Tag Archives: Shame

Mustard Seed Miracle

For 10 years we prayed for you, tried for you, and wept at the thought of never knowing you. For 10 years we received promise after promise from God that one day we would hold you. And now miracle baby you can know without a shadow of a doubt that you were wanted, loved, and predestined to come into this world for such a time as this.

This is not the typical “We’re having a baby” announcement, but our story has never been typical…for those who want to know more, the journey is detailed below.

My Story:

Infertility is a painful road. This is an encouragement for all the invisible aching women. I see you. For every Mother’s Day that passes and your arms remain empty. For every test you throw away because there was only one line. For every long cycle that leaves you guessing if you’re actually pregnant or your body is just playing tricks on you again. For every pain from PCOS or endometriosis that robs you of your birthright as a woman. For every baby shower you attend with a forced smile. For every child you long to hold and snuggle but can’t. For every friendship that’s shifted because they have 3 kids now and you still have none. For every marriage relationship that’s strained because the pain is just too great. For every insensitive comment you endure because they don’t understand. For every day you puke for no reason, or bleed nonstop for months on end. For all the procedures and endless doctor’s appointments that yield bleak results. For all the things I never had to endure like infertility treatments, miscarriages and stillbirths. For every lie you believe that this is your fault. This story is for you. Because the strongest piece of encouragement I ever received in my journey was “If you can’t hope right now, I’ll stand in that gap and hope for you.”

So many times I was tempted to believe that it was my fault we couldn’t get pregnant. After all it was my body that seemed to be broken. But in 2016 I received what seemed like a random phone call from a dear lady who had heard from the Lord regarding me (she did not know the shame I had been wrestling with and had not spoken to me in years). She said, “The Lord wants you to know this is not your fault and He will heal you and set you free.”

Fast forward 1 year later in 2017 I was praying about our future children and family specifically asking the Lord for the desires of my heart and I heard a word I’d never heard before drop into my spirit, “Eliyanah” which later I looked up and it is Hebrew for “God has answered me”. I’ve cherished that moment for the last few years as it was such a personal gesture of love from my Lord.

9 months later in 2018 I was at Hillsong Color Conference and they were speaking on infertility. They shared that in the last year 256 miracle babies had been born since the previous year’s conference when women struggling with infertility had been specifically prayed over. The girl sitting in front of me approached me afterwards asking if I knew someone who was struggling with getting pregnant. When I told her my story she said relieved, “Oh good I heard from the Lord correctly – He wanted you to know this miracle is for you too.” She then told me her and her husband had tried for 9 years and ended up adopting from foster care and that she had just found out she was pregnant the previous weekend. She had been wearing a lightbulb necklace with a mustard seed in it for 9 years to remind her of Jesus’ words in Luke 17:6. She told me it was my turn to wear the necklace (the necklace I made from the lightbulb is pictured above)

Later that week I was prayed over by a dear friend and my mother. I received complete healing and deliverance from PCOS and Endometriosis – I know this because I felt an intense heat throughout my abdomen and reproductive system (The Holy Spirit is often described and associated with fire in the Bible) and for the last 2 years i have had normal cycles and no endo pain (I hadn’t had normal cycles for my entire life and had lived in excruciating pain for years from endo that resulted in 2 surgeries). God completely healed me that day. He had been faithful to pour hope into my barrenness throughout the entire 10 years of infertility – these are only a handful of moments out of countless where He would breathe life into my sails when I had sunk deep into despair.

Fast forward to December 2019. We now had 4 children in our home from foster care whose adoptions were just around the corner and SURPRISE! We were no longer trying and had tucked that promise from God up on a shelf where it was collecting dust. We never planned to have 5 children but God had other plans. We’re overwhelmed at his faithfulness.

For as long as I’ve struggled in this area I’ve always only wanted to do one thing, shout God’s glory from the mountain tops and proclaim His goodness and love through every ounce of suffering. Because y’all He is WORTHY! Even if I had never seen and experienced this miracle in my body He is still good and it’s way to easy to forget that. My only hope in sharing this journey in such detail is that it will encourage you to walk in faith, believe in miracles again – because I literally have one growing inside of me, and no matter your struggle don’t lose sight of hope because it is rooted in the Father’s love for you. YOU ARE LOVED BELOVED!!! Believe it, Rest in it, and Live it. (1 Peter 3:15, 1 Corinthians 13:13)

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Behind the Mask

Masks.

I am very familiar with masks. I began wearing them at a very young age. I would do anything and everything to become what I thought people wanted me to be. If they wanted funny I gave them funny. If they wanted smart, I would give them smart. If they wanted perfect I practically killed myself trying to obtain perfection. If they wanted remorseful I would act sorry. If they wanted beautiful, I spent hours analyzing my looks and perfecting my image till I met the world’s standard of beautiful.

All this hiding led me to a very dark place where my masks replaced my identity. I didn’t even know who I was without them.

Since I was little I’ve had a love of performing. I lived for people’s praises and for their applause. At first it started out as make believe, Disney princesses and such, but gradually it became my oxygen rather than a little girl’s pastime. I needed it to breathe, to feel alive and to feel accepted, liked and at times even loved. But it was an empty love.

I craved becoming someone else and disappearing behind a character. In high school I started acting and writing dramas, writing stories of characters that I could step into and become rather than offer the world myself. I was way more comfortable hiding behind scripts, costumes and other people’s pain… mine was just too overwhelming to face.

Sometimes at night, when all the lights were out and it was safe, I would slip that mask off revealing my tears. I remember crying out to God to forgive me for all the things I thought he wanted me to be that I wasn’t. But just as quickly as I revealed myself, I would slip that mask back on, because I couldn’t stand who I was without it…I didn’t know that person beneath the fake smiles and sarcastic humor and the friendly face. Underneath it all I hated myself and lived under a constant tyranny of shame and self-condemnation. How could Jesus love me, if I didn’t even love me?

I used food to try and numb my pain and drown out all the negative voices in my head. It became my constant companion and comfort in times of sadness. I hid behind baggy clothes and heavy jackets (just a different kind of mask) and lived a not so secret life chained to addiction. This is a battle I’ve been fighting my whole life and to this day I struggle with these unhealthy patterns.

It wasn’t until about 6 years ago, that I was finally hit with this simple but incredibly profound truth.  God loves me. I grew up in church, I have known this since I was a little girl or did I know it? ‘Yea ok God loves me’, but I never understood how he could like me.

Did you know the word Beloved appears over 100 times in the Bible? And most of the time it’s referring to you and me, or God’s Son Jesus?  Webster defines Beloved as: Dearly loved. A much loved person. It’s described with words like, Darling. Dearest. Cherished. Treasured. Admired. Adored.

Romans 9:25 “As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’ “ ESV

Ephesians 1:4 “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” NLT

 God calls us by the same name as He calls His precious Son, Beloved. Understanding what that means, that we are God’s Beloved…His deeply loved daughters…it changes everything.

This truth is continuing to change my life. Every day I am learning to offer the same love and grace towards myself that my Heavenly Father does. Because if he likes me, if He loves me then it gives me the freedom to like me and I don’t have to hide anymore. You see my addiction to food has just been a symptom of a really deep pain. My sin was that I kept pursuing a false self, I was pursuing acceptance and the praises of men, and I was covering up and denying my true self, denying who God created me to be. He’s calling the little girl inside all of us to come out of hiding, just as he called Adam and Eve out of hiding after they ate the forbidden fruit. His love, which called us into existence, calls us to come out of shame and self-hatred.

He invites us to step into the warm light of his unbearable forgiveness, endless love and acceptance just as we are, messy, broken, undeserving; yet, beloved daughters of the King. 

So lay down your mask Beloved and be fully known, rest in the arms of the Father who loves you like crazy and calls you His own. He is waiting, hand extended – all you have to do is reach back. 

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