Now I see, in all the pain, that you made me strong.

I saw you the other day. You were sitting in your car, waiting. For somebody, but I knew not for me.

I have learned that it is not logical that after all these years you would go out of your way to wait for me. To find me. I have learned that you have moved on.

But I still had fear, because you saw me. You recognized my face, even after all these years. In the dark of the cold snowy night you recognized my face. You perked up from the seemingly comfortable serenity of your car and you saw me. And I saw you.

I guess that fear will never fade because the moment your eyes locked on mine my gut told me to flee, drive, leave. But something in me told me not to. Some part of my being told me that I was skilled enough to move a few lanes over and park my car. My gut told me that I had it in me to step out of my car and walk in that store. My heart knew that I couldn’t let you control me forever. My stomach told me that five years later you were not going to stop me from getting my pita chips. My brain told me that this was my chance to show myself that I have grown.

And I have. I stepped out of my car and I locked it. I placed my keys in between my fingers clenching them with all my might, I pulled out my phone and called a friend. And I walked. The minute I saw your headlights turned off my heart sank, but the minute I walked in that store it felt as it I had just won a grammy. I was safe. He wouldn’t hurt me in public.

In the light. I was safe.

I went about my shopping trip, and I got my pita chips. They where on sale, so now I was really over the moon! I checked out and I walked to my car. I didn’t see your car, but I figured you had just left. I mean rationally that probably is what happened. I stayed alert and I went about my day. The minute I pulled into my driveway I was ecstatic. I had done it.

You were a monster to me, my worst nightmare. The thought of you hurting me haunted my soul for years after I was freed from you. And yet, here I am thanking God that you were at that store that night. You proved me to something that I was too afraid to admit to myself. I am not defined by what you did to me. I am stronger than that.

Seeing you proved to myself that I can know that you are still out there and still be happy.

Still be calm.

It proved to myself that I am a gentle soul. Because when I saw you I didn’t get that rush of anger that I used to get, instead I got a feeling of heartache for you. A feeling came over me that maybe you are one of the best things to happen to me. Because in all the pain you caused me years later you, unconsciously, taught me that I strong. I am lovable. I am brave.

And I am happy.





Even our wildest dreams are nothing compared to Gods plan.

Image result for dreams

What if our dreams where real life?

This is a question that I have spent nights on end pondering.

If real life was like our brains when we are dozed off then life would be so extremely different. In some ways it would be amazing, but in some ways it would be just ten times more terrifying than it already is.

I mean I have had dreams that loved ones that have passed have come back claiming that they were never really dead and just had some business to take care of. I’ve had dreams that the boy that I have liked for years finally asked me out. It can be great.

But I have also had dreams that my house has caught fire, or those dearest to me passed. The stories that my brain comes up with between the hours of eleven pm to 7 am are really quite amazing at times.

I think, however, that if my dreams were real life I would feel a great void in my heart.

Very rarely, if ever do we have uneventful dreams. I have never, that I can remember, had a dream that consisted of me just sitting in my room relaxing with a warm blanket and a good movie turned on. Dreams most often have something rare or abnormal happen. In our dreams we are either on top of the world or just plain old down in the dumps when we wake up to realize our dream isn’t the reality.

I wake up from the good dreams and curl back into bed to try and bring it back to life, even if for just a few minutes. And I wake up from my nightmares grasping for breathe relieved that it was just a fathom of my imagination.

It is so black and white. Almost upsettingly so. You never know what you will get when you clothes your eyes at night.

It makes me look forward to going home to see my father one day. I look forward to one day spending the rest of my life in heaven, an eternal dream. And until that day comes I push you, and myself, to not get caught up in the worldly dreams. Nice it would be nice if our dream about the cute guy asking us out came true. But what God has awaiting us?

Its nothing to compare.


The only perfect leader is the Lord. Doesn’t me those that sin aren’t worthy of leadership positions.

It’s funny, really, how so often others think so much more highly of us than we could ever imagine thinking of ourselves.

In the past week I have had two people, on two separate occasions, come up to me to discuss faith. Both said that they look up to me highly as a spiritual leader. I am not saying this to gloat about myself. To be completely honest I do not read my bible every day and I struggle daily with questioning my faith.

How does this work?

If God is real why would He let this happen?

How do I know heaven is even for real?

Given I have been reassured multiple times that these are all normal things to question as a teenager growing up in a christian environment I still don’t think that these are questions I should be wrestling with if I am someones spiritual leader.

And if I am battling this then I mustn’t be a very good leader.

The two people that I had these conversations with where both peers. I think they could tell my shock when the spoke so highly of how they look up to me.

My first thoughts where if only they knew half the things I am battling.

If only they knew half of the sins I commit on a daily basis.

If only they knew…

Then I realized, thats the thing, they do know. They where both peers that I am relatively close with. Both know some of my poorer choices I have made and the words that come out of my mouth, and yet they still chose me. Why?

Well I didn’t ask both of them, as one of them is a non-believer that I didn’t want to pester with my own insecurities but the other, well, she is a christian. And so I asked her.

Why? Why me? Of all the amazing young adult Christians you know. Why me?

Her response was simple, and non-hesitant. “Because, In all your battles and trials you always come back to the Lord.”

I said thank you and left good enough alone but I thought about that a lot that night. This peer, whose relationship I value greatly, respects me as a spiritual leader. Knowing all my flaws and mistakes.

It made me think about my own life and my own leaders. While I don’t have a spiritual peer leaders that I have a close relationship with I have a few close adults in my life that I respect greatly. None of them pretend to have it all together, and none of them hide their flaws from me. And I look at them with the upmost respect.

Makes you think.

Maybe the most respectable leaders are the ones that humble themselves. The ones that openly admit to a lack of perfection and still keep fighting. The ones that are nothing in comparison to our Great Lord, but the ones that know where the end goal is.

That is the type of leader I hope to continue to be.

And I wish the same thing for each and every one of you.

In case you haven’t been told yet today. You are loved.

“Three words exist that you must hear from God today. NO matter what your circumstance, this trio of syllables breathes life, imbues hope, infused joy.




-Margaret Feinberg

Think about all the words you hear each day. All the words your read each day. You wake up in the morning to hear your family talking about their day, you drive to work or school and hear the words from your favorite song or the heart wrenching update of the tragity that took place over night. You go about you day listen to people tell you what to do or where to go. You come home and listen to your family talk about their day, the new job opening at work or the snobby classmate your sibling has to sit next to in science class.

We go about our days hearing thousands of words and yet there are three that have the potential to change a whole day, or even week, or month.

I recently purchased a news devotional called Flourish by Margaret Feinberg. I will admit that I am one to judge a book by its covers in a very literal sense. When my friend picked out the book I was automatically attracted to it by its appealing cover. When I saw that it had coloring pages in it I was sold.

I read the introduction my first night, the second night when I flipped to the first day devotional I was instantly hooked when I saw the title. “The three words you need to hear, I love you.”

In those three short pages I was reminded that even though I am critically broken, I am also extraordinarily loved by God.

We are all guilty of sin. And my guess is that at some point or another we have all felt unloved. We have made choices that made us think that we are unworthy of love. Or we have lost that main relationship that we leant on for a reminder of how we are loved.

Personally, while I know I am loved by many people here on earth I also know that I have hurt many people that I love. I know that I have caused concern for people and have broken trust. And at times knowing that I have hurt people overrides knowing that I am loved. And it is a hard pill to swallow.

But the Lord is my water.

It is overwhelming how much the Bible talks about Gods love for his children. Just read the New Testiment.

Jeremiah 31:3 says “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

Psalms 33:5 says “The earth is full of his unfailing love.”

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world He sent His one and only son so that whoever believes in him will not parish but have everlasting life.”

Talk about love. He sent His one and only son to die on the cross so that we may be free if we know and love Him.

I truly believe that I have no reason to feel as though I am unloved. Not when I know the Lords words. That I am loved. Here is the even better news!

So are you.


We live in a world full of sin. Every direction you look now a days someone is dying from cancer, or loosing their job. Look left and you see a family of five living on the side of the streets. You turn right and their are women being abducted and sold into a life of slavery. A life they will most likely never get out of.

It is saddening.

A few days ago I was sitting down with a younger friend. She is at the young age of fourteen. For the sake of her privacy we will call her Aly. She sat down with me and informed me that for the past six months she has been talking to a twenty-three year old man. Twenty-three.

I asked Aly why she was talking to a grown man when she knew it was inappropriate. The minute I asked that question I automatically regretted it. For just a few short years ago I was in her position. I was a thirteen year old girl talking to a seventeen year old guy. And when people dared to ask me why I was talking to him I would simply reply with five words.

"He makes me feel loved."

That relationship turned south extremely quickly, to say the least. Now, when I look back on that relationship, I realize that it wasn't a matter of why was talking to him. It was all a matter of why was HE talking to me. What buisiness did a high school senior have talking to a eighth grader. What buisiness does a twenty-three year old man have talking to a fourteen year old girl.

We live in a sinful world. Where young girls are warped into thinking that being hit and yelled at is normal. A world where women cant walk to their cars at twelve at night without fearing that they are going to be raped.

At yet, there I sat, five minutes later, telling Aly that while she needed to stop talking to him, she also needed to show him grace.

A very wise women once told me, "The only thing worse than being abused is being the abuser." That simple sentence has changed the way I view this world. You see, I am not exactly a fan of the man that abused me. And I am most curtainly not a fan of this twenty-three year old man that is munipulating his way into my friends life, but my heart goes out to them, because they must be going through some really tough stuff to get to the point where this was the only way they know how to cope.

This world is broken, it is shattered, and from the outside looking in it doesn't seem like it is getting any better. But God has a plan. He knew exactly what he was doing when he put the guy in my life. I can imagine God sitting up in heaven the day I met my abuser, with his plan book right in front of him.

"Right on track."

Sometimes you just need a reminder that your life is not as hard as you think.

I complain, a lot.

Just yesterday I was driving in my car, that I did not pay for, thinking about how irritating it is that I haven’t been able to fix the big dent in the front of the bumper.

As the day went on I found myself trying to decide what to do for dinner. Irritated that I have nobody at home to cook for me since my mom is out-of-town on business I decided to get some fast food. I sat in my car legitimately frustrated because I really wanted Panera but did not want to get out of the car to go in and order it.

Today I went grocery shopping, frustrated that my brother spent $20 of the $100 my Mom left us for groceries I did not think I would be able to get a weeks worth of groceries with $80.

“Why does my life have to be so complicated?!” I thought to myself. Angry at the fact that my life is as difficult as it is.

Then, as I was driving home tonight, I noticed a women. She was clearly homeless with a blue beaten up pillow in her left arm and her hands full with the bags that carried her few belongings. She was walking alone in the middle of the night. She was not smiling but she was not crying either, she was just being. I noticed as the light turned green that she was simply paying fine attention to her surrounding. Reading all the signs on the buildings around her.

She did not seem happy, but she did not seem sad. She was just there.

As I continued my journey home I prayed. It was a simple prayer, asking God to cleanse me of my lack of greatfulness.

I have not had the easiest of lives, but I have it pretty good off.

No, I have it really well off.

I have a Mom that loves me with all her heart. I have a roof over my head and clean clothes on my back.

I have a warm bed to sleep in and food on my plate. I have family and friends that I know care for me more than I can explain.

But greater than all of that I know God.

I thank God for putting that women in my life, even if we did not exchange words she taught me too appreciate every little thing that I have because my life, it isn’t too bad at all.

I can only pray that that women comes to know and love the God that loves her with all His heart.

Every Christian has experienced a spiritual high. My goal is to experience a spiritual life.

Ahh yes.

That spiritual high.

I am confident when I say I think every Christian has struggled with this at one point or another. You go on that church retreat, that church summer camp, or even a missions trip. Your last day arrives and you find yourself changed. A new person with a new perspective on their faith. You find yourself stronger than ever in your faith!

A spiritual high.

Then you go home. Your friend says something that upsets you and you lash out at them. Or your parent asks you to do a chore and you moan and groan only to never complete the task. You go back to the real world where you aren’t being spoon fed Gods word. And you come down from that high. Disappointed that all that work was for nothing, but excited for the next trip so you can reconnect with Christ again. You tell yourself that the next time is for real, that this next trip is the one that will really change you forever.

I get it, I am on that high right now, only I am praying to never come down.

After recently having an amazing opportunity and growing much closer to God as well as those whom I spend my church time with I found myself in a new position. I spent a whole week in the middle of a forest with 10 other people.

No phone.

No flushing toilets.

No escape.

I was being fed the word of God daily. With fourth five minutes of devotional time and then a whole day centered around learning how to grow as a team that serves the Lord I left that camp ready for whatever God was going to throw my way.

I got home and I got my phone back. I got to take a nice long shower and a long nights sleep in my own bed. I got the hundreds of text messages that I had missed that week.

I got the latest scoop on who was dating who and what girls got in a fight, the group chats seemed to be never-ending pits of drama and bullying.



I scrolled through my Instagram feed only to see pictures of my friends half-naked on the beach with some guy they didn’t even know. I saw pictures of my classmates son. I saw everything I had been sheltered from for a week. And I felt weak.

Suddenly I realized that if I wanted to keep my “spiritual high” I was going to have to make it my life.

I realized that serving God means that I need to start serving Him in everything I do. In the songs I listen to and the words I speak. The friends I surround myself with and the choices I make.

I have been home for three days now and I have already sinned more times than I’d like to admit but I am still high up in the clouds. With a new point of view on my faith I have a newfound excitement towards the idea of teaching others about God. There is only one thing I am more excited about.

And that, is seeing His plan.

You can learn quite a bit from a kid.

Yet another post about my job. Because I love what I do and I spend a large majority of my time doing it, being a babysitter has changed me in drastic ways.

One specific family that I have come to care for dearly has taught me more than I can type in one post.

This family did not get life served to them on a perfectly clean plate, to say the least. But they are a group of people that I look up to greatly.

A few days ago I found myself is the storm called lunch time. With children all around not wanted to eat their sandwiches, begging me to just let them enjoy their ice cream. I found myself getting frustrated. I looked at the little two year old boy, who was screaming bloody murder because I wouldn’t let him out of his high chair unti he had one more bite of his sandwhich, in my mind I wanted to give him my stern you better do what I say now or there is going to be issues look, but I didn’t.

He is only two, and while giving him a stern look and a serious tone might make me feel better it was highly unlikely to be effective with him.

I looked at him and In my ‘I’m talking to a two year old voice’ I said to him. “Daniel will you please eat one more bite on your sandwich for me?”

That little boy, without even blinking said, clear as day. “OK!”

He picked up that sandwhich and took a bite. I, sticking to my word, unbuckled him from his seat and off he ran to his next activity, happy as could be.

As I was driving home later that day I found myself reflecting on that sandwhich incident. I came to realize that often times in life we are that two year old, stuck in the high chair screaming and crying to get out so we can get on to our activities. And life, well. Life can tend to be that sandwhich. That one load of laundry we should fold before taking a nap. That one apology text we know we need to send to somebody we snapped at earlier that day.

We kick and scream bloody murder hoping God will let us go about our activities without finishing our sandwhich.

Little do we, that innocent litte two year old, know that that sandwhich holds all the energy and encouragement we need to get throughout the rest of our day.

As I go into a summer full of fun nights with my friends and great laughs with my family I encourage myself, and you as well.

To eat the sandwhich. 

I will never be “done” grieving the loss of my Dad.

I have heard it all.
“He is in a better place”

“You should just be happy he isn’t in pain anymore.”

“God took him because he needed another angel.”

I have heard it all.

I know it all.

I know my Dad is up in heaven, pain free, and I know that everything happens for a reason. But I also know I will never be done grieving the loss of my Dad.

I recently moved out of the house that I grew up in.

The house that my Father passed away in.

I was constantly being told that I needed to get over everything. That the house was just a house. One person even had the audacity to tell me that it was “silly of me to get so attached to a house that I knew I wouldn’t live in my whole life”.

Here is the thing though. I lost my Dad at the age of nine. And I am not saying that so I can have a bunch of people throw a pity party for me but more so that people can understand that for a nine year old to loose their Dad with only memories of him being sick they are going to attach to material things.

I attached to my house.

The same house that my brother and I would serve communion in on the Sundays that the family didn’t make it to church.

The same house were ‘Pipers night before Christmas’ was read every Christmas Eve.

The same house that was flooded with family and friends after the funeral.

I am not going to “unattach” myself from my house.

I am not going to stop wearing the t-shirt my dad wore to bed just because it has holes in it.

I am not going to change my screensaver from the picture of my dad and I when I was just a little baby.

I am grieving. I am doing it my own way, and I am doing it in a healthy way given the amount of time since he passed.

So please do not tell me that he is in a better place. I know that.

And please do not tell me that I should just be grateful for the time I got. I am.  I still wish I had more.

I am doing it my own way. I have been doing it my own way for seven years and I am doing alright.

So please. I beg you. Do not tell me I need to be “done” grieving the loss of my Dad. 

The Most Important Lesson of my Life. Breathing.



Trying to plan out your life is like trying to find a pen in a pitch black room. You can always do it, but you most likely won’t be very successful.

One of the most important and most helpful things I have learned in my seventeen short years of life is how to breathe. 

I know, sounds kind of dumb. But I’m not talking about the type of breathing that your body does naturally. I’m talking about the breathing that you have to teach yourself to do when everything around you is falling apart. When there isn’t a single other thing in your life that you can control you can always control your breathing.

As somebody that battles anxiety, and with that panic attacks, learning breathing techniques has been a big part of my therapy.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

Breathe in the good vibes, breathe out the bad vibes.

Breathe in, hold 1…2…3… breathe out. 

I have learned it all. And yes, it does feel silly when you are sitting in class breathing along with your fitbit, But it helps to focus on the things that you can control when everything is falling apart.

Nobody likes to feel like their world is caving in around them, but everybody has felt it. And often there isn’t a single thing you can do about it.

I tried to plan out my life once, I did not get very far. 

Because you try to control everything around you when really all you need to do is sit down, breathe, and bring yourself to the feet of the one who is all powerful. God knows what I am going to be doing exactly at this time two years from now. I don’t even know what I am going to be doing 24 hours from now!

A few weeks ago I found myself in the car just driving to get gas. A simple errand, I didn’t think a single thing of it. My plan was to go to the north side of town (where gas is a solid 10 cent cheaper), drive home, and go to bed. I even told myself I was going to fight the temptation to make a pit stop at the drive thru Starbucks.

I got the gas but as I was driving home I started to get that sick to my stomach feeling. I knew exactly what was about to happen, and I did not like it one bit.

“Not now, I can’t have an anxiety attack, not while I am driving. This can not be happening…focus…on your breathing…breathe in, out. No you need to be focusing on driving. You shouldn’t be driving, this is not safe.”

I found myself sitting in my car on a street right off of Main. I give myself a pat on the back for pulling over. But that did not fix anything. The attack escalated faster than usual, everything was blurry, I was lightheaded, and not breathing right. Being alone during an anxiety attack is extremely scary. Because if you are alone and decide to go get water you may faint and nobody be there to help. Not ideal. The situation was more than I could handle.

My night had not gone as planned. 

But God was watching over me saying to himself ‘right on schedule’.

I found myself at the house of a family that lived nearby that I am very close with. Sitting on the couch of two extremely wonderful people with one wrapping her arms around me and another literally holding my hand through the attack and as I was sitting there, bawling like a baby, I started to breathe right. In my mind nothing was right. I was intruding on somebodies evening, I was bothering people. But that couple could have not been home. They could have said no and turned me away. But they didn’t. That panic attack (which was awful) is what gave me the motivation to get throughout the rest of the week. The attack was terrible but God gave it to me anyway because he knew that I just needed somebody to hug me tighter than I had been held in years, somebody to cover me with a blanket and let me know that I am loved. He knew that I just needed some TLC that I would not have been willing to ask for had that situation not arose.

It is mind boggling how every single situation in our lives plays out just right. Literally everything. I can’t even begin to comprehend how astonishing God is.


An Open Letter to the People That Care About Me.


Everybody, no matter who you are, has at least one person that cares about them. Just today I was talking to my therapist about how it is both a blessing and a curse that I care about everyone so very deeply. Because, you see, I care about everybody a tad bit more than I care about myself. And that can cause trouble.

I am extremely blessed. I have people every where I turn that care about me. Some people care about me a little more than they should, given the role they play in my life. To the people in my life that care about me. Here is what I want you to know.

I don’t believe that a single soul cares about me. I know, logically, that people care greatly for me but on this one subject my heart and my head just don’t agree.

I could sit here for hours and tell you about specific times when it was made plain as day that I am loved. And in those moments, I felt flooded with love. But the moments fade and at the end of the night when my head hit the pillow I was left feeling lonely.

So, to you, the one that hasn’t given up on me yet. Know this.

Know that I thank God for putting you in my life.

Know that when I send you a text at 11 at night asking how you are it is probably because I am lonely and need some company but don’t want to be a burden.

Know that when you send me texts saying that you are thinking of me it gives me the courage to get through the day.

Know that I will cling to anybody that shows me they care. Because for me to truly feel genuinely loved is a rare occurrence.

Know that even when I am sitting in a room full of hundreds of people I feel like I am in a soundproof room, screaming for somebody to open the door and rescue me.

Know that I care about you. A lot.

And above all. Know that I am grateful for you. Because all though I may not always know in my heart that I have people that care about me it has been ingrained into my brain as fact that I am surrounded by people that have my best interest at heart.

To my friends, thank you for going on random drives with me to nowhere. Thank you for always playing all the right songs. And thank you being somebody I can be serious with and then dance with five minutes later.

To my adult role models and my non-biological family, thank you for always being just a phone call and a drive away from a pair of loving arms. Thank you for taking me in as if I was one of your own without even blinking an eye.

And to my family, thank you for loving me uncontrollably but never failing to make me laugh. Thank you loving on me when everybody else turned their backs. Thank you for understanding my crazy family in ways nobody else can. You make the holidays merrier and the sad days bearable.

My God’s not dead! He’s surely alive!


Everybody questions their faith at one point in their life. It is completely normal!

I found myself questioning my faith for quiet some time. Until it became undeniably obvious that, as Newsboys say, “My God’s not dead, he’s surely alive.”

I did all of the right things.

I went to Awana and memorizes the verses. However, similar to cramming info the night before a big test, I would walk out out of church every Sunday night completely oblivious to what it was I had just been rewarded for reciting word for word.

My parents had me is church classes singing and dancing to “This little light of mine.” from the get go. Very catchy song! My friends and I still plug it into the aux to this day! But I was just learning the words, not fully comprehending the meaning.

I was, to the naked eye, a “good Christian girl” all the while on the inside I was questioning if God was even real. However, yet again, I did all the right things. I reached out to a trusted adult and made it plain as day that I was stuck. I admitted that I was just going through the motions, and then I admitted that I wanted to be free.

So I prayed the prayers and I read the books and they helped! I would be lying to myself to say they didn’t. But they also did not transform me. Until I had an experience that made it undeniably obvious that God is real. And he is GOOD!

I have always served in the church. Helping in the nursery since I was old enough to. Recently I was asked to help lead a small group of third to fifth grade girls. I said yes! I love kids and adore helping people, it was a perfect fit! One Sunday night I just did not want to go. I had just gotten back from a long weekend retreat in which I had really connected to God. I was tired, and knowing that I had to wake up at the crack of dawn to go to school made me just want to curl up and go to bed. But I went with a smile on my face, because I had a duty. Honestly, I could not even tell you what we were supposed to be discussing that night. The girls were just asking A LOT of questions. I was a bit overwhelmed. As I was the only leader that night (besides our adult supervisor) so It was a lot to answer. They were asking me simple questions about the issues of a classic elementary school girl.

“What do I do when my best friend turns her back on me.” 

“My friend told this boy that I like him when I really don’t”

“My “boyfriend” and I got in a fight over who was it! Help!”

Issues that are so extreme to these girls. I gave my best advice. Most of it was advice that I had been given over the years. I found myself constantly reminding them that none of this silly drama would matter two or four or six year down the road. Man, do I need to practice what preach! I did my best to reassure them that God has a great plan for them. But it felt insignificant. I felt that I was out of line to be giving advice to these kids when I had to push myself to even go that night.

After the discussion I had two girls come up to me asking for my contact info. Saying that I had really helped and they wanted to be able to talk to me whenever things got really hard. I was flattered. I later found out that one of those girls had an extremely hard home situation. Lacking family members that truly cared for her well being. I drove home that night astonished at the work God had just done right before my very eyes. I can honestly say that since that day I have not for a single second questioned if God is real. He IS real. He IS good. And he ALWAYS will provide!


Hebrews 11:6 ESV

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.