My Favorite View ♥️

Out of all the views in the world — the endless ocean, the magical sunsets, the beautiful forests and mountains — this is by far my favorite one.

The first thing my husband does every morning is sit with his Bible. He knows that every answer, ounce of strength, instruction to live, and secret to everlasting joy is found in these words — found in his Maker.

And because he takes this time serious, our daughter and I get to reap the benefits. I have a man I can trust, honor, and yes, even that controversial “s word” — submit to. 

Obviously not submit as a doormat like the culture thinks of the term, but let him have the final say as the leader of our home. 

Why? 

Because I trust the Lord. I trust what God is doing in Matt’s life. I trust that He brought Matt and I together. I trust God’s design for the home — a husband and wife, equal in worth and dignity, yet carrying two distinct roles.

I can trust because I see Matt not only read the Book of Life every day, but he also implements it. He follows Jesus which ensures me that I can follow him.

Single ladies, wait for a man who dedicates his life to following Jesus. I promise you it will be worth it. Even if it takes much longer than you could ever imagine (like it did for me). 

IT.WILL.BE.WORTH.IT 💗

How to Overcome the Fear of Loss

Have you ever been let down in a big way?

Maybe a failed relationship.

Perhaps childhood experiences that left you unable to feel as though you could trust anyone.

Or even a death of a parent, friend, or child.

It changes you doesn’t it?

The slow sting of brokenness and death almost become paralyzing.

Will I ever love again? Will I ever trust again? Is it even possible for me? I am afraid to get hurt. I’m petrified of experiencing loss and grief again. It’s easier to stay back in the safety and comfort of isolation.

I struggled with these feelings A LOT. The experiences of brokenness in my home as a child led me to believe I should expect the worst will happen to me. And then as an adult, sometimes the worst did happen. The death of my father in my 20s was at the top of the list.

What do we do when we’ve experienced loss after loss and disappointment after disappointment?

It is easier to stay safe and not open ourselves up to the opportunity of another loss.

It’s easy to say we’re a “strong independent woman who doesn’t need anyone.”

But what kind of life is that? What if God was offering you more?

I met Matt (my now husband) in the late summer of 2019. We dated and sadly most of the time I was waiting for the next shoe to drop.

My previous relationships clearly didn’t work out, so why would this one? There were times I struggled with a deep sense of fear of loss. In a weird way, I looked for the “red flags” and reasons for it not to work. Reasons for me to to stay in the “safe, dark, motionless, airless” casket as C.S. Lewis would say.

But the red flags weren’t there. The reasons for me to walk away weren’t there. The self-preservation wasn’t needed. God was with me.

I had to ask this very serious, but simple question:

Where does my trust lie?

If my trust lies with myself or in man, it will always be broken because this world is broken. I will get hurt again. I will be let down. I will be disappointed. We live in a fallen world and even our best friends will fail us.

But do you know what will never fail us?

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.—Psalm 18:2

You see, we can’t go through life trying to be our own refuge, our own shield, our own deliverer.

Jesus makes it very clear what will happen if we try to save ourselves:

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” — Matthew 16:25

The moment we attempt to play God over our life, is the moment we’ve lost; we’re out of step with the will of God.

Can the will of God for my life be heartbreak? Or grief?

Well, if you believe that God is the creator of all things, that everything holds together through Him, that He knows the number of hairs on your head, the days of life you will live, that He thought of you before the foundation of the world, and named every star in the sky… If you believe in this almighty, all-powerful God who is in full control of all things – then yes.

Of course we know from scripture that He hates to see His children suffer. But for reasons that are above our understanding, He allows certain events to happen in our life (even horrible, terrible, seemingly pointless ones) that ultimately weave together into the promises that He has for those who follow and trust Him.

What good could come out of such loss and suffering? is a question I’m sure the disciples thought as they watched their Lord get crucified. But little did they know the good that really was to come from that horrific event!

Job experienced more tragedy than most of us will ever face in a lifetime. He had every reason in the world to develop a hard heart. But look what God did through his life and how much the story of Job has helped millions of people throughout history.

In a strange way, I am thankful for many of my hardships. They have not only humbled me and shaped me, but they have shown me the love of God in deep and tangible ways — ways I may have never have understood had I not suffered.

So how do we overcome the fear of loss?

Like any other fear — we face it head on. We surrender it to God. We trust that when we get hurt, disappointed, or lose a loved one, God will never leave us nor forsake us. We remind ourselves that this world is not our home. It is a dim depiction of what is to come.

We can hold loosely to the things of the earth because we are held tightly by the arms of our father.

Life is fallen and broken here. We can choose to hide and protect ourselves OR we can put our faith in the one who calms a storm with the mere sound of His voice.

You get to decide every single day.

My days look different now. 🙂

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” — 1 Corinthians 2:19

3 months of marriage.

I still can’t believe I’m married, let alone celebrating three months of marriage today! Never would I have imagined the story God has written for my life and/or the events leading up to October 25, 2020 (my wedding day). I met Matt (my husband) in September 2019 after only living in New Jersey for a month. After about two months of friendship and some fun dates, he asked me to be his girlfriend. And after eight months of being his girlfriend, he asked me to be his fiancé. After three months of being his fiance, I became his wife. I know many would say we are in our “honeymoon phase” of marriage, but truly, it’s been the sweetest three months of my life.

MARRIAGE IS A GIFT FROM GOD
I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get married and frankly there were times when I didn’t know if I even wanted to! Once I became a Christian at 24, I wanted to dedicate my life to telling others about the truth, hope, and freedom of Jesus. I thought a spouse could possibly be a distraction. BUT the more I learned about the covenant between God and His people, as well as the beauty and joy of marriage and family, there was a part of me that desired to have that. I grew up in a difficult home with multiple divorces and lots of instability. I hadn’t really experienced what a healthy marriage or family looked like until I started hanging out with families at my church. And after babysitting and dinners at these families’ houses, I knew I wanted those things and that they were good gifts from above. It’s so weird to think that nowadays if you’re a woman and desire a husband and children, it can be looked at as a “weakness” because we are supposed to be “strong, independent women who don’t need a man.” But why? Before I was a Christian, I used to buy into that narrative for a sense of identity and worth, but I was so wrong. I love having a husband and being his wife and cooking, cleaning, and serving him because I love him. He loves me SO WELL and my natural response is to do the same. He is my lover, my protector, and my best friend. He’s my partner in this life to help me, correct me, embrace me, and lead me. He is by far God’s greatest gift to me outside of salvation; marriage is such a gift.

Trust God with a future spouse
Thinking through these past three months, I’ve also been reflecting on the waiting/hoping for marriage season. I’d love to write more on singleness (stay tuned for future blog posts). But I’ll be real and say that it was a rollercoaster at times! FRIENDS, I didn’t meet Matt until I was 32!!! Which I know isn’t as old as I’m making it out to be, but when most of your friends around you are getting married and poppin’ out kids, it can be discouraging. However, I will say if I didn’t have those many (and I do mean many) years of singleness, I don’t think I’d be as close to Jesus as I am, or have as deep of an affection for His Word. Being single gives you a lot more freedom in stewardship of time (which can be good or bad). But during my single years, I am SO THANKFUL I gave much of my time to my church, education, family, friends, mentoring young women, leading Bible studies, mission trips, apologetics, etc. I really think the Lord used those areas to help in my sanctification (i.e. being made more into the image of Jesus). But do you know what else helped in my sanctification? Bad dates and failed relationships. 

Let me tell you, dating kinda sucks in 2019+!!! If you’re reading this and have been married for 5+ years, you may not get what I mean. So let me explain – All the dating apps and websites, the wishy-washy, social-media infused dating experience can be just terrible. If you were sitting across from me on my couch right now, I’d have plenty of stories to tell you, just ask my friends Whitney or Taylor. BUT, to be an encouragement to any single friends reading this, there ARE incredible, godly men (and women) out there! They could be on the dating site, or they could be at your church, but they are there!! Since my job for literally 5 years was to meet people and still did not meet my spouse, I was pretty discouraged. Yes, I was on staff at a church and it was literally part of my job to meet new people at weekend services. For a while I struggled with “There really must be something wrong with me..” But then I would get the confusing question people asked me “How are you still single?” Which gave me some sense of relief that maybe I am normal and it wasn’t my fault. LOL (not joking) But after many heartbreaks and disappointments of falling in love with the idea of someone, I finally started to realize that the answer to how or why I was still single is: the sovereignty of God. 

Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 16:33 – The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

Lamentations 3:37-38 – Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?

Matthew 10: 29-31 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Yes, I believe it was God’s gracious, loving, perfect plan that kept me spouse-less for all those years. He is my loving Father and no good thing does He withhold from me (Psalm 84:11), and the reality is, if I didn’t have it, it wasn’t a good thing for me at that time (no matter how much I thought otherwise). And although I think I stewarded much of my single years well, there were some very hard times when I felt deep despair and doubt. BUT God being richin mercy kept me close to Him (even when I didn’t feel Him at times). I love Ephesians 1:11-12: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.”

So whether married, single, widowed, divorced, childless, or a house full of crazy children – TRUST IN THE LORD ALWAYS. Even when things feel horrendous and out of control and you want to give up, CLING TO THE GOSPEL. Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us and as women of the truth, we must trust in the truth of the gospel above everything else.

first week of marriage.

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him…” 1 Corinthians 2:9

I have been married for almost a week now to the most incredible man I’ve ever known! He’s my best friend and my favorite partner to do ordinary daily life with. I can’t imagine a day without him. 💕

And as sweet as that may sound, I know it’s no where near as amazing as it will be to stand in the presence of Jesus one day.

Which I know to some, that might sound crazy! But if we belong to the Lord, we know that even the most incredible, beautiful gifts on earth are just dim depictions of eternity.

My wedding day was so beautiful and outside of my salvation, the most important day of my life.

But The Wedding Day when Christ is finally reunited with His bride (the church), will be a day that no eye has seen or eat heard, or heart imagined… We will finally be one with our Maker.