I am thankful for the time that it took me to get the place where I accepted and really loved myself. I don’t think I realized how hard I have been on myself over the years. I wasted a lot of time wanting to be like someone else - thinner, cooler, bolder, more confident, neater, more creative, and less hysterical.
Twenty years ago in April, my husband and I went to Moscow to adopt a beautiful little Russian girl, Natasha. The trip and the adoption changed the trajectory of our lives. I had a baby boy more than 10 years prior, who was happy and healthy and the joy of our lives.
The moment that I realized I was doing something that I was meant to do and loved to do was when I was in the mountains of Guatemala, working for non-profit organization. I was surrounded by poverty, but felt more alive than I have ever been.
It was winter when I experienced the loss of my marriage. At the time, it felt like the end of the world. What surprised me about this was that God didn’t rescue me in the way that I’d expected. He didn’t bring my husband back like I thought He should.
After 33 years of marriage, my husband left me and moved in with another woman. I was left single and very alone. At the time, it felt like my life was over, I was rejected. What surprised me about this time was how real the presence of God became to me as I experienced Him as my husband. I
I was disappointed when I discovered a growth on my thyroid. At the time it felt like I was alone. What surprised me about that time was that God was with me. I realize that all the fearful feelings that I allowed myself to dwell on were stupid.
I have learned that I am happy to share. Encouraging others is really important to me because I love people. God has created me to be a writer and I'm learning to express that through my experiences.
The truth about God that was revealed to me is that He is my Heavenly Father.
The first representation of God is your earthly father. My father was a wounded man who womanized, drank, was angry, and gave his love conditionally. So growing up I had learned to live a performance-oriented life.
To be honest, there have only been two or three moments in my life when I felt CERTAIN that what I was doing, I was created to do. The first was when I discovered that God had made me a teacher. The second, is when I learned that God had made me a Mommy. A Mother. Those were the two times that I felt so confident in every move and situation, confident that if I didn’t know the answer I could find it.
I had no idea of what a family was until both of my parents died. It sounds harsh, but it is true. At that time in my life, I was a parentified child of my four younger siblings. Dad was an introverted workaholic and Mom was a drug addict.
I am capable because I believe in myself. I am thankful for the confidence I now have to face a room full of people, head up a project or engage in various personal relationships. It wasn't always this way.
God is my Provider. I always knew that He was a Provider, but I never fully acknowledged that for myself. I first discovered this nearly four years ago when I was going through a painful season in my marriage. The transition from being married to a divorced single parent caused financial hardship in my life.
Over the past 3 years, I have slowly come to realize that I was made to create. You would think this one would have been easy for me to realize because I have always been artistically talented. However, it wasn’t. I spent many years wanting to be someone else. Smarter. More athletic. More buttoned up.
When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I felt special…chosen…like I was doubly blessed. Then at five months pregnant I lost those two baby girls. I was devastated. I felt like God had set me up only to torture me.
We all have a story to tell! Personal Connection is just one of the ways we share stories here at Circles of Faith. Ordinary women are doing extraordinary things for God. We hope you enjoy this and it encourages and inspires others to take that next step to what God is calling them to do.
Here’s an inside look at our regular Contributor and Licensed Professional Counselor Susanne Ciancio, who writes our monthly feature Susanne Says. [Continue Reading...]
We all have a story to tell! Personal Connection is just one of the ways we share stories here at Circles of Faith. Ordinary women are doing extraordinary things for God. We hope Chelle’s story encourages and inspires others to take that next step to what God is calling them to do.
In our Spotlight today is Circles of Faith contributor Susan Panzica. She is a blogger, author, speaker and co founder of The Justice Network, a new human trafficking awareness group. [Continue Reading...]
In our Spotlight this month is Beth Nelson, Owner and Director – Visiting Angels, Caregiver Extraordinaire
“When you can’t be there, our angels can.”
I was heavily influenced by my mother’s faith and her endless gratitude. Even in the difficult times she would strongly express her thanks. “Thank you God for this sunny day, the flowers, the ocean…” This foundation of praise that my mom passed on to me led me to my own faith…I never doubted God was real. [Continue Reading...]
For as long as I can remember, I’ve gone to church. I have fuzzy memories of being in the church nursery and learning about the Bible characters with felt boards (pun intended). I was a shy, quiet, and submissive middle child to two parents who loved me dearly. I followed in the shadow of my older, “more perfect” sister, and cast my own shadow on my younger brother.
My mom always told us, “Follow Jesus!” One Easter Sunday, my pastor gave an altar call and I felt the Holy Spirit stir in my heart for the first time, prompting me to respond and commit my life to Him. I rose my shaking, little, 10-year-old hand and accepted Jesus into my heart that morning. [Continue Reading...]
My FAITH story? There wasn’t a time when faith wasn’t a constant in my life. My dad was ordained into the ministry when I was four; I literally grew up in church. For much of my life, faith was habit. Calling faith a habit is not to diminish its value in any way. Habits are a good thing.
Hebrews 12:11 reminds us that, No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.(NIV).
My story is not uncommon. I was born and raised in church. I did a lot of “church things” with a lot of nice “church people.” My childhood would not make a very good Lifetime made-for-television movie. It wasn’t perfect, but I was loved.
Perhaps that is why it took me so dang long to realize that I needed “saving” from anything. I wasn’t beaten. I wasn’t drug dealing. I didn’t live in poverty. I went to church and didn’t smoke. So, why did I need Jesus? [Continue Reading...]