedom, then I believe that is what I need to do. Statistics show that abusers typically don't change, so the best place for them is in jail so they can't hurt others. I have not done this for the publicity. I did agree to a couple of interviews, but turned down far more than I accepted. I allowed my story to become public so that a greater awareness could be brought to the problem of abuse.

2. "You were happy in life before all of this, they should have left you alone."
     ~ In all honesty I was not happy, I was miserable. When we left fundamentalism I was in a place of extreme pain and intense searching. It is in this searching that I have found who my God really is. The true God of the Bible is a very different God than the one I grew up knowing. I have found incredible healing in the last two years and am incredibly thankful for all that I have learned along this journey.

3. "How could you hurt the families that these men have, I mean this was so long ago."
     ~ Here's the deal with this one. This is totally misplaced guilt. I will not take the blame for hurting anyone's family. Abusive men (people) are the ones that choose to hurt their families. These men are not stupid, they just lack self control and common decency. When an abuser chooses to hurt another person they are the one that ultimately hurts their family in the process even if it does take many years for justice to happen. Again, there are so many studies that have shown that typically abusers DO NOT CHANGE. Even if abuse happened years ago the perpetrator should pay for their crimes.

4. "You are hurting the name of Christ by your actions and by calling out abuse in the church."
     ~ Honestly my husband just did an incredible post about this one so I'm just going to link it here because I think he answered it far better than I could. Check out his post titled "You're Hurting the Name of God".

5. "You lump everyone together and hate all fundamentalists."
     ~ This is simply not true. There are still people that I love dearly that are fundamentalists. I do believe that there are many people who are within that movement who just do not see what is going on. I frequently pray for many of the people that I know within fundamentalism that God would do an amazing work in their lives. I don't have the time or the energy to hate people (not not even those who have hurt me deeply). When I find myself struggling in that way I pray for those people because it is only God who can open their eyes and break off the chains that hold them back.

I know there are other criticisms, but I don't want to take the time or the energy to deal with them. Those closest to me and probably most who have even taken the time to read this blog can see my heart. I love people and hate that people are being abused or that their abuse is covered in the name of Christ. It is wrong! I believe that God has called me to where I am to help give hope to hurting people and to show them that there is hope for a very full and happy life after abuse. I will continue to bring light into the dark places and love the hurting people no matter what people choose to say. I know my God is for me and that I am loved unconditionally, and that I am doing what is right and that is all that matters.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hope for Healing ~ Part 3

I saw a quote today that really got me thinking, and I think it really applies to healing. Take a minute to ponder this. "If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?" (unsure who to give credit to for this quote...)

Sometimes in the process of healing we are our own worst enemies. We continue to think on things we know aren't true (it was my fault, I could or should have done more, if I had only been a good little girl/boy I never would have been beaten, etc...) and yet if a friend would walk up to you and say those things it would anger us. Most of us acknowledge that abuse wasn't the fault of the victim as long as that victim wasn't us. We somehow think we have to be held to a different standard than everyone else. Know that even if you did something wrong and was beaten because of it the beating was NOT your fault. Punishment is supposed to be training, not brutalizing! It is not your fault that someone lost all self control and took their aggression out on you! Part of the process of healing really is changing how you think! If we continue to dwell on the what ifs or the it really was my fault, etc... I don't think we will ever get true healing. Let's change our focus to what is good and true and right (Philippians 4:8). Think on what is true ~ You are loved! You are worth the work it takes for healing! You are treasured! You CAN find full and complete healing! God loves you so much and wants to heal each and every one of your wounds!

You have more power than you know to change your life and your world! Changing how you think can change how you see life in general and it can change your outlook on life. When those negative thoughts creep in choose to replace them with truth! I think you will be surprised at what a difference that this can make in your life! I know I was!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hope for Healing ~ Part 2

Sometimes the hardest part of the process of healing is getting started. Getting started means we have to acknowledge all of the pain that we have stuffed down deep inside of ourselves for years. It means that instead of ignoring the pain and acting like nothing is wrong we open ourselves up and in a sense become vulnerable once again so that we can become healed and whole. Know that this is a good and healthy thing to do! It is not healthy to stuff the pain down. Unless things are brought into the sunlight and exposed there can be no healing.

When acknowledging that the pain is there I think it is important to place the blame where the blame lies. This was very hard for me (and I know it is for others too!). I can't tell you how many countless hours I spent doing the "what if game or the if only game" inside my head. I had been so long blamed by others that I took the blame as my own and tried to figure out in my mind how I could have prevented the attacks I experienced. Because of the many different things that I heard I also truly believed that I was to blame. On the flip side of that I could have looked at any other victim and told them that being attacked or abused wasn't their fault, but it was hard to believe it for myself.

After you have acknowledged where the blame lies (ALWAYS with the abuser) you can begin the process of forgiveness. Let me just say that there are a lot of things that forgiveness is and is not. Forgiveness is for you NOT the abuser. I go into more about forgiveness here on #2. Please know that forgiveness brings amazing peace to your life (I speak from experience). Also know that it isn't a one time event, but something you may have to choose again and again.

Remember that healing is a process. It will take time and effort, but it is so worth it! The freedom that I have experienced as I have been walking through the healing process in my own life is amazing! While there isn't an easy fix so to speak there is a God who promises to love you and walk each step of the way with you on your journey. In the second half of Hebrews 3:5 God promises that He will never leave us. Rest in that truth as you walk through your journey.

I do have a few more thoughts on this topic, but I will finish up another day. Remember you are loved and you are worth everything it will take to go through this process!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hope for Healing ~ Part 1

I know that right now there are a lot of hurting people. So much has been coming out over the last week, and every time a new story breaks it has the potential to re-open old wounds from others who have also been victimized.  I just want to tell you that there is hope for full and complete healing!!! Yes, scars will always be there as a reminder of what we went through, but there is healing from the intense pain!

Let me begin by saying that healing is a process. It won't happen overnight. Broken bones don't heal overnight and neither do intense emotional traumas. Healing is a process, and while there are many steps involved in the process, and the process can be painful the healing is so very worth it! (I'm speaking from experience!) I'm going to just touch on a couple things today, but there is more to come.

First, please know you are worth the hard work it will take! You are precious, treasured, loved, and valued beyond measure!!! I know that it is easy to feel like you are a piece of garbage, or completely worthless when you have been abused, but please put that lie out of your mind! You are valued (Matthew 6:26), you are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), you are held in God's hand no matter where you go (Psalm 139:9-10). Stop telling yourself that you aren't worth it and know that God says you are, and there are many others who would say the same thing (myself included)!

Next, please know it will take work on your part. I think a good place to start is to either find someone who is safe who you can tell your story to, or write it down. Somehow getting it out instead of leaving it trapped inside of you can go a long way towards starting the healing process. Know that there are stages of grief that you will have to work through along your journey of healing (this is NORMAL)! Emotions are a good thing not a bad thing as so many of us were taught. There will be some days and even weeks that are better than others. As long as you are making progress along the way this is ok!

A big part of the healing process is changing how you think. What you choose to focus on determines who you become. Many of us were taught things that aren't true and were even told that the abuse was our fault or that we somehow provoked it. I just can't emphasize strongly enough that abuse is NEVER the fault of the victim! Please do not blame yourself! Be willing to seek outside help! Counseling can be a good and healthy thing! Changing how you think can be so difficult, but it can be a critical part of healing especially when you have been taught to believe things that aren't true.

I will write more about healing soon, but I'd like to end the post with a song that has been an encouragement to me along my journey of healing!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My heart on recent events...

Today as yet another story of abuse comes out of fundamentalism my heart is breaking. When people for whatever reason "look up to" (or what ever you want to call it) someone to the point of putting them on a pedestal they get their eyes off God and start to worship man. When enough people do this for someone they start to think that they can say and do anything they want. In the process many are hurt.

I'm saddened by the many stories that I hear of people in positions of power within the church abusing their power, and thereby hurting many. I'm saddened that when people go to someone for the help that they need (often because they have already endured abuse) that they end up being hurt by those that they trusted to help them.

The church needs to wake up!!!! I just can't say this strongly enough! Stop putting men in the place of God! All men (including pastors) are human and need to have accountability! Stop blaming the victim, and start taking responsibility for your actions. Do the RIGHT thing!

To the victims out there. Please do not give up hope! There is hope for complete healing!!! I will blog soon about that, but please know this is true! Also, please know that not all pastors/churches/Christians are that way. There are those who will love you through the pain and help you to find the healing you so desperately need! Don't give up! You are loved!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Renewed Hope

I've been in kind of a funk...I admit it. (I know I'm not alone in this right now because I have several friends who have been there too) I have been just overwhelmed with all the stuff going on in my life, and in the lives of the people I care about. I just have felt drained.

I went to church today just empty...I just don't have any other word to describe it. I felt like I had given to my baby girl, given to friends, given to those who are hurting, and pretty much just given out... I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way at times. I think I just lost focus and was overwhelmed by the amount of pain I've been seeing. I love people and hate seeing them in pain especially if that pain could have been avoided by others (especially religious leaders) doing right.

I walked in the doors just praying that God would do something in my life because I knew that my "emptiness" was really starting to get to me and therefore it was affecting my family. God answered. I don't really know how to begin, but worship was amazing this morning, and God really used the worship time to speak to me. One of the songs we sang was a favorite of mine, but once again God used it to remind me where my focus needed to be and where I needed to run!

I love how music can change us, transform us, and help to renew our minds. I needed the reminder of who my God is (Good, love, light, hope, etc...) and I needed the reminder of where to run (right into His arms). I know that this doesn't change my circumstances, but it does change my focus, and help to renew my hope in the God that loves me and cares for me. I hope it encourages you too!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Losing Hope

It is so easy to lose hope. I think we have all done it at one point or another in our lives. We get overwhelmed with the "junk" that is going on all around us and we just don't see a way out. I've recently been corresponding with someone who reminded me of this part of my journey, so I thought I'd share it here in case it could help someone else.

I remember being ready to just give up because I  had been "attacked",  ignored, or encouraged to do something that I thought would be morally wrong by the "spiritual authorities" in my life. It seemed that they were more interested in protecting those that had hurt me than in seeing the truth revealed and crimes punished. If that was what "Christianity" was (judging, nasty, in my face, outright lying about me, protecting criminals, etc...) and if that's how God was (they represent Him right?), then I was done!!! I know I'm not alone in this! 

I'm so thankful that I have been able to see who the real God is! The God I serve is not one that can be manipulated into loving me more by what I do or don't do, what I listen to, how often I go to church, what I wear, what version of the Bible I read, etc... He loves me simply because I exist! I went into a deep period of searching to see who God really is because I had to know. Jeremiah 29:13 promises that if we seek for God we will find Him. What I found and really continue to find is that I am loved, valued, and treasured simply because I exist. God isn't a God who comes judging when we mess up, but a God who seeks to lovingly restore (there are so many examples of this in the Bible). 

Don't lose hope in God because of what church leaders or other "Christians" have done or said. Not all Christians are this way, and not everyone who claims to be a "Christian" really is. Contrary to what you might have heard no one church has absolute truth while everyone else is wrong. Do some searching. Search for who God is yourself, and look at other churches. I was amazed by how freeing this was for our family! Most of all don't give up hope because of your pain, there is joy on the other side!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Examples of Hope

I think we as humans relate to others who have been in the same or similar circumstances who have overcome and made it to the other side. Seeing where others have conquered gives us hope! Sometimes all it takes is hearing about how someone has walked that same tough road and been victorious to give us that necessary glimpse of hope that we need!

I was reading yesterday and once again came across the story in Mark 5:25-34 where the woman who was very sick had hope that Jesus would heal her. She had been suffering for 12 years and had yet to find relief even though she had been under the care of many different doctors. I think at this point I might have wanted to give up! She heard about Jesus and how he had healed others and decided that he might be able to heal her too. She didn't give up hope! She placed her hope (probably her last one) in Jesus because she caught just a glimpse of what He could do! She was rewarded with complete healing!

Think about the story of Joseph. He was sold by his brothers into slavery, and then cast into jail for something he didn't do, and then he was forgotten by someone who promised he would remember him and try to help. I think it would have been easy to give up hope and live in despair down in that jail cell. Instead Joseph believed that God would somehow save him, and chose to do the best he could where he was. He was eventually promoted to a place of honor.

Sometimes I look at those stories from the Bible and think yeah, but that was so long ago. Could that really help me today? Things were so different then, it wasn't so hard to believe that something good could happen from all this bad. There are so many present day real life stories that could be told. There are so many countless people who have lived through things that should never have happened and yet have come out to be wonderful people who live relatively normal lives. I think of people like Tyler Perry, Maya Angelou, Joyce Meyer and many others who have overcome and seek to change the world to make it a better place. They seek to do something beneficial with their pain to bring hope to others. I pray that my story will also inspire others and give hope.

If you are struggling to see hope, look around! No matter how you feel you are not alone!! There are so many people dealing with pain, some just hide it better than others. Find that glimpse of hope and hang on to it! True healing can sometimes be a painful process, but is so worth it! I'm here to tell you that there is hope for a full and amazing life after the pain of horrible abuse! I'm living proof of that! 

Friday, July 13, 2012


I am in the process of doing a study on the topic of hope, so I'm sure that this is only the first of many posts on this topic! We all talk about hope and how we need it. Do we know what it really is? Where is our hope, how does it stay secure? These and many other questions have been mulling around in my mind (hence one of the reasons for the study).

Hope can be defined as:
   1. The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: 
     2. A person or thing in which expectations are centered: (the medicine was her last hope)

It is really easy to lose hope when things are spinning out of control. Sometimes you just can't see that there is any hope for things to get better. Please know there is ALWAYS hope! When David was at some of his lowest points in life he sought to remember God was his hope. In Psalms 42 and 43 he re-writes the same thing 3 different times. (Sometimes I think things like that are for people like me who need to hear it more than once!) In these verses he writes: 

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

If you are struggling I would encourage you to start reading these 2 chapters over and over again. Know that it is normal to struggle! It is normal to have good times and bad times! It is even normal to question God and ask him "Where are you?". Just remember there is ALWAYS hope! If you are struggling look for even the slightest glimpse of hope and hold on to it! You can make it! You are loved!

Monday, July 9, 2012

What Real Change Looks Like ~ Part 2

This is a continuation of a post that can be found here. I would like to again make a disclaimer that this is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list of things that can and should be done.

Something I really think needs to be understood and acknowledged is that many times the person who enables the abuse is just as bad as the abuser. This enabling can be done in many different ways. The enabler can allow a known abuser around their own children. The enabler can knowingly allow an abuser to be in a position within an organization that lends itself to trust (such as a visible position at church) and thereby potentially endangering more children. When it is a parent or another authority figure that is the enabler it puts the child in a situation to feel like there is no where to turn. My caution is to be careful with allowing known abusers to have any sort of position of trust (even just being an usher at church) especially around children! I think that those who have enabled known abusers also owe victims that have been harmed because of their enabling an apology, and really even those who were potentially put in harms way as well.

One thing that I believe is ESSENTIAL for change is to change one's mindset. In order to do this you have to begin to see things differently. I believe that churches and other Christian organizations that have been impacted by abuse NEED a 3rd party to come in and evaluate. Bringing an organization such as G.R.A.C.E. will help any ministry see where things have gone bad, and how the situation can be rectified. I also believe that they can help to give a godly perspective that may differ from how things are currently viewed. If someone from the "outside" is not brought in nothing will change. Without a proper understanding of what abuse is, that it is NOT the fault of the victim, and without a true understanding of various aspects of abuse there will not be change either.

While I know that there are many other areas that I could touch on, and that I only hit basics this is where I choose to stop for now. Change is NECESSARY! My prayer is that churches, schools, parents, and anyone with access to children will come to understand the dynamics of abuse, and see the need to change to help prevent it. I believe that part of prevention is in understanding how abuse happens, and even some of how predators pick victims. We ALL have a responsibility to do our best to protect the next generation of children from the horrifying effects of abuse.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Real Change Looks Like ~ Part 1

Change is a word that is often used in today's society, and something that a lot of people are calling for in many different aspects of life. Real change can not happen unless a person or a group of people is willing to admit that they were wrong, there is a problem, and that they need to be part of the solution. I seemed to have opened up a big "can of worms" so to speak with my last post and I'd like to BRIEFLY discuss what change could look like for churches, schools, and organizations that have been dealing with abuse in any form in a less than perfect way.

I want to be clear that this is not directed at anyone, nor is it me offering unsolicited advice to those who couldn't care less what I have to say. This is just my perspective as a "victim" of this kind of horror who knows what it is like to walk the tough road of healing. These are things that from either my perspective, or God's perspective or both that would help victims in the healing process.

The very first step I believe is to ADMIT there is a problem, and stop trying to hide and cover the problem. Here's the thing...many churches have hid the problem to "protect the name of Christ" and in so doing have done much more harm. Abuse in every form is a major problem that needs to be addressed and  REPORTED!

The second step is to seek to rectify the wrongs that have been done. There are many ways that this can be done, and I'm not going to go into every one of them, but a basic start is to ask for forgiveness and sincerely apologize to those who have been hurt. This would include a public apology if for one reason or another the victim was "smeared" publicly. I believe this would include doing these actions even for a victim who for one reason or another seems to "not deserve it". Let me assure you that no matter what a victim does the abuse was NOT their fault. Different people react to pain differently, and it may be that the person who has hurt them seeking their forgiveness could change the lives of those who have been abused. Remember you can't see inside anyone's heart (I Samuel 16:7 ~ Man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart).

It is also ESSENTIAL that any person or organization REPORT any instance of abuse. It is up to the police not anyone else to determine the validity of the accusation.

After reviewing the empirical literature concerning the frequency of false allegations of sexual abuse, Mikkelsen, Gutheil, and Emens concluded: “False allegations of sexual abuse by children and adolescents are statistically uncommon, occurring at the rate of 2 to 10 percent of all cases.” Mikkelsen, E.J., T.G. Gutheil, and M Emens: False Sexual-Abuse Allegations by Children and Adolescents: Contextual Factors and Clinical Subtypes.American Journal of Psychotherapy 46: 556-70, 1992.

Another study showed that children tend to minimize or deny abuse, not exaggerate it. (Check this site for more info) In order for victims to feel safe, and to protect others from becoming potential victims reporting MUST happen.

This is just a start...Part 2 will look at other essential steps to take...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Real Attempt at Change or a "Show Window"?

This blog is not one that is or will be characterized by criticizing others. My intention is not to call people out in a public way or bash in any way. However, from time to time (right now being one of those times) I feel like I really have to share my heart and my concerns.

I feel like fundamentalism and really Christianity as a whole is really getting a wake up call from God telling them that the way they have handled sexual, and really any kind of abuse is NOT ok. Now would be the perfect time to re-train those in leadership how they should really respond when they find out that abuse has occurred. NOW is the time to bring in people from OUTSIDE to give a very different perspective. NOW is the time to talk to those who have been victimized within the church to gain a perspective on how they feel about what happened, and their ideas on how it could be changed. NOW is the time for complete change!

The mindset of  "Our way is the ONLY Biblical way" is wrong, and quite frankly it's one thing that is holding back fundamentalism from true change. Just because someone listens to different music than you do, reads a different version of the Bible than you do, wears different clothes than you do, or interprets passages of Scripture differently than you do does NOT mean that they aren't a good Christian or that they don't love Jesus as much as you do. I can remember being taught (as do many others from where I grew up) that our church was the only one in town that really preached the Gospel. This simply wasn't true, and quite frankly this mindset really hurt the church in the eyes of the community.

All of this to get to my real point...Within fundamentalism there is an upcoming conference at one of their "hubs". While I think that it is a good thing that they are finally at least discussing the issue, from the line up of speakers it seems like it could be "business as usual" (I HOPE I'm proved wrong about this!!!). While I do not know every speaker it seems as though most (if not all) are or have been associated with the "University" where the conference is being held in some way. There are 2 HUGE things notably missing from their "line up" of seminars. First would be a seminar on how to go back and attempt to rectify the problems in the past and seek the forgiveness of those that have been hurt within these ministries. The second is something from someone who at one time was a victim, but has come out on the other side and can help them see through the "eyes of a victim" when dealing with these situations.

I'm not typically a cynical person, but on this issue I'm so passionate! Although I experienced horrible abuses throughout my life I have overcome with God's help and am able to live a normal, productive life. Because of what I endured my desire is to help others find the freedom and healing that I have experienced. I'm praying for this conference and those that attend it because I'm so afraid from what I see that it could potentially do more harm than good...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Update on our Youngest Daughter

We are just over 2 weeks past our surgery, and our youngest daughter is doing so well! I'm constantly amazed by how strong and amazing this little girl is! While we have had several bumps in the road so to speak during the last 2 weeks the hardest part is keeping her relatively still!

Soon after surgery we discovered that she could not tolerate narcotic pain relievers because they were making her oxygen levels drop too low, so within about 36 hours post surgery she was on tylenol and advil only. We went home from that point because I found it easier to keep up on those things at home! Within a couple days of being home we noticed that the area around her incision was red and "blistered". It turns out she had an allergic reaction to the stitches. The easiest and therefore best course of action was just to pump her full of benadryl, so that's what we did. All along this road our precious girl has been amazingly tough and even cheerful! The incision is now healing nicely, and we are only needing the benadryl and pain killers a couple times a day!

Today we visited with her phenomenal pulmonologist. We were hoping to be able to start reducing her daily meds. Unfortunately this did not happen... Her lung function numbers were up (Praise God!), but not up into the "normal" range yet. So, for now we continue with all of her normal meds and try to give her body a chance to heal. We are scheduled to go back at the end of August for another evaluation, and are hoping at that time her numbers will be up into the normal range!

I can't thank those of you who have been supporting us and praying for us enough! I know that God has a special plan for this little girl's life, and I'm excited to see it! We would be lost without the knowledge that God loves her so much and is protecting her. We are trusting Him to completely restore health to our little girl!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hard Job...Great Rewards!

Parenting is the hardest job I have ever had, that said, I wouldn't trade it for the world! I love my children and want so much for them! My husband and I seek to be the very best parents that we can be to our kids, and to love and protect them. We want to show them unconditional love and teach them what is right and why we do what we do.

It seems like lately we have had so many different conversations with our kids about how and why we do things differently than our parents did. I think it is natural for them to have some curiosity about how we grew up, but we are seeking to be really careful about the details we share with them at this point. It is really hard to find a balance at times between satisfying their curiosity and giving only age appropriate details.

There are many things we do differently than our parents did. Some of the biggest things include how we choose to discipline, allowing our children to respectfully ask us "why", the level of responsibility that they have around the house, and the concept that the parent is always right. We really feel like it is our job as parents to teach our children so many things, and if we expect our children to do something just because we said so that doesn't really teach them anything. Giving them the ability to ask why gives us the opportunity to explain why we said something or have a particular rule. And I think kids should be kids, so while they do have age appropriate chores (my 4 year old puts away the cutting boards and measuring cups from the dishwasher) they are allowed to be kids and not "miniature adults". One of the things that bugged me growing up was that I was told by those in authority over me that no matter what the parent is always right. I DO NOT believe this to be true! Tim and I have both had to go to our children multiple times to ask their forgiveness for something we said or did. I think this is a much better example because everyone messes up from time to time.

I'm not saying that we do everything perfectly (I know we don't!). Our prayer is that we can be the best possible parents to our children, and that we continue to learn and grow with them. We want our children to grow up to be strong people who know that they are loved unconditionally, love God, and can make good choices in life. We pray for our children regularly, and seek to help them in any way we can.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Opening Up...

Growing up I was always taught that even if your life wasn't perfect you had to pretend like it was. While this may not have been directly spoken, it was taught via the way that other concepts were taught...(If you are worrying you aren't trusting God; Show the joy of the Lord on your face at all times no matter what is going on you need to smile; If the world sees problems in your life it will keep them from trusting Christ; Stop calling others to talk about your problems you are being a burden; You're exaggerating it isn't really that bad; and so many others) It was these kind of things that really caused me to internalize issues that were going on in my life. I quickly learned that if tears were visible at home I would be given a reason to cry, and if they were visible at church I would be cornered and badgered (even as an adult).

Even today I struggle to share my burdens and feelings with others (except in a general sense) even though I know I have friends I can call when I'm having a rough day. I will sometimes think about calling, and think, "No I don't want to be a burden", or "I know how busy they are and I don't want to bother them", or "I just don't want to be known as that person who is always struggling with something". The truth is I have friends who call me when they are struggling, and those thoughts never cross my mind. If this is true, and I know that I have friends who love me just as much as I love them then in my mind I know it has to be true that they don't mind me calling when I'm struggling either. To be completely honest I had one person in my life that I would call and talk and cry with at the drop of the hat and that was my Grandma. She has now passed away and I miss her so very much! Even thinking about the talks we shared brings tears to my eyes.

The truth is even the Bible tells us to help bear each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2). I think a lot of being willing to open up and share comes back to knowing you are loved unconditionally and are not being judged by how you feel or what is going on in your life. I'm so thankful to have found friends that are loving and non-judgmental! I'm working on being willing to open up and share my heart with them because I know they truly care! I'm also thankful that I have a God that I can run to when my heart is feeling weak, and have the assurance that He is there and that He cares! (Another favorite song that goes with this idea).

Saturday, June 23, 2012


As I sat in the hospital last weekend with my little princess I had lots of time to sit and think. So many thoughts crossed my mind during that time. One thing that really hit me as I snuggled my baby girl was that I don't know how any mother chooses to reject her children.

My mother has consistently chosen her perverted, mean, child sex-offending husband over her children, and now grandchildren. At times her choices have made me feel rejected, and not valuable. To be honest in the past it has bothered me so much that she would make that choice that I have spent hours wondering what was wrong with me if a mother would choose that kind of man over her own child.

Now as I look at this whole situation I can look at it through a different viewpoint. It really isn't a problem with me. It isn't something that I did wrong or said wrong or whatever that caused that rejection. It was something that she simply chose to do. I have found comfort in the truth that God loves me and has accepted me. (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4.) I'm also so grateful for the family and friends that have shown me unconditional love!

With these things in mind I chose not to dwell in the sting of rejection, but to dwell on the fact that I am loved and accepted. Rather than wishing I was loved by those who have chosen to reject me I choose to put my energy into loving those around me, and seeking to love and accept them just where they are in life.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Open Eyes

I heard this song recently and it really challenged me. At first I really thought of all the people that I know that needed to hear this song and think about what it was teaching...Then God opened my eyes, and showed me that there are areas that I need to apply this song to my life too. It took several times of listening to it before I felt like I could fully understand all it was saying. I hope you enjoy this song and are challenged by it as much as I am.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Post-Surgery Update

Surgery was this past Friday morning and everything went really well! The surgery itself only took about an hour and a half! This was best case scenario! She went straight from surgery to the Pediatric ICU. Overall, she has done amazingly well! She did have issues with narcotic pain killers dropping her oxygen levels really low, so we have had to just be on Tylenol and Advil around the clock. Once the narcotics were out of her system her oxygen levels stabilized and she was able to come home!  She did so well they allowed her to come home early on Father's Day! What a great present for my hubby!

Since home she has been doing well. Part of the problem with her is that she is so tough she thinks she can do everything already, and we are having a hard time keeping her down already! This morning I turned my back for a minute and she decided to jump off a counter and then cried for about 10 minutes because her head hurt so bad from it. The next several weeks will be challenging as we try to keep her calm!

We are already starting to see some benefits coming from the surgery!!! She has only had one coughing/vomiting episode since surgery! This is amazing because for the last several months this was happening multiple times a day.  We are going to visit her pulmonologist in a couple of weeks to start the process of weaning her off some of her daily meds! I'm excited and hopeful that this surgery will help her to be able to thrive!

We know that there is still a long road of recovery in front of us, but we are so thankful for how far God has brought our little girl so far! I just know that God must have amazing things for this little girl's life!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Surgery update

This is Laurie just doing a quick update for everyone from Tina.

Aria's surgery went well! Everything was exactly as the surgeon had hoped for and Aria is sleeping. Tim and Tina are well, relieved and thankful for your prayers. Please continue in prayer that Aria will have a fast and smooth recovery. God bless that sweet little girl!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Even the Little Things...

Tomorrow is the big day. Today I'm so thankful that God cares about each aspect of our lives. Last night we got a phone call and it seemed as though financial issues might postpone the surgery. (The hospital was wanting us to pay more up front than our insurance company said we would end up owing) Needless to say we were frustrated. Today after many phone calls we were able to get everything worked out. I'm so thankful I was able to talk to just the right people! I firmly believe that God has His hand on our family and that He is going to protect our little girl as she goes through this surgery in the morning! I'm grateful that God cares even about the "little things" in our lives!

I will be taking a few days off of blogging as I'm in the hospital with my little girl, but will try to update soon after she gets home. Thanks for all of your prayers! We appreciate it more than I can express!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


As we approach Friday's surgery I can feel the tension in the house rising. Tim and I are really at peace, but the two older kids are scared for their baby sister (who isn't scared at all), and I think the thought of this surgery is causing fear in their little hearts.

The other day our son hugged his little sister and asked her if she was scared about the surgery. He is really more concerned than she is... She told me she plans on asking for a popsicle and juice box when she wakes up from surgery. I think she thinks it is going to be just like the other ones she has had.

Our oldest daughter came in to snuggle with me this morning and we were talking. She thinks that it isn't fair that her baby sister is getting so much attention. She told me it isn't fair that her sister gets more treats than she does (we sometimes resort to incentives to get meds down). So the oldest daughter and I had a long conversation this morning where I again tried to explain why we do what we do. I also tried to remind her of the times recently that I have taken her out by herself and tried to spend time with just her. I think she is scared and doesn't quite know how to express it.

These are the times in life that it is hard to be a mom. I'm just sad that I don't know how to best help my kids get through their fear, and help them to feel like I'm being fair to all of them. I'm thankful that God promises wisdom if we ask for it, so that is what I have been doing. I'm just praying that God will bring a peace into their little minds and help them to know that their baby sister is going to be ok. Nothing I say to them seems to help at this point, so I'm just trusting that God will comfort them and bring peace to their minds as I try to give them as much love and confidence as I can...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Musical Mondays ~ Trusting...

As we as a family approach our youngest daughter's surgery this coming Friday it seems to be becoming more and more real in a way. I would have to say that most moments I'm doing well, and I'm excited at the potential hope we see from this surgery, but there are also moments where I'm a mess. I haven't really cried about all of this since we first found out until last night. Last night I had a few moments of "melt down" so to speak as I was begging God to be with my baby girl and protect her.

As I have spent more time thinking about all of this I'm finding that I think a lot of my issues boil down to trust. Because my trust has been violated so many times in my life by those who should be the ones protecting me I tend to struggle in this area. I'm finding that trusting is a choice. I know this is what we need to do to help her, and that we have the best possible doctor, and that God promises to protect her, so I'm choosing to trust God, and her doctors during this process.

I heard this song last night as I was seeking God, and it hit me again in a good way, so I thought that I would share it with you.

Some of the lyrics that stand out to me right now are:

Give me eyes to see
More of who You are
May what I behold
Still my anxious heart
Take what I have known
And break it all apart
You my God are greater still

No sky contains
No doubt restrains
All You are
The greatness of our God
I spend my life to know
And I'm far from home
To all You are
The greatness of our God

Give me grace to see
Beyond this moment here
To believe that there
Is nothing left to fear
That You alone are high above it all
You my God are greater still

The whole song is really good, and I hope you find it as encouraging as I do! We as a family appreciate your prayers this week as we walk this road, and try to keep our attitudes up beat and our focus where it needs to be!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Changing the Way I Think - Part 2

As I look back over the notes there are just a few more things that stand out to me (see Part 1 here). I have found that changing the way I think can change my whole view on life, and therefore make me a much happier person! Here are a few more things that I have found helpful when seeking to apply Philippians 4:8 to my life.

~ Junk-proof your mind...
     ~ A healthy mind is one that works for you instead of against you.
     ~ You are always affirming something in your life because you are always thinking...
          ~ Choose to affirm the good.
          ~ Memorize Scripture to help keep your mind filled with the good.
~ If you are going to be serious about having a positive mindset you have to limit your exposure to negativity.
~ Living with Gratitude is a great way to defend your joy!
     ~ Gratitude is the cornerstone of an unstoppable attitude.
     ~ Gratitude is a conviction, a practice, and a discipline
     ~ Gratitude is a choice. (I Thessalonians 5:18 says to give thanks in ALL circumstances)

These are some of the things that I'm really choosing to focus on in my life right now. I'm choosing to be thankful that we have finally found out what is wrong with our youngest daughter, and that she can be helped rather than worrying about the surgery. I'm choosing to dwell on what is good and right. That doesn't mean that there aren't times negative thoughts don't creep in, it just means I choose not to dwell there. I choose to focus on the goodness of my God and be thankful for the many blessings I have in my life.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Changing the Way I Think

The very first series that we heard when we started attending our new church was one titled "Think four:eight". This series was so well timed in my life and revolutionized the way that I thought. The whole series revolved on how to apply Philippians 4:8 to your life.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

I found myself going over the notes from this old series today. I have done this occasionally in the last 2 years when I need a reminder of how to change my thought processes. Over the next couple of days I'll share a couple of the things that still stand out to me when I read over the notes.

~ Your thoughts are powerful...
~ It's your choice what you choose to dwell on.
     ~ In life there will always be some junk and some greatness
     ~ Your future is not determined by your past
     ~ Where do you dwell? (on the good or bad)
~ There are Three Laws that can guard our minds and change our hearts....and give us emotional strength
     ~ The Law of Attention - Whatever you emphasize increasingly becomes what you are
     ~ The Law of Exchange - you can do away with a negative thought only when you replace it with a positive
     ~ The Law of Reversibility - act like you are.

Our Pastor challenged us with something during that series that I needed to be challenged with again today... "Beginning today, commit to increase your potential for starving worry, fear and doubt and other negative thoughts and commit to nourishing your mind, attention and conversation by imitating Christ's."

My goal is to think on whatever is true, right, pure, holy, etc... especially as we as a family prepare for our youngest daughter's surgery next week.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our Youngest Daughter's Surgery

This post is from both my husband and myself...We are working on it together.

We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received since Tina's last post. Tina was simply sharing how God worked in her heart once again and we have been blessed by the notes and comments we have received.

To answer some questions... Our youngest daughter has Chairi Malformation Type 1. The link gives good info, but in a nut shell her cerebellum (the bottom part of her brain) is pushing into her spinal chord. This is a birth defect, and it has only recently (last couple of months) been discovered. Chairi can be somewhat difficult to diagnose at times, but with an MRI it can often be clearly seen. Chairi is definitively diagnosed when the cerebellar tonsils (read brain) extend down 3-5 mm (some sources say "normal" is -1). Our daughter's extends down 9-10 mm. (the Dr interpreting the MRI said 9 and the surgeon said 10).

She has had health problems from the beginning and has had multiple hospitalizations and surgeries. She takes lots of different medication on a daily basis to keep her breathing, digesting food properly, etc. She has also struggled all of her life with frequent infections, headaches, and sleep apnea. Her team of doctors believe that this surgery will really do a lot to help her, and we have faith that God will use it to bring her great relief!

There are obviously risks involved with this surgery, but really the greatest one for her with her history is infection. We would appreciate your prayers that God would just have His hand on the surgeon, and on our daughter's little body, and that He would work a miracle in her little body through this surgery!

Tim and Tina Anderson

Sunday, June 3, 2012

He's Been Faithful Before, He'll Be Faithful Again!

While we were worshiping at church this morning God really spoke to me. We were singing this song and God used it to remind me of His goodness. The chorus says:

I call your name 
Lord you reply 

You bring your kingdom 

To stand by my side 

Giver of life 
All that I need 

Father you're everything that is precious to me 

There is no one like you Lord in all the earth

We are once again walking a tough road as a family. Our baby girl who is now 4 will be going in for brain surgery in the near future (we are waiting on insurance approval). I'm fully confident that God will use this to bring great healing to her little body! God used the chorus of this song to remind me that in the past He has been so faithful! I really felt like during the week of trial He did bring His kingdom to stand by my side. I'm resting in the knowledge that He will do that again! I'm so thankful that I serve a God who loves us and is all I need!

Looking in the past I can see His faithfulness, and I'm trusting his faithfulness will help our family walk this next tough road!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The changing power of Thankfulness

I sometimes find it so easy to get caught up in the craziness that is life that I get so overwhelmed with what is going wrong around me. When this happens I tend to get discouraged and even moody...(not something I like to admit ~ just being real here). One thing that I found can "snap me out" of this kind of funk so to speak is writing down what I'm thankful for. When I stop to think about all of the blessings that I have it really changes my perspective! I love this song by Josh Groban ~ Thankful ~ it is such a good reminder to me that there is so much to be thankful for. When we stop to think about all of the things we have to be thankful for it somehow seems to change our perspective on life.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I would not consider myself an angry person, in fact it is rare that I get really angry. I do get frustrated or irritated at times, but rarely downright angry. I'm usually able to let things roll off fairly well, even if it takes me a minute or two. Tonight in all honesty I find myself angry. I'm not angry because I was hurt, but angry because a certain extended family member made a choice that has hurt my children deeply, and doesn't seem to care how much she hurt them. My oldest cried herself to sleep tonight, and I don't think she has ever done that. There is a "mama bear" that comes out in me when someone hurts my kids, and it is hard to hold back. There are so many things that I wanted to say, but I bit my tongue so that I wouldn't regret it later.

In my former life I was always told that being angry was a sin. You were to control your emotions at all costs. Simply put this is a LIE! The Bible never says not to get angry, it says be careful that you don't let that anger build into bitterness. Jesus himself got angry and threw down tables and kicked people out of the temple, but He didn't stay there. The very next verse talks about Him healing people. (see  Matthew 21:12-14)  If Jesus got angry surely it isn't a is what we choose to do with that anger that matters.

I'm not as angry now as I was even an hour ago, and I'm praying that God will allow His peace to reign in my heart. I'm praying that His mercies will be new in the morning (see Lamentations 3:22-23), and that I will be able to comfort my children and help them to also get past their hurt and possible anger.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why the Title?

Although a few of my friends know why I chose the title that I did for this blog most people do not. I titled the blog "Glimpses of Hope" for several reasons. Throughout the years often all I have had was just a glimpse of hope. Often there wasn't much there, but I chose to hang on to the small glimpse that I did see. I think if you talk to many people they could also tell you that through life it is often hard when you are in your darkest times to hold on to hope. What I have found throughout the years is that when you find that glimpse of hope you often have to hang on to it through the roughest times. So, the title in itself is a reminder to me, and hopefully to others to hang on to even the small glimpses of hope that come your way! Life won't always be tough! Trust God that He can bring you through to the other side!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Musical Mondays ~ Thank you Veterans!

Music plays a huge part in my life, and so on Mondays I would like to share a song with you that has touched me in one way or another.

I think it is fitting to share this one today. God Bless the U.S.A. I'm so thankful to the men and women who serve our country so we can have the freedoms we enjoy! I'm thankful for my husband, brother, grandpa, dad, uncles and the scores of other people who have sacrificed to serve our country! So to all of our Veterans you have my honor and my thanks!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Life is a journey. Things are constantly moving and changing. That can be kids growing up, change of mindset, job, losing someone, major life events, etc. Along the journey it is good to have a group of people that can love and support you through the tough times, and you can do the same in return.

Your church should be a place that can help along this journey called life! Whether that be to challenge you to do better in some way or love you through the tough times. I firmly believe that your church should be a safe place where you can feel free to be real, where you don't have to hide what is going on because of fear that you will be judged.

Our church now is just such a place! We are so thankful to have developed great friends who have loved and supported us along our journey! When we came to this church we were "gun-shy" to say the least, but I know God led us there! Our first Sunday there our Pastor started a series called "Think 4:8" it was all about how to apply Philippians 4:8 to your life. It was so practical and yet life changing for me to really learn how to change my thought processes so that I now seek to dwell on what is good, honorable, true, etc... rather than the bad things in life. Instead of walking out of church feeling defeated every week (or sometimes angry) I leave encouraged, and with practical tools to help change me to be more like Christ. As a bonus my kids now LOVE going to church! Instead of begging to stay home they often ask if they can go to both services.

There are so many churches out there. Not every church is a good fit for everyone, and maybe you will only be in a place for a season of your life. I encourage you to find a place where you are being built up instead of being torn down. It has done wonders for our family, our relationship, and our view of God as a whole.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


One day a couple of years ago I heard Natalie Grant's song "The Real Me" and I could only sit and listen to it again and again with tears running down my face. (hear the song here) I felt like she had captured my life totally in that song without even knowing me, except at that point I didn't know how God really saw me. I felt like I had to go through each day "living a charade" and pretending like everything was ok, when it really wasn't. No matter what show I was able to put on for others (read HUGE walls put up so no one could see my pain) God saw what was really in my heart and mind. I always had felt like I was judged by others, and I didn't like being cornered by others (this actually has happened) and badgered if they thought I was upset by something.

I think this is one of the reasons I was so shocked when we first visited our new church. They have a prayer time during the service and if you have something tough going on in your life you can go up to the front and have someone pray for you. I know that in our old church no one would have ever gone forward, but here people flood to the front every week to have someone come along side of them and pray with them. How refreshing to be in a place where it is ok to be real! The reality of life is that life isn't always happy and perfect, sometimes we struggle and it is during those times that we need friends to come along side of us to encourage us and be there for us, not to judge us.

My encouragement for the day is to find a friend that it is ok to be real with! Someone who will come along side of you and show you God's love no matter what you happen to be walking through. Someone who is safe enough for you to be able to break down some of the walls that have been built up inside to prevent you from getting hurt. Trust me, I understand how hard this is! These walls often take years to build up and won't come down overnight, but the process of bringing them down brings healing, and it is so worth it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Growing up I always heard that God was like a father to us. During this kind of teaching verses like

Hebrews 12:6-8

 would be used to talk about how God would punish us and "scourge" us like our father did if He really loved us. Because of these kind of teachings and the abuse I endured from my step-father, I began to believe that God was something He really is not. For years I believed that God was just waiting for me to screw up so that He could punish me. I heard countless sermon illustrations about someone who had left the church and was "in the world" or in an "apostate" church that God "took home to be with Him" early in life so that the person could no longer "harm the name or image of Christ". I was afraid of this God and "served" out of fear rather than out of love for who He is and what He had done.
Eventually there came a point where I decided that I needed to know who God really is, because if He is what I grew up knowing I was done, but if God was the kind of God that I was learning about during our journey out of fundamentalism then I wanted to build a relationship with Him. The more I have searched the more I have found what I knew to be false. God promises that the more we seek Him the more we will find Him!

Jeremiah 29:13

 Over the last 2 1/2 years I have been earnestly seeking to find out who God really is and He has opened my eyes in amazing ways! Now when I think about God as a father instead of dwelling on my early experiences I think on the amazing father my husband is to our kids. He loves them, and even when he corrects them he isn't mean, he lovingly corrects them for their good to help them learn what is right! If my husband, who isn't perfect can be such a good and loving father to our children, how much more of a good and loving father is God to us? If we stop and think about God's character it is consistently loving. From the beginning in the Garden of Eden, He not only came to Adam and Eve seeking to draw them to repentance, He lovingly forgave even though there were consequences. God could have chosen to kill them and start over with new humans, instead His plan was to eventually send His Son to die for all of us. The God I have come to know, love and worship is not a vengeful God, but a God of love, mercy, forgiveness, and healing!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


A year ago today trial started. It was a week filled with emotions, both good and bad. I was and still am thankful for the friends (both old and new) that I had supporting me through this very rough week. I'm often asked how I made it through without losing my mind, or how I was able to be so calm. I must confess that was only God working in me! There were a few things that helped though...
     ~ First, I had a couple of wonderful friends who made note cards with verses or different sayings to encourage me and remind me that God was there with me fighting this battle. Most people who were close to me saw me reading these cards again and again...they were a huge source of encouragement. I also had a letter that a friend wrote me filled with Scriptures that was actually given to me when 20/20 aired, but I read that over and over again during the week of trial too. Those things were in my purse, so they were with me all the time, in fact they are still in my purse and occasionally I will take them out and read them and be reminded of how God worked so incredibly that week.
     ~ Another thing I did was fill my head with good music! I had several songs that I listened to over and over that helped calm me down, restore my focus, and give me courage! Music is wonderful! Here are just a few that I listened to over and over that week.
           Bring it on
           I Lift My Hands
           Our God is Greater
           I Will Lift My Eyes
           You're Not Alone
     ~ The other big thing I had was people praying! I strongly believe that God works through the power of prayer and witnessed it multiple times that week! I had one particular friend that I called when I just got too overwhelmed with the craziness around me and she would always pray with me and that calmed my spirit in miraculous ways! I had friends praying with me there in New Hampshire, as well as friends praying from afar, and I will forever be grateful to them!
     ~I also had the wonderful support and shoulders to cry on of all the wonderful people who came out to be with me during the trial. You all know who you are and I can't thank you enough!

When I stop and think about how I made it I can only say it was God's grace! God promises in His word that He will give us the strength to make it through whatever comes our way. I chose to lean on Him and His promises that week and He was so faithful!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thinking Back...

Friend of a Wounded Heart

I was reminded recently that this song was the one that I had chosen to sing in a voice recital when I was 13 or 14. It is interesting to me for many reasons that I would have chosen this song. First of all it isn't a song that most kids this age would sing, and also I think it goes a long way to show that even then I was hurting and searching for the love of God.
As I think back over my life it isn't until the last 2 years or so that I really began to believe that God loved ME. This love wan't conditional like I had been taught. It really isn't an if I do ____ then God will love me. God chooses to love NOT because of who I am or how I'm performing, but because of who HE is. There is nothing I can do that can manipulate or change God's love for me. He doesn't love me more if I read my Bible for an hour each day, or serve in every way possible. He loves me simply because I exist.
Every human has a longing and a need to be loved. God freely offers the love you so desperately need. Rest in His unchanging love! Know that you matter in this life because you are loved unconditionally by the God who created you!

Monday, May 21, 2012


The journey that has been my life has not been an easy one, but I'm thankful for each hardship that has been put in my way. This blog is my way to reach out and share with others what God is doing in our lives. I want you to know that if you have been hurt there is hope for healing. Sometimes you may only see glimpses along the way, but hang on! There is hope for a bright future no matter what you have walked through!