Hi Friends! I am Angie, wife and mama, who adores her family. I have been married for 10 years and we have three beautiful children together. We live outside of Dallas and I am blessed to work at school and be with my kiddos. Here is my story of Grace and how God changed my heart and soul.
A lot of times I don’t share my story because I feel like where do I begin and sometimes Satan just likes to remind me of who I once was or where I came from. I also feel like I have a two part story that really shaped my faith in God and has carried me to where God needed me to be to truly see his beauty from ashes. He was good when there was nothing good in me.
By the age of fifteen I had been through some heavy trials and burdens that I look back on and honestly can’t imagine how I overcame. I was deeply hurt emotionally and physically and at that age and living an environment surrounded by drugs and mental illness, I chose a hard life not even imagining the life I could have. A life of feeling unloved, deeply broken, and worthless. I turned to smoking, drinking, and eventually led to using drugs. I was heavily burdened with anger and hurt that I continued to hurt myself running from the problems and doing anything to escape the pain and to fulfill the emptiness and love I was desperately craving.
Without going into heavy details I will fast forward to highs school, I wanted more. I had this fire in my soul that I didn’t even know how to handle. I had many friends, I became active in school but the pain didn’t go away. I was extremely relied on at home to help with everything and I was challenged trying to be a child and expected to act like an adult. I was hurting more than I realized and Satan had a plan to destroy me.
At that time I didn’t know Christ and I had no desire too. I wanted more than anything to be loved and I able to get that fulfillment with friends and the partying began again. I quickly found myself sinking and getting high to just feel good and not hurt anymore. I began drinking so much I was getting terribly sick. I wanted it all to end and I struggled with living and continued to rely on substances to cover the pain and heartache. I was completely lost and could not handle the lies in my head any longer. I wanted to be free of all the pain and heartache but I had no idea how except to continue to hurt myself.
I was now sixteen and my life consisted on putting on a front to everyone that I was fine when I was secretly just losing myself all together. I had decided to get so high one night that I was so sick and I remember hearing the words over and over why are you doing this to yourself, I love you. I purposely made myself sick to get out as much as I could that I had put in my body. The weeks ahead I began to realize how incredibly scary that moment was and it could have gone very bad.
I got my life together the best I knew how living in the circumstances that were around me. My family had to move and I was in a new school with people who didn’t know my past. I stayed to myself and removed myself completely from the drinking and drugs. I moved out and lived with a boyfriend at the time and later down the road that was a broken relationship that left me hurt all over again. I desperately wanted to turn to my past but I didn’t. I finished high school and moved in with a friend. Years went by and I met someone and we got married young. Everything seemed so great and I was feeling loved like I always craved. I felt worth and I felt like I could live. Our marriage was not easy and we were young trying to find who we were. We were drinking with friends and I finding myself not happy and not sure who I was again.
I remember a time came and I was confused, depressed, and never fulfilled. In our young marriage faced trials and my past was haunting me. I kept feeling this desire within to be more. I was in a broken marriage that ended in divorce. Eventually I found myself driving to churches alone and sitting in the back listening to words I had heard before in my past but not from anyone close to me. It hit me and although it seemed scary to me at the time I found Jesus was always there whispering to me I love you. I accepted Christ at twenty one and never looked back. He made it clear that he had a purpose for me and I just needed to follow.
I promised to follow Jesus and live a life that he promised and along the road it was heavy but oh so worth it. I met my husband two years after accepting Christ and we walked our journey together making a life for us. This was the beginning of my choosing joy. Choosing to trust God and follow him even through the storms. Little did I know with life going so well the storms would come again.
We started a family and were so excited to be expecting our first child. We were having a girl and were thrilled to be growing our family of two. My heart was full of joy those nine months and we were ready to welcome our sweet baby to the world. We were at the hospital ready to deliver and in that very moment we lost of our sweet baby and she went home to be with Jesus. I was devastated, heartbroken, and completely lost. The days and months ahead were a blur and everything reminded me of my bay and how my life as a mom was supposed to be. Never did I imagine I would not bring my baby home with me from the hospital. Never did I imagine I would have to plan a funeral for my baby. A part of me died with my baby but I grew closer to God and he strengthened my faith more than I ever could have imagined. I grew in my faith, I didn’t walk alone, and I had a new outlook on what this life meant to me and my trust in HIS Plan.
We were blessed to have two more healthy children and I am forever grateful for the baby I lost and the babies I here with me. There is a day that goes by that I don’t think about Payton but I am comforted that she is home. It brings tears to my eyes to know she is waiting for me in Heaven. God has showed me through this heartache the beauty that does truly come from ashes. He has shown me what choosing joy is truly about. To wake up each day with a smile and choose to be more and more like HIM. I am not perfect and I am flawed but I am worthy and I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Looking back on my life the grace upon grace that has he given me and continues to frees me from my past and heartache. It frees me from feeling unworthy, unloved, and a victim. Grow in grace, have faith in HIS perfect love and goodness for you, and be thankful for every moment for such a time is this. I am overcomer. I am a child of God. I have worth. I choose Joy.
Sometimes we are faced with things that doesn’t seem possible to conquer. In the past I would cling to fear and hide from what seemed impossible covered in lies. Through these really hard times and many years later my faith has grown and I learned to trust God more. My faith became my rock and I was able to face storms and keep my focus on God and what he wants for me. While my faith is challenged my trust in him that only he can move that mountains that seem impossible. I must keep my focus on God and what he wants for me.
Cling to him beautiful soul. He is the mountain mover that washes away my fear. Through these seasons of my faith growing, storms raging, and mountains moving I have met some of the most beautiful souls. They have encouraged me and challenged me to be bold in my faith, to walk humbly, and to plant seeds. It is within those moments that a fire in my soul was set to share my story and encourage others as well. When the storms come, and they will, and you can adjust your sails. I read a book a few years ago by John Ortberg If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat. I read this with a fearful heart and was challenged to be more like Peter. Peter could have stayed in his boat but then he would have never walked on water. You can stay in your boat and you might never know the amazing things God can do in your life if you just trust him. God is calling you to walk on water. No matter how big or small it may seem to you, it is his purpose of you for his glory. I will praise him through the storms. My sail will be adjusted. Beauty will rise from ashes and all the glory and praise will honor him.
Through this journey of hardships, finding Christ, choosing joy, living through grace I am becoming more of what Jesus planned for me to be. It’s not always an easy road and God will mold us exactly how he needs us through the gentle love of his gracious heart. We are never finished growing or becoming what He needs us to be but through obedience, faith, trust, and hope we can do amazing things here for his glory. As I release my grip on the things that once broke me I am free from addiction, I am free from heartache of feeling unloved, I am free of the guilt of losing my child, I am free from believing the lies I once believed and I am free to rise above what others and Satan meant for harm. It is my mission to share with others about HIS goodness, his faithfulness, his love, his grace, and eternity with him through pain and joy that sets my soul on fire to chase Him.
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Ephesians 2:7-10 The Message