Will You Listen?

I have a story to tell but I am sworn to silence.

I want to tell you of heaven and hell and how I’ve experienced both.

I have a story to tell. I am told to lie and that I am to blame.

I experience heartbreak after heartbreak as my voice gets thrown under the rug. Other people tell me that my life is fine. I come and go believing that others can take from me however they desire. I have been ground down to nothing. Is it no wonder I don’t know who I am? Is it no wonder that I just stare blankly instead of scream when sex and nudity is the norm? After all, I am told I get to choose who I am so this is just helping me decide. Words that cut like knives and clothes that cover bruises is what I am told is okay. Sexual education is taught in the bedroom, in the living room and on my phone. This is okay because I get to choose my sex and this is called parenting.

When I come up to the light no one comes to save me.

Who will be my voice and speak up for me? Who will show me I am worth it?

I have a story to tell, now set me free so that I can speak it or shout it if I want to.

I am tired of these chains holding me down. Set me free and I will run to safety.

I have a story to tell. I will only utter the words of darkness so you will know that Heaven gave me my freedom instead of the world.

I have a story to tell.

Will you listen?

I Dreamt Of You Today

The death of my baby, the love for my stepdaughter and years of healing have dug up dreams from my childhood. Please read below:

I dreamt of you today with curly flowing hair and laughter that carried on the wind. Heaven collided with earth.

I dreamt of you today climbing trees, getting scraped knees. I dreamt of kissing your boo boos.

I dreamt of you today for the first time since my childhood. You were so near. I could almost taste the sweetness as if I were kissing your cute, chubby cheeks.

I dreamt of you today as I should have from the start, where fear and pain didn’t matter. For so many years I didn’t dare to dream of you. Life is already hard enough so why add more disappointment?

God has revived a piece of me I never knew he could. The part of me where risks and impossibilities meet. Where the risk is worth any possible outcome. The part of me that surrenders more and desires more of Heaven on Earth. The part of me that becomes less and I end up gaining more than I could imagine.

I dreamt of you today.

Come alive.

Leaning In

Will you lean in?

Every Sunday my favorite thing to do is pray with kids. During prayer I place my hand on their heads. If a child is new I will always ask permission first before doing this.

On one particular Sunday morning as I laid my hand on one child’s head they relaxed and leaned in. I went around the classroom and one child after the other leaned in. The response of leaning in is not a new response but having as many children do so like they did, was.

This action of leaning in conveys trust. In the context of the heart it often can signify surrender and the action to receive. For others they simply hunger for more of God.

As I witnessed these children do this it dawned on me how important it is for us to lean in. When we lean in we are expecting more. We can expect more because we know that God wants to give more.

How many times have we ignored God? How many times have we rushed prayer or decided that enough time was spent with him?

Greater treasure awaits us in the quiet moments of waiting, listening and leaning in.

God is a good God. He always wants to give us more. He loves to give good gifts.

I have to wonder what have we missed out on for being too busy or rushing our time?

What is even more extraordinary to me with children is they know and will lean in no matter what is going on. They will lean in when they are happy. They will lean in when they are sad or hurt.

How often do we stop leaning in when things are good and we don’t feel the need for God? Or maybe it is the opposite and instead of leaning in when things get difficult, we blame Him instead?

Whatever season we are in we become the inconsistent ones. God remains faithful. He is always ready to help and to bless us if we are willing to receive from Him in those still and quiet moments.

Lean in.

Vital Choices

“The thoughts and decisions in your life can either control you or set you free.”

I have been missing my Mom lately because I wish I could talk with her about everything going on in my life right now. I know what she would say,

“Kara, you have a lot going on. It is good to cry. Do not be so hard on yourself. Please rest.”

Since she passed I often tell myself similar phrases as a reminder to give myself some grace and choose hope each day.

It is vital for me to choose hope and joy. If I allow my thoughts to focus inward and downward it could have the potential to sabatoge my life. When I choose hope, the impossibilities seem less daunting and I am trusting God to take care of every detail. Often I have found that I have had to fight for hope and learn this as a discipline.

I have chosen that despite the circumstances, I will live with faith for promises and find ways to laugh. Why? Because my God is good. He wants the best for me. He wants me healthy, healed and whole. Jesus did not come for me to be hopeless and downcast.

His joy is my strength!

In joy there is room for increasing hope. Because of this I enjoy life even when I may feel like weeping or when I would much rather stay in bed with a frown.

My decision to stay upbeat, positive and hopeful is a decision based on how much I know God loves me and is for me. Since I know this about Him I also know that He loves my family more than I do. I know He already stormed the gates of hell and made a way for each of us. He will never stop storming those gates! And if He will never stop storming those gates then I know that I can wait a little bit longer for victory while keeping a smile on my face. I can allow laughter to fill my belly while telling the devil to shut up anytime I may be downcast.

No matter what, God is still sovereign. God is still good. Despite anything I may be going through He never changes. He cannot be defeated. He is for me. He is for you.

His love is vast and deep. Jesus proved it.

This, my friends, is why I choose hope and joy. Life may feel a bit surreal but my God is real and mighty. Nothing can change the truth of who He is and what He is doing for those that love Him!

(Laughing at this family photo ⬇)

Never Surrender Your Hope

Intensity.

Passion.

Victory.

Life is interesting.

Are you contending for something great? Does it feel as if the darkness presses in close to you as you wait for your miracle?

Never surrender your hope.

When it feels as if lifes punches have taken your breath away.

Choose joy.

There is a God who loves you and has you covered on all sides. He is for you. He is for your marriage. He is for your family. He is for your victory.

Remain steadfast.

Get back up when a punch sends you to the ground. The only time you should be spending on your knees is in prayer.

Remain steadfast.

Never surrender your hope!

A Letter To Michael

I know I already gave birth to you.

I know your birth was too soon. Since Dec 18th I know that I will get to hold you in my arms someday.

This weekend would have been the time I would have brought you into this world and cradled you close. Your due date was July 15th (give or take a few, I am sure). I would have counted every finger and toe. I would have kissed your cheeks. I would have marvelled at every movement and sound from you.

But my arms are empty and Heaven seems too far away today.

Your birth had a purpose that I am still waiting for. I know the purpose and the blessing that comes with it.

Life as I know it now is full of much more hope because of you. I love deeper, bigger and wider.

You are loved and I know that you know this the best out of anyone because you reside with Love now.

Happy “unofficial” birthday dear one!

Warrior

Dear heart, arise and lift your head up.

Do you have the courage to face the day even amidst your darkest hour? When the battle is thick and a cloud of darkness is all you can see surrounding you, will you choose to be brave and press on?

The Lord, like a fierce lion is in pursuit. He sees you and your eyes lock. In His eyes you see victory and a love so fierce that fills your soul to continue pressing on through each assailant. In that instant, a light bursts forth ahead piercing the darkness.

Mighty God, the Lion of Judah, smashes every assailant in your path. He leads you to victory. His roar makes the whole earth tremble. Justice has just been dealt. Laughter echoes into the valleys. The waters and bubbling brooks dance with joy.

He lifts you up. You stand triumphant looking upon your enemies, every foe has been laid low. New breath fills your lungs.

Every ounce of blood and every fallen tear has been worth the journey to get here.

His roar brings victory. His breath restores life. His laughter scatters the rest of your enemies.

He has made you victorious!

Facing Victory

When one waits for a miracle to come to pass in what direction does that individual stand?

One stands facing towards victory no matter what opposition may come.

It can be too easy to dwell on the current circumstances where it can seem like nothing is changing. At some point it may even feel as if one has moved backwards rather than forward.

.

If this is where you are, stand facing victory.

This means you choose hope. On the days where it is hard to keep going, you expect victory to come whether there is anything significant to suggest otherwise. You get to choose to look at life through the lens of faith.

Stand facing victory.

Expect victory.

Do not look back (unless it is a joyful reflection). Do not dwell on that which does not increase your hope.

Victory is coming.

Victory is something the enemy can never touch unless you decide to hand it over to him (#can’ttouchthis).

Victory is here.

The Choice I Make

There is something very powerful when we can make the decision to choose hope. I truly believe that hope is often a choice much like love is. There are many mountains in our lives. Much of what we face look impossible through our eyes. But if we choose hope, we choose to look at life through the eyes of God.

Mountains bow at His name. Kingdoms fall. Circumstances miraculously & supernaturally at lightning speed, change! Darkness flees. Healing floods hearts, minds & bodies. Death and the grave are defeated. Life is birthed out of nowhere.

I choose hope!

Celebrate Michael

Let me introduce you to someone so precious. He was a miracle. He was a gift.

The first part of November I was having strange symptoms. At first I thought my body was responding to an amazing but extremely busy season of ministry & was protesting. I had also been battling colds for a month & a half. There was a strange fatigue that had settled in my body. So time went on & I remember feeling “pregnant”. I cast it aside as wishful thinking.

It had been impossible for me to conceive. I had already had a previous miscarriage that did not last past the first month early on in our marriage in 2011. I had already grieved through not being able to give birth to one of my own flesh. Hope was on the horizon to foster or adopt and continue loving my daughter (SD). I was content. 

In November a pregnancy test confirmed what was once deemed impossible. Our world was turning upside down and landed a bit lopsided in the most precious and beautiful way. 

I told my husband that I was battling against fear and could only believe life. I felt like I had already lost too much to handle any alternative. Every day I placed my hands on my belly and declared life. I prayed for every organ, for every tissue formation, ten toes, ten fingers and that all would go smoothly. At night I wept with thankfulness because of this beautiful miracle. I fell asleep embracing my baby and told him how much he was loved. The journey felt like a dream.

We had talked in detail about how we wanted to tell the good news and when to do it. Even though I wanted to shout and celebrate his life right away we both agreed that telling family in person would be the best way. 

(Week 6 pregnancy picture)

Week 6 went by and I was so sick & tired. I was so happy because it was the only way that I knew that he was doing well. Week 7, and 8 slipped by without any issues. By week 9 I was able to get into the Dr. and all my test results came back without any signs of complications. He was really coming! He was really real! By this time my belly was starting to grow & I felt pregnant for real for the first time.

Week 10 was the week we were going to tell our daughter & begin the journey to family for Christmas. Our daughter was beyond excited. She was already making plans. She was the best big sister ever!

The next day she could hardly contain her excitement as we were going to tell my husbands parents. Tears, smiles, hugs and congratulations were in order after breaking the good news. But a couple hours later I started to have slight cramping and instead of getting better my heart & body went on a journey I never thought it could handle.

The details into that night are too much for me to write out. The ER visit was horrific. What I was going through was unstoppable medically speaking and those working there did not acknowledge my sons life. With that perspective I know why I was treated as if what I was going through was not a big deal. 

Instead of a proper burial my baby is swimming in sewage because he was flushed down the toilet in the ER. Losing life and not being able to control what your body is doing is horrifying. 

Because of our miracle I have this need for people to know our son. He was important. He was not a blob of cells. His heart beat like yours and like mine. God still did a miracle in my body to be able to conceive and carry for 10 weeks. Those weeks I will cherish for the rest of my life. Our son helped my faith to grow. Impossible is fading out of my life. God is good and He never changes. 

Please meet our son. 

(Drawing by artist Brynna Hosszu)

His name is Michael which means, “Who is like God?”. It is a name passed down in my husbands family. When I give birth to my rainbow baby, Michael will be their middle name just like his Daddy and in remembrance of his big brother who prepared the way.

Michael you were and continue to be loved. It was a fun adventure while we had you with us, tiny as you were! 

Here are some of my favorite memories with you:

(We didn’t even know that we were a family of 4 during these fun moments in October)

(My first big ministry event knowing you were growing in my belly. It was a miracle I didn’t faint on stage due to sickness & fatigue. I remember telling you, “Okay baby, time to go worship God together! Let’s slay the enemy!” Photo Cred: Austin Groskopf, @agroskopf33)

(Family Thanksgiving 2017 two weeks early)

(Together for Thanksgiving at Long Beach)

(Our last full day together at Heritage Kids Family Christmas)

(This was our announcement photo. I bought 4 large stockings expecting your first Christmas with us would have been in 2018)

Enjoy time with Jesus & with my Mom sweet child. 

We love you Michael!