Looking Back & Expecting the Best

Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's always around the time of the New Year that we sit and think about all the things we want to accomplish in the next year, the habits we want to create, the old ways we want to get rid of, and the new adventures we plan to take. I'm not sure how many of them actually happen, but sometimes making a list of new things to accomplish feels good (especially for list people like me.) 
Instead of creating a list of things I want to do this next year, I found myself looking back over the past year and seeing where I've been, and looking ahead at where I'm going.
I've said it many times in my last posts, but I truly feel like this has been one of the best years of my life. So many things have changed and I have been given more than I ever deserve.

I got this idea from my best friend who is NEWLY ENGAGED (Congratulations!!!)-Mary. She's an amazing person, with crafty ideas all the time, an eye for photography, and a heart for the Lord, so if you like anything of mine, you will love her blog, check it out! Lily White 

 Saying goodbye
In 2011...
-I finished my EverPraise career 
-I moved off campus into my own apartment
-I started my final year of college
-I fell in love with my best friend who happens to be the man of my dreams
-I let go of some things in my past and feel like the Lord truly has over flowed my heart and life with his grace and blessings
-I gave some of my writing to a professional publishing company and got a Yes to publish my stuff (this is still a work in progress I am seeking the direction God wants me to go)- this one is on hold for now
-I helped deliver 2 babies in my clinical rotation and it by far was the coolest thing I've ever been a part of
-I got a camera and have enjoyed investing more time into my blog and writing
-I applied for my first big girl job
March 4th, 2011
Welcoming the New
What I know of 2012...
-I will graduate with my BSN on May 5th!
-I will get my first big girl job 
- I will be making some kind of move I just don't know to where 
-I am excited to continue to allow God to write my Love Story with Andrew, as I have been more than blessed to have him in my life 
-I will trust God to work out all the details and plans that I am unaware of right now, may my faith grow stronger each day of this journey

December 26th, 2011
I chose my words "What I know" wisely, as I feel this next year is one full of unknowns. It is not the easiest place for me to be in, as it is uncomfortable for me not to know details or have plans, but all the more reason that I know the year 2012 will be a year that my faith will grow as I will continue to trust the Lord with each step of my journey. He has a plan for me just as He does each of you, and I pray that I will be sensitive to His voice in leading as this next year is going to be another transitional year for me.

 I pray this year is one of the best yet- spiritually, relationally, and personally. I have been given so many things and I cannot thank God enough for where He has brought me.
What does God want to do in Your life this year?

Happy New Years Everyone!

Our Orlando Adventure

Christmas came and went and we were all gearing up to go to Universal for the next two days. All of the Reismiller's family, as well as my parents and Andrew packed our bags and set out on our adventure to Universal. We got there, among the thousands, and spent our first day at Islands of Adventure. The lines were somewhat long, but the company made it go quickly. I felt like a little girl riding my favorite ride (okay so one time when I was about 10 or 11 I rode the Cat in the Hat ride probably 20 times in one day) 
Sweet Memories :)               

 I finally made it to the World of Harry Potter (I've only wanted to go since this past summer, but it was much awaited). Waiting in line for the ride was long, but totally worth it. It was all done so well, the buildings were just like Hogwarts, and I really enjoyed looking at everything, it was just like the movies.
Butterbeer :)
I loved this shot! It was awesome

So glad he got to enjoy this day with me

We enjoyed the rest of our day at the park, but unfortunately I had to make things interesting. Ha, by the end of the evening around 5 o'clock, I ended up with an incredibly sore throat and running a fever of 101. By 7 pm we were at a walk in clinic and I got a bunch of meds and made my way to the hotel and into bed. We weren't sure I was going to be up for the next day, but thank God for good doctors, medicine, and caring parents and a loving boyfriend. We made it to Universal Studios the next day and I almost enjoyed the second day more, as I felt better. I had such a good time with my parents & Andrew at the parts just enjoying their company, the fun of the parks, and time away from everything else. For those of you who don't know, I was scheduled to have another knee surgery on December 28th, cleaning up some tissue and fluid, but due to my strep & pharyngitis, this got cancelled. Not quite sure when this will be rescheduled, probably after graduation (not what I would have planned), but regardless, it could be ten times worse and I am thankful I am feeling better and I'm sure there's a reason my surgery didn't happen this past week. 
Andrew took these pictures and I loved them
I just thought this one was cool. The weather was awesome for us both days. Again, taken my Andrew :)

It was a few days, but full of memories :) This wasn't a bad wrap up to the year 2011.

Christmas Time is Here

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas got here so fast this year!! I cannot believe it is here and gone, but it was a great Christmas this year, even though many things about it were different. My parents and I opened our gifts and had Christmas dinner on Christmas eve. Dad made pancakes early on Christmas morning before we went to church (we HAD to keep tradition). Andrew surprised me and showed up to take me to church on Christmas morning and there we shared in a wonderful service celebrating the real reason for the season. It felt odd being at church on Christmas, but the more I thought about it the more I realized how easy it is to forget the true meaning for the Christmas season. As much as I don't like change, I'm thankful for the change of pace this Christmas, and for the wonderful service and celebration we had Christmas morning. 
Here's some pictures (with my new camera!!) from our Christmas dinner at the Reismiller's house on Christmas Eve.
I just loved this picture

Christmas Eve 2011

Games with 14 people always make for an interesting time

No bake cookies are one of mom's best

Like I said, Christmas day was special even though it didn't "feel" like Christmas, it was nice to enjoy it with those that I love the most! 
Andrew and I spent our first "official" Christmas together since we've been dating and it meant a lot that he surprised me and came to hear me sing Christmas morning! He is wonderful and I was so thankful he could spend that time with me and my parents. 
Christmas Day! I love this boy! 

Christmas night ended with my Mom and I going to see "We bought a zoo" and no I didn't find myself crying 3 times during the movie (cough, cough). It really was a great movie. We came back home, made sandwiches, hung out, & enjoyed a lazy evening before our adventure to Orlando the next two days (There's another post coming soon to continue my Christmas adventure).
But all of that to say, I had a wonderful Christmas this year, and I really felt like more than any other year, we truly focused on the reason for the season.
I'm thankful for the baby that was born that eventually would save us all! 

O Come let us Adore Him!

Did you celebrate the true meaning of the Christmas season? 


A Season Like No Other

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6
 It's been a different kind of week for me. Coming home to a world that is going 5000 miles an hour and I am not having to study or prepare for anything, it's been interesting. It's been an exhausting few days for many people around here to say the least, but in the midst of what might seem like a time of tragedy, which it has been no doubt for our church family, there has been something different I've seen in so many people the last few days. 



Kelly Bortel's funeral was Saturday. This was a hard day for many. As I sat in the back watching people from all roads of life, I noticed something this day in Kim that really spoke to me. While she is in the midst of some of the hardest days of her life, as she just lost her son, she has a peace about her that only God can bring. I've watched her be calm in the midst of a storm and I can truly say the Lord was present at the ceremony and I felt challenged by the words given to us. 
This week also held a few fun celebrations and the beginning of what seems to be a gazillion Christmas dinners. I think Mom said we have a dinner planned every night this week...I think I just gained 15 lbs thinking about all of it. I got to spend time with the ladies of the church at their progressive dinner and towards the end during a time of sharing and prayer, again I just sensed such a peace. 
It's been nice to be home, even though it's been busy. I have felt such a calm in my spirit that is so refreshing. I told my Mom today, I often feel really sad during this time of year and I am sure most of it reminds me of my grandmother dying, as it was only 2 days after Christmas. This season means so many different things for so many people. Things that make us really happy, gatherings with loved ones, and yet moments where it can be extremely difficult all depending on what this season of life means for you. I am thankful for so many things this year and I feel cheesy being so nostalgic but like I said in my previous post I truly do have so many things to be thankful for. I told someone a bit of my story tonight and I marvel at God's faithfulness and His healing as I am continually experiencing His peace and I am not in enslaved by anxiety. 

I'm praying that as this next week is here and will shortly be gone, that I will not miss anything the Lord might want to show me. I don't want it to just be about gifts, being too tired from running around constantly, and I pray that the Lord will keep my mind in the right perspective this week. I truly have been given so much and I have felt so blessed to be home around the people I love and to just embrace this time. 
I pray that you all have a great week and in the midst of chaos, as it is only 7 days till Christmas, that you in the business of it all will find peace within your heart, and may we all truly live out what this season is all about.

 "For unto us a Child is born...He is Christ the Lord."

What a Difference a Year Makes

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

  "Still mercy fought, for my attention...
You were waiting at the door."
When you’re in the air flying at extremely fast speeds, and you don’t have many options for things to do, it’s a great time to think. I enjoy traveling and sometimes I really enjoy traveling alone. Over the past week, 2 people from my hometown died tragically. It makes you stop and think, it really does. It’s interesting because since I finished this past semester, I have had a lot of time to myself and in that time I began to think about where I was at a year ago. It’s crazy what a year can do.
I have often been one to wish things away, to wonder what life will be like in the next phase, to find it hard to be content in the present, but I told my mom a few months ago that my prayer was to truly be content right where I am. I don’t want to miss out on anything that I should be getting right now and I will only have this time of my life once.
In thinking back a year ago at where I was at, in my heart and in things that I wasn’t sharing with anyone, I felt like I was dying. I guess I never realized how good I can be at acting, which isn’t something to be proud of, however it is something I have done. In masking pain I was trying to hide, trying to fix things I had gotten myself into, and trying to force something that God never had intended for me, I realize that I was in a place that was a product of my choices. While I learned many lessons, and God’s grace was poured over me during that time, a year later I can honestly say that I am so happy.
God has truly blessed me. Regardless of the lies I told myself, the messes I continued to try and fix, I now find myself with a love I never thought would be mine. I dreamed most of my life that I would marry my best friend and that life would be all of these things, but when I was trying to force things that I never should have, of course I ended up feeling like this was only a dream. This has been such an eye opening year for me, I have found so much of myself that I didn’t even realize I had lost, and I feel like I have grown so much. I am so thankful for the way my parents and my relationship has blossomed and I can’t thank them enough for their prayers and support. As Far as the love of my life, I can’t finish this blog without mentioning him. Andrew has truly been such a gift to me. His patience with me, his support during some difficult moments this past semester, his unconditional love that I’m sure isn’t easy at times, and the random acts of kindness that he does for me on a daily basis truly have shown me that the love I had always dreamed of, really is mine. No one puts a smile on my face quite like he does. He is such an incredible person and I thank God for putting the man of my dreams in my life. I am excited to continue my journey beside him and I thank God for the love story he is writing and everyday is a new adventure and I’m blessed to have him.

This semester of nursing school seriously flew by. It was by far one of the most challenging, but I made it and I was very proud of the grades I walked away with. I can’t believe I only have one semester of nursing school left. It’s weird when I started working on my resume and I filled out my first application for a job- Kind of scary, but I’ve worked hard to get here and this is what I’ve been preparing for. I truly have been so blessed this past year despite the mess I found myself in a year ago. For all those internal feelings and unrest in my heart, I now find myself at peace and with a huge smile on my face.
I am content with where I’m at and although there are days where I just wish things were different, I have nothing to complain about and everything to be thankful for. I am excited to see what the Lord has for me this next semester, as I am finishing up school. I am looking forward to my break at home and for a chance to spend time with my parents and friends that I don’t see often.

God truly is faithful and I am so thankful for place I am at in life right now.

Miracles Still Happen

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"O Lord my God, I have called out to You, and You have healed me" Psalm 30:2
It's always in the Bible that we hear about miracles, or maybe it's from a friend or stories in church.
I know I never thought it would be me.
That's awful for me to doubt, to have faith so small that doesn't even consider that God would want to or choose to do something that would be a miracle in my life.
I've contemplated writing this blog since it happened.
You see, in being real it means I may risk feeling embarrassed, wondering if others will look at me differently, and really exposing a piece of my life that has somewhat felt like a 'secret' the past month.
Over the past month and a half I have been experiencing some real anxiety.
I'd say I've never been a laid back person, I tend to worry about many things, and its quite rare that my mind is not racing, however the anxiety I have been experiencing over the last few months is one that has been crippling
Fear of everyday things happening, feelings of panic, almost to where I feel like I can't breathe, being trapped in my own mind, obsessive thoughts of the future, and just a worry that never seems to subside is where I have been for the last 2 months.
It is also important for me to share that while I feel like this can make me look and feel like I have more "issues", I have been seeing a Christian counselor since September. I have so enjoyed my time with my counselor and I have no doubt that in meeting her, it was God's hand at work.
After discussing my anxiety with her, where I was at and how I was coping or not coping with my everyday tasks, we both agreed it would be beneficial to see her colleague who is a psychiatrist. 
Going to this appointment was one I dreaded. Digging through my past, my hurts, where I've come from, what I enjoy, where I'm at now and what I'm experiencing felt like the longest 2 hours of my life. 
After hearing where she thinks my anxiety stems from, and accepting her suggestion of being put on an anti-depressant for anxiety, I felt more defeated than I have in awhile.
I felt this made me weak. That if I was ever out of control of a situation, it was now.
How would I fix where I'm at?
What is the medicine going to do to me? Will I ever feel like myself? Will I ever have a day where my mind isn't racing?
It was exhausting.
I got a call from my Dad later this day. 
I must say, he doesn't call me often, so when my phone rang I was praying nothing was wrong.
My Dad called to tell me this: He had been at a prayer meeting all day in Lakeland, Fl. with the other pastors of the district. He said they went on a prayer journey for a few hours. He said while he was praying, he felt impressed to pray for my freedom and healing from my anxiety. My Dad is a man who believes in prayer, and I am confident that when he says he was interceding for me, that I can count on it. He told me that he felt confident that God would deliver me from this, he did not know how or when, but that he needed to call and tell me this. I thanked him, told him I loved him and hung up the phone.
I cried the entire trip back to my apartment. 
All I could think to myself was, Lord please be with me cause I don't know how this is ever going to get better.
The night before I went home for Thanksgiving, I started my medicine. Over the next few days, I was quiet, felt neutral to everything, tired, physically had some reactions to the medicine and was wide awake in the middle of the night with jitters. After the 4th night of this, I couldn't take it anymore, called my Doctor and we agreed I should stop the medication.
I felt even more defeated, now dreading another meeting with her when I returned to try another medication that would hopefully do the trick for me. I was extremely apprehensive but knew I couldn't give up yet.
I got back into town and met with my counselor on Wednesday. We talked about my trip home, my meeting with her colleague, and my reaction to the medication. I told her I felt more out of control of the situation than ever, wondered how it would ever get better, but also expressed the fact that I knew I couldn't give up.
After meeting with her, she said to me that she sensed such a peace about me. She said she had never seen me this calm in my spirit since her and I have been meeting.
I left this day feeling good about that. 
The next day, I met with the psychiatrist. I felt closed off and apprehensive. 
We talked. I shared my heart with her. I told her how I was willing to face the things her and I talked about and that I simply wanted to continue what I needed to and do the work needed in order for me to be the healthiest person I can be.
I told her about my Dad and his experience and prayers.
I told her I was relying on God as this is all I felt I could do at this point.
Her reaction wasn't what I expected.
Without knowing what my counselor said, she expressed the same thing my counselor told me.
She sensed a peace about me. A calmness that I thought medication was going to give me. She said she thought I had experienced a break through, and said I don't know what it is, but you are moving in the right direction.
She told me she had come with another medicine in mind to prescribe me, but after meeting with me said she was going to suggest that I take nothing, and to continue to do what I was doing, and if I needed to meet with her again, to call her.
I gathered my things, smiled and said thank you and walked out the door. 
I got in the car with Andrew and began to tell him what she said.
When he asked what medicine I had been prescribed I simply responded "Nothing."
I couldn't take all of this in.
Later that night I finally had the time to process through everything and all I could think to do was let my Dad know that I was calling to tell him I was free. That God somehow, someway, had been involved in all of this. That I didn't need medicine anymore for my anxiety. That somehow my mind hasn't been racing so much. I haven't had any further panic attacks. I can relax on my own without medication.
He responded. Praise the Lord. We will claim it!!!!!

While this does not mean I am done with my counseling, and that my road to wholeness and better health is over, it means that the Lord truly has delivered me from the pressing anxiety that I was having. I do not have to be medicated in order to feel fine. 
I still, am in awe of what happened because I don't even know how or when it took place, but 2 doctors within 48 hours said the same thing to me.
I'm choosing to claim it and believe that it was God, and I in my own life experienced a miracle!

While I am not proud to tell my story and feel embarrassed about my anxiety, I can't keep what God's done to myself!
He truly is the healer and I am thankful for His faithfulness in my life and I believe in His power to continue to help me on this journey.

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for me and a special thanks to Brittany for the picture! 

What's Your Story?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Oh Lord You have searched me and know me..."
Maybe like me you've found yourself at a place in life where you question yourself, where you are, how you got here, and often why you do the things that you do. 
Maybe you do things by choice, maybe its consequences, maybe its defenses, or maybe its something you've always done just to cope with life and its circumstances. 
Regardless of this, in the last week I've been doing a lot of thinking about myself.

Over the past several months I realize there are some unhealthy things in my life and ways that I react, and internally think through things. While I may not ever know the exact reasons why I do what I do, I have learned something about myself.

Why does my story and things in my life have to be a secret?

We live in a world where we try to put on plastic smiles, a face that says things are great, and we are always asking each other "how are you?" most times not genuinely meaning what we are asking.We respond with "Im great, how are you?" When inside, we could be dying.
Who said it always has to be fine?
That everything has to be okay?
That you have to "act"?

Today's world has made broken pieces out to look like "hopelessness" when in reality, being broken can almost be one of the best places to be.
Its humbling, eye-opening, and often times life-changing.

While it doesn't mean you have to tell the whole world every secret that you have or everything that you struggle with, if we never truly share our deepest hurts, the things that we are struggling with, and the part of our story that could change someone's life, if we are never honest with ourselves (sometimes that being the hardest part), how will we ever be the real deal?

Without even noticing it, I have found myself trying to cover up pieces of my story.
Being honest means I would have to say I'm at a place where I often wonder how it will all piece together, but that's the beauty of it.

For every part of my life that I am questioning, searching for, and really trying improve to be the best I can be, it is all the more reason I have to truly lay every piece of my life, my past, present, and future in His hands, as He is the only person that can put it all together. 
He knows it all. He knows where we've been but He also sees where He wants to take us if we'll be obedient and trust Him.
Our past does not have to define us and the Word tells us:
"Who the Son sets free, is free indeed."(John 8:36)
It's a struggle. It's hard to be honest. It isn't perfect, but it's my story.
What's your story? 

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Sunday, November 27, 2011

 There really is no place like home when it comes to the Holidays.
I enjoyed this break at home tremendously. 
I don't feel like I did much, but that was just what I needed.

Thanksgiving is always a meal that seems to take forever to cook, and it isn't too long before you're feeling stuffed. The homemade noodles and Mom's apple salad made the day.
I enjoyed a quiet day at home with family and friends, lots of food, and of course, The Grinch.
I think I've realized this year more than ever, just how fast time flies. 

I'm thankful this year for so many things. God has been so good to me and I really feel this last year was a break through in my life for so many reasons. Regardless of my current struggles, and the place that I find myself in, I am so thankful for a Faithful Heavenly Father who continuously pours His blessings into my life. I hope each of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.

As for a few of my favorite things this time of year....

 This is my favorite ornament on our tree. I have many that I love but this was the ornament I gave to my grandmother her last Christmas with us. She cherished it, and so do I.
 No matter how hard I try, nothing smells quite like home and Mom's candles burning in just about every room in our house.
 Holiday Soaps...ah I love them, and so does my Mom :)

Nothing beats the Holiday sweets. Homemade cookies galore.

Ah, tomorrow, it's back to the grind. Only 2 more weeks of the semester but it was nice to stop and slow down for a few days and really just remember what's truly important. 
More posts to come in the future! It's been busy but I can't wait to have time to blog as much as I want to!! 

Happy Holidays Everyone!

One More Day With You

Friday, November 18, 2011

"I want my heart His throne to be,
so that a watching world may see
His likeness shining forth in me.
I want to be like Jesus."

At nine years old, I had no idea that I would deal with one of the hardest things that happens in this world. I'd rather not start there though.
You see, you'll never know how much of an impact someone made on your life, 
until they aren't apart of it everyday. 
We take things for granted, and the second we don't have it anymore
we then realize what we should have held onto.

I learned this lesson as a little girl.
Regardless of the hurt that won't ever seem to go away, the empty place in my heart, the way our family has never been the same, and for the moments when I just wish I could bring her back, I was blessed to have such a Godly example in my life from the time I was born, even until now. 

As a little girl, I heard over and over about how much Jesus loved me from my grandmother.
I learned lots of lessons about how God had taught her things in her life growing up, about being a Mom & even a Grandmother. I can hear her voice still to this day when I think about her and my grandpa sitting down each morning to have their devotions. Regardless of how long it took, they would pray for each and every one of their kids and grand kids and dear friends.  

I remember hearing her pray for me.

I had no idea how important this was, and I have no idea how much her prayers have helped me to be where I am now. 
The memories are endless, even though I only had 9 years. 
Kool-aid ice cubes, baking, learning how to make homemade noodles (an Indiana favorite), playing store, setting up my bed at the bottom of hers each time I spent the night, cracking jokes on her like pretending I was in Home Alone and I set up a trap in her house (awful I know), setting up the manger scene at her house each year at Christmas, hearing "Bethany Joy" as only she could say it, teaching me how to take care of my baby dolls, trips to Mcdonalds, picking me up from practice and having a snack in the car for me until I got home for dinner. 
Oh sweet memories.  
I will never forget the night where things got serious. 
The night where joking, laughing, and carrying on wasn't the "normal" activity for the evening.
I remember being anxious as I could tell something wasn't and hadn't been right.

This night changed my life.
I learned this night that my grandmother had a cancer that literally was going to eat her alive.
No one in our family knew that it would take her life 2 months later. 
She told me this night about all of it. But she kept telling me that she was eventually going to die.
I asked her if she was afraid. 
Fear never came out of her mouth.
I sensed such peace. 
At nine years old, I saw in her that night, a woman who loved and feared the Lord with everything she had. She knew where she was going and most importantly, she only wanted to do and be everything that Jesus wanted her to be.
You see, the old hymn " I want to be Like Jesus" was her favorite.

I can hear her to this day singing around the house as she cleaned.
Words like "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word."

I will never forget the day she died.
I get a knot in my throat to this day just thinking about it.

I never knew that 14 years later, I would look back on these memories, those final moments, and those  deep conversations that I had with my grandmother at 9 years old, it would change me.

I've found myself at a place of unrest, anxiety, fear of the unknown, and I almost feel imprisoned in my own mind at times.
Today I was reminded and in my mind could hear her singing those words, quoting the scriptures, and praying with everything that she had. The peace that she had even in the midst of what I would consider the scariest thing that could happen, is something that I so long for.

The same God that came to save my Grandmother and walked beside her during her fight with cancer, is the same God that lives in me.
I have been blessed to have the memories I did with her.
They are burried deep within my heart, and I am thankful for the countless prayers her and my grandfather have poured over myself, my future spouse, and my family. 

This holiday season is often bittersweet for me. 
I wanted to write this blog tonight in hopes to encourage, and for myself find a few moments of peace.

I pray that somewhere along this journey, I can become more like Christ, and I hope that I reflect the love, compassion, and grace that my grandmother did. 
"My deepest prayer, my highest goal, that I may be like Jesus."



Even Though I walk Through The Valley

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me..."

It's been awhile since I've blogged.
I've found myself doing more thinking than ever, and yet I find myself speechless more times than not. 
I'm exhausted. I'm anxious. I'm weary. I feel lost.

I find it somewhat hard to be real about where I'm at, and words may not be my best friend these days, but regardless of my feelings, my fears, the things I am struggling with, The Lord is still faithful.

I have to rely on this truth and its consistency in my life.
Especially right now.

While everything else feels like it's crumbling around me, and I am struggling to have peace, to have a clear mind, and to truly see things as they are,
The Lord is with me.
Ahead of me.
and Behind me.

It is hard for me to rest. But I am daily going to continue to fill my mind with the word, His truth, and His promises.
I have no idea where you are at, but regardless you can rely on His faithfulness. 

I could greatly use prayer and encouragement during this time. 
For the things ahead and the place I find myself at in this very moment, may I rely completely on Him.

"O for grace to trust Him more...."

Be Near Me I Pray

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"I've called your name. You're mine. 
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end. I paid a huge price for you." 
Isaiah 43- the msg
This has been stirring in my heart for a few months.
I've avoided it for fear that it will not come out as well as I planned.
But I can't get away from it.
So I will trust the Lord with the words.
I enjoy listening to piano music. I do it a lot when I'm alone. 
One of my favorite instrumental tracks is 'Breath of Heaven'
While I usually only hear this around Christmas time, I never knew the words to this song.
One day, I was curious and I looked them up.
Ever since that day, this blog has been stirring in my heart and mind. 
My attention was captured when I read these lines:
"I am waiting in a silent prayer, I am frightened by the load I bear. 
In a world as cold as stone, must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now. Be with me now. 

Do you wonder as you watch my face, 
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am, for the mercy of Your plan.
Help me be strong."
This song was written as the cry of the Virgin Mary's heart. What a scary time for her this must have been. What a heavy load to bear knowing that she was carrying the Son of God. Even someone as incredible as Mary, who was chosen to carry God's son questioned why she was chosen, if she was good enough, and had fears of her own. 
Somewhere along this journey I think we have made it so that being scared, having fear, and being 'real' about how we really are feeling to be something that is wrong or represents weakness. When I searched more into Mary's journey and began to think about the path that she walked, I found this song and the words that were put together so well as the cry of her heart, to be beautiful. 

There is beauty in brokenness. 

While the world may not see it this way, I have learned this to be evident in my own life.
I admire Mary for her honesty, her genuine heart, and for her willingness to carry a load that seemed unbearable at times because that was what the Lord had for her and it was for His plan. 

"Breath of Heaven, Hold me together. Be forever near, Breath of Heaven." 

The sweetest part of her prayer. 
 Rest. Wholeness. Comfort. Peace. Assurance. 
All is found in the One who sent her on the journey.
This is true for each one of us.
I don't know where you find yourself right now. Maybe at the mountain top and thanking God for all the great things going on in your life. Maybe you're in the valley wondering when you will see the light, you're questioning everything, wondering if what you've believed all along is even real. Waiting, for anything, something, to change. Or possibly like me, you know truth in Your heart, but you question the path your on. You question what's next, if you're good enough, you wonder how the Lord is going to use you. 

The road ahead can be scary. It's tiring. It can be heavy.

But there is hope.
In the times of the unknown, rest in the arms of our Heavenly Father.
Lord, breath life into my weary heart.
Be near me. 
You are NOT alone.
I pray that wherever you're at, that like me, you will believe in more than just what you can see at this moment, and that you will hold on. In the unknown, in the dark nights, in the moments of uncertainty, that we may grow to trust the Lord with each step we take. 
To believe in something that is stronger than we are. To believe in the unfailing, unconditional love that died to set us free. To believe in saving grace no matter where we are at. To be real, even during hard times. To be transparent. To be totally surrendered. To rest in His arms. To take Jesus at His word. 

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." 
Psalm 55:22

Little Things Can Change A lot

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."
Who knew that the tiny hands of an 8 year old little girl would change my life.
Today started like a normal clinical today but little did I know I would meet an angel that was would change my life. It's easy to get caught up in routines, and trying to get everything done on a normal day of clinical making sure everything is done correctly and that all the paper work is done. Today was different. While all of my work still got completed, I had the chance today to slow down, just for an hour.
I wish you could meet her. She's tiny, she's eight years old, she has a beautiful smile and a sweet giggle. She's brave, she's a fighter, she's a hero. This sweet girl has Cystic Fibrosis. This disease is chronic and causes respiratory problems that can end up affecting every other body system. She'll be lucky and one of few if she makes it to 30 years of age. This causes her to be in and out of the hospital for weeks at a time every 3 months. Hospitals are another home for her. 

None of this phases her. 

I had the chance to spend an hour with her. The best hour of time I have spent in awhile.
We played play-doh. We talked about High School Musical. We talked about her favorite movies. We agreed that homework at 8 years old & homework at 22 years old is NEVER fun. We laughed. I taught her a few things about her care, but she taught me even more.

A child who has every reason in the world to wonder why it's happening to her, to be upset, angry, selfish, nothing like this. 
The entire hour was spent fixing a play-doh color frame that we decided would be a GREAT idea to give to her grandfather for his birthday. We knew exactly where to hide it to when he came to visit. 

It's the little things.
It was her tiny hands fixing the play-doh so carefully into that Tinkerbell frame to give to her grandpa, that made me stop and think.

She changed my life today. 
I am blessed and take it for granted. I  am selfish. I don't have near the courage this little girl has, and the joy she has for living is contagious. Even if it was only for an hour, I decided in that moment that I wanted to care, even if only for an hour about the things that were important to her.
I loved working with her and being a part of her care.

Maybe working with kids is a possibility for my nursing career. I wish time could slow down enough to spend time with each one like I did this special girl today.
I felt passionate about what I did today. 
Her smiles and giggles made my day.
While life has it's way of being unfair, it also has a way of changing people.
I was sent there today to care and help this little girl. 
Today, she helped me.

While I may never see her again, I am going to be praying for her and her family. 
I thank God for the sweet little 8 year old angel I met today.
She brought perspective to my mind and showed me where my heart is.

Come to My Rescue

Friday, September 2, 2011

"I need you Jesus to Come to My Rescue, Where else Can I Go?"

This time 4 years ago I feel like I was in this same place, but different.
What am I talking about?!
Let me tell you.

4 years ago this time, I was starting a new chapter of my life that didn't really seem to make sense. While it was exciting on some ends, and supposed to be the 'time of my life' I felt lost, confused, searching, wondering when it would feel like I was in the right place. I feel like I am in this place again except in a little different way. Life is constantly changing and while I am not always the biggest fan of change, I have learned that you can't stop it from happening so it's best to embrace it.

I am beginning to wonder when this time of my life will feel like it's where I am supposed to be, but I am not ever sure it will. This is a transitional year no doubt as I am no longer living on campus, not singing on PR and really school is about all that I am super committed to at this time.  
What's ahead is uncertain. It's scary. I have anxiety often just thinking about it.
As I have said before this is not what we are supposed to do, worrying that... however I am human and have to remind myself daily who holds my tomorrow. 

I wrote this blog to remind myself of a sweet moment that happened 4 years ago, as well as this past week. Hillsong has a song titled Rescue. This was the cry of my heart 4 years ago and I can remember my thoughts in the quietness of those moments when we would sing this in chapel, and this past week at church and kairos it was sung. I was brought back to that moment but also there in the present time as I feel that this is the cry of my heart now. I have no idea where I'm going and what I'm doing. I want to be in the center of God's will and I trust whole heatedly that He will continue to lead and guide me. 
some moments in the day though I just like to think that I am being rescued, that the Creator of the Universe is holding me, ME, in the palm of his hand. 

I want that security. I need that safety and peace. 

I need you Lord. 

What do you need to be rescued from?

In the Waiting Room

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act..."
Psalms 37:7 
I share my heart and mind easily when I've had time to process everything running through my brain.
While I've been thinking a lot, I've noticed that I've tucked away a lot that's been stirring in my heart and in my mind. My mind has been wondering constantly for the past week. 
I usually talk about everything I'm thinking. I've kept my mouth shut.
Uncertainty scares me. I'm a planner by nature. I don't thrive off of last minute plans and I certainly don't love radical changes in life either. I love routine. It's comfortable. I like for people to tell me what I should do when I don't know, and I don't like to make those choices for myself. 
It's easier that way... 
But I know, growth doesn't happen when life is easy, and being comfortable is what sets us up for complacency. I certainly don't want to be complacent and if I've learned anything in the last 4 years, I realize that sometimes during the hardest times in life, I can look back and see how much God changed my heart towards Him during those moments I questioned Him most. Funny how that works, isn't it?! 
So here's me being real.
Right where I'm at in this very moment
I believe and trust that God has a plan for my life.
I also know that in the last couple of years God has been stirring up something in my heart. 
I feel called to Nursing and to care for people at their deepest point of need and to make a difference in the world and I thank God for the chance to have that platform to love others how He has loved me. 
I also know that I have passions outside of Nursing that God has revealed to me over time, that continue to grow and become more of who I am everyday. 
While this may not be something I get to do everyday of my life as a 'career', I can't help but believe God is forming and preparing my heart for those things in the future as only He has perfect timing for everything. 
I don't know what God has for me.
I don't know what God is doing inside of me right now, and I feel like I am in the 'waiting room' if you will...waiting on God to make his direction clear.
I realize and know that my decisions do not only affect me, and for this I am grateful. He has blessed me with incredible people and I am blessed to have such great support and I'm incredibly thankful for a Godly man who supports and walks beside me.
But my biggest prayer during this season of to simply be content right where I'm at.
I want to soak in all that God is doing in and around me, and I want to embrace every moment that I have this last year of Nursing school as only more changes are up ahead of me. I trust God to work in the hearts of those He needs to, and I believe and trust in His faithfulness to me during this time. 
I worry about everything.
I don't want to worry about my next step, I want to trust and embrace this time. 

As I learned when I was a little girl, but may it ring ever so true in my actions:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 

For Such a Time As This

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"For such a time as this
Isn't it much to great a risk
I've never flown from the edge of a cliff
Never walked on the water
But if I turn away
How would I know what I have missed
Have I waited all of my life
For such a time as this?"
While I may not have as many words or details to add to this piece of writing as I do most of my work, I wanted to take the time to write what is going on in hopes and confidence that I will look back and thank God for how He was faithful to me and brought every piece of the puzzle together.
Over the past year, I have felt the Lord laying something on my heart but I can never exactly put a picture with what it is. I am not even sure I know all the details or exactly what He wants me to do but in the last two months, I finally came to a place where I told the Lord that I am okay with where I am at and that I trusted that in His timing, He will show me what He wants me to do. Shortly after sincerely praying this prayer, I feel as though the Lord has placed a vision in my life and He slowly is piecing things together for me. 
While I have many fears about what is ahead, where I am going to end up and all that is involved in decisions that need to be made, I feel the Lord softening my heart to certain aspects of my life I never considered. He is changing my mind and my heart about things and my passions are only growing stronger. Things I never thought I would ever desire or want, I am almost so excited about that I can't even talk about it without smiling. 
I am praying that my selfish desires will be completely out of this equation as I am truly seeking what God has for me in the future and I only want to do and be all that He wants from me.
I am humbled to think that the Lord would want to use me, but I am excited and willing to go and be all that He asks of me. 
I do not want to miss what He has for me.
 Patience is hard for me.
Trusting is even harder. 
So for those reading, if you would feel lead, I would appreciate your prayers and encouragement along this journey.
I am humbly praying each day for the Lord's direction, guidance, and discernment and for the faith and patience to trust that in His timing, He will work everything out.
Excited for this next chapter of life....
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