Dwelling in the Past 

20 years ago my life was altered. It was shattered into tiny pieces, some getting lost along the way. My Poppop died 20 years ago after a battle with leukemia.

I remember where I was when I heard the news, alone. I was downstairs trying to hold it together. I swollowed the sadness and held it in, even though I wanted to just run away or even die myself.  My life was ruined. I was only 10 years old. 
You see I walked the journey with him. I held his hand has he fought the cancer. I went to most doctor visits and always was there with him in and out of the hospital. If no one was allowed to go, I was the exception. Yet, I couldn’t save him. I couldn’t fight it for him as much as I wanted to. 

I saw every up when the cancer would go into remission and he acted like himself again. I got so hopeful every time. And every time I would be heartbroken when I saw him getting worse. I remember being so angry at God for not healing him. 

I saw every low when his flesh became so pale, his skin so cold. I remember seeing the look on his face when he knew we would never see each other again. I remember that last hug he gave. I didn’t want to let go. 

Poppop died a few days after I last saw him. We were taken out of town to see other family. Honestly, it probably was on purpose so we didn’t see him die literally before our eyes. 

I still remember thinking his death was my fault. I took the blame and shame onto myself. “If only I…” just kept repeating in my head even though I knew I couldn’t stop the cancer.

Today I went back to a place where he underwent his cancer treatments. It was a very freeing experience. I wasn’t there for mourning, I wasn’t there to have the memories flood. I was there for a friend. I was there because it’s where God brought her to undergo observation and where God ultimately led me to. It’s no coincidence that God brought me back to where I lost myself over 20 yeas ago.  

God always has a plan, even if the outcome isn’t in our best interest. My Poppop might have died. I might have lost myself in that and defined myself by that, but it makes me no less of the person I am today because of that.  

I wouldn’t be who I am if I never went through the storm. So I can sit here and try to say a part of me died that day but really it was God ultimately using that to define my path and my story.  God’s not done with me. He’s not done with you. 

Being Myself

“Only you can be the best you..” God has put a calling on my life. God has been stirring something inside of me to find my calling. I just have no idea what it is. Maybe it’s right in front of me, maybe I just have not found it yet. But I do have a purpose, I do have a calling.

Maybe I am just stating this because my devotional right now is “God’s Dream for your life” by Rick Warren. But God did not draw me to a devotional because it looked pretty, or it seems legit. I was drawn to the devotional because I want to figure out as Rick Warren puts, “God’s dream for [my] life”.

Growing up as a middle child, that I am sure has a slight form of Aspergers or some other social anxiety disorder, it’s been hard to find me. I always wanted to be my big sister, I wanted to do things with her. But she was mean and didn’t want me around, so I did my own thing, and if my little sister got closer to my big sister, it was on, I would hit her, literally, because it just wasn’t fair. Life wasn’t fair growing up with an older sister, a brother, and a little sister.

So I turned to other family members, I got really close to my Poppop because I was his favorite, seriously ask anyone in the family. He unfortunately passed in 1997. Which led to me being depressed for years, though right when it happened when I had a support system, I was “okay”. So my most important years to find out who I was, I was depressed, suicidal, and in a not so good living situation. So I did what I thought was right, I copied people. I just wanted to be liked by anyone and everyone. Sometimes, I wonder if I have a true personality.

My chemistry degree only happened because I thought my family would be proud because everyone else in the family had a science degree and/or a chemistry degree. But I found out I was a disappointment because they didn’t want me to make the same mistakes they did.  But it’s not that I didn’t like chemistry, it’s more so, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t science minded. I had intelligence, that’s what got me where I was, nothing else.  So I got a degree that I do not use, because I wanted to impress someone, not me.

Sometimes I slept with people just to have stories to tell people. Because that was the “cool” thing to do. I got drunk all the time in college, because I thought maybe I could find myself that way, but I actually lost myself that way. I constantly did what others did, I constantly wanted to be someone I wasn’t. I didn’t know how to have a personality.

I went to church because I wanted to be a support  person for a friend during her baptism. I went there for her the next time because I felt like I would be a disappointment otherwise. But that’s when that ended. On my trip home from my moms, I left in enough time to go to church, but wasn’t sure. I was battling with myself on whether or not to go back to church. It was in that moment, I heard God for the first time, he said to go for me. That day, I secretly in my heart accept Christ as I sat in tears during the sermon, but the next weekend I gave my life publicly to Christ, as my pastor did an altar call, talk about embarrassing…(Thanks Pastor!) But it was from that moment, that I have been battling to find Tanya, to find my true self.

Slowly God is peeling back the layers of me and slowly reveling them to both  myself and to others. I would say people know more about me than I know about myself, as I judge and criticize myself way too much. I can’t do what others do, I have to realize sometimes we weren’t born to be a Da Vinci or a Moses were just simply born to be ourselves. I was born to be Tanya. I have my own path.

God’s Birthday Card

I went around this weekend, thinking that I would not have any friends come around me just be with me on my birthday. I thought no one cared, that no one wanted to celebrate that God brought me into this world 28 years ago. 

I have never been giving a birthday party because my birthday feel awkwardly at the beginning of the school year, so I never knew anyone. As a little girl, I got used to my birthday just being the family being together, and maybe going next door to that other girls birthday party next door, who shared my same birthday, just a few years older.  I never knew what it was like to be the “Birthday Girl”.

I felt down all week because I didn’t have anyone to celebrate with. I felt like no one is even going to notice.  But they did, God did. My heavenly father told me “Happy Birthday” 

Do you know when you get a card for your birthday about a past memory? Well I got God’s birthday card today.

God took me back to not exactly two year ago, but pretty close. The day this lost soul stepped in the doors to Captivate. He had me go in when normal guests would arrive, he had me greeted as if I was a guest, he had hugs to be given out, he had his worship play a song that they sang two years ago. A song this girl didn’t know and didn’t want to sing and had no idea what the definition of worship was. A song that today, I sang my whole heart out and tears ran down my cheeks because God just took me back to remind me where I came from and how far I have grown in him and how lost I was without him and just to show me how much he loves me. He just took my heart and made it his and took my life and just put in his hand.  

Tonight I celebrated my birthday with my new family that I met two years ago. It may have just been a song and a cake that was sang but it  went from 5 people singing “Happy Birthday” to two times that singing it tonight. I was embraced, but honored and loved. God wanted to show me that I am never alone, that these people are beside me and are here for me. I love my family. 

My Father created me to serve him, to worship him, to do his will and not my own. If I go around celebrating my birthday without celebrating him then it’s a wasted birthday because I didn’t honor my creator. Today I walked in to church thinking “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” to “It’s my birthday because he has a plan for me and he decided that I am still worth it”. 

Thank you God.

God’s Path

James 4:15 “Instead yo ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”

God’s will. Our paths he chose for us.

Christians, non-Christians, regardless of who you are we have no control of any given situation. Yet we live our lives like we do. We put burdens and stresses on our shoulders and it impacts everything we do and how we act. It affects your family, your kids, and everyone around you. Non-Christians believe that it’s their will and it will be done, therefore they put all effort and energy into doing things to get things done. Yet, Christians will say “But if it’s God’s will…” but we do not practice those very words. We act like we have control of the outcome. The only control that we have is the control of ourselves praying, but yet many of us still do not pray.  As Christians we should be full of joy not stresses and burdens. 

Last week, I was beyond stressed, I was sick, but I don’t know what came first. Was I sick because I was stressed out? or Was I actually sick and it enhanced my stress? I have no idea. But what I do know is that today, I am not sick, I am not stressed, the burdens are no longer there. Why? Because I gave up my ability to control the situation. I gave it back to God who had it to begin with. I was foolish. I was not being a true Christ follower. I was being a selfish person who thought she could control her own life, and I look back at last week and all my days before that and I think, God did everything, and I did nothing. That time I got into college when I didn’t even hit the “Submit” button on the online application, God hit it for me.  

There are things in our lives that we just need to give it over to God. We may think we have control, but we do not. He makes our paths, we just build the trenches, that keep us from going forward down that path.