28 December 2011

Days filled with love

How can life continue to be so beautiful? Every day I’m awestruck by my LOVE & my King who loves me with an everlasting love my brain can’t comprehend. Life is not perfect by any means but I choose to dwell on the positives and beauty in life which can be hidden. God has the capability and power to turn absolutely anything into good; with God goodness always overcomes evil.
                Today I volunteered at ACH; in all honesty I didn’t think it was meant for me to go since so many obstacles tried to keep me away! My car was completely frozen over & I needed gas but couldn’t even get to my gas cap since the car was completely frozen. After trying to open it with my key, a scraper, and my bare hands I cried out to God in frustration; miraculously He answered my prayer! After arriving at the hospital, God made it clear to me that I was supposed to be there by putting glimpses of beauty around each corner.
                I started out volunteering on Wednesdays but had to switch to Fridays due to my school schedule; today I got to run errands with the volunteers I started out with and formed relationships with and was reminded of how caring of a “family” I have a t ACH. Errands are my favorite since they keep me active and each day is full of spontaneity and adventure leaving no day the same. I absolutely adore interacting with the patients and their loved ones; they brighten my days and I can only hope I brighten theirs! I did discharges today for the first time in several months, so I was scared of messing up but did it anyway. I’ve found the best way to overcome fear is to do what you’re afraid to do; you never know until you try. They ended up going smoothly and I had a blast interacting with the families!
                I then got sent to sit with a child in her room while her parents were gone and the nurses were busy with nursing duties; I had to put on a gown and gloves due to sanitary precautions, which was a first for me! When I entered the room I saw this gorgeous blue eyed and blonde haired toddler looking at me, her eyes glistening with tears. The tech was trying to calm her down and put her to sleep since she’d been up all night in pain. I got to talk with the tech and found out she had the same Chemistry & Biology teachers I had and she’s now graduated; she told me how she got into ACH and gave me hope when I wanted to give up. Before she left she taught me how to work an IV machine so the nurses didn’t have to adjust it every time the little one moved too quickly and set it off; I felt so official!! Once she left I got to play with the beautiful little one; she was fascinated with my gloves and loved her little teddy bear! After a while she got fussy, so I started rubbing her back which calmed her down and put her to sleep. After she was sleeping for a while, I took off my gloves and gown and opened the door; lo and behold she woke up crying! I then repeated calming her down and putting her to sleep and was just about to leave when one of my favorite doctors came into the room to check on her; she started screaming as he examined her and so I told him I’d stay and calm her down. I repeated the routine one last time, waited until she was deeply sleeping and then went to run more errands. It made my day to interact with one of my favorite doctors; he’s so personable and genuine, which are some of the many qualities I love about him.
                After lunch I headed to the Atrium desk to relieve the attendant; I love this desk also but it’s not my favorite as every day is the same and I hate sitting still for hours! I do however love being in the middle of the hospital- in all of the action! After finishing my shift I was walking down the hall when someone stopped me; it was Dr. R who I’d been praying for a long time to run into! This man never ceases to make me smile and brighten up my day as he genuinely cares about my well-being and always makes time to talk; he always asks how I’m doing but one thing which distinguishes him from the rest is he takes the time to listen which tells me he genuinely cares and wants to hear. I believe that this is a rare quality these days as so many of us are in such a hurry or too self-absorbed to care! I don’t know if it’s legal to make friendships with doctors who once treated you, but I want to break that law (if there is one!) They’re human beings just like me and I like making friends and absolutely love to form relationships! The halls of Akron Children’s make me smile and cover me with laughter and joy; kids are our future and how we treat them makes a difference!
                Tonight I got to play volleyball with my amazing youth group; my passion and competiveness within me was relived! Sports still bring out a different side of me which may not always be a pretty sight! One thing I haven’t and will never give up is diving; the feeling of sliding across the floor energizes me and keeps me wanting more- it’s addictive like a drug! Sports make me happy as I’ve learned to take the pressure off of myself and to enjoy every moment instead of blaming each loss on myself. I no longer feel nauseous before I play because of such high and unrealistic expectations of perfection! I just love being crazy and letting the real me come out; I’d rather be myself than be miserable trying to be someone I’m not!
                Oh, & on Christmas Day Courtney skyped us which was the perfect Christmas gift; our whole family together at last! I’m so excited that the other side of the world now gets to experience the essence of Courtney whom I love beyond words and am honored to have spent the majority of my life with.
                Christmas Eve I was one of Santa’s elves at ACH; I passed out gifs to the patients which was one of the greatest joys as giving and love are what Christmas is all about! Watching their eyes become huge and sparkling as they unwrapped their gifts with tender needle-pricked hands put a smile on my face- beauty amidst darkness! Love radiated through every corner of the hospital overtaking the darkness of despair and sickness; Love overcomes all things! That Christmas Eve was one I’ll never forget and hope to experience again! Love truly is what makes the world go round!

21 December 2011

Love Unending

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3
"And Jesus said unto them ... , "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to younder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you."
Romans 1:17

            God, you never cease to astound me; how can I not live with joy with you right beside me at all times, even when I don’t feel you? YOU are my hope, my strength, my everything; with You I can do all things!

            Well, my twin sister is officially across the world. We may be worlds apart but I can still feel her presence in my heart. Memories I will never forget from childhood on roll through my mind and keep me connected to my other half. God reminds me that she is going to be ok and that worry and fear is not from Him. I miss her contagious laughter, her spunkiness- all things that I’ve experienced and now it’s time for the rest of the world to experience. Nothing on this earth is mine.
           
            My first full time college semester is officially over!! I’m so excited but yet hesitant to breathe because it all seems to be surreal and a dream. One year ago I was near rock bottom once again controlled by the tight deadly grips of Anorexia; a year later I am nearing the hectic and difficult journey of a student nurse. Now try and tell me that there is not a God; the only explanation for my life is a miracle- nothing of this world.  After many temptations to turn back after believing lies that I don’t have what it takes to be a nurse I am confident in the fact that I may not have what it takes, but my God- my Creator possesses everything I need and so much more! On my own I can do nothing. That’s right devil; I might be helpless on my own but I have a relentless Warrior fighting for my every moment who will never let me go. I may abandon Him and try to get through life on my own strength but my Warrior will move mountains and do whatever it takes to win me back. We are an immovable and indestructible team; hate us as much as you like because you’ve already lost! Just as in sports, I’m giving my entire self- body and all- to compete against you.
           
            I take no credit for anything done in my life; I would like to but would be living a lie. I went into this semester with tons and tons of burdens weighing me down but came out more than successful not because of anything I’ve done but because of the unexplainable love of my King. All of my classes had to be earned with a bare minimum of a C. I remember the day I received my first score in Chemistry- the lowest grade I’ve ever received in my entire life- and I wanted to give up more than words can describe. Let’s just say that was a wake-up call for me; I put everything of my own power into each class and God did the rest. In Chemistry I was hoping for at least a minimum of a C which in itself seemed impossible when I focused on my burning score but God once again exceeded my expectations. I am officially onto my next set of classes with none needing to be retaken; God, you are insane! My insane goal which I thought was impossible but was hopeful for turns out to be possible and almost tangible- me and God together are insane and undefeated! “Why not go big and give it your all?” has been my lifelong motto. God can do anything. “You are only limited by your own fears and inaction”. “Fear is what stops you...Courage is what keeps you going”. I give God ALL the glory for everything in my life; in the blink of an eye He could have redirected my path.
            The joy and hope of Christmas is a beautiful time! On Saturday God has blessed me with the opportunity to pass out gifts to patients at Akron Children’s who aren’t fortunate enough to spend Christmas in the comfort of their own homes. I am beyond excited and cannot wait to spread hope and joy to the hopeless and sick! Beauty never ceases to surround me!

15 December 2011

My Future Decided


“Why won’t you eat? Why do you do this to yourself? Do you realize you’re killing yourself?” I cannot recount how many times I’ve heard these words, among others said to me. “Hello? You need to come to the ER right away!” The doors of Akron Children’s ER became well known to me; the whole hospital became my habitat for survival. Cans after cans of Gatorade as well as electrolyte filled IV fluid became the routine for my many hospital stays; my room was checked for food, bathrooms locked & every calorie counted down to a single crumb- every calorie was vital to survival. Privacy became overrated. Bed rest became mandatory; if caught even sitting up at times was unacceptable. IV after IV being poked as well as manipulated into my tiny shriveled veins- each movement of the needle piercing my arm. Midnight blood draws. Vital sign check ins. Pills after pills. Supplement after supplement.  Meal plan after meal plan. EKG’s one after another. Question after question! This is just a glimpse of the routines administered during my inpatient stays. 
Life as an Anorexic is over if not under-rated; constant pain, nausea from starvation, fatigue, dizziness after quick movements, fainting, extreme thirst & hunger…….the list goes on & on. Truly, there are no words to accurately describe the crazy and torturous life of an Anorexic- a word which I couldn’t force out of my lips due to denial & embarrassment. 
This semester of college has been crazy and demanding; God truly is my only answer for getting through. He is my Refuge & Strength. I have learned so incredibly much this semester and am grateful for each experience; I’ve taken blood pressure, dissected a pig, learned to do an EKG, done blood typing as well as countless lessons of Biology showing to me how lifeless I truly was. Medical terms became familiar to me because of past exposure through hospital stays. This semester has been a test; a definite test of my faith and trust but through it I’ve come out stronger and more equipped!
The little girl in me is scared……scared of her once worst nightmare becoming reality all too quickly! As a little girl I always said I’d never have anything to do with a hospital; my years were spent ignoring and denying pain to avoid doctors at all costs. I became convinced doctors were against me and medicine would harm me. Now, as an adult my life has taken a drastic turn; do I really want to be a nurse? Is it really my calling? I don’t have what it takes; I know absolutely nothing about medicine. Some days I want to turn back…..to give up before it all comes true. Then I am haunted with the faces of the hopeless, the dying, the lost & I’m reminded that I don’t have to have all of the answers. God uses the weak to do great things; all it takes is a willing heart. The face of the burned little girl I watched every Wednesday during hospital appointments & waiting haunts my mind; the change in that one little girl from love and acceptance after severe abuse & hatred; unexplainable determination erupted from that wounded & tender little heart after exposure to love- a simple yet underestimated thing. What I experienced moment after moment was foreign to her and so many other little children. I am reminded that I would be just like that had I not accepted and experienced the unexplainable and incomprehensive love of Christ my Savior who endured the worst possible death all for my sins; so I could live life with joy, peace and freedom I don’t deserve. This is what I have to offer the world…..nothing of my own but the greatest gift to ever be received- everlasting life and freedom. People all over the world have not been fortunate enough to hear of this undeserved gift and it is our duty to tell them. We as Christians did NOTHING to deserve this gift yet it has forever drastically changed lives; this gift is not to be kept to oneself but to be spread throughout the world. This is why I have said yes to God’s adventure for me even before knowing what’s ahead; THIS is why I can’t stop from smiling!

05 December 2011

My Life Lately

I’m BACK…….did ya miss me?! My life has been complete insanity these last several weeks; what a surprise, huh?! I am greatly anticipating my winter break which is already next week; next week is finals & then I’m DONE……if I pass with a C or higher in each class, that is! I really hope I don’t have to retake Chemistry; Abba, Father, I fully surrender my life to you. Take the humble pieces I have to offer & transform me into your image- the image of beauty and perfection. I lay my life…my future at your feet.
On the nineteenth my family loaded into our SUV to pick up my favorite twin; it seemed so surreal to have so much time with her!  We loaded all of her stuff into the trunk and got ready to drive to the 2011 Commissioning Service. God, why have you blessed me so much as to have such an amazing family; the only thing I have to offer you is my life which could never repay!  The Commissioning service was amazing and so powerful; the presence of God made me shiver as it was so evident. To see the five teams up front, giving everything they had to God was beyond humbling and inspirational to me; it reminded me that “we were made to be courageous & it starts with us tonight” (Casting Crowns). During the prayer of sending my twin out into foreign land tears flooded my eyes and covered my face; the change that has occurred & is still occurring in my twin is overwhelming; since the day I entered the doors of Selah THIS is what I prayed for & put in my prayer pillow (among many other requests). I don’t want to give my twin up- to miss seeing her once again after being separated so many times- but I realize that the world needs my twin; I am so incredibly proud of her & do not find myself worthy to be called her twin; this all seems like a dream!
Thanksgiving………a time of reunion & irreplaceable memories; this year did not let me down! The house full of screaming kids, laughing adults, flashes from the camera, the smell of Thanksgiving dinner; for the 1st time in several years too many I could genuinely enjoy these things among many other moments! In 2009, on Thanksgiving Day I was preparing to leave my family for two, which turned into three, months in order to restore my near lifeless body. Last year, in 2010 on Thanksgiving my family gathered together for a time I’ll never forget; the last time we spent with my grandpa before his stroke. My life was also quickly spiraling out of control, once again, into the grips of Anorexia; after my grandpa’s stroke he told me “we’re going to fight to get better together”; I was no longer fighting for only myself as the devil was already beat by my God as not one, but TWO lives in my family were spared! 
My last days, for six months, with my sister were filled with unending “catching up” among many other adventures; the twin sister I remember & have prayed for is back! It turns out I’ve actually missed her spunkiness & bossiness! Heehee
Since she’s been gone I’ve been kept busy with school, volunteering, God, & sports; I recently borrowed Tim Tebow’s book “Through My Eyes” and am enthralled with the truly unique story shared. This man, a well-known quarterback for the Denver Broncos, is showing the image of God to the world after being ridiculed & torn down. After being in the eyes of the public, going pro, having unending and truly out of this world talent, & being surrounded with the lusts of this fallen world Tim Tebow is still standing strongly in love with his God- MY God!! He truly has inspired me in tremendous ways to give all that I have to God because nothing is my own; no talents, possessions nor life. Even though he & Florida beat OSU in the finals several years ago, I still admire him. Oh, & just FYI…… Urban Meyer, the coach of Florida at the time, is going to be Ohio State’s new football coach! God, your beauty astounds me! You truly do bring beauty from ashes!

They look better in OSU colors!


16 November 2011

Beauty from Tragedy

In honor of TJ Sommers, I wore my softball jersey to college. I miss this young man as he has inspired me in countless ways.

June 18, 2009 seemed like just another day- another day of softball for the Bethany team. The excitement and intense energy of each player consumed the field as the game began. At the crack of a bat, in center field, TJ Sommers ran as hard as he could and dove for a fly ball that was coming towards him when he collided with another player. To this day we don’t know exactly what he hit; the freak accident violently fractured his skull in three places as he lost consciousness.
“TJ was severely injured today and was rushed to the emergency room; his brain is rapidly swelling and his skull fractured. I need to go see him”, were the words my dad told me on June 18, 2009. TJ and my dad were teammates for many years; I grew up watching him play. Watching TJ play was beyond exciting as he gave absolutely everything he had for his one love- softball. Every game he played with such aggressiveness and passion; one thing about TJ is that he always gave more than his best in every game with no exceptions. I watched in admiration as he stole bases and dove effortlessly across the dirt; a part of me wanted to do the same- to feel the wind in my hair as I run and the adrenaline pumping as my body hits the ground after diving head first. The adrenaline rush seems to last forever and keeps me in the “zone”; fear is absent and nonexistent as soon as the game starts. The memories I have of watching him play will exist forever in my mind; he inspired me, even as a little girl, to compete with aggressiveness and to give all of myself for the team; he showed me that one person can make a difference. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
In the hospital, after two days of constant tests and life support, TJ left his loving and sorrowful family on Earth to enter into the arms of his Creator; I believe he left this world and entered into Heaven giving his all without holding anything back as he dove into Heaven. He literally gave all he had for his Maker and his example inspires others, at least me, to be the best that I can be; with God my best is far greater than 100%!! After his death, according to his will, his organs were removed to be distributed to those who were desperate; he gave hope to the hopeless as parts of TJ are living in other humans today and keeping them alive as he shared with them the gift of life. He no longer needed his organs since he would receive a brand new body in Heaven; so why let his organs go to waste? For as long as I knew TJ, the word that best described him was selfless; he was the image of God Himself and I thank God every day for His presence which is made so real through other people. I still miss TJ and at times am brought to my knees in surrender after shedding many tears of questioning “why”, penetrating to my heart. Every time I step foot onto the softball field I see the relentless competitor TJ was and am inspired.
“Three strikes, you’re out” are the most dreaded words in softball. The reason I know this is because I grew up around softball; my dad competed in softball leagues ever since I can remember and we traveled to softball tournaments to watch his team compete for the trophy; I remember sitting in the bleachers watching the competitiveness of each game and intensity of each moment. My twin sister and I were my dad’s personal cheerleaders; every time the ball came near him we screamed and shouted- the excitement radiating throughout the field! My dad was my hero- the person I admired and longed to be like. What I loved most about him was the energy he brought to each game by giving ALL he had; no matter if the game looked hopeless he continued to do anything he could to turn the game around. Something else I learned was to not be afraid to get “down and dirty”; if you’re not dirty you’re not really playing!! This quote personifies exactly what I mean: “A softball player is a girl who, once steps onto the field, is transformed from ‘daddy’s-little-girl’ into a fierce, unrelenting competitor who will stop at nothing to win a game; characteristically with dirt all across her face, ratted sweaty hair, bloody knees, and dirt stained socks and uniform.” Now, I know my mom was not fond of this idea since she had to wash the clothes; it was quite a chore to try and get those stained, torn, and muddy clothes clean! Watching each game inspired me to always give my all- my utmost best in every situation no matter what the cost.
                To me, there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a softball tournament: sunshine and dirt, blood and sweat, uniforms and cleats, friendship and rivalry, adrenaline and intensity, and of course, diving! The feeling which overcomes my body when I enter this place is beyond description and gives me a confidence I never knew I had. I witnessed true teamwork which is a rare yet beautiful thing; softball is like the human body in that it takes all of the parts to work together in order to make a successful team. Homeostasis requires all body parts to be healthy; when one part suffers the rest will eventually do likewise, making no role insignificant. What struck me the most was how the team rooted for each other; unhealthy competition between team mates was replaced with encouragement of all kinds. This was the true image of God being made known on the softball field; God can truly use anyone anywhere for His glory. Everywhere we go we are witnesses for Christ; people are watching our every move we make even at a softball game.
Softball and sports in general will always be a part of me- however, I have found that they DON’T define me; in fact, nothing of this world defines me. My value is found in Christ alone- He is my Refuge and my Strength. For so long I looked to the things of this world to define me; however, I have surrendered my plans for my life to God which is a very painful process as what I thought was best for me and my wildest dreams were not at all in line with God’s plans. I’ve realized that on my own I am nothing and my plans and dreams are meaningless; however, when I surrender to God, the unthinkable happens- dreams I could NEVER even begin to imagine become reality; my God is insane and I LOVE Him! 

I miss TJ terribly, especially during softball season, but I know that one day in the future I will be able to give him a huge hug in Heaven; maybe we can play softball together!! ;)




09 November 2011

Redemption

It is November and over 60 degrees out- this is what I call beautiful!! No snow!! Driving coatless with my windows down in November; God’s ways of romancing me are so unexpected! (If you want to know what I mean by being romanced by the King/my Father/my Lover read the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldridge).  Now, I’m going to tell you about the present and work backwards; life is so exciting that I don’t have the time to write multiple times a week!!
Well, today was full of random excitement and spur of the moment decisions- story of my recovery!! I LOVE the unexpectedness and craziness of life! Chemistry class was even emptier than last week; Sunday was the official drop date so our classroom is very bare. I miss the atmosphere of a big group in which I don’t have to answer all of the questions aloud since there are so many other dominating voices! With less than twenty students, I was left answering the majority of the questions which was an extremely awkward change; I’m not a fan of answering questions aloud since I’m always afraid I’ll say the wrong thing & embarrass myself in front of everyone!  After Chemistry I went to my Nursing class; we waited for ten minutes or so before finding out it was cancelled for the week! Today the blood mobile came to college; I wasn’t exactly anticipating donating a pint of blood, but God made it pretty obvious to me that I should- why not save lives during my hour or so break?! So, I went ahead and donated & in a record seven minutes, I might add! ;)
On Sunday we had communion; oh how I adore my church family!! This past week was full of repentance and starting anew which for me was much needed! The past couple of weeks have been extremely stressful for me; my college semester is wrapping up and I’ve been faced with a lot of decisions. I’m very much a perfectionist which only added to the stress! I’ve been expecting myself to earn straight A’s since I thought that was the only way to get into the nursing program next Fall; God showed me that I was putting WAYYY too much pressure on myself and that I just needed to place my life into His hands. As easy as it sounds, for me it is the opposite! I still possess a lot of competitiveness and perfectionism which I’m trying my hardest to let go of!! Surrender is such a moment by moment struggle for me! On Wednesday night my youth group was having a worship service and I felt God calling me earlier in the day to go; once the time finally arrived to go I was worn out from Biology class going late and really battled with staying at home since I’m not a fan of being late!! God brought me to church, however and I will never regret going! I experienced an amazing moving of God’s spirit; it was a miraculous and powerful night- exactly what I needed to renew my strength!! I surrendered all of my worries over to God & asked for prayer; prayer is such a mighty weapon against the enemy! I cannot put into words the ever increasing relief I felt from stress; I no longer feared what to do and God gave me the courage to step out into the dark and make vital decisions affecting my future; the power of prayer should not be overlooked! I experienced the unconditional love of the body of believers; the atmosphere was filled with encouragement, humbleness and peace. I was reminded that God is my top priority and that I can’t go through life on my own but I need a body of people surrounding me. Anorexia does NOT agree with this as it tells me the lie that if I isolate myself I will be happiest; life truly is a battle but I now have the weapons necessary to defeat the enemy and his lies!
I cannot explain to you the burden that was lifted off of my shoulders from surrendering to God; I as well as everyone else am a victim of the devil’s evil schemes- he truly does creep in gradually and unexpectedly. However, he’s already lost; no matter how many times I fall down God is willing to pick me back up to VICTORY!
In Wednesday’s lab we performed EKG’s- a very familiar process to me due to many hospital stays and near death experiences. We’re learning about the heart, which I find fascinating because my own was once being eaten away at by my own body for survival due to malnutrition.  I am learning about so many familiar medical terms in which I have previously been diagnosed with; every day God shows me how truly dead I almost was but He chose to protect me for a reason I don’t yet know; He is not finished with me yet.
On Sunday I was asked to share a short testimony about what God is doing in my own life, so I agreed. Here’s what God called me to say: “Tonight I want to share with you a little glimpse of what God has done and is continuing to do in my life. One thing God has been showing me throughout my life is to totally depend on Him and trust Him with my life.
There was a time when I hated God’s plan for my life and became angry towards Him. Three years ago when I found out I had to have a spinal fusion I resented God’s seemingly hopeless and disturbing plan. Why would He take sports away from me: my pride and joy; my calling to life; the one thing I excelled at?! Why me and why now?! I tried for so long to make my own dreams for my future come true- to find my own purpose besides Him. I remember sitting in the waiting room during my second week post-surgery checkup, when my dad told me I should be a nurse. I told him, ‘No way! That is the last thing I want to do and would enjoy!!’ The hospital was the last place I wanted to work- doctors were my enemy and medicine was a battlefield. I told God I’d go anywhere but the medical field; I wanted to have nothing to do with doctors as they were only there, I thought, to make me look weak and to point out imperfection.
After a long battle of running from God’s plan, I finally surrendered my own dreams and desires and accepted my future as a nurse. After I returned from Remuda Ranch I began volunteering at ACH; I found a new happiness and joy which came from serving others and being content with where God had me. I’ve been volunteering there for well over two years now, and strangely I can’t imagine myself anywhere else- it’s become almost like a second home to me. A couple of months ago I was asked to run the surgery desk at ACH; let’s just say that God is using my own experiences to comfort others going through the same or similar struggles- who are scared and hurting. I’ve gotten the chance to encourage many families who are in the same place I was three years ago; the doctors predictions are TRUE as I am now playing sports again and am able to live an active an healthy life. It’s amazing to share with them the hope that is possible and to encourage them to keep on running the race. God has used my own experiences to comfort others who are hurting but may think we have nothing in common- one thing we share is pain! I know what it’s like to feel hopeless and to want to give up! Another thing I’ve experienced is a change of heart in the way I see doctors; I’m now privileged to form relationships between doctors and to see them for who they really are; who were once my enemies are now my ‘friends’.
I’m currently following God’s calling into nursing. I am in college for nursing – the one thing I said I’d never do!!  God has been teaching me to totally depend on Him- this is not an easy road as there are only fifty students accepted to the program annually. Surrender has had to become a continual process for me; to realize that my life is not my own and to surrender my plans and ambitions- everything to Him! My future is in the hands of the King!!”

02 November 2011

In His Hands

These past couple of weeks has been beyond chaotic! Midterm week is insane and almost OVER!! It’s hard for me to grasp that I only have less than six weeks left to go before my first full semester is completed! I am so relieved! I already have my second semester scheduled and ready to go; what a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders!
          I apologize for not socializing more; if I could I would be everywhere at once!! The classes I am taking are very intense; not unmanageable because my God is in control and is guiding me – He has taken the pressure off of myself and laid it on Himself which is beyond my comprehension! It’s hard for me to not try to take control of my grades especially with acceptance into the Nursing program being so extremely competitive; I have to remind myself CONSTANTLY to lay it into God’s hands which is beyond difficult to do since it’s something I feel so passionately about. God is teaching me so many things which are beyond my comprehension!
          My nose has basically been in my books these past couple of weeks; I’ve been trying to remind myself that all I can give is my best and the rest is up to God. I absolutely adore my Structure and Function class; every class leaves me intrigued and wanting to know more! The human body is beyond fascinating! I love all of my classes except for my Chemistry class; as I said before it is extremely intense- we started out with 60 and now down to less than 20! I am extremely disappointed to see so many of my friends who were with me to now be dropping this class; it’s going to be so extremely different with the small amount that’s left and I’m going to miss each and every one of them! In all honesty, I myself have considered dropping this class because of the competitiveness of GPA in the nursing program; I know I worry WAYYY too much about getting into the program by trying to have a “perfect” GPA which is impossible on my own and utterly exhausting! I was beyond disappointed with my grade in Chemistry as I wanted to get straight A’s; God has shown me and continues to show me that my future is NOT in my own hands! I am my own worst enemy!!
          Well, Courtney comes home soon and I can’t wait to go pick her up! The house is beyond amazing as the presence of God can be felt before you even open the doors; it’s so powerful and love radiates from every corner! She is in good hands, yet I miss her- a part of me is missing and can’t wait for her to come home so we can spend time together! How selfish, I know; I am an imperfect and sinful human being just like everyone else! The world DESERVES to know Courtney- the amazing woman I am beyond honored to call my twin! I can’t wait for a COMPLETE Christmas on Thanksgiving in just a couple of weeks; God is way too good! Please continue to keep Courtney and I in your prayers as we seek to follow Christ’s guidance in our lives in separate areas; God’s ways are incredible as Courtney is going across the world to follow God yet she is still close to me- in my heart! She will ALWAYS be a part of me and nothing will ever tear us apart! God’s ways are not our own ways, I’ve learned through experience!!

24 October 2011

Clueless

“God, where do I go from here?” When God called me into nursing, after A LOT of convincing, I finally obeyed. I gave Him my agenda on a blank sheet of paper for Him to fill in the details. After receiving the physical and emotional healing I needed to move forward, God called me into college so I followed, scared to death! College has been amazing as I can feel God right by my side; however, I can’t always feel Him as He draws away so I remember I’m nothing without Him & I can’t take Him for granted. I’m currently in college for nursing as God called me to Kent to get my BSN; this is not what I wanted as nursing is extremely competitive. To get into nursing school, grades and GPA literally are everything because nothing else counts. Others were right when they said the road is NOT easy; God is teaching me daily to rely fully on Him. As hard as it already is to rely fully on God, He is now calling me to trust even MORE; I am reluctant because it seems IMPOSSIBLE & I’m scared to death. The work required to keep a GPA high enough to even be considered into the Nursing program is beyond my ability; God truly is testing my faith and trust through this. As if this isn’t hard enough, I feel Him calling me now into something even MORE important in which I’ve been avoiding and trying to manipulate my way out of: to write a book. I’ve been avoiding this because I have NO idea how to write a book and I don’t find myself worthy of doing so; I also don’t see how it could be possible with my already crazy and stressful  college life. I thought nursing was my calling……. Am I wrong God?!  What do I do? How can I possibly write a book while being a full time college student?
As I was reading The Purpose Driven Life this morning I came across some very straight-forward and indeed harsh words from God which basically told me my life will be WORTHLESS if I don’t fulfill my calling: to serve and bring others into the Body of Christ. God could come at any second so I don’t have forever to fulfill this calling; in fact, my time really “should” be up as I’m only breathing because of a miracle but God had other plans for me. The clock is ticking every second and I’m more concerned about blindly following God then fulfilling my own goals and “successes”.  God, I don’t want to do this; I want to bring others to you but why now? Why me? I don’t understand; however, regardless of my own deceived and fallen self I am going to follow you, the image of Perfection and Goodness Himself. I trust you more then I trust myself. Oh God, the road is going to be hard and bumpy, but “I will go”; use me to reach one more for you because that is ALL that matters!!  I am afraid but replace my fear with strength and wisdom because we are a team God and you will NEVER leave my side!!
I have NO idea neither to what I’m doing nor what the future holds; all I’m certain of is that I’m willing to follow the narrow road. Maybe God just wanted me to give my plans to Him on a blank sheet and to surrender; to see if I am willing just as He did to Abraham by calling him to sacrifice his one and only son just to see if he was willing. If my experiences can save at least one person then the benefits outweigh the costs.

09 October 2011


Wow- what a weekend!!! God is SOO good to me; hunting was just what I needed! Honestly, I have been STRESSED OUT!! There’s so much to do, so little time & only 1 me!! I feel like I should be doing more for college then what I am!!
Yesterday I decided literally “spur of the moment” to go hunting; I’d NEVER shot a bow before but felt up to a challenge. I also hadn’t been hunting in over 2 ½ years so I couldn’t wait, so yesterday afternoon we headed down to our property. After getting ready, we headed out to our spots; I got the blind & Carson got the tree stand. OMG- I remember why I LOVE hunting & the outdoors in general! I didn’t especially like the ginormous black spiders in my tent with me, but I was so focused I lost track of them! I kept hearing noises above me & all of a sudden a mouse peeked out from above me; I discovered they had made a nest in the blind in between the ceiling & the rain cover; they DID keep me entertained by running back & forth & even jumping off of the roof! They were so cute!
After sitting for about an hour or so with no luck, all of a sudden a spike came out into “my zone”- I had my bow aimed & finger on the trigger; should I shoot this thing?! If I shot this spike it would’ve counted as my ONLY buck for the year; I really wanted to get a deer soon, but I didn’t want to waste my one buck! So, I put the bow down & waited some more; in the distance I could see two bucks in the woods behind my brother- in the area separating the two fields. I watched & waited, but they never came out! L They came right to the edge of the woods but never into the open; I heard their antlers rattling up in the woods & they never came back! Well, it was quickly getting darker & darker; all of a sudden I looked to my right & there was a doe coming toward me! I quickly brought my bow up, aimed & followed her until she stopped so I could get a good shot; she came about 10-15 yards away from me & stopped- staring at me & my aimed bow. I pulled the trigger & down she went! My brother thought I had killed a man after the funny sound the doe made after I shot her!
After about ½ an hour or so, dad & I hopped onto the 4-wheeler, loaded the doe on, & went back in the woods to gut it. Yes, I did want to gut it myself, but I learn best from watching 1st- I helped & even inspected each organ- it was like biology class!
To be in “my woods” again brought back SOO many amazing memories of camo, 4-wheelers, deer; what I treasure most are the moments of father-daughter bonding, both with my heavenly & earthly fathers! I am so blessed to have 2 dads!! Oh life, you are so beautiful!! 

My 1st deer with a bow!

Muzzle-loader season 3 months post-surgery

My favorite hunting buddy!