Tag Archives: Growth

A Faith Better Than Our Circumstance

Who You Are

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For the past 5 years I have had an air freshener on my rear view mirror. It’s a cross with big blue letters that read, “Be still and know that I am God.” The smell is long gone and age has definitely set in but every time I think about taking it down I just can’t bring myself to do it.

You see, my high school librarian gave me that air freshener as a graduation gift and it was with me in some of the toughest situations I have ever endured. I would look at it when I was homeless or driving to one of my many jobs.

I would glimpse at that cross when I was in pain wondering why I had to go through life alone. It was my reminder that He was with me through it all.

This air freshener would tell me that God was in control and I need not worry. I still look at it daily and it means more to me now than it ever has. I have walked through the wilderness and God has brought me to my promised land.

I am writing this story because I want you to know a very important truth: You never know who you impact.

It took me years to truly understand how much my librarian helped me and it took me even longer to voice it to her. My librarian and quite a few high school teachers walked along side me in some pretty tough mud that I’m sure they weren’t certain I would get out of.

But guess what??? They also walked with me through my promised land too. One of my favorite memories is when three of my teachers crowded around me for a picture on my wedding day.

wedding

They believed in me and that is the faith that God has called us to live. Being still and knowing who God is doesn’t mean that everything is perfect and it certainly doesn’t mean we are in control.

It means that we trust in a God that knows the end result even if it takes years to fully develop. My job is a hard one. I see kids in some of the worst situations. Some leave to a happy place while others leave in handcuffs.

No matter what, I don’t know what the end will look like for any of them. When I drive home I look at that cross and remember that I serve a God that knows every one of my kids’ situations.

What situation are you dealing with today? What uncertainty do you see? Trust in God and know that He has everything taken care of.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

 

 

What My College Degree Means to Me

Our Circumstances2

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I walked to the stage in amazement. I never thought I would get here but I did. They announced my name and gave me my diploma. I could hardly hold back the tears.

I worked so hard for this.
I almost gave up so many times because it was so hard.
I shed so many tears trying to get to this place right here, right now.

6 years ago I was isolated and alone. I had dropped out of high school for over a year but managed to graduate on time by the grace of our Heavenly Father. College seemed to good for a girl like me.

That’s where the smart people went. You know, the ones with parents that believed in them and actually prepared them for it. I got shoved into a community college and until the first day of class, I didn’t know that college had a different schedule.

I didn’t realize that you didn’t go to school from 8am-3pm. Talk about a wake up call.

I felt so different and stupid compared to the other kids who actually seemed somewhat put together. There were so many nights with little sleep because school and working full time didn’t always mix.

I continued on and pushed myself forward, looking toward the finish line, uncertain of my future. The Lord is so faithful. 

Now I have parents and a huge support system cheering me on. Somehow they knew I could do it even when I didn’t think I could. They never let me give up. They listened to my cries and cheered me on all the way to the finish line.

As I held that bachelors degree as tight as I could with my cap and gown on I was so full of thankfulness. I am thankful that the Lord took a broken girl and did the impossible. He managed to make her a graduate not once, but twice.

He saw something in her that she didn’t know she had. He pursued her with everything He had and He constantly reminded her that His ways are no limit to her circumstances. 

He gave her healing.
He gave her parents.
He gave her an amazing husband.
He proved to her that she wasn’t as stupid as she thought she seemed.
He showed her that she was worthy.

Everything that was taken from her, God in His gracious love redeemed. That my friends is what my college degree means to me.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

 

God Knows When We Don’t

 

Wilderness Moments

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Have you ever had one of those seasons where you just don’t know what to do? You know, when you don’t feel like the Lord is directing your path and you are just waiting in limbo for Him to respond so you can move? Well that’s been me for the last six months.

I am about to graduate college with a broad degree, and I have a background in every single job you can imagine. I knew that God had a specific plan for me that aligned with my past and my passions but I just couldn’t figure out what that was.

I felt like I was in a box. I was in a situation where I literally had to take it one day at a time and wait on the Lord to tell me what to do. In what seemed like a million years and some, He did! Kind of…

I thought to myself, “Yea! no more wilderness for me! This season is FINALLY over.” Well…  I was wrong. Now I know what to do I just have to wait. My wilderness season involves me knowing His plans, but being patient and trusting that God will work everything out.

I am learning that life is full of wilderness moments. In Exodus we see  the  Israelite’s wandering in the wilderness and I tend to think of that as a one-time thing but as I am relating it to my life I am noticing they actually experienced quite a few.

They were in a wilderness when they were slaves. They were in a wilderness when they were leaving Egypt and escaping, not knowing if they were going to get out alive. Every day they had to trust that God had a plan and that He would provide for them.

They had some up’s and down’s but God was with them the whole time and HE DID lead them to their promised land.

It’s the same way with us too. I’m holding on to the promise that God doesn’t waste anything. Will you join me by remembering that promise for your life as well?

His plans for your life are good. A God that knows the number of every hair on our head certainly knows the outcome of our situation.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

Life and the Storms: This, Too, Shall Pass

It was a bright and sunny day and the temperature was perfect. Although I felt like winter lasted forever, the amazing weather I saw made me think that things were going to lighten up and boy, was I excited. I was ready for the warmer weather, and all that came with it like trips to the lake, pretty flowers, and walks outside.

I looked at my phone to find a notification from a local news station informing me that the area was under a severe thunderstorm warning. I scoffed at my phone in disbelief because from what I had observed, there was no way a storm was possible. The weather was amazing and there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. A couple hours later the meteorologist proved me wrong, and the storm came down hard.

As I sat on my couch listening to the rain fall and thunder bellow outside my house I couldn’t help but think that this is what life is all about…

I was reminded that life is full of up’s and downs. The adversary has undesired surprises hidden in every corner. One moment things are fine and then bam, you are hit with an unexpected expense or sickness. Happiness is drowned in the midst of a storm. Through all the hardships that come from life, I am so thankful that my God is in control.

This too shall pass

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Are you going through a storm right now? Were you hit with a situation that seemed to knock you right off of your feet? Take heart, my dear friend, because our troubles won’t last forever. Our loving God is full of comfort and guidance. Even if you can’t see Him, He is present in your situation and there is hope because  this, too, shall pass

Thirteen Miles of Grace

I jumped out of bed as quickly as I could. Normally 6:17am hardly qualifies as late on a Saturday morning but in this case it did because I was supposed to be at the starting line of my half marathon that was thirty minutes away.

Even though the race didn’t start until 7am, it was necessary to get there 30 minutes early because there were 2,600 other runners that needed to line up too. Thanks to my alarm clock I was now running extremely late. I had less than 15 minutes to reach my destination.

I threw on my clothes and grabbed my stuff. My husband and I headed out the door as quickly as we could. God had favor on me and I arrived to the half marathon with 5 minutes to spare. I had a few problems though…

My late schedule caused me to run out the door without eating anything or even going to the bathroom. This meant that I had to run 13.1 miles with an empty stomach and full bladder. Running a half marathon is hard enough. Frankly, I didn’t need anything else to make it worse.

As I stood there in running position, waiting on the race to start Paul’s words from 2nd Corinthians 12:9 began to echo in my head. Over and over again I heard.

Grace

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So when the race began I held on to those words. As my feet hit the pavement I thanked God for my ability to run and begged him to help me get through this race. I finished the race in awesome timing. My goal was to run the half marathon in 2 hours in 15 minutes.

did it in 2 hours and 14 minutes. Yup, I beat my time by one minute even though I was running on no food. God’s power worked in my weakness. He helped me through the whole thing. 

Have you ever had one of those moments when you just thought that you couldn’t do it because you didn’t feel strong enough? Well heres the thing, you aren’t strong enough, but your Creator is.

His power works best in your weakness so sit back because He has got your back.

~Lovelle ❤

A New Meaning to My Half Marathons

As I peeled off the sticker that had remained on my car for what seemed like forever I began to remember the significance of my first half marathon. I remember that race like it was yesterday. I was so overwhelmed with thankfulness that I cried. With the Lord’s help I had ran 13.1 miles and completed a race that I never would have even imagined competing in.

In the process of three years, I had successfully lost 80 pounds and was healthier than I had ever been before. To me, my half marathon symbolized how far God had brought me and how He would continue to push me even farther.

The day after my half marathon I purchased a sticker at a local running store. It said 13.1 and once that sticker was on my car, everyone who drove by would know that the girl in the ruby red Ford Fiesta ran a half marathon.

As far as I was concerned, I had earned my bragging rights. I had literally earned that sticker with my own sweat and tears. 

Here’s the reality; Everyone could see that I ran 13.1 miles, but they couldn’t what God did for me. 

So two half marathons later with a third on the way, I found myself taking off the 13.1 sticker that I had become so proud of. I didn’t take it off because it was old; in fact, those large black numbers could be seen a mile away.

I was taking off the sticker because with every scrape, I was one step closer to completing an even bigger race. My life isn’t about my success and in no way do I ever want to glorify myself, so with one last scrape, the remains of the sticker were gone and a new symbol was made that day.

13.1

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The absence of the sticker was the beginning of my discipline. In that moment, I promised God that I would run as fast as I could towards His presence and that day I made a commitment to give Him the rightful glory He deserves for  EVERYTHING He has done.

~ Lovelle ❤

What I Learned From My Dog: Approaching God Without Expectations

When my husband told me that I could get a dog for my birthday, I was over-the-moon excited! I love dogs but I had never had a stable home environment so it had never been possible. With that decision came expectations.

We wanted to adopt though the Paws for Prison Program. Through this program, the dogs are taken out of a shelter and trained by prisoners. After their training they can be adopted out. I was scared of training a dog because I did not have the attention span or ability and I thought that this program would give me the ability to be a better dog owner since they did the training for me. So with those expectations in place and a determination to adopt the perfect dog, I applied.

I got so excited when they called me about the dog I had applied for. I was almost certain that I would get the dog and we would live happily ever after… And then I got turned down. I was a little disappointed but I tried again.

I filled out the paperwork and got another call back only to find out the dog I had applied for got really hurt and could not be adopted out.

Really???” I told my mom. “How hard can it be to adopt a dog?

Be patient” she said. “God will give you the perfect dog.

Like all moms out there, she was right. We went into PetSmart to get cedar chips for a dog we were watching only to find out they were showing dogs from the local animal shelter. I walked over to the area where all of the dogs were and sat down. To my surprise the most precious dog walked underneath my chair and planted himself right in between my legs.

My husband looked at me and said, “I think that dog chose you.” He had, and we brought our baby home two days later.  His name is Buford.

The funny thing is that our dog did not fit the expectations we had put in place. He didn’t come from the program we wanted to go though and he was bigger than we originally wanted.

I was so scared of training, but our dog was potty trained within two days, and through the program we have him in, he is learning a lot of commands. Our trainer says he is one of the smartest dogs he has ever seen.

Buford

God did give me the perfect dog! I couldn’t ask for a better workout buddy. It turns out Buford was neglected by his previous owners. All he really wanted was love and well, God knew I had more than enough to give him. I had worried for nothing.

I learned through this situation that we shouldn’t approach God with expectations. He has a plan and it will come to pass. The moment we let fear of failure cause us to take matters into our own hands is the moment we will fail. 

What expectations are you approaching God with? What has got you scared today? Know that God has got your life in the palm of his hands and He will neither leave nor forsake you {Deuteronomy 31:6}. When it comes down to it, our life has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with Him and who He is.