25 Years

“A person never truly gets ‘over’ a suicide loss. You get through it. Day by day. Sometimes it’s moment by moment”
-Holly Kohler

January 4, 1993. The day that was inevitably going to change the course of my entire life.

For the good and for the bad.

Being only five years old at the time I had no idea what had happened or was happening.

Left alone at home. I remember the day clearly.

Sitting on the bench in the front hallway Dad told me to stay there and wait for my mum and sister to come home. He told me he loved me and would be home soon…

Police showed up. Friends showed up. Lots of conversation that I didn’t understand. I remember climbing all over my mum and sister as they were emotional talking to the Police. The Police talking to me as I hopped around in my innocence. Unaware of what was about to become my reality.

I was the last person to see my Dad alive.

He was never going to come home again.

Suicide. It is defined as intentionally causing ones own death.

Yes, there was guilt for many years after I was told he had committed suicide.

Survivors guilt.

Even though being young and there really wasn’t much I could have done, I still wonder to this day if there was something I could have said or done to change his mind. On the flip side though, if I followed him, would it have ended up being a murder/suicide?

Twenty-Five years later and it still impacts me to great lengths in various ways.

I’ve been on both sides of the ‘suicide fence’ and it’s been a struggle losing people I know and love. It’s also been a struggle being a survivor of suicide. Equally as hard if not more difficult for those who love me.

Losing my Dad was devastating. I feel like I lost out on A LOT of what life could have offered if I had my Dad around to raise me too.

It has also taught me so much about being more aware of mental health within myself and those around me. I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned and turn around and help others.

Twenty-Five years.

A quarter of a century.

That’s a long time to be without my Dad.

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I miss my Dad more than words can describe. My heart still aches. My life feels incomplete. There are always thoughts about what life would have been like if he chose to live.

My Dad’s death has shaped me into the person I am today.  It’s been difficult and there are still days that are more difficult than others, but I have to keep going. Not for myself alone but for those who are suffering and need someone who understands to some extent. To remind them that life is a journey that isn’t meant to be travelled alone.

Dad, I miss you and love you so much. I hold onto the pictures I have of us dearly. My only good memories. You will always be my Dad.

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I love you. I have forgiven you and because of that I’m able to share your story and the impact on my life to help others.

Please seek help if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, tendencies or feelings. Your life matters. There are people who love you and care about you.

Signed,

~FaithfullyUnqualified~

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Slowing Down & Finding Rest

In this day and age it is so hard to simply “slow down” to find “rest”

Most of us probably don’t even know what those two things actually means!

So… what does it mean? How do we get to that point of rest? To slow down? To know that we do deserve to take time out of our busy days for ourselves.

If you are anything like me, you almost feel guilty when you think of taking time out for yourself. And when you are taking time out for yourself, it almost feels like the entire world around you falls apart.

God works in amazing ways and He knew that as this post was being written that I needed to be at a recent Anthem Young Adults night that we call Real Talk Nights. The reason I say I had to be there is because the message was on REST.

There was a neat acronym that was put up on the screen that went like this:

Restore
Experience
Submit
Trust

It is so important for us to take time out to rest…
Physically.
Mentally.
Emotionally.
Spiritually.

Without rest we run ourselves into the ground and eventually hit rock bottom, literally. I’ve been there and I know a few others who have been there as well. It’s not an enjoyable place to be.

What sorts of things have you done in the past acquire rest? Do you struggle with finding the appropriate plan of action to gain the rest you need?

It’s so important to put our rest in God as well. Not just our physical, emotional and mental rest need to occur but our spiritual rest is a must. God wants us to come to Him and be in His presence. To find peace and comfort in His words written just for us in the Bible. To experience His love. To experience His peace.

Everyone will find rest in their own ways and at their own times, but let me encourage you to not wait until you hit rock bottom! I encourage you to spend time daily with God in His word and in prayer.

There is always hope in your life. Never forget that. Even when everything seems so pressing and daunting that you feel like you will never be able to come up for air again, there is hope. There is a God who will never leave you nor forsake you. There is a community of people around you who are there to encourage, help, support and love on when you need it! Find them.

Rest. Even when you feel like there is simply no time, rest. When the homework has piled up, rest. When the hours at your job keep adding up and you are tired… REST!

Always keep in mind that you are no help to anyone else if you haven’t given all aspects of yourself the rest that is needed.

Take care of you.
Doesn’t matter what others think.
You are important.

Signed,
~Faithfully Unqualified~

It’s Been A Struggle

I’m going to be brutally honest with you, my readers. My friends. My family … life hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. There is a meme I see that goes around that says “Nobody’s life is as good as their Instagram feed”. How stinking true is that?!

For those who follow me on Instagram or are friends with me on Facebook, know that I don’t tend to sugar coat things. Life happens. It’s not always pretty. It’s a struggle. In fact, majority have my days have not been pretty.

There have been many dark thoughts.

Yes.

Those dark thoughts of suicide. Those hopeless thoughts and feelings that nothing will ever get better. That everything is simply a lost cause for me.

Anxiety has not been my friend at all over the past couple of months either. Debilitating in some situations. To the point of having to completely walk out for a bit or on a couple of occasions leave the groups/courses that I’m part of at my Church.

My Church is my safe place. It was. It is still. But not as much as it was before. I only say that because I never really had issues this severe at my Church. It makes me sad.

However, it doesn’t keep my away, not all the time. There are days when I can’t even get myself to get out of bed, let alone shower, get dressed and get out of the house. Even though at those moments is when I absolutely need to get out. I need to be around people. Doesn’t mean I have to socialize, but to just be.

It’s okay to just be. It’s okay to not be okay.

It’s not okay, however, to feel like you have to deal with this alone. That I have to deal with this alone.

You aren’t alone.

I’m not alone.

We are NOT alone!

This year I’ve been learning that I need community. That there are people in my court and that I’m not alone. Sometimes I want to deal with things on my own but in all honesty, I’m usually not in the right mind frame to do that.

When I’m at a very low point in my life, it takes all my energy just to let someone I trust know that I’m not doing good. Sometimes it’s just those simple words “I’m not okay” and it’s left at that. The person on the receiving end knows me well enough to know what to do next. I’m thankful for that.

It’s hard to vocalize or to be that brutally honest to anyone. Even those I trust with my life.

For me, I don’t want people to worry about me to begin with let alone worry more! What I do know is that those who genuinely care about me would rather me share with them the dark storms I go through than to find out of something bad happened to me.

Same goes for you.

Dark storms happen.

It’s not easy.

Stay Strong.

Please.

We are in this together.

The Unspeakable Needs To Be Spoken

Suicide. 

It’s a topic that is not freely spoken of in our society. It can be a scary word. It brings up a world of emotion and memories for many people. 

Myself included. 

Suicide affects everyone in one way or another. When we hear about a celebrity who has died by suicide we all gather together in remembrance, share quotes, photos and memories of how they made an impact in our lives in some way, shape or form. We all become aware of the unthinkable. We become aware of the mental illness community that exists, mostly on the sidelines, but it exists. We become advocates for those who suffer. For those left behind and for those who have passed. 

When a death occurs by suicide, no matter how well I knew the person or not knowing them at all, it affects me. It takes a little piece of my heart and I stop whatever I’m doing. Why? Because I know what it’s like to be left behind. Even when I don’t mean to stop I do because it take me back in time. To a memory… a flashback. 

Twenty-four years ago, my life changed. It’s a day I will never forget, even if I really tried to, I probably couldn’t. The day my Dad died by suicide is where I flashback to. It’s surreal. Just has hard as it might be for you to comprehend it’s also hard for me to explain the feelings that overwhelm me in those moments. As long as it’s been, sometime it still feels like yesterday. 

Every time I think on that day, it breaks me but also gives me strength. It’s bitter sweet to go through these moments over and over again because on the one hand I get to see my Dad again in my memories but I also know what evidently what ends up happening. He tells me truth – that he loves me. He tells me lies – that he will be home soon. As a five year old, I sit there and watch him walk out the door. Never to see him again. Flashbacks take me back to the very real emotions, turmoil, grief, heartbreak and tears. 


I have no idea why I was placed in that position twenty-four years ago. Or maybe I do. Maybe it’s so that I can take my experience to bring awareness. To maybe shed some light on the after effects of suicide. To share what happens to those left behind. The waterfall of overwhelming emotions that cascade over them for various amounts of time. Everyone is different and will react and grieve differently 

It’s a process. The process of the news. The process of grasping what has actually happened t the person you knew and loved. Figuring out what is real. Reality. The process of acceptance…eventually. The change. The inevitability of a different world. To the point of a different light and a different perspective. Getting to this point doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, be perfect or forgotten about, but that it’s now become an experience to reflect on. Maybe to even embrace the insight you now have and use it for good. Like I’m trying to do. 

This story, my story, began on a cold, snowy winter day in Calgary, Alberta. 

My story continues. Almost a quarter of a century later, this is still my story. It’s a story of my reality and what I deal with daily. Albeit on different levels, but it’s part of me now. My Dad is and always will be a part of me and my life. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember him really… after all I was only five years into life, barely. However, I like to think that through my own loss and tragedy that my Dad has taught me valuable lessons, gave me a unique strength, and a better understanding of making a difference. Loving people and helping them through their difficult times. To try and help with my own understanding, those who struggle, are victims, or survivors of suicide… or all of the above. 

I’m not speaking blindly or being naive… I’ve been in both sides of the proverbial fence. The side of the one who lost their Dad to suicide. Not only their Dad but others I knew as well. To the other side of the fence where there was suicidal ideation, contemplation, and attempt. I’ve been through the process… the five stages of grief. Not only for those that I have lost but also for my own life. It’s gives an outward view of the internal unrest. 


It’s okay to talk about your mental illness and suicidal thoughts, feelings and tendencies. Your self harm. Your depression. Your struggles. However you want to put it, you are worth getting help! Your life has meaning. It has purpose. You may not see it because as humans we struggle to see what others see in us but you are wanted and needed in this world. We are all unique … which means plainly that you are the only YOU! You are loved. Don’t hide in the darkness. Stop hiding your scars. Your story. Speak out. You deserve to be okay. You deserve to live. 

                                                                                
Fight. Each. Day. 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE


Signed,

Faithfully Unqualified 

Change is Inevitable

Sunday July 23, 2017 started out like most Sunday’s do for me. Got up, made my coffee, did my devotions (complete with cat), and got ready for Church. As per usual, I gave Thomas his morning pets and a couple of treats. I put out some food for him as well – not in my usual routine but for some reason did it anyways – he didn’t eat much of it.

As I was leaving, he gave me a somber look, with love in his eyes, the usual look of “Please don’t leave and I love you.” I never thought anything of it. I found out later that he did the same to my Mum before she left for work early that morning.

At Church the sermon was about change. As soon as the Pastor told us what the sermon was about, I had this weird feeling in my heart. He talked about how change will always occur in our lives whether we want it to our not, but that God wants us to be strong and courageous. Change can be scary (usually is) and brings on an array of other emotions.

I continued on my day with a relaxing potluck lunch, in the sand, with great people and a perfect ocean view at Kye Bay. This place holds a special place in our hearts and it’s interesting that this was the place we chose (a week before) without knowing what was to come. I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon… except after the fact, spending the afternoon with Thomas would have been special.

As we were at the beach my phone vibrated with a text message from my Mum saying that Thomas was not himself when she got home from work. He was very lethargic. He wouldn’t even take a piece of cheese.

They spent time on the couch cuddling together.

A couple of hours later I arrived home, walked in the door and as soon as I saw Thomas slowly struggling to come out of my room to see who was at the door, I dropped my stuff.

I knew instantly something was very wrong. My heart sank.

I laid on the living room floor with Thomas as he struggled to breath and weakness in his body, though still enough strength to lift his front paw to let me know he wanted a belly rub. I obliged in his quiet request.

As I was with him on the floor, I checked his gums and that’s when I told my Mum that we needed to get him to the Veterinary Hospital. This was an emergency. Thomas was dying.

Thomas tried to show excitement as we said we were going for a car ride but he was simply too weak. He struggled but managed to get into the car… Thomas was doing his best to be so strong for us in hopes to not make us worry though we could plainly see the weakness that was overtaking his body.

Roughly ten minutes later we arrived at the back door of the Veterinary Hospital and greeted with a very concerned doctor. We didn’t know the fateful news we would receive on the other side of that door but bravely walked through into the daunting back room.

Thomas was so weak that he gently collapsed on the floor. The doctor asked her questions and I mentioned that his gums were completely white… no blood flow… She took a peek at his gums and the look on her face caused our hearts to sink even more.

She was concerned enough to completely skip the routine blood work and in-depth exam and go right for x-ray.

We got Thomas into the x-ray room a few feet away and he collapsed again on the floor. His strong body and legs just unable to hold him up anymore. I sat on the floor with him as the doctor prepared the x-ray machine. I put his head on my lap telling him it was okay. He looked at me with soulful yet weak and tired is. I told him he was a brave boy and that it’s okay.

The doctor and I lifted Thomas onto the x-ray table and she put him on oxygen, hoping to relieve the struggle as she took pictures of the inside of his ailing body.

Mum and I exited the room while radiation filled it.

The doctors voice called through the closed door for us to come back in. Once we were both in the room my eyes drifted to the monitor with the images of Thomas’ lungs. The tears started. She told us that that she didn’t have good news. The room was eerily silent for a few seconds. A soft, faint, tear filled “oh no” came from my Mum.

Thomas had several small tumors, in his lungs and in his abdomen, which the doctor said one in his abdomen had ruptured causing internal bleeding. The sole reason why he had labored breathing, he was trying so hard to oxygenate his body but there just weren’t enough red blood cells left.

Thomas was and is a fighter. It’s hard to believe that just the day before we were taking a walk on the beach together, the three of us. Thomas, Mum and I spent a lot of time at his two favorite beaches, Ferry Beach and Air Force Beach, over the past three weeks I’ve been here. Rain or shine, we would be out there! I’ll never forget the day we walked in the pouring rain together. We spent a lot of time cuddling not even knowing the looming darkness that was hanging over our heads.


At almost 9 years old, Thomas still acted like a puppy. Especially when the words “car” “truck” or “beach” were said.

He never let one once over the course of these last few weeks, or months that he was sick. He was staying strong and brave for us.
Until he couldn’t anymore.

We told him we loved him as he lay on a mat in the back of the hospital. I hugged him one last time while he was still breathing. Told him to find his sister over the Rainbow Bridge. I stepped away so that Mum could spend the last moments of Thomas’ life right by his side.

I found it so hard to believe that just over a year after I had to say goodbye to my girl, Takoda, I would be saying goodbye to Thomas. Just as they were together here on earth, they are now together again running free over the Rainbow Bridge.

My Mum sat at Thomas’ head during his last moments. Tears falling on his fur. The soft spoken words of love. Of goodbyes.

Thomas passed away peacefully at 6:25pm on Sunday July 23, 2017. Surrounded by my Mum and I.

I believe this is why God wanted me to be here. To spend time with Thomas, to be here for my Mum during that difficult evening of saying goodbye. And to help for a bit afterwards during her grieving.

God was preparing my heart that morning with the message on change. He knew exactly what I needed to get me to where I was going to need to be that evening. To allow a relaxing afternoon at the beach with good friends. He was preparing me for my task this whole time, but especially that Sunday morning.

We may not always understand why things happen. Why our fur family members always pass away too soon. They love unconditionally and that’s what they came to teach us. Forever teaching us to love and to have free spirits. They teach us that it’s okay to take a long nap in the sun in the middle of the day. And that fur shed is simply them spreading their unconditional, unforgettable love.

God brings certain people and animals into our lives for seasons. But their impact and foot/paw prints on our hearts will last a lifetime.

Change is inevitable but it doesn’t always have to have a completely bad outcome.

Until we meet again, Thomas. We love you and miss you like crazy already. You will be forever missed by all those you had come in contact with.

Signed,
~Faithfully Unqualified~

Perspective

The other day I started my drive out to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I left Cochrane, Alberta at 3:00am!! Crazy, right?! I arrived at my final destination (including the 2 hour ferry ride) at 7:00pm BC time (British Columbia is 1 hour behind Alberta)

During my drive through God’s beautiful creation, a word came to my mind and stuck with me… PERSPECTIVE! I typed in this word in a google search and this is what it gave me:

per·spec·tive
pərˈspektiv/Submit
noun
1.
the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.
“a perspective drawing”
2.
a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
“most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”
synonyms: outlook, view, viewpoint, point of view, POV, standpoint, position, stand, stance, angle, slant, attitude, frame of mind, frame of reference, approach, way of looking, interpretation
“her perspective on things had changed”

It’s about a 15 hour drive including a 2 hour ferry ride to my final destination. When I thought about the whole 15 hours of driving, by myself, only driver, was daunting! I’ve done this drive before but at least I had cruise control for the flat parts (FYI, it is possible to drive 15 hours without cruise control!) But just as my GPS would only let me program in a certain amount of kilometers for it to work, is the same as I had to look at my whole drive. In sections. Point A to B. Point B to C. etc.

Perspective on our own lives is huge! Everyone see’s their life differently than people on the outside looking in. We know what goes on on the inside but don’t always share that with the world outside.

On Father’s Day this year we had a guest speaker named Justin Majeau and he sort of touched on the word perspective, at least from my perspective. He talked about how we tend to look at other lives and compare to our own lives. ‘What about them and their perfect family?’ ‘They have a such a nice car, a good job and beautiful house, why can’t I have that?’ ‘They have perfect health, why can’t I’ … I think we have all done this kind of thinking at one time or another in our lives. A lot of probably still do!

It’s a matter of perspective… yes some people have more than you do but in a way you might have more than they do. Those who have millions or billions of dollars might not actually be happy (even though they act like it. Perspective) but you have happiness and that’s invaluable to have!

It’s hard to see the good in our lives when we compare it to others. Here’s a challenge, try not to do that anymore! God created you the way you are for a reason! You aren’t a millionaire for a reason. Just because you don’t have a high school diploma doesn’t mean you are a failure and can’t get anywhere in life!!

I was given a different perspective on how I was viewing my summer and my going to Vancouver Island. The way I saw it and became anxious about was not the same way those who love and care about me in my Church Family saw it. I was given the perspective to see this as a VACATION and not PERMANENT. Being told that changed everything for me! Yes, I still have my anxieties and worries but to know that I’ve got a great support circle back home is amazing!

Point is, when you are facing decisions or situations that you just can’t see the light, talk to someone you trust!! Get their perspective on your situation. They might surprise you! It might help you!

I’m not saying it will be easy, but it’s worth a shot if it might help ease your anxieties and help you get to that next day. Don’t you think?

Instead of thinking that you have 8 more hours of work left in your day, think about your day in small steps… break, lunch, break, home! It can make a world of difference. Small steps – perspectives. It can work with anything. Looking at the big picture will only cause stress – take the small steps that lead up to the big picture and completion!

You have two choices in the morning: you can either stay in bed and sleep with your dreams OR you can wake up and make your dreams happen!

“Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” -Jeremiah 33:3 (NLT)

Perspective

Stay strong and confident in all that you do

Gods Journey for Me – Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

There is a plan and purpose for all of us. 

It’s not that simple in a sense though, as most of the time we don’t understand why we go through things… especially the horrible things. We question why God takes us through the hard times just to bring us to the reason why we went through that. To bring us to the good that comes out of the struggle. 

I read a quote recently that said “There is no testimony without the test”. How true is that? We can’t really have a story to tell if we don’t go through the motions of an unfolding story. The most amazing part is that God already knows what we are going to go through, when said thing is going to happen and He will always be with us through everything! 

Sometimes it is hard for me to even believe that God has a plan and purpose for my life because I just don’t see myself as being used by God. To my surprise, God is using me and sending me on a journey. 

On Thursday June 29th, 2017, I will start my journey to Vancouver Island. I will be there for an undetermined amount of time. Being there long term was never in my plans but the way things have been going here in Edmonton, I think God has bigger plans! Don’t ask me what those plans are at this point because I’m unsure myself. He has created this chapter in my life already and I will go faithfully to where I am called. 

I’m scared but I’m doing my best to remain trusting in God. In His perfect plan for my life. For this inevitable journey that is only a week away. Even though I’m going to be staying with my mum and have family around, it’s still scary to know that this isn’t a typical vacation of 2 weeks out there like it’s always been. 

This is uncomfortable. It’s daunting. It’s terrifying. It’s exciting. It’s happiness. It’s joy. It’s trust. It’s being unprepared for what’s to come but going anyways. 

We are never alone when God is on our side! He already knows everything. His plans and thoughts are of love and goodness for our lives. 

Change is scary even when I know that God is in control and when people are telling me that this is only temporary. I’ll be back HOME before I know it! This is simply a big vacation, nothing more. A journey for growth. 

I believe this is Gods journey that He already had planned out for me before I even thought of it ever happening.  I don’t fully understand why I have to go to a different province for this journey and purpose, why I have to be away from home and my North Pointe family (who I’m going to miss like crazy!!). It’s crazy, but it’s the plan. 

He has a purpose. 

He has a plan.

Psalm 139

  

I am faithfully and wonderfully made by our loving God and so are you! 


Signed, 

Faithfully Unqualified 

Loved. Mess and All.

Our lives can be incredibly messy. Whether it’s our own mistakes or just the hand of cards we have been dealt. Either way, those who truly care about us will love us… mess an all! 
Last week I listened to a sermon online by Pastor Perry Noble. His sermon talked about exactly what this post is going to be about – well with a few details from my own life. God works in funny way because Pastor Perry’s sermon and 2 days after listening, it was an experience! I’m so thankful our God has a sense of humor. 
Pastor Perry was talking about how God accepts us no matter what. We are His children and He created us to be good and perfect. Loved and adored. Purposeful and beautiful! God, our Father, will always be there to pick us up when we need Him! Ready and willing no matter how messy we are! 
Recently (like this past week recent) my second cousin N, who is 3.5 years old, had been really sick all night, was still not doing so great during the day. When I had gotten up I started helping K (his mom) with him. There was already a pile of blankets, pillows, towels, clothes, at the top of the stairs ready to go into the was after being thrown up on. It was not a pleasant smell upstairs but it didn’t force me into hiding in the basement, I jumped into action to help with my youngest second cousins, L, who just turned 1 this week! After a bit of discussion K decided that it would be easier if L still went to daycare, so after we got N to lay back down, K took L to daycare and picked up some things for N. 
A bit later in the day, K was busy doing something when I heard N start to cry again in his room (probably from throwing up again). Sure enough he had thrown up again (poor guy). Without even thinking at the fact that he had thrown up again and that it was most likely all over his clothes, I picked to him up. Without thinking twice I hugged him and carried him while he cried in my arms. Trying to comfort him telling him that he is okay and that I love him (mess and all). The thought never crossed my mind that I was probably covered in puke as well now. 
This whole factor didn’t even occur to me until I handed N over to K and she told me that he had puke all over his clothes so I probably had it on me. I looked at her and said “It’s okay” because it was. Clothes are washable. N was in a time of need and he needed to feel loved and okay. I don’t hesitate to be there for my second cousins. 
Point is that despite his messiness of puke and smell all over him, I still embraced him and loved him! My view of N has not changed and never will. There won’t be a day where I would hesitate to pick him up and be there for him (or his sister L or any other child in my life).
That’s how I see God with us! He is our Father and I picture Him picking us up and wrapping us in His arms with all our puke and mess, not even thinking twice. He made us good and He made us His! 
He loves you no matter your mess. 
He loves you no matter your mistakes. 
He loves you no matter what your sins. 
He loves you no matter your failures. 
He loves you no matter what! 
YOU ARE HIS CHILD! 
Don’t be discouraged whatever your mess is. Our God is faithful. The same God who is on top of the mountain with you is the exact same God who is in the valley with you. 

The Valley

I had the privilege of attending YC this year in Red Deer, Alberta. The name for this year was RISE. I think that it was a very fitting word for the year 2017 because that’s what we need to be doing in these trying times… Rise. God wants us to rise in His plans and purposes for our lives. This is going to be one of two or three blog posts about my weekend at YC. 
I want to start out talking about “The Valley”. Heath Adamson was one of our speakers and his message was on Psalm 23. We have all heard the chapter at one point or another; in person, at funerals, in Church or perhaps you have read it yourself. Nonetheless, it is an amazing chapter and brings hope to peoples lives. 
“The valley of the shadow of death” 
Has it ever really occurred to you that the word shadow expresses just that? The valley is simply a shadow. When we go through tough times in life we tend to call those times “our valley” Have you ever thought of your situation or circumstance as simply a shadow in your life? Something that will leave just as quickly as it came in? 
When we are in the depths of our valley’s it seems that we find it out to see the end of it. To see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. I know I am like that. I’m not ashamed to share that because it’s the truth. I struggle a lot when I’m in my valley’s and anything positive people say just irritates me. It’s funny though because at that time it will bother me but once I have some time to think about it, a light comes on and it’s like – yep, I need to look at my valley from a different perspective. 
Getting distracted in our valley’s is also something that happens. We dwell on the situation and we don’t look to God (at least not all the time) and that creates a whole other struggle and a sense of feeling alone. God will bring us through our valley’s and sometimes our valley’s are where He needs us to be for us to really listen and grasp His purpose/plan for our life at that given time. Sometimes we need to go where God wants us to be in order for Him to bring answers to us. 
God makes us lie down in green pastures because that is our time to rest. Problem is, we tend to lie down in our valley’s instead! We get so discouraged and perhaps even depressed and we end up simply worn out and exhausted that we lie down and temporarily give up. It happens to a lot of us, it does to me! God wants us to cling to Him in our valley days because He is our strength and protection. God will always bring us out of our valley if we just turn to Him and let Him work in our lives. As hard as it is, don’t lay down in the valleys! Leave your resting to when the pastures are green – so when things have worked themselves out! Don’t get discouraged in your valley. It’s just a shadow. 
Our circumstances in life don’t always add up to our perception of God’s character which causes us to get discouraged and ask questions like “God, why did you let this happen?” However, always remember that we should remain faithful just as God is faithful to us. He will always bring you through your storm! No matter how bleak it may seem, God is always there. Stay in His Word. Dwell on His Word. Pray. Have faith that things will work themselves out in God’s timing! 
He is faithful and always will be! 
Your valley is only a shadow in your life. 
I encourage you to read Psalm 23 and meditate on it! 
Stay Strong. Your story isn’t over yet! 
Blessings. 

I am Unqualified

Sometimes we feel that we are unqualified to do certain things in our lives. I hate to break it to you but you are probably correct! 

God will call us to do things that we feel (even know) that we aren’t qualified for and start to ask God what exactly is He thinking! It’s not uncommon so don’t think you are alone in that.

Exactly like me, right now, I don’t feel like I am qualified at all to be starting this blog site but I felt the pull on my heart to create it. I’ve always believed that one person story or thoughts can impact another person life. I hope that through my words or postings in general, I’ll be able to reach out to others.

Life can really seem scary when we don’t know where we are headed or what our future holds but what we do know is that God knows everything! He has known our entire life story since before we were even born. However, life is still scary to us. Our human nature gets in the way of what we believe. I also acknowledge that some of you who may come across my blog are not believers or believe in something entirely different; that’s okay. All are welcome here!

I’ll keep this first blog light and short because I can and probably will get more intense in future posts. Please make yourself feel at home, comment on posts, reach out to me if you have questions, need advice, prayer or encouragement!

I’m unqualified and that is okay!