Secret Journey

Goodness, I am not sure where to start this blog.  I have so much on my mind I need to share with my friends and family.

Several months ago Robert and I were met with an opportunity which would lead us on a new journey,  until now a secret journey.   If you have followed me on Facebook, you know this journey requires faith and trust in God’s timing.  Robert and I did not know, at the time, where this journey would lead us. We knew, however, that it was a journey we had to take for many reasons.

Looking back over the past few months, I regret not opening up to my family and friends sooner BUT we were trying to prevent hurting other people while we were on this journey.

You are probably asking me what in the world are you talking about, aren’t you? This new journey all began with a question.  The question came from the heart of a grandmother and the love she has for her first grandchild.  One afternoon while my aunt was at our house visiting with, us she asked us a question with 7 words, “Would you be willing to adopt her?”  The “her” she was referring to is an infant!   Robert and I were totally blown away that she would think that much of us she would want us to adopt this baby.

We knew we had a lot of praying and seeking God  to do about this situation.  How could we say no to opening our home and life up to a beautiful baby girl who needed a home where she would be loved and protected for the rest of her life?   We had so much seeking to do.  Where would God lead us?  What answers would He give us?   So our prayer life ended up in overdrive.

The past few months since we were asked about adoption we have had many words of wisdom from individuals.  Robert and I received the most valuable words of advice from Haynes when we discussed with him about this opportunity.   Haynes told us, “If you don’t adopt the baby then you are being irresponsible.  You need to adopt her.” When we heard these words we knew God was giving us an open door to start the process.  We only had to trust His timing.

Once we made the decision to put our names into the “hat” for adoption we opened up to a few friends and family members.   The response and help we have received has been amazing.  We realize just how blessed we are to have the friends we have — our friends are the best.

Today, we faced a new leg of this journey, one which may not have gone the way we wanted it too BUT it was not the end of this journey.   I know over the next few months we will continue on the journey and praise God for all of his blessings along the way.   We have realized we ARE in God’s will because of the opposition we are facing and He sees the end from the beginning.  God even showed me in the middle of what seemed like confusion to some that all would be fine!

Now that our new journey is not a secret anymore, we will keep you updated along the way!  So when you say your prayers tonight remember us, the baby, and this journey God has placed us on.

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Appointments Made by God

There are times in life where you just don’t understand exactly what you are going through and why you have to go through certain struggles.  I have been very vocal on my blog about the struggle I had in school, growing up.  There were times I couldn’t make heads or tails of the events going on around me.  I didn’t understand treatment by certain individuals, teachers and fellow students alike (friends and non-friends).  As young child and even teenagers,humans tend to question why they were born into the family they were born into, why they live where they live, why they look the way they do, and the list goes on because I believe children and teens were designed to question!  So as we go through the struggles I mentioned in the beginning we start questioning what is going on.  I know it sounds as though I am rambling a bit BUT I promise I have a point to make tonight, I just need to get some background information for you.  Let me tell you a story that has been many years in the making – an appointment God made years ago and then again recently.

Growing up I never saw myself as poor or rich, I had Jesus, a mom, a dad and a brother – a small family but a happy family.   Both of my parents worked, we attended church together every time the doors were opened , we always seemed to get the things we needed and many of the things we wanted. I can remember taking the best vacations, we went to Disney World when I was in second grade, we went to the mountains when I was in third grade and Cape Kennedy when I was in fourth grade.  The years we didn’t take big trips we had the BEST vacations ever — we went to Kingsley Beach and camped out!  I even had  a handful of friends who I felt like I could share everything with and be myself around.   I simply had a wonderful life!

Like I said, I had a handful of friends.  Well, there was this one friend — we called ourselves cousins, I am sure we are related somehow down the road–she was that one friend that we seemed to always be at each others houses.  If she wasn’t at my house, I was at her house — most of the time she was at my house because I didn’t like staying away from home.   My friend did everything with me, she seemed as part of the family!   Our friendship started when we were in Kindergarten and simply grew through Elementary school.   I am sure everyone has that friend from childhood that they have many memories with.   The list of memories I have with this friend starts with dress up, Sunday School, church, school, and many many more.    My friend and I seemed to be close for many years but in middle school we began drifting apart.  I thought we drifted because I was in band she was into softball – these two activities seemed to pull us into two different directions.  Before long this friend I shared many memories with as a child was simply a memory and a person I would see in the halls at school from time to time since we didn’t have classes together it was rare to cross paths otherwise.   Middle school came and went, high school came and went so did our friendship.  We both took different paths and our paths did not cross.

Fast forward to 21 years after high school (21 years OH MY GOSH, NO WAY!!!) my old friend moved back home – in the age and time of Facebook and Twitter, she and I had reconnected and communicated several times prior to her moving back home.   All of these years had passed and our lives went in different directions but one thing seemed to connect us after all this time an appointment God had made for us.   Today 21 years after high school my friend and I were able to start exercising together, by exercise I mean walk.  God had allowed for us to make a connection again after all of this time.   Little did I know there was a reason for this appointment, one that I had no clue about.  I will let my friend’s comments finish this story: “This morning I woke up a little nervous. You see I was saved in my mid 20s and my first desire was for God to place a few people back into my life so that I would be able to apologize for the things that I had done to them growing up. I didn’t realize until I was an adult that the hurt that was done to me I was doing to others (just in a different form). I remember growing up and going home with a friend. At this friends house she had a mom, a dad, and a brother in the home (unlike me). Her parents loved each other and showed it in every way possible. (unlike me). I remember she had a water bed and a record player. We would lay awake at night and listen to this one particular song. “Dear Mister Jesus”. It was a song told by a little girl about all the abuse (physical, emotional, sexual) children were going through and in the end she talks about how she is being abuse. Man how I wanted to tell my story. But instead of telling my story, I started resenting this friend and starting being really mean to her. I wanted what she had and didn’t understand what made her so special and not me. I was really mean to this friend and after a while I never spoke to her. fast forward MANY years. After being saved I prayed for God to put this particular person back into my life so that I could apologize to her face to face. Her and I kept making plans to meet up and walk but something just kept coming up BUT God gave me that opportunity today. When I woke up this morning I did some chores and then I got on my knees and started praying. I prayed God would provided the opportunity, the words, the wisdom, the peace, for me to be able to go through with it. AND HE DID. It took over 20 years but I apologized and a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. It was an amazing feeling. If you ever have the opportunity to right your wrongs….pray about it and do it.”

Now, for the rest of the story, I didn’t remember any of the treatment she had to apologize for.   I had forgiven and forgotten about it a long time ago.  It has been erased from my memory to the point I can’t tell you a single thing she did to me which was mean (that is why it isn’t in my blog).   God is wonderful and truly does put people in your path for a reason!   Little did I back when I was a third, fourth and fifth grader my family and I were planting seeds which would manifest years later.   God is so awesome and I am so thankful I am being used by Him daily.  I am thankful my childhood friend has a close relationship with God now and is a great example for those around her.  The appointment God made for me today is one I could not have made myself — He has restored and healed!

 

 

Share Time

Goodness, where has time gone?  It seems just like yesterday Robert and I began to seek  God about our housing situation.  Here we are two years later living in our dream house, made possible only by the grace of GOD!  The past few months I have been working on putting together a video to share with you.  The video documents, through pictures, our house from the very beginning to where we are today!  I hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  I have to admit, I was brought to tears as I put together our video!

Also, one confession about our weight loss journey!   Robert is down several pounds where me on the other hand —- I am scared to get on the scales, scared what the scales will show.  I know from the shopping I did today, the scales will show me something I don’t want to see and don’t know if I am ready to see!

I was asked the other day a few questions and a few  of these questions happened to be, “What habits do you need to say goodbye to the most? Make a list. What do you need to do more?”  It was followed up by “When you know what your temptations/weaknesses are, then we will work towards how to make the choices to avoid or say no to them.”

Since being asked those questions I have thought really hard about it.   Over the next few days I will be documenting a list of habits I need to say goodbye to.  I hope you will following along as I pour my heart out to my readers and document my struggles and successes over the next little, let’s be real here — the next long, while!

 

I Survived

Last night was the season premiere of Biggest Loser, Temptation Nation.  I was eager to watch primarily  (here is a confession coming) to see what I missed out on. Deep down I felt this pain and desire to be there.  I really was surprised by my emotions as I began to watch.

I had been told several times over the past months Robert and I were simply not overweight enough for the show.  As it would turn out, as I watched the show, there were several contestants smaller than us and stories that did not match ours.  I also noticed, yes I was very observant last night,  many of the contestants were from Georgia and a handful from Florida.  I think that realization hurt bad.  I began wondering/questioning again why we weren’t good enought for this show.  What about our story didn’t make us good enough?!?

Yes, as I watched the show, I cried along with the contestants — I couldn’t help it!  Here comes another confession ladies and gentlemen. … I also cried a few tears and wanted to cry even more out of self pity.  I really suffered from the want and desire to change our lives and the lives of those around us, what is wrong with wanting to give my community something to be proud of?!?

After all being said, I survived the season premiere last night.  I enjoyed watching the changes the show made, how cool would it have been to be part of those changes!

 

My Journey to You Part 3

Hopefully I have not lost everyone on my journey. If you are thinking it took me a long time to get to Robert, imagine how I felt! After I began to have realization of the man God had purposed for me, I felt as though it was taking forever to find him. I kept praying, seeking God for guidance along my journey and I continued my activity in the Singled out by Grace Singles Ministry almost every night.

Being a member of a very active singles ministry meant I was interacting with many individuals on a daily basis pretty much. Our group would have discussions and we all became friends encouraging each other as we all took this journey as single Christian adults together. The interactions I had included men and women. One specific man I found myself interacting with a little more every week with one certain individual, but at the time I did not connect the dots.

Summer came and summer went, I was still looking for the man God had for me, the one He had promised to me. I really questioned why he had not come yet, I wondered what I had done wrong, what I was not doing right. My mind was spinning, and being the type of person I am my brain always kept working overtime reviewing everything from the previous three to four months. Still, I could not figure out why God had not helped me find the man He promised me. Then one night in October, on the Florida / Georgia game night — GO GATORS!!!! — I visited my grandma’s church for their annual sing (the irony in all of this we currently are attending this EXACT SAME church) and I heard a song. The song I heard put everything in my life and all the events which had happened to me over the course of the last year and a half in perspective. Being a singer, I had heard this specific song many times but never had I applied it to my life.

I have discovered many times it is easy to sing and preach the word we know others need to hear but when it comes to us listening and actually hearing the message in the words we sing or speak, it is hard to deal with these words. This is what had happened to me, it was easy for me to sing the words, encourage others but for me it was hard for me to listen to the words I sang and gain encouragement from it that is why it was so important for me to hear the song, “Lay My Issac Down” and listen to the words. The night I visited my grandma’s church I actually heard and understood the message in the song — I realized I had to be willing to give to God all the dreams and hopes I had for myself so I could do the will of God. I had to be like Abraham when he was willing to sacrifice his promised son to show God he trusted Him. I, too, had to be willing to give all of my trust to God and rely on Him and His timing, even if that meant giving up on the promise and dream of having a husband and children. At that moment I knew what I had to do, I had to make a sacrifice and give it all to God and that is exactly what I did. That was a Saturday… the following Tuesday, election day 2012, I bet you cannot guess what happened…

On Election Day 2012 I received a comment on a post I had made on Facebook. You are now saying so what?!? Well, this comment came from someone in Singled Out by Grace, this comment came from Robert D. Sharpe! When I read this comment, instantly I heard these words, I know they came from no one else but God, “That is the one!” When I heard these words I instantly reviewed in my head all of the comments made to me along the way on how I would know my future husband was the correct man God had for me. Oh my gosh! Robert met all of these “requirements”!!!!!!! The next few days and weeks I prayed and sought God like never before. Then one Friday night I saw a rather sad looking post from Robert and I simply sent him a message asking if he was okay.

From that Friday until today, we have talked to each other every single day – we have not missed a single day in over 2 years! We have developed a love and a friendship that is far above what I had ever imagined possible! I can say with pure confidence I have married my best friend and we become better friends as the days go by no matter what trials we seem to face — all because we know where I relationship began, in the palms of God!

My Journey To You

Over the past year I have shared with you the journey Robert and I have taken since we have been married. I have shared our ups and our downs, our happiness and our fears. Today, I want to share with you – on the two year anniversary of Robert walking into church to surprise me – my journey to Robert.
My journey to find my “Sharpe” began along time ago when I decided to not get married as an 18 year old girl straight out of high school but decided to attend college to educate myself and become one of the first college graduates in my family. Thankfully, I was able to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, I earned a double Master’s degree in Education, I even was able to work on a PhD (I am 4 or 5 classes from being finished). Not only did I work on my education but I also traveled around the world and across America. Was this when my journey led me to Robert? No, unfortunately this was not the end of my journey to Robert, I had to face obstacles and heartbreak along the way. The greatest struggle I faced happened a year after a heartbreak and only months before my journey did lead me to Robert. The following is my journey in words, because of space I have left some details out but what I have placed here will let you see my journey was one God placed in motion way before I knew what He was doing.

2011
There is nothing like giving a spelling test and having a student embarrass you in the middle of the test by blurting out a few words which should have never been blurted out. That is what I thought, then one day in 2011 (I had to verify this time span on Facebook because now this day seems like an eternity ago) not only did a student blurt out embarrassing words the student also wrote me a note which used the same exact words. Some of you know exactly what these words were, don’t you? While others of you are asking, “what in the world are you talking about?” My journey to Robert, not that I realized it at the time, actually began seriously in 2011. I realize now in 2011 I was able to develop a definition of what type of man I wanted God to bring me. This is the year I had a student announce to me her father was single. Not only did she announce this to me and my class of fourth graders but she managed to play matchmaker in her quest to make herself feel complete, make her teacher happy and in some way help restore her father who she knew deep down she was losing. I, feeling sorry for this student and her story went along with her plot, I thought what would one date hurt. Well, just like you know one date can easily lead to another, emotions start to build and dreams start to form. This happened to me while all along I was receiving clues and messages from God to direct me away from this nightmare which was about to happen. I cannot tell you how many times in a period of 4 months I heard God tell me, “This is really the type of person you want to be with?” I even had friends warning me about the person I was hanging around but I was always able to reason it away. There always seemed to be an excuse, I slowly began to accept things which I had never accepted in my life. But, because I was wanting this as my life and I thought I was in love I continued in this relationship a fourth grader had arranged. Well, thankfully God knew best and He intervened in the relationship which ended with me heartbroken, alone and questioning God as to why this was happening to me. I kept asking Him, didn’t I deserve to be happy, why was I the one which always sacrificed my life for others and still ended up unhappy? All along I received no answer, so I thought.
Over the next year this person which broke my heart always kept in touch with me, he seemed to be able to bring a smile to my face while dashing my dreams at the same time. He was truly playing me and I in my heartbroken self didn’t see it, all I could see was this person and family I thought I was supposed to have. Thankfully, during this year God brought me to an online ministry for single individuals. At the time I thought this would be tool to help me become stronger, have bible study and give me a support group to go to when I needed support. I did not realize it would be such a huge tool in my life. May 2012, the ministry leader, Dana (who is now a very close friend) called me because I was still struggling with this relationship which ended a year prior, she also had other things to discuss with me. The things she needed to discuss with me would start to change my life forever. Little did I know the prayer we prayed that evening, the topics we discussed would bring me strength I would need over the next few days, and ultimately help lead me to Robert and help lead Robert to me.

Join me tomorrow for the rest of my journey to Robert….

Taking Steps – Almost A Year Later

It was roughly a year ago Robert and I realized we were heading down a path in our lives which neither of us had ever been.  We were starting on a journey which few would understand and yet many have been down in recent years due to the economic issues our nation has faced.  We realized we would not and  could not afford to keep the house we were renting, our first house as a married couple and a house which we had made our home even if we were renting and we would have to rely on family to have a place to rest our heads at night.  During the past year we have been able to grow as a couple and at times we wondered why we were sent down this path, why we had not been able to find a house to rent, why every road we had taken to get into a house had been met with a dead end.   There were times I seriously began to wonder what we had done wrong and what we were being punished for.   Little did I know that these were not punishments but trials to increase our faith and to set up a miracle from God.  A miracle which would help others who may be struggling just like we were and still are at times, see just how BIG of a God we serve and what He will do for His children.

What better time for God to start revealing His miracle –  but a year to the day Robert and I made a decision to give up our rental!   You know what our God did for us?? Singing… We met with a builder….We met with a builder….We met with a builder!!  I am so excited we finally have been able to meet with a builder.   I really never thought this day would come.  I know we are still several months away (we will have to clean our land up and allow for the house to be built) from actually having a house of our own but this is a big first step.

Prayer Time

I have been meaning to write since Wednesday night.   I have to tell you what happened with Robert and I.   As many or all of you know, Robert and I have struggled with the idea of not having a house of our own.  Last week made exactly 11 months since we have been without a house to call our own.  I have to admit I really struggled several days over this (being sick did not make it any better).  Wednesday night  Robert asked for everyone to remember us in their prayers as we continue to pray and search God over getting a house.  This prayer request did not seem any different than the request we have been asking for Sunday and Wednesdays for the past 11 months but something amazing happened.

After the church had congregational prayer service, the pastor called Robert and I up to the front of the church.   Robert and I were surprised and all we could do was really look at each other.  To be honest I did  not know why Bro. Jimmy was calling us up to the front of the church.  But like obedient sheep we listened and went.  As we were on our way to the front of the church he called the rest of the church to come to the front also.  This made me wonder even more what Bro. Jimmy had up his sleeve.  When we all made our way up front he did something which totally amazed me and I know Robert was caught by surprise too – I could see it in his eyes.  Bro. Jimmy told everyone to gather around us, hold hands – he wanted them to form a house around us.  He then told everyone at the church more about our story and reminded them we have been seeking God about a house and have faced many obstacles along the way.  At that moment this group of individuals which I had tried my best to hide all of my feelings from when it came to not having a house yet began to pray for us and at that moment all these months of fear, anger and desire were released from me.  The  tears began to flow as I heard this group of Christian prayer warriors pray for my family to get the house God promised us. After the prayer was over the pastor gave Robert and I a hug and he used words I have heard before when I was seeking God for my husband, “God is going to move and you will be amazed at how fast things will move!”

Robert and I knew when we walked away from that prayer circle our months of prayers had been heard.  We both felt a peace which I cannot describe to you in words still three days later.   I don’t know when or how God is going to work this miracle but I do know our house is on the way.