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My Story of Sin and Grace

story of sin and grace

The unique story of each Christian believer is often considered their testimony. There is another phrasing I’ve grown to adopt after hearing others and sharing my own story of sin and grace. A wise sister recently shared in my presence, “The beauty of sharing our specific stories of sin and grace verses our testimony, is that it takes the focus off of us. Instead the focus is placed on what the Lord has done in, through, and for us.” That verbiage struck me in the moment as powerful. I grew up with an understanding of the purpose of sharing one’s testimony. Yet, it always seems to fall flat and be primarily about the person who had been transformed. What about the Person who had done the transforming?

My hope and prayer is that through sharing my own story of sin and grace, you would walk away with an overview of how the Lord has weaved Himself and His protection through every facet of my life. Even when I walked away from Him, He remained faithful to me. I’m grateful for the wisdom and leadership that introduced me to this idea of “Stories of Grace.” Christie Lacy, you have shaped and sharpened me through your own obedience to what God calls you to. I am forever grateful for your influence that points me to Jesus every single time I have a conversation with you.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

The Beginning Stages of Sin and Grace

While I didn’t grow up in a “Christian home,” my grandfather claimed a love for the Lord. He took my younger sister and I to church on Saturday nights for much of our childhood. I have sensed a calling from the Lord and “accepted Christ into my heart” at a very young age. I was also baptized as a pre-teen.

We moved around a lot as a result of my mother’s struggle with alcoholism. Praise God, she’s been sober for over a decade now and loves the Lord. My older brother did not grow up in our home, and my two siblings and I all have different fathers. My brother and sister were raised knowing their father’s and having them play a role in their lives. It wasn’t until high school that I met my father, and that wasn’t the best experience. He is not in my life today.

I had a very strong moral compass from a young age, knowing well right from wrong. Many family members are probably learning this for the first time reading this, but I was exposed to the dark side of the internet around 12 years old. I was exposed to things that no child should be exposed to, and no one knew about it. It’s difficult to admit how ugly that was. It’s even harder to acknowledge now how much darker it’s become as access has become practical limitless for both predators and children. I believe this unfortunate and unacceptable exposure played a vital role in the sin I would walk in as a teenager. Yet, I can look back and see God’s provision and protection while Satan attempted to sink his claws into a little girl with little leadership in her life.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV

A Teenager With No Foundation

While my childhood included trauma and little time to be a child, I somehow still excelled through school. My mom was approached more than once by different schools hoping to skip me a grade. She never decided to do that, and by my junior year of high school I was pretty done with the public school system that raised me.

There was one vital moment in my life that shook me and my family to our core the summer going into my junior year. I was 16 that summer, and things took a major turn. Without a strong biblical foundation, this moment shook me, so deeply. I completely forsake my “goodie two-shoes” reputation everyone knew me for. I don’t remember exactly how I found out, but a close family member had been arrested for sexually abusing another close member of our family.

Hardly believing it, I could barely understand it. I remember vividly the questions I found myself asking myself. How could this be true if I was never harmed? Why not me, if every single opportunity was exactly the same for it to be me? How can God be all-powerful, and yet allow for this to happen to someone so innocent? I couldn’t handle these questions, and quickly said, “Forget it, I’m done.” Just like that, I didn’t care about my morals or what I thought was right or wrong. I quit “trying” to do good. It was here that my story of sin and grace would begin.

I lost my virginity that very week, and would go on to make similar choices for the next roughly 8 months of my life and beyond. I stopped going to church for the most part. If I did go it was with a crowd of people who had no clue any better than I did of God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Yet, through all of those poor choices, God protected me. I’ve thought so many times how easily I could have ended up pregnant, with an STD, and/or honestly physically harmed. In His great mercy, I didn’t experience any of those things.

What then? Are we to sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Romans 6:16 ESV

Redemption When I Couldn’t See It

Less than a year into this new way of living life, regularly drinking, smoking, and “partying,” my (future) husband, Craig, entered the picture. It seems fun while you’re in the middle of a mess like this. But the truth is it’s really just a grasping for purpose and meaning. It’s ultimately a form of self-worshiping to live life in this way. I cared about myself, and only myself and couldn’t see a reason to be living any other way.

There was a party at my childhood best friend’s house while her parent’s were on a trip hours from home. There was under-age drinking and all of the other “lovely things” I managed to surround myself with at the time. I learned that my childhood crush would be at this party, who also happened to be my best friend’s cousin. He was 4 years older than me, and I carried that crush from a very young age. I knew in my heart of hearts that because of the age difference it was “never going to happen.” My human knowledge is limited, while God knew different all along. My story of sin and grace would continue weaving it’s thread through my life.

Long story short, we connected innocently that night and there was certainly something there between us. A week or two later, I was dancing around the house singing, “Guess who messaged me on MySpace?!” (Yes, MySpace. Haha.) We went on a date soon after that, and needless to say were inseparable from then on. Our relationship had a lot of issues and up and downs. In my depravity and lack of wisdom and discernment I even admitted once, “If we got pregnant I would probably get an abortion.” Words that would haunt me the rest of my life, especially the very moment I held our first son in my arms years later. Even in that, the Lord was protecting me all along the way. Despite my deep rebellion, there He was all along, weaving in and out of the details patiently waiting for me to return.

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Romans 6:17-18 ESV

A Relationship Headed Nowhere Good

In the first two years of our relationship, we lived in sin. As soon as I graduated high school, at ages 18 and 22, we moved from all we knew in Southern California to Washington state. We were on what we thought would be an exciting adventure. However, it quickly turned into what we created as our own little hell we lived in. We both struggled in secret with feelings and attractions to other people. I began struggling through questioning my own sexuality. Was I only attracted to the opposite sex? It sure didn’t seem like it. In our sin and present struggle with pornography, this questioning of mine was greatly emphasized.

It wasn’t all bad, there was some joy…enough to cause him to propose to me. I said yes, but we had a lot more heartache to walk through. I had made a friend during out time in Washington named Hannah. Hannah was a devote and outspoken Christian. She was easily one of the kindest people I have ever met in my adult life.

Two weeks after Craig proposed (and I said yes), I left him in Washington state. I moved back home to Southern California. Both heartbroken in different ways, we sought our worth in other relationships and continued down the path of destruction and sin. A year after we had moved to Washington, he came back home for his first visit since moving. I had already been back home for 3 months, and Craig and I were in contact again. I drove to his dad’s house to see him, and we couldn’t bear to be apart. There would be more lying and betrayal involved in our future from both sides. We soon we found ourselves right back where we left it in Washington, unhappy and out of ideas.

…For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

Romans 6:19b ESV

A Mustard Seed Planted

Hannah, my Christian friend from Washington, was down for a visit. We were living together in my mom’s house, and just trying to get by. One Saturday afternoon we ended up in an argument bad enough for Craig to get out of our car in a neighborhood we didn’t know. We were over an hour away from home somewhere in Los Angeles. My sister, Kylie, and Hannah were with us, and witnessed the entire thing. When Craig took off walking down the road, Kylie got our and followed him while Hannah stayed with me. I think she got into the front seat, and began counseling me. It wasn’t with worldly council, but biblical. The sin and grace again, hand in hand working together to shape who I was and who I am.

The main thing I remember her saying to me was, “Maybe you both need something more to live for, than just each other.” She meant Jesus, and I knew that deep in my soul. I knew Craig might not understand that, but he was at a loss and willing to try whatever it took to figure out how to make us work. Early that next morning we had a long drive to Las Vegas to take Hannah to catch her plane. It was a Sunday morning, and I asked Craig on the way home if he’d be willing to go to my old church with me that night. They always held a more young adult friendly service on Sunday nights, and I knew that full and well.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

Romans 6:20-21 ESV

A Mustard Seed Taking Root

Peace that could only come from the Lord overcame me as soon as Hannah had spoken those words to me in that car that Saturday afternoon so many years ago. We went to that church service that very Sunday night. Immediately after it was over I said I wanted to try to talk to the pastor. This wasn’t a small church, and the Lord provided the opportunity and time for Craig and I to have an honest conversation with Pastor Tim Kuhl that evening. I rededicated my life to Jesus in a simple prayer guided by Tim that night while Craig accepted Christ in his heart for the first time in his life.

We spent the next afternoon in Tim’s office. That was the day we made the drastic decision to repent of the sin in our relationship. We wanted to learn what it would look like to live for Someone other than ourselves, or each other. I actually lived with his mom, and him with my mom until our wedding date. We ended up married, with Pastor Tim officiating our ceremony, a short month later in Craig’s mom’s backyard.

In terms of my story of sin and grace, the sin was beginning to fade while the understanding of grace would be years in the making.

…the power of Divine grace to control the strongest affections of the human heart and subdue the rebellious will, bringing it into unrepining acquiescence to the sovereign pleasure of Jehovah.

A.W. Pink | Entire Resignation to God’s Sovereignty

Big Changes Ahead Through Sin and Grace

Our lives took a 360 degree turn. The Lord blessed us with a flourishing relationship in many ways that we had not experienced prior. Many of our struggles were redeemed including habits and desires that we had engaged in. It would be another long 7+ years, two big moves, and 2+ children before we would land in a church body that would begin drastically impacting our individual sanctification processes and understanding of sin and grace.

A little over 2 years into our marriage, we moved 8 hours north to Northern California. Craig had a new job opportunity. Less than 4 moths after that move, we welcomed our first son into the world. During our 5 years in NorCal, we church hopped, moved into a fifth wheel for 2 years, experienced the heartache of miscarriage, welcomed our second son into the world and faced the hardship of Postpartum Depression (PPD), I began my photography and birth/doula career. We struggled.

With desires to leave California and find a slower-paced life (which we had experienced during our time in Washington), we had little hope of this actually happening. Craig had even flown to Idaho for an interview at another company, just to be denied the job. We learned a lot about trusting the Lord through prayer over doors being opened and closed where He saw fit. Eventually, an opportunity too good to be true (yet, it was true) presented itself. The catch was that it meant we’d move somewhere I said I would never agree to moving to.

Soon after, I learned the lesson of “never say never.” We found ourselves purchasing our first home in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. Almost immediately the Lord was tangibly at work in our lives here. He used a neighbor to lead us to the only church we’d end up trying after church hopping for 5 years in NorCal. I cried tears of joy feeling at home at a small church up the road from our new home. My story of sin and grace would continue with grace abounding.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Roman 6:22-23 ESV

Sanctification and the Sovereignty of God

In our going on 4 years in Texas, the Lord has continued to amaze us with His faithfulness and goodness, despite our lack of both these things. We have been immersed and welcomed into a church body with sound, biblical teaching and a heart for what true community was designed for and looks like. We’ve welcomed our third son into the world and shortly after that walked through the year of 2020 that seemed to flip the entire world upside down.

Our ideals have been challenged through discipleship relationships, and rightfully re-ordered under the headship of Christ and His gospel. We’ve had the gospel preached to our specific circumstances and have hopefully preached the gospel into other’s. We’ve learned about stories of sin and grace through incredible relationships shaped by bible studies organized and lead by gifted members of our church body.

It’s not possible to deny the Lord’s work through my story of sin and grace. There is sanctification in what He has allowed in His sovereignty to take place through the sufferings we have faced.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5 ESV

What Could Have Been, What’s to Come

I so often think about what it would have been like to have been provided a firm foundation and deep-rooted understanding of who God is early on in my life. This thought comes up frequently when spending time serving as a leader alongside the teenagers in our church. If only I had understood then why God allows bad things to happen, and how He redeems them for good. How might my story of sin and grace look different?

I find myself in a place in my life that allows me to rest in the peace God provides. That same peace allows me to share openly the reality and truth of my story of sin and grace. God’s peace prevents the enemy from hushing me with the fear he so easily snares me with. My hands are open, praying, “Lord, have Your way with me.”

My story of sin and grace will continue until my Maker calls me home. May I remember the words of A.W. Pink that:

…the Divine Potter has absolute power over the clay and molds it according to His own imperial pleasure…To really learn this lesson is, by grace, to attain unto a high grade in the school of God; and even when we think we have learned it, we discover, again and again, that we have to relearn it!

A.W. Pink | Entire Resignation to God’s Sovereignty
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My Motherhood Story + Restore Your Home Challenge

I’ll never forget the memory my husband shared with me as a snippet of the birth of our first son. That is where my motherhood story truly begins. He said, “Something in you changed in that moment, you became a mom.” He was referring to what he physically witnessed in me just moments before our first baby was born. Him saying that to me is one of my most cherished memories. That experience did change me, drastically. As many other mothers will attest, I had no idea a love so big existed.

At 20 years old, I wasn’t ready for a lot of the information I would absorb during my first pregnancy. At 21 years old, ready or not I was giving birth. I would also be plummeting into my first year of caring for a newborn baby. No, this isn’t a birth story, you can find those here, if you’re interested.

However, my story doesn’t start at that moment. It starts long before the transformational moment that baby was placed in my arms…

Before I Became a Mama

Few people know the full story behind my unconventional ways, and I’ll keep it sweet and short for you here. I grew up eating the typical red-capped whole milk from the grocery store. We ate fish sticks, and the same cereal you probably did. (Not in that order, or all together, yuck haha). I didn’t grow up wealthy, and we ate what we had without giving it much thought. I was not taught to cook, and not raised to question ingredients in things, etc. However, we grew up relatively healthy and active. I spent a LOT of time outside growing up and without any serious medical issues.

Fast-forward to entering into adulthood, and my physical activity came almost to a screeching halt. I wasn’t playing sports anymore, or riding horses, and my coupon clipping supported diet was absolute trash. Not knowing how to cook, I found myself married at 19 and really struggling mentally. I was quickly given a diagnosis and multiple prescriptions to counter the symptoms I was experiencing. It wouldn’t be until 2-3 years after that diagnosis that I would realize that I was grossly mis-diagnosed. A bandaid was placed on me with zero consideration for my nutrition or lifestyle.

A few months after starting those meds, I wanted to get off of them. I was offered no help when I shared that with the doctor’s office that had prescribed them. No one would help me. My general practitioner told me, “You’re already on the lowest dose. I don’t know how to help you wean off of these.”

This was the pivotal moment in my life when things started to shift. When I started seeing benefits from using things like essential oils and switching to raw dairy, the questioning of everything else began.

My First Pregnancy

My first pregnancy was…difficult. Not because I was high-risk or because I have any medical conditions that made it so, but because I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

I was worried and stressed at every turn:
What if I move too quickly, or pick something up that’s too heavy?
How am I going to handle the pain of childbirth? I have such a low pain tolerance and I have no idea what to expect.
Why do I need to get a flu shot, and can that effect my baby?

It wasn’t until I found a Bradley Method instructor and doula at 7 months pregnant that I was at peace with the thought of giving birth. I was terrified before meeting her and taking those classes. Despite having just moved 8 hours north of almost everyone we knew and loved, we ended up doubling down and taking a 12-week childbirth education class in just 6 short weeks. We finished the course just in time to wait for me to go into labor. If you’d like to you can read my first birth story here.

I am a firm believer that the more education you can provide yourself with before your first pregnancy, the less stress and overwhelm you’ll experience during that pregnancy. That will also naturally effect your birth experience, and first year of life with your new baby. People in our culture don’t pass down wisdom like they once did (or welcome it when it’s offered), and our motherhood journeys suffer for it.

My Second, Third, and Fourth Pregnancies

Sadly, we experienced an early miscarriage with our second pregnancy. This taught me it’s own set of lessons, but some of those weren’t understood until years later……

My third pregnancy with our second son had it’s own set of difficulty and stress, especially following a miscarriage. The biggest difference in this in contrast to my first was the care team we chose for this baby. I knew after the hospital birth with our first that I would seek an out of hospital birth next time. This time, we hired a certified professional midwife for my prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. We had a very quick home birth with a skilled team, you can read that birth story here.

My fourth pregnancy was much easier on my body than my previous ones. We had our second home birth with him as well.

I want to clarify something that I learned through my years as a birth photographer and doula. (I did this from the time my first baby was 2 years old until he was about 6.) Just because I have had unmedicated hospital births, home births, and choose differently than you might, doesn’t make me right and you wrong.

Do I think you should consider all of your options fully, including home birth with a skilled and professional team of midwives? Whole heartedly, yes. Do I think you’re wrong if you choose differently than I did? Absolutely not. However, you can’t make a fully educated decision without fully understanding what your options are. Just like there are some phenomenal obstetricians, there are just as many skilled midwives helping women deliver babies safely at home. You may be surprised to learn that many professional midwives learn the exact same skillset as OBs. The biggest difference being that they don’t learn to perform surgery. The reality is if you don’t know what your options are, you don’t have any.

Learning Through Motherhood

I share so much about my pregnancies because without them, I wouldn’t have the knowledge or skills to share my story with clarity. The compelling I’ve always felt to share my own birth stories openly have undoubtedly had a positive impact on many other’s pregnancies and birth experiences.

It’s not just through pregnancy and childbirth that I’ve learned, though. When I was 9 months postpartum with my first son, I did my first Whole30. I had no clue what I was doing in the kitchen as a young stay at home mama with a small family to feed. In 2014, you couldn’t buy many things that were compliant for Whole30 in the store. I had to learn quickly how to make things from scratch if I wanted to eat and stay on track. Homemade mayo, ranch, and ketchup are skills still pressed on my memory now.

Sometime after that, I learned about some real food and natural living meetings local to me. The woman I was picking up my fresh, raw Jersey milk from led a local Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter. They held monthly nutrient-dense potlucks and meetings that covered a different topic each time. There may have been mostly older crowds that showed up for this, but I learned priceless valuable information that I couldn’t have learned elsewhere.

Motherhood is a Marathon

There is so very much to learn when we enter into motherhood. I believe we go through waves of absorbing massive amounts of information, to learning how to apply those, and even getting overwhelmed when it all becomes too much. This is all part of learning. Mistakes will be made. Without mistakes, how can we really learn anything?Motherhood is a marathon, which gives us the grace of space to learn and make small adjustments overtime.

If I would have switched my lifestyle from what it was for the first 20 years of my life to what it is now overnight, I would have crumbled under the pressure. I started making sourdough bread less than 3 years ago and I just the other day learned something new about using my starter (thank you to my friend Liz from Homegrown Education, you’re a literal culture saver, pun-intended).

Let this be an encouragement to you now. Life is a journey of living and learning and making small adjustments for the sake of serving your loved ones. It will take change, sacrifice, and hard work sometimes. But, when you make the adjustments over time at a pace that serves you and your family, you make space to flourish. You make space to cultivate a more holistic, healthy, and natural home.

Restore Your Home

Readiness wasn’t even on my mind when I began this lifelong journey of restoring my own home. I’m still doing it now, and I hope to never stop. There is always more to learn, but I hope that you’ll at least start somewhere. If you need a place to start, my Restore Your Home Challenge is a fantastic option. I created this challenge and resource with the hopes that it will get you started on your own journey. Or, perhaps encourage you to keep going if you’ve been at it for a while.

Over the course of this next year, I will be providing a different free printable PDF checklist that focuses on a different part of your home.

  • January | Kitchen
  • February | Medicine Cabinet
  • March | Cleaning Products
  • April | Furniture, Closet, + Linens
  • May | Catchup + Review
  • June | Air Quality
  • July | Technology
  • August | Water
  • September | Garden + Yard
  • October | Bath, Body, + Haircare
  • November | Catchup + Review
  • December | End of Year Wrap Up

This is for you to have an organized place to dig into all of the nooks and crannies of your home. Customize this challenge how you want to restore your own home. This is going to look different for everyone, don’t play the comparison game and just start.

If you consider yourself a homemaker at all, I invite you to join me alongside numerous other homemakers and start restoring your home, today.

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Bible Study Tools for Modern Women

bible study tools for modern women

Picture this: it’s 2014 and I’m rocking my first baby, my newborn baby boy. Fast-forward to 2017 and now I’m rocking my second baby boy while his big brother plays, and I’m battling postpartum depression (PPD). What I needed those first years in motherhood, and especially in early adulthood and even well before then, were these bible study tools for modern women.

This post contains some affiliate links, meaning when you click on some of the links and make a purchase, I receive a commission which supports my efforts to share with you in this space the products and resources I used and love most.

Young believers don’t understand or pursue “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable…”. This is what Paul is exhorting all believers to do in Philippians 4:8. In my opinion, a huge reason for the grand failure of understanding even just what this one bit of Scripture is really telling us, is greatly due to lack of knowing how to understand our bibles when we don’t.

Where does one look when they come across a word they simply cannot define? Do they turn to a search engine online, and come up with the worldly definition for it? Or, even worse, do they fail to ask the Holy Spirit to bring clarity to the living Word they’re reading? Do they run directly to what some biblical scholar has to say about any given verse? There are so many wrong turns available to take, especially with the technology available at our fingertips. Reliable and trustworthy bible study tools for modern women are vital if we are to grow in the process of sanctification as we should be.

bible study tools for modern women

Find a Bible Translation

There is much to be said about which English translation is “best” and it’s important to research it for yourself to land somewhere that you have decided in wisdom is appropriate. I enjoy primarily using what my church I belong to is using, and that’s always been enough for me. Currently, that means I have an ESV journaling bible. I recently have been enjoying checking what the CSB version says when comparing verses. I also own a Thomas Nelson NKJV Study Bible that I rely heavily on for giving me an introduction to any given book as well as defining many important terms.

Do some digging, and find a translation that you are comfortable with. This is one of the most vital bible study tools for modern women, having a bible to open up anytime you need to (which is like all day, everyday, if you’re anything like me). Digital is great, but there’s nothing like having that hard copy in your hands and distraction-free reading time with you and the Father.

Daily Disciplines for Bible Studying

They say it takes 30 days to make something a habit. (“They” still say that, right? Anyways.) Listen, if you pick up your bible and think to yourself, “This is the last thing I want to be doing right now,” that is OKAY. We’ve all been there, and it’s a grace that you even have that bible in your hands. Sometimes leading our hearts means doing things we don’t want to do. That’s a reminder I need daily, oye.

Set an alarm, if you have to. Get to sleep early to rise for solitude, if you can. Even if it looks like tiny, noisy humans with your bible to your nose, that is a beautiful act of obedience you’re modeling for those tiny, noisy humans. Whatever you need to do to set the time aside to prioritize this important discipline, do it. We can’t commune or truly love a Holy Lord that we haven’t learned about through his Word. Loving is knowing, and knowing God is being immersed in who he says he is.

I personally set my alarm for 5am daily, and can be found sitting with my breakfast coffee soon after that to read God’s Word and pray. This habit has grown into sometimes over an hour in length. It certainly didn’t start out that way.

bible study tools for modern women
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Pursue Discipleship

Galatians 6 provides framework for biblical community. We weren’t meant to carry the weight of our lives on our own, but alongside others. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” says Galatians 6:2 and “…as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith,” says 6:10 (emphasis added). As we have opportunity signifies to me that we must provide the opportunity for other believers to come alongside us in our walk. We must pursue Christ-like people in our lives and ask them to come alongside us in accountability and to speak truth into our lives.

This can look like being persistent about building community within your local church body. This requires attending a church, yes. You could join a missional community (as our church likes to call it) or small group. Find a bible study (not to be confused with a book study, those are not bible studies) and commit to it.

Bible Study vs. Book Study

This is super important to point out. In a culture where books are read more often than the Scriptures they quote, we simply cannot accept that. Are books about the bible bad? Absolutely not, I have this list on Amazon solely dedicated to theologically sound books about Scripture. What is bad is relying only on these books, rather than reading Scripture for yourself first and primarily. If you’re going to read books about Scripture, make sure you’re dedicating most of your time to Scripture itself, first. If you attend a bible study, make sure it’s centered primarily about reading and understanding God’s word and not a book club.

In the midst of the darkest parts of PPD I mention at the beginning of this post, a friend introduced me to something that drastically impacted me. I joined a local Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) about three quarters into their year-long study. I was blown away. BSF is an incredible way to study with fellow believers through one book of the bible for an entire (school) year. Each year they study a different book from beginning to end. This was the first experience I had ever had with spending that length of time in any given book within Scripture.

I was blown away, and captivated by how much could be interpreted by one single verse. BSF is an incredible bible study to attend and grow in your studying skills. They provide bible study tools for modern women that are deeply needed.

This was far superior in developing tools and understanding than any book study I had ever been a part of. There is much richness available to absorb by reading and studying a single book over a length of time.

bible study tools for modern women
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Free Bible Study Tools for Modern Women

BSF runs solely on donations, so everything they provide is free. Each week provides a new set of sheets with what Scriptures to read, questions to answer, articles to read, all in your own quiet time. That is followed by a lecture and group discussion in person. They even have excellent, free child-care. It is such a blessing, to so many.

Risen Motherhood is another free resource with excellent printable to guide you through the inductive bible study method. This is my favorite way to work through Scripture. It helps me understand so much more than I would without these bible study tools for modern women. The Abide Method is very similar to what BSF does. These free printable got me through a miserable five years of church-hopping while we lived in Northern California.

Blue Letter Bible is both a website and an app with LOADS of content and resources. You can access the interlinear concordance to accurately define words in the bible. They provide reliable commentaries for the entire bible. You can compare bible versions all next to each other. All of this is available for free on their app and website, just waiting for you to utilize it.

A Book to Start With

I know, I know…I said don’t rely on books. However, if you’re just stepping your toes into your pursuit of studying Scripture, there are some books I suggest you start with. Just remember to also pick your bible up every single day while you learn how to utilize these new tools.

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin is a really outstanding and helpful book to begin to understand both the process and the purpose of studying God’s Word.

PS: Many men (my husband included) read through this book alongside a year-long bible study and they loved it, too.

“We all know it’s important to study God’s word. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. What’s more, a lack of time, emotionally driven approaches, and past frustrations can erode our resolve to keep growing in our knowledge of Scripture. How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible?

Women of the Word has helped countless women with a clear and concise plan they can use every time they open their Bible. This book will equip you to engage God’s word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.”

Breathed Out By God

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

The all sufficient Word of a holy, omniscient God. The grand Narrator of time and space. Seek him, sister, and you will find him.

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Lions in a World of Sheep

You may find yourself reading the title Lions in a World of Sheep and feel a sense of excitability. You may be on the edge of your seat thinking, “Yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been saying and thinking!” Perhaps hairs immediately stand up on your arms while reading that statement and you may be thinking, “There are grave implications for making that statement.”

To be blunt, this article is not here to affirm your bias that being a lion in a world of sheep is what God is calling you to as a follower of Christ in today’s society. Out of an abundance of transparency, if you’re reading that with the first reaction on your heart, I’d like to urge you to prayerfully take a step back. If you resonate with the title, I ask you to prayerfully seek out a vast amount of humility to process what you read next.

Not of This World

Maybe you haven’t even come across it, yet. If you haven’t seen it, there is this idea making waves throughout the “outcasts” of our culture. This idea expresses in various ways, “We need more lions in a world of sheep!” with boldness and tenacity. I typically see it from those that do their best to “march to the beat of their own drum” or live their lives “counter-culturally.”

When I say outcasts, I mean the people going against the grain of the majority of society. I’d say I align with many of the choices made in this community in our culture. I homeschool my children, I seek alternative healthcare options, I make the majority of our food from scratch. Yet, I can’t help but tilt my head a bit each time I witness a professing Christian publicly aligning with this idea that appears to me to be counter-intuitive to what the Word of God states. If you have a hard time imagining that possibility, I’d like to challenge you to search Scripture and find what passages support that claim you’re clinging to.

Sought and Rescued

For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

Ezekiel 34:11-12

Jesus is our good Shepherd, He came to live and breathe in flesh and become the ultimate sacrifice for us. If we didn’t need rescuing, what was the point of His sufferings? The questions continue. If we, as believers, are to be lions, do we really need Jesus? If we don’t, then His life and death were in vain. How can a perfect God mistake our need, unless it wasn’t a mistake at all and we are indeed sheep in need of rescuing after all?

I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. / And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 34:22, 31

We are His sheep. He is our God. He declares it. He claims us. He rescues us, because we are in great need of rescuing. A lion doesn’t need rescuing or watching after, a helpless sheep needs both and more.

Christ Has Set Us Free

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. / For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Galatians 5:1, 13-15

Without context and proper definition from the original language and consideration of what the original hearers of these passages would have understood, it’s easy to take a verse like this and cookie cutter it into our lives today. At first glance, I am riled up and think, “That is the American way, the very founding of our country! Hurrah!” However, upon studying and prayerfully seeking understanding through the Holy Spirit, an entirely different message begins to unfold.

Two words into this passage and you could be understanding completely incorrectly the intentions of Paul when he wrote this to the church of Galatia. This letter was written “to clarify and safeguard the gospel [and] to combat controversies in Galatia raging around the reception of the gospel in the lives of new believers.” (From my Thomas Nelson NKJV Study Bible – cannot find mine in print – which is what I use alongside my ESV journaling bible from the Daily Grace Co.)

Freedom from What?

You see, it’s easy to look at the word “freedom” and apply it to our lives today. Strong’s Concordance (available verse by verse via Blue Letter Bible) provides much needed clarity on what the original word “freedom” meant. The Greek word eleutheria is specifically defined for Galatians 5:1 and 13 (as well as Gal. 2:4, 1 Corin. 10:29, 1 Peter 2:16, 2 Corin. 3:17, James 1:25 and 2:12, and Romans 8:21). It means “liberty to do or to omit things having no relation to salvation…from the yoke of the Mosaic law.”

This definition is much different from the definition of freedom given for the use of the word in 2 Peter 2:19 which states, “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” In this verse, freedom is defined as “fancied liberty, i. e. license, the liberty to do as one pleases.”

I pray you see the importance of not taking Scripture and sifting it through the filter that is our lives. Instead, we must seek Scripture to understand who God is, and how we are to respond in light of that truth.

Sheep Among Lions

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Matthew 10:16

LOOK OUT, there are wolves. Be wise, be innocent. Predators like wolves are not known as innocent, nor are lions. But, a sheep is prey for wolves and lions. Does God call us to be a predator? It certainly seems not so.

When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

John 10:4

…but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:26-27

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:11

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,

Hebrews 13:20

Countless examples are available in Scripture of followers of Christ as the Good Shepherd’s sheep. In today’s world, we compare this as being a coward. In God’s kingdom, it’s backwards. We must keep eternity in mind if we are to withstand the schemes of the enemy in the world we live in.

You Must Be Ready

“…You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect…And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or ac according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

Luke 12:40, 47-48

If we knew when Jesus were returning to establish his kingdom and make all things new, then we would be vigilant based solely on this knowledge. This avoids addressing our hearts, if you ask me. Because we do not know the time, it is essential that we constantly be ready.

In his verse by verse study, Chuck Smith breaks down Luke 12:45-48 by reinstating what I agree God to be warning us with here:
“God holds you responsible for your knowledge. Knowledge creates responsibility before God. And having the knowledge that you have, brings you into a greater responsibility before God. God holds you responsible.”

Continue reading and studying in Luke 12 and you will see further clarification of the reality we face as believers and followers of Christ.

The Greatest Commandment of All

Sisters or brothers in Christ, you are not on this earth, created by a loving Father, to be lions in a world of sheep. If you call yourself a Christian, then you are not walking in the Spirit if you come at the world barring your teeth and pushing aggressively towards social reform. Instead, we are to love, above all else. Remember how God defines love in Scripture?

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

What is the most important commandment Jesus himself provides believers to follow? Love, defined above, affirmed below.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 

Mark 12:30-31

Lions in a World of Sheep

If Scripture exhorts the people living in the days of Jesus’s life to walk in love, then what right do we have to assume we should walk in any other way? Why does Jesus stop Peter from physically defending him from the Roman soldiers come to take him away in John 18? He tells Peter to put his sword away, so that the Father’s will can be done. Nowhere in Scripture have I found support for disregarding God’s commandments to love. Nowhere did Jesus’ teachings contradict this commandment.

We’re not called to rescue ourselves, we have never been able to, we never will be able to. Jesus came because of this truth, because we are not capable to rescue ourselves. Jesus came because in our wreckage, we cannot save ourselves.

“But God”

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

Brother, sister…you are God’s workmanship. The direct translation of this word happens to be “poem” in the English language, which indicates a handiwork, a masterpiece. God’s church is his poem.

May this bring rest and comfort to your weary soul seeking clarity in these trying times. The only thing that makes sense biblically to do is to run to the Father and trust His will for, in and through my life. I won’t know what that is unless I’m seeking Him in His Words. May we be a people that seek the Lord with our whole hearts, minds and souls.

All quotes from Scripture taken from the ESV translation.

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Love Your Neighbor: (Fill in the Blank)

love your neighbor

I’m sure, like me, you’ve come across it. You’ve faced it at the grocery store, or in conversations with neighbors. Perhaps it’s come up in your personal relationships, maybe even within the conversations between you and your own spouse. There’s a dangerous trend going around, one which I have witnessed myself over and over again. It’s a trend that equates taking a bias (defined by Wikipedia as a “disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair”) and using Scripture to support that bias. Love your neighbor, do XYZ is a common one circulating.

I’ve certainly been guilty of this during conversations both on and offline. But God, rich in his mercy and abundant in grace, has stretched me a little thinner, bringing me much more clarity on what HIS love looks like in the midst of a time surrounding so much disagreement.

Love Your Neighbor, Do XYZ.

love your neighbor

“Love your neighbor, vote this way.”
“Love your neighbor, wear a mask.”
“Love your neighbor, vaccinate your children.”
“Love your neighbor, don’t support the police.”
“Love your neighbor, fight for the freedoms entitled to in America.”

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Galatians 5:14 ESV

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13:10 ESV

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.

Phillipians 4:5 ESV


One look at the word “reasonableness” and I tend to think, “Ok, don’t be a jerk, or temperamental.” At first place, it expresses a certain temperament to me. In the NKJV the word has been translated as “gentleness.” Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testaments describes this term as:
expresses an active dealing with others; in contrast with meekness, found in 2 Corinthians 10:1, which is more especially a temperament of habit or mind.
My NKJV Study Bible defines gentleness as a noun that:
identifies a person who manifests a calmness and fairness of spirit. A person who is gentle is willing to sacrifice his or her own personal rights to show consideration to others.

Love Your Neighbor: Deny Your Personal Rights

Is it a personal right to be able to vote for the party we believe is the best choice? To decide whether or not to partake in mask wearing? To vaccinate ourselves or our children, or choose not to? Is standing by law enforcement while desiring (and fighting against) racial issues that have lasted throughout too many generations the wrong choice? What about simply having the right to make any of these decisions in the first place, because we live in the land of the free, because of the brave?

All of these things might be personal rights, but they are not God-given rights. Personal rights are granted to us by America and each of these specific topics have a legitimate argument against them. There is an argument supporting why their bias is the “right” one.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that nowhere in Scripture, biblical history, or even of prophecy of what is yet to come is the illusion of freedom being a necessity to Christians. On the contrary, God’s people have suffered persecution for lack of freedom due to their profession of their faith. This doesn’t mean God abandons his people, instead:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

2 Peter 1:3 ESV

Examples of this are provided countless times throughout both the old and the new testaments. God provides us with all things. Whether we have freedom granted to us by our governing authorities or not, we have all things in him.

Seeking to Understand the Opposing Viewpoint

If we spend our time falling into one bias, while not seeking out the truth of the opposing view, what happens? We have a one-sided argument. We have a belief that what we decided to do is the absolute only way. Does failing to seek to understand an opposing view show love to that person holding the opposing view? In my experience, it doesn’t. I’m guessing if you’ve ever decided to do something out of the ordinary in your lifetime, that you’d agree.

I’ve been the minority on many issues in my adult life. Most recently, the mask mandates have caused me a lot of conflict within my own heart and convictions. I see the data that expresses that masks have helped keep illnesses from spreading from person to person in close quarters, and I see data that expresses it doesn’t make a lick of difference. The arguments over this subject are endless.

Where does the love of neighbor come into play, here?

Someone with a legitimate medical condition preventing them from being able to breathe with a mask covering their airways encounters someone who would only feel safe around that person if they choose to wear one… what is to be done in a situation like this? The person who struggles to breathe wearing a mask could show them love by wearing one anyways, or the mask-wearer could show love by being clear that it’s ok if that person cannot safely breathe while wearing one.

Love Your Neighbor: Walk in Step With Undeniable Truth

These are the hard realities we are all attempting to cope with. There are so many sides to every story, causing further confusion to ensue. The only thing I’ve found to combat that chaotic confusion, is undeniable truth. Where does one look to find that truth? God’s Word answers that exact question for us.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

We must, as believers, as professors of Christ, seek Scripture to make sense of the mud of culture. It’s efficient.

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.

Romans 14:7 ESV

Our actions, every single one of them, affect others. Our actions always affect someone, but not everyone is affected by our actions.

Therefore let us not pass judgement on one any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Romans 14:13 ESV

Judgement. There it is. If I find myself questioning another person either for choosing to wear, or choosing not to wear a mask, I’m already in the position to sin. I’m already disobeying God’s command to love my neighbor. This is the pivotal issue over the argument to choose to decide for someone else what loving their neighbor equates to.

Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Romans 14:18-19 ESV

Pursue what makes for peace and mutual upbuilding. Is telling someone they are foolish for a choice they made providing an opportunity to upbuild one another or to make peace?

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12:18 ESV

Scripture Does Not Contradict Itself

It’s a comfort to know, as a believer, that Scripture does not contradict itself. The world, full of all of it’s opinions and ideas, is full of contradiction. No matter what we decide on any matter, there’s a contradictory idea that surfaces against that decision. Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation is consistent and tells the same redemptive story over and over again of a God that loves his people and wants them to walk in unity with their Creator.

When we attach a bias, opinion, or idea onto something God-breathed, we are likely going to find that there is something else in Scripture that will contradict our belief and/or stance on that thing. When we do this, as Christians, we also make something appear authoritative that was never intended to be that way. God’s Word cannot be inerrant, but our biases certainly can be.

What Happens When We Use Scripture to Support our Bias

When we use Scripture to support our bias, we are no longer just “spreading truth” but instead, we are (even if unintentionally) causing quarrels within the body of believers. For example, “Love your neighbor, wear a mask,” twists the biblical principle stated in Galatians 5:14 into the bias that wearing a mask is beneficial for all. It completely ignores the love for the neighbor that cannot wear a mask, due to history of trauma or a medical condition preventing them from breathing properly with it on. Does that sound like what God meant when he told us we should love our neighbor as ourselves?

Instead of morphing Scripture with our biases to support our views, let’s choose instead to do what we are commanded to in the Word of God.

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:34-40 ESV

Choose to Believe the Best About Others

Believing the best about another human being that was created in the image of God is loving that person. This means when we witness someone wearing a mask, we actively choose to believe the best about them (that they are doing what they believe will best love others). When we witness someone wearing a mask with their nose exposed, we choose to believe the best about them (that they are doing what they believe will best love others). When we see someone not wearing a mask at all, we choose to believe the best about them (that they are doing what they believe will best love others).

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

Romans 14:1 ESV

So what do we do with all of this, as followers and believers in Jesus Christ?

The answer is quite simple: If someone is doing something that you immediately disagree with at first glance, like wearing a mask, respect their choice. Choose to honor them whether you agree or disagree. If someone is not wearing a mask, respect their choice and choose to honor them whether you agree or disagree.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.

Philippians 4:2 ESV

This was not a plea simply for the sake of avoiding an argument with Euodia and Syntyche. It was a plea to not allow differences to impact our unity with one another in Jesus Christ and his work he did for us on the cross. Let us agree in the Lord, despite our disagreements.

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Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss: Healing

September of 2015

The weather was a typical California “fall” that September. We were tiny living in our fifth wheel as a family of three with our firstborn and our dog, Gracie. It wasn’t too hot that month, we were still longingly awaiting the cooler weather. Our long pants were still neatly tucked away in storage, waiting for the seasons to change. We prayerfully decided our two year old would make a really great big brother. My husband and I felt ready to grow our family by another sweet baby. It wasn’t hard to become pregnant the first go-around. I was certain it wouldn’t happen again on the first try. Miscarriage and pregnancy loss were the last things on our minds.

Well, as usual, God had different plans than I did. Within weeks, there I was…anxiously waiting the longest three minutes of my life for two pink lines to slowly appear on a dollar store test. Did it really happen that easily, again? Another test confirmed, pregnant.

I took that test very early in my pregnancy, according to my most recent cycle. I had to be 4-5 weeks along, symptoms from rising HCG barely at their beginning stages. My first pregnancy had gone well without complications out of the ordinary. The memories of the same moment with our first pregnancy flashed in my mind.

Soon after the joy of learning there was another precious life growing inside of me, a feeling like a dark cloud began to follow me around. I remember sharing with a handful of people that I was pregnant. Each time I would share, I would attach, “But, it’s really early.” Was I saying that because I knew others who had experienced loss? Miscarriage or pregnancy loss are not things that I had ever personally experienced. The sense that something was off wouldn’t leave me. I was afraid. I couldn’t put my finger on why, but this overwhelming sense of worry was hovering in my mind.

It was a Saturday night when the feeling completely overcame me, this sinking feeling deep inside of me. I was roughly six weeks along by now. I remember saying to my husband, “Something isn’t right,” and I cried in his arms that night. The next day, the start of bleeding would begin. The pink lines would begin to fade on additional tests (signaling the HCG was lessening in my body). I knew for certain that day that I was experiencing a miscarriage or pregnancy loss and miscarrying our baby…

September of 2020

It’s been five years since we experienced our pregnancy loss. While the many tears I cried eventually stopped flowing and I experienced God’s gracious healing with the birth of our rainbow baby the following September, it was difficult to let go of why that happened to me. It can be so frustrating to not understand exactly why God allows these things to happen. I have always said I’m so thankful it was so early. But, the emotional pain was still like nothing I’ve ever felt before.

August of 2018

Fast-forward a few years to late summer when we moved from California to Texas. Over the course of those three years, I never went searching for reasons why we miscarried. Little did I know, the answers somehow found me anyways. I began seeing a new dentist in our new state. I was in the middle of the process of removing my (many) amalgam fillings. Amalgams are those metal looking fillings dentists use(d) to fill cavities, which happen to contain a toxin called mercury. Somewhere along my journey to holistic, natural living, I had come across research that supported the decision to have those removed. For health reasons, I decided I would be better off having them all replaced, reducing the risk of the toxins in my body. However, it never crossed my mind whether those risks involved miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

Spring of 2015

We were still living in California when I got the first half of them removed. The dentist I was seeing at the time wasn’t anything outside of the normal realm of typical dentists. He happened to not take any precautions when removing and replacing the amalgam fillings. I didn’t know any better to advocate for anything different (I doubt he did, either).

October of 2018

So, I sought out this new to me, holistic dentist in Texas. Dr. Teresa Scott made it a priority to promptly remove the remaining amalgams and replace with porcelain like the rest. She was firm that this was of importance before doing any of the rest of the dental work I needed. Taking major precautions to not only protect me during the removal process, but herself and her staff as well she replaced the fillings. (Through this process, I learned there is a legitimate and significant risk of exposing the toxins into the air from the amalgams during this process.) After this was completed, she heavily advised me to detox with something like TRS. The next thing she said is where the wheels in my brain started rolling…she finished her recommendations with, “One more thing…do not get pregnant for a minimum of 6 months from now.”

My heart felt like it had jumped to my throat. Why was she recommending that so strongly? What could happen if I got pregnant after this? When did I miscarry….when did I get my other amalgams removed….was there a connection? My heart sank back down to my the bottom of my stomach. I looked back to when I had the first amalgams removed (remember, with no precautions, no detoxing, nothing). Sure enough, it was within 6 months of getting pregnant that I miscarried what would have been our second baby.

September of 2020

The healing I experienced through the gift of our second-born baby, despite just how hard it was to not live in fear throughout the course of his pregnancy, was complete and full of love. The healing I experienced after having highly probable answers to why I experienced pregnancy loss, was moving. It has now been five years since we experienced the devastation of loss. Four years ago we had our rainbow baby. Two years ago I realized what could have caused our loss.

I share this story in full for the first time, in hopes that it will touch someone else’s pain with a glimpse of hope. In hopes that it will cause less pain by providing the awareness. There are risks we face each and every day with the decisions we make. Our care providers don’t know what they don’t know. None of us know what we don’t know. That is something I’m learning more and more through my walk with Christ. It very much so fits these circumstances I find myself having faced. It allows me to have offer grace up to others.

I still keep those positive pregnancy tests tucked away in a drawer. With those tests are other tangible memories of the life that didn’t remain viable inside of my womb. One of those tangible memories is a card from a sweet friend and sister in Christ who walked me through that difficult season. Having a friend who has been in the shoes you’re currently walking in is a blessing from the caring Father above. I am grateful to this day for the love she showed me. I haven’t been able to bring myself to read that card again since the day she gave it to me.

Miscarriage and pregnancy loss is not an easy topic to write about, to read about, or to think about. If you find yourself wondering what could have caused your loss, I want to be clear that those answers might not ever come full circle this side of heaven. It’s possible you have a story like mine. If you do and feel compelled to share, I’d love to hear your heart. Feel free to email me, or comment below if you feel safe to do so.

To the mamas that have felt the pain of loving a child you never got to hold, you’re not alone. You’re never, ever alone. There’s hope, and grace…for me, and for you.

A Note

I realize there is a common “courtesy” of providing a trigger warning at the start of a text that could potentially elicit uncomfortable feelings in others. I want to be clear that I do not believe this is the best way to counter those triggered emotions. Real life does not come with trigger warnings, and my miscarriage and pregnancy loss experience certainly wasn’t an exception to that. It is my opinion that the more loving thing to do than provide a trigger waring, is to instead weep with those who weep. We can’t walk with one another in our pain if it’s not shared. So here you will find me, heart on my sleeve sharing with you. Will you share with me, too?

Images on this post taken by Nicole Jackson Photography
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If Only You Could See Above a Storm Cloud

Another mass of darkness is approaching. By the time you can see it, you know there’s not much you can do to avoid what’s coming. You can make wise choices and seek shelter. You can do your best to protect things that might become damaged in the wake of the storm. Before you know it, the darkness is all-consuming, the only thing you can do now is wait for it to pass and hope that your choices were wise enough to withstand what’s coming.

The leaves of a bush and a tree begin to move as the wall of wind that comes along begins to shake everything loose. The grumble of thunder is present now, and the blue sky and sun shine are a distant memory under the presence of the increasing darkness. You can hardly believe they are still there, and don’t even consider it while the storm is approaches.

The thunder is louder now, rain drops begin to fall. We “let the chips fall where they may” allowing it, no matter what may happen after that. There’s nothing we can do at this point besides let the downpour wash away every loose end and hope that we can repair what might get damaged in it’s wake.

When the dark storms of life hit us out of nowhere, it often looks just like an unexpected thunderstorm. We can make so many comparisons, and human nature tends to respond to them the same whether it’s physical rain drops falling on us, or disappointment after heartache that just keep coming our way.

The thing I have found myself marveling at about a storm cloud though, is when I can see a peek of blue sky in the break of it. God gives us these small glimmers of hope in the darkest of seasons, and it’s a reminder of what we can choose to remember in the midst of any darkness we find ourselves under.

However, we aren’t always blessed with a glimmer of blue sky. Sometimes the storm isn’t quick, sometimes the storm of life we’re facing has no end in sight. Sometimes the radar shows hours, days, weeks of endless rain and when that happens it’s especially difficult to remember the blue sky that still exists, even if we can’t see it. The storm is all encompassing, it covers everything we can see. We protect what we can from it, and we adapt in the process. We trust, trust God that we will see the blue sky again. It might not be on this side of heaven, but we won’t know unless we stick around and patiently wait for the storm to break.

The forecast may seem bleak, but the blue sky is always closer than we think, if we could only see above a storm cloud.