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!

 

 

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End of summer

I have come to the end of my summer, I have to return to work tomorrow!  I am sitting here reflecting on my summer, what was I able to accomplish, what did I leave undone, and many more pondering thoughts.

This summer I had a few goals in mind to accomplish. One of these goals was to get my foot well and back at 100%. Another goal was to get moved into our house. I also, had the normal teacher goals like getting my classroom ready, developing new strategies to use in my classroom and various other things.

Having decided to get my foot well, meant I had to stay off of it for most of the summer. Having to stay off my foot meant I had to push many other things on my summer to do list back. Staying off my foot also gave me a lot  of time to think, which in my situation can be dangerous. I was able to think about any and everything! I have for the most part stayed off of my foot, but unfortunately my foot does not seem to be much better. I have days where I feel like I could conquer the world, then there are days where just the thought of pressure being put on it makes me cringe.

My next goal was to get us moved into our house. While sitting with my feet propped up all I could do was dream about being in our house.  Well, here we are in mid August and still no house.  The good news is our house will be finished in a few weeks and then the moving will begin. Who is ready to attend a moving party?

As far as the goals for my classroom, I was able to get a few projects ready and am excited to share them with my class  I, just like most teachers, feel summer was too short to get all my school projects finished so I will be staying up late to get it all finished.

Other thoughts which are swimming in my head are all about the adventure and quest I set out on this summer.  I wonder why doors were opened for Robert and I , to simply be slammed in our faces? What other opportunities are out there for us? Will I ever reach my goals? In the weeks following our trip to Atlanta, I have noticed I struggle when I watch weight loss shows.  I wonder what it will take for me to lose and be successful. I question why it couldn’t be me getting the help I need and want? After all of my thoughts, I realize how much I am loved and no matter what I  think about myself, how I view myself, even love myself, there are individuals all around me who truly love and care for me no matter what!

Amazed

Wow! When started this blog a year and a half ago I never realized the number of people I could and would reach.  Looking at my results today, after my last entry, I am totally amazed.  I did not write to have you feel sorry for me, I simply want my story heard, and if in the process I can help change someone else’s life then I will have completed my mission in life.

The support you have all given me through this blog and social media has left me speechless.  I wish I could say thank you in person to each of you.  While Robert and I may not have received the phone call we were waiting for but  I  believe, deep inside of me, that there is something greater waiting on us.  Does this mean if given the opportunity I wouldn’t jump at it? No!  I would, given the chance take it, not for the money or fame but for the opportunity! I believe  I could learn so much more about myself, also I would be able to share what I learn with those in my community and  that my friends would make it worth it.

Now, that I have dealt with the disappointment of not being called back, I have to begin to develop a plan to overcome these years of weight struggles I have had.  My wonderful husband has been racking his brain, reaching out to people and trying to convince me of a plan he has in mind. He has truly demonstrated how much he loves, cares and wants me to be successful in this area of my life. So as we develop a plan, look for help and begin this journey I know I have the support of so many and can’t wait to share the experience.

By the way,  if you have been wondering about our house … we have about three to four weeks left before it Is finished.

Catch up time

Time to catch everyone up on all that has been going on in our lives.   My little family decided we needed a break from all the craziness that life has handed us over the past year.  So, we decided to travel out west to visit the Alamo, the Big Bend National Park, Tombstone, Arizona, and many stops in between.  This trip was one that was truly needed to help us escape reality and simply enjoy ourselves.  I will make sure and include a few pictures at the bottom of today’s blog of our fun. I will come back in a few days and spend a little bit more time discussing our trip and a few lessons learned but today I MUST talk about a lesson I learned today

While we were on our trip we heard from the gentleman who runs the timber company we hired to clear some land for us.  He told us land clearing would start this week as long as tropical storm Arthur did not bring rain our way.  Talking about excited, I was one excited mountain driver when I heard the timber was going to be cleared this week… Robert and I knew it was time to pray the rain stayed away a little bit longer.  Thank God for answered prayers!   The rain stayed away and this morning I woke up to the timber company clearing land in front of my parent’s house!  

While watching the gentlemen clearing the land allowed reality to sit it for a minute. Robert and I found ourselves watching these two men all day long cutting pine tree after pine tree, clearing the way for our future house.  There was even a point in the day I told Robert, “People my look at this clearing and see a big mess but I look at it and see our future”! Prior to going on vacation I had posted on Facebook that I was happy with a decision we had made in reference to our new home, well it wasn’t until today as we were watching this patch of land being cleared that I realized I wasn’t at all happy with settling with the decision we had made.. I now know why we seemed to be having one struggle after the other in reference to getting a mobile home to live in.  We were having all of these struggles because God wanted more for us and He had more for us.  Sometimes I think we forget God has a limitless supply of mercy and grace that we settle for just enough instead of allowing Him to give us ALL He has for us!   This is whole process has helped me realize that I was doing that exact thing simply because I was in a hurry to get into a house.  Yes, I am exhausted of living in a small bedroom with enough clothes and furniture for two BUT at the same time I have decided I can’t settle for mediocre when God wants to give us so much more!

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First Year

Our Wedding

Our Wedding


Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was walking down the aisle to become Mrs. Robert Sharpe! While our first year has been challenging as many of you who have been reading and following my blog know, Robert and I have found a way to overcome these challenges and become closer and stronger!! I really believe these challenges forced us to rely and each other and fight together to beat them one at a time. We still faces many challenges and many of the challenges we have faced over the year we are still dealing with (housing is an example) — we now know that with the guidance of God, our love for each other and our sheer desire to overcome we will together as a team beat all of these challenges.
Our first challenge as a married couple was facing a honeymoon with very little money, I believe I put this in an earlier post! WELL….last week to celebrate our first anniversary Robert treated me to a honeymoon do-over! We went back to where we had our honeymoon and we re-lived our experiences. We had a great time just like we had when we went down a year ago, but this time we didn’t have to stress over how much money we could spend on each meal and if spending $10.00 on this or that would cause us to run short of money to get home. While, of course, we didn’t have tons of money (which we all dream of having), we were able to go to Fort Meyers with more than $200!! I have to say getting away and traveling down to Fort Meyers did a lot for the stress we have been faced with over the past year!
Now, we are tackling the biggest challenge we have had yet – our housing and living situation. We have narrowed down our search to a few homes and we have an idea of exactly what we want, THANK the LORD but now we have to fully decide which house we want and work on getting the financing completed, to which we are currently working on. I can’t wait to be able to share with everyone the news we get in regards to this and to share our journey even more when it comes to getting our house. I know it is coming and coming soon, it is now our of our hands and in the Hand of the Lord. Robert and I have turned this situation over to God and we are believing that HE will work all the details out in our favor.
Here are a few pictures from our honeymoon re-do!
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Clearing a New Path

It has been almost six months since Robert started teaching.  He LOVES his job and I am so excited and pleased to see him happy with his job.  The path this job has taken him down has him helping students in every grade from Kindergarten to High School Seniors!  He now helps coach the schools football team.  I am always giving him a hard time about becoming mean and tough to make sure those boys on the football team will be able to win a game — lol!   BUT ultimately his kind, laid-back demeanor has the respect  of not only the football players but the entire coaching staff.  I had at times questioned God why He would allow us to go down this path and why the job He would bring my husband would be such a low paying job.  After watching Robert coach in their Spring Jamboree game last week I realized right then and there that Robert belongs at the school.  God has been showing us all along that HE can make the impossible, possible!   It is amazing how God can turn this small salary along with my salary into extra money at the end of each month.  God has proven to us just how wonderful HE is.

 As far as our house situation goes, we are still technology considered homeless because we are having to live with family.  We are believing once again that God is going to open the right doors to help us find a house to rent or allow this rain to stop so our land can be cleared and a house built or a mobile home brought in.  We often find ourselves wondering why our housing situation hasn’t been cleared up yet BUT we know that there is a reason and a purpose.  What that reason and purpose is, I am not sure.  I know that in time it will be revealed.  Until then, I will keep writing here sharing our journey, praying/seeking for answers and trying to enjoy this journey Robert and I are on together.

Did Robert Find A Job?

I know it has been a little bit since I have posted — but everyone should know I survived Third Grade Camp Out 2014!!  Now things have settled down I will be posting more frequently to keep everyone up to date on our journey.

When last I wrote Robert and I were facing the end of  October and he still didn’t have a job.  When we reached November we knew without a doubt we could not afford to stay in the house we were living in anymore.  We realized we had to do something and we had to act fast.   Our lives began revolving around how to make a house payment, we weren’t able to get out and go anymore.  So Veteran’s Day week we began our move out of our house and into a small room at my parent’s house.

Now, that we no longer had the stress of a house on our shoulders Robert was able to give a little more focus on a job.  This focus and attention introduced him to the public library in Lake Butler, Gainesville, and I believe Starke.   He and I both searched and searched.  Then one Thursday when we picked up the county paper there was an add for a teacher at Northside Christian Academy.  This seemed too good to be true, a job just a few miles from where we were now living and a teaching job also!   Robert emailed his resume and quickly heard back from the Principal at the school.  The Principal wanted to meet with Robert and talk to him.   I knew this had to be the job Robert was going to get, it had to be.  Well, one week turned into about three weeks before we heard anything back from the Principal.  They were interested in Robert coming in and shadowing teachers in which he would get paid!   He and I celebrated — this meant we could buy Christmas for Haynes and our family!  We knew God had answered a prayer.  The school allowed Robert to shadow and substitute for two or three weeks prior to Christmas in which time he had interviewed for the teaching job.   He unfortunately didn’t get the job BUT the school wanted him to stay on as a substitute.  Robert seemed to be working almost every day as a substitute and it always seemed to be in the same class, Spanish/Computer Class.  Was this another appointment from God??  Was God up to something that we didn’t realize?  What path was God placing Robert on and what did this Spanish/Computer class have to do with this path?

Facing my fears

I really was hoping to write every day but, with state testing right around the corner I find myself exhausted at night.  Last night was one of those nights, I was so tired after a day full of last minute prepping my students for state test I couldn’t find the mental and physical energy to type.  Here I am tonight I will try and get on with Robert’s hospital stay from my cliff hanger the other night!

Leaving Robert laying in the hospital hooked up to machines and IV’s scared me beyond compare.  I wanted to stay by his side 24/7 but I was forced to leave by the doctors and nurses because in ICU they only had visiting hours during certain hours each day.  I knew I was leaving Robert in hands of professionals but still I was worried that when I left what would I come back to but I also knew deep down I would use the next few hours to cry to God.

Cry to God I did!!   My drive home to rest up for a moment, get a change  of clothes and make sure I had all the lights and appliances turned off was where my cry began.  My cry was out of fear.  I was allowing my fear of my husband being sick come to life.  I prayed asking God to restore his health, make him stronger and allow the doctors to find out exactly what was wrong with him.  Of course, with Robert being in the hospital and the word getting out I also had to answer phone calls during my 20 minute drive home for those calls I had to try and sound all together, I really didn’t want anyone to worry! By the time I got home I was ready to let out all my frustrations and worries/fears.  I can to this day (8 months later) remember word for word what I cried out to God.   I couldn’t believe He would allow Robert to come into my life only to take him away from me.   I asked God what we had done wrong to allow us to go through this situation at this moment, after only being married a short time.   I even questioned if God remembered what He had promised me?  Being BOLD, I reminded God (Of all things to do, who was I to remind God?) of His promise to bring Robert into my life, allow us to minister together in music, go into the mission field together and to allow us to have Ella Rose and Liam Nathaniel!! I remember asking why God would have me wait  SO many years to find Robert, and to get  marry to the man of my dreams ONLY to do this !  At the same time I was angry and hurt I also was begging God not to take Robert from me.   I even at one time ask God to allow me to change places with my husband.  Ultimately in my conversation with God I prayed he would allow Robert to come home to me!  ( I know my prayer / conversation with God will take many, especially my husband by surprise – it has taken many months to be strong enough to allow this conversation to come to the surface and expose how weak I was during this scary time of my life.)

The next week Robert grew stronger, family and friends from Georgia and Florida visited, and most importantly all the test the doctors ran came back clear.  I knew God had answered my prayers even if I was being a brat praying the way I was!   My husband was getting better and I had God to thank for it.  I knew we had a long way to go because Robert was weak and had to rebuild his strength to get back to 100%, but we could deal with this journey.  Robert and I knew we could handle all things.  I think Robert learned in his hospital stay that I was strong enough to help him recover, especially after I had it in with one of his doctors (let’s just say that wasn’t my best moment).   Together Robert and I discovered in our first month of marriage that with God we could face our fears even if it was the fear of  our soul mate being taken from us.

Life and Death

Yesterday I talked about Robert starting his new job in Florida which was challenging not only mentally but physically.  Even with the challenge of a new job, our small family was enjoying our new life and becoming a strong family unit each day.  My love for him grew more each day.  I knew I loved my husband,  but I did not realize exactly how much I loved this man God had promised me my entire life and brought to me until we were faced with a scary life and death situation only a month into our marriage! Trying to go back and remember all the details from July 2013 still brings back fears today, but I will try to tell this about this portion of our journey as best as I can.    July 15, 2013,  Robert had a normal work day  or a normal as a new employee can have who is trying to learn a new job.  He came home and we were going on with our normal evening routine of house chores and dinner.  Our evening was proving to be a normal, uneventful evening – we had actually talked about our plans to get Haynes the following weekend and what we would like to do.  Around 9:00 that evening Robert went to get off the couch to get something from the kitchen and he had a sharp pain in his chest.  At the time he tried to make light of  it off after he caught his breath, thinking it was just he moved funny.  I think he was trying to keep from me panicking and being scared as I think back to those days now, my husband is just that type of man — always looking out for me!  He, as most men I am sure, didn’t want to go to the hospital.  Robert told me he was fine and if he hurt again then I could take him to the ER.  The rest of our evening I was on guard, worrying about him and babying him to ensure he was okay.  We went to bed that evening, prayed and asked God to protect us.  I still remember hearing Robert pray that evening asking God to give us direction as to what had caused him to hurt in his chest and asking God to allow it not to be anything major or life threatening.  I closed my eyes that night with one eye open, making sure to keep an eye on him in case he had pains in the middle of the night. Early on Tuesday morning our alarm clock went off telling us it was time for Robert to get ready for work.  While Robert was getting his shower that morning I heard him yell out, “Oh no!”  When he finally came from the bathroom he was pale and white.  It looked like the air had been kicked out of him.  He then told me words which to this day still scare me, “I need to go to the hospital, something is wrong.”  The entire time he was telling me this he was holding his chest.  Of course out of fear my adrenalin kicked in and ran into action, calling his work, getting dressed and taking him to the hospital.  The man who had sooo many times encouraged me now was sitting in the passenger seat of the car pale and hurting!  We both were scared and unsure what exactly was going on. Once we arrived at the hospital, after they saw Robert’s blood pressure was 185 over 105,  it seemed just like minutes before I found ourselves in the trama unit of the ER and then with in only minutes once again I found my husband of only a month in the ICU of the hospital with the doctors observing and running test to see if he had had a  heart attack.  Talking about flipping out, I was flipping out but I knew I had to hold it all together for Robert – I did not want him to be worried about me while he was laying in the ICU hooked up to all kinds of electrodes and IVs.

Robert begins his new job

Sorry for not writing last night.  Robert and I took my parents to see, “God’s Not Dead.” It is an ahhhhhmazing movie.   Kudos to the producers, actors and all involved with this movie, it is a must see for everyone.   Now on with our journey.

Just a few weeks after we moved into our house Robert began his job at the University.  Here was my chance to turn my Georgia Bulldog into a Florida Gator!  Robert’s new job was a new chapter in his life.  His entire adult life he worked in business, computer and computer programming.  This new job had him working in the scientific field working with formulas, processes and equipment he had not dealt with since he took “Survey of Chemistry” in his freshman year of college.  This job was a lot more than Robert expected it to be.  See when he read the job description and even interviewed the job appeared to be an entry level job (which would allow him to get his foot in the door at the University) such as a janitor..  BUT he was surprised to find this job was far from a janitor!!

I knew this was going to be a tough job with a big learning curve when Robert came home from his first day of work with index cards full of terminology, formulas and abbreviations.  I felt like I was back in college again! Robert and I would study his “flash cards” at night – I for one, wanted my husband to be successful at his new job!  We believed that no matter what Robert could and would be successful because we are told in Philippians 4:13 (NIV), “ I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

Every night we talked about our day, our stresses, fears and plans for the next day.  Well… Robert would talk about his day; boy did he have some stories to tell about his new job and the individuals he worked with!!  I didn’t have many stories to tell being I was still out of work for the summer and my days tended to be boring with the most excitement I saw was setting my classroom up and deciding what to cook for dinner each night.  Robert and I had determined that we were not going to let the stresses of a new marriage and his new job be a big stress to us, so instead of the normal stresses many may face Robert and I found ourselves growing stronger in our relationship and friendship.  This strength and our daily talks would find to be a big asset in a few weeks when our marriage came face to face with life and death…

 

Who is this man and what did he do with my husband.  (Robert practicing getting dressed in his suit for work.)

Who is this man and what did he do with my husband. (Robert practicing getting dressed in his suit for work.)