It’s All Been Worth the Wait!

Here it is!  The final part of our story!  Instead of doing 2 separate posts, I’m combining it all into one….my side in regular font, and Kyle’s in italics 🙂   It still amazes me just how God worked everything out!  It has DEFINETLY been worth the wait!!  ❤

The talk

The next Tuesday, as I was traveling back to the dentist to get my stitches out, my dad called me and said that I should pick up Sara, take her with me,  and tell her what God was doing in my life; with my back and where my relationship was with her.  I was like totally shocked…and so not ready for a phone call like that. I remember thinking, ‘this will never fly!  There is no way they are going to let her go with me.”   I was a little nervous but I made the call and to my surprise they said she could go.  Needless to say, Sara was even more surprised and nervous than I was, but the trip went well and we had a good talk.

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Lets jump ahead to December 11th, 2012 🙂

It was 3:30 in the afternoon, and I was all cozy in bed, taking a much needed nap, when mom came in, woke me up and said, “Kyle just called. He’s on his way into town and he wants to stop by and talk to you.”…  my response?…  “I was sleeping so good!  Why did you wake me up?!”….but once I was up and getting around, her words suddenly hit me!  My heart started pounding!  My mind raced…what did he want to talk to me about?!  Why was he coming?!

I was such a bundle of nerves, that once I was around, I grabbed my Bible and started reading, trying to get my mind settled down while I waited for his arrival.  I didn’t have to wait long, thankfully, since he was almost to our place when he called.

I prayed real quick, took a deep breath….and headed downstairs…my heart still pounding.  He was standing in the kitchen doorway talking to mom.  When I walked in, mom asked where we wanted to talk at, and he asked if I could just go with him into town.  Mom said that was fine, and off we went.

I was dying to ask him what was going on, but chose to keep my mouth shut and let him start.  He started off with small talk, but about a mile down the road, he began telling me his reason for wanting to talk to me.  He asked me how I would feel about marrying him, and I said “I’m for it”.  He went on to tell me what God did in him on Journey, and how he had heard from God that I was the one he was going to marry, and even had a confirmation verse that the Lord had given him.

Long story short, this led to us starting to text and talk more often…with the approval of our parents of course! 🙂

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The ‘pieces of the puzzle’ start to fit!

A few weeks went by.  I had been calling around to see what I could find out on my back. I also was doing a lot of praying, and you might say a little bit of crying out to God… I wasn’t sure what to do.  Finally it seemed like everything was pointing to the prolotherapy, so I called and made my first appointment. I had done a lot of research  to see what prolotherapy was all about and it all sounded really good… until I watched a youtube video of what they do… wow!  I remember thinking, ‘that looks like a lot of shots! and I didn’t even know they made needles that big!’  Well anyways, I stared traveling to Lansing every two weeks and getting the treatments.

 It has taken some time, and quite a few treatments, but my back is almost back to the way it should be.  And all this happened because of a bum tooth, and Gods perfect timing.

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December 21st, I was praying and just asking God for a confirmation verse, so I knew that this was truly from Him and what He desired for me.  He gave me the last part of Isaiah 30:21…”This is the way; walk in it.”  Needless to say….I was excited!!

March 12th, Kyle was at our place, and we were talking about our Journey’s and he told me how his leaders had all the guys write out a list of things they needed to surrender to God, kayak across the lake to a certain spot, and burn it.  He said my name was on that list.  As he was describing the place he had burned his note, my jaw about hit the floor….it was that same place I had buried mine…only he had burned his on the ‘lake’ side of the path!!

It amazes me how God used both of us completely surrendering each other to Him, before He started moving us toward courtship!

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The Courtship “officially” begins!!

 I had talked with Sara’s dad and was planning on asking her to start courting me on the 17th of April.  You say ‘why the 17th?’…… well, that day would be the 9 year anniversary of when I first met her back in 2004. But once again things didn’t go as I had planned.  Sara’s grandpa passed away on the 11th and Sara’s dad wanted me to be a pallbearer, and sit with their family,  so I decided to start courting a few days early.  So on the 12th I totally surprised her by showing  up and asking her if she would court me. I don’t know if she just wanted the roses I was holding,  but she said yes!        

It seemed like that day was never going to come but it finally did.  You should have seen Sara’s face when I asked her!  She was so excited she could hardly squeaked out a yes.  I feel so blessed to be getting to know this Godly woman who loves me so much.

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Even though we were pretty much ‘courting’ since the 11th of December, due to Kyle having back problems, and having to do prolotherapy treatments to heal it, we didn’t go ‘official’…we wanted to see how well the prolotherapy would work and if he would be able to work.

We had some VERY discouraging times along the way!

But April 12th 2013…Kyle and I ‘officially’ started courting!  🙂  He is the most amazing man ever, and I am so blessed to have him!!!

I love you Kyle Ray!!!! 🙂

 

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Full Surrender…

Full Surrender…

2011 and 2012 were hard years but very good years for my spiritual growth.  I feel like I have learned so much, but yet I know so little, if you know what I mean.  In 2012 I went again to the WIT conference with an eagerness to see what God would have for me!  I have never been to any other conference that has helped me so much.  

Now jumping ahead to Fall of 2012.  My sister had been on a Journey to the Heart the year before and I could see a huge work that God was doing in her life through it, so I really wanted to go on one.  Through a string of circumstances I ended up going on the last one for the guys in October.

Let me back up and tell you what I was going through in the few months before that……I was really wanting to get married or at least know what God was wanting me to be doing with my life. I had been talking with my parents about what I should be doing, with life in general, and about that little woman, Sara.  I was really wanting to know what God was wanting me to do, so I was really feeling like I needed to get away and seek out what God wanted for my life, and the direction He wanted me to go.

So Saturday, October 20th, 2012 I left for journey  I was headed for Chicago, and then the upper peninsula.  The first miracle was that I made it to Chicago without ever making a wrong turn or getting lost…. I really did feel like God was watching out for me – I really hate driving in the city.  Anyways, the journey had begun.  Monday we left for the Northwoods.   The Northwoods was just what I needed.  It was awesome!  Pine trees everywhere,  and a huge lake with a beautiful lodge…by the way, I love water and especially fishing.  It felt like just the place that I needed to be.  We had some great leaders for our group;  I couldn’t have asked for any better ones.

We went through a lot of great material and some awesome sermons.  And then came Thursday…… it was the day of fasting.  We had just gone through a few sessions and taken a break when they said we were all heading up to the lodge.  Once we got to the lodge, our leaders asked us to take a piece of paper and write out a list of things that God was asking us to give up or yield to him. I wrote out a few things, but the main thing that was pressing me was my relationship with Sara. I felt like He was telling me that I should totally die to ever pursuing her in marriage… and that was the last thing that I wanted to do.  But I finally did it; I wrote her name on the list.  After we had our papers filled out, we were suppose to kayak across the lake and burn our list and give it all to God.  It was a big lake and it was a long kayak trip, so I had a lot of time to think and pray.

I can remember trying to reason with God as to why I needed to give up on this relationship that I wanted so bad.  It seemed like God was saying ‘do you really want to know what I have in store for you?’ ……and I felt like I wouldn’t know until I yielded this issue.  It was a long trip across the lake, but I finally made it.  I burned the letter and made my way back to the lodge, still uncertain about Sara, but I knew I had done the right thing.  At the lodge our leaders gave us a clean sheet of paper and some time alone to write out what God was telling us to do, now that we had given up some things that He didn’t want in our lives.  

I remember sitting up in the dining room at the lodge looking out over the lake with my elbows on the window sill.  I had written down some things that I knew I needed to do,  but there was still something that was really troubling me, what was I going to do now that I had given Sara to God?…. what did he want from me know?  I remember praying, “God is Sara the one that I should pursue in marriage?” and then I just sat there… it was so quiet, and I felt like asking God if He even heard me,  but I remained quiet…. and then the answer came.  All I remember was a clear “yes”,  and that’s all that God seemed to say was “yes”…… I was so excited!  But at the same time I was like, “God was that really you? Did you really just say that?”  So my next prayer was, “God give me a portion of scripture to confirm what you are telling me.”  So now I was waiting for confirmation, and it wasn’t till after Journey that I got it.  But one thing I have learned is,  God’s timing is never off and He is doing all things for my good.   

TO BE CONTINUED

Letting Go……

It was a beautiful summer day and a young boy was out with his father, getting ready to fly a kite.  The father got the kite in the air and flying well, while the boy stood close by his side, eyes sparkling; eagerly awaiting to take the string.  Finally the time came; “take a hold of the string” his father said.

In a flash, the boys small hands were clutching the string.  He watched as the kite soared back and forth; amazed at how he could control it so well.  Suddenly, the wind picked up and the kite began pulling harder and faster…too hard and fast for him to control it.  “Daddy, help me!” he cried as he struggled to maintain control.  “Just let go of the string“, replied his father in a calm voice.  “But if I do that I’ll lose it!”, the boy exclaimed.  “Just trust me and let it go.” the father’s voice was once again calm.

“But daddy, I can’t!  I like my kite too much to let it go! Daddy, please just help me!”   “I know you like it“, the father replied “but just let it go“.  With tears streaming down his face and giving one last attempt to bring the kite under control, the little boy finally gave up and let go of the string.

To his surprise, however, the kite did not fly away.  He turned to see why not, and realized his father had been standing behind him, holding on to part of the string the whole time.  His father soon had the kite flying the way it should be, but he was only able to do so after his son had given him full control.

How many times are we like this young boy?…so afraid to let go of the ‘string’, afraid we’ll lose what’s on the other end of it…not even realizing that God, our Father, has it in His hands and if we just let it go, then He’ll have full control and be able to work it out the way it needs to be.  How many times do we stand in our own way?  What ‘string’ is God asking you to let go of??  Let it go…watch what He’ll do….be amazed 🙂

Photo Courtesy of Google search, and Masterfile

Photo Courtesy of Google search, and Masterfile

An update…finally :)

It has been so long since I have updated my blog!  I’ve received a few comments and e-mails from my readers saying they miss hearing from me, so I figured I’d better update 🙂
 
3 months ago today I was working on getting my bags all packed and last minute preparations made to be able to go on Journey to the Heart.  3 months…God has worked in my heart and life so much in that time…building me into the woman He wants me to be and step by step, showing me His plans for my life 🙂 
 
I remember on December 2nd, when I was anointed, just having so many questions as to what God would do, where He would lead and just what all He would change, or ask me to surrender to Him.  It was a challenge and a slightly scary step to take, but He has poured out blessing upon blessing; His mercies are new every morning!! (Lamentations  3:22-23) 
 
Those things He has asked me to surrender, He has replaced with things far greater than I had imagined!  I’m not saying it has been an easy road though…I’ve had my share of heartache, struggles, pain, and just plain not wanting to fully surrender at times…but my relationship with God is the most important one in my life and I am going to do whatever it takes to build that relationship and make it stronger 🙂 
 
The other day, we had some friends over and we were playing piano and singing, and one of the songs we sang really touched me…I’d sang it before, but there was something about the words that really hit home.  I’ve played it on the piano pretty much every day since then…not only singing the words in my head, but letting them sink into my heart as well.  It’s called “Rejoice in the Lord” by Ron Hamilton
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“God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.
 
 CHORUS
O Rejoice in the LORD, He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried, And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

 
 CHORUS

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.
 

 
CHORUS
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I know this update has been a bit jumbled, but it pretty much catches you all up on what God has been doing in me lately 🙂
 
 
 

Verse for 2013 :)

December 31st, as I was sitting on the couch, reading my Bible and counting down the minutes to the New Year, I prayed that God would give me a verse for 2013…and at 11:58pm He did.  I had been reading through the Psalms for the day and instead of reading Psalm 61, I accidentally read chapter 65…but I guess you couldn’t really call it an accident since that’s where God gave me my verse 🙂

Psalm 65:11 says, “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.”  As soon as I read it, Malachi 3:10 (the verse God gave me while on Journey to the Heart) also came to mind… “Bring the whole tithe to the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

And I have already seen, how, after surrendering everything to God and giving Him my all, He has been pouring out His blessings in abundance!  

In 2012 I had my fair share of struggles, heartaches, and trials, but I must say, that, because of them, I heard God speak to me more than ever before!  I only hope that I hear Him as much (hopefully more!) in 2013 🙂  And that I continue seeing the abundance of blessings that comes from giving the ‘whole tithe’ 🙂

Hidden Valleys

I remember being 7 years old and listening to our Kelly Willard cassette tape each night to fall asleep, but it wasn’t until tonight, as I was listening to some of those same songs (now in MP3 version of course 🙂 , that I really began to understand one of the songs, and realized just how powerful of a message it really has. 

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Hidden Valleys by Kelly Willard
 
In a hidden valley just over the hill
A young shepherd boy surrenders his will
As he lifts his voice in praise to his King
Only the lambs will hear and follow as he sings

In a hidden valley a faithful one leads
No one looking on, he cares for their needs
For he knows the One that tries the heart
So he is steadfast and content to do his part

Chorus:
Hidden valleys produce a life song
Hidden valleys will make a heart strong
Desperation can cause you to sing
Hidden valleys turn shepherds to kings

In a hidden valley a leader is born
He has faced the fierce and weathered the storm
So with humble heart and love for his God
He becomes royalty with just a staff and rod

Chorus
 
 

Journey to the Heart Testimony part 1

How does one put in words just how great our God really is?! There are only 3 words I can think of that describe my Journey….intense, powerful, and life-changing.

It wasn’t until the first night up in the Northwoods (Monday night),  that I really began to feel God…before that I just kind of felt like I was in a fog.

Tuesday, as I was doing my personal devotions, I prayed that God would give me a Rhema, and I opened up my Bible (actually planning on reading Psalms), but it opened up to Malachi 3 and the first part of verse 6 almost jumped off the page at me…it said “I the Lord do not change.”  I continued reading and when I got to verse 10, I knew God had shown me my Rhema.  It said,

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

I didn’t even know that verse in the Bible, and I felt God was telling me…”Sara, give me everything you’re holding onto and just watch what I can do with it!”  I was incredibly encouraged and excited, but little did I know that this was actually preparation for Thursday….

Thursday was our “Day of Delighting in the Lord” (where we fast until supper and spend the day just seeking God and spending time with Him).  I was sitting in the kitchen reading my Bible and I knew I had given a certain area in my life over to Him, but I felt that God was telling me to write it out on a note and bury it there in the Northwoods…so I did.

I wrote a note of full surrender to Him, grabbed my coat, and headed out the door.  I had walked a ways around the lake a couple days before, and knew the exact ‘burial place’.  I buried the note, had a little ‘funeral’  and said, “There you are God, you have my ‘whole tithe'”…and what He said next was not what I wanted, nor expected, to hear.

 “No I don’t” He replied.  I was shocked…what did He mean?!  I thought I had just given Him everything, what else did He want?!  So I asked Him…and He told me.  He wanted my eating habits.  Back in July I had acknowledged the fact that the way I ate (or didn’t eat) was not pleasing to Him, but I hadn’t changed anything.  Now He was asking for control over it all!

I’ll be perfectly honest and say that my reaction was not “oh, yes Lord, you can have it!”…but rather it was “No! absolutely not!  I’m doing just fine on my own, I don’t need your help with that.”   (and yes, that’s almost word for word what I was telling God).

As I continued my walk around the lake, there was a battle…God wanting to help, and me telling Him I didn’t need, nor did I want it!

By the time I got back to our cabin, however (it was a 3.7 mile walk!) I had decided that God could have it…I’d given it to Him.  I also knew I wanted to write a surrender note for this area of my life and bury it as well – so I would have a time that I could look back to and say, “this is when I gave it to God, He has it and I’m not going to take it back.”

I wasn’t able to do it that day, but first thing Friday morning, I grabbed the note, headed to the same place I had buried my note before, found a place on the opposite side of the trail and had another funeral.

I felt a sense of freedom and knew that there would/will be struggles ahead, but with God in control, I don’t have to worry!  He now has my ‘whole tithe’.

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Seeing as how this blog post is a whole lot longer than I thought it would be, I’ll continue my testimony in a later post.  I still need time to find the words for it anyhow 🙂

The Green Team!! Our last night together as a team.
Back row L to R: Hannah, myself, Alexis
Middle Row L to R: Melissa, Deenalin, Tiana, Suzanna, Crystal
Front Row L to R: Laura D., Laura B., Selena and Julia