Unlikely Super-Woman: She’s Running on Empty

“You lift me up when I am weak
Your arms wrap around me
Your love catches me so I’m letting go
You lift me up when I can’t see
Your heart is all that I need
Your love carries me so I’m letting go”

(You Lift Me Up by The Afters)

I love the song, You Lift Me Up by The Afters!  On days like this where I feel so depleted and I’m running on empty, I need this song to remind me the Jesus can and will lift me up in the times where I feel like I’m falling.

Do you ever have those days where you feel so overwhelmed and drained? Those days where you feel like you wanna run away? Those days where if feels like even the littlest bit of breath you have has literally been sucked from every pore in your body?  Well, I DO!! Sometimes, I feel like my Superwoman cape shrunk and is suffocating me and that “S” on my chest is fading into a big “C” standing for the word “Coward.”

Some days (just some), I feel like I can’t manage it ALL. Matter of fact sometimes I feel  I can’t manage ANYTHING at all.  I’m tired, I’m exhausted, I’m wiped out. I don’t have any fumes left in my gas tank…I’M ON EMPTY. I can’t go anymore because the last few hours I’ve been “put-put-ing” around. There is no more “go” in me. The white flag is flying high, if you can’t see me waving it vigorously then I’m yelling, “I  SURRENDER!!!”

I HATE those days. I DESPISE those days.

I don’t feel like “SuperWoman”…I feel like a big coward who wants to run and hide from all the challenges and giants that come my way. I feel like my world is spinning out of control and chaos is conquering all. Instead of swallowing my fear and facing my giants head on, I’d rather cry and throw a tantrum. I feel like a FAILURE.

I can’t help it, I have to be honest.  I feel like women now a days have to have this, “I CAN” attitude all the time. I feel like we have to put on a front,  smile and pretend that we are always “Strong Independent Women”  and you better hear us “ROARRRRRR!!”  Ugh, I can’t stand it. It’s frustrating not invigorating.  I’m sorry, but we weren’t meant to always do it ALL ladies!! God didn’t make us that way. Why is that we feel we have to prove that we can do everything for everyone? Why is it that we don’t feel entitled to feeling weak or feeling like a failure when we have a bad day or two?

I’m going to give you the “Lasso of Truth” right now, my “Lasso” of truth…I AM NOT SUPERWOMAN! That’s right, I said it.  So what!? So I admit sometimes I feel like I have to be a SuperWoman but even she has her weaknesses.  Yes,  SuperWoman aka Wonder Woman has weaknesses too!  Guess what…”Wonder Woman is vulnerable to piercing weapons such as swords, arrows, and bullets. This is why she needs to use the gauntlets to protect herself from ranged projectile. (Which if the gauntlets are bound together, she is rendered completely useless)” I too am vulnerable and rendered completely useless at times when I have piercing things projected in my way that won’t stop. My shield is only so big and will only protect me so much. When piercing items seem to be flying at me with speeding force is when I need my SuperMan to come in and rescue me.

I am at that point today. I need my SuperMan aka Jesus… to help come lighten my load. I’m struggling with balancing all these things. Today, I want to cry. Today I feel like there are to many swords, arrows and bullets flying in my direction and my super powers are fading.  Today, I feel like every limb of my body is being pulled in a different direction.  Today, I feel like my heart, mind and soul are at a intense game of Tug-of-War.  Today, I feel that I’m  not meant to do it all. And today, I am reminded that I have help and I need that help to shield and guide me. I need that help to lift me up when I feel powerless. I have a lump in my throat and tear filled eyes as I write this. I feel rendered as “useless.”  I feel like I need those big superhuman strong arms to wrap around me, lift me up and carry me out of harms way.  You see, I know that things could always be worse. I know that there are women who are single moms (I’ve been there), women who are struck with other illnesses and on their death beds, and when I put it all in perspective I feel like that spoiled brat throwing a tantrum.  But I am regular woman whose ‘ROARRR’ has turned into a weepy whisper. I’m probably no different than the other Mom’s next door but I can’t help but feel alone and a little ridiculous sometimes because here I am just trying to balance working full time, being a mom full time, a wife (a “Beautiful, Trophy Wife” inside and out), and also a good friend to those in need but I feel like I am failing at everything.  If I give to much time to one priority, another suffers. That’s it…priorities, I’m struggling to put all my priorities into place.  I’ve been slipping at God being my number 1 priority, at him being my foundation for ALL things. Maybe that’s why I feel like I’m crumbling or busting out the seams.  Lately I’ve been so frustrated. For example,  this virus going around has struck my kids and I had to take days off of work which I’m already on a thin line with attendance, and once again I feel like I’m being pulled in all these directions…My heart says, “I’m Mom first and nothing stands in the way of my kids and their health” but my mind says, “I’m blessed to have this job, and I need to work.”  I don’t know,  I guess I’m just struggling with life in general lately.  I want to be “successful” at my job. I want to be “important”…I want to “contribute” to our home. But I feel so “unsuccessful” at being a Wife, Mom and Friend lately. I feel like the important people in my life have been put on the back burner.  Once again, I’m struggling at just figuring out how to balance all of this.  I really need Jesus to lift me up because I feel so weak. I’m hanging on to all these things, trying to do a balancing act with all my plates being full and I need to let go of it all.  I need this to be God’s balancing act not mine!

Please tell me I’m not alone in how I am feeling!? Are there any other woman out there who just feel like you’re running on empty or that your superwoman cape is choking the life out of you!? Or is just me…a never-ending “mess” in need of a Messiah?

As I was compiling all my thoughts and decided to write this I found it amazing that the song I needed to hear came on at just the right time.  God timing is so perfect!  When I wanted to cry, breakdown and just run, God gently reminded me that He will lift me up. He will wrap His (super strong) arms around me and He will catch me if I just let go of all that I am trying to hang on to and control.  This doesn’t have to be my heavy load, I don’t have to try and perform an amazing balancing act everyday…

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Jesus reminds us in Matthew 11:28-30… “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

Today I also came across this beautiful reminder:

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Our King fights for His Princess Warriors! So everyday when you feel like you’re on the battlefield of “Life”…take comfort in knowing that He is there to help you fight on and make it through the day! He is our Super Hero!  His mighty armor will guard us from the swords, arrows and bullets that constantly fly our way! We don’t have to put on the “Strong Woman” exterior all the time. We can give God the weight of our burdens because He can handle our full plates! We can let go and God will carry us…

Thank you Lord for your perfect timing in everything. Thank you for your gentle reminders that you are here for me when I feel burdened and alone.  You will lift me up in my times of weakness. You will rescue me and give me your breath of life when I feel like my superwoman cape is suffocating me. Thank you Lord for crazy days and times like this because I realize I need those days to remind me that I am to lean on you in every aspect of my life. Forgive me for trying to take control of everything. I can’t do this all without you. Its impossible! But I know with you Lord, ALL things are possible! Please take these burdens I carry and lighten my load.  Help me to get my priorities straight.  Show me how to do this…Show me how to be the wife, mom and friend you desire me to be.   Please take my “cape” Lord and put it in a special place for me as I choose to retire it.  I am ok not having the title of “SuperWoman” anymore.  Please just be my SuperMan and  carry me Lord when I am weak…

 

jesus Carrying Woman with versejesus Carrying Woman with verse

” Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

If you are having one of those days like I sometimes do and you wanna scream, cry and run. Stop, be still, take a deep breath and pray. I know God is there waiting to carry you, strengthen you and lift you up.  Listen to this song:

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The Lie of Unlikely Beauty

I’ve been working on this blog for a couple weeks and I have been struggling at processing my thoughts on this particular subject. Ever since I can remember I’ve struggled with accepting my outer appearance but the last couple months have been a huge test. Everyday I keep the painful secret of baring self-hatred that I haven’t been able to shake since a young age. Read on, I decided to revise a bit and make it a little more personal.

As I sat browsing quotes on “beauty”  and” make up” to promote my new business I came across this quote below and it struck a nerve with me,  both good and bad. Hahaha light bulb moment for my next confession… One that I feel God has been bugging me to write and be honest about. But I keep avoiding it. Maybe it’s time to suck it up and  getting my crap  together.   I’ll tell you what this quote below  means to me…
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Where do I begin… Number 1) This quote is complete truth!! How often do we look in the mirror and criticize ourselves because of what society tells us?  If we don’t have a “thigh gap” like the sucked up looking models in the fashion magazines do, does that mean we’re fat? If were over weight does that mean were not beautiful? I feel society is constanting sending subliminal messages that make us immediately feel defeated and not good enough.  For example, maybe it’s our waistline not looking trim enough because we are constantly shown in any add that “muffin top” is unacceptable or maybe it’s our butt because ours is a little flatter instead of rotund like Kim Kardashians when we’re told and shown that we need to have her rear end to be “sexy”  (Thanks Kim for setting the records so wide) or maybe for you it’s your face having some wrinkles so society tells us we need a little botox or airbrushing in our pictures because every model and celebrity has “perfect young looking skin.”
Number 2) As a woman, especially being a married woman, the pressure we face on daily basis is so stressful. I felt like when I was single the pressure was off. I didn’t feel so worried about impressing anyone and my insecurities didn’t weigh on me like they do now. I feel like the world has given women socially constructed ideas of what it means to be a “perfect” wife or girlfriend. How do I compete with the rest of the world and maintaining my sexy, the porn industry and being his sex goddess, and still balancing my physique, work, kids, cooking and cleaning etc!? I feel so overwhelmed and like I can’t keep up. I feel like the temptation of my husband looking the other way is constantly going to be everywhere and the pressure of me doing whatever it takes to keep his eyes on me will forever be mentally and emotionally exhausting. I don’t feel good enough, I don’t feel sexy enough and the worldly view of “beauty” will always win his attention.

It seems like we can’t escape the constant opinion of what society thinks is “beautiful”. Its everywhere. TV, Internet, magazines in the grocery store checkout and now camera phones are even automatically installed with a “Beauty Face” setting which just confirms that we aren’t beautiful enough unless we use that setting which blurs the face and takes away all the blemishes, wrinkles and uneven skin tones. I hate that I discovered that stupid setting. It’s only made me more insecure. I now depend on that for pictures and when I don’t I can’t stand to look at myself. It’s sad that I have allowed something so stupid to bring me down and distract me from embracing my real aging “beauty.”

Its obvious society has completely distorted our view as to what “beautiful” means,  I read a statistic the other day that said “70% of women who open up a magazine automatically feel depressed with in minutes.” Who knows when that study was done. I can only imagine how high the statistics are now with social media. I mean you can’t scroll through facebook or instagram without seeing a half naked chick showing off her “ass”ets (guilty). For women, our minds and hearts are sensitive. It is in our human nature to compare and size each other up. But it’s so sad how damaging it can be to our inner beauty.  The contagious disease of innocently ‘comparing’ can lead to envy, insecurity, self – mutilation, eating disorders etc. Why is it that we as women have to battle this? Why is that we don’t feel good enough, why can’t we be confident in who God created us to be and love every inch of ourselves and embrace the fact that we are perfectly imperfect?

I think these “demons” we carry start at a young age. I know the feeling of thinking I was ugly started in elementary school.  I remember being told I had ugly buck teeth, I dressed like a tomboy, and looked like I had “down-syndrome” etc. I remember reading the story of “The Ugly Duckling” when I was little and crying because I could relate. I would pray to God that when I grew up I would be a like the “beautiful swan.”  So self-hatred started at a young age for me when I believed all the hurtful lies and words I was told.  From elementary school my self-hate only progressed into adolescence and adulthood which resulted in a long battle with eating disorders from bulmia to anorexia.  My friends told me that they felt I had “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” (a mental illness that involves belief that one’s own appearance is unusually defective worthy of hiding or fixing).  I now realize, looking back,  that what they said was true. I remember (and still suffer some days) from just wanting to hide and not go out in public because I feel so flawed and hideous looking. It probably sounds ridiculous especially to those who know me but it is real for me, real pain that has torutured me and hindered me from my potential in life. It’s crippled me, my friendships and has gotten in the way of  my marriage. Instead of flourshing,  I feel that I have been locked in these chains and no matter how much I feel I have overcome and been freed from this, the awful thoughts that I am not good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough still come back to haunt me to this day.

My daughter and I had a conversation last week about this very thing. I asked her opinion on what young women her age (13) worry about and if they ever feel not good enough. She told me, “Beauty is a curse. No matter how beautiful you are or told you are, there is always some kind of weakness or struggle.  It’s in our human nature Mom. We always look at the women on TV or movies,  magazines or instagram and say that we want to be like them. They set the standard high for us. If we don’t measure up then we don’t feel good enough. In Jr. High girls go as far as thinking that if they don’t have a boyfriend they aren’t pretty enough.”  WOW! Ugh, just heartbreaking!! The world (society) lies to us. They give us a false version of “beautiful” and look how it destroys and defeats people at such a young age. The conversation between her and I went on and on. As much as I was avoiding asking her directly what her “weaknesses or struggles” were (because I didn’t want to put her on the spot) I just had to ask. So I was open with her about my struggles first then I asked her what some of her and her friends struggled with or what they talk about with each other. She mentioned that one of her friends hates her own eyes, another friend can’t leave the house unless her eyeliner is perfect, and she told me that she hates her hair. My daughter is Bi-racial (African American and ‘Caucasian’). She had super manageable hair but when she hit puberty the texture of her hair started to change and became difficult for her to manage on her own.  I think her hair is absolutely gorgeous and looks beautiful curly and natural. But she doesn’t feel that way at all. When her hair isn’t done or straightened she said it makes her feel ugly and down about herself.  Sometimes she feels so embarrassed that it hinders her from wanting to go anywhere. This breaks my heart. I want my daughter to feel beautiful regardless of what her hair looks like. I want her to embrace her “unique” hair and not buy into the lies that if you have a certain hair texture that makes you “beautiful.” She should be confident and rock that hair however she dam well pleases even if its a Hot Pink Afro, she should still feel GORGEOUS!

This makes me want to fix things… this makes me want to scream and shout out to society what a crock of crap that have put in our heads and the minds of children as to what is considered “beautiful”!!!!! Ugh, this upsets me. Our young girls should be joyful, laughing, confident and embracing what they consider  their “imperfections.” They shouldn’t be consumed with the” thigh gap” or the size of their ass.

This has to stop! We need to stop believing the lies the world tells us. Society’s idea of beautiful isn’t for our gain. Think about it, the world tells us we need to have plastic surgery, to buy diet pills, weight supplements, botox, or whatever the latest craze is to help you become “gorgeous.”  This isn’t to help us, it’s to make someone else rich while we’re left feeling more empty inside.  Instead of believing the world’s lies we need to believe God’s Truths…Her are a few reminders of what God says is beautiful that I found in an article on the “Focus on the Family” website, which is so perfect for what I am talking about:

“Psalm 139:14

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

“What it means: You are created in the image of God, and God doesn’t make junk! Like a snowflake, every person is unique. No two are the same. God sees you as a masterpiece; and when you look in the mirror, He wants you to “know that full well.” Try this beauty tip: Every morning when you look in the mirror, say Psalm 139:14 and smile. You might even tape the verse on your mirror as a reminder!

1 Samuel 16:7

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

What it means: The world focuses on what people look like on the outside. God focuses on what people look like on the inside. Do you put more time and effort into being pretty on the outside or the inside? As you get older, you will meet Christian girls who spend more time trying to find the perfect outfit, get the perfect tan, find the perfect lip gloss, and have the perfect body. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty, we need to make sure it’s in balance. God would rather see us work on becoming drop-dead gorgeous on the inside. You know, the kind of girl who talks to Him on a regular basis (prayer) and reads her Bible.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

What it means: Beauty fades with age, so if you are more concerned with your outer appearance, you will be unhappy when the wrinkles come and the number on the scale goes up. In fact, did you know that your body may show the beginning signs of aging as early as age twenty? That is why God wants us to “fear” Him. That doesn’t mean to be afraid of Him but rather to be in awe of Him and all that He has done. Let me put it to you this way. If you stand two girls next to each other and one is Miss Teen USA whose beauty is limited to physical beauty, and the other young lady is a more average-looking girl who loves the Lord more than anything, she is the more beautiful girl in the eyes of God.”

1 Timothy 4:8

Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.

What it means: Exercising and staying in shape is a good thing, but God expects us to stay in shape spiritually by reading our Bibles, praying, and going to church on a regular basis. In other words, there will be plenty of people who put their time and effort into staying in shape but who are out of shape spiritually. If they don’t know Jesus Christ, their perfect bodies won’t get them through the gates of heaven.

 

From now on ladies and gents if you’re reading this, join me in repeating Psalm 139:14 every morning when you wake up. Try believing God’s truths and God’s emphasis on beauty.  You can help keep me accountable as well. I struggle daily to not believe the lies that the enemy tells me. Ever since I got pregnant and lost the baby I have been feeling so down about myself. Lately everyday it seems to consume me and everyday I am left feeling insecure and empty.  This is not what God wants for my life or your life! He doesn’t want you or me to be locked in the chains of self-deception. He doesn’t want us to feel defeat. Whatever we do and feel also effects our marriages and children and this is not what we want for our daughters/sons to see and especially feel about themselves. I need to be a better example period and I desire to try and do so. I WANT CHANGE…I WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE. I WANT THESE YOUNG GIRLS/BOYS AND EVERY WOMAN AND MAN READING THIS TO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE GOD’S MASTERPIECE. ‘YOU ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE’, YOU ARE UNIQUE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU HAVE WORTH. Allow God to validate you through His word instead of the world validating you through their comments on social media. The world right now is on a huge health kick which is great but let’s choose to promote health and beauty in a godly manner as well. I believe God wants us to be healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. However, I believe our spiritual health should be priority but its the one suffering the most. In my opinion if our souls aren’t healthy and vibrant how can we have the energy to become healthy in any other way? Lets get healthy by saying NO to “Socially Constructed Ideas of Beauty”  and YES to God’s biblically constructed WORD on beauty.  Beauty doesn’t have to be a curse but can instead be a BLESSING if used the way God intended it. God’s idea of this doesn’t need to be considered an
“Unlikely Beauty” but instead can be known as The True Beautiful.

If any one of you reading this struggle with insecurity, pain, defeat, self-hatred, self-deception, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder etc etc…please understand that you are not alone. These secrets should not be kept in the cold dark closet of your mind and soul.  It’s important to talk about it, seek help, seek prayer, and especially seek support. These are real life battles that can rob you of so much joy and if you allow it, they can kill you. Don’t battle this alone. I have suffered for too long, I have made my friends and family suffer for too long, I have allowed this to cause a wedge in my married life, mommy life and spiritual life all because I have chosen to believe society’s lies.  HEAR THIS SOCIETY:
I AM DONE.  PSALM 139:14!!!

With this particular blog, I would love for you readers to comment and open up about what you struggle with when it comes to not feeling “beautiful” or good enough. Then I would like you to say something positive about that very thing.  I think if we can believe God’s Truths and change our perception on that which we struggle with, God will give us the freedom to “Let it Go” AND EMBRACE IT.  We shouldn’t be bound by our insecurities or stuggles because there is freedom in Christ. Let Him bind His truths in your minds and hearts.  If you dare, please share. LET’S MAKE A CHANGE AND TELL THIS WORLD WHAT “BEAUTIFUL” REALLY MEANS…SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF TRUTH AND CRUSH THOSE LIES. I will go first:

The LIE: I hate my stomach because of my stretch marks. I’ve struggled to accept and embrace them. They’re ugly and embarrassing in a bath suit.   I also am consumed with the thought that I am overweight and I don’t have a “perfectly scuplted body” I have so many flaws, marks and cellulite that you could draw the USA map on me. I feel, I am not beautiful because of this and I don’t compare to the world’s idea of beauty.

The TRUTH:  God loves me, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My stretch marks are a sign of beautiful life that God gave me the honor of carrying.  Stretch marks are not ugly, instead they signify change. I may be criticized or made fun of by society but God rejoices over me and the way He made me. God is not embarrassed by me instead he wants to use me for His glory.   God desires me to be healthy on every level. God desires to turn my struggles into strengths.

In regards to my new business in the “make up” industry, I have a new desire. I desire women to first feel beautiful on the inside, realizing and acknowledging what God considers beautiful and if they don’t, I want to help build them up and encourage them. Then, I want them to be pampered and feel beautiful on the outside.
I desire to help their smile shine.

We will never be happy until we make God the source of our fulfillment and the answer to our longings. He is the only one who should have power over our souls.  ~ Stormie Omartian

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Few “W’s” I need to Work On: Writing, Weaknesses, and Being a Warrior of Prayer

Through this journey of writing and blogging I am discovering so much about myself. I am discovering exactly what a mess I really am. I will be going off on a few tangents in this blog but I promise it will all make sense later (hopefully, it could just be a jumbled mess like me lol).  I’m like spaghetti where I’m a mess but  everything connects. So God- willing,  hopefully I will make a valid point towards the end.

Writing has made me process things that I never seemed to have “time” to really sit and think about.  Writing is my therapy and always has been since I was a kid. I remember always journaling and I loved writing stories. I always had some kind of story in my head or feeling that was burning inside me that I just had to get on paper. I think writing has also help me to overcome the exploding and overwhelming feelings that I can’t seem to vent out.  I go in out of waves of writing and have made my mistakes with just vomiting words on social media before I have thought about the consequences or the outcome. I think blogging has become a new and safer outlet for me. This way I can reread and rewrite my word vomit before I spit it out.

Although writing has seemed beneficial for me lately especially, its almost resurfaced some ugly things I have realized about myself.  I have realized I am terrible at communicating. I am terrible at talking about how I feel. I am terrible with social interaction lately and my social skills are lacking more than ever before. I realized I don’t like talking to people. I don’t know how anymore…If someone talks to me whether its a stranger or someone I know I tend to freeze up and get anxiety.  Oh and that PHONE…I hate talking on the phone and I work for a company where phone conversations are required. I start to get butterflies, constantly stutter and fumble over my words and then there’s the embarrassing “awkward silence.” I can’t wait to end the conversation just so I can breathe. However if you ask me to email, text or write my feelings then I’m right on it with ease. Geez, I’m a mess.

So as I have realized that I am lacking in social skills I have been pondering why.  I also thought about how my kids and our family lack in just “conversation” altogether. We don’t talk much like we used too. Matter of fact, my husband and I are always talking about how our kids noses are stuck in their phones, ipods or tv way to much. It has taken over their lives. But who am I to talk!? My phone is my life line.  It never leaves my side where ever I go. Its always in my hand (which explains the hand cramps). Maybe I started this ugly addiction with my family. Maybe its my fault that we don’t talk because I don’t talk…DUH! I mentioned to our Marriage and Family Counselor last week that I would like her help with tools to get our family to talk more.  We have put our kids through alot the last year and half with our non-sense and they don’t talk or express their feelings about it. I know they have alot going on and probably things that they don’t feel comfortable sharing with us and we as parents need to work on being more “approachable.”

SideNote: The word and action of being approachable is huge to me. I remember not being approachable early on in my marriage and my husband never wanted to tell me anything and vice versa. I also felt like I could never talk to my parents about anything because they were never “approachable.” I feel like someone’s reaction is so important when communicating. A person’s reaction can either hurt or hinder and can cause a break in trust that will forever take work to repair. God gives us wisdom in the book of Proverbs about words, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15: 1-4). Watching are words, our tone and “body language” can make or break a person to be approachable.  It brings to mind that famous phrase, “Its not what you say, but how you say it” and I don’t think the “tone” is the only thing talked about in that phrase. Believe me, body language and facial expressions also hurt. My husband and I are a work in progress on this “being approachable” thing along with everything else we need to work on.

So anyway, our Counselor gave us a few suggestions of how to get our family to communicate better and we tried it. She suggested that every night we sit down for dinner that we go around the table and say our best and worst parts of the day and everyone has to say and think of something.  We thought that was a great idea, a baby step, but one that will help open the door for other conversation. It was awesome! We turned off the TV and put away our phones and actually talked and listened with no distractions. This also opened the door for “random” conversation. My daughter brought up things she would like to do better or change for the upcoming school year. I’m proud of her but I felt sad at the same time. I realized, that the last year and half we didn’t sit down and have our nightly talks harldy at all.  I feel like we have missed out on so much. Our children probably have so much going on in their hearts and minds and we have been so busy and so distracted with life that its caused a stunt in personal growth for everyone.

Now I am switching gears again back to what causes all these distractions. What makes us so busy that we don’t have the “time” to sit and talk and communicate to each other? What makes me lack such social skills and develop my telephone talking fears?  Once again, my guilt sets in. I am aware I have a problem, a weakness, an addiction called “Nomophobia” ( a fear of being without a mobile device). I know this sounds silly but did you know this is an actual disorder? It’s crazy right!? Do you sleep next your phone, bring it to the bathroom for “toliet time” (my hubby and I call it that lol) or can you go a day without being connected to it? Do you rely on this to listen to music, store all your phone numbers (when is the last time you used your brain to  memorize a phone number), do all your reading, banking, and last but not least using it constantly for social media? Yep, I do! The phone doesn’t leave me and I panic if I think its broken or lost.  I am a mess! This is so sad really, this has completely taken over my entire life.  It’s robbed me of communicating with my friends. I don’t call or text like I should. Instead I post things on social media for them to find out. Which takes the personal meaning and importance from it all. Ugh, what a crappy friend I have been. It’s also robbed my communication with my own family. We don’t ever talk on the phone anymore let alone in person. It’s robbed me of sleep, because instead of going to be and getting proper rest I would rather stay up and catch on the latest social media gossip or play those stupid Candy and Cookie games that just keep me up because I’m determined to pass the damn level I’ve been stuck on for two weeks! But, my weakness has most importantly robbed me of my prayer life. YUP, my prayer life! If I can’t even be disciplined enough to communicate with my own family and friends do you think I could discipline myself to communicate with God by actually praying and listening in silence instead of reading Bible verses and writing prayers online? Nope… Geez, I am a mess.

God has really convicted me of this the last few days especially. It’s weighed on my heart big time when I had the urge to pull my phone out at dinner the other night with my family (I am a picture freak, I love taking pictures and capturing moments so I tend to pull my phone out for that alot. Once again, “nomophobia”- relying on the mobile for a camera).  But, why am I being a slave to my phone and wanting to check my “notifications”? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with the human race today that we are all slaves to technology? I know that technology has been used for so many great things. But I can’t help but think, how did we survive as a family with a landline? OMG, we weren’t available ALL the time then! We actually were forced to leave message on an answering machine, thats so tragic LOL! Actually, in reality it probably made life more simple. I think people “lived in the moment” more. I think people were tuned into each other instead of the TV or Smartphones way more. I think people walked by with smiles on their faces instead of smiling at their phones. Neighbors probably talked and got to know each other then and I hardly know anyone in my apartment complex.

Today, I had to write this and express it in the best way possible. I hope all these endless thoughts are coming together and will make sense.

I realized just how bad my weakness is when I tried to sit down at lunch and I felt like God was nudging me to just sit and pray. Maybe I didn’t have anything to “pray” about at the time but maybe He wanted me to “listen” to Him instead.  I decided to put my phone down and take a deep breath. I decided to just sit in silence and thank God for all my blessings when suddenly my A.D.D. kicked in big time,  anxiety was lighting me up and then again the conviction of my addiction hit me big time.  I remembered hearing the words on the radio several times this week “How is your Prayer Life” and sitting there at lunch they struck my mind again. Damn, my prayer life sucks lately.  I suck. God has done so much for me and my family and I can’t even stay focused long enough to thank Him for everything without being distracted by wanting to check  my phone.  I need to work on my prayer life again. I need to be more self-disciplined. Prayer is powerful, prayer changes things, prayer is our communication with God. He doesn’t care where I pray but probably cares how I pray.  If someone were talking to me but constantly distracted because they couldn’t stop checking their cell phone in mid conversation I would be so irritated.  I am certain I am guilty of that same thing, especially with my children. I feel so bad, they must feel so unimportant when I can’t put my phone down to listen to them. God must feel the same way, I am disrespecting God because of my senseless distractions.

If I want to do better then I need to get better! I need to get better at alot of things. I am so thankful that I desire to grow  in Christ again. I am so grateful that I can write again. But I can’t be a better writer, a better mom, a better wife and especially a better follower of Jesus Christ if I am constantly distracted by things around me. I know I am not perfect. I’m not the perfect friend, sister, daughter, and Christian. I never will be…but through prayer God can mold me, change me and help me strive to be better or more in tune with every part of my life. However, if my prayer life is distracted and suffering then how can I expect to keep growing?  Every aspect of my life is impacted by the choices I make. Every aspect of my life is in God’s hands. If I can’t give God my undivided prayer and attention how can I even have the nerve to ask him to change my life for the better? I feel that every aspect of my life should begin and end with prayer.

So here it is…once again, my confessions in my writing, confessions of my weaknesses and failings of being a prayer warrior. Yep, I am a mess but  I am so grateful for these convictions…I am grateful that I have been made aware of just few things out of a million that I need to work on.  If it weren’t for this silly blog and writing I wouldn’t have realized what needs work. I wouldn’t have been able to process whats going on in and around me. Little by little I’m sure that I will become more aware of my weaknesses ( I pray that I do)  and with God’s help he can strenthen me and give me solutions. So its time I become a little more self-disciplined in many aspects of my life…starting with prayer, then continue writing for therapy and self-realization, and then putting down the damn phone so I can be in tune with those I love and be more in the moment.  Here goes something…

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An Unlikely Love

So it’s been a little while since my last blog. It’s actually been quite a journey of twisters and turns. For those of you who don’t follow me on social media its been a whirlwind of turmoil to complete bliss. Many unexpected life changing events….once again! I’ll try and make this as brief as possible but so much has happened so bare with me…

The weekend of June 20th we decided to take a family trip to San Diego, CA to visit Sea World for our youngest son’s birthday. We headed down Friday night, stayed in a hotel and Saturday spent all day a Sea World. It was such an amazing and fun weekend. After Sea World, we got a perfect view right on the beach for dinner. It was a long over due family trip that God really had His hands in. Tons of great memories were made, tons of laughter and tons of walking LOL! My preggo self was having a little bit of a rough time trying to hang in there and keep up with everyone else but I did it. Even though the lower back pain and discomfort in the lower extremities kicked in, I didn’t let it stop us from having a great day! 
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We headed home Saturday night and Sunday morning woke up for Church. I was so apprehensive about going and seeing people we knew. I was afraid of people’s stares, reactions, and opinions of our “Unlikely Situation and Relationship.”  The shame of my “mistakes and sins” were weighing heavy on me. Instead of walking around with my pregnant belly protruding I felt like I should walk around with the “Scarlett Letter ‘A” on my forhead. I don’t know what it is, obviously everyday the thought of my situation and past not so wise choices were on my mind but walking into the “House of the Lord” I felt instant sorrow and shame. However, the whole message that morning reminded me of the Cross. I was reminded of how loving of a Father and God we have. Instead of wanting to run and hide, I felt an immense amount of peace and comfort come over me as soon as the Worship music started.   The words “I forgive you. I sent my son to die for you.  You are as white as snow in my sight so do not fear” rang loud in mind.  I’m so glad that inspite of my shame and fear I went to hear God’s Word anyway and I left feeling so refreshed. After church we were even up for doing a little shopping.  We were excited to see if The Honest Company had their products in our local Target yet. The Honest Company is near and dear to our family for several reasons and I couldn’t wait to get my baby in their cute little anchor diapers…

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This was the last picture I got to take with my baby in belly. Sunday afternoon, I started cramping and spotting. I ended up going to the ER where they told me that I that I could be miscarrying and there was nothing they could do.  They ran tests and did an ultrasound where the baby’s heartbeat was visible and still beating. I was told my hormone levels weren’t where they should be and the babies heartbeat was at slower pace than they would like. They told me to go home, rest and come back if anything progressively got worse. In my heart and I knew something wasn’t right but in my mind I prayed that God would heal the situation and let this baby live.

Around 4 a.m. I woke up with labor pains that wouldn’t stop. Every two minutes my uterus would contract and I just knew this was it. I woke my husband as I sat in the bathroom crying and giving birth to my baby…or as the Dr’s would call it “passing the fetus.”  He rushed me back to the hospital where it seemed like eternity as we waited for more tests. I continued to “pass” the baby in pieces in between blood work and exams. My husband prayed with me and said, “Everything is going to be ok. God has a plan. Don’t worry and trust Him.”  Tears were just running down my face and I told him, “No, its not ok. I already know that I’ve lost the baby. I feel empty. I feel like a part of my soul and spirit has just died. I can’t explain it, but I know my baby’s spirit is gone. I felt her leave me.”

Shortly after,  the nurse came in to do the ultrasound and let me watch the screen. It confirmed my worst fear and what I had already known. My belly was “empty” and no baby was visible. I was trying so hard to be strong and keep it together but it was so hard. A flood of emotions overwhelmed me and my heart literally ached. The feeling of loss I experienced was unexplainable. I didn’t even get to hold my baby. In our hearts we all believed the baby was a girl and already had her name  picked out. We had discussed names as a family prior to this and my daughter picked the name Ezra meaning “Help”, which I fell in love with. So her name would have been “Ezrah Joy”. I felt like she was brought to me by God to “help” change my life in some way and to bring  “joy” once again to our family. With the overwhelming feeling of loss taking over, I also felt a deep longing. I longed to know what it would have been like to hold her. I longed to feel her in my belly and still struggle with it today.

That very morning 9 years prior I gave birth to my youngest son. It was the hardest thing realizing that on the same day we were supposed to celebrate his beautiful life coming in to the world and I had to deal with the grieving loss of my unborn baby leaving this world. What a “bittersweet” day.  That day was one of the hardest days of my life that I have experienced thus far. Knowing that I had to go home and put a smile on my face for my youngests birthday and pretend like everything was ok was dreadful. I wanted to scream and cry and just sleep.  I kept asking God, “Why today, why on a day that is supposed to be special to me and my son?”  All I could think was now every year on June 23rd I’m going to remember how horrible this day was. Am I supposed to fake a smile or forget?

I can’t imagine how it must feel to lose a child that you’ve had the chance to  hold. One that you’ve known and spent days, months or years with. My heart just breaks for those families who have suffered with that incredible loss because I couldn’t imagine at the time, feeling any worse of a loss and longing that I felt that day.  The next couple weeks were torture. I would wake up crying, realizing that it wasn’t a bad dream. I would touch my stomach and cry. I would get up to take a shower and get dressed only to be reminded that this protruding belly was empty. Everytime I turned around I was faced with another reminder, if it wasn’t seeing preggos and babies on social media then I would see them on TV or outside. Then,  it was the constant physical pain and bleeding that just reminded me of my suffering. I felt like there was no escape except sleeping. Oh and then there are those continous check ups at the OB Dr’s Office, where everyone woman you see is pregnant or has a newborn baby in their arms. It was so hard not to be angry or bitter at God. I didn’t understand why He would have me go through all this just to lose the baby. I felt like it was a cruel joke. Everything finally seemed to be coming together. We were happy as a family again and everything was about the baby. We were constantly looking on “Pinterest” at baby clothes, rooms, and new gadgets of things that they didn’t have when I was pregnant with my other three.  The kids were so excited and trying to tell them that the baby was  now with Jesus was hard. I didn’t know how they would react and I prayed that their little hearts wouldn’t break. I waited til the next day to tell them and tried to be strong.  It was like the joy died for a little while…what was there to look forward too? I questioned my purpose. I questioned my womanhood. I re-played everything in my head that maybe I did wrong. Then I thought maybe I deserved this because I contemplated abortion as being an option in the beginning. I felt like my faith was being tested and if it weren’t for the outpour of love, prayers and support  from friends,  family, my job and even strangers then I couldn’t have gotten through this. If it weren’t for my husband and childrens constant love, gentleness, and affirmation I would have gone into a deep depression. I’m so grateful for them trying to get me to laugh with their silliness and also my husbands ability to be so intuitive by sensing the depression coming on and making me get out of bed.  If I didn’t have all this support I don’t know where I would be today. I didn’t see how I would ever feel joy again in my life.

Once again, through this loss, I saw my husbands heart and his character just as I did when he told me that he wanted to work things out with me and love this baby as his own. He told me that he was so sorry and he wished he could take all the pain away. Our days and nights consisted of me trying to keep it together with sudden break downs. I know that had to be hard for him to handle that but he was amazing, he would just hold me in his arms and let me cry. I never, in all of our rollercoaster of 13 1/2 years, ever felt comforted or safe with him, that was the first time. I felt like he helped carry me and my burden. It was then, during this time that I really fell back in love with him. We had a first long couple weeks of me having complications with this miscarriage and being in and out of the hospital.  Between the two of us I think we were in the Emergency 4 times in one week. During that week he was so self-less. He stayed with me in the E.R. all night knowing that he had to be at work the next morning early and all he did was try to comfort me and make me laugh. He made the best of the hospital visits and didn’t complain once and he even snuggled with me on the tiny hospital bed…

 
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 I couldn’t have gotten through this without him by my side at every moment. He was my strength when I was feeling weak. He was my biggest support and such a great help at making sure the kids were taken care of and entertained.  He didn’t want me to lift a finger and just allowed me to rest. I am in awe of this man and who he has become. God has done some amazing things in him. He has grown in so many ways…emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  I feel like he has done a 180.

During this time we had together we talked about our divorce, getting remarried, and our past mistakes in our marriage and parenting.  We communicated about things we’ve never talked about before and on a deeper level than has ever been reached. We didn’t hold back feelings and allowed ourselves to just be vulnerable. We talked about love and forgiveness.  We both also did alot of praying for our family and relationship. Then the  following week after the  miscarriage, we ended up finding out that the proper paperwork for our divorce had never been submitted and in fact we weren’t divorced but still legally married!! We both felt this was all the Lord and an answer to prayer. These things don’t just happen by coincidence. How ironic was it that God had changed both our hearts for each other during this crazy time and then we find that we are NOT divorced!!??

I honestly believe that God did have a plan with my “Unlikely Situation” and our “Unlikely Relationship.”  If it weren’t for this baby coming into our lives then we wouldn’t be where we are at today. My heart breaks about my loss, the fact that I will never got to hold her or know her…But God knew what He was doing. Through this “loss,” He brought me “life” once again. I believe I will get to see my baby, Ezrah Joy,  in Heaven and I can’t wait to tell her the purpose of her name.  God used her and brought her into our lives to be our special “Help”…and what a “Joy” it is too know that she served that very purpose. There is meaning in her precious name and what a powerful little spirit she had by being God’s tool in leading my family back together again.  She will forever be my Guardian Angel. It’s amazing how I felt her spirit leave me…I can’t describe it and it probably sounds ludacris to people. However, I know how powerful God is. I know and have experienced His miracles first hand and “nothing is impossible with God.”  I believe I was meant to feel her leave…I was meant to feel God’s power because He had to make it real for me.  I’ve heard people say that when they see a loved one at a funeral you can tell that their “Spirit” is gone and the body just lays there “lifeless”. That’s exactly what I felt in the hospital that day, I was empty and lifeless but how grateful I am that God has turned all this around and reminded me that there is “Life”  after “Loss.”  God has also reminded me that there is also “healing” in “love.” A love that I thought would never exist again between my husband and I,  a  love and relationship that I thought was damaged beyond repair and forever broken. 

WOW!!! God is good and I am so blessed!  Instead of planning the baby shower that I had hoped for,  I now get to plan a ceremony/ reception to renew our vows that I onced dreamt about! So amazing! Although its been a month since I lost my baby and I have my sad days, I can’t explain how full of joy I am overall today!  This is a love story that I surely didn’t see coming and one that I hope our children will share with our grandchildren.  May our story be used as a “message of hope” and a message that “All things are possible with Christ.” 

 
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We feel so blessed that God has already, in this short amount of time,  been able to use our mess for His message…a message that through tragedy and death can come  forgiveness, love and healing…similar to the Message of the Cross but no where near close to as powerful!  His Message is more powerful than we can even comprehend and sometimes He uses events in our life to help us understand just how powerful and miraculous He is.   We serve a loving God. We serve a forgiving God. I am not mad or bitter at God for my tragedy. I have been able to look past my pain and see how God had a plan and purpose for it all.  I couldn’t see His plan when I was going through it but I had to trust that He had something bigger in store then my tiny mind could perceive. God keeps his promises and He is forever faithful, so whatever you are going through today….whatever you are going through in your marriage, whatever has happened in your past, whoever has wronged you or whatever mistakes you may have made…find hope in Jesus. If you have experienced loss I am so very sorry…please hang on to God and trust His Word. He promises that there is life after death.  He is not done with your story yet.  He has a purpose for your problems and a story for your suffering. He has joy in store for your future.  Be reminded by His story and the true “Message of the Cross.” Allow Him to show you His Love Story…

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An Unlikely Relationship

image image image image   I just felt the need to write something that was heavy on my heart today.  My ex-husband and I have an “Unlikely Relationship” and it doesn’t make sense to anyone, a lot of the time when we analyze it, we don’t make sense to ourselves. Let me just say its been a long year and half going through our divorce. Let me re-phrase its been a long road of ups and downs for the last 13 years of our relationship/marriage. Man has it been a roller-coaster with a  bunch of flips and turns. I feel like we could have starred in our own movie “War of the Roses” at times. We have put our children, friends and family through so much over the years because we just couldn’t get it together. My Ex and I did everything backwards. When I met him my daughter was 4 months old and he has been around ever since (she will be 14 next year).

After a year of dating I got pregnant with our second child and from then on all the ups and downs began. We were both children, having children. Coming from different cultural backgrounds, different family dynamics, different religious beliefs etc…you name it, we were probably opposite in every direction. We ended up marrying when our second child was almost a year. I wish I could say we got counseling, had the big fairy-tale wedding with all our family and friends with the fun reception to follow, and lived happily ever after. Nope, it was all the exact opposite. We got married at the city library where we resided, in a two-by-two size room with my grandparents, sister and a couple of his friends and instead of living happily ever after it seemed like everything was a disaster… Some of you know our story and the long battles of ups and downs we faced. Some of you had been with us through the few times of separating and always trying to make it work again. Some of you know the details why I wanted the divorce. Some of you were supportive and some of you weren’t. But I understand…When two people decide to divorce you don’t just divorce each other, you divorce friends and family as well. No matter how hard you try to keep everything civil, a war always begins in the midst. How can it not? Between all the friendships and other relationships that have been established and built over a 14 year span, hearts are going to be broken and instantly those who were by your side feel torn and are put in the middle of the madness. Ugh, my heart just breaks for everything we have put our loved ones through. I remember how it feels to have such good friends of ours decide they were over…I grieved. It’s like dealing with a death or a loss. Maybe not to that extent but it hurts. As an outsider you just want to fix it. To anyone we hurt or put in the middle of our drama, I am so sorry. I hope you can forgive our selfishness and immaturity. Our stupid choices and decisions were never meant to hurt any of you. I pray God will allow mending where mending is due.

On a side note, through all this crap my Ex and I have been through I can say that I’m truly happier today than I’ve ever been. I know that sounds awful but its not what you think. Honestly, I love him more today than I ever have. You see, we never got to be friends. We never got the chance to build a friendship before jumping into an immature relationship and having kids. Instead of venturing out, getting to know each other, building trust for one another and truly falling in love we were to busy playing house and learning to become adults . Things weren’t always bad though. When we truly allowed God to be the foundation and center of marriage it was great. We have great memories, we laughed at lot and had a lot of fun.  But the minute that we slipped and took our focus off God is when our home was ruled by chaos, insecurities, pain, lies,  mistrust and anger. Pretty soon that became the norm. Our marriage and home was a volcano ready to erupt and it did.  Through our separation and process of the divorce things have also been up and down. Naturally, how do you keep things cordial when one person is holding on and the other is letting go?

I can honestly say I’m happier today than ever because my Ex and I have learned to become friends. We’ve learned to co-parent together.  We’ve learned to become a team because we’re growing up and realizing this isn’t about us anymore.  Our hurts and hang ups come last. We get to see the outcome of this mess we created.  We get to see how our selfish destructive actions have torn our family apart. We get to hear how we broke our friends hearts.  How many people did it take to hurt before we finally decided it was time grow up and move on? I can honestly say that I have forgiven him for everything… Everything that has taken place over the last 13 years.  I forgave him a along time ago, before I even filed divorce.  I can honestly say through God’s help and the power of healing of my heart,  that I don’t hate him anymore. I let go of all the the ugliness a long time ago and everyday God is softening my heart more and more. I have nothing but love and a peace in my heart for him. The love I have for him is indescribable. I believe it’s “Unconditional Love” … Because through everything,  all the pain and heartache… I still love him.  I get what it’s like to love a friend so deeply. I get how building a friendship is far more important than anything… Without a friendship you have nothing, there isn’t a firm foundation to build anything on.  It’s no wonder we crumbled. Our foundation of God and our foundation of friendship weren’t firm enough to hold everything together.

I’m happier today than ever because now I know without any doubt he truly loves me.  All these years I didn’t understand… We lived in an endless crazy cycle… Always missing each other.  In my previous blog I mentioned how God gave him dream about me being pregnant the night before I was to have my abortion… Ever since he found out about this baby he has done nothing but loved on me.  He comes to me with a genuine, kind and gentle spirit.  Instead of hating me,  being angry and dwelling on how hurt he may be,  my Ex has come along side me to make sure I’m ok. I posted a quote above, “A real woman can do it all by herself but a real man won’t let her…” This totally applies to us. He knows that I was planning on taking care of this baby on my own.  He knows I’m stubborn,  strong and independent but he doesn’t want to let me do it all alone.  He wants to be there for me and wants to help me. This isn’t his burden to bear. This baby isn’t his to take on but he is willing.  Through all I have been through,  through all my stupid decisions that I’ve made that’s effected him,  he is able to forgive me and love on me when I feel so unlovable. I know without a doubt he loves me with an unconditional love.

As I sit here and reflect on what’s taken place in the last 13 years, I realize and believe with all my heart that people are capable of change.  “Its never to late to become who you might have been.” (quote above).  People change,  people grow. .. Sometimes it takes pain, relationships to be torn apart and losing everything.  Change requires time,  change requires healing, change requires sacrifice , change requires reflection. I’m so so grateful. So grateful for another opportunity to grow and  mature. Grateful for another opportunity to learn life’s lessons. I’m grateful for another opportunity to try to mend and make things right.  I’m grateful for forgiveness. Most of all I’m grateful that “Unconditional Love” exists in an “Unlikely Relationship” “The greatest gift that any human being can give one another is Unconditional Love,  it’s the only thing,  ultimately, that really matters. ” – Joy Gardner

An Unlikely Situation

So, as most of you know I found out I was pregnant a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned I would blog about the details and share with you a little bit of this “Unlikely Situation.”

As expected,I have gotten tons of questions about “the details.” The most popular questions being “Who’s the Dad?“ and ” “Is it your Ex’s, are you back together?“ I figured it’s better to share the juicy details myself so you get all the correct answers rather than hear it 3rd party and have things misconstrued. I’m also choosing to share this “Unlikely Situation” because I know people talk and I know people make assumptions and judgements. (I’m human and sadly I do the same.) However, I’m ok with those judgements and assumptions, it doesn’t change me, doesn’t change my choices or the way I will choose to live my life and I will still smile at the end of the day. Also, because I’ve chosen to make my life public on social media for years I figured I may as well make this public too. Because the circumstances of my situation are not likely, I will not hide, run or be ashamed. I’m going to be real and continue to keep things real. I want to be transparent and unashamed. I’m not always good at it…But I try. I think through this blog and sharing my story and raw feelings it will show you my heart and who I strive to be but also showing I’m human, imperfect and that I make stupid decisions daily.

So here we go… On with the juicy details…

No, this baby is not my ex husbands. The details of who the father is are not important at this time. But it was someone I was dating for a couple of months and yes we were using protection. Prior to us dating I had made an appointment for a routine check up, PAP smear and to see about other birth control options. This appointment kept getting postponed because the Doctor had vacations and other random various reasons. Finally a couple of months later, I go to my appointment only to find out my PAP smear needed to be put on hold because I was pregnant. I was in complete shock and couldn’t help but break out in tears as the Doctor is telling me I need to start thinking about options and what I want to do. As professional as she had to be, she was so sweet and caring trying to calm me down. She knew that I was a single mom with 3 older kids already but reassured me that there is a reason for all of this. She talked to me about the pros and cons of everything in detail but without saying anything out of her professional ability she encouraged me that “babies are a blessing.” I love her for being so sympathetic yet so level-headed at the same time with no judgement. It was so hard to sit there by myself and not feel ashamed for more reasons than one.

Shortly after leaving the doctor’s office I let the father of the baby know I was pregnant. We were already at odds so it wasn’t the easiest thing to say. Naturally his response was… “Wow, are you ready to have another baby?“ I said,”I was open to having another baby but in the far future.” ( I mean come on… I’ve only been single about a year and half… My life is no way ready or prepared for a baby.)  His response was, “Then I think we both know what the best thing to do is. It may not be the right thing but it’s the best thing.” I knew exactly what that meant…Abortion was the “answer”… I was sick to my stomach.

After crying for two days contemplating what I was going to do I still was uncertain. Everything in me wanted to keep the baby but all I could think about was the “how”… How am I going to raise 4 kids on my own, how am I going to afford a baby, how do I make room for a baby with our living situation…etc?

Abortion to me is a difficult life changing decision. I walked down that road and made that decision years ago. It’s something that still haunts me to this day, something that I never wanted to go through again. Everytime January 8th comes around I die inside…I remember that day like yesterday. I still have nightmares about being in a cold dark room all alone crying and praying and asking for forgiveness. Every time that date comes around I think about the life of my baby that I took… An innocent baby. A baby that could feel, a baby that had a heart beat, my own baby’s life. Thinking about doing this again killed me. I went back and forth with thinking if I just get this over with soon it’ll be like nothing and I could go on with my life and then thinking how could I ever live with myself again. How I could function normally and live with the guilt? How could I cope? How would I be able to get up every morning and smile again? Thinking about having the abortion crippled me and I literally felt like I was grieving the baby I was carrying. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I swear I felt an instant connection to this baby. I didn’t feel like I could go on a live my life without him/her. It’s unexplainable…

Even though my heart said keep this baby, my head said I was an idiot, that it wasn’t smart. I kept thinking about what people would think of me. What would my family say? I could hear it in my head, “Guess we can’t be surprised, she’s always been a screw up.” I was scared to death about the unknown. I also, was mainly afraid about what my ex-husband would say. I couldn’t stop wondering how he would take it and I didn’t need that extra added drama in my life. So I went against everything my heart said and everything God says. I kept hearing His voice say “Do you Trust me?” and I literally said “No” … I doubted God and His abilities. Even after everything He has done for me, even after having Phillipians 4:13 tattooed on back as a reminder, wasn’t enough. I went ahead on a Friday and called for the abortion referral and tried to make my appointment. It was the weirdest thing… Its like I had to jump through hoops just to get an appointment. For whatever reason I was having trouble with my insurance then it was location issues, then issues with finding a rides to take and pick me up for the surgery. Then they told me I was approved to take the oral medication that would make me miscarry and I just lost it on the phone with the nurse. I couldn’t bare to think about making myself miscarry. How sad… Some women struggle to get pregnant. Some women get pregnant and it’s all they ever wanted and end up losing the baby… Who am I to be in control of taking my own babies life and making myself miscarry!?

Finally, after jumping through all those hoops I was able to get an appointment for the following Wednesday. My kids were with their Dad over the weekend and none of my friends were really available to hang out (which all I wanted to do was keep myself busy so I didn’t have to think or feel.) All I could do all weekend was cry and think about this pregnancy. I literally kept praying that God would intervene. I kept praying He would give me a sign that I shouldn’t go through with it.The following morning I went outside to my car and found that someone had a placed a ministry pamphlet on my windshield which talked about abortion.. specifically for single mom’s. Hmmm weird, but still that wasn’t a big enough sign for me. It made me question my decision more but I still had to much fear.

The rest of the weekend I prayed and begged God that He would send someone my way to talk me out of it. I pleaded for His intervention. I literally wanted someone to come up to me and tell me that they knew what I was about to do and I shouldn’t go through with it. Monday morning rolled around and I get a text from my ex – husband that he had a dream that I was pregnant with another man’s baby. I got the chills… All I could respond with was “Oh that’s weird… I’m sorry” I literally thought he was lying and maybe someone leaked my secret to him. That night I went to go pick up my kids from his house and he stopped me and said, “Toni… I feel like something is wrong. That dream felt so real. Please tell me… Are you pregnant. I won’t be mad… I feel like God prepared me with that dream.” I couldn’t hold it in any longer… I was trying to be strong but couldn’t. I told him “Yes”. I told him everything I had been going through the last week or so. All he said was that he was here for me and wanted to help me. He said no matter what he will support me but that he thinks I should keep the baby. It’s amazing, I feel like that was my answer to my prayers. I feel like God sent him that dream to prepare him and his heart to be able to take the news so graciously and confirm to me that I was to keep this baby. After going home and praying all night about everything I really asked God to bring me peace about what I should do. The next morning and the day before my abortion was to take place I felt a strong peace that I was to keep this baby and that God would take care of everything else. Since I made that decision a huge burden has been lifted. I don’t know where I am supposed to go from here. I still have a little worry about the future and things unknown. But one thing I do know for sure is that the circumstances of this “Unlikely Situation” may be all screwed up but God has a purpose for this baby. The circumstances may not be how God intends things to be or the “right way” to do things but He’s got a plan that He’s working out bigger and better than I can see… I can’t wait to find out what that is. I am so grateful that God heard my prayers. I am so grateful He aligned things in the order that He did. I’m in awe of how it all is working out.

I’m grateful to all my friends who knew my struggle and the battle I was facing but loved me and supported me without judgement. I am so grateful to my ex-husband for being so loving and accepting. This is such a difficult situation to be in (No matter what age you are.) I went through a similar battle 14 years ago and decided that even though I was alone and didn’t see a “way” I would keep my baby. To this day, all my babies were “unplanned” but all of them have been the biggest blessings in my life. I can’t imagine living my life without them.They all have served a huge purpose and I believe I have made the right decision once again with this baby. This may be an “Unlikely Situation” but I believe God is turning this into His “Likely Plan.”

If anyone has or is going through something similar, I am praying for you. I know its easy to say that “Abortion, would never be an option” but when you are put in the situation sometimes it seems like its the “easiest” or “best thing to do.” It’s hard to see the outcome of either decision but abortion leaves scars invisible to others but everlasting to you. For those who have made that decision, I pass no judgement upon you. Like I said, I have been there years ago. My heart only hurts for you. Having to face this battle is so difficult especially doing it alone. Please don’t bare it alone, please talk to someone. Please share your story, choose to help others facing this same battle. Life is precious, babies are blessings. God has a purpose for every soul under the sun. Yes the circumstances may not be “fitting” for you or other people that share an opinion in your life. But God can turn our mistakes into miracles. He’s good our making a blessing out of our messes. I know this first hand…He is merciful, forgiving and a gracious God.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you…” – Jeremiah 1:5.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

As this journey of God’s “Likely Plan” continues, I will keep blogging. I’m so excited to see what God has in store for my family.

If anyone who is facing a battle and needs prayer I would love to pray with through this…

Be Blessed…