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Thirties in Rear View

Thirties – what a decade!

To review my blessings, I have quite a few!

Age 30: My first-born son, Jose’ Luis III – I became a Mama!

Also at age 30 – I opened my private counseling practice, Trinity Counseling, LLC.

Age 31: Just 15 months later, my first daughter was born, Payton Layla – I always dreamt of having a house full of boys, and though I love my boy so dearly, God sure knew how very much I would need my girls.

Age 32-33: Raising babies & working hard – these years were a mixture of loving life and a lot of pain and growth. Read my book!

Age 34: My husband came home from rehab and to say the least, God provided a miracle in both our lives and in our marriage. All praise be to God!

Age 35: Our miracle baby, Elena James was born! She is the epitome of joy, a true gift from above. (See my Miracle Baby blog)

Age 36: Jose’ and I got to build our dream home next door to ALL my family! I gave homeschooling a try due to the pandemic. It was an incredible opportunity to stay home with my children and enjoying those first years having them with me in our new home were invaluable.

Age 37: I spent many nights up writing and many early mornings praying. Anxiety and depression hit me hard, harder than I ever imagined it could. I learned and experienced how desperate I was for God to provide a miracle of relief to get through. God gave me Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer you shall receive.” I clung to those verses for dear life. I metaphorically “Threw anxiety and depression into the sea,” literally every morning. I truly believe that God can and will move mountains in our life when we fervently pray and believe for it. There is nothing our God cannot do. As my faith continued to stretch, so did my burden for my hometown as I began to pray for “Mission Bluffton.” Looking back now, I had no idea as I began to pray for “Mission Bluffton,” the organization Everyday Mission Trip I serve with now was being birthed!

Age 38: I became an author! I released my first book, “The Devil Messed With the Wrong Girl.” It goes in detail through mine and Jose’s marriage through addiction, betrayal and finding our way in submitting to Christ to forgive one another and find healing in Christ to restore our marriage.

Jose' and I celebrated our TEN YEAR Anniversary!

My step-daughter Ariana got married! I gained a son-in-law, the most incredible young man I am so blessed to have in my life- David, I love you so much!

Homeschool came to an end. Though it was sweet and fond memories were made that I’ll never forget….they are happily in school and I am happily continuing to drop them at school! LOL 😊

My Class of 2002 from HHCA celebrated our 20-year class reunion!

Age 39: I joined Propel Ecclesia, a women’s cohort group designed to connect with women all around the country to step out in faith in God’s call in your life. I met Christine Caine – a dream of mine!

I sought after local ministries and began volunteering and later joined Everyday Mission Trip, where I now serve as communications director and am loving every minute!

After three years of praying and contemplating, I successfully hosted Bluffton’s first annual Walk For Freedom against human trafficking!

I began my next pursuit with counseling through the American Association of Christian Counselors and joined the Life Coaching certification program I plan to complete by March, 2024.

I am now dreaming into women’s ministry and what it would look like to do full time ministry alongside of EMT with counseling and motherhood.

Age 40…starts in the morning! I look forward to all God has in store this next decade!

A few words of encouragement to you as I look back over the last 10 years. They were full of blessing and more to be grateful for than I could have asked or imagined for. The emotional pain I went through in my early 30’s was worse than I ever could have imagined. But now, looking back, I am so thankful for every moment. I know that sounds crazy. But every moment of pain was a moment that had me on my knees clinging to Christ and drawing closer to my Savior. When we are comfortable in life, we don’t cling to God in ways we do when we are in desperation.

If you find yourself in a pit, walking through healing from tragedy or going through a mental health crisis or life just has you in a hard place – remember that Christ is with you through it all and that He has a plan for you. I know with certainty that the Lord used my pain to draw me closer to Him – and I am eternally grateful that He loved me enough to allow me to endure, to be patient with me through the lessons, that He never left my side, and that He brought Jose’ and I out of the pit our marriage was in and brought us back to life and restored our marriage. I am so thankful that He used the pain to strengthen my friendship with my spouse, to give me Christ’s lens to see him through rather than the lens of my pain.

I encourage anyone going through pain to ask God to show you the people in your life through the lens of Christ.

It is so hard to hold a grudge or anger over someone when you choose to see them the way God sees them. It is hard to refuse forgiveness when you look at God’s forgiveness and grace over you. When I look back at all I’ve been through and all God has blessed me with, it gives me a heart to go and tell others all He has done for me. That’s why I chose to write our story, “The Devil Messed With the Wrong Girl.” That is why I believe God has called me into ministry, because through counseling and life experience, I know the depth of the pain people are in, and I know the depth of faith in which I have in Christ who can and has overcome it all for us by His death and resurrection on the cross of Calvary.

Moving into 40, I hope to spend this next decade leading people to Christ and spreading His love throughout the world. I look forward to serving our community more through local missions with EMT and in planning and implementing future events to serve for God’s glory. I hope to serve and love my kids better than I ever have. I hope to let go of the small things and enjoy the present moment more. I intend to plan for margin in my calendar and intentional time to always play with my family. I hope to be the best version of me for Jose’ that I may serve my spouse in a way that honors him and keeps our home a safe sanctuary to come home to. I hope to let go of guilt and choose every day to see myself the way God sees me – His child, dearly beloved, daughter of the King.

I chuckle as I write this post I know I will fail miserably in all these things, but I know I will never cease trying to be all God has me to be for my family, for my hometown, and for all the places He leads me. Though I fail, He will sustain me and carry me on – as He will do for you.

So Goodbye 30’s – off to bed and headed into the next decade, but by the grace of God!

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