The Next Chapter

In the midst of heartaches and adversity, God is there. He is our beacon of hope during the strongest of storms. He knows our thoughts, ways, the paths we take and the exact combination of it all to help us weather the storms. He knows during these difficult times we need inspiration and encouragement, so He gives us God moments.

When I started writing my book Underneath the Scars, it felt as if a great warfare was raging inside me. It was one of the hardest, trying, most painful moments of my life. There were so many times when I wanted to quit; times when I wanted to be stubborn and refuse God. There were times when I couldn’t understand the purpose of the book and very seriously doubted that my story would ever touch another life.

And my God was so patient with me. He was so kind, gentle, and longsuffering. He knew my heart. He knew I wasn’t refusing Him out laziness or disrespect. He knew I was terrified and hurting. That’s when He gave me a special gift. He gave me this picture.

Calen drinking from a straw.

It is the most precious picture I think I have ever seen. The first time my eyes glimpsed it, I was heartbroken. All I could see was a baby with no hands, in a world that demands them. I thought about all of the trials he would face in life and I would cry—desiring a way to help him and others affected. When I thought I couldn’t write another word and I couldn’t possibly finish my book, God would take me to this picture. It was my reminder to write from my heart. God reminded me that there was a purpose and a great need for it.

As the words filled my blank pages, a change took place inside of me. With every grain of acceptance I received, my thoughts and feelings began to change. And then one day as I come to the ending of Zippy and the Stripes of Courage, my perspective changed as well.

When I glimpsed this picture from my heart, I saw a baby who survived! He went through the trauma; he has the scars to prove it, but he survived. He lived when so many die. God gave him life, hope, love. He gave him determination. In this picture, he didn’t know he was different. He didn’t know that he wasn’t supposed to be able to do it. I believe that whatever heartaches, trials and challenges he faces, God will deliver him out of them all.

Through it all, God showed me about strength, perseverance, and the power of our thoughts and beliefs. He showed me that anything is possible through Him. He taught me about thankfulness and hope.

I love it when He reminds me my life belongs to Him and shows me the beautiful gift of life and love. The last few months have been hard for me. I’ve battled pain and so many different emotions. At times I feel like I have been knocked down and the devil is kicking me.

And then I get this picture—unexpectedly. They say a picture holds a thousand words and I agree.
Calen holding Zippy and the Stripes of Courage. That smile reminds me Calen is a SURVIVOR of Amniotic Band Syndrome!
I know that it’s time to open my heart and write more books for my Lord. Honestly, I had hoped the next ones would come easy, but I realize that won’t be the case at all.
We have to be in the valley to work for the Lord. We have to come to the end of our strength before we start searching for His voice. We have to seek our own understanding and guidance from God, before we find the gift of knowledge and wisdom to help others.
Ecclesiastes 1:18 KJV
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
I desire to be obedient to my Lord. I pray that I will do whatever He places on my heart to do. I hope I can get my thoughts, feelings, and fears out of the way and walk by faith for Him. He deserves praise, honor, and glory.
I don’t know why He chose me as the bearer of this beautiful gift. I feel so unworthy and then again so thankful. There is a part of me (my flesh) that truly dreads this process. It’s hard and painful at times. Especially, when my heart becomes burdened to write and I struggle against it.
However, the blessings are far greater than the grief. There is one thing know for sure. I don’t write for money or fame, I write because my Lord blesses me to write His word and sometimes share it with others.

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