The Book Behind the Cover

Today, I am blogging about part of my story, the book behind the cover. There always is one! I will also explain why sea glass is so near and dear to my heart. The prize package represented today will be:  1 silver bracelet adorned with green sea glass and hand-made bows made by Millie Atkisson, owner of Bowtastic! You know you want this amazing bracelet!!

And don’t forget to CLICK HERE TO ENTER the prizes: a Rafflecopter giveaway   Once you click on the Rafflecopter link, you will answer a few questions and be entered into the drawing that will be held on Friday. There will be 4 amazing prizes!! (This is a safe site!! Any questions on how to enter, email me at branch626@aol.com.)

Also, click here to LIKE my Kairos Coaching, LLC Facebook page where you will be able to see future posts and where I will announce the winners on Friday!

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4 years ago this very month, I was at a crossroads in my life. Little did I know that the following year would challenge my belief system in a way that I could have never imagined. My little safe and secure world was knocked off its foundation. And, I was left with many pregnant questions.

To say I experienced a plethora of emotions would be the tip of the iceberg. Everything I had ever believed about everything was no longer certain. Can you imagine waking up every day and not knowing what or who or why you believed what you professed for years to believe?

Not only was I in the middle of a major health crisis, I was headed full speed ahead into a crisis of belief. And for someone who likes to know the itinerary and all the possible detours, this was like entering an abyss of darkness without hope of the faintest light.

I didn’t have any answers. Nor did the 12 or so doctors I saw during that time. Honestly, even today, 4 years later I don’t have all the answers. You see, I am a control freak. A perfectionist. Someone who needs to know. And when I couldn’t play the hand of cards I was dealt and I had to wait in the long dark night, it felt like my world was falling apart.

What happens when life doesn’t go as planned? When you are faced with tough decisions and bad news and dysfunctional relationships? Where do you go or to whom do you run?

Before my ship wrecked and I crashed upon the shore of life gasping for air, I could usually make things work out. I was self-reliant and competent. I didn’t need many people…or dare I say it, God.

But when I was flat on my back, the only view I had was up. And that is exactly where God met me.

We were at Topsail for a week in September of 2008. I won’t even begin to tell you how hard we had to fight for joy to go on that vacation. Let me just share the first battle. The initial house we rented was infested with fleas…

We were able to get into another home that was flea and mold free. Yes, the next 2 houses were full of mold. Finally, we were able to stay in the 4th home. I was still struggling with the unknown. I did not have a diagnosis at this point. I was still covered in a horrible itchy and blistery rash from head to toe. I felt like and was treated like a leper at times. I was still questioning God and all that I had ever been told…key words, my friend. Been told. But I was about to experience something that would be transforming to my beliefs.

I was walking alone on the beach one afternoon.  The afternoon rays of sun were dancing on something green and shiny in front of me. I had no idea what it was, but I love a good treasure so I was intrigued. Upon further inspection, it was a piece of glass and this is what I said out loud…to myself or so I thought:

“What idiot would leave glass on the beach???”

Clear as day…”I did. I left it there for you.”

Aside from the fact that I just called God an idiot, I know that God really doesn’t speak out loud like me and you. But, I really heard Him say this. To me. I am sure no one else heard it. But me. It was a message from God to me. And it was like a monsoon to the dry and parched soil in my heart. I had been praying and seeking and questioning for so long. Begging and pleading would be more appropriate.

However, as I prayed and started seeking God instead of answers over the next 6 months or so, my search for answers (without me even realizing it) was not as important anymore. I was able to sit with the questions that didn’t have answers. I didn’t have to know everything. The control freak in me was starting to surrender. One day at a time.

Did I really believe what I professed to believe before my ship wrecked? I didn’t. It was all words. Until, I wrestled with God. Then and only then was I able to rest in God (Ann Voskamp).

It was part of my destiny to find that amazing piece of green (my favorite color) sea glass that very day. It was mine. A gift from my creator. Sea glass will always be a precious reminder of God’s love for me. He gave me this vision: “I was a very solid and sturdy glass vase. Then life happened, the vase shattered into a million pieces. He is going to slowly and steadily put me back together again so that His light shines though all the cracks.” I am reminded of Galatians 2:20 – “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

Looking back, I know I had to experience what I experienced. It was hard and gut wrenching. I wrestled with God and most any one else who crossed my path. I struggled with anxiety and fear and doubt. When I read my tear-stained journal from this season when the fields were fallow and the drought was causing the parched soil to crack and groan, I am reminded of how difficult and lonely those months were.

Just like the sea glass, I had to experience the rough waves and coarse sand of life to smooth my jagged edges. And in due time, the sharp and dangerous piece of glass was transformed into a thing of enormous beauty. With smooth edges.

Out of the ashes, the beauty ascends.

Sometimes you don’t know what you believe until you are faced with a life experience that forces you to practice what you preach.

Everyday that I get to live, I am thankful that my vase shattered. For in the shards, even though very painful, true life and light was found.

Living full and free today!

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Check back in soon!! We will be launching the new website on Friday morning and raffling off the prizes!!!! Can’t wait to see who wins!

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “The Book Behind the Cover

  1. Sylvia

    Love this… Love you! What a blessing to see the metamorphosis of this beautiful butterfly of a Godly Women emerge. How special you will always be to me and what an awesome opportunity for me to learn from the heart of now grown women that I once had the privilege to teach… God is just AWESOME like that!
    You Bless my Heart

    • Oh how I love you, Mrs. Sylvia!!! My process of sanctification came alive in a very small room with a group of dear girlfriends and an amazing SS teacher who loved us all so very much!!! Thank you will never be enough!! Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. I am wondering if there is always a moment where we have to face what we have been told verses what we believe. Thanks for sharing your story. 🙂

  3. Michele Schicchi

    I love your posts, and this one particularly speaks to me. I have been at my crossroads for a about a year now testing the beginnings of different routes. Thank you for this story .. I hope it propels me and others to abandon their inner control and allow themselves to be guided towards their proper path. I know I could use the help.

    I am sorry for what you’ve been through, but understand how sometimes it is only through gut renching life experiences that helps us to a place that we might not have gotten to otherwise. Prayers for your journey and healing

    • wow, I am honored to know you, Michele. You have a light that shines bright within you. You can see it in your amazing eyes. I can’t wait to see where you are headed, my friend!

  4. sophie

    Beautiful. Finding peace with unanswered questions is just like sitting in the porch swing with HIM!!! sophie

  5. Venon Ferard

    Beautiful Lizzie, I remember that summer well!

  6. Lizzie, this is so honest and beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Lisa Elliott

    I remember that time too, and I remember trying so hard to pray for you but the words often wouldn’t come, so I just asked Him to give you His very best. And look at you now. You are so very much better in so many ways!!

  8. I don’t get tired of hearing this story because it always ‘speaks’ something different to me. I love the book behind your cover because it’s real and honest and God-honoring even in the questioning!

    • Thank you, Kristin. If my story helps one person, then it makes my struggle so much more bearable. He knows exactly what we need. And when we need it. Love you, friend!!

  9. What a difficult time. Like others, I remember watching you go through it. How you have chosen to come out of it with clarity, purpose, and freedom is life-giving to others, especially those who are still choosing to wrestle.

  10. Awesome testimony Lizzie…Sometimes we talk about our “shine” for God… more than we show it. You are right… those cracks let it some amazing light. I see our sea glass as God taken something sharp and harmful to us.. and making the edges smooth.. Beauty for Ashes if you will. Enjoyed the blog today!

    • Thank you, Denise! Yes, that is such a part of my testimony…the smooth sea glass. Only by roughing it in the deep harsh ocean does it become smooth. thank you for your encouragement, dear friend!

  11. Aw, beautiful, Lizzie! I love how sweet God is- knowing exactly what we need. I don’t think that any of us would ever choose the fallow times, BUT would we change it for anything? Love you, sister!!!

    • Thank you, friend! Tough times, but worth the struggle. For without the struggle, I would have no wings… Love you! Travel safely! Your books should be home when you get there!

  12. Jennifer H

    I had never heard of you or your blog until today.. when I saw my friend’s mom post a link to this blog post. I thank God for giving me the curiosity to click on the link. It was just what I needed to hear (or read :)). Thank you!

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