It Won’t Always Be This Way

A few weeks ago, I was able to mark off #16 on my #30Before30 list…that is, “See a great concert.” I’m not an expert on musical greatness, but in my opinion, The Rend Collective did not disappoint.

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(Driving to The Underground – Fall 2014)

As I stood there with my arms raised, singing my heart out, I couldn’t help but reflect on the last time I’d found myself at The Underground in Cincinnati. Standing in that same venue merely a year before, the condition of my heart and my life were very different.

Mom and the Girls

(The Underground – Summer 2013)

I had bought a ticket to see a concert with my mom and sisters. I was determined to go along with the fun, even if I wasn’t feeling it. Dustin and I were freshly separated, and I was more broken than I even realized at the time. I found myself surrounded by music and hundreds of singing voices. It was the perfect moment to lose myself in the pain. I think I cried through half of the concert. I cried out to God, but I was completely unsure when or if He would make a change in our lives.

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Fast forward to a year(ish) later, and I’m singing out to the LORD, thanking Him that He did indeed change us. He gave us far greater things than we could have ever imagined or prayed for. He completely rewrote our love story. Our family is whole, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before.

Through all the heartache and trials, my mom said to me continually, “You wake up today, and you do what you know God wants you to do TODAY.” In a time that felt so terrifying and unsure, that was the best advice I could have been given.

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I sang the chorus to “Trust and Obey” so many times through our separation, and I will always cherish that hymn. Had Dustin or I thrown in the towel and walked away from God’s commands about our union, we would have never gotten to experience the redemption and glory of a marriage restored.

I’ve learned that no matter what you are experiencing in this very moment, it won’t always be this way. Whether it be happiness or gloom, it will come to pass. Learn from the pain. Cherish the good times. Savor the joy in every passing moment.

If someone would have told me where I’d be today back at that first concert, I would have never believed it. A years time can make all the difference. So hold fast, trust and obey even if it hurts, and “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

#30Before30 Strikes Again!

This morning I got to mark off another box on my #30Before30 list!

#14 WE PAID OFF A CREDIT CARD! WOOHOO!

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One of our biggest goals is to become debt free, so that we can have freedom to follow wherever God decides to lead us without financial burdens weighing us down. That being said, we haven’t had a lot of success in this department in the past, because…well frankly, it all comes down to discipline and sacrifice. We are striving to better steward the money God gives us. It is all His, and we want to use it for His glory!

When I opened my list to mark off #14, I got to mark off another box that I accomplished earlier this month. Two in one month! Living it up!

#15 Take Josiah horseback riding!

We got to accomplish this one while we were on vacation in Tennessee with the Dummel Family. We stayed in a gorgeous cabin in the mountains, and one day we made our way to Deer Farm Riding Stables in Pigeon Forge. We road a horse called “Squirrel” who was very well trained and calm. The tour guide was amazing with kids, despite being quite young. I was very impressed, and although Josiah was scared at first, he kept saying, “This is fun, Mommy!” I loved every minute of it.

Josiah and Momma Riding Galahad

Not to be all sappy, but this was so meaningful for me.

One of the biggest elements of my story is overcoming fear.

When I was 12, I road a horse that scared the living day lights out of me. It probably wasn’t that traumatizing in real life, but I was a scared kid, and for years I refused to even go near a horse. When I decided it was time to face my many fears in this life, I knew I had to take Josiah horseback riding someday. I hope this experience showed him that it’s okay to take risks, because you give God more opportunities to bless you. And what a blessing it was! Thank You, Jesus!