Limitless Grace

January sixth, these are the words I wrote :

“It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger. Nine months later it still stings just as much as the day it all fell apart, but today it hurts a little bit more than usual. Today was what would’ve been the start of my senior season. Some days I feel on top of the world and others it still feels like the world is on top of me. Some days I feel like even though it’s hard I am strong enough to get through, and others it feels like I am barely staying afloat. I know the truths and I recite them day by day – My strength comes from Him. He will not leave. I will get stronger. – but some days I just struggle. Some days I need another hand. Some days my goal is to simply make it through. And Slowly I am learning that that’s okay. It’s okay if it takes all I have to just make it through. It’s okay if it takes all I have just to convince myself to do some squats. It’s okay if it takes all I have to just run 5 minutes. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to scream. It’s okay to not understand. BUT it is not okay to give up. It is not okay to hate yourself. It is not okay to get mad at yourself. You’ve come too far to give up now.”

I wrote these words after I got back from my run – my attempt to run. Allow me to explain. Since my surgery I have lost a great deal of muscle which in turn gives me a limp when I run. The brace I have to wear feels like it is 20 pounds which only adds to the limp. It is exhausting and devastating. Not only am I trying to get back in shape, but I am also trying to literally teach myself to run again, a task that came natural to me. I felt as if I was supposed to be so much farther along than what I was. Nine months is a long time to still have a limp. I had slipped my old shoes back on and was angry at myself and once again, at my circumstances. I just wanted to be “normal” for one day. For one run. For 20 minutes. If we are being honest, I have ran a total of three times since being cleared in October and there is no reason for it other than fear. Fear of getting hurt again. Fear of being too hard on myself. Fear of going too fast. Fear in every way possible.

Shortly after this run I became determined to do something about it. I started working out consistently to regain my muscle but then a week in something felt off. My knee was off. All the fears seemed so real to me, and as usual, the internet gave me the worst situation possible. (Don’t trust the internet. Just don’t.)

January sixteenth, these are the words I wrote :

“I haven’t done anything. I have only ran three times. 3. I have worked out for one week. 1. There’s no way I could’ve messed it up and if I did I will be so upset with myself. I can’t do this again. I can’t. I lost everything I had last year and I can’t repeat it all. It feels like everything is starting to crumble again. I can slowly feel the rocks start to roll and soon enough, an avalanche will hit. I try to remain positive right now but tonight is hard. It’s just hard. It may fall apart tomorrow morning, and if it does I pray that I will remember that when it all falls apart it falls into His hands.”

Fear had consumed me. I lost my ground and had been consumed by the most gut-wrenching awful feeling ever. It is crippling and it had crippled me. I felt like I was about to repeat my previous year and I was angry. Despite my feelings, Ev would not take no for an answer and signed us up for a 5k. The next morning I got answers to the strange feeling I was having.

Scar tissue – a process of healing, and the best way to help it was to run.

Years ago I asked someone how they were able to run marathons and their response was, “Prayer and Advocare – in that order.” Leading up to the race all I could think about was this response, less of the Advocare part but more of the prayer part. Back then I thought it was silly to pray to be able to run, but that had become my prayer for the next week and forever more. Saturday rolls around and it is race day. I started off walking. I walked about half, give or take, and just decided to go for it. I left my brace at home but something told me to run, so I did.

It was the best feeling ever. I was so overwhelmed. All I could think about was the past week and how I thought I was hurt. How I thought I couldn’t do it. How I thought I did not have the strength to carry on. How the prayer I thought was silly had been answered and became so real to me. I was embarrassed by the fact that I thought it was silly, but so grateful for limitless grace that is still true even when I doubt Him.

Hebrews 12: 1 – Run with patience.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Life is hard and some days your strength will look different. Some days you will be strong enough to check everything off the to-do list, eat healthy, and drink all the water. Others, it may be that you are strong enough to simply get through, and that is okay. Those strengths are not different. Those strengths are not less than the other. That’s part of healing. Today you may be like I was, just trying to get through, and that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day and it is filled with new mercies and new grace. There’s no valley low enough and no trying time too hard that grace can’t reach you. There’s nothing greater than it. Fear is not greater, I promise.

Cling to His promises. Cling to His love. Cling to hope. Cling to peace. Cling to grace. Simply, cling to Jesus. He tells us to not fear because He has overcome the world. There is NOTHING that could separate you from Him. No valley. No tunnel. No darkness. No shadow. He is Light and His Light seeps down to the deepest and darkest places and lights them up. He is your strength. He is your song. And your story does not end here. Keep pressing on. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope, even if it does not feel that way. There is a reason for this season, and one day you will look back and be so glad you did not give up.

Stay humble. Remain strong. Keep fighting.

“I will praise You
You see every season of my life
I will trust You
You’re using every moment by design
In between expecting
In between receiving
Before I know the answer
Before I see the reason
You’re moving in the meantime.” – Hannah Kerr

Owning the Hard Year

January first, two-thousand nineteen I wrote :

“2019. May this be a year of growth. I pray that this year I will learn to find grace in every situation. I pray I will be humbled and be able to grow in you. I pray for wisdom and guidance. I pray I grow as a leader and continue to lead in every aspect of my life. Whatever 2019 throws at me, my goals is to cling to Jesus and grow. Here’s to a new start. Here’s to a new beginning. Here’s to a new chapter. Here’s to a new me.”

This year marked eleven years of playing. All I have ever known was soccer. Saturdays and occasionally Sundays were spent traveling hours to play one game and the weekdays were spent going back and forth to practice and trying to maintain a social life and stay on top of school. I was known as the girl who played soccer and that is how I viewed myself, but when that was taken from me I had no idea who I was. The number eleven symbolizes a lack of organization and chaos in biblical terms, and that is exactly how this year has been. Chaotic.

Chapters ended and chapters began.

Hope was lost and strength was found.

Hearts were crushed and dreams were shattered.

I found peace in Isaiah 43:2.

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

It is hard to have peace and hope in the middle of a valley. It is hard to understand why things are happening to you. It is hard to remain strong when it feels like other people are healing faster and you are remaining stationary. But, here, Isaiah is telling us that God will be with us when we go T H R O U G H things. He does not say that He will get us there and leave us. He will get us T H R O U G H the valleys and storms.

Through /adverb/ – from one end to the other; from beginning to end.

From beginning to end. From one end to the other.

If He is there in the end that means He was there in the beginning. And if He was there in those times He was also there right in the middle of the valley when it felt like nobody was.

This year brought many changes to my life, changing my major being the most recent and not announced. After being denied my two-weeks notice at my previous job I was left without a job and bills to pay. A week later God answered a prayer and I found a job working at a daycare as a four-year-old assistant teacher. This job has brought so much light to my life and allowed me to realize my purpose and my passion.

Here I am known as “Miss Ansley”. I am not a soccer player. I am a teacher, but more than that I am eleven kids’ teacher. This was my greatest blessing of the year. This classroom has shown me my calling. This class was made for me. This class has helped me realize who I am. They do not know I played soccer. They do not know the year I had. All they know is Miss Ansley is my name and I am their teacher. In November I decided to finally listen to what the Lord was saying and I changed my major to Early Childhood Education, and the peace I felt after changing that title was indescribable. It marked the ending of a long journey of trying to figure out what my purpose and calling are in life.

As we reach the last hours of the year I hope you realize that you made it to the end. I hope you see that there was a purpose in your pain. There will be days that the memories still sting, but I hope you never lose sight of the One who carried you through. When you thought you could not find the strength to finish the year, realize that you did. I hope you find the good in the year, even if you have to dig a little deeper than others. I hope you know that on your darkest days He was with you, even if it did not feel that way. Circumstances do not define you, it is the way you respond to them that does. Your past does not define you. You are not who you were 365 days ago.

Hope was restored.

Peace was found.

Grace was defined.

Mercies were made new.

2019 – the most beautiful year. He took my brokenness and made it new. He turned my ashes into beauty. He took my broken heart and put a new song in it. He extended His arms and wrapped me in endless, boundless grace. He carried me through.

Eight Months Later

March – the hardest month I have lived. This was the month that my life completely turned upside down. Life came tumbling down faster than my mind could even start to process what was happening, and to this day, the week of March eleventh is all just a blur.

Days before I wrote :

Trust the Lord in trials. Don’t judge circumstances by what we see but by what He says. Trusting in God is believing in Him when you can’t see His hand. It’s so easy to trust when everything is smooth sailing, but when life flips upside down and the waters rage on you have to trust Him even more. He led Moses. He protected Daniel. He saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego. He WILL do the same for me. Even when the path is dark and I can’t see what is in front of me, He is still there leading and guiding my every step.

I did not know how much I was going to need that paragraph in the coming days and months, but God had a plan. I wrote that during a time when the only concern in my life was finishing my math assignments before 1:00 and making it from class to practice within 45 minutes, and within a weekend everything changed.

Time went so fast but so slow all at the same time. A week of hurting physically and emotionally as we all braced ourselves, or tried to, for the passing of Grandma all while trying to figure out the plan for my knee and loving a little boy as much as we can not knowing that one day soon he would disappear from us. I honestly thought we would never heal as a family from that week, but we learned to take it day by day and slowly we healed.

In the past eight months, I have learned many lessons but one that was consistent with every trial was this :

Healing takes time.

Healing is not something you can rush. It is not something you can put on a timeline and say “Okay self, be healed by this day.” It is not something you can compare to the person next to you. It is fragile and precious. It is a time of getting to know yourself and learning to love yourself. It is a time of getting to know God and His love for you. It is so easy to look at life’s circumstances and hate them. It is so easy to be jealous of the girl on Instagram who seems to have it so much better than you. It is so easy to look at other’s lives and wonder, “Why did it have to be me?” And what I have learned is this, none of that speeds up the process it slows down the process.

In the arms of the Creator, we are held and nurtured. We have all that we need. We have everything we need in order to heal in one book, the Bible. How reassuring is it to know that someone loved you so much that He died so that you could be set free? How comforting is it to know that the God of all creation knows you every need, your every tear, and your every prayer before you even speak? How comforting is it to know that God knows and direct our lives and will NEVER forsake us?

He is present in your time of need.

Psalms 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Recovering from an ACL surgery is a very long and S L O W process, but eight months later I have officially checked off everything on my “Post-Surgery To-Do List”. During my run I couldn’t help but to be so overwhelmed with joy as my feet pounded against the pavement. I had longed for the day I would be able to run on that road again. As I ran all I thought was, “Thank you for healing. Thank you for patience. Thank you for comfort.”

A study on Job showed me that through all the struggles God never gives the devil enough rope to pull us from His presence. At a time when I was healing from many things and learning my body all over again, never once was I pulled away from His presence. Never once did He lose hope in me. Never once did He let go. My faith was tested but in Him I found peace in the journey – and that girl, is the secret to healing.

So, wherever you are in your journey of life I encourage you to not give up. Don’t let the things of the world make you feel like you are not healing fast enough or that you are not enough. Don’t let your circumstances rob you of your peace. Cling to Him knowing that He supplies a peace that none other can do. He knows your every need and He knows when the light at the tunnel will shine. Remember : He did not bring you this far to lose you.

By grace, hurt and healing can co-exist.

By grace, you will grow.

By grace, you will learn.

By grace, you will heal and your story will be used to bring honor and glory to Him.

Healing takes time darling. Have patience and cling to Him – it is a life long journey. – Click here to read my post 8 months ago about my injury.

Blessings in Disguise

As I sat in the chair, the past five months replayed over and over. Flashes of the hardest times and the joyous times flooded my mind and tears started to form. Before I  realized it, one had dripped down my face, but it was not a sad tear or a happy tear, it was a comforting and peaceful tear. I had finally gotten a taste of how it feels to be at peace with the hardest circumstances of life.

Wednesday afternoon I received a text that read, “I have an extra ticket to the women’s conference featuring Laura Story. Would you like to join?” I had no idea what this conference was, in fact, that was the first time I had ever heard about it.  Not knowing what this would amount to, I responded with, “Yes I’d love to!”.

Thursday rolled along and I can not think of a better place to be that night. Laura Story sang songs and then gave her testimony. She told stories of how she has fought through life’s challenging storms, one of which is an everyday battle. She told the story of how her husband had surgery to have a brain tumor removed, but when he awoke he did not know she was his wife. She said this one phrase to express how she kept going despite her challenge. “Sometimes He chooses to sustain us rather than save us.” Immediately all the struggles and battles I faced in the past five months came flooding to the front of my mind.

My injury.

Saying goodbye to the sport I love.

Holding my great-grandma’s hand one last time.

Watching a little boy get ripped from my family.

And countless other things.

Tears began to fill my eyes. All this hurt and hardship over the past months never made sense to me. I had prayed and prayed for protection and all I received was hardship, but her ten simple words spoke volumes to my soul. In this time He chose to sustain and strengthen me rather than saving me from these circumstances, and that I am honestly grateful for.

It is so easy to immediately feel like God has left you or that He does not love you, but the truth is, He loves us so much that He chooses not to give us any less than what we have.

He loves us enough to give us the hard times and the good times.

The beautiful and the ugly.

The structured and the chaos.

He did not save Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego from the fiery furnace, instead He sustained them and stood with them. He did not leave them even though He did not save them. He did not love them any less. He does not say If you go through the waters I will be with you, He says When you go through the waters I will be with you. You and I both have to realize that we will go through the battles, but when we go them HE WILL BE WITH US, and that is another life-long task.

Isaiah 43:2 KJV

2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Daniel 3: 20-28

20) And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

21) Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

22) Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego.

23) And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

24) Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

25) He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

26) Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

27) And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

28) Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

So, girl, what if your battles were in fact blessings? What if your battle with acne, or an eating disorder, or relationships was actually a blessing? Where would you be and who would you be if God chose to save you rather than sustain you? These battles we face and the feelings that weigh us down shape us and mold us into who we were created to be. Life is not easy girl, but He is always there holding His hand out waiting on you to latch on.

He loves you.

He will not leave you.

He is right beside you.

He will not let you crumble.

The Potter knows the clay.

Overcoming Comparison

Summer 2019 was nothing less than a summer of confusion, comparison, and truths.

Somewhere along my way through summer I lost myself. My days were filled with comparison and confusion, a feeling I do not know how to handle. I was confused and worried. Normally, I am able to brush it off and take a nice bath and remind myself of who I am, but this time, nothing I did resulted in anything positive, I’d just cry.

Some weeks all I wanted to do was run and free my mind, but recovering from an injury does not allow me to do that, which, in turn, only made me even more angry. As I looked around everyone seemed to be having the best summer of their lives, except for me. I feel as though my summer was lived behind this big wall in hopes to hide my emotions and my struggle.

Some days I was on cloud nine and I would feel better and feel like Ansley, but those days only lasted until I was alone again. And as humiliating as it is, I would compare even my best days to someone else’s and think that my day was somehow less important, which robbed me of my joy. However, I am beyond grateful for the days where I was with people who made me feel like myself again, because in those moment I was able to laugh and live and see a little light in my darkness.

As I scrolled through Social Media I would become upset and begin to feel alone. I read so many blogs about self-love and self-care, and even created a whole board on Pinterest about it to try to feel better. Everything was saying how beneficial a Social Media Detox was but I was too prideful to give it a try…so I suffered through comparison another week until finally I broke.

21 days ago I broke. 21 days ago all I could say about myself was, “Why am I this way?” I had forgotten who I was so, 21 days ago I deleted all the Social Media apps off my phone and started to tackle the battle of comparison. I started a life-long journey to heal and love myself. I was determined to not let any comparison rob me of my joy again. I decided to take a detox and remind myself of who I was and remind myself of my worth.

I am loved.

Romans 8:37-39

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am forgiven.

Colossians 1:14

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

I am chosen.

1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

I am a work in progress.

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Reminding myself of these truths, my days became much more relaxing and much more enjoyable. I went to sleep with a happy heart because I had enjoyed and soaked in every moment of my day. I read books full of truth and dug deep into my heart to fix some root problems to my struggles. With these truths I learned that it is absurd to compare my life with a life I see in squares, perfect presets, and snazzy captions, because my life is my life and it was never meant to be anything like hers. I cannot fulfill my purpose when I am trying to keep up with someone else’s life. Comparison is much like a treadmill; you hustle hard to end up nowhere. I needed to step off the treadmill and become present for those people in my life, and through this three week period of stepping off the treadmill I was able to encourage a friend, which was very uplifting.

So, girl, here’s the thing, it does not matter who loves you and who doesn’t. It does not matter who accepts you and who doesn’t. It does not matter who is farther ahead in the race of life and who isn’t. It does not matter who is your friend and who forgives and who doesn’t, because God covers all of that. He loves you. He accepts you. He forgives you. And He is working on you. So be patient and allow Him to work in you. Your life will not look anything like the girl next to you, but that is okay because you are in the arms of the creator. And in His arms you will ALWAYS be placed exactly where you need to be in life. Don’t beat yourself up when you reach a plateau, instead cling to Him and allow Him to equip you and strengthen you because you will never stop growing and learning.

Always remember you are worthy and you are loved. I love you and so does He. Don’t ever be afraid to reach out for help when you feel lost and unworthy. You matter and life was never meant to be a one-woman show. Hold onto these truths and never forget your why. And when all else fails, go on a detox, drink all the coffee, read a good book, test your baking skills, and help a friend out along the way.


Owning Your Scars

What is a scar? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as this : a mark remaining (as on the skin) after injured tissue has healed. Every person has a scar of some sort whether it be a surgical scar or a story of how they thought they could fly, we all have them. But what about the ones that are under the surface? What about the scars that nobody can see but us? What about the scars that came from experiences of heartache and grief? What about the scars that we wish weren’t there?

Whether it is a scar on the surface or underneath, be thankful. I know it sounds crazy and you are probably thinking, “Umm Ans, you are out of your mind,” but trust me on this one.

Scars are a result of healing. If we did not heal we wouldn’t have a scar. I’m going to say that again just in case you are like me and need to hear it again. If we did not heal we wouldn’t have a scar. If we remained broken and injured we would remain stationary and never have a scar nor would we have a story.

Our brokenness leads us to God. Whether we went immediately to Him or whether we spent days trying to heal ourselves, it eventually leads us to Him and He heals us. The scars are a story of Him. My scars allowed me to see who He was. My scars allowed me to see His power. My scars allowed me to know His love.

Acne scars, surgical scars, car wrecks, mental scars, whatever they may be own it and love them.

That is you.

That is your story.

That is your testimony.

That is His work.

It is not always easy to own your scars because people might stare, but walk with your head high and you will inspire them to own their scars. I was inspired by a girl because she owned her scars and it allowed me to not feel weird when people stared at my little ACL surgery scar.

Who would you be without the scars?

I can tell you right now that this blog would not exist without my scars. I can tell you right now that I probably would’ve never agreed to speak at two FCA events, one being a county wide event. I can tell you right now without my scars I would have NO earthly idea who I was.

Here’s a challenge….

  • Write down all the truths your scars revealed to you. It does not matter how silly they may be. I have a scar on my pinky that proved that I should not try to slice an apple by myself with a dull knife at the age of 10. Write them down and then think about how different you would be without them compared to who you are now. Chances are the person you are now is 200x more stronger than the you without the scars.
  • If you don’t already have the book “Own Your Everyday : Overcome the Pressure To Prove and Show Up For What You Were Made To Do” by Jordan Lee Dooley then you NEED to get it because it is full of truth.

The Middle

I have been public schooled my whole life so I think it is safe to say I have literally seen it all. The most eyeopening and shocking time in school was middle school. I moved schools when I was transitioning into middle school but I followed many of my elementary school friends on social media so I was able to still keep up with them and their lives. Some who were big sports fanatics at recess are not playing and seem to have no interest in it anymore. Others were straight A students and now it is like they are everywhere else but school. Very few are still the same person that I met and played with in elementary school. But that is what happens in the middle, it is life changing.

Middle school is a very small analogy to the middle stages of our lives. We spend the bulk of our lives in that middle stage. Beginnings are exciting and endings are bittersweet as they mark the end of one thing and the beginning of another, but the middle is where you find who you are and who you will become.

The Children of Israel are such a clear picture of that Middle Place. Moses led these children to the middle of a desert because that is where God told him to go. God took the Israelites on a longer route to the Promised Land. The children found themselves in the middle, between a huge body of water and approaching an Egyptian Army. And then Moses parted the Red Sea and led them through the middle of the waters.

Exodus 13:17 -18 KJV

17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

God purposely led them to the desert when He easily could have taken them an easier and much shorter way, but would their story have been the same? Would they have seen His glory? Would they have learned anything?

Often times we as humans want to rush through the middle phase of life. It could be because you see someone else who seems to have it all together and you want to be where they are. Or you could be like me and you are just so bored in the middle because you do the same thing every. single. day.

We all have our own story. Mine looks nothing like yours and yours looks nothing like mine. God has given us a story and it is in the middle where we find it. The middle is where we find ourselves growing. The middle is where we see ourselves changing. It is in the middle where we find ourselves and we become who we were meant to be.

So if you are wondering why you are facing what seems like the biggest giant ever, just hold on. Keep pushing through. Keep fighting. Because this is your middle. This is your story. This is your life. And He is your God. He promises to go before you to guide you and to nurture you. He wants to give you a story that you can look back on and be able to say, “God did this.”

Don’t rush through it. Embrace it – the good, the bad, the ugly, the pretty. Stop comparing your life to someone else’s. Stop wishing you had everything she has. Stop looking down on yourself because your life is not what hers appears to be. This is your story. This is your chapter. This is you.


Between the familiar and the unknown is where you get a glimpse of what God can do.

But Then God Showed Up

On April twenty-ninth Evan showed me something that I had been denying. He showed me that I was running from my hurt. Instead of facing the fact that I was done playing soccer I was building this wall up so that I did not have to deal with it. I used to tell him all about soccer, he knows for a fact that the World Cup is this year because I will not let him forget it, but since my last game I have not said a word about soccer. I was trying to fill this empty spot in my heart with things that would not fill it.

He mentioned Jonah and how he ran from God. His words to me were, “Jonah ran, just like you are, and ended up in a fish’s belly. Do you really think you will end up any different if you keep running? Open your eyes.”

The day I became a cool kid and got to ride in his pretty pretty Jeep.

After he said that I went blank. The rest of the day all I could think about was the fact that I was running, but I did not want to face my hurt. I had finally quit crying everyday and I did not want to have to deal with all the emotions again, but I needed to stop running.

That night I wrote, “Lord I pray you would allow me to see you. I pray you would allow me to see that you are in control. I do not fully trust you. I am angry at you for not allowing me to finish playing. I am bitter and angry to the point I can’t even speak about soccer without getting mad. I don’t want to be hurt anymore. I want to have peace. I want to be able to sit at a game and not feel numb. I want to be able to talk about soccer without getting mad. I want to be more than just a player. I want to be used within the sport but I can’t do that until I let go of my anger and bitterness. I pray you would open my eyes and allow me to see your hand in this chaos. I pray I will grow to trust you even more during this time. Amen.”

That night I felt this sudden rush of freedom. Freedom from anger and freedom from bitterness. The next day the new head coach sent out a message, and for once I was okay with telling someone I would not be returning. I have hid my anger from people since my injury, but this time I did not feel angry.

One of the many sunset pictures he sends me.

On May fourth my devotion was titled, “Four Hundred Years Later” and it said, “At the close of Malachi Israel is back in Palestine after Babylonian captivity but are under domination of Persia and Medeo. And by the time Matthew begins, Israel is under Roman rule. At the end of the four hundred years people had grown tired of pagan faiths and were weary of the world in general. There was an air of expectancy as people began to wait and hope for the promised Messiah. All of these thugs worked just right to create a world that was hungry and desperate for a change, a world that sensed its darkness and hopelessness. And when the time was just right, God sent His Sin to earth as a baby boy.”

All hope was lost but then God showed up.

You see, God is never silent. He is always working and weaving together plans and purposes for you and for me. I thought I was going to be angry and not be able to speak of soccer again, but then God showed up. Almost three years ago He placed someone in my life knowing that he would say the words he said to me that day. He placed someone in my life who continuously encourages me and points me back to Him when I am lost. Someone who tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. Someone who loves me at my lowest points and my highest points. Someone who reminds me just how big God is.

A weekend full of big smiles like these.

So, if you are like me and you feel like all hope is lost and you don’t know what to do, just look up to Him. His purposes never end. He A L W A Y S has a plan and He is always on time. He N E V E R changes. Even in this season, when you feel lost and unsure, He is putting the pieces together exactly the way He meant for them to be. And the best part is that you can be effective right where you are.

A New Season Awaits…

On March 11th my soccer career came to a sudden end as I fell to the ground screaming in agony after feeling and hearing my knee pop possibly one hundred times. As I rolled in the dirt/grass I punched the ground repeatedly because I knew it was over, I knew I was severely injured and would never step on a field to play another game. That evening I laid in my bed and wrote this simple sentence.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from soccer it’s this; If I don’t listen to Him, He will make me.”

All I could think was, “Where did I go wrong? I trained to prevent my right knee from messing up and then my left knee just gets demolished, BY RUNNING. I didn’t even get hit, I just planted wrong. Why did this happen again?” And then a still voice said to me, “You did not listen.” After being out out season after season due to injuries since 8th grade I still had not listened. That’s 3 years with 5+ injuries and I still had yet to listen to Him, but this time I heard Him loud and clear. My purpose lies beyond being a player, but how do I let go of something that my life has revolved around since I was eight years old?

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

After reading this scripture I remembered that everything has a season. My soccer career was only a season of my life, only a chapter, it was only a page…it was only the beginning. There’s a time for everything in my life, and HE orchestrates it all.

I have a sticky note on my computer that has “Isaiah 43:2” written on it. That verse says this;

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

He will guide me.

He will protect me.

He will nurture

He will love.

In His time He will show me what He wants me to do because He has a plan, and all I need is a little bit of faith. He will not leave me and He will be beside me through every battle and every challenging time. And believe me, He will do the same for you.

He will guide you.

He will protect you.

He will nurture you.

He will love you.

In His time He will show you what He wants you to do because He has a plan for you, and all you need is a little bit of faith. He will not leave you and He will be beside you through every battle and every challenging time.

So, as you embark on your new journey and live a new chapter of your life do it all while knowing that He has a plan and He’s already written the next chapter. Do it knowing you are not alone, because here I am living a new chapter of my life not knowing what is going to happen but living it knowing who holds it. Embrace your new beginning.

Breaking Down the Brick Wall-Fear


How could such a small word contain so much power? How could such a small word control our every thought, our every move, our every word. How could this word make us feel crippled and paralyzed? How could such a small word be a brick wall in our lives? Although I do not have the answers to those questions, I do have the answer on how to overcome that thing, or things, you are fearing right now as you read this.

Often times we find ourselves facing fear when we are called to do something that we think we are incapable of doing, but that’s the very reason we are called to do it. He calls us to do things we would NEVER see ourselves doing, why? He sees something in us that we don’t see in ourselves. He sees something He can use for His plans and purposes. We see our insecurities, our habits, our fears, and our messiness, but He looks at us and sees a warrior.

Judges 6 : 12

12 – And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

Every time I step onto the field I am faced with fear, the fear of getting hurt, again. I will be the first to say that fighting fear is a constant battle between yourself and the enemy. Every little pinch I feel in my knee triggers my brain to think I am hurt even though I am still running and playing. I tried relying on my strength to defeat this fear but quickly realized I was no match for the battle, but I knew who was.

God is our strength. Even when the mountains crumble and the storm rages, He is our strength. In order to defeat my fear I had to first come face to face with it. I had to look at fear dead in the eye. I had to admit that I was afraid and, at the same time, trust God while I was afraid. But God has already conquered fear. He has already won the battle for me. I just needed to grab His hand and have faith, and that is all you have to do too. Just simply grab His hand and have faith.

Psalm 46 : 1-2

1- “GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

2 – “Therefore will not we fear, thought the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

In Sadie Robertson’s book “Live Fearless” she says something that spoke to me in such a beautiful way. “Don’t let fear make you say no when God is leading you to say yes.” Don’t allow fear to get in the way of the plans He has for you. Trust in Him knowing that He is your strength and that He has already won the fight for you. Allow fear to be a turning point in your life. Allow it to make you depend on Him, that’s what it did for me and now I am forever thankful for my fears.

I encourage you to write your fears down and as you conquer them look back at them and see just how small those fears actually were compared to the God you serve.

Finding Everyday Grace

my one mission in life: to find light in the darkness