My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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The Letter

vintage-floral-free-letters-cards-powerpoint_156393One day in 1986 it suddenly dawned on me, I wanted Kevin to move out of the friend zone into the “Dating Zone” Asap!.. only hoping he felt the same way. The eyes of my heart soon opened to this new realization after he payed me a visit at Mall 205 where I worked as a manager at Foxmoor clothing store.
Unbeknownst to us our first meeting in the basement of Laurel Park Bible Chapel in 1983, would one day become life changing. Our sweet encouraging friendship blossomed in the soil of our personal brokenness. Sporadically touching base during the next few years, with occasional phone calls and hand written letters, though we lived a mere three miles apart.

This gem of a soul mate was hidden in plain view during our friendship. Blinded by heartbreak of a short lived first marriage, I plummeted head long into an eating disorder, my futile attempt to gain a measure of control in my life. There In the midst of the pain and brokenness God had a plan, to bring beauty out of ashes, oil of joy for mourning and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

Within a couple of weeks of Kevin’s pivotal visit we waved good bye to the Friend Zone. Now standing hand in hand at the threshold of a new beginning eagerly awaiting God’s leading.  Excitement sparked our faith and faith moved us toward what the future would hold for us. We became increasingly aware that we had an adversary that was not ready to see us walk in victory. A persistent seven year battle raged within Kevin that unless he had total freedom from it, our relationship could not proceed to a commitment of marriage.  My heart was not only longing to be married to Kevin, it was longing to see a tormented man set free. Faith rose within me to stand in the gap on his behalf and believe that God would deliver Kevin once and for all. On one particular day I felt the Lord’s strong pressing to write Kevin a letter filled with God’s truth of His deep love for him and mine as well. These truths were the keys that opened up the prison cell that kept Kevin in mental, emotional, and spiritual torment and set him forever free from his particular battle.

Twenty nine years later I still marvel at this beautiful tapestry woven with threads of God’s faithfulness, grace and redemption. Whenever God’s love is coupled with loving safe relationships it never fails to bring healing. I’m eternally  grateful for the love of God and committed friendships that loved me into wholeness. My life has forever changed for the better because of it.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times ,and is born, as is a brother,for adversity”..

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Redefining True Beauty and Brawn

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There is no doubt in my mind that a good part portion of my life has been strongly following  what our society has focused on, whether it be outward appearances, position, or possessions.  My fragile self worth hinging vicariously on the  approval of others.  Compelling images on screen or print drove me to strive for acceptance as it  encourages the population to worship physical beauty, strength and the dew of youth.  Even  though I know Proverbs 31 tells us, “beauty is vain (because it is not lasting….” still  my past choices gave too much energy and exertion on achieving shiny bouncing hair, pearly white teeth, or  the “perfect pant size”.

Nearly 30 years ago it caused me to fall headlong into crippling eating disorder after my failed first marriage. The grip of anorexia squeezed out any of the vibrant life God had for me. Only being able to overcome its’ strong clutches through the power of my praying mother.  Within a year my eyes were opened to the devastation of what the eating disorder was doing to my body. Sadly, a few years later my poor body image reared its’ ugly head again due to my weight gain shortly after I got remarried. This time narrowly escaping a potential battle with bulimia. My husband somehow opened the bathroom door that I “knew” I had locked, he saw me leaning over the toilet to rid myself of my last meal.  This was a profound wake up call  from a gracious God sparing me from another pit of personal destruction.  After that miraculous encounter I never again struggled with any kind of eating disorder.

For the most part, we can agree there is nothing wrong with admiring external beauty or brawn, enjoying healthy hair, whiter teeth or battling the bugle. Our bodies are the temple of the Lord, and we are encouraged to take care of them.  Still, it  becomes clear that I want to shift my attention to a boarder picture of  true beauty and brawn. That which is not  highlighted in fashion nor physical fitness magazines, becoming more confident that true beauty comes from within and strength is measured beyond bulging muscles and washboard abs.  Longing to view mankind as God does, for His word says, “Man looks to the outward appearances while God looks at the heart”.  Not judging a book by its’ cover as the prophet Samuel did when on a mission to choose the next King of Israel, had it not been for the Spirit of God telling him otherwise, Samuel would have anointed the wrong man.  Almost overlooking  the ruddy David who tended sheep but had a heart for God. Once again God reveals that true “strength” and “beauty” has nothing to do with outward appearances but rather what is in the heart and spirit of a man or woman.

God applauds the stouthearted  spirit of the  elderly, the perseverance of the disabled and all those battling crippling diseases or limitations whether in mind or body. This reevaluation is pounding hard,  hitting home as I  watch a loved one’s heroic stamina tackle life.  Where walking, brushing teeth, or eating  has become laborious. This changes the face of what “powerful” really is, a rugged human spirit determined to live with dignity in spite of adversities. What I once put so much stock in has lost  its’ value challenging and rocking the very core of my flimsy standards. Smashing the idols of self worth and worldly value and realigning my perspective as to what real beauty and strength is.

The reality is we all carry within us weaknesses, scars, and flaws that reside in our heart’s and mind’s…. crippling us from soaring as God intended. A fortified internal city  masking our shortcomings and  inner wounds.  And yet God beckons us to “glory in our weakness and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell upon me”. * His power is shown up in our weaknesses.

Thank you Lord that Your love and approval does not depend on ones physical strength or outward beauty.  In fact, true strength and beauty is determined by what is on the inside of a person.  Not only that, but  your love is absolutely unconditional even in our brokenness. Redefining to a needy culture what true “Beauty and Brawn” is.

Training the body helps a little, but godly living helps in every way. Godly living has the promise of life now and in the world to come.   1  Timothy 4:8

*2 Corinthians 12:9