It was just over a month ago, my hubby and I had put the kids to bed and then came downstairs to enjoy each other’s company in silence. I had been really struggling with my online life at that time. Honestly, ever since the Kickstarter ended, I wanted to crawl in a hole to never return. I felt the weight of guilt as SO MANY people rallied around me to give and share about our Kickstarter. Why was I wanting to run away from it all?!
Instead of doing just that, I pushed through with God. I pressed into Him, cried out and prayed, asked and listened. I talked to my husband and heard his wisdom, but in the end, God wasn’t saying to ‘do’ much but He did say, “Come, find rest in Me.”
During this time, I found myself online less, but when I would pop up and say something, I was loosing followers which I didn’t care about (I say amen to this post by Daniel Burkleo)but I took notice. I knew that not all could follow along with all I was dealing with as I allowed God to show me things in my own heart and speak to me through my grief. I was drained and had nothing spiritual to say, so why try? I was resting. Pictures of my kids, my life, but nothing much else to give.
I wondered what God was going to do from here. Would our story, Zekey’s story just fade away? A momma’s worst fear, after her worst nightmare comes true, is that her sweet child, my sweet Zekey’s light, would fade dim, into nothing as the wax ran out. It’s a lie. As we move forward, we are not leaving him behind, but inching our way into eternity, where, because of perfect love in Christ, we will all dwell in the House of the Lord forever. He is a part of me, in a strange way, in a non-theological way. His life left a mark on my soul that makes me more in love with Jesus and more thankful for The Cross. Hope runs through my veins because of such great loss.
That night, feeling overwhelmed by my own thoughts, fears and lies I was beginning to believe, I stumbled into a post by Casey Wiegand who has dealt with loss and heartache but continues to hold fast to what is true in Jesus. After reading, I was reminded that God is using our stories and showing His great love to all who will listen and hear.
I almost cried as I felt God’s sweet hand reminding me to write. I write for my own healing, it’s a gift from God to simply make my heart heal a little more. I write because so many of you find Hope when you didn’t before. I write because I know there are other mommas and familes out there who too are dealing with loss or simply wondering what else there is in this life.
Above all, I write, to proclaim, there is something greater and truer than anything the world has to offer. It is a love that goes beyond time and space. It is, Jesus Christ.
After I read her post, I hopped on over to my email and was a bit blown away, to say it lightly. I received an email from Casey and Danielle as they told me they love me, my story and wanted to know if I would speak at Hope Spoken next year.
I closed my email and sat there with tears rolling down my face. “God?! You are so good. You hear me, you love me and you’re still working through me. I am humbled and honored. Thank you for loving me more than I deserve.”
I told my husband in tears, in shock and we hugged in excitement. He’s always believed in me, more than anyone else ever has. God has used this man to help weed out the lies and fears I once believed so strongly, and I have grown so much in the gifts God has so graciously placed on my life. He wasn’t surprised, but he was extremely excited for me, and then asked if he could come too ; )
I didn’t ask to have a story of such Hope. I wouldn’t have if given the opportunity. I would rather have a pretty easy life, with Jesus returning before I had a chance to really suffer.
But, the world’s brokenness made it’s way into our story and in a big way. This gave great opportunity for God to prove in a BIGGER way, that His love and faithfulness goes beyond the tears and losses and struggles our family has dealt with. And He did. God has and continues to use our story, and I want to forever be willing to expose my hurts, tears and struggles as we share Jesus with all who come in our lives, whether online or in physical community. What an honor to be used by Him.
Sharing our stories, on whatever platform we have, great or small, God will use them. I encourage you to listen to Him, ask Him, how He wants to use you, and simply be willing.
May my life make You known to the world, Father.
When our hearts are right, there is no need to worry about how the words come out. You can ask Him to use you, or you can ask Him to move. He knows and you are loved so greatly and your story matters to Him.
Hope Spoken tickets go on sale May 1st and they literally sell out within hours of opening up sales- so plan ahead if you’re interested! Click here to read about the speakers for next year! I suggest following Hope Spoken on social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter– you’ll be blessed.
Yeah, I’m pinching myself.
At Hope Spoken, you’ll get to hear women speak who have stories to remind you that you’re not alone in your story and what you struggle with is a shared struggle with many others. I believe you’ll feel loved on, just as you are-wherever you are in your faith journey. You’ll not only grow spiritually, but in community and family. I LOVE what God is doing through these women.
Here are some photos from 2014 conference!
And photos from 2015!
I have watched this conference the last few years and obviously, love the message they are proclaiming- the message of Hope in Jesus that goes beyond our hurt and brokenness is my heart’s cry. I am so excited, honored and humbled (and I’ll be pinching myself for a lifetime) to be speaking with so many amazing, God-loving women.
So, are you coming?! Have you already gone? I’m giddy!!
Thank you for loving our family, standing with us in prayer and lifting us up to the One who gives me reason to live and love and share the Hope we rest in.