God has been teaching me so much in the last 8 months of marriage. I never would have thought that living with another person would teach you so much about yourself as an individual. One thing I have learned through consequences, good or bad, about myself is that I am a very guarded individual. I love things to be my way (I learned that from my very independent Momma) and I am a neat freak. I don't like to argue and I like to process everything internally before I speak (which kills my husband) but I don't ever wanna say anything I will regret; and I also wanna make sure I'm really articulating in a correct way how I am feeling.

I have learned that I have been hurt way too many times (and in all reality who hasn't?) than I would like; and it affects how easily I open up to people. I have seen people that I love dearly walk in and out of my life- which has devastated me because I never thought these people would judge me for my faults or turn their back on me. It always seems to be the case that once I finally let my guard down to someone who seems worthy of my trust and has passed all my 'tests' that they pull a Trojan Horse on me and hurt me when I let my guard down. (Don't worry- this blog post will not be a pitty party). 

So- how do I stop this from affecting every relationship in my life? In my mind I know that if I keep my guard up- I will lose everything that is dear to me- true, deep, open honest relationships with those that I love the most. It is easy to state that not every person is the same so no one should have to pay the price for another's mistake- but let's be honest- is that really possible? At the same time, doesn't the Bible instruct us to:Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (KJV) Proverbs 4:23.
So when is guarding your heart right and wrong? That is one of my struggles. And I fight for it not to affect the beautiful marriage that I have with my husband.When is it guarding your heart and when is it placing walls around your heart? I guess its in the motive. Are you guarding your heart out of wisdom or fear? I think for me lately it has been the latter. And perfect love casts out fear- so that is something I really need to work on.

I am learning that when I do love, I love with all of my heart. I go to the farthest lengths to express how much a person means to me. I will give up everything I have if it means true happiness to the ones that I love. It's here that I need to make sure that I don't give my heart to the wrong people. I believe it happens to everyone; and in the end I think it makes you a stronger person to come out alive and have more wisdom. We can never grow to be fully nourished adults if all we drink is baby formula right? 

I also have learned that I struggle to be the bold woman that God has called me to be. My husband has been called to be a Youth Pastor- and although it was a calling that I always imagined over my husband as a young girl it scares me. I don't really understand why. I was on the Youth Board growing up. I loved planning awesome services and hanging out and meeting new people. When did I change? Have those desires died in me- is my burden gone? My life shattered when my brother passed away- and all of my passions dwindled. Is that when all of this change in me happened? Was I always this introverted and to myself? Partially yes, and partially no. The difference now is my purpose behind it.

I am a bit like Moses, I am terrified to speak in front of people- especially about deep meaningful  things. And I am called to be a Youth Pastor's wife? Lol. I am afraid to let God take me out of my comfort zone. I mean, Lord don't you see that I will have to lead young ladies- are you sure you have this right?? Lol :) I probably have more insecurities than they do- if not the same. So how can I lead them if I have the same struggles? Growing up I never was allowed to do a lot of the things that normal kids do (i.e. cut my hair, go to the movies, wear pants/jewelry/make-up etc.) so how can I relate? My husband was my first boyfriend and my first kiss at the age of 21. Can they seriously relate to me? But I guess that's when its where you stop asking God why and you just trust Him. Which is what these last 8 months of marriage have been teaching me.And let me tell you- I have been stretched. But I want to be molded like miry clay before the Lord.How can I lead these girls if I haven't been there before to lead the way? So much faith is required in where God has called me to be- and it is terrifying- yet so amazingly beautiful and awe-inspiring at the same time.

What was it in me that made God call me to such a great position? And what in me made Him- my creator and savior- trust me with such a great calling? If it were for my self esteem and for my self confidence- then I would only be half called, because God knows everyone struggles with those areas from time to time.

I have learned that over the past four years I have lost the balance of passion in my life- and I am proud to say that it is something that I am regaining- slowly but surely :). After my brother died (and fyi- you will hear me reference him a lot. Not out of sorrow or for desire of pity- but because he was the most amazing brother and he means a lot to me) I slowly lost all of my passions that I shared with him and he was so proud of. I slowly stopped drawing and painting. I quit photography all together even though my skills were truly being honed and rather perfected. I quit writing. There may be 5 journal  entries in my last diary after his death.

All the things that kept me alive died after time- and so did my joy and balance with it.But my amazing, faithful God has begun to set the good work again in motion :) and I can feel the joy beginning to merge again within my soul.
If I am real with you- I find it hard to give my heart away- because it was taken from me from one day to the next. I went from being the most innocent, carefree spirited girl that had everything to wake up and in the middle of painting my house get the most horrible call I would ever imagined. My brother committed suicide. I remember getting there and seeing the cops, not knowing what was going on. I figured it was a family fight that got out of hand. Then, seeing a crowd of tears I am told "Chuck's dead". I screamed the most painful scream that has ever left my body as I fell on my knees on the sidewalk. It felt like I woke up to the most horrific nightmare. Was this really happening? Could this really be real?? I wanted to see him. To hug him and pray life back into him. My family has been shattered since. Healing has yet to fully take place.

And it was then that I struggle with trusting life itself. I was painting and dancing around my house singing with my mom as we painted - and from that happiness in seconds it was all stripped away. I am scared to be truly happy because I feel like if I allow myself to get to that place again then something bad will happen all over again. It's not the most logical reasoning- but nothing really is when you have a deep emotional wound. I won't even call it a scar because I know it's not fully healed yet.

It is because of this that I struggle with joy. And it hurts when people don't understand. 

It is for this cause that I guard myself so deeply.

But I am on my healing road. And I know that when I get to Heaven, if my healing does not fully take place
that God will wipe the last tear to ever fall from my face :)

I miss my brother deeply, but at the same time- I am grateful that I now know how to pray for those who mourn and for those who have lost. Although this has caused me great pain, if I can use it to exemplify Christ than I am honored that more glory and honor can be given to His name.

People claim me to be unsocial- but they don't know my story or what goes on in my heart and my mind. 
Loosing Chuck has caused me to be more forgiving to those who assume without knowing the cost of someones character and personality.

I am now able to reach the lone wolves who feel like no one understands, because I too have been in that place.

I guess God see's the best in me :) and I am excited to begin to let that shine once again.
I am ready to let go and allow God to pour His amazing joy back into my soul.

I am SOOOOOO excited to go camping!
I feel like that will be great for me :)

This is where I'm going! Isn't it beautiful!!!!!!!! :) So I hope to take a lot of picture and have an amazing time! 4 days out with just nature, my husband and family and God :) Sounds great to me!

Well that will end this blog for today... unless I get an itch to add another :)

Much love,


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