This is a post I have deleted several times in the past because I hate to admit that I am flawed. I was born a sinner and even though I am constantly working on being a better follower of Christ I find myself falling short. I remember as a child I would question if God was real or not. Then as an adult after spending more time in prayer I began to have no doubt about God. He is very real and the more time I spend in prayer the more I believe.
I guess to start this I will give you a brief history of myself:
As a young adolescent I was constantly finding ways to get into trouble. I went to church and I knew God’s commandments but I thought that if I ignored them and pretended that I wasn’t doing anything wrong I would be okay. As I went through school partying and doing drugs, I came across several teachers who would openly express their concerns for me and showed me they loved me. I will never forget the impact they made on my life. One stands out in my mind more often than most was my English teacher Bill Harness. He was very strict and pushed me to learn to love reading when I hated it (my husband can thank him later). Through reading I found something that made me want more for my life. Mr. Harness was a very strong man and wouldn’t back down from anything. He prayed for his students and I felt it daily as I struggled with my life. Also the church I attended growing up there were several people who prayed for me and sometimes spanked me weekly. At the time I thought they were praying for nothing but now looking back I realize that they were praying for me and for my future.
At the age of 17 I began to reconnect with Christ and find my way to a life I thought were only in books.
I became more active in our youth group, worked harder to be respectful to my parents. I truly was trying hard to live a Christian life. I was struggling daily fighting the urge to just walk away and live the “easier” life. At 18 I meet my now husband William on Prom night. He was what I called a good kid and I had no intention of ever getting involved with a goody goody like him. Even though I didn’t know it at the time God’s will was working on my life. I began to realize the man that William was and became intrigued with his passion for people and life. He loved to laugh so much that most people called him smiley. We began dating and as hard as I fought it I began to fall in love with him. After several months of dating we found out that we were expecting our son Lance. We were engaged to be married and the hardest thing to admit to people was that we had fallen into sin. God can take any situation and make it good though. William and I decided to move our wedding up a few months and we got married in February of 2006.
I thought that my life was going to be so much easier now not having to listen to anyone and just live my life. Oh wow.. I was in for a rough ride and I had a husband and soon to be son who would be wrapped up in it. The first week I was married I wanted to go home. I didn’t like being bored and broke all the time. I wanted to do what I wanted when I wanted. My husband never backed down. We were married and we were staying married. So we fought daily, well more like hourly. Then in June our baby boy who wasn’t due till August made his way into the world early at 4lbs 7oz. I was so afraid but at that very moment I wanted nothing more than to give this precious child the perfect life. Seeing how much my husband loved our son helped me become even closer to him. Our marriage began to blossom and we were becoming a family. A Christian based family. We became very involved in church and working hard to teach our child the ways of the Lord. I trusted God but I didn’t trust him with everything. I had categories that I allowed God in and others he couldn’t touch. I didn’t want to give everything to God because I was afraid of not being in control. As time went on and the areas of my life that I wanted to control began to fall apart. Our finances began to crumble, my health faded and it started to put a strain on my marriage.
Then as time went by I began to want another baby desperately to complete me… Selfish I know. The doctors told me not to because of the risks but I wanted a baby so bad. Our church began to pray for me and I’ll never forget Pastor Mike Thomas asking me what I wanted a boy or a girl. I thought he was crazy. I just wanted a baby. He explained that God cares about our hearts desires. I quietly responded I wanted a girl and they prayed for a baby girl. I immediately began buying girl clothes, my husband thought I’d lost it I wasn’t even pregnant. Well about three weeks after the church prayed for me I found out I was pregnant. Right then and there I knew how real God was and I stopped trying to control my life and gave everything to God.
I should have done that a long time ago! My marriage started to develop new levels of trust, faith and even desire. Desire for a future together, desire to be happy, healthy and financially stable. Things that I didn’t believe before that God had any control over. Again as things were starting to come into place we found out that I was high risk pregnancy and was quickly developing Preeclampsia. The doctors immediately put me on bed rest (there went financial hope). Then after several months of bed rest they admitted me to the hospital about an hour and half away from our home. I was on strict bed rest through the rest of my pregnancy for 33 days! Yes 33 days in the hospital being away from my family was very tuff. I began to question God, once again. I’ll never forget at that moment a lady and man very dear to my heart walked into my hospital room. Judy Dees and Randy Dees had come to check on me. They didn’t know it but they were just what I needed. They prayed with me and throughout the rest of my time they stopped by or would call just to check on me. I’ll never forget the love they showed me. God sends people at the right time for the right reasons. Shortly after their last visit the Dr. informed me that they were going to have to do an emergency C-section because our baby’s heart had stopped. I barely had time to call my family. Everyone immediately started to pray for the safety of our baby and I. I could feel the prayers as I was in the operating room. After they took my child out, I began to cry. She was so tiny, so frail. I began to pray that God would continue to protect her and help us through this journey.
She was born two months early just like brother except she was much smaller she was 3lbs 12 oz. The doctors were immediately amazed that she didn’t need oxygen and seemed perfectly healthy. I told the doctor several times that My God is the ultimate healer. After two weeks (it is normally until their due date) in the hospital we were able to bring our tiny baby girl home. Lance was beyond excited to be a big brother and to finally get to hold his little sister. Even though bills were piling up I just knew that God had everything under control. Without praying or seeking God’s will we decided to make a rash decision to move and for my husband to return to the oil field. Not even a month after we moved my husband was laid off. We ended up packing up and moving in with my mother-in-law until we could get things sorted out. I began praying for God’s will in our lives and for him to provide the right jobs for us. I found a job quickly in Rogers and we decided that my husband would play Mr. Mom while I went to work until he could find a job. Shortly after he found a temporary job working and then a few months later a full time job working for an armored car service. We felt God leading us to move to Rogers. We started a wonderful church and began to once again flourish. God’s goodness never stopped I just had to get out of the way for him to be able to work. Once I realized this everything started to fall in to place. Our finances began to get much better, our children were happy and our marriage was doing great. We lived in Rogers for about a year before we prayed and God lead us to our beautiful home. We bought our first home (we were big kids now). We both started new and better jobs. Jobs that God had paved the way for us enter. Our lives were finally starting to come together. I thought everything was perfect. Then God began to deal with me about money. I was like Lord we have plenty of money what are you talking about??? He began to show me how to use our money wisely. The Lord doesn’t want us to live stressed out about finances he wants us to have peace. We quickly began to watch every dollar actually every penny we spent. We stopped eating out and shopping just because we could afford it. I began to cook more and in return I felt much better about myself as a mother and wife. This isn’t for everyone but for our family it worked. We were saving money by not wasting it and by doing that we were able to start paying off debt. Over the last three years we were able to pay off over $18,000.00 in unsecured debt. We don’t use credit cards because we feel like if we can’t afford it now then we might not be able to afford it later.
We also sold our extra vehicle to help pay off debt. My husband worked extra hours to earn extra money; we cut our trips into town down to save on gas. I mean anything we could do to save an extra dollar we did it. We very rarely buy anything new… I used my mother-in-laws old vacuum until it died and then instead of diamonds or vacation for our anniversary we bought a vacuum. Exciting I know what you’re thinking but to me this was exciting! We were blessed to get sponsored for a marriage retreat in N. Augusta, SC. This retreat changed our lives, it taught my husband and I to laugh more, to listen and to love God first and foremost and everything else will fall into place.
We are three years into our journey of fully trusting God’s will in our lives and I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We carefully pray and think about every decision that we make. We don’t want to make any selfish or unjust decisions. We pray about how to spend our money wisely, about our future goals, jobs, health and how to direct our family in a Godly direction. We want our children to learn by a positive example that comes from us. The more I seek God and TRUST God the more I realize that he won’t disappoint me. Yes things happen in our lives that we don’t like but because we trust God to take care of us in all aspects, we are able to rise above everything. We are slowly working our way to a debt free life and a stronger relationship with Christ, family and church.