Graceful Fight

Navigating faithfully though life with a chronic autoimmune disorder...the journey to true healing.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

What can I offer God in this difficult season?

As God has lead me, I have been open about my health issues and the hard in our lives, as well as the redemption. As I now struggle to digest information about my kids' health, I also struggle with what to share. After much prayer, it is clear to me that God doesn't want me to wait and share only when I feel good. He doesn't want me to hide out until I am a better version of myself. He wants me to be real and share when I struggle too. So, here it is... 

I made it to church today, dragging my aching body. As the worship music began and each word spoke to me, the tears flowed. My kids asked why I was in tears and I told them I was exhausted - body, mind & soul. All of me. That was true, but a greater truth would have been "I am overwhelmed". And the next truth would be "...and that is ok!". I caught myself hiding tears and even running out after the Service, as soon as the last word was spoken, in an effort to avoid sharing my heart and explaining my tears. Although I know it's ok not to be ok, I wasn't ready for anyone else to know I wasn't ok.

As I process things about my health and my childrens' health, my mind and heart are being pushed & pulled. 

What can I offer to God in this difficult space, a season i am still finding footing in? For years now, I have lived each day, seeking His will, serving the chronic illness community and sharing my heart openly even on the hard days.  Now, worn out, emotionally drained and focused on my kids' health while mine gives me a hard time, what can I offer Him? That is the question floating in my mind... 

After a hard week, I tried to praise God but if i'm honest, it wasn't real at first. It took an effort that shouldn't have been, but eventually true heartfelt words of praise came out, admittedly in a whisper.  I felt a strange sense of relief, knowing I could still praise Him while in a season more emotionally painful than I had yet experienced. 

I know this disease - i live with it 24x7. I know what it has stripped me of, things I weeped over for years. I know the fear that comes in waves when things progress. But now, several years later, I also know some of what God has used this illness for and God has given me so much more than this illness has stripped away. That I am certain of. 

When i look at my children possibly having to endure this same disease through the eyes of a mom or a patient living with this rare autoimmune disorder, I feel fear, sadness, anger, heartache and all the emotions we don't want. 

When i look at the situation through the eyes of a woman of God, who has faith in His plans for me AND my children, I feel joy. I simply feel joy, knowing we are walking in His will faithfully and that I can be sure something good will be born from it. I can be sure that the promises in the Bible are true.

Right now, I'm a bit jumbled up in my view, but I know as I take some quiet time over the next few days, God's grace and goodness will take over just as it always has.  

Over the years of dealing with my illness, we have learned to live "normally", whatever that really is, lol. We have learned to lean on God first, and then each other. We are learning how valuable connections with other families in similar circumstances are and how wonderful it is to not feel alone. We have learned to appreciate people that are willing to dive in and be a part of our complicated and hard life. We are learning so much about priorities and love, serving & being served. 

All i've learned and the ways God has grown me during the years since I was diagnosed hasn't gone away... as a matter of fact, I think I feel another spiritual "growth spurt" coming out of this hard circumstance, but not without growing pains. 

So, the answer to "What can I offer God in this difficult season?" is my obedience to His calling and my faith in His promises! That is all I need to offer right now. Obedience and faith. God will know what to do with that! 

It takes a village to raise a child and we are forever thankful to the people in our lives who have shown us such love and compassion and been the hands and feet of Jesus to us. Prayers are appreciated as we continue to learn and live well in challenging circumstances. 

Psalm 23:3-4 
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;your rod and your staff, they comfort me.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Maybe a hard and messy "normal" isn't so bad!

Sometimes life is just so hard.  Hard. Really hard. There, I said it.

Sometimes I just get tired of being sick. I know many can relate to that! It's simply not what I envisioned for myself and my family. For years I fought against it, resisting a new normal. I never liked that phrase - "new normal".  I suppose that's because I never wanted this type of journey through life to be my normal.  My old normal was just fine. 

I had a great soul baring conversation about this with a dear friend recently.

We talked about our normal. Our messy normal, our hard normal. We cried over  misplaced desires and broken dreams. What was awesome is we cried the big tears that leave you blotchy and puffy and we didn't try to hide from each other. Yep, soul baring indeed! A true gift to be able to be real and be understood. 

Then we did the only thing we could to remedy what was ailing us - we prayed. We were soon laughing together and sharing stories of God's goodness and grace in the midst of this journey we never wanted for ourselves. 

The conversation ended in a strengthened friendship and strengthened faith. 

So, a new normal doesn't have to be about compromised health and the hard in your life. It can be about the best of life - the hope you have, the love you give and receive, the grace you experience. The strengthened relationships and faith...and so much more goodness. 

For several days after that conversation, although my body was quite broken, my soul was recharged. My new normal wasn't so bad afterall. 

So, yes, life is hard. Daily challenges come, but God's grace always shows up.  

How has God revealed His grace and goodness in your new normal?  


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Chronic illness - pride, isolation...and redemption!

Chronic illness stretches you...stretches you beyond what is physically, emotionally and spiritually bearable on some days, weeks, months or even many years for some. 

I'm going on year 8 myself, navigating life with a rare and progressive Autoimmune Disease (Relapsing Polychondritis) that brought me to my knees. It has challenged me peel back layers to get to "me". Not the me that loved fitness or the me that always had to have the perfect hair or the cleanest house, but ME. The real me. The one God wants to see. Thankfully God isn't looking at my house or my hair because i'm not keeping either of those up very well these days! 

As pride sneaks in, I have been forced to look it square in the eye and, with God's help, get past it if I want our home and family to keep functioning. The friends who bring meals or offer help with the kids etc, are a priceless gift but pride prevented me from accepting that gift for several years. What a loss for me and those who wanted to bless our family in such a tangible way. Thank you Lord, for continuing to strip me of destructive pride!

As pride is slowly being broken down, feelings of isolation and loneliness are being broken down with it.  It's much easier to curl up in a ball of self-pity on the harder days, but that's what the Enemy wants. It's much harder to pick up the phone, call a friend and say "i'm having a hard time.".  Making that call is a powerful step in the right direction and I have found God rewards those efforts.  Many times in the past, friends have offered to come talk and pray with me yet pride kicked in and the messy house or something else so prideful and unimportant was reason enough to say "no". Those "no's" made my pride more solid and lead to so much isolation and loneliness. What a vicious cycle. Thank you Lord, for replacing my feelings of isolation with a desire to connect with people you put in my life on a deeper level. 

Developing a chronic illness seemingly overnight is an adjustment for anyone. A huge adjustment! Life as one knows it is stripped away, but if you allow Him, God will fill you up with so much more than what chronic illness is capable of stripping you of. 

Society teaches us to be strong and independent...but what does the Bible say?
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Be blessed, friends! 




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Can we Suffer Well?

Wow, it has been one year since I posted a Blog!  I took a step back because God had so much work to do in me. He still does but I realized I will be an ongoing project, being shaped and molded the rest of my life and I'll never feel quite ready to start sharing!  So, I may not be ready but trust God will give me the courage and words. The past year was one that challenged me in ways I never imagined possible as we digested information about my health and the health of our children, became buried in medical bills and tried to find stable footing. It has been painful yet beautiful and now I can't help but share. 

I can speak to a million challenges our family is facing but I can also speak to how tremendously blessed we are. Sounds crazy, right? How can we be so afflicted, yet blessed beyond measure at the same time?

There is one answer! Just one - and it is God's grace. I can face each challenge head on knowing God goes before us and has plans to give us hope and a future!  He has met me and my family with His grace at every turn. We have seen how our Heavenly Father can change our hearts, give us a purpose and use us in all of our brokenness, provide in miraculous ways and He has always given us what we need not just to endure in our circumstances, but to thrive.
As I was seeking to know the Lord more and more this last year, God put things heavily on my heart. Through the Word, I was reminded that not every person is healed physically while here on earth; sometimes that healing comes in other ways - spiritually and emotionally, instead.  With that knowledge, I wanted to learn more about how the afflicted should live while dealing with such pain, frustration and fear. I wanted to know - Can we suffer well? 

God showed me over the last year that, yes, we can suffer well!  He lead me to study the characters of the Bible which made me question why so many of us who suffer today only pray for physical healing, instead of allowing God to work in us and through us, as we walk firmly in His will. I prayed for physical healing everyday for several years and my answer was always "no" or maybe a "not yet". Whatever it was, it wasn't a "yes" with miraculous physical healing. BUT, it was an "I have plans for you. Trust me."  answer. I cried an ocean begging God to heal me so I could serve Him and others. The funny thing is, I am only just now beginning to understand He healed me in a way far more powerful than physical healing and was preparing me to walk in His will all along, to serve Him and others. He woke up my sleeping soul and showed me that a life of purpose does not require a healthy body. He gave me strong faith, courage, showed me fully surrendering to Him would be safe, ignited a desire to serve, made His grace visible, urged me to speak with Him in prayer and so much more.
There is example after example in the Bible that we can follow.

Why shouldn't we have an inquisitive mind about God's role in our suffering, yet remain faithful, like Job? 

Why shouldn't we, despite our many challenges, have a resilient faith in God like Abraham? 

Why shouldn't we have the courage to endure like Moses?

Why shouldn't we fully surrender and be a good and faithful servant like Mary? 

Why shouldn't we find grace in the eyes of the Lord and be righteous like Noah?

Why shouldn't we have a prayer life like Daniel?

Why shouldn't we willingly let God use us like Elijah?

Why shouldn't we reach out to people like Paul?

Why shouldn't we follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit like Phillip? 

The greatest example of all? Jesus! He encompassed all of these characteristics. Through our suffering, we are blessed to be in fellowship with Jesus and His suffering. That was a powerful realization for me and strengthened my relationship with God in an unbelievable way. It lead to me almost embracing suffering until I realized that I didn't need to embrace it to suffer well and live a life in Christ. Even Jesus asked - "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)

So here I am today, still dealing with very serious health issues, but always strengthened and upheld by our gracious Heavenly Father. I continue to have a strong desire for physical healing for my children and I, and I do pray for that, yet as Jesus said, "not my will, but yours be done."  Living in His will, I will continue to share the message that we can navigate chronic illness and a life in Christ, suffering well because of God's grace and sharing our living hope with others.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Navigating Marriage (a Big, Beautiful and Hard word) in Chronic Illness

"It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: Always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under impossible strain." - Ruth Bell Graham

Marriage. A BIG word. A BEAUTIFUL word. A HARD word.

A BIG Word - Marriage is a huge commitment, choosing a partner to love, honor and respect for all of your days. 

A BEAUTIFUL Word - According to the Bible, in marriage, husbands are taught to give sacrificial love and protection. In feeling safe and valued by her husband, the wife should be willing to submit to his leadership. A love and mutual respect is then shared and beautiful fruit comes from this union.

A HARD Word - Marriage is not easy. Add chronic illness and it becomes downright HARD. Statistics say 50% of marriages end in divorce, which is already disheartening. When chronic illness is involved, that statistic climbs to 75-80%. Wow. As a woman with a chronic illness, that is hard to digest.

My story
I've been married almost 10 years and we were blindsided when I developed a devastating chronic illness about 6 years ago.  We were healthy, active, had two precious children, two great careers and a whole lot of love. We thought we had it all!  As I developed more and more symptoms and we started a new journey that included endless doctors appointments, medical test after medical test, a mountain of medical bills, no solid answers and no effective treatment, we were at a loss. We were not equipped to handle such a challenge. I began to need more from my husband - I was physically able, but I was broken. This once independent girl became needy.  I was scared and looking for encouragement and compassion. I wanted my husband, my love, to be the one that made it all go away, the one that loved me into remission. I wanted him to reassure me that everything would be ok....if he couldn't reassure me that my health would be ok, I wanted him to reassure me that our love would be ok. I wanted him to be patient with me as I tried to come to terms with what having this illness meant and when he didn't know how to offer those things, hurt feelings, self-pity, anger, resentment and depression found their way into our marriage.  

Those feelings led to so much heartache and many sleepless and tear filled nights. It was a very lonely and dark time. I remember only talking to one very dear friend about our struggles, because I knew she was on OUR side. She wasn't on "my side", nor "my husband's side". She was a safe person to cry my heart out to.  Looking back, I believe that was part of God protecting our marriage. He knew I wasn't ready to run to Him but He was working in me.  In sending me this lovely and loyal friend to lean on, but still calling me to Him, I was able to hold on, but I still fell into the cycle of self-pity, anger, resentment and ultimately depression. 

Slowly stripped of almost everything, I finally ran to Jesus. I cried out to Him for help.  In that instant, I felt wrapped in the loving arms I so desired. I felt reassured that everything would be ok. How wonderful that felt! But I still wanted that in my marriage. We brought God into our home, into our lives, and things improved but I didn't see the changes I wanted in my husband.  I'm embarrassed to admit that is what I was hoping for, even praying for.  Why can't he just love me like Jesus loves me?! I asked God that over and over and I asked myself that over and over. Even worse, and I cringe as I recall, I asked my husband that same question. 

The Lord kept working in me and I would find myself reading Christian marriage books, coming across Bible based truths on marriage and looking the other way because they caused me to accept the harsh truth that I needed to look in the mirror. It became clear that I needed that mirror to reflect the Word of God. 

During this time I began ministering to chronically ill women and I quickly learned that at least 75% of the women I talked with felt unsupported, scared, misunderstood, hurt and lonely in their marriage. They readily blamed these feelings on their spouse, just as I had been doing.  God really opened my eyes to this attack on marriages and since I had experienced all the same challenges in my own marriage, I understood their heartache. The Lord showed me we were all falling into the trap of thinking we were victims. Victims of our illnesses and victims in our marriage. I began to seek God's truth on this subject and apply them in my marriage. 

It was no longer about "working on my marriage" or "changing my husband", it was about seeking God. I was finally open to looking in the mirror, to taking a good long look at myself. Even in the midst of all my physical pain and symptoms, the Lord was leading me to look at myself, my heart and soul, not my body. 

Looking at oneself is never easy, but I began to ask the following questions: 
What are my needs?
How am I hoping to have those needs met? 
Is it fair to want to depend on my husband? 
How do I react when I feel my husband isn't meeting my needs?
Am I too preoccupied by my own needs to be able to tend to my husband's needs?
Am I giving my husband the respect he deserves?
Have I "become" this illness? 

It is only by the grace of God I was even able to consider these questions, especially while having such a hard time physically. I still carried resentment in my heart for how my husband had handled the situation to that point, but as the Lord lead me to look deeper and deeper into my heart, layers of self-pity, anger, resentment and depression disappeared. I answered those questions with honesty and compared my answers against the truths in the Bible. That was a sad and hopeful day all at once! Sad because I realized I had been doing it all wrong. Hopeful because I realized God would show me the way and I could do it right!

There was a point in which I became fully aware that my needs are met in Christ. My emptiness caused me to seek fulfillment from my husband in a way that was unfair to him. I made changes, many changes, and that finally made room for grace to enter our relationship. I began to love him in a deeper way, to pray for him and his well being. I began to see the struggle my illness and our new normal was causing in him. The Lord was working in both of us! 

What changes did I make? (Disclaimer: I'm still working on a lot of this. It's an ongoing journey!)
I accept our differences
I show him more respect
I developed a wonderful support system so all my needs don't fall on him
I began to focus on things other than the illness (although my body makes that challenging at times!) 
I take interest in what's going on in his life as an individual
I look for good in him (there is so much!) 
I stopped expecting perfection and allowed for mistakes (we are human and all make them)
I stopped the self-pity which had only brought more suffering upon myself
I encourage him on his walk with Christ
I became devoted to him and began to honor him above myself  
Perhaps most importantly, I stopped expecting him to be Jesus!

As I made these changes, something amazing happened. My husband responded! No, there were no bells and whistles or a big overnight change. There was daily growth as I continued to seek the Lord, draw strength and courage from Him and turn to Him for the comfort and peace that only He can provide.  

As my fears subsided, my love for my husband grew! I began to realize love and fear are opposites. Love is self-giving and fear is self-protecting.  I was no longer concerned with protecting myself, I wanted to love my husband, to be the wife God intended me to be even with a chronic illness and all that comes with it. No illness could strip me of my ability to give love. Aha! 

Today we have God at the center of our marriage and although I'll never say it's an easy journey we are on, we are blessed, we are in love and looking forward to being on this journey together.  My body may be failing in many ways, but my heart is full and love abounds! 

If you have a chronic illness and find your marriage is suffering because of it, I encourage you to seek God first and press through the heartache you're feeling.  Begin today by asking God to lead you to hope.  Ask yourself the hard questions and allow God to work in you. Then, be patient because circumstances may not improve in the time frame you expect. It's all in God's perfect timing! 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lost to Chronic Illness

Illness strips a person of so much. 

Many people know what it feels like to lose a week of their life to a cold or the flu. You may miss a few days of work, get behind in housework, miss a week at the gym, feel a bit cranky and tired...then recover. Oh, how I miss that feeling of a normal recovery! 

Then there are the people with chronic illness. The losses multiply. Marriage, parenting and friendships change, hobbies change, careers are lost, financial issues develop, gripping fatigue keeps them in bed and depression can quickly set in. 

I asked some people what their biggest challenge was in dealing with chronic illness. The number one answer was feeling like they lost who they were pre-illness. The happy, energetic, fun, active person. Oh, how that breaks my heart and how I can relate! 

It is true, the person I use to be is gone. Being fully transparent with you all, I can only describe it as a slow death. It took about 5 years for the illness to slowly and painfully strip me of so many things I was clinging to. Looking back, I can barely see or recognize that former person. 

I saw an old photo of me yesterday. Don't laugh,  but it was a photo of me at a time I was heavily into fitness and hanging out with my girlfriends. I planned a pole dancing party for us girls...we drank champagne, learned a pole dance and had some laughs. I remember having a fabulous time. I remember being fit and strong, full of energy. I remember feeling proud of how hard I worked to have those 6 pack abs. I remember feeling like I had it all!  I had my husband, children, career, health, friends and hobbies that I enjoyed. Sounds pretty great, right? 

Then BAM, I developed symptom after symptom and we began the traumatic journey of seeking a diagnosis.  I began to mourn loss after loss that presented itself. I didn't know who I was anymore and that took me to a dark place, yet as a mother to two young children, I had no choice but to press on, to prevent them from being in the shadow of my darkness. Loving them and the responsibility of caring for them kept me going. But, who was I? What did I have to offer when I felt like a shell of my former self? 

I didn't have the answers. I didn't even know who to ask the questions to! I was not raised a Christian and I didn't have a relationship with God at that time. So,  I continued to press on, although miserable and barely making it through the day, physically or emotionally. Once the kids were safely tucked in bed, I could finally cry myself to sleep. 

One day I woke up and just felt like I wanted to go to church. I didn't know why at the time, but I just felt it was where I needed to be. My husband and kids went on that journey with me and they watched as I sat there in tears every week. I barely caught a word of each sermon because I was so caught up in my own world with thoughts of loss and heartache. We went week after week and looking back I know God was working in me that entire time. As for me, I didn't even know why I wanted to go. Perhaps it's because I had heard God can create miracles, He can heal people! Maybe I thought the more I attended church, the more likely I would be to be given a miracle, to be healed!  Oh how silly my thoughts were! It was God all along, planning every step. 

Fast forward to a few years later, a devastating diagnosis, failed treatments and a very broken moment that brought me to my knees. I cried out to God, I wanted to give up. I simply told Him I couldn't handle it anymore and begged Him to help. Something miraculous happened! No, my body wasn't healed...but I woke up the next morning as a new person! I felt differently, I thought differently, I had a pep in my step, an excitement in my voice. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was not physically healed, but I was spiritually and emotionally healed. What a glorious day that was! 

I began to study the Bible intensively, to seek God. I put my focus on Him and Him alone.  I read promises in the Bible that I began to cling to and I started seeking God's will for me. At that point, I knew there was a purpose for all the pain and struggle I had been faced with.  I had a fresh excitement for life!  I was stripped of everything, a blank canvas ready to be made into something new, if I would only allow it. God began to reveal some of His plan and it became a pleasure to live out His will for me! It was not what I planned for my life, but it was what God planned for my life and I still pinch myself sometimes when I see that God is using me in all my brokenness. I ran full steam ahead toward Jesus and began ministering to others who suffer similarly. I had a real purpose! It was no longer about time in the gym, making money, was about sharing the love and hope I had found in Jesus! 

I had a new identity in Christ and I wanted to know more! After years of caring so much about what people thought and said about me, I wanted to know what God said about me.  I searched the Bible for answers and learned the following:
I am a child of God
I am loved 
I am forgiven 
I work for God
I am meant to bear fruit
I am complete in Jesus 
I have the Holy Spirit in me, guiding me
I am chosen by God
I am fearfully and wonderfully made 
I am a new creation in Christ 
Now that's exciting! 

So, yes it's true the old me is gone. It's true there are days that I long to see her, to be her again, but the God of all grace reminds me of His love for me and in finding my identity in Christ, I can finally fulfill the purpose He set for me. I no longer identify with my appearance, my achievements, the decorations in my life that are always changing.... I identify myself in my Savior, who never changes. 

I thought I lost myself to chronic illness, but I really found myself in Christ. I am truly blessed! 

What part of yourself are you still holding on to? What would happen if you surrendered it to God? What kind of beauty would he make from your ashes? 


Saturday, January 10, 2015

God has given me more than I can handle - how about you?

"God will never give you more than you can handle."

Oh, how I'd be able to fill a room with nickels if I was granted one for every time that was said to me. My response to the well intentioned person is always a simple smile of gratitude for their kind intentions.

Admittedly, it sure doesn't feel that way to me and the countless others who are walking a very difficult journey right now. I thought, if that's true, I must be way stronger than I ever imagined. WAY stronger. Or maybe God has confused me with the stronger girl down the street! 

As I went about my journey, chasing a diagnosis, my body failing in many ways, trying to raise two very young precious little ones, in a marriage where we couldn't find our footing, financial issues due to medical bills, etc, I somehow knew that statement was not true. I was dealing with far more than my human self could handle. It was breaking me. Yes, breaking me.  I became overwhelmed, exhausted, unhappy and simply broken. I was given more than I could handle and didn't know what to do about it all. 

With a strong desire to understand this better, I began to research what the Bible said about it. I came to the conclusion that people making the statement that God only gives us what we can handle are referring to 1 Corinthians.  Paul says that we will never be tempted beyond what we can resist.  It is said in the context of not getting drunk at communion, however. That didn't quite mean the same thing to me as "God will only give you what you can handle.".

So, what does the Bible say about it? 
First of all, there are many stories of people in the Bible given more than they can handle: Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Job, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Mary, Martha, Paul...

An example is after Paul's mission to Jerusalem, he was overwhelmed. God told him that if he was overwhelmed, He would have enough strength for both of them. If God wouldn't give Paul more than he could handle, why would he feel overwhelmed or need God's strength?

Aha! God will give us more than we can handle, but He will also give us what we need to handle it! We must draw that extra oomph, that strength, wisdom, grace from Him!  This is mentioned many times in the bible but perhaps two of the most well know verses are:

 2 Corinthians 12:19  Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

Philippians 4:13  - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

These clearly show that we are in need of His help and that He will give us what we need. As comforting as it may be to believe He will only give us what we can handle, would you be growing then? You'd likely still feel pretty comfortable and have no reason to depend on God. He wants us to go to Him, draw from Him. 

Let's not forget, "ask and you shall receive."  If you are feeling overwhelmed and carrying more than you can handle, call on God. He will give you what you need! It is only by the grace that is in Christ that He will give strength to those who ask for it. But. You. Must. Ask. For. It. 

So, I'd like to change that quote to a new one. " God doesn't give you what you can handle. He gives you what you need to handle what you're given."  Amen! 

Dear friends, whatever you are struggling with today, I pray you know you are not alone and that God is right there with you and patiently waiting for you, His beloved child, to call upon Him. It is only by God's grace and Him providing me with the strength I myself don't have, that I am able to live joyfully with what is considered a devastating illness. When I finally fell to my knees and cried to God for help, a new life began for me and my family. Is it perfect, no? Do we struggle still? Absolutely. But we know we can handle anything that comes our way when we rely on Him, because God has promised He will give us what we need and we have faith in His promises. 

Be well friends!
Much Love,