The Handiwork of God

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a friend telling me that the man I dated prior to my husband, the one that I have spoken about that broke my heart, had shared his testimony with his wife at Re-Engage at Lakepointe. After hearing it, I realized for the first time that there aren’t just two sides to every story, there are three. Ours, theirs and Gods. Our stories just go to show that we never know what God is doing in our or the lives of others when he takes things away. His hand is working miracles every single day and we have to trust Him even when we don’t understand. I hope that hearing the other side of this story gives everyone that sees it a glimpse of God’s handiwork. His love is a redeeming love and no matter where you have been, what you have done, or how many times you have screwed up, God’s love wins every single time!

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God Redeems

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Trey & I grew up in the same town and even went to the same high school for two years, but our story begins much later. I was friends with his brother, Brent, and fell in love with their parents, Butch and Peggy, when I met them at the age of 16. I had always stayed in contact with Butch and Peggy and even sat in front of them at church for years. They were like second parents to me and God was definitely laying the foundation of trust with them before bringing Trey into my life. God knew my deepest desire for a loving extended family that I could trust would love me and my girls like their own and I found that in Butch and Peggy many years ago.

Trey and I’s paths crossed at church one Sunday morning. Since I sat with Butch & Peggy, on this particular day, Trey joined us. We shared small talk and he joked that he had a date that day. I was excited for him so I asked who she was and he said it was me. I laughed at the idea of it because it was a crazy thought. A few months passed and since Peggy and I talked often, I knew Trey was having a rough time. I contacted him just to make sure he was okay and to see if he needed a friend. We decided to have dinner together and really enjoyed one another’s company. We had so many things in common that it was a little creepy!
Over the next few months, we grew closer and became the best of friends. Our kids loved hanging out together and everything just fell into place. We still laugh at the fact that I sat in front of him at church almost every Sunday and I never in a million years imagined that he would one day be my husband!
Our story is simple, but it is nothing short of amazing. Our wedding day was a true testimony of God’s grace and unconditional love for us. He took two broken individuals, used our heartache to refine us, and then brought us together to love one another and our children the way He loves us.
When I heard the lyrics to the following song, they expressed everything I was feeling and so much more.
The day we met
Frozen I held my breath
Right from the start
I knew that I found the home for my heart…
Beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone?
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

One step closer…

I was afraid to love again because in the past love had brought me so much pain, but this love was different. It was the kind of love that God had placed in my heart from the time I was a little girl dreaming of my prince charming. Trey is a great man, but our love has nothing to do with who we are and everything to do with who God is and what He has accomplished in and through us. You see, when God is your everything, it allows you to see others as God sees them and that is the kind of love that frees us to experience a 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 kind of love. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Now we have the rest of our time on this earth to love one another with everything we have and raise our kids in a God centered home that models what a Godly marriage is supposed to be like!

In Loving Memory of Brianna Escobedo 9/15/98-5/22/13

Bullying others, it was your game.
All for fun, not intended for pain.

But the words cut deep, they caused me strife
And because of it all I took my own life.

I now know I should have stood up for myself,
But I couldn’t escape my own living hell.

So you continue to hurt others with your stupid lies,
Not seeing the pain in those gut wrenching cries.

I wish I had asked why being mean was your way,
Then maybe I could have put an end to your bullying days.

But since I gave up, you still cause others pain
And I pray taking my life wasn’t all in vain.

I beg you to think before you are cruel
And always remember the golden rule.

Treat others the way you want to be treated
and instead of tearing them down,
provide love and support which is desperately needed.

Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sinned

Over the years, God has been speaking to me very subtly. His voice would start as a soft whisper and over time it would magnify into a loud roar if I didn’t catch on in a timely fashion. Most of the time I caught on at the whisper stage, but then there were times that I needed to hear Him yell to get the point.

I had just purchased the car of my dreams and had been toying with the idea of a personalized license plate. I wanted something that would be a testimony to others. After brainstorming for a couple of days, I thought “I’m His” would be perfect. I procrastinated a little too long and the dealer plates arrived. I placed them on the trunk of my car to install and got sidetracked with the kids. Later that day I went to the grocery store. It wasn’t until I arrived back home that I realized the plates were left on the car and were now gone. I drove my route hoping to find them on the road somewhere between my house and the store, but no luck. So I ordered replacements. Two weeks later my plates arrived and I opened them to see 850 HYS. My heart stopped. Was this for real? I thought I was seeing things. At that moment I knew God had something very important he wanted to share with me. I went straight to my bible in search of verse 50 in chapter 8.

Before I tell you what I found, you need to know what was going on at that moment in my life. I was married to a man with a sexual addiction. In my brokenness, I had justified certain behaviors of my own. The lines between right and wrong had turned from black and white to grey in our household. After years of pain, instead of relying solely on God to comfort me, I found comfort in things that never gave me what I was longing for. I turned to friends for ungodly advice, spent countless hours easing my pain with shopping, and even turned to another man to meet my needs for emotional support.

I found three verses in the entire bible with a chapter 8, verse 50. All three of them hit my like a ton of bricks. 1 Kings 8:50 says, “Forgive your people who have sinned against you. Forgive all the offenses they have committed against you.” The moment I read the verse, I realized my pain and agony had not subsided because I had unforgiveness and fear in my heart. I had forgiven myself but I was holding captive the forgiveness towards my spouse because I didn’t want to get hurt again. Luke 8:50 says, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” This verse was God’s way of telling me to trust Him and believe that He had a plan for me and that He would meet all of my needs. John 8:50 says, “I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.” Through this verse, He revealed that He is the judge, not me.

God took something he placed in my heart and used it to teach me a very valuable lesson that day. Healing will never take place the way God intended for it to until we forgive others the way He forgives us, trust Him and believe His promises, and let Him be the judge of those who disobey.

If you find yourself in pain, whether it is the result of your own sin or the sin of someone else, know that God is right there waiting for you to give it all to Him. He is the only one that can heal and restore what Satan has tried to destroy.

 

Put On the Armor of God

Lord,

Help me put on the belt of truth today filtering everything the world tells me through the light of Your Word. Remind me with the breastplate of righteousness that I cannot achieve goodness by the things I do or don’t do. You were the perfect sacrifice and I stand forgiven because of my hope in you. Help my feet carry your message of peace to a hurting world. Let me encourage those around me with the story of your gospel and son, Jesus Christ. Give me strength to carry my shield of faith. I am a part of a community of faith and we all stand together against the attacks of Satan. Cover my mind with the helmet of salvation. Help me think on things that honor you and give me discernment to do what is right and best. Arm me with your sword and hide your scripture in my heart. Your words, not mine, are powerful and effective. i pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, who was the perfect sacrifice to overcome death and give me eternal life.

Amen.

Heaven Sent

While I was married to my ex, before our third child was conceived, I was driving behind a truck that had the name Tryston on the back window where the driver sat. I loved the name and felt that one day I would have a son and that is what I wanted to name him. When I got pregnant with Shaylie, I knew God was giving me a son. At my sonogram appointment, the nurse said it was a girl and I was so sad. I chose to believe she read it wrong and had two more sonograms done because I wanted to know for sure. They all said the same thing. 100% girl. I got over my sadness, but still wanted a little boy. Then my life fell apart. I had totally forgotten all about the name and lost all hope of ever having a little boy. Then I met Trey. It wasn’t until he proposed that God reminded me of what he put on my heart the day I saw that name on the back of that truck. I never imagined it would happen in this fashion, but He did follow through on His promise! Today Tryston, my step-son or as I like to refer to as my bonus son, celebrates his 11th birthday and God reminds me every year on this day that His ways are not my ways and His plans are not always the way I think things would turn out, but His are always better than my biggest, wildest dreams!

If you find yourself with dreams that haven’t turned out the way you wanted, give it all to God. He put those dreams in your heart for a reason and He will bring them to life in His timing. They just might be packaged a little differently than you envisioned! Tryston may not be my biological son, but I love him no less. God whispered to me that day in the car and shared a piece of His plan for me. I look forward to the day when I am standing at the feet of Jesus and He reveals every detail from His perspective. Until then, I feel so blessed that God gives us glimpses of His heart and dreams for our lives.

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Thank You God!

Dear God,

I want to take time to remember all the things you have done for me through the years. Oh there are so many things. You have carried me through dark valleys of the shadow of death. You have rejoiced with me on the mountaintops. You have held my hand and helped me take a leap into unknown waters. You have applied healing balm to my hurts and warm sunshine on my soul. You have given me precious friends whom have stood the test of time…and more. You have given me a loving family to grow with and be with. You have increased my territory spiritually. You have picked me up when I have stumbled and nearly hit the ground. You have provided for me when I did not know where my provisions would come from. You have surrounded me with prayers and support from the family of God in time of need. You have shown me miracles and blessed my soul. You have given me the desires of my heart — desires that are in line with Your will and word. You have given me the privilege of helping advance Your Kingdom through gifts, talents, and resources You have entrusted to me. You have always been patient with me. You have felt my cries, laughed at my silliness, and gently guided me back onto the right path. You have loved me with an everlasting love. I could go on and on. God, I am thankful for You and all You have done and all You will do in my life. I love you and appreciate You and want to shout, “How great is my God!”

With loving gratitude, in Your sweet and holy name,
Amen.