Happiness in Healing

Today started with this workout.

I could easily be frustrated and give up. A few short months ago, I was able to complete this run much faster, without breathing so hard, and without my face looking like a bright red tomato when I’m finished.

Likewise, a few short months ago (4 months and 10 days to be exact), I was lying in the hospital unable to coordinate my left side movements, struggling to form words and sentences, and in a state of fear and worry.

But, today? This girl is roaring in confidence, happier than she’s been in a very long time, filled with unexplainable peace, and learning to appreciate a new, slower pace. Not only on the track, but in day to day life as well.

Many of you have asked for a health update. I’m not quite ready to spill all of the details, but you can rest assured that God is working overtime healing me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I will say my “episodes” are almost non-existent and that in itself is a victory! In time, I will share all of the details with you. It’s a pinky promise. (You can take the elementary teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t take the memories out of the teacher).

Moving on….

I have consistently prayed these two scriptures over my own life the last few months:

1. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm‬ ‭73:26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

2. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’m learning that despite what this world throws my direction, He is good. He is faithful. He gives me peace. He loves me more than I could imagine. I know, without a doubt, that God is restoring me physically. And, most importantly, He’s restoring my mind and my spirit to stay focused on Him and His callings.

I don’t know exactly what’s going on in your world. But, I think you’re reading this for a specific purpose. Maybe you aren’t facing a health concern. Or, maybe you are in the midst of a scary, overwhelming diagnosis, either for yourself or a loved one. Maybe you’re just “stuck” in a rut of living a mundane, routine life. Maybe you’re stressed about finances, or your career. Maybe your kids are driving you bananas this summer and you long for a break!

Whatever your battle is, I encourage you to lean on Jesus for your strength, your comfort, your peace, and your boldness.

I can tell you, giving up a career and changing your ENTIRE daily routine can be hard and scary. But, when you do it with Jesus, it’s so much fun!

Let me end with a shoutout to my AMAZING family members and friends who are waking this new path with me. There’s no way I could survive this journey without y’all in my cheering section, sitting right behind Jesus!

My Story

March 3, 2019 — exactly two months ago — the day our lives were turned upside down

Let’s set the mood. It was 5:30 pm on a Sunday and I was folding laundry to get my husband packed for work. Nothing out of the ordinary. I always pack his bags and make sure he has everything he needs while he’s away.

It was in the middle of folding his gray, oil stained coveralls, that our world instantly changed.

My left arm started tingling. I felt dizzy and confused. I lost grip strength in my left hand, and had developed significant weakness in my left leg and arm. So, like any husband would do, he swept me up and rushed me to the local hospital.

Once there, I was coherent, but couldn’t get my words out. Soon, I was labeled as a possible stroke victim and chaos began. I was rushed for a CT scan, that came back clear, and was admitted to the hospital for more testing.

I had a lumbar puncture, two MRIs, an EKG, 18 vials worth of bloodwork drawn, arteries checked for blockages, rare autoimmune testing, and some other tests runs.

They ALL came back normal. I was thankful it wasn’t serious, but felt so lost. I couldn’t get out of bed and walk without help, couldn’t lift my left arm, spoke with a slow, Southern draw that sounded robotic, and had no grip strength in my left hand.

I remember being so excited that I could pick up my pudding with my left hand one night at dinner. I also remember the moment I said “pudding” and sounded just like Forrest Gump, and the room broke out in laughter. I mean, we had to find the humor in something.

I remember looking around the room at all of the visitors that I had, all leaving with red eyes from crying tears over me. I remember the many sweet people who shed tears in prayer over me. I remember literally feeling the brush of wind from angel’s wings as tears of fear rolled down my cheeks in the MRI machine. I told everyone Jesus wasn’t ready for me yet, but I knew something about this event was different. And, to be honest, I was a scared girl on the inside, putting on a brave front for family and friends. I knew God was faithful, and trusted His goodness would prevail, but I was overwhelmed.

And that’s where the fight began. My family began begging for me to be transferred to a larger hospital, in a larger city for more testing. My nurses were wonderful. They encouraged us to fight for answers. Yet, the hospitalist I was forced to see and the neurologist on call, both repeatedly said they knew not what was wrong, but wanted to just send me home. Talk about a crushing blow!

After learning a sweet friend worked in administration at the hospital, (cue God’s faithfulness and provision) through heartbreak and tear soaked eyes, my family begged with her for a transfer. And, the process began.

“The neurology team at the hospital accepted you as a patient, but the the hospital won’t admit you.” We heard that over and over again for 24 hours. The call was made to the LAST hospital on the list. I began earnestly pleading with God for hope, for help, and for a hospital. Because He is faithful, I was transferred to a neurology floor at a huge hospital.

I was there less than 24 hours, and major things like stroke, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Lupus, artery blockage, TIA attack, etc has been ruled out. Then, I received the news that I suffered from sporadic hemiplegic migraine.

Wait! What are you talking about? I don’t have migraines. Ok, I get dull, throbbing headaches frequently, but they aren’t debilitating. I was started on a migraine concoction via IV, and felt better within 4 hours. So, I thought, maybe they’re right. I was referred to a neurologist in the big city, who is also headache specialist, and sent home.

Once home, I attended bi weekly physical therapy sessions where I learned to walk, trusting my left side again. I completed mental tasks using my left hand and arm that brought me to tears because suddenly, the girl who was a straight A student, couldn’t figure out how to get a bead to move down a wire with her left hand. I was so uncoordinated and frustrated. Suddenly, the girl who ran 3 miles for fun and attended HIIT workouts frequently, became extremely fatigued walking less than 1/10 of a mile.

I knew recovery would take time, and I was willing to give it time, but I longed for a normal life. So, toting a walker, I returned to teaching my sweet students, but only for a short while, 7 days to be exact.

It was Sunday, March 31, 2019, and my husband was working. I got very sleepy in the afternoon, so my 7 year old and I took a nap. I woke with a slight headache, took some ibuprofen and thought nothing of it. Until, all of the crazy symptoms resumed. My left side tingled and became weak. My speech began to be delayed. I felt disoriented and confused. The first time, it was ok. My husband was home to help. This time, I was frightened, because how could I possibly be a good mother with these symptoms.

My parents rushed me to the ER where I was given a migraine IV and sent home. My child and I spent the next 5 days living with them. I was placed on new medications that literally knocked me out. I slept all day, everyday. I became somewhat of a walking zombie. And, we knew something more was going on.

That’s when we remembered I had a permanent birth control device, Essure, implanted a few years back. We knew we weren’t having any more children, due to my pregnancy complications, and it seemed this was a better option to permanently fix that than returning to surgery to have my tubes tied. My family began to wonder if I was possibly reacting to the metal in the device.

I swear every single one of my family members, is a google expert. Each one of them found something different to build their case. The device had been recalled, and numerous testimonies were found saying how young women, just like me, were healthy and active and began to have a variety of debilitating health conditions post Essure placement.

That Thursday, I had another episode. This time, with blurry vision and dark spots in my vision.

Fast forward, to that Friday, and my husband rushed home from work to take me to the OBGYN that had performed the procedure to discuss removal. “The only removal option is hysterectomy, but she’s not neurologically stable enough for surgery.”

We left his office feeling a little defeated. He wouldn’t order a heavy metal screening. He wanted to place me on hormone supplements although I had no symptoms of a hormone imbalance, and hadn’t checked any kind of blood work.

That’s when “episode 4” began and my husband , once again, rushed me back to the ER. Once again, I was given a migraine concoction via IV. My neurologist was SURE we were missing something. She suggested admission for more testing, yet her practice was 3 hours away and she isn’t affiliated with any hospital locally to make that happen. So, the ER doctor performed a 2nd lumbar puncture at my bedside, and began the process for getting me admitted.

But, remember the local neurologist I had seen the first go round? You know, the one who said he didn’t know what was going on, but there was nothing he could do? He was the one who had a say in my admission. And, as you guessed, he said no.

So, ambulance ride #2 began, and I was transferred back to the neurology floor at the big hospital, in the big city. I was seen by several doctors on their neurology team. I endured a 2 hour MRI of my head and spine. It all came back normal! They were baffled, once again. We questioned them about the Essure, and they said that was out of their field and to follow up with an OBGYN, eye doctor, and an endocrinologist. You see, I already battled two autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Raynaud’s phenomenon. So, maybe it was endo related. The doctors kept telling me it wasn’t related to the Essure. But, when they left, the sweet nurse, who also served as a patient advocate, suggested we follow through with our theory.

And, I was sent home. My left sided weakness had pretty much corrected itself by this time, but my speech was still “purposeful”. It was devastating at times. I mean, I talk for a living. I’m the teacher who gets random ideas for lesson engagement and runs with it, without writing a script. Words literally roll off my tongue in the classroom. I can give speeches and presentations for my co-workers without note cards, and it would all sound like it was rehearsed. I taught Ladies’ Bible Study and never planned a lesson. I simply prayed for God’s guidance and He never disappointed. Our group talks always provided spiritual growth and insight. Yet, now, I had to think of the words I wanted to say. Conversations made me mentally exhausted. I didn’t want to talk, because it was hard.

I saw my neurologist in the big city again. She started me a new medicine to take at the onset of symptoms, and she referred me for speech therapy. I told her of my concerns with the Essure, and she suggested immediate removal. She told us about a documentary she had watched recently that was circulating the medical field, with eyes opened as big as Texas. You see, every other doctor danced around the issue. “Nothing in the medical books, suggests it will cause neurological symptoms.” That’s the standard answer we ALWAYS received, but she believed in me. She knew nothing I had endured thus far was “life threatening” but it was definitely “life altering” and she wanted to see me better. She wouldn’t release me to work, drive, or stay alone with my young daughter, until we had all of my symptoms under control. So, we packed a suitcase and bounced around between family members as I schedule drivers to take me to my various dr appointments and to get my daughter back and forth to school while my husband was away at work.

In the next three weeks, I saw an eye doctor. My vision was the same from my previous year’s eye exam. The pictures of my retina and optic nerve were normal. It wasn’t a vision issue. I saw two endocrinologists and all of their testing came back clear. No hormonal issue. No diabetes. There was nothing they could do.

But, we still wondered about the birth control device. So, my amazing husband began lobbying on my behalf. Y’all, he seriously amazes me. He probably should be some kind of lobbyist in Washington. Or, maybe a negotiator for some big law firm. He called the high risk pregnancy doctor who delivered our preemie baby. Days later, the doctor called and suggested immediate removal.

I visited a new OBGYN in our area, who was not taking new patients (cue God to work a miracle) and had an appointment within the month. I told her my story, and how many of health problems, the autoimmune diagnosis, recurrent Bell’s Palsy spells, shingles, mono, scarlet fever, the new “migraines” and many more random illnesses, didn’t begin until after the device was placed. She agreed something was wrong. She had only implanted one Essure. They were released in 2002 and recalled in 2018. So, in 16 years, she only placed one? She explained how she didn’t trust them and they weren’t researched enough before being placed on the market. She agreed to removal and a hysterectomy was scheduled.

The next few days were normal. I attended our family reunion and got to hug the necks of all of my aunts and uncles who had been earnestly praying for me. The next day, I got up, attended Sunday School with my parents, and we were ushered in to our seats for Easter Sunday service. That’s when it happened again. Silent tears starting rolling down my cheeks as my neurological symptoms returned. I looked at my dad with fear, and told him I was having another “episode”. They took me home, gave me the new meds, and I took a nap. But, it was Easter, and I wasn’t going to miss watching my kiddo hunt eggs. So, I took some pain meds, sucked it up, and attended two family functions that afternoon. One thing I had learned over the course of this event, was that time is valuable. And, I refused to miss out time I had been given.

The next few days were normal. My speech was normal. I had a good amount of energy. I even went on a 3 mile walk one afternoon. I cooked lunch for my sister and I. I cleaned the kitchen. I did laundry. I played “tennis” with my daughter. I played board games and read books with her. And, life was normal. In fact, I was beginning to become frustrated that I couldn’t work and drive, because I felt pretty good!

On April 25, 2019, I was scheduled to remove the Essure device via hysterectomy. The 2 1/2 hour operation went off without a hitch. Everything looked great and my family got to see some cool photos of my insides. I was kind of jealous. I woke up from the anesthesia just fine and immediately asked to see my husband. I was moved to a room, where he was waiting, and was so happy everything had gone well.

But, I was hurting, and couldn’t receive any pain medication. My stomach was so swollen with gas, and excruciating gas pains were shooting through my stomach and chest. I felt light headed and in a fog. That’s when they told me I couldn’t take medication until my blood pressure stabilized. It was staying in the area of 70s over 30s and 80s over 40s. Which wouldn’t be a huge concern if I were at complete rest, my blood pressure is naturally a little lower than 120/70. But, because I was in pain, and alert, it should’ve been higher.

A blood test was ordered to check my hemoglobin and it had dropped from a 14 (pre- surgery) to an 8 (post- surgery). The decision was made to give me 2 units of blood via transfusion. Side note: if you’re not a blood donor, consider it. I’ve always donated, but never thought I’d have to be on the receiving end.

My hemoglobin levels increased slightly following the transfusion. My blood pressure was closer to a normal reading. I was able to take something for the pain. I was able to get up and walk. Things looked better! I went home the next day, with orders to eat steak and take iron medications, along with your typical post- op instructions.

I felt pretty good. I was very sore, but able to get up and move around slowly. My pain levels weren’t awful and after day 2 at home could be controlled with over the counter ibuprofen and Tylenol. I was ecstatic! Things were definitely on the mend.

Until, I tried to sleep. It didn’t matter what I did, nothing was comfortable. My entire body ached. That’s when we started taking my temperature and noticed I was running a slight fever. My, once again, amazing husband stayed up all hours of the night, checking my temperature, placing cool rags on my head, and holding my hand while whispering silent prayers.

Fast forward to the Wednesday following my procedure. I had a follow-up appointment where we noticed there was significant, uncommon bruising on my abdomen. My surgery was laparoscopically assisted and I only had two small incisions. The bruising should have been minimal. Yet, my entire stomach is a large bruise filled with every color of the rainbow, and is still so swollen I can’t fit into my regular T-shirt’s, and am only comfortable in pajama pants. The doctor explained when the camera was inserted it must’ve hit a blood vessel in the muscle, and all of the blood rushing to the surface is causing the impressive bruising. She assured me it would go away, but it might take a long time. She also started me on an antibiotic, just to be sure there’s no infection, and re- drew my bloodwork.

My husband and I returned home. He made dinner and we were watching tv. He kept asking if I was ok because evidently I was staring in space. Our daughter was outside playing with her goats and I was simply looking out the front door waiting on her to run by giggling, the goats following her like puppy dogs.

That’s when something began to feel different. Suddenly, my left hand and arm felt numb and heavy. I couldn’t close my fist. My left side of my lips started tingling and my face started drooping. I began noticing that it was difficult to find words. I didn’t want to worry him. It would all go away, right? WRONG!

My symptoms began worsening and I yelped out with fear and crocodile tears that it was happening again. I was in panic mode. You mean, all of the surgery issues didn’t change this? I’m still having issues? My husband looked me in the eyes, held my hands, and assured me I was ok. But, I was devastated.

He began calling my OBGYN and neurologist to see if I could take my migraine meds with the other meds I was on post-operation. They both called back and approved it. They meds help subside some of the headache and the symptoms. They both explained it could take 2-4 weeks for us to know if the removal of the Essure will “fix” my problem.

So, the next few weeks will be crucial for my recovery. We aren’t sure yet if we found the answer, but we are sure we serve a faithful and loving God whose guiding us every step of this scary journey!

Springtime Calving Season

Spring time means it’s calving season in our pasture! Honestly, it’s my favorite time of the year. The feeling of crisp air in the mornings, the budding of wildflowers, the sprouting of new growth in the hay fields, and gazing into the pasture to see newborn calves running around makes my heart skip a few beats.

If you’ve never been around a newborn calf and his momma, it’s a always a fun experience. A cow has that distinct “parent instinct” to defend and protect. She will fight tooth and nail to protect her child. She can sense trouble from across the pasture and dares any, and all trouble, to come between her and her new calf.

Likewise, a newborn calf leans on the protection of his mom to survive in this world. He hides under her belly for protection and relies on the herd to keep him safe.

This reminds me a lot of how our relationship with Jesus, and other believers, should be. Like a mother cow, Jesus stands ready and willing to take on our battles for us. He fights for us daily, even when we aren’t aware of it.

In his letter to the church of Ephesus, Paul tells us that we do not fight wars of flesh blood in this world, rather we fight spiritual wars (is (Ephesians 6:12). So, why would we try to fight our battles on our own and leave Jesus out of the equation?

Maybe we should learn to be more like a newborn calf, and let our Father stand in the gap and go to battle for us. We should drop the worry of the unknown, and place the future in His hands.

On the same note, if you don’t have a “herd” of believers to stand in your gap to pray with you, and for you, when you’re in the trenches of life, you’re missing out! I encourage you to find a Bible believing church, or group of friends, and learn to lean on one another as you venture into the pasture with Jesus as your guide.

Happy Trails Y’all!

– Rachel

a {new} journey

Howdy friends! It has been a looooong while since I’ve posted (almost 2 years to be exact)! Lots has happened in that time span.  It’s really too much to tell about.

However, I am going to let you in on a secret of mine.  In case you didn’t know, I like to write and ramble about the craziness and excitement of our lives.  If you follow me on social media, you already know that!

Believe it or not, I do keep some things to myself,  like the secret I am about to share.  Let’s pause for a moment to be honest here because — My palms are sweaty.  My heart is racing. And, I’m currently searching for ANY topic to talk about so I can avoid what’s coming. But, here it is!

Over the last few months, God has placed it on my heart to combine my passion for Him and my passion for writing into a new journey.  While I’m still not sure what that’s supposed to look like exactly, I’ve started taking baby steps! In January, I created a Facebook group devoted to Bible journaling.  I seriously thought I would have maybe 20 people join my journey, and that was really stretching my vision.  {{ YALL!! }} God showed up BIG time and my little group has almost 1,000 followers! Wait! What?!?! That’s like 50 times more than my hopes! I don’t know why I am always amazed when He shows up, but I am! Maybe, humbled is a better word than amazed.  The God that created the heavens and the stars, raised folks from the dead, caused blind men to see, and the lame to walk, still cares enough about us today to show up BIG time in our daily lives.  It’s truly breath-taking to sit and reflect upon!

isaiah 55

So, I realized, He’s got this! He has a plan much greater than my poor little mind can fathom, and I just need to run with it.  That’s where the hard part comes in. I’ve spent that last month praying for a vision.  Praying that God would take this thought of channeling my love for writing into doing something for Him. I’ve gone through at least 4 mechanical pencils and 2 ink pens, probably more but my husband tells me I exaggerate my stories too much, so I’m just going to stop at 6 writing utensils. 🙂   My purse has been full of half written notes and ideas for weeks.  My planner is full of random thoughts in every empty space.  The notes section of my phone has been cluttered with notes that have been deleted and recovered on more than one occasion. The poor trash cans in our home have been overflowing with paper balls of ideas I thought were worthless.

I’ve cried. I’ve laughed. I’ve argued with God. I’ve found every reason NOT to get serious and finish (or start) something that resembled writing for Jesus. Then, during a small conversation at lunch today, it hit me.  Just DO the thing! A sweet friend told me today, “If God gave you a desire, you need to do it.”  Ok, maybe those weren’t her EXACT words, but they are close enough.

So, here I am.  Being strong and courageous (as per my New Year’s resolution), and sharing with you the first product of this new “thing” (for lack of a better word). Here’s the big secret — the rEvEaL of  my very first, peronally written, Scripture Writing Plan.

image1

I don’t what the future holds for the rest of this journey, but here’s to this BOLD beginning and sweet friends who encouraged me to take a leap! I’ll be sharing this plan with by Bible journaling group throughout the month of February.  If you want in on the fun, join us by clicking HERE.

Happy Trails!

Rachel

Beyond the Bride

  
It was finally here! The day I had planned for over a year. The countless hours spent picking out the perfect invitations, stuffing hundreds of envelopes, finding a beautiful gown with matching shoes, preparing our hand written vows, arranging bouquets with my mom, planning a perfect reception menu, booking a photographer, a band, and venue, were finally over. I was about to change my name from Ms. to Mrs., and my whole world would change for the better! 

The wedding day was everything I had dreamed of and more! My dress was gorgeous. My daddy teared up as he gave me away. And, the church was packed with our family and friends. But, the best part was the moment my adorable husband and I vowed to love each other unconditionally and to always put God first in our home. 

 

Upon the completion of our vows, I knew that my next step was to transform from a blushing bride to a wonderful wife. 6 years later, I realize that all of the stress, all of the worrying, and all of the planning to have a perfect day would only be a precious memory. You see, being a bride isn’t the important factor in getting married. Rather, living and experiencing life with the man you prayed for, the man you trust with your heart, and the man you believe God sent just for you, is what the transformation from bride to wife is all about. After all, it’s how you handle your  life beyond the bride that makes a marriage strong! 

Stayed tuned for tips to having a happy home with your spouse! 

 Happy Trails! 💙Rachel 

Dear lady at IHOP…

You don’t know my family or our story, and I don’t yours. Through our small conversation, we discovered we are both educators. But, your gentle smile and kind words revealed so much more about you than you realize. 

You see, the precious child you spoke to, hasn’t forgotten the 5 simple words you joyfully directed towards her. 

I LOVE your eyepatch! 

That’s it. Those 5 words made her eyes light up with glee and her swell with pride! She appears to be a happy go-lucky child on the outside. And, although my daughter in a pretty princess in our eyes, she often worries about her glasses and her eyepatch. She makes comments such as:

Mommy why do my eyes have to cross? 

Mommy the kids will laugh at my eye patch. 

Mommy, I want to be pretty like you without glasses. 

Oh my heart breaks when she says these things. No matter how many times I tell her that she is ALWAYS beautiful, her young heart is still brittle. So, thank you kind lady for being sweet to my child and letting her know that her eyepatch doesn’t define her! 

Thank you for reminding me that I am able to show the love of Jesus without ever speaking His name. The joy that lit up your face made it evident that Jesus is alive in you! 

Sincerely,

A grateful momma!  

 

Where is God now? 

Alone in the still and quiet, tears begin flowing, and your mind starts racing, yet no thought sticks except…

Where is God now? 

The God I learned about in Sunday School was a God of love, a God of miracles, a God who saves! Where is that God now? I’ve been told His Word is true through eternity.   If that is so, how did He let this happen to me?

Where is His love? Where is His miracle? Where is His salvation? 

 {Admit it} At some point in time, we have all sheltered these thoughts, these doubts, these fears in the back room of our hearts. Inevitably we all have faced a season in life where God didn’t seem to exist. It felt as if He were too busy elsewhere to comfort us or hear our needs!

For me, that time has come twice in recent years. The first was during the birth of Kynlee. How could a God who loved me let me endure this? Didn’t He understand my passion was to be a mother? I strongly desired to have more than one child. I wanted to be able to have the chance to give my husband a son and my father a grandson. I wanted to be able to fulfill their dreams and to have several children! Yet, I almost lost my first born child and now I’m told I cannot physically have anymore? Isn’t God a God of miracles? Couldn’t He perform a miracle and just give us another child? 

  
The 2nd time I felt these thoughts was much more recent. In July of this year our family lost a precious woman. My first cousin passed away in a terrible tragedy, leaving behind three grieving children, a torn mother, two heart broken sisters, and a family crushed by grief.  Our family was devastated! How could God allow this to happen? Couldn’t He have saved her? If He had just reached out, she would still be here! It isn’t fair for those kids to live their lives without their mother’s love and touch. It isn’t fair for a mom to have to plan the funeral of her first born. It isn’t fair for two sisters to have to learn to live without talking to their big sis each day. It isn’t fair for a family to be left with so many questions. Where’s God’s love now?

During both of those times, I felt I had lost my joy! How can you be joyful when your world is falling apart? How do you cry out to a God who seems to have forgotten you? 

Yet, there in the stillness, this hymn came to mind….

 

Three simple words {Because He lives}! That’s it! My soul didn’t need a miracle, or a savior, or a new love! It already contained all I needed to restore my joy. Paul tells us in Phillipians that to live is Christ. I like to say loving Christ is to live. Not only because He lives can I face tomorrow, but because He lives in Me, all fear is gone! 

 

Although the tears still flow and my heart still breaks, I am able to go on living joyfully because my Hope is Anchored in Him. Jesus alone can heal, can restore, and can refresh! Although our plans don’t always match up with His, He promises to be with us every step of the way.  

I don’t think we ever get past tragedies and scarring memories in our lives. But, we have a choice! We can use each memory as a crutch to stay hidden in our own corner, pushing God and all others away, or we can use each memory as chance to glorify Him! Undoubtedly in every situation, He has a greater purpose! Are you willing to trust in Him and let Him use you? Are you willing to give your grief, your fear, your sadness to Jesus?

He simply asks ::: Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.  — Matthew 11:28

Jesus, I humbly and boldly ask you to bless those of us traveling through a scary and unknown place of grief or sadness.  It may seem as if all hope, all joy, and all comfort has forsaken us. Oh, how easy it is to hide from you and grieve alone. But, we know you are the Great Physician! Only you can heal us. I ask that you would give us courage and strength to face our trials head on and live victoriously through you. I know you have a purpose and plan for each of us and I am trusting you to restore our joy and reveal yourself to us. In Jesus’ precious name I call…..Amen! 

💛 Happy Trails! – Rachel