Transition

Change is not a threat. It’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal. Transformative success is. – Seth Godin

Often times our greatest transitions give birth to the greatest transformations. We’ve all heard the expression “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. It’s easier said than done for a majority of us. The pain of being uncomfortable I think sometimes is greatly magnified when we resist the change that the universe is trying to birth within us. I have been walking this journey since earlier this year and I will admit there have been times that I wanted to dig a hole and jump inside of it and have someone put the dirt back on top of me. Deconstructing from organized religion, deciding to walk away from my 14 year marriage to a man, coming out as a late in life lesbian and getting messages of hate and judgement from former colleagues and former church associates has been an intense transition.

As I have said in a previous blog entry I could no longer live by how I’ve been conditioned to live. I traded in one set of bondage for another one with organized religion since my childhood and then adulthood coming into Christianity. I knew that the decision that I made to take back my freedom and being authentically myself was going to cost me something great. But one thing is sure, I have something many of them wish they had and that is my freedom! I was willing to risk being labeled, judged, and condemned because at the end of it all it really doesn’t matter what people think it matters that I love myself and comfortable with who I am. I’ve learned on a heightened level this year not everyone is supposed to stay in your life. We’ve also heard it said some come for a reason, season or lifetime. My issue was I wanted everyone to stay for a lifetime and that is never the case and I can finally say without any hesitation I’m good with it.

I have found the very ones who are so quick to condemn and judge others have their own issues that they conceal and won’t deal with and they feel a sense of superiority and elitism over others because of a religious title they have been given which means absolutely nothing. I will say it again I HAVE MY FREEDOM AND I WALK IN MY TRUTH!

I had the opportunity recently to sit down with my ex husband as friends and us discuss our marriage and the things we seen and endured together over the years especially in the realm of doing ministry and we both agreed about the manipulation and control and how we are both relieved to be deconstructing. He was in no way surprised about me coming out because of things that happened while we were still together over the years. And he respected my decision to finally embrace myself because of suppressing it for so many years. We both are intentional about remaining friends as we both transition into our new lives.

Over the past year I have continued to discover so much about myself. I’ve had growth in areas I didn’t realize I needed growth in. But I also have discovered that there were things that I was taught and told not to enjoy that I do thoroughly enjoy now. I have had to adjust to my surroundings more than I care to mention here in the last few months just so that I could have the freedom that I desperately needed for myself. My journey is just beginning and will continue as I move forward. Transition is never easy on anyone but in it and through it there is strength, overcoming, perseverance and endurance that comes. You come to realize that your stronger than you ever realized when you decide to take steps to embrace your authentic self. It’s worth it!

Nat Re-Done

The path of spiritual awakening involves uncovering the values and ideas that are authentic to you, regardless of what others think. -Danielle Kloberdanz

As I sit here looking out into the lush and vibrant green behind the home I currently live in and watch how the trees adjust to the slow blowing of the wind I am so captivated at the stillness around me. I’m listening to a meditation by Lee Ann Rimes titled “Be Still And Know”. These are the only lyrics she speaks for the entirety of the song. Every time the words are spoken I feel this surge of light, love and energy running down my body. I feel the intense presence of the divine reassuring me yet again it’s time to reveal the part of myself that I’ve kept hidden for many years.

For most of my life I was driven by the opinions of others mainly because I was taught to do that by my dad. My mother really didn’t care what people thought about her and she was very vocal about it. My dad on the other hand wanted to keep the upstanding religious facade that he and our stepfamily were perfect. The obedient and loyal followers of Jehovah and the Jehovah’s Witness organization. I think about this now and remember how we were being loyal to men that had built this international religious institution of followers that governed how we thought, spoke and lived. It’s amazing how we can conform to things that we have no idea are set up to control us. I didn’t realize that I was being raised in a cult because again I was being raised in it and it was all that I knew.

During all of this time I questioned so many things about myself. One thing in particular was my attraction to women. Since I was young I’ve always wondered about my sexuality and felt like I truly couldn’t explore it because of how I was raised. I was told most of my life that being a homosexual was evil and God wasn’t pleased with it. So I took the straight and narrow road and followed what so was taught. I liked boys and enjoyed attention from them but there was always this void that I felt.

When I entered into the world of Christianity after coming to the South there was still the same viewpoint but also the fear of going to hell for it. The Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in the doctrine of hell but to be honest I feel like hell is a state of mind. So again, I suppressed this feeling within me for fear of judgement of others that were in the world around me. I can remember the slurs that would come out of people’s mouths around me about any homosexual. There was always this judgmental and elite like tone when it was talked about in both religious organizations.

I’ve found though in this last year that not only was I suppressing being gay but also I was suppressing my authentic and true self because of how I was raised and the fear of being judged by others. Again, the opinions of others has dominated my life for the majority of my life. I refuse to live that way anymore and I’ve already experienced rejection from an early age and throughout my life and I had to be willing to allow individuals that found fault with my new life fall by the wayside and make room for the people who are supposed to be in my life to enter it.

Being authentically ourselves always costs us something. Sometimes the cost is great! But in the end I would rather be true to myself than continue to be ruled by the opinions of man’s religion. Or to be judged by people who refuse to love and embrace me regardless of whether they agree or not. I wanted to live in freedom and I intend to do just that. Welcome to Nat Re-done!

Processing Grief

“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.” – AESCHYLUS

Grief is something we all are aquianted with one time or another. I have found over the course of my life and observing the lives of others that it comes in many different forms. Each individual including myself grieves so very differently. None of us are ready for it when it arrives and in the midst of the suffering within it we entertain memories of joy we experienced.

I remember each time I took a pregnancy test and it was positive and immediately bonding with the life growing within me and visualizing what it would be like to be a mother to this child and hoping for the best possible pregnancy after experiencing multiple miscarriages and the joy of motherhood only to once again be disappointed and to walk the road of grieving my children.

We all have witnessed someone you love grieve the loss of someone they loved and listened to them revisit the memories they made with them and watching the tears well up as they tell stories of the love and the times of joy they shared. Or the grief of a friendship, marriage or romantic relationship that came to an unexpected end. Why does society try to downplay it or make it go away by giving a timeline or minimizing someone’s grief because they don’t want to deal with it, or support someone through it.

Grief comes in so many forms and we all deal with it different ways and the one thing I have seen consistently especially in my experience as part of the church that people don’t create space for it. They don’t allow a person to truly heal the way they need to heal for themselves. I’ve heard so many different things overs the years that make light of someone’s feelings while they are in pain. Or someone turns it around and makes it about themselves instead of asking questions to get understanding.

We all have permission to grieve and we all don’t have a timeline with grief. There is no way around it but only through it. Every part of it. It’s painful and we feel broken, angry, numb and depressed only to name a few emotions in the process of going through grief.

In Honor of Pride Month

I’ve been embraced by a new community. That’s what happens when you’re finally honest about who you are; you find others like you.- Chaz Bono

We all have been or are on a journey into becoming authentically ourselves. This is quite a process for some of us at times because of being taught a certain way, or conditioned to believe a certain way and that can act as a catalyst to clouding our perception of others we encounter. We often tend to think about how different this person or that person is when really they are just another living breathing soul like ourselves on this earth.

While growing up in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses I was taught that being gay was a sin and that you would be judged for choosing to live that way because God doesn’t approve of it. I encountered the very same teaching when I entered the Christian community on the evangelical, charismatic and pentecostal side. I was also taught that if you have a home where the mom or dad is gay or there is a same sex couple as parents the children would be severely damaged mentally and emotionally. I question this on so many levels now after multiple experiences I have encountered.

My closest friend Kay and her daughter Kasey invited me to spend time with them one evening at their home some months back. Normally when we come together we are either sitting in the dinning area or outside talking, laughing and having a good time. On this particular night we went into their music room to enjoy some time together. Kay sings and plays the piano and Kasey sings as well and decided to play her ukulele. Both of them have beautiful voices that grab your attention.

I witnessed this beautiful exchange in music between a mother and a daughter. A great bonding over songs that brought them both joy and great memories. At one point Kasey sang a song to Kay that she sang to her for her 50th Birthday that brought Kay to tears. As I watched this beautiful exchange I couldn’t help but think to myself I have to share this story from the viewpoint that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Kasey as Kay’s daughter. She loves her mom so much! I kept thinking Kay has done an amazing job raising this young lady into such a beautiful an outstanding woman! Kasey graduated this summer from High School in three years. That’s something to be celebrated and it all is the basis of Kay being an Amazing mother to Kasey.

There was so much love and raw emotion in that room that evening that I sat there in awe of these two beautiful souls and the gift they gave me to be able to witness this exchange. Kay is a single mother who raised three amazing daughters and runs her own business here in Greenville, South Carolina. She has worked very hard to get to the place she is now and overcome so much adversity and became so resilient! Kay has also walked with me consistently through a personal transition in my life these last few months.

That night I didn’t see a gay woman with her daughter, I seen a mother and daughter enjoying each other’s gifts in music that brought them even closer together. I feel that we should re-examine how our perception can cloud some of the most beautiful things that life can show us if we truly have eyes to see it.

Kay & Kasey

Walking Away

Why does a women have to almost die in order to live the life she wants to live?- Glennon Doyle

It’s been quite some time since I did a blog entry again. So much has happened since my last post in 2021 and much of it happened as a direct result of challenging life circumstances which all of us have walked that road know about!

Since that time I have continued to slowly heal physically, emotionally and mentally since my life was up ended with Lyme Disease and having a very invasive surgery in July of 2021. In both instances I’ve learned about endurance and resiliency in a way that I never thought that I would. Some of our most dark moments unlock a gem within us that we had no idea existed.

The other things that have I learned was that things get seared or programmed into our subconscious from birth that we were raised to think or taught. And I discovered late last year that I needed to walk away from all forms of organized religion. In the beginning of making this decision I heard so many voices of judgement of all the bad things that would happen to me for making this decision but then this falls into the programming of the subconscious. I released myself from the bondage and fear surrounding that.

Growing up in organized religion and then changing religious denominations in my adult life was quite a journey and much of it was a turning point in my life. Being born into a family of devout Jehovah’s witnesses I had the concept of going to “church” or in this case in their religious verbiage “the Kingdom Hall” I had to abide by rules and serve the congregation and the big wigs in the governing body at the New York headquarters. I can remember my Dad always saying that I had to be obedient to Jehovah or I wouldn’t live into the new order of things. Basically be a good girl and follow their bible and their rules and I will have eternal life.

I experienced a great deal of religious trauma early on in my life as a result of being born into being a Jehovah’s Witness . And at a young age something deep within me knew that this wasn’t the answer for me and I needed to get away from it as soon as I could when I grew up. And so began quite an experience in my early twenties when I was disfellowshipped (excommunicated) from the organization due to a sin that I committed two many times and the elders felt I was a hazard to the congregation.

I remember one thing that hurt the most was I asked for an appeal from them to reconsider their decision and this required another meeting with six male elders (women aren’t allowed to be elders). My father drove me to the meeting but wouldn’t drop me off at the door because he was embarrassed to be seen with me and fear of judgement of supporting me so he dropped me off on the sidewalk at the end of the driveway and I had to walk up to the door from the road.

Needless to say I was devastated, hurt and felt abandoned as a result. The elders agreed to rule in favor of disfellowshipping me. It would be announced from the platform at the meeting that Thursday for the congregation to hear. I remember that night I went to a local bar where I lived and had a few drinks and was thinking how my life would never be the same. All that I had know was violently ripped from me. But what I didn’t know was this was the very thing I needed to help me eventually walk away from that organization completely.

After some time went by I eventually took the opportunity to move down to Greenville, South Carolina. Not long after arriving I felt the freedom of a new place and out of the eye of family and friends in Michigan. During that time I met the man I would be married to for the next 14 years and I converted to Christianity. The conversion did not go over well with my family, and our marriage didn’t go over well with his family as we were an interracial couple. What’s interesting was both families claimed to be loving Christian people who understood the love of Christ.

During those 14 years we entered ministry. He attended seminary to become a pastor. I had no desire to enter into ministry in this way because I’ve seen how people idolize people in ministry in both my previous faith and in Christianity. But nonetheless I entered in along side him. We spent the next 14 years ministering to so many people. We moved numerous times because we felt a prompting to go somewhere to live on others. We ministered in various parts of North Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana. We did street, small group and platform ministry.

During this time there were many things that I seen happen that were both good and challenging for me to watch. The one consistent thing that I seen in organized religion that troubled me was it seems that when something wrong happened in someone’s life it always seemed to be the result of some sin they committed. I caught the brunt of that when I became sick in 2019.

It took almost a year to finally get the diagnosis back that I had Lyme Disease. It was one of the most frightening and challenging things that I have ever had to walk though. Being bedridden for almost 11 months, sleep deprived and unable to function in a normal way. In the church I was labeled as demonically oppressed and/or possessed. I was accused of carrying something that others who are around me could catch or maybe I have bitterness and I forgiveness in my heart about something and I wouldn’t be healed until I forgive. And I was accused of not being a sick as I was letting on and it had been going on too long.

What really concerned me is that some of these people we justified in what they were saying and convinced that “God” felt the same way. As though if something bad happens to you and your a “Christian” you’re not supposed to experience that and you can tell it to leave. I think it’s foolishness and they need to rethink the faith they stand so firmly on because it wounds people and gives them a false perspective of “God”.

I learned a great deal about the dangers of religion and theology and felt like I traded in one set of bondage growing up Jehovah’s Witness for another entering and experiencing what I have in the Christian community. I feel like both arenas based on my own experience offer a form of freedom but really they are not truly free. Everything spoken over me in that time shows the bondage they are really in themselves.

I no longer wish to be in a place where there is a constant judgment of anything I do or experience. Religious trauma is a real thing and not something you can blame on the devil! Blame it on your own trauma within that you haven’t dealt with or won’t deal with because you would rather have the opiate of religion as a way to keep from dealing with it.

My life was shaken but I am thankful to still be Alive and standing! I am still living with the residuals of Lyme Disease and have chosen to live my life the way I desire to live. I continue to move forward and will tell my story in hopes that it will remind people that no matter what, you’re life is valuable and that even when bad things happen to awaken us to a new direction of living we can still grow and be transformed in who we really are in the midst of it.

Rising

Sitting down to write this new blog post has been a long time in the making. As I type this I began to chuckle because it was a thought in my head for a year and a half now. That was my last blog entry and it was just before a turbulent time began in our home. I have to be honest and transparent, never did I think that it would be a long season in between the posts. But here I am stepping out in faith again and believing that this entry will encourage someone.

I have often pondered life’s journey and the turns and twists that can develop as we move forward and how those times if we allow it can produce endurance and character. I have said in past blog posts that when a time of testing comes it is an opportunity for those spiritual muscles that developed atrophy to be awakened. It’s painful and in many cases at first and our natural human tendency is to get out of it as quickly as possible. But what if that very thing that you are facing acts at a catalyst to produce something in you that may have been lacking, intends to make you stronger, and shift your perspective.

As I have walked through this last year and a half many of those very things have taken place within me. Many times it wasn’t pretty by any means and it was a very challenging on many levels. Walking through the challenges of dealing with a chronic illness was something I had never faced before. I am a wife, dog mom, business owner, running enthusiast, artist, dancer, and the list goes on. I could breeze through things very quickly and was on to the next thing sometimes not even taking a break. All of which came to an abrupt halt in December of 2019. After months of various testing and even misdiagnosis it finally came back that I have Lyme disease and Epstein bar. I had no recollection of being bit by a tick at any point. And it was unclear if it happened a long time ago and laid dormant before manifesting symptoms or if was from a recent time.

It has been a growth journey for my husband and I spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I had to make a decision daily in the midst of physical pain and emotional pain that I had to move forward the best I could. There were days where it hurt to walk or do most of anything but I knew I had to get out of the bed even when I didn’t feel like I could. At the time I could no longer work in the salon as I had done for many years so I began working my Skincare & Body care business for 30 minutes a day. That is all that I could do at the time because of the cognitive issues I was having due to the bacteria and parasites from the Lyme and Epstein bar that had entered my brain. It would take me forever to do the trainings because I had a challenging time keeping up mentally coupled with exhaustion from inconsistent sleep. But despite that I still chose to get up and do what I could when I could.

The life that I was living appeared at the time to be something that could be a distant memory of what is considered normal. But for myself I knew that was a lie and an attempt to derail my progress. So everyday I did a little or tried to do at least one thing and with each passing day. Some days were easier and some harder but I moved forward the best that I could. I would listen to my bible and worship music drawing strength and encouragement in both. Holding onto those things that I knew to be true in the midst of the pain, heartache, and the drastic change in my quality of life. There were days when it came easy and days it was more challenging. I didn’t do it perfectly and I won’t pretend like I did. I knew who my Father was even in the midst of the pain and I knew that He wouldn’t scold me in the midst of tears running down my face as I cried out to Him. I found myself in a place of vulnerability with Him that I had not been in before. Feeling weak and tired and in many ways being tempted to question my faith I reminded myself of the love, faithfulness, wonders, and miracles I had seen Him do in mine and my husband’s life over the years.

Everyday I would rise, continue to move forward, and live! And those accusatory voices that continued to try and remind me of who I am not and bring up things from my past that I had done to possibly bring all this on were silenced! “Keep going my love, I’ve got you” rang in my ears. It produced an endurance and a deeper closeness with God. It’s been a year and a half now and I still rise daily secure in that love but also living and enjoying the moments of laughter and joy, while still walking out my journey of healing. Gaining new discoveries, new perspective, new wisdom, and rediscovering strength and victory running through my veins.

Walking By Faith and not by Sight

 

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There comes a time in any Christian Believers life when the act of walking by Faith and not by sight is put to the test. Do we really believe the word of God as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:7. My husband and I have had many opportunities to live this out over the years. It has looked like many different things over the years for us. But some of the biggest opportunities to walk this out is when He calls on us to relocate. In the last almost twelve years of our marriage it seems to be between South Carolina and North Carolina.

When He speaks to us that it is time to uproot and move there is always an excitement as well as an anticipation of the unknown. Each time this happens we always discover that some of the Faith muscles that we thought we had developed got a bit of atrophy as we hadn’t exercised them in awhile. He begins to exercise them and as with the start of a workout routine your muscles are sore. But as you continue to workout and exercise those muscles they become stronger and stronger and they no longer are sore. He exercises our Faith muscles and makes us stronger.

My husband and I were living in Greenville, South Carolina and God called us to relocate to Greensboro, North Carolina. This was quite a bit of an unexpected transition, however my husband and I have always been willing to go wherever He calls us to go no matter how uncomfortable it may be or how comfortable we are. And I just want to mention we both had gotten very comfortable in Greenville, South Carolina. My husband worked for a local ministry there and I was working and running my own business as a Hairstylist. We were also building family and community in the church we attended there as well as serving as leaders of a small group.

God put it on our hearts not to renew our lease where we lived back in June. We began looking for the new place that we would live. Our prayer was for a place that was bigger so that we could entertain and love on our family, friends, and neighbors. So we began to look for that place. As time went on it seemed the more we looked the more the doors were not opening up for us to find a place. We would call on a place and either not get a return phone call or the place was rented out. I will be transparent and tell you this was a bit frustrating for me at times as I like to plan. But I couldn’t plan this next step.

Time went on and we still were praying and believing and dreaming for that new place. Time went on so much so that it was getting close to our move out date. God put it on a sister at our churches heart to open up their home to my husband and I. They had just finished a one bedroom/one bathroom suite in their home. And as the Lord would have it that is exactly the provision He made for us. So we moved forward into this transition.

This was a change for the both of us as we were used to being in our own home and this was a home with seven other people living in it. We learned a lot in that time and got a front row seat view of what it would be it like to have a family of our own. It was a beautiful time of growth for the both of us. It was challenging but we are thankful for that time and how the Lord grew us and worked those muscles even when it hurt. We lived there for a total of four weeks.

We continued to look for that place we were dreaming of and nothing was opening up for us. We battled discouragement in this time but God always reminded us of His word and promises and we pressed forward knowing something was going to happen. One morning as I was spending time with Him and praying I asked the question of where He wanted us to go next. My husband and I went for breakfast and during that time we got a text during that time from another sister in our church saying that her and her husband wanted to open their home to us for the month of August. So after praying we realized this was our provision again from the Lord and we moved again to their home.

Just before we moved to their home my husband and I decided to go to a special place in Greenville, South Carolina and took some time to pray.  We cried out to God during this time. We both were a bit tired and a little weary as things were not exactly working out the way we wanted them to. We went to just seek His face. During this time He put a family member on our hearts that recently moved to Greensboro. She had been asking us to come up and visit for a weekend but we hadn’t been able to. We called her up and she was away and allowed us to use her home for the weekend. We really wanted to just get a weekend away together not thinking of what would take place next.

We came up that weekend and experienced a bit of an unexpected nudge from the Lord that this was where He was calling us to be. We had such a peace and contentment come over the both of us to began to organize things in preparation to move to Greensboro. We returned to Greenville on Monday and began that process. We stayed with the second family that offered up a place for us for a little more than a week and then moved up to Greensboro with our other family member and we are currently residing there. Still praying, believing, dreaming, and looking for that place of our own where we can love on and entertain people.

What’s the point of the story. Sometimes things don’t always work out the way we plan or think but in the midst of it God knows exactly what we need. Ultimately we are following Him and He has gone before us and continues to work those Faith muscles. He knows are hearts desire and the things we dream of and He cares and desire to bless us. He is not a frustrating Father and He gives good gifts to His children. We hold onto those promises and we move forward still loving Him and looking for Him in every circumstance and thanking Him in the midst of it. Growing and learning. He is good! He is worth it!

Captivated

There are moments in life that I absolutely believe God will allow you to witness and have it hold a significant place in your memory. I have been able to experience many such moments in my lifetime. These are the kind of moments when the world around us stops and everything happening in the room comes to a complete stand still. The noises and voices that occupy the room are silenced. It is as if time simply stops. The focus becomes so centered – so heightened – that absolutely nothing else matters.

Several months ago, I attended an event at a church. There was a great deal going on in the area that I was assigned to assist in. I was partnered up with a young man that I had never met before. We greeted each other warmly and began a conversation. We asked questions like, where we were from, what we do for a living, we talked about our families, and what brought us to the area. It was a sweet conversation. At the same time, there were many other people around us working together to make sure that this event went smoothly.

At one point, the door open to our assigned area, and there was great joy and delight in the voices of the behind us as they were greeting people that entered into that space. During this time, as I was still engaged in conversation with the young man, I began to notice he was present but no longer involved in the conversation. There was a noticeable quiet that came over him as he kept turning around and looking over his shoulder. I was intrigued as to what had captured his attention.

When I turned around, I immediately got a glimpse of who his focus was on. It was a beautiful young woman with a brilliant smile across her face that radiated the joyous spirit within her. I looked at him, and then again to the attractive young woman, and back at him again. It was as if no one else was in the room but the two of them. I felt as though I was looking from the outside in to their world. I imagined a filter, as if every voice was silenced, but he could only hear the sound of her voice. It was breathtaking. I knew that I was witnessing the stirring of his heart at her presence. You could see the longing in his eyes to pursue getting to know her. Witnessing this brought such joy to my heart, as I could sense and feel the draw of his affection for her. He was completely captivated.

The two of them began a relationship and are now planning to marry later this year. As I scrolled through their engagement pictures recently I couldn’t help but to think of this evening at the event that I was blessed to witness. Moments like this are truly gifts from Father God.

Pursue Love

1 Corinthians 14:1-Pursue Love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

This particular verse of scripture has been on my heart greatly as we came to the close of 2018. Of course I have seen it and read it countless times over the years however two words rang loudly within me one early morning the last week of December 2018. PURSUE LOVE! I felt greatly within my heart that this was the focus of God for me personally going into 2019.

I don’t want to make light of the remainder of the verse as I truly desire growth in the spiritual gifts especially the gift of prophecy which I totally believe is still alive and a vivid expression of the heart and the love of God for everyone on this earth. The gifts and prophesy according to this verse must be within the foundation of love.

My prayer has been and continues to be Father teach me to love you more and in loving you more teach me to become love and see the love you have for others. He has loved me with everlasting love regardless of my past. He wants me to imitate Him as a Beloved child according to Ephesians 5:1. Everything in the very nature of who God radiants love. And becoming love can only take place in seeking Him by spending time with him and cherishing His word. And as I see more of him in both those areas I can’t help but want but take on the very same nature of Him.

My prayer and desire for 2019 is to Pursue Love more. To love so purely and intentionally that it reflects Jesus in everyway. Why? Because he has pursued me with the same love. And that is something absolutely worth giving my life to.

The Christmas Tree

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When I think of the beauty of a Christmas Tree, I am instantly taken back to the wonder of my childhood. I would often see a Christmas Tree and all the beautiful lights whether they were colored lights or simple white lights. The breathtaking ornaments that had the significance of a memory, or a snowman, elves, reindeer, or Santa himself. I always loved to see the Christmas Trees that were color coordinated. They always brought me a sense of joy and excitement. Although I didn’t grow up in a home that celebrated Christmas, this time of year always seemed to be a time of joy and celebration for a vast majority of people around us.

My husband and I have been married for almost eleven years and we have never put up a Christmas Tree. To be honest there was not a real desire to do so mainly because of the work involved. But something very special happened to me this summer. It was during the month of July as I was spending time with God and the anticipation of Christmas came over me. And for the very first time these words came forth from my lips “Father I would really love to put up a Christmas Tree this year.” In that moment I knew something different was happening within me. I was filled with a childlike joy at the thought of Christmas.

I remember sharing this news with my husband later that evening and he looked at me with that puzzled look on his face and the response of “REALLY?!”. I replied “YES I WOULD LOVE A CHRISTMAS TREE THIS YEAR”. His response to that was just a simple “OK”. Over the next few months I continued to mention the tree in my conversations with God. I can only describe it like a small child pulling on one of the legs of her Father and saying Daddy, Daddy…I would really like to have a Christmas Tree.

As the Holiday Season approached I remember one day going into a store to simply look at Trees and Holiday decorations. As I looked I began to notice that some of these decorations were on the costly side and the Christmas Tree was no small investment, and I will admit for a moment I was tempted to give up on having decorations or the Christmas Tree. But the confidence that God heard my request and because I know that his word says that He loves to give good gifts to His children was comforting to me in that moment.

Some weeks later I was asked post an item online for someone to sell on social media. Doing this required me to spend time on an area of social media that I normally didn’t spend much time on. But due to the consistent inquiries about the item for sale I had to check it and respond frequently. It was the same afternoon that the item sold that I saw a photograph of a Christmas Tree for sale posted. The amount listed for it was well within our budget. I sent an email inquiring if the Tree was still available and it was. Two days later my husband and I picked up our very first Christmas Tree.

I am constantly in Awe of how God is always cares for every detail of our lives. This was a huge request to me and the thought that He was wrapped up in every detail of the Christmas Tree back in the summer warms my heart with an even greater love for him. He is truly an Awesome Father!