For the Woman Who is Scarred by Scandal
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Hi, my name is Bryana. Today I will be sharing my story about how I have been scarred by scandal. In order to briefly give a bit of background without making you read a novel, I’ll tell you a few things about me before I start. I grew up as a second born of four children in a Bible believing family who was faithfully apart of our local church body. I met my husband in highschool and we dated for 3.5 years before we married at the baby ages of 19 and 20. A few weeks after we married, I moved across the country with him where he was playing college basketball for an elite division 1 university. We welcomed our first baby girl a couple months after he graduated and then had our second daughter came 17 months later. My story begins after we had moved back and forth across the country, trying to settle into a career that could support our family.

If the Lord had told me that one of the words I would use to describe how I have experienced His character and grace towards me would be scandalous, I think I would have opted out. Sexual brokenness and immorality was the one thing I wanted to avoid at all costs. I was arrogantly convinced I could control the presence of such things in my life. If I had been honest with myself about my own struggle for purity during my dating relationship with Michael, I might have seen some of the red flags. But here is the thing: whether I would’ve chosen it or not, it’s what happened. It’s my reality. This is my story, and this is the precise way I’ve come to really know and have fallen in love with God, the Creator of the universe. It’s my scandalous miracle of mercy.

It was a nagging and terrible curiosity that led me to log on to facebook that particular morning. There may have been an actual purpose, but most likely, it was just the desire to know if others knew how decimated my life had just become. I read only a handful of comments, but the words did their work quickly. I can’t actually remember them exactly, but they were in the same category of familiar words that we hear anytime a sexual scandal comes to light. Scum, piece of s***, dirtbag... you can imagine. This time though, the knife of these words cut me deeply. This wasn’t a stranger or an acquaintance I was reading about. They were talking about my husband.

Hours earlier, in the middle of the night, I was woken up by a collect call from the county jail in our hometown. I struggled out of my sleep induced stupor to grasp the meaning of the words the woman on the line was saying. My mind raced as I waited to hear Michael’s voice. What could have happened? I suspected maybe he had been caught intoxicated somewhere. We did not drink alcohol but I knew that Michael didn’t share my strong conviction about it. That would have explained the suspicion I felt that he was hiding something. Maybe now that I was out of town, maybe he had taken things too far in the freedom of isolation. I mean, what else could’ve gotten him arrested?

I wasn’t left to wonder long. He came on the line and started explaining why he had been arrested. When he said her name, my stomach dropped and my heart shattered. I can’t explain the feeling of shock that came over me while at the same time, I knew it was true. He said there was more that I didn’t know but he couldn’t tell me over the phone. I hung up and fell to the floor feeling like I couldn’t breathe, as though a thousand pounds had swung at my gut and knocked all the air out of me.

An hour after I hung up, the story was already in the paper and on the morning news. It felt like everyone knew about a part of my life that I didn’t even know about. It immediately felt like the words FOOL, UNWANTED, REJECTED were written across my forehead and anyone that looked at me could see the shame of my husbands exposed secrets. A life of secret sexual sin that had started in junior high had grown and finally caught up to him. A previous affair with an underage girl had come to light. The consequences that followed would be devastating.


The unknown of the next 30 hours tormented me. What didn’t I know?

Michael confessed to a secret addiction to pornography and to dozens of affairs over the course of our relationship and marriage. The truth was less awful than the places my imagination had run, and yet, was worse than I expected. When I knew people had read about the story in the news, I wanted to correct them on the information. I wanted them to know that in so many ways, that was only the tip of the iceberg of the betrayal I was experiencing. I was frustrated at my instinct to defend and protect my husband in certain ways. I loved him and hated him all at the same time, and I wanted everyone to be able to read my mind and be where I was at, even when I wasn’t sure myself.

The legal processes drug out for over a year. Michael and I remained separated during the proceedings. However, we conceived our 3rd child during this time. One of the hardest things for me was being questioned about that pregnancy. Quite frankly, I didn’t understand what God was doing. It felt like He was adding insult to injury in giving me a rapid growing womb for others to gawk and wonder about. It took some time, but that little girl became a gift that I treasured as I carried her. God was changing me as He peeled back my layers and layers of pride and self-sufficiency. And glory be, He was even starting to heal my marriage with the help of counseling and community. I assumed God would allow the legal consequences to be minimal or just be done with altogether. However, a month after our daughter was born, Michael was sentenced to two years in prison.

At times, going places and risking being asked about my husband, my children’s father, terrified me. I didn’t want to be asked where he was. I didn’t want to explain our situation. I didn’t want to be a single mom, and I didn’t want to miss my incarcerated husband. But I was raising our girls by myself and I deeply missed Michael. I didn’t want to have to answer innocent questions with answers I knew would be shocking. Yet sometimes I felt so alone in my pain and wondered if people who knew my story avoided asking awkward questions because they didn’t understand why I was waiting for restoration of my marriage. I think people assume that when its an unfavorable situation that maybe “I shouldn’t bring it up”. I craved someone to give me permission to talk about how hard it was to love a man who’s decisions had wrecked our lives. I wanted others to acknowledge my loneliness and the pain that flooded me when I didn't have a partner to laugh with at our kiddos antics or rejoice with as our oldest trusted Jesus with her eternity. In the midst of this place my heart continued to break for all the brokenness and messiness of my life. But in that brokenness, I found true intimacy with my Maker. I learned to give thanks for the ways my girls made me laugh and the wonder of newborn squishes. He showed me that He was the companion that my soul so desperately sought and I learned to pour my grief at His feet and HE LIFTED MY HEAD. I entrusted Him with my fears about being known and found unworthy and He made me bold with bravery to tell my story about how HE RESCUED ME. I wrestled with my fleshly desire to make much of myself, and HE FAITHFULLY HUMBLED ME (and still does). I wept from the pain of wanting things to change, yet also declared that HE WAS ENOUGH FOR ME. For the very first time, I believed it.

God was doing miracles in our marriage as we communicated over timed, recorded calls. He was giving us a new start as He was making US NEW. It is one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Michael’s prison sentence ended up being shortened to 8 months, but those were some of the hardest days I’ve ever lived.

I often wish that our season of scandal could’ve concluded the day we were reunited as a family. But the truth is, it continues on. Not exactly in such a dramatic and everyday-obvious way, but the consequences of sexual sin still remain. New consequences to old sin still pop up.


Its taken a continual and surrendered dependence on the Lord to process that pain and to trust that He has a good plan for our family.

Some of the lies that are ‘frequent visitors’ that I battle with are that “because of my story I am an embarrassment to the name of Christ,” that “if people knew about our soiled past they would be turned away from wanting to be in relationship with us and maybe even Jesus,” that “we are ‘that’ family that respectable people want to protect their families from,” and so on. The devil is a slimy accuser. As the Lord has revealed the ways I believe the enemy over the King, I’ve realized that Satan uses facts that have happened in my life and wages war in my mind by disguising lies with the tiniest bit of ‘truth’. The bottom line is that the enemy knows my propensity to value human opinion. But even in recognizing these lies, there will still be some people who reject us on basis of this story.

BUT GOD. What does HE say about His redemptive work in my life? He’s completing it (Philippians 1:6). It is by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that I am reconciled to Him and am declared holy and blameless and BEYOND REPROACH by the Father, not on the basis of any behavior or morality modification I can muster on my own. (Colossians 1:22) He is renewing me in the image of the Creator and in that renewal there is no distinction between any persons in the church regardless of their background(Colossians 3:10). We have all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). At the foot of the cross, we all stand on even ground.

These lies that I’m tempted with also detract from the work God has actually done and what He has given in my life. We have been loved and healed within the church and our gospel community in ways we had never experienced before. Has it been perfect or always felt good? No. But it has changed our life and shown us more fully who God is and what His church should look like when we practice obedience to His word.

God has used the gritty circumstances of my life to teach me to judge others less harshly. When the media tells a story that sheds light on someones sordid personal life, instead of jumping in and participating in the defamation, I am more prone to stop and remember that they are a human being with family and friends and heartbreak and a real life story that I know nothing about. And while the press may be correct in the details of the scandal or even partially accurate, I see people’s humanity with a heck of a lot more grace than I used to. I spend less energy on thoughts of “they should know better” or “how could they” and instead ask the Lord to show His hope-carrying people to say ‘repentance is a gift’ and ‘lets find a way forward together’. For all the things that my personal story holds and all the roads I haven’t walked, its a joy and humble honor to say “but by the grace of God, I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). These scars over my past that are still visible in my present have been the breaking of the bondage and idolatry of perfectionism that was killing my soul. Praise be to my God for loving me enough to set me free.


 

 

Bryana lives in Northern California with her high school sweetheart husband and 5 children. Between homeschooling and homemaking and intentional, gospel-community living, she loves to decompress with crafting, tjmaxx browsing, and laughing with friends. The Lord has stirred a deep passion in her to live radically authentic and vulnerable in order to share the hope she has found in pursing Jesus in the most dark and broken places of her story. She is an unlikely optimist who audaciously believes God’s divine power to change people and their stories with His transforming mercy and irresistible grace and doesn’t ever want to stop shouting from the mountains, or believing in her current circumstances, how God is worthy of all of her affection and worship. Find her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bryana426/ and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bryanas.designs?ref=bookmarks and her blog with her husband https://michaelandbryanaporter.com/ 

Ashley Jackson Comment
For the Woman Who Struggles with Suicidal Thoughts
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 **Trigger Warning: This article includes honest conversation pertaining to mental illness, thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Please take care of your heart and monitor your thoughts while reading.**


I’ve tried to write this article many times over the last few weeks. I’ve written and deleted the words at least five times. No words I write seem to do justice to the lives lost and the hearts affected by suicide. We don’t like to talk about it. It feels awkward and shameful to admit the dark thoughts and intense emotions that can plague a mind. So before you hear my story, let me say this: You are not shameful and you are not weak. You are a daughter of God and that makes you courageous, passionate, and strong. You are welcome, and you are wanted. I offer you my story and a safe place within my heart to come to cry, to scream, to laugh, and to talk. Like all good stories, mine is not complete.

I had struggled with anxiety since I was probably ten years old (though I’m not sure I had the vocabulary for it at that age) and depression became my state of being when I was 19 and attending university in Riverside, Ca. I talked to virtually no one about it and instead started to secretly venture into the world of self-harm. I was ashamed of everything I was and every choice I had made. Somewhere along the line, I subconsciously made the decision to destroy anything “good” in my life. I think Itruly believed that I was not worthy of anything good and so I ran; ran from the unconditional love of Abba and from the safety of those who loved me. My self-harm started with me cheating on the man I was in love with and sabotaging our relationship with lies and anger. To his credit, he stayed. Or at least he tried to. But, I was suffocating underneath lies of unworthiness and self-hate and whenever he tried to dig me out, I covered myself right back up. More lies entered our relationship and eventually we came to an end. It was the ending of this relationship that became the catalyst for a long period of pain, but also healing and growth.

 

By the time I stopped going to school and moved to live with my sister in Northern California later that year, I was far from God, but trying to live a double life. There was the Katey who worked part time at a church, loved Jesus, enjoyed playing with her niece, and always laughed easily. Then there was the Katey who lived part time at her new boyfriend’s house, wandered around in a cloud of drugs and alcohol, and took scissors and razors to her skin to alleviate the guilt she felt for not actually being the Katey from above. Within six months of being in Northern California I had slid so deeply into alcoholic binges and self-harm that the physical abuse and psychological torture I put up with from my boyfriend seemed like nothing more than what I deserved. I remember when I was at one of my lowest points, I would cut in order to try and gain even the smallest amount of love and sympathy from him. I had put myself in this reoccurring cycle of pushing everyone away. When that left me starved for love and desperate for acceptance, I began to try to manipulate these things from my relationship, only to be met with disdain and disgust. Somewhere in all this, I started to believe Satan’s quietest, yet most powerful lie, “You are not worthy of life.” He had whispered it to me from a young age and without realizing it, I had not only accepted it, but embraced it. Each day his voice got a little louder until his voice sounded a lot like mine and my voice was screaming and pleading for death.

 

In February of 2013, around 7 months after moving to Northern California to “start over” and to “find myself”, I was profoundly depressed and had emotionally isolated myself from everyone besides my boyfriend. I had lost myself completely and to this day, I don’t recognize the girl I had become. It was at this time that I discovered my boyfriend had been cheating on me. I remember feeling all the normal emotions of betrayal and anger and hurt but the number one prevailing emotion I felt was relief. As sad as it is, I had never entertained the idea of breaking up with this man before because I was so deeply rooted in the idea that I deserved his treatment. In my troubled mind, I deserved all the abuse I had suffered at his hands, but did not deserve him cheating on me. My most vivid memory of this day is the feeling of hope that spread within my body at the idea that I could be free of this man. But he wasn’t ready to let go and when I confronted him of his betrayal and told him I was done, he began to cry, throw things and told me he would kill himself if I left.

 

I had hit a point in my life where I believed all manner of lies about myself but the most powerful lie, the lie that had me changing my behavior and had molded me into someone other than myself, was the lie of unworthiness. Life didn’t just seem like too much for me, I believed I didn’t deserve it. So it doesn’t surprise me anymore when I look back on that moment with my boyfriend, when my hand was on the doorknob and I was ready to open the door to freedom, and see instead thatI locked the door. He said he would kill himself if I left and the most hurt and empty part of me believed he deserved life more than me. I locked the door, convincing myself it was to “save” him. In reality, it was to let myself “die”.

 

Later that day, after my boyfriend had been taken to a mental hospital to receive a psychiatric evaluation, my sister picked me up and took me home. On the way home, I remember the familiar thoughts of death creeping into my head. Except this time, I didn’t try to mute them or push them away. I let them fall over my mind and convince me it was what needed to happen. Less than an hour later, my sister was rushing me to the hospital with towels on my wrists. When I was released from my 72 hour mandatory watch period, I moved home to live with my parents.

 

It is now five and a half years later and I have walked through counseling programs, being diagnosed with Bipolar II, medication regimens, mood swings, countless other health complications and a lot of tear-fests in my bedroom. But I have also walked through restored relationships with my family members, reconciliation with my best friends, and new lifelong friendships with women I met while working at a camp for a couple summers. I walked through the streets of Lebanon sharing the love of God and the dirt streets of Syrian refugee camps, trying my best to change their lives when in reality, their lives changed mine. I’ve lived in Simi Valley, Big Bear, Redding and Humboldt County. I’ve dated and been heartbroken, drank countless iced coffees, ran all around Disneyland, had wine nights with my roommates, and spent hours dreaming over what I want to do with my life. And I’ve cried many, and I do mean many, tears along the way.

 

In the midst of every single moment from above, I asked God to be there with me. Here’s a little secret about me: my biggest fear in life is being alone. I’m not sure if it stems from a specific event or maybe just that anxiety isolates you and makes you feel alone. When I was packing to leave for Lebanon, I was petrified. I had just made some stupid decisions and had isolated myself from the rest of the girls on my team; I was feeling lonely and scared. I called my mom and I remember her telling me that she would be reading Psalm 91 every morning while I was gone; praying it over me and my team. I did the same. Every morning while in Lebanon, I started my day praying Psalm 91 over myself and my team as we got ready to do ministry in places that we could see and feel the spiritual warfare in a tangible way. “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2) And it was in Lebanon that I learned that having God as my refuge and my safe place didn’t just mean coming to Him in tears and sharing my fears with Him but sharing my joy and my excitement too. I started to feel God everywhere. When I got dressed in the morning, I asked Him what he thought I should wear. I would drink tea and feel Him there, as if He was drinking tea with me. From the little everyday things to the huge, once in a lifetime moments, He was there and I was overwhelmed and falling in love with His presence. I know that I still struggled with anxiety while in Lebanon, but it’s the one period of time in my life that I can look back and that isn’t my first memory. That experience changed my life and made me realize that if I know God is literally right by my side, I can do anything!

 

I’m not sure if my anxiety will ever disappear completely or if I’ll ever go a month without struggling with depression, but it does not rule my mind and my heart anymore. I always felt so alone in my thoughts and emotions-especially when I tried to end my life, I thought I was completely alone. That made the thought of living unbearable. Maybe it sounds silly or maybe it sounds like a cheap trick, but the day I opened myself up to the possibility that I never have to stop being in the presence of God, I suddenly became capable of living a full life even with mental illness. Now, when the thoughts come for me, I grab God’s hand and he reminds me why I’m alive and why I keep choosing to live. In His presence, I dream big things; I cry as much as I need to, I laugh uncontrollably. In His presence, I look suicide in the face and see that it thrives on deception and a society refusing to call it out for what it is, a pile of lies.

 

It can be easy, in our culture, to make a list of “to do’s” in an attempt to get rid of suicidal thoughts or anxiety or whatever. We hear things like “it gets better” and try to figure out exactly how we can make that happen. I don’t think it necessarily does get better nor do I think there is a 4-step guide to dealing with this struggle. However, I do believe we can get better. I think we can learn to walk in the authority of God, realizing our own power as daughters of God and identifying the triggers that might make us feel less than that. When we dwell in the shelter of God and death comes knocking, we can sit down, grab God’s hand and watch as death is slowly burned away by the light all around it. And no matter how often he comes knocking; as long as I’m sitting next to God, I have the ability to tell suicide to go back to hell.

 

“You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.” Psalm 91:5-8

Biography:

Katey is a dog mama from Southern California. She loves to write to inspire and read until her eyes stop working. She is passionate about self-love, mental health awareness, and iced coffee. She also hopes to somehow make those three passions into a career one day. She loves to make new friends!

Connect with her here: Find her on Instagram @katey_rey or follow her at bebravehabibti.wordpress.com (where she really needs to update her blog)

Ashley JacksonComment
For the Woman Who has Endured Pregnancy Loss
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You may have read that title and felt the heaviness it brings. Or maybe you thought ‘That won’t happen to me.’ Trust me, I thought that exact thing before my first loss. It’s not the natural order of life. But pregnancy loss affects 1 in 4 pregnancies, so chances are you or someone you know has endured this type of loss.  

The morning of my 16-week check-up started like a normal weekday. My Husband left for work and I continued my morning routine. A few minutes before I needed to leave for work I started feeling pressure and shooting pain down through my legs. I called my Husband to tell him to come home so we could go to the hospital. Within 15 minutes of that call our son, Maddox Jacob, was born. At home, too little to survive this side of Heaven.  

The next 24 hours will forever be imprinted into my heart. It’s like a film that plays on repeat over and over. Sometimes it takes my breath away – reliving the trauma. And sometimes it overwhelms me with awe as an example of God’s reckless love. Going through pregnancy loss is so surreal. I realized early on that the only way to begin to heal is by facing your pain, head on, regardless of how hard that may be. There’s no masking anything, you must allow yourself to feel all the emotions you are going through. I wish no one had to endure this pain, but I know with certainty that God has been here for a reason. And although I may never know why, I will stand in the truth that God called me to be here, and where He calls you, He always provides.

Grief can suck the life out of you. It can wreck you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, and then some. It’s the most unimaginable thing to be pregnant one day and not the next with no living baby to hold. You’re left with trying to comprehend that reality while learning to let go of all those plans, hopes, and dreams you have for that baby and your future. It’s your life stopping while the world continues to go on around you as though nothing happened. Your heart feels battered and hopeless and your pain seems invisible to the outside world. I pray there’s a day when people don’t have to feel this heartbreak. But for those that have and will go through this, I wanted to share some truths that I’ve learned and am still learning along the way.

Grief Isn’t Linear

Grief is hard. Ever changing. It’s not easy, and it’s not fun. But facing those feelings head-on is crucial to making progress in moving forward. Burying and suppressing your feelings damages your ability to cope. Most of us have heard about the ‘Stages of Grief’ and I’ve experienced them all. The biggest misconception of these stages is that they go in order. They don’t. And once you’ve been through one stage it doesn’t mean you can check that stage off and never think of it again. I’ve gone through stages out of order, I’ve re-visited stages that I thought I was done with. I used to get so frustrated with myself thinking something is wrong with me and that I’m not strong enough. The truth is grief is messy. My counselor explained it best when she told me there is no standard behavior with grief. Amid sudden, traumatic loss ‘normal’ ceases to exist. It reminded me that no grief is the same, and that’s ok. And when grief overcomes me and I’m feeling tired I’m reminded that God sees me. He feels my pain, and my soul takes rest in that.

Come to me, all you who are weary & burdened, and I will give you rest – Matthew 11:28

 

Let Go of Expectations

This was and is so hard for me but it’s so important to let go of expectations from yourself and from others. Pregnancy loss is something that is impossible to understand unless you’ve gone through it. I remember constantly feeling the need to explain my feelings and why I felt a certain way, only to be let down by people’s reactions. I wanted people to understand, to somehow feel my pain so they can empathize with me, but that only lead to disappointment. I yearned for people to recognize what happened to our son, what happened to me. I craved validation for my feelings. More than anything I wanted others to understand how their actions, or inactions, made me feel. I found myself being held captive to what others expected from me. I’ve been told all my life how strong I am, and I always took pride in that. I would get so frustrated with myself when I felt I wasn’t at a point in my grief journey that I hoped I would be by a certain time, or for not feeling happy every day. At times I would even feel guilty for having good days thinking I would be judged for that, or that people would just forget about what I’ve been through. It’s been a struggle learning how to release these thoughts, but it’s more damaging to hold tight and become a prisoner to them. And in those moments when I get caught up in being held to expectations from myself or from others, I remind myself it’s so important to always keep my mind on Christ.

 

Do You….Always

This is something I’ve just recently begun to get comfortable with. I’m a people-pleaser to the core so I’ve always put others needs before my own. I felt selfish when I would put my needs first. I quickly found myself caring way too much about what people around me were thinking and feeling. I allowed the opinions of others to dictate my actions and thoughts. I was left feeling so misunderstood, and still do at times honestly. I’ve been judged, ostracized. I’ve been told to get over it, and that I need to just move on. I’ve lost relationships and have seen some change. Social anxiety became, and still can be, such a present enemy in my life. I went through a prolonged period where I was so afraid to commit to anything because I never knew how I would feel tomorrow, let alone next week, next month or even a year from now. And as frustrating as it was for people in my life to deal with that it felt more difficult for me to try to help them understand.

People want you to carry on like normal, but it’s ok that you can’t. You must give yourself that freedom, as hard as that is. I’ve learned it’s ok to say no when you would normally say yes, or to cancel plans even after you’ve already committed. It’s ok if you aren’t in the mood to attend that wedding, party, or work function. It’s ok to say no to helping decorate for a baby shower if your heart isn’t ready, even if you think and know people will be upset and not understand. It’s ok if you feel gutted if someone shamelessly announces their pregnancy to you by sending you their ultrasound picture (talk about major trigger). You have to know that people may not understand what you’re going through. That’s ok. Let them, but don’t allow them to make you feel guilty for grieving. That’s where grace comes in. For you and for others. Let it flood your soul. And always remember, to be honest, be real, and be authentic to you.

‘I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and doesn’t leave us where it found us’ Anne Lamott

 

I am certainly no expert in pregnancy loss or grief, however, in my experience through 3 miscarriages I know how hard it is to endure. My journey has been difficult, it hasn’t been what I expected. But it has also allowed me to be a witness to the abundance of God’s love, so I wanted to leave you with this example of hope in the midst of unimaginable heartbreak.

 

The day we lost Maddox God brought everyone together in a way that only He can. He knew my situation was critical so He ensured I was at home so the paramedics could get to me quickly and take me to the hospital. The paramedics that came consoled us, cried with us and took such great care of our baby boy. He allowed the Head Nurse of Labor & Delivery to hear about our arrival so she could come and bring us out of the ER to the maternity ward where we belonged. The doctor on call happened to be the Head of that unit and is very well known and highly respected in the medical community. Our nurse was on her last shift that day, her next shift would be as a doctor. She prayed with us, wept with us, and shared hope through stories of couples she had witnessed delivering their healthy rainbow babies. He made our pastor available to come to pray over us and our son and provide a sense of calmness and peace in the room. A calmness that allowed me to recognize, in that very moment, that we were witnessing God’s angel army at work. For us. In a way that only He can. And that is living proof of His never-ending love.

 

If you are one of those women who are in the trenches of pregnancy loss my soul weeps with yours. Some days it feels as though you’re waking up to a nightmare, yet it’s your reality. It can feel so lonely and exhausting as you are constantly working on adjusting to your new normal. Please know you can take refuge in this truth. God is with you. He matches you step for step, even if you don’t feel it. And on those days when it’s too heavy, He will carry you. He weeps with you and rejoices when you smile. Draw near to Him. Every day. Stand strong in your faith and the promise that He has already written your redemption story.

 

 

Tarah was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago where she lives with her Husband and two furbabes. She began her faith walk in 2016 and enjoys growing her faith by connecting with women through Bible studies and online communities. She's passionate about Jesus and sharing the truth of her journey to motherhood by providing hope to other women while spreading awareness about topics that aren't spoken about enough. She loves living authentically, watching reality tv and Dateline, writing, and napping. Tarah recently began working with a fertility doctor and is hopeful that one day soon she will be holding her rainbow baby in her arms. You can find Tarah on Instagram @tarahmcbride and at her newly created blog filterfreelife.com.

Ashley JacksonComment