Amore’ (Daughter): What a journey! Seriously… that’s what it’s been. There have been so many twists and turns and yet… here I am. When I look back now, of course, I see A LOT more of things. I also see God in every step. I didn’t see it at the time but God was definitely opening and shutting doors (sometimes slamming them in my face). Sometimes, a door closing was painful and an opening door was terrifying. But God knows exactly what He is doing. Trust me. I’ve experienced it.
When I made the decision to move to Nashville and move in with my dad, I was desperate. I had no other options. God has shut every door to make this the ONLY one to open. I was so unsure and terrified. I didn’t know anyone but a few family members and I wasn’t very familiar with them because we didn’t have a relationship with my dad, which in turn led to no relationship with them. I was excited to get to know them, but the fear ran deep. The fear of insecurity, doubt, loneliness, etc. but I went anyway.
And I’m so glad that I did… When I arrived within 2 weeks, I had a job which I couldn’t get in my previous situation, no matter how many applications I put out. Within a few months, I bought my first car which I never thought I would be able to do at 21 years old. I started going to a church that brought me lifetime friends and where I met my husband. After about 8 months of living at my dad’s, I moved out. I did move in with a roommate but that didn’t last long and I was still able to afford my bills even after she moved out. That was ONLY God.
If I could tell my younger self, it would be this… Just know that God is still working, even at your lowest point. God is protecting you when He slams that door. Remember to SEEK HIS FACE. Remember whose you are. I wish more than anything, that I would have actually lived out what I preached from that stage every week. I wish that I would have actually walked out what I told others at that time. It was so much easier to put on my God face, than to actually walk on God’s feet. I am so thankful that our God doesn’t give up on us. That He hears us, even when we are yelling at Him! All He wants from us is to trust Him. He wants us to have faith that He’s got this ridiculously hard and crazy thing called life. He does have a call for your life. He does love you. He hasn’t forgotten you. He will bring your pure heart’s desires. He wants good for you. He will protect you. Will it be easy? No. Are you going to grow tired and frustrated? Probably. But God will bring you through it, just by opening doors.
Dale (Father): As a parent, there is nothing more rewarding than watching your child grow and experience happiness and success.
I have acknowledged that I am complicated that my interpretation of scripture and life are probably a little different than most. It’s not that I change the scripture to fit my narrative, quite the opposite. I take it literally and believe that if I read it, study it, accept it, and apply it then I will live life accordingly.
I remember telling both girls that I wanted them to feel every emotion and feeling. That not includes joy, laughter, and success but it also means disappointment, heartache, failures, and brokenness. What? That’s awful and I can’t believe you would say that or wish that on your children ! I also told them that I wanted to be there for each of these events to help guide them and understand how each of these events would be instrumental in shaping their character and their love for God and others.
Life’s not easy and no one is immune or free from the woes that it so cruelly handed to us. Teach your children, discipline your own self and practice what you preach. I’m not saying that I don’t grieve or have to dig deep when my babies are challenged or hurting but I will say that I trust the God who created them and who knows them better than I or anyone else will ever know them to protect them.
As you’ve seen, by reading our blogs and watching our videos, it hasn’t been an easy journey. God has and continues to hold us and guide us through the steps of restoration.
For me, this next video will probably be the most emotional simply because not only was God faithful and to what He told me from the beginning but I am watching the restoration of their confidence, joy, independence and spiritual growth. It just dawned on me, the significance of this blog and video.
This is not a teaser to get you to watch next week but God just revealed something to me. You’ll see it for yourself if you are able to tune in.