Category Archives: Marriage

next up on a journey of joy…

So, I haven’t written an update in nearly a year. What’s in a year?? Well, a lot has happened in the last year, so I guess I will just dive in from when we last “conversed”. =^)

I had been hired by a nonprofit organization, Crescendo Preparatory School of Music and Arts, last June. While that was an incredible experience, it wasn’t where I would land ultimately. In January the school closed suddenly due to financial issues, and so I prepared to move on with the next adventure in my great journey! Backing up a little bit to last October, my e-shweet dude, Roberto Ganoza of Roberto Ganoza Photography, proposed marriage to me. I accepted happily! That was a bit of a surprise! My Beto in general was a surprise from the Lord. An incredibly wonderful surprise and blessing for sure! We were married in March, and have been enjoying marriage to the fullest! There is NOTHING like marriage to teach you just how much of a sinner you are. Golly…it isn’t easy, but it is so worth it!

The Ganoza's

Jumping forward to this Summer…I finished up my prerequisites at Alvin Community College for nursing school, and I applied to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. I was accepted and I started at the beginning of May. I am doing the accelerated program, and I really am enjoying it! It isn’t easy, but I know the time I spend at UTMB will be a great time of learning and growth. Nursing is such a foreign language to me, well…science in general is a foreign language to me, but I am starting to get the hang of it! I am determined to NOT be the nurse who kills her patients…or almost kills her patients. =^)

It really is amazing how time flies, and before you know it your whole life is completely different! I have learned, although I don’t always apply the knowledge, that you just can’t count on life being the same day in and day out…year in and year out…you have to be ready for change, and you have to just buckle up and enjoy the ride! It is so much better that way!

Well, I guess I don’t have much to say unless you want to hear all about disease pathology and etiology. Nah…you don’t! TRUST ME! I know that something is going on with my spiritual life, but I’m not ready to talk about that yet. Mainly because I don’t really know what is going on there. Time will tell.

*Insert wise and clever ending to post* =^)

IMG_9388_02

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Marriage, Nursing School

an update…sorta…

There have been so many changes in the last several months, and I have neglected to keep you all informed of the mighty way God has been working in my life. It’s coming…and very soon.

Stay tuned!

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Family, Loss, Marriage, Relationships

love story: part 2…

If you missed part 1 I would suggest catching up before continuing.

So where was I? Oh, yes…

I lived in fear of him eventually not wanting me, so I pushed him away and found reasons why he wasn’t good for me. And, he eventually decided he didn’t want to marry me. Remember, there are two sides to every story. This is my blog, and I will only ever discuss my faults and sins.

Now, I have a gown I’ll never wear, a veil I’ll never wear, and a stack of bridal magazines I don’t even know with what to do…

But….

This isn’t the end of the story. I promised you a love story, and I promised you a surprise.

My initial reaction was to be angry, bitter, hateful, and embarrassed. In a way, I felt like a jilted bride…I had to endure the questions of friends and family as to how E was doing, and did not I “miss him terribly!?” Then came the looks of pity and sorrow for me as I explained we were no longer engaged. It was as if my heart were being ripped from my chest every time.

I’ve been going through the motions, feeling hurt, feeling confused, and teetering on the edge of wanting to scream at God, “Will it ever be my turn!?!?!”

And then the love story truly unfolded as God wrapped His perfect, capable arms around me, held me close, and whispered sweetly to me….

“Trust me. I love you.”

All this time, the love I’ve been craving and seeking has been there the whole time. All this time, I had all I needed.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (ESV)

Take a moment to read this verse again…

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..”

Christ left His perfect and heavenly home to take on the form of sinful man and live among sinful men…why? So He could pursue us…so He could love us…so He could lay His life down for us so we would be redeemed.

Soak it in…this truth, which Christ is as the second half of this verse states.

We think of love as this fuzzy feeling we get when a cute boy or girl enters the room and our stomachs twist and turn…our hearts race…and we can’t seem to make a coherent sentence…at least this is what the world feeds us as “love”.

The truth about love: it’s an action. It is a daily action of dying to yourself, and placing someone else’s needs above your own. That is exactly what Christ did for us…

He left His home. He left behind His comfort. He suffered the limitations of His new form. He endured the sin all around Him. He did this because it was what “we” needed, and He cared more about what “we” needed than what might make Him more comfortable. He didn’t HAVE to die for us…God didn’t HAVE to save any of us, but He did because He loves us…

“ But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God..” Ephesians 2:4-8 (ESV)

We were dead. We needed to be made alive. So Christ sacrificed everything to pursue us because of His great love for us.

I’ve known this…always known this…but I still don’t always embrace it.

I don’t regret my time with E. I will always treasure it. I learned so much about the vastness of God’s love and forgiveness. E was an instrument of change in my life. Our time together opened my eyes to who it was God had fashioned me to be…and who it was He had called me to be…

Wholly His. No matter the cost…I belong wholly to Christ. And I will submit to His headship.

I laid marriage on the metaphoric alter. Will I ever get married? I don’t know. Will I ever lack a beautiful love story? No. I have the privilege of living out the most incredible love story ever, and so do you…all you have to do is surrender to Him.

“For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17 (ESV)

Next on A Journey Of Joy: forgiveness.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Loss, Marriage, Relationships

love story: part 1…

I want to tell you a love story. The most romantic love story you’ll ever read, and you’ll be surprised as to who it really is about…

I met E on November 1, 2011. It was a day like any other, except for the fact that I was in a foreign country surrounded by people, places, and languages not familiar in any way to me. Already in a state of hurt and confusion from circumstances not necessarily beyond my control, I was definitely not on the lookout for a “man”…in fact, I had finally (and I say finally because this is a lesson I should have learned long ago) acknowledged to God that I was not a good picker of men.

I’m sitting in the offices of HaChotam, a Christian publishing company in Israel, stuffing envelopes (don’t judge…it is very complicated…stuffing envelopes) when this guy walks in. I’m introduced to him, and that was that. I wasn’t thinking anything in particular. As conversation flows all around me, in a language I definitely do not understand, the next thing I know I’m going to be going to the desert with this strange man in a little over a week’s time.

I see E over the next few days at various church functions. He is kind and translates for me, so I’m not totally in the dark.

Finally, the time comes for the trip to the desert. E is gracious and is concerned about my not having the appropriate clothing for the hike. Now…allow me to clarify something here…E is roughly two or three inches shorter than me, and definitely about 40lbs lighter than me. So, when he sends me thermal underwear so I won’t freeze at night in the desert…it was cute. He’s a guy…he doesn’t know, but he was concerned about my wellbeing. For that I was touched. So, E picks me up to drive down south to meet up with some biblical college students for the two day hike.

In an effort to keep some things private, and to not make you read an novel, let me just say I had never been treated better by a man who had no reason to be kind to me…until the second time E would spend a day with me. But I get ahead of myself.

Two days in the desert in Israel. It was incredible. E and I were able to get to know one another, and, as we drove back to Gan Yavne on Friday, we laughed and talked about how the Lord had lead us to where we both were today. I knew God was doing something in my heart that day, but I was scared. Any girl who has ever had her heart broken knows when something good comes into her life…the fear that paralyzes…it is overwhelming.

I was staying with a kind family while in Israel, and in Israel Friday night is the Sabbath meal. E joined us for dinner that night, and I remember thinking I desperately wanted to talk to him…but I didn’t want anyone to know I might just be “crushing” on this guy I had just met, so I tried to play it cool. I didn’t want to be THAT girl!

The evening progresses in a language I don’t understand, and the next thing I know E has agreed to take me sightseeing later in the week (for the sake of my pride I will choose to not admit to the girlish joy I had at the prospect of spending an entire day with this man…this is me not admitting). E departs for the evening, and I go to bed with great anticipation at seeing him the following morning for church.

After a restless night, morning dawns, and I finally am able to dress in something other than jeans and a t-shirt (maybe I wanted to look nice…maybe). I go to church, and wouldn’t you know…E ignores me! Ha! Ignores me! That jerk…I was highly disappointed. Eventually he does say hello, but not until the very end of the service! The audacity of him! :^)

Again, for the sake of privacy, I will choose to fast forward to the most amazing day of my life…the day E asked me to be his wife.

E picked me up eaaaarlly to drive north for the day. Several stops were on the agenda. Unfortunately for us, the typically dry weather decided to be atypical. The skies opened up and rain poured down on the dry Israeli landscape. Good for Israel…bad for tourists.

As E showed me around all day, I was struck by his continuous consideration for my health and wellbeing…for his thoughtfulness in ensuring I was never hungry or thirsty…for his generosity in taking care of me the entire day. We laughed, we talked, and we shared our hearts with one another. It was truly a beautiful day despite the dreariness of the weather. I learned much about historical and biblical sights, and I learned much about the man with whom I would eventually fall in love…if I wasn’t already in love with him to some degree. I was blown away by God’s blessing in the form of such a wonderful day. As E drove me home, I realized I didn’t want the day to come to an end. We pulled up to my host family’s home, and E gave me two gifts: one of which was a ring. He also gave me space to make my decision. As only a gentleman would do.

I left Israel a day later, and, to my delight, E surprised me at the airport to say goodbye. Again, caring for me in a manner I was definitely not accustomed to, and God giving me a glimpse at the man who could potentially be my husband…a glimpse at his giving nature, his protective nature, and his generous nature…all qualities to be desired in a potential mate.

Well, I did eventually say yes. The enormity of my decision was overshadowed by the excitement of planning a wedding. I would be a liar if I said I never dreamed about being a bride…of being able to buy those bridal magazines, of being able to plan the special day, of going dress shopping (which I found out was not nearly as fun as it may seem), and ultimately saying “I do” to the man who would be my new headship.

Eventually life slowly invaded my “bride” haze, and my fears began to sneak into my heart. I have a fear of commitment. There. I said it. I self destruct relationships. Especially my relationship with God. I’m really good at pushing God away.

No one is perfect. I’m not perfect. E isn’t perfect. But I think I expected him to be…if I expected him to be perfect, and he wasn’t, then I would have great cause to jump ship.

Where is all of this going, you are probably asking? Well, hang in there with me…

love story: part 2 coming soon…

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Marriage, Relationships

trying to decipher god’s will and other unwise moves…

“When you let go and let God…”

“When one door closes He opens another…”

“Trying out the bark collar to see what it feels like for your dog…”

No, really…my bro tried out the bark collar once just to see what it felt like for the dog. Thankfully he hesitated about placing the collar around his neck and opted for the arm, instead. Regardless, the outcome was the same: pain.

Isn’t that true when we fight so hard to decipher God’s will for our lives? We end up in pain? I must come to the same realization a hundred times in a week: I don’t understand God and His will, and yet I can’t seem to ever stop trying just the same.

David Platt once gave a sermon on God’s will, and it really has stuck with me for a while now…not that I seem to always apply it to my life…

He taught on the idea of God not having a specific will for each of us, but rather He gives us the opportunity to be a part of His will for humanity. This shifts the focus away from “us” and back to God. God…what is Your will for ME….what do you want ME to do…please help ME to know how to serve You….blah blah blah…

I do this all the time. Well, I did this all the time. I’m improving. Many thanks to the Lord for this and every other thing about my life!

Ok, so where am I going with all of this? Well, Platt also said something else that really flipped a switch for me…

He said, and I paraphrase, that so many times we look for signs and closed/opened doors as confirmation of God’s will when some times God is saying, “Are you going to be faithful? Are you going to persevere? Are you going to give up? OR are you going to trust where I first led you and be persistent despite the roadblocks?”

This thought definitely ran through my mind not too long ago, and resonated with my heart in a very tangible way. I thought there was no hope. I thought there were closed doors. I thought…I thought…and then I stopped thinking and started to remember all that God had done. Started to speak truth to myself of how God has changed me in the last several months, and what He has used as the primary tool of sanctification: my relationship with E. And I knew I had to persevere.

No relationship is perfect, especially when dealing with imperfect people, and I have heard it said over and over again that you can’t choose who you love. Well, I think that is total hogwash. We choose who/what we love and how we show that love. For instance, look at our relationship with God. We don’t have fuzzy feelings drawing us to Him…He first chooses us and then we are able to come to Him. BUT our flesh fights against any love we might have for Him. He gives us the ability to consciously choose to die to ourselves and love Him every moment of every day. Are we always successful at loving God? You better answer no…cause you and I both sin every day in some way. Our sin is a direct reflection of our flesh not wanting to love God. Again, we are to pursue holiness, we don’t have to obtain it. We never will obtain it until we are with Him in eternity. That’s for another post…

My point: I found myself choosing to love me more than E. My mistake. I thank God for giving me a second opportunity at loving E as Christ loves E. I can only be successful if God gives me the grace to love E, and, for God to give me the grace to love E, I must ask for it every day. It’s the same with loving God. The only way we can be successful at loving God is if He gives us the grace to do so, but we must first ask for said grace.

The restorative power of His love and grace is absolutely incredible. I’m so very thankful for it. I’m so very thankful for E. I’m also excited to see how God continues to mold both E and I as we draw nearer to Him and to each other. I’m also thankful for David Platt helping me to understand that I will never understand God’s will for my life until I surrender my desire for a specific will and participate in His will for humanity…and for realizing sometimes you have to overcome the obstacles that seem like closed doors by being persistent and trusting what you know to be true instead of assuming because it is hard.

Does God give us marriage so we can understand more what it means to be His bride? Hmmm….perhaps the topic of a possible series? We’ll see….I should probably ask E before venturing out into what could be the most transparent things I could ever write.

To correct my previous post: I am definitely not single, but happily pursing and being pursed by a most precious gift from God: my sweet E.

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Marriage, Relationships