Saturday, November 2, 2013


If you ever read our story and how we got to North Carolina, it seems pretty simple. But there’s so much more to that story, so here we go...

The back story...I am the baby of nine, yes nine brothers and sisters. I have 30 nieces and nephews. Mike has one brother. We come from two very different families, but we were raised with the same values. Having a very large family means lots of different opinions and just like any other family, not everyone is going to get along and that’s okay. Every family, big or small, goes through troubles. Mine is no different than yours. Nearly eleven years ago, my family didn’t agree about a situation and it really divided us up. People were mad and hurt and some still can’t let it go. I truly believe my family is being see if we can work through tough times or just call it quits and walk away. To be honest, some have walked away for awhile. Since the first ‘issue’, we’ve had two more tests. Some of us have learned from our mistakes and some don’t think we’ve made mistakes throughout all of it. But there is a reason and season for everything. 
5 years ago when Mike and I started looking for jobs before we graduated college, we both felt we were suppose to be in North Carolina. We felt that’s where we were suppose to be, but we didn’t know why. No jobs panned out for us there and with a little confusion we pushed forward and moved to Maryland. During our time there, my family was on the tail end of dealing with issue #2. 
After awhile, we felt it was time to move home and find our house we’d make our home with our first Little Baby Braden on its way. Funny thing is, God had a much bigger and different plan for us. We moved home, but didn’t buy. We stayed with my parents which turned out to be a blessing because while we were there issue #3 began. It was hard and once again people were hurt. Those who tried to stay neutral were accused of not being supportive because they chose to not choose a side and that was hard. Again after a little while, we felt the need to move for a better schedule, better job and better all around situation that would allow Mike and I to be on our own again and be stable. Mike went on a few job interviews and received an offer from Texas. I remember when he was waiting to hear back to see if he had an interview with NC and he was just ready to take the TX job. I asked him to wait and I’m so glad he did. Not only did he get an interview they offered him the job. When he called me to share the news I cried, because I knew there was a reason we needed to be in NC, we just weren’t sure why yet.
The first weekend we were here we wanted to find a church as soon as possible. We belonged to our Catholic church back home which we loved, but we wanted to find a church that we loved here too, not just go to church to go to church. We were actually just driving through the neighborhood and literally drove by a non-denominational church that was planted four and half years ago. Making sure it wasn’t ‘crazy’ we decided to try it out the next weekend. Our first visit was rough, we brought Kensi with us and Mike spent most of the service outside letting her explore and run around; that’s when he met Ashley, the lead pastor’s wife. When I met her, she invited me to get connected with other women in the church through their women’s Bible study that met weekly. I don’t normally dive right into things, but something was different about this whole move and I did. The first night I attended they were wrapping up their study and were reading The Bait of Satan by John Bervere. I was so moved by the message of the book, author and how it’s impacted these women that I knew it was something I needed to read, every one of my siblings needed to read, and for that matter...everyone in general should read. This book is about letting go of offense, not holding grudges and healing relationships....exactly what my family and so many other families need. 
The following weekend I bought the book and recommended it to my sister in AZ, who recommend it to my sisters back home. My mom also bought the book. Change isn’t going to happen over night, but change is happening. 
I recently shared my story with Ashley and I really do believe there’s a reason and a season for everything. Five years ago, we felt the push to be in NC.....we held on to that and stepped out when He wanted to move us. We’re learning quickly that when you follow where God wants you to be, incredibly AWESOME things happen. 
In an earlier post, I shared I was anxious about our trip to Kansas City, why you ask? Because four of us started to read the book and I was curious as to how the whole weekend would go. At the beginning to the weekend I was very worried, because some came guarded, and they had opportunities to embrace or walk away. They chose to embrace. Everything wasn’t smooth sailing, but everyone was respectful and that was huge. God is working in us, especially our family. If moving to NC was a way to heal the broken hearts within our family, then it was well worth every battle, every moment of confusion, and every tear. 
The books we’re reading in our Bible study have taught me so much, if Ashely had not stepped out and introduced herself to me, I would not be sitting here writing this post. She has helped me become a better person even in such a short period of time, she has given me tools that we hope with heal us and make us into better people. I believe God whispered North Carolina to Mike and I five years ago because he had a plan for us to meet Ashley and her church. The best part...this is just the beginning.
I will be sharing our books that we read with all of our readers. Mike often reads them with me. So in the right column on the blog you’ll see ‘CURRENTLY READING.' We will also start a new tab to share all of our books and look for a new book to be posted next week as we will begin a new study.

Happy Reading!

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