Here we are again...September 11th. 20 years ago, on this day, I got the phone call that I had dreaded getting all night long the night before….”Tammy, we found Trent.” He was about 100’ below the water in Jamaica’s Blue Lagoon, still hanging onto his underwater scooter, and it appears something had struck him on the back of the head while he was free diving. And he didn’t survive. He didn’t make it. He was gone.
Earthly blessings are temporary; they can all be taken away. And oh what pain and disappointment that can bring. Job’s blessings all disappeared in one fateful day. I, too, had a wonderful life that was stripped away within seconds. My husband was gone and my dreams were shattered.
And yet, in the midst of those painful days that followed, I began to experience God’s truest and richest blessings. My faith was growing stronger than I had experienced before. I felt a deeper love than I had ever known. I began a more intimate walk than I could explain. It was just us. Jesus and me...on the road of understanding, discovering and healing. My trials grounded my faith in ways that prosperity and abundance never could.
We all long to know that God is for us and with us and in us. Yes, great relationships, financial wealth, good health and maybe even a bucket list trip are all wonderful gifts that we can thank God for, BUT they are not His “greatest” blessings.
Always remember, that God’s GREATEST blessings ALWAYS start and rest in God Himself and they will always draw us closer to Him and the eternal. When we have and understand that, we have everything and are truly truly blessed through it all.
James 1:17 ~
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
A fellow traveler -
Life is full of movement. If we are moving, we are living. Yet movement can also be exhausting—physically and mentally.
In some ways, movement can be paralyzing. We can feel stuck because though we're moving all over the place it might not seem like there's any real direction or meaning behind it. We know we're moving, but we wonder if we're really getting anywhere.
Finding Joy can be a challenge for alot of people. Especially during a year long pandemic when nothing has been normal. But when I talk about joy, I’m not doing so from the perspective of a bubbly person who never seems to have a bad day or questions WHY! Many of us think that joy means feeling good all the time. That’s impossible! Even for those who are naturally upbeat and optimistic, that’s impossible.
On September 8th, mine and Anita's precious friend Lieutenant Colonel Shelli Huether was killed in a plane crash here in TN, along with 2 other airman. Shelli started her military career in the Texas Air National Guard as a Navigator and has deployed five times. Her current assignment was with the 118th Airlift Wing in Nashville TN. Shelli had a servant's heart and spent countless hours volunteering with the USO, Operation Stand Down, and many other charities and non-profit organizations. She leaves behind soo many including her husband Brian and 8yr old daughter Josie and 5 yr old son Levi. Please pray for them on the journey ahead.
Anita has put together the Shelli Huether Honor Run, Walk, and Fundraiser to raise money for two charities...
Often we hold on soo tightly to things in our lives or our own way of thinking because we don’t want to change or it’s just soo hard to let go.
But God can't redeem what we will not release.
Maybe we forget that He still holds the power to heal and to set free. Maybe we don’t believe that He can or wants to. Maybe we forget at times, that He’s still the God of miracles, that He can do in a moments time what might take years for us to work through on our own.
Life is full of broken dreams, heart ache, challenges, mind blinding circumstances and plans that feel like they keep falling short. It can feel at times like we’re living in the wilderness of self-defeat with different shades of pain and numbness. For many, we lose the hope to believe in the place called tomorrow or a new beginning.
In spite of these difficulties, God’s word stands solid as an anchor to take you to your promised land. God does not want you to remain where you are if you're feeling hopeless.
I know many of us might be carrying an extra load of worry, anxiety and fear right now. Especially as we face so many tough situations, changes and unknowns. Sometimes it’s easy to choose to rely upon our own strength rather than upon God and His Word. If you’re anything like me, then you know that we can often forget that God can handle ANY problem. Or perhaps we think we can do a better job handling the situation ourselves. Either way, when we choose to lean on our own understanding instead of God's promises, we are placing ourselves, or the overwhelming situations we are facing, "before" the Lord.
It has taken me days to process everything that happened last Monday night here in Nashville.
It was truly the biggest surprise of my life time. I had no idea that “girls night out” with my best friends was actually a planned for months "set up" surprise gathering at the elegant and luxurious Sambuca with some pretty amazing people that mean the world to me.
There’s probably no deeper sadness that ever comes over the mind than the idea that we are all alone in this world. That no one cares, that no one sees us or hears us, that no one is concerned about anything that might happen to us, especially if we’re hurting and in pain.
We all have had people and “things” in our lives that feel important to us, but when something or someone is toxic and damaging to our lives we HAVE to consider removing it in order to achieve more...to keep moving forward.
So decide what it is that stops you from changing, what it is that has been keeping you in one place for months or years possibly, what it is that holds you back from ALL that God has for you! Then you need to accept and realize the fact that these people or things are NOT good for you. They are not life giving nor God appointed.
Waiting on God has two really important components. A complete dependence on God AND a willingness to allow Him to decide the terms, including the timing of His plan.
While we wait, some times we have to hold on tight and some times we have to let go. But we must always do so with hope filled expectation and trust, knowing that God is not making us wait just to see how long we can “take it.” But there are times I believe God delays His answer, and we will wonder why He seems so reluctant to intervene in our situations.
God puts dreams in our hearts and writes a destiny over our lives. And if we trust Him enough to take Him at His word, we will find ourselves on a journey toward the fulfillment of that dream, even if we don't fully understand what He's doing right now.
Remember, storms will come, lions will roar, and our fears will be confronted. And when our paths face difficult detours, He will lead us - refining us, strengthening us and continuing to prepare us for that place of promise.
Your current situation is not permanent...it’s purpose!
Things could look totally broken, devastating, unknown or hopeless in your life right now, but you must know that God’s intentions are to always bring you to a place of clarity, wholeness, healing, restoration and purpose in your life!
Whenever I think about hard battles, I think about David & Goliath. If ever there was a lopsided battle, this was it! You’d think that David wouldn’t have had a chance. Goliath was a giant. Yet David, a small shepherd boy, agreed to fight him.
I’m sure Goliath must have thought it was some kind of joke when David showed up on the battlefield, with what appeared to be only a slingshot, but that wasn’t the case.David had MUCH more than a slingshot. You see, David had God on his side. When he came to fight Goliath, he didn’t come in the name of the king – he didn’t come in the name of David, He came in the name of God – and poor Goliath didn’t even have a chance.
It gets better! It might not seem like it right now, but I promise you, It will get better!
I have certainly experienced my share of heartbreak through the years and I wish I could tell you the exact time of the week when the sun will begin to shine again for you too, but I can’t.
But what I can tell you from my own experience is this, that your heart WILL begin to put itself back together again eventually, piece by piece. And one day you’ll look in the mirror and begin to recognize yourself again.
Dear God, I can't do this on my own. I surrender all.
When we hear the phrase “Surrender to God" we might often think that we are going to have to stop “living” somehow.
Surrendering to God doesn't mean that we all of a sudden have no purpose in life. However, some of us have tried to create our own purpose and have surrendered to nothing for a very long time, except our own wills, and all it has done is created one big mess for many.
This was our last picture taken together the night before Trent went to Heaven.
It’s been 18 years without the love of my life. I honestly cannot believe I’ve made it this long without him. Has time been my healer? No way! It’s been Jesus and me every step of the way. I’ll admit though, they have not always been the best steps that I’ve chosen to take. In fact, I’ve had many “off the path” steps along the way. But somehow I kept finding my way back. Back to the One who has done more than just get me through the storms. God Himself, has carried me through every season which has lead me straight to this very milestone in my life today.
On our life’s journey we’ll all face many different situations, experiences and relationships. Sometimes we have gains, and we laugh. Sometimes we have losses, and we cry. Sometimes our hearts are broken, and we isolate. Sometimes our song is played, and we celebrate. Sometimes we really blow it, and we sink. Sometimes we get it right, and we smile.
The Bible says that God takes all our many collective experiences and eventually makes something beautiful out of all of the loose ends. Trust Him today to make ALL things beautiful with all the loose ends in your life. He is beyond capable!
Life has a way of testing our anchors and tempting us to drift...sometimes far away. But here’s the truth, if our anchors are placed firmly in the rock of our redeemer, then they will hold no matter the force of the wind, the strength of the tide, or the height of the waves. Hold on tight to the Truth of your anchor today and make sure it’s beyond secure.
Don’t let anyone else try to push or pull you in the wrong direction. Stay the course. Trust Jesus when He says, “I won’t let you sink”.