Sunday, December 9, 2012

It Shouldn't Be Like This....

I don’t know if you have ever thought those words.  But I have thought them more than once.  My life…it just shouldn’t be like this!?  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  How did my life become this….and yet today in church I had a beautiful epiphany. 

I was reading this morning on my Kindle my advent devotion for the day and it was talking about Mary.  How young she was and an un-wed Mother.  And I started to think about it…. even though Mary did nothing wrong, I can’t even imagine the scorn she received.  You know people talked badly about her.  Probably behind her back and to her face.  And then Jesus was born in a barn?  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords who left Heaven and all his glory was born in a stinky stable?  And you had to wonder did Mary think…..It just shouldn’t be like this!?!  Doesn’t God know I should have a husband first and Jesus should have been born somewhere clean and decent.  This just doesn’t make sense.  This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.   Well I know that is what I would of thought and what I have thought about my life more than once. 
And you know it just gives me SO much hope.  I love that Jesus’ story is messy and imperfect to the human eye.  I love that Mary had to trust God’s plan more than what made sense to her.  I love that my Savior can take a really sketchy story (my life) and turn it into beauty, when we believe and trust God for his promises. 

So that is my thought for the day…maybe your life is ANYTHING but what you thought it would be.  I know how you feel and so does Mary, and so does God.  Let’s trust He is working and healing and moving in our lives.  Let’s be so thankful God uses less than perfect circumstances for his glory to be shown. 

Luke 1:45  Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! 

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I have been home from Swaziland Africa for about 2 weeks now.  I know many of you have been wanting to hear my stories from Africa and a friend even stopped by Stepping Stones yesterday to tell me that. Ha!  Trust me I am dying to share my stories with you. BUT….My experiences in Africa are so personal, so dear, so profound, so locked in my heart, and I am terrified when I tell my stories I won’t do them justice.  That you just won’t…..get it.  I want you to….get it and understand in some way all that God was doing when I was there.  So whether or not you…get it I need to tell my story….I guess we will start at the beginning of my journey…that’s always a good place to start! J
Day 1
I am a mess.  I woke up crying and had a hard time stopping.  I took my dog Frankie to my sister-in-laws 1st thing in the morning crying my eyes out.  I just could not keep it together.  I was anxious and nervous and really doubting why I was going to Africa.  I was in constant communication with God, just praying for strength and courage.    

My flight was not leaving until 9:30 at night so I spent most of the day packing, and unpacking, repacking and unpacking some more.  It was not going well.  I was bringing quite a bit of stuff to my friends the Taylors who are living in Swazi and wanted to make sure to use the best of my space and my weight limit of 50 pounds per bag.  It was SUPER stressful!  I made my son Chance stand on my scale holding my suitcases trying to get as close to 50 pounds as I could. 
Speaking of Chance….I had been so wrapped up in my own world getting ready to go to Africa it hit me also on this day that my baby is going back to college.  When I get home he won’t be here.  Water works again.  One of the worst days I have had in a LONG time.  Not pretty to say the least.  My parents showed up to take me to the airport.  I had pulled myself together by then but now I was cranky.  I just needed to get on my airplane and GO!  (I will say though my bags were RIGHT ON!  My 1st bag weighed 49.5 pounds and bag 2 and 3 were 50 pounds exactly!!!)    

I had great flights…no issues at all really.  I flew from Seattle to JFK.  I had a 5 hour layover there.  I still wanted to turn around and go home.  I battled tears the whole time I was in New York.   My flight to Johannesburg was 15 hours long.  And let me tell you….that is LONG!  But I have to say it was great.  Some of the easiest flights I have ever been on. 

I landed in Johannesburg, South Africa at 8 am.  And that is where this adventure really begins.  My friends Rob, Jen, and their children Matt, Luke, Will, and Rachael were all waiting for me.  I will never forget rounding the corner with my luggage and seeing them all in a row earnestly looking for me.  I wish I had my camera ready to take a picture…It was so cute!!  So they welcomed me to Africa and we took off for the long treck to Swaziland.  (About a 5 hour drive.) 
It was safe to say it was a bit of culture shock.  Just so very different than anything we will EVER see in the states.  This day is a bit of a blur to me.  I remember seeing shanty towns….I remember seeing cows, I remember seeing very young children walking alone in places they shouldn’t be, I remember women walking with things stacked on their heads.  I remember feeling like I was in an alternate universe. 

Day 2 (which was really day 3 with all my travel time)
Jen wakes me up at 5:20 am.  We have French press coffee and quiet time with God.  I have no idea what to expect at this point.  But I will say I am happy to be in Africa.  I’m starting to think….Yes this will be worth it!  Taylor kids are up at 6am….Rob makes breakfast for everyone (I could get used to that!) and we all are showered dressed and out the door and on the road by 7 to 7:15.  We start our 30 minute ride(give or take a few)  to New Life Homes Farm and School. 

I’d love to tell you this is an easy breezy ride but it is not.  This is a dirt road that makes Space Mountain look like a breeze.  This dirt road looks like something only forest rangers would go on back home.  I can’t believe people actually live up here let alone there are MANY communities, Dr.s Clinics, community centers, schools, etc. up this rocky, dusty, pit holed road. There are NO street signs.  There are NO stop signs.  And frankly it feels like there are NO rules.  I am beyond queasy by the time we make it to the farm. 
Once on the farm we go to the school.  The Preschool does not start for an hour so I go with Jennifer to the class she is working in.  It is grade 1 and 2 and they are working on math.  As I walk into the door I feel all eyes on me.  I am introduced to the students.  Some are smiling, some are not.  All are inquisitive.  I already feel a stirring in my heart.  They are beautiful…and God has brought me here.  I know there is something to it.  I help for an hour….marking papers, putting stars and smiley faces on their papers as I correct them.  They seem to like it and for the most part they seem to like me.  Except for one little girl who just scowls at me.  If looks could kill I’d be dead ten times over by now.  It really doesn’t bother me.  I know how children are and I know this little girl has a defense mechanism up and I thnk she must have been very hurt in her life.  I start to pray that we can become friends. 

Then it is time for Preschool!!  Jenn walks me over to the preschool class.  There are 21 of the most beautiful, precious faces I have ever seen.  As soon as I walked in the preschool class I feel as though I am home.  I know this.  I love this.  I can do this.  I am introduced as Mage Chaffin.  (Mage is swaswatti for Mom.  If you are a mom you are called Mage and your last name.)  Well anyone who knows me, knows I don’t like to be called Mrs. Chaffin or anything like that.  I have always been Miss Tiersa in the classroom and that is what I prefer by far.  So it did not take me long to say….call me Miss Tiersa.  And they did.  J 
I was told in the beginning by someone that I should just go and observe and not think that I was going to walk into the classroom and teach.  So I did just that.  I sat and listened and watched all that they did that day.  It was so fun!  And I realized how we are all the same.  I observed things I see everyday in my classroom.  There is the shy child.  The child who needs extra attention.  The child who is a leader.  The child who is a bit of a bully.  The lovey, snuggly child.  They are all there…just the same.  I witnessed teachers who laughed with their children.  Who loved them and wanted what is best for them.  I witnessed parents who sacrificed to send their children to school.  I felt God whispering in my ear…See we are all the same.   We all want the same things.  This is no different than home.   And I saw it….it was no different and it was the same.  We all have the same longings…we all have the same desires for our lives.  Our hearts beat all the same. 

Then they sang….and that is what touched my heart the most.  The class sang a song that goes like this….The Love of Jesus is so wonderful, The love of Jesus is so wonderful.  The love of Jesus is so wonderful, Ohhh the wonderful love. 
It’s so wide, you can’t go around it.  It’s so wide, you can’t go around it.  It’s so wide, you can’t go around it, Ohhh the wonderful love.

It’s so high, you can’t jump over it.  It’s so high, you can’t jump over it.  It’s so high you can’t jump over it, Ohhh, the wonderful love.
It’s so low, you can’t go under it.  It’s so low, you can’t go under it.  It’s so low, you can’t go under it. Ohhh, the wonderful love.
They sang this song everyday and it brought me to tears everyday. (although I was able to keep it together for the most part!)  J  I sang this song to myself the whole time I was in Swaziland.  I sort of feel like it is my theme song now.  And it is so true….The Love of Jesus is SO WONDERFUL! 
So this 1st day with the children my heart opened up to all sorts of possibilities and once again God was telling me…Trust me!  I’ve got your back.  Thank you for coming…I know this was out of your comfort zone…but I also know what I made you for.  And this is going to be so worth it in the end. 

Thank you Lord for NEVER giving up on me!!  I wasn’t convinced of anything on day two but I knew God would reveal His plan to me in time.  There was no looking back from this point on….And I was SO thankful God brought me to New Life Homes in Swaziland, Africa!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why yes I said I was going to Africa….

I can hardly believe I am saying these words and yet I am.  I am going to AFRICA!  How crazy is that?!?  If you know me at all you know it is crazy and sounds WAY out of my comfort zone.  I’m not one of those girls who dreamed of going to Africa.  In fact Africa always scared me, it always sounded scary and far away and very uncivil.  So not me….and yet here I am saying I’m going to AFRICA.  And I’m quite thrilled at the prospect.  So let me fill you in on this journey that has begun for me. 
This journey actually started a very long time ago….
You see….Once upon a time, there was this princess….and she had BIG dreams and she knew God had BIG plans for her.  And many of her dreams came true….but as time went on life got hard….really hard…and she lost her way. In time she forgot who she was and what she had been called to do.  She forgot about dreams that were planted in her heart many years ago.  But thankfully she was rescued not only by a Prince but by the King of Kings.  And that is where our story begins today.

So if you haven’t figured it out I am that Princess. (ha!)   And many years ago I had two very real God planted dreams in my heart.  One was to teach Preschool and not only that, but to have my own Preschool.  I had notebooks full of sketches of how I would set up my classroom.  I had lesson plans and schedules all ready.  And I did teach Preschool, very young in fact.  I was always given the job over people much older than me and even with more education.  I was spoken over in my teenage years by my dear friend and neighbor Cynthia Jones.  She was the first person to tell me I had a gift from God to work with children.  And then when I was 27 years old my dreams really did come true as Stepping Stones was born.  For those of you that don’t know, Stepping Stones is a preschool that I and 3 other dear friends founded together.  It has been such a joy and pleasure to be there all these years.  It truly is a gift from God and I have loved every second of being there.    It is my pride and joy. 

But all those years ago God planted another seed in my heart.  Not only did I want to teach and have my own preschool, but I wanted to work with orphans.  I remember hearing about orphanages and being moved to tears.  I knew God wanted me to love on children who did not know love.  But as I said, life got hard.  I became a single mom.  I knew my son was my 1st priority.  And although I know I did not do everything perfect with him, God is so good and merciful.  He has made many things right that I did  wrong.  I will NEVER stop speaking of God’s mercy and grace.  He makes all things good.  Not perfect, not easy, and not without challenges.  But He can turn anything around if you go to him and seek his ways.   And you know my son is now in college, forging away his own life. 

 Three years ago I was sitting in church and I heard about a mission trip our church was sponsoring.  It was a trip to Swaziland Africa.  It was working with Orphans in a Preschool.  You better believe my ears perked up fast and my heart started to race.  I was too late to be a part of this trip but I thought, well I’ll go on the next one.  But there was no next one.  Due to budget cuts the church had to put some mission trips on hold indefinitely.  I constantly thought about Swaziland.  It just would not leave me.  Now fast forward 3 years.  God was working on me BIG TIME!  Obedience was the name of the game (and still is).  About a year ago I heard about this family from my church.  Rob and Jennifer Taylor and their children felt called to move to Swaziland Africa.  I did not know them…but I had nothing to lose and I Face Booked Jennifer.  I told her I was interested in Swaziland and asked her if we could talk.  We met for coffee and the rest is history.  We talked, cried, and prayed.  It was settled; once they got to Swazi I was coming for a visit. 

Since then I’d love to tell you it has been an easy process but it has not been.  I have doubted.  I have panicked.  I have literally freaked out about going.  The thing that has been the hardest for me is going alone.   I have prayed and asked anyone that might possibly consider going with me to go.  But I know God is calling me to this on my own for now.  Don’t get me wrong, the Taylor’s are waiting for me with open arms, and they have PROMISED me they will be at the airport gate cheering me on.  I know won’t really be alone.  But for whatever reason I wanted a travel buddy.  I know God is telling me to trust him.  I’ve got this… 

 Today we had the most amazing sermon that just hit it out of the ball park for me.  It was about God’s call on your life…NO EXCUSES!  And the sermon was on Moses and all the many excuses he used to try to get out of what God had called him to do.  I am no Moses, but boy do I have a lot of excuses ready and waiting.  Can you imagine if Moses had walked away and said….Sorry not gonna do it.  That is probably my biggest fear of all.  That I would not walk in obedience with God and someone else would take my place.  That I would live this mediocre life with no real meaning.  We have one life to live….we better live it out loud!  Today at church we had to write on a post-it-note our insecurities that we’re holding back from what God is calling us to do.  We laid the post-it-note at the altar and then picked up a luggage tag and wrote on it what God was calling us to do.   It was truly profound!  I bet you can guess what I wrote.  J 

I am going to Swaziland in less than two weeks.  Swaziland is a tiny country next to South Africa.  It has the highest HIV infection  in the world.  I will actually be flying into Johannesburg, South Africa.  It is about a 4 hour drive from there to Manzini, Swaziland where I will be staying most of the time.  The orphans that I will be working with live on a farm at New Life Homes.  It is about a half an hour from Manzini.  (Although I plan on staying a few days on the farm with the teachers there.)  The orphans go to school at the farm along with other children from the community.     If you want to know more about the farm and orphanage please go to  .   It is not a traditional orphanage but has family style homes with a house Mother.   I was informed tonight that I will be doing some lessons at the school with the Preschoolers.  I am very excited/nervous about this.  There are about 20 preschoolers in the class and I was told they have high energy.  (What preschoolers don’t?) J

More than anything else please pray for me.  Pray for peace.  Pray for guidance.  Pray for absolute confidence in what God wants for me in the future.  Pray for my son Chance, that he will be at peace with all of this.  I don’t know what the future holds….but I do know God holds it in his hands.  And that is quite enough for me.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  And thank you so much for your support and love and prayers through all of this.    

Monday, April 30, 2012

So Amazing...

As many of you know I just came home from a vacation to Florida.  I love visiting FL for so many reasons.  I lived there from the age of 8 to 18 and I have so many happy wonderful childhood memories there. Whenever I visit it feels like home.  One of my most favorite memories from my childhood is Space Shuttle launches.  I grew up on the Space Coast close to Cape Canaveral and whenever the Space Shuttle was going to launch it was always a big deal.  My parents would load us up in our VW van and we would head for the beach.  We would pack a lunch and all our beach toys and make a day of it.  We would listen to the radio when the launch got close and always count it down….10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….Space shuttle Discovery has liftoff…..   We would hoot and holler and watch as the space shuttle would blast into space. It was always an amazing day full of fun and love for our country and community.  The day wasn’t over till you heard the sonic boom.  Mission accomplished!  J

Well last year for my sons 18th B-day I took him to FL to witness the 2nd to last space shuttle launch.  It was to be the space shuttle Discovery.  I was so excited to share this childhood memory with him.  He was going to write an article for his school newspaper and they even gave him an amazing camera for the week to get some good shots of it.  But one of the downsides to a launch is, it might get delayed. Anything from the weather to mechanical difficulties can delay or postpone a launch indefinitely.  So much to my dismay (but not all that surprising) the Discovery launch was postponed for 3 months and we never got to see it while we were there.  We still had a great time in FL but I was disappointed not to be able to see one last launch and share it with my son. 

So let’s fast forward to my trip last week.  There I was in FL staying with my childhood best friend and I decide I want to see a sunrise.  I am ashamed to say all those years living on the east coast I never got up early enough to watch a sunrise properly on the beach.  So we very randomly pick a day…How about Tuesday?  Ok sure sounds good.  And then we very randomly pick a beach….How about Eau Gallie Beach?  This is a beach neither of us had ever been to before but we thought…ah why not?  It was closer to where she lived and it didn’t really matter what beach we were on to see a sunrise.  So we get up at 5:45 am and head to Starbucks for our coffee and then we head off to Eau Gallie Beach with our beach chairs, coffee, and cameras in hand.

   There we sat in the sand for about 20 minutes before the sunrise.  I happened to notice quite a few other people at the beach and thought…WOW…good for them.  They are here for the sunrise too.  But then a group of guys was walking by and they walked up to us and asked….So what time is the flight?  And I love this part, My dear Shannon says back to them quite seriously….What flight?  You mean the sunrise??  They laugh and say no there is a flight from the cape today.  So we act like we know nothing about it(cause we actually knew nothing about it.)  And they walk away shaking their heads at the silly girls. (This was quite a common theme when we were younger!  Ha!) We get on our phones….Google search….”Oh my” is what Shannon says.  The Space Shuttle Discovery is doing a fly by down the coast on a Boeing 747 for its final farewell to the Space Coast and afterwards it is on its way to Washington DC to the Smithsonian.  The flight path is unsure.  I instantly start crying.  WHAT??  The space shuttle discovery is flying on a 747 BOEING aircraft down the coast?!?  I can’t even believe what I am hearing.  Not only am I going to see the Space Shuttle Discovery but it is on a Boeing 747???  My Grandfather retired from Boeing management.   He died about a year and a half ago and he was always so proud to work for Boeing.  My two worlds, the place I grew up and the place I now live were colliding in a BIG way and I could not believe it!  SO I stood on the beach and watched an amazing beautiful sunrise and then I saw it.  There was a plane in the distance and I think I literally held my breath.  I heard someone say next to me….I think it is turning around(remember no one knew the exact flight path)  and I said….No it’s not….it’s coming here.  And here it came…straight to us….UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!!!!!!  The plane was flying very low and it was such an incredible sight!  It flew right to us and then when it got exactly to our location on the beach it started to turn around.  I still can’t believe it.  It was like it flew exactly to us.  I could just hear the pilots in the cockpit….We have a visual of Tiersa and Shannon on the beach, let’s turn around now and head for D.C.  ha! 

I had tears streaming down my face.  When it turned around and flew off  Shannon yelled…..Come on! and she took off running after it.  So I took off running too and we chased a 747 and the Space Shuttle Discovery down the boardwalk until it was no longer was in sight. 

Afterwards we walked back to our beach chairs in the sand and I sat there in such awe.  I seriously could not stop crying.  I could not of planned that better if I had tried and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God had orchestrated that for me. 

It still is so humbling to think that God loves us and knows us that well that he would do something like that for us.  I mean think about it…I had NO knowledge it was even happening.  We picked a random day to see the sunrise.  We picked a random beach we had never been to.  The Shuttle flew exactly to us….and turned around.  The beach we would of normally gone to was Melbourne Beach.  We would of never seen it!  It still BLOWS my mind.  And I know what God was telling me.  I’ve got your back.  I know you.  I love you.  Trust me.  I will take you places you can’t even fathom.  This is just the beginning.  Even typing this now I can’t help but smile and shake my head.  It just blows my mind.    
Shannon and I stayed on the beach for quite awhile afterwards and a song we sing in church just popped into my head and I just kept singing over and over. 

It goes like this….It’s so amazing, how you love me….It’s so amazing…. Jesus, my God.

And I have to say…It is so amazing how God loves me.  I feel blessed beyond measure and I just had to share this story of God’s goodness and mercy in my life!    

I know some could say it was all a big coincidence but I know in my heart it was not.  As I’ve said before I don’t believe in coincidences any more…Only God-incidences.  J

Monday, April 9, 2012


So last week I was talking with a friend who is going through a divorce and recently had heard some statistics about people getting remarried.  According to her there was a study and 80% of men remarried within 4 years of getting a divorce and 70% of women remarried 4 years after a divorce.  (Or something like that….For the record she couldn’t exactly remember the percentages and neither can I….and for the record, I looked all over the internet for these statistics and couldn’t find them.  But the exact statistics are not the point.) J
As she told me these statistics…I could feel myself stiffen up….and the 1st words out of my mouth were….Well I guess I am way below average then. 
(I also told her how 2nd marriages have an even higher divorce rate then 1st marriages and don’t last near as long.  This I could find the statistics for all over the internet….but that is not the point either!)  J 

The point is….My first reaction was not the most positive I know, BUT…. in the past this information would of REALLY devastated me.  In fact it probably would of ruined my day. (Or week, or month, or year)   It would have been like a poison dart to my heart.  I continually have battled with negative thoughts about myself and this would of fed those thoughts big time.  I can just hear the self talk….I’m such a loser….I’m not loveable…..There is someone for everyone but me.  It would go on and on. 

But this time I can honestly say, it mildly disturbed me.  I mean, I did mention it to friends later in the day and I did think about it…but not obsessively and it certainly did not ruin my day.   And then I had a break through…..because as I was thinking about it……A thought popped into my head…and this is what it said….You are not average.  You never wanted to be average.  And I instantly thought…Yes of course!  I don’t want to be status quo.  I don’t want to marry for the wrong reasons.  Just because so many people remarry so quickly doesn’t make it right for me!  And it felt like this HUGE breakthrough and the clouds parted and the sun shined down and I thought….I am making PROGRESS!!!!!!!  Woo-Hoo! 
This may sound silly to you…but I don’t think I am alone in my journey… married or not.  We all have poisonous self talk.  My dearest friend came for a visit last month and she struggles with not feeling good enough.  She is beautiful, so fun, so talented, so smart, has the voice of an angel, is an amazing mom and wife……and she struggles with…I’m not good enough.  This blows my mind.  How can this be?  But let’s face it …we all have an enemy and he loves to make us feel unworthy and not good enough.     

As I have mentioned before I have a singles life group that meets once a week at my home.  It is men and women and I can say the core group of us have gotten quite close.  A few weeks back after being prompted by a sermon by our pastor at church, we decided to write down all the counterfeit names Satan tries to give us.  Such as….Unworthy…unlovable….not good enough….Stupid….Loser….etc…these are the negative thoughts that can run through our heads.  (Like my 1st response to my friends statistics….I guess I’m way below average then.)  Then we took a challenge to go to God’s word and wrote down what God tells us we are.  It was an interesting night to say the least.  We burned our counterfeit names in my fireplace and shared the scripture passages that told of our true identity.  I can’t tell you how freeing and amazing this night felt. 

Here are a few that we came up with that night….
I am chosen.  1 Peter 2:9 & 2 Thessalonians 2:13

I am a beloved child of God  1 John 3:1

I am complete in Christ  Colossians 2:10

I can do All things through Christ  Philippians 4:13
I am never alone   Hebrews 13:5
Nothing can separate me from God’s love  Romans 8: 38 & 39

Let me tell you nothing is more powerful then combating Satan’s lies with God’s Holy Word.  I am learning more and more each day that Satan in a counterfeit.  He loves to pose as someone in authority.  He is not!  If he can get us to buy into one of his lies….He thinks he has mastered us.  But the word of God is powerful.  Use your sword!  Get into the word.  It stops him dead in his tracks.  Those of us in Christ have the authority! 
One verse that I found was extremely special to me.  As you know my name is Tiersa.  It is in fact, Hebrew and comes from the name Tirzah.  It means Pleasant and Delightful.   As I was searching the Bible for my true identity in Christ I came across this verse. 
Zephaniah 3:17  The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great Delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing. 
Think about this and let it sink in……My God delights in me.  He quiets me with his love.  He sings over me.  He is mighty to save.  He is with me.  What a blessing and a honor! 

I think my parents picked a pretty cool name for me with a pretty cool meaning ..…but even better than being called delightful is knowing ……My God is delighted with me.  WOW!   Let us all remember that!  God is Delighted in you.  You are worthy of His love.  You are precious.  You are NOT average.  You are not status quo.  Please don’t forget!  And if you do….go to His Word.  Let Him tell you exactly who you are. 
And Burn those counterfeit names.  They are SO not you!  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wedding Expos

I know I haven’t written a blog in awhile.  Life has just been plugging along and I feel as though I have nothing of any value to say and then God nudges me…..What about that?  Oh, yes I guess I could share that….  I know I have said it before and I’ll say it again,  It’s not always easy to be vulnerable and let people see the “real you” inside and out.  But I also know God is calling me to be authentic and share my story with others.  So here I am! 

I believe the last time I wrote I was talking about my 6 month dating vow that has long come and gone.  (For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about please go back and read my last blog before this one.)  So….has my knight in shining armor shown up since then?  I have to say, no he has not.  Did a really good counterfeit knight in shining armor show up during that time?  Why, yes he did.  And it was so tempting, and seemed so promising…..but God made it very clear to me…not the real deal.  You may ask… How did you know?  It was quite simple….I prayed a lot.  I asked God to guard my heart and reveal everything I should know…and guess what??  He did.  I’m not going to lie….I was a bit disappointed and kind of sad to have my hopes dashed….But boy oh boy, am I glad to get out, for the most part unscathed.  My hopes being dashed are a far cry from my heart being broken into smithereens, which is what has happened to me in the past.  And more than anything I am so thankful to be in obedience to God and know He has something better in store for me.  I truly do not want anything that is not of God and I have learned from my past experiences to wait upon the Lord. I don’t want to take anything into my own hands.  It’s SO not worth it. 

So as many of you know I am a preschool teacher.  I feel so blessed to be doing what I love.  It was my dream as long as I can remember to teach preschool (I love little ones!)  But for a side job I work at a party rental store on Saturdays and during the summer when preschool is not in session.  We work with a lot of brides and do many weddings all year round.  I am so thankful to have this second job, especially with so many people struggling to find work and make ends meet.  But then….2 to 3 times a year we do wedding expos.  A wedding expo is a wedding palooza!  Everything you could ever imagine you may need for a wedding is there.  There are rings, wedding dresses, florists, wedding cakes, wedding venues, honeymoon packages, limos, make-up artists, hair dressers, photographers, etc, etc, etc…..  And may I add….very eager and excited Brides.  You do a lot of talking and need to seem genuinely interested helping the Brides plan for their big day. 

Now think about the irony in this for me.  I am single and for many years I have struggled with not being married.  I have felt less than whole and was willing to marry someone I had NO business even being with just because I didn’t want to be alone.  I have battled my own insecurities about all of these things and in the past a wedding expo is the very last place in the world I would want to be.  It felt like a billboard flashing in my face….EVERYONE in the world is loveable and worthy of marriage but you are not! I would look at some of the brides at the expos…and think to myself…really???   Why you but not me?   So many times I felt like the world’s biggest loser.  It was so hard for me to be there and I am ashamed to say…. I had a horrible attitude about it all and the dialogue in my head was not pretty. 

But as you know in the past two Years (yes two years…I can’t believe it has been that long!)   I have dedicated my life to God.  I’m tired of doing things “My” way only to have it end in total disaster.  I am committed to the Lord and I pray daily for the Lord to change my heart.  And guess what?  He has.  The wedding expos in the past seemed like a form of torture and now I can truly say I look forward to them.  I am happy for the brides and enjoy helping them plan for their weddings.  There is no longer any malice in my heart being at a wedding expo.   I even had to do wedding expos this year on my B-day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day.  Not a problem!  What can I say…I’m not who I was!  J

 What I have learned is this…walking with the Lord is so freeing!  I am free to experience joy in all things.  I am free to love others, even when my life is less than perfect.  I am free to live and love my life just as it is.  What a gift!  If you have a broken heart or are struggling with life I hope you can go to God.  Start listening to Him.  Give it to him…over and over and over.  Get on your knees and say out loud how you are feeling and ask God to help you.  I promise he will.  He loves you so very much.  He is the binder of broken hearts…but binding a broken heart takes time.  Don’t grow weary.  Let the Lord work in your life. 

Psalm 147:3  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 

I hope you can give your life and all that you are to him.  He will use you exactly where you are….and maybe even take you and use you at places you never even imagined he would.  Like a Wedding Expo…ha!  Or maybe something even grander than that.  J