More Than Anything…

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted.. I’ve worked on a few things, but haven’t gotten around to finishing them. This one however has continually pulled me back in.

It was prompted by this song by Natalie Grant, “More Than Anything.”

It started me down a path wherein I became keenly aware of the thankfulness I now hold for the “thorn in my flesh.” For the very thing that robbed me of everything good in my life. For who I was, because I got to see who He is!

To many, you may not understand the why in how I could be thankful for the destructive path I was on. To others, you may very well have walked a similar path, and this will resonate with you. Whichever side you fall on… I pray that this will help you view your “thorn” in a much different way.

Before my “thorn”… I was living a life that was unfulfilled, always yearning for “more.” I had a beautiful life, yet I was so discontent. I had a hole.. one that seemed so deep that there was absolutely nothing that could fill it.It wasn’t until I was in a very desperate place, the darkest place, where I cried out to the only one that could rescue me. It was in that moment that the hole finally was being filled.

So many of us just wish for our temptations or trials to be removed. For life to be “easy.” If it was… how would we ever realize our desperate need for him? If our heart was never in a place of complete desperation… how would we experience the unexplainable peace that comes from walking with Him?

To this day, that thorn, the one that robbed me of absolutely everything good, has kept me close to my savior.

It has helped me want the savior.. more than the saving.

The healer, more than the healing.

The giver, more than the giving.

Jesus…. more than anything!!

Thankful for my 2 years of sobriety! Thankful for the freedom I have from the power that thorn had in my life!! Because of Christ!!

6. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

7. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


Salt and Pepper (No, not the Band!)

The peanut butter to my jelly. The cream to my coffee. The cheese to my macaroni……My children to me! Without them, life would be rather blah!

The other day my 11 year old daughter grabbed my arm, weaved hers around mine, and started singing these words: “I’m like a part of you mom, I’m never letting go.”

My first thought: Good! Please don’t!!

My second: You ARE a part of me. The very BEST part of me.

This is exactly how I feel about each one of my children. In the words of Jerry Maguire… “they complete me!” ((I apologize for that overused reference.))

My children have all had to face some giant obstacles and tragedies in their lives. One being.. the addiction to opiates that rendered both of their parents absent from their lives; Me sporadically, their father permanently. They’ve been through some really “tough” stuff.

Looking at them you really wouldn’t be able to tell. They are happy, healthy, hilarious, intelligent, kind, compassionate, amazing little people!! (My parents had a lot to do with this. When we stepped out, they stepped in! They have loved and nurtured them like their own. The debt I owe to them is truly insurmountable!)

This next part, may very well bore the average reader… but I feel the need to write this down for myself. For them. And have felt the “tug” to do so for a while now, so here’ goes.

Maria…. My oldest child… at 17 years, she is intelligent, extremely strong willed (oh, so her dad in this instance), self-sufficient, an amazing dancer, and has a heart of gold. She loves intently. She is so forgiving but is also cautious. She was the child that was forced to grow up the fastest because of our choices; but has gracefully emerged into a beautiful young woman, who I am so proud of. Your future is so bright, my dear!

Jeremiah… My 15 year old son, reminds me so much of his father. His intelligence. His humor. His sarcasm. He truly is the best things that His father was. He loves deeply. His level of empathy for those who hurt around him is surpassed by few. You amaze me daily, my boy!

Hannah… My 13 year old… She is a whirlwind of quick-whit(again, her father) and feistiness. She is kind. She is compassionate. Hilarious. Sooo smart, sometimes too smart. She is a performer by nature, which is evident by her love for Dance. Man, do I love watching you, banana!!

Sophia… My 11 year old has one of the very kindest hearts I’ve ever known. She is sweet. She is gentle. Silly. And definitely not shy. And I absolutely love how little babies melt her heart! She is a little mama in the making! Child, someday some little ones are going to be so very lucky to call you “Mommy!”

And last but not least… Jaxson, my 7 year old. Our new beginning. That is what he once represented for his father and me. He is goofy, loving, and ready to defend anyone that needs defending!! He fights for what he believes is right. I know someday you will do great things, baby boy!

I am excited for what the future holds for each one of these amazing children. I love each one of you… more than you’ll ever know!

((Rather old… but one of my favorites of all of us))

Marred Image

Sometimes it is extremely difficult being comfortable in my own skin. I can tend to allow the opinions of others dictate how I feel about myself. I think that’s a common character defect for many people.

Not too long ago, I was talking to someone who I thought I hit it off with. Then certain things were revealed about my past…. Particularly my criminal background that existed because of my addiction. It was then that communication ceased all together. I’m not going to pretend that it didn’t “hurt.” Because it did. I really liked him.

I felt rejected… my past came back and punched me square in the face.

But after I dug deeper, I realized that he was right where I was so many years ago. Before my addiction, I was judge-mental and unforgiving. I thought I was “above” others.

Early on in my marriage, I was a stay at home mother. I made extra money by babysitting for various children. One of the mothers continually neglected to pick her child up on time, pay me, answer phone calls, ect. It was only a few weeks into watching her child that I learned her mother was a heroin addict.

Immediately disgust and self righteousness filled my heart and words. I said things along the lines of “what kind of mother would choose drugs over her children” …. and… “she doesn’t love her!!”… oh how those words will haunt me for the rest of my life!!

What the Lord has shown me through this is 2-fold:

1. For but by the grace of God there go I!!!

And there I went. I found myself in that women’s shoes only 6 years later. The very things I thought about her, others were (and still many probably are) thinking about me.

I know people view me in this way; Because If I’m not careful, I do it to others. Self-righteousness is such an ugly thing. Full of pride of oneself and disdain for others.

My father, for years, has told me to not build myself up on the false premise of “Well, I’m better than so and so because…”

But instead to compare myself to Christ. When we do that we truly realize that none of us are better off than any other. Only his blood can make a filthy wrench like me righteous.

2. It really only matters what God knows is true about me.

Let’s just be honest here. People will judge me for my past. I expect it. I’m ‘mostly‘ okay with it. I paved that road. Sowed those seeds. It is the reality I created for myself.

I will not however allow it to dictate how I feel about myself. (Both having to convince and remind myself of that on a regular basis) I will instead choose to concern myself with what I KNOW!

I know that He created me in His own image (Gen. 1:27). That He knit me together in my mother’s womb (Ps 139:16). That He knows the very number of hairs on my head and every word before I even speak it into existence (Mat 10:30, Ps. 139:4). I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139: 14). That is how my creator, my savior, my redeemer sees me. If so much care and concern go into ME, from the one who holds the entire world in His hands, then why should I be bothered by how others think of me.

He doesn’t see my marred past. In His eyes, I – Chrystal– was worth the Cross.

He looks at me, at my past, my present, and my future… and still willingly gave His life for mine.

And he did the same for you…

For God so loved the world (you!), that He gave he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

-John 3:16


I find myself in this rut over and over. Stuck on an island of discontentment.

Wishing things were different. My job, my parental role, my relationship status, the amount of time I have to serve…. I the list goes on and on.

These last few days it has been my parental role and my relationship status where discontentment has made a home for itself. These two things are something I struggle with more than anything else when it comes to being content. But during the holidays it’s just… harder. A lot harder!!

It’s not something I’m use to. I’m use to a house full of children with Ken by my side.

Comparison aggravates these feelings. To see others living what I once had… just makes me.. well jealous. Angry. Regretful. Sad.

You get the idea.

During times like these, God continues to remind me of a few things that help me to snap out of the pity party I’ve thrown for myself…..

1. You’re discontent because you’re self focused!

Did you see all of those “My, My, My’s” at the beginning of this post? If I was kingdom focused, all of these thoughts and feelings would be non-existent. When I am self-focused, there will ALWAYS be some part of my life I will be unhappy with.

2. This IS where God has me.

He has me in THIS place. I may have chosen the path I am on, because of choices I made in the past; but he has also chosen to keep me walking this path. This is HIS will for MY life in THIS moment.

3. Do not compromise.

Oh man!! It would be so easy to. However, I’ve been outside of Gods will far too many times by making compromises and have suffered the consequences.

One thing I’ve repeatedly told myself since I’ve heard it… “It is better to NOT HAVE what you WANT, then to HAVE what you DON’T WANT!!”

Get that?! I’m so thankful that He has helped me to stay steadfast in the convictions He has given me in relation to any potential mate!


(I know, I know. We’ve already covered this in previous posts. I’m sorry if I’m starting to sound like a broken record.)

He most certainly is enough!! It is the devil who plays on my desires, my dreams, my wants. He knows me even better than I know myself, therefore He knows exactly how to “distract me.” It is the king of lies that allows me to believe that God’s Love isn’t enough!

After all it was the devil that caused Eve to become discontent. If He can create a spirit of discontentment in Eve, who should’ve by all accounts been completely content in every possible way, then why should I ever be surprised that He is trying to constantly do the same to me!

5. He wants me to grow me.

Well, he always want this for us. But experience has proven that in those “difficult” moments, I grow the most. I know it’s absolutely because it’s when I seek Him the most, with my WHOLE heart!

I’ve found that, often times, the things we can’t change…. end up changing us!! Thankful for the continued journey of learning to be content IN HIM!!

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content – Philippians 4:11

Not Just Any Ol’ Prince Charming 

It was a long day. A 10 hour shift. I headed over to my mothers, after she extended an invite for dinner. Two things I will never say no to: 1. Time with my children and parents! 2. Italian! (There!! You have the keys to my heart!)

As I was sitting there, I scrolled through Facebook. I saw that another one of my friends entered into a relationship. Just as soon as I saw it, the words came out of my mouth… “Everyone has a boyfriend, except me.”

My mothers response was quick, matter of fact, and exactly what I needed to hear….. “Anyone can get a boyfriend, Chrystal. You could walk out that door right now and get one. The difference is you’ve chosen to wait for God to bring you the right man.”

She quickly reminded me that I had made a decision. One I knew the Lord clearly asked me to. To wait on Him! To not settle. To not entertain the thought of being with someone that would cause my relationship with the Lord to falter, but instead one that would enable it to grow!! Someone who walked with Christ daily. Someone that would love Christ more than anything or anyone, including me!!

I made this decision during my time in the post graduate program at RU recovery ministries. After a series of events early in my program, I realized how vital it was to my walk with Christ that I made this decision.

I have made compromises along my life’s path for men. Two in particular. Those compromises lead to huge disasters. (I’m not trying to place the blame on others for the disaster that became my life over and over, stay with me here, you’ll see the point I’m trying to make!)

Previously, I always viewed myself as “submissive!” What I didn’t realize then was the “WHY” for my submissiveness!

Sure the Bible calls women to be submissive to their husbands, the church to their pastor, the people to their government, and of course… the Christian to God; But my submissiveness wasn’t built on these directives. It was built on an idol complex.

Simply, a man has always surperceeded God on His throne, in my heart. I needed them to fill a hole that I wasn’t allowing God to fill. To fulfill needs that I believed God couldn’t meet. These were tough truths to swallow about myself.

I made certain choices in life to accommodate the relationships. To prove my love. To be who they wanted me to be, so that they could be who I NEEDED them to be.

One of the things my late husband use to say to me was “I love you for the way you love me. For how you see me. No matter if I’m doing good or bad, you still love me.” (For those of you who don’t know, but might be reading this… My husband died of a heroin overdose in early 2015. We both entered into our addiction together during a time in our life where sorrow was the place we called home.) When he said those words to me, it was during a sweet moment when we were walking in victory and Satan’s grasp had lost its hold on us, at least for a few short years.

It was the memory of those words that the Lord prompted me to take a look at why I was the way I was with men. And what it all meant.

A few things he showed me during the sweet time that I sought his face through this were:

1. Don’t Doubt Gods ability to fulfill all of my needs!!! But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19. He can fulfill every single one of them, only IF I allow Him to!

2. Don’t get ahead of God. There are so many verses about waiting on Him!! Through my life’s journey I’ve realized that there is nothing outside of Gods will that I want for my life, including a man….therefore, I will wait on Him!

The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the LORD. -Lam 3:24-26

3.Don’t settle. God may or may not have a man for me, but Satan definitely has one!! Be certain you can spot the fake!

4. Hide yourself!! God doesn’t need your help! Putting yourself out there will not attract the kind of man you desire or need, anyways!! Gods word tells men: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing….” To find something it MUST be hidden right?!

This last one can be so difficult. In a world where you can “swipe” left or right to choose a potential mate, it is hard to not fall prey to giving God a little “help!” It’s easy for Satan’s whispers to get in there and tell me lies that I start to believe, causing me to want to take control and do the finding!!! But then I’m gently nudged by that still small voice that says….




Thankful today for my very Best friend, my mother, who He has used time and time again to nudge me back to the cross!!

In Someone Else’s Shoes

Almost two weeks ago now, my immediate family received some news we were devastated to hear. 

My sister who is away at a faith based addictions program had been medically discharged.  For those of you that do not know my family personally, this is the same inpatient program that the Lord gave me my victory at! The very one where I learned how to walk with Jesus! 

I won’t get into why she was discharged, because really the why isn’t important. It’s what the Lord has shown me, and her, through the entire situation, that is. 

1. He can handle any “mess!” Don’t doubt him! Don’t try to manipulate the situation, even if you have the best of intentions!! 

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6

Oh, how we wanted to fix the situation!! And we tried. Phone calls were made, texts were sent.

All the while, I KNEW in the back of my head that God knew. That He was working. I even said things like, “what we need to be doing is praying!…. He cares…. He’s brought Her this far, He’s not just going to abandon her now!” Yet, I still felt the need to intervene and convince those that made the decision that it wasn’t the right one! That Her life laid in the balance! 

However, I’m thankful they didn’t waiver, and stuck to their decision! I know without a shadow of a doubt, God has used in a mighty way….. you’ll see why shortly. 

2. Don’t doubt for a second that your choices don’t have a great affect on those that love you!! It’s painful being on the outside looking in. 

For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. – Romans 14:7

It gave me a new perspective. I was once in her place. The one causing all sorts of pain, worry, anger, discouragement, and heartache. I trampled on the hope my family had, time and time again. To finally feel just a glimmer of what they felt was heartrenching for many different reasons. 

In the past, I knew the pain I must have had been causing, but I had never “felt” it before. Not this kind. I had always wept for what I had been doing or what I did (usually when the drugs wore off) but never for a situation quite like this. It’s so hard when your looking from the outside in, just praying they would “get it!” That she would realize that Jesus is THE answer!! That He has a beautiful life for her!! One that we so desperately want to be a part of!! 

3. Gods plans are ALWAYS better than ours!! 

Sometimes the opposite of what we think should happen, is exactly God’s plan. His design. I’m 100% positive that those that made the decision to discharge her, prayed before making it. It wasn’t one made flippantly. 

Prior to the series of events that lead us to exactly where we are at today, I don’t believe my sisters heart was where it needed to be. Not for true lasting victory, anyway. 

You know the sayings.. “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone!” … or…. “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Both of these statements are true of how my sister now feels about “that place”…. “those people.” Sometimes the best way to appreciate something is to be without it for a while! 

Before… in her words she “would’ve rather been in jail”….. now she would do anything to get back there! 

I truly believe that this needed to take place. Because if the Lord tarries, and she is allowed back there; those that are charged with her care will finally be able to minister to her. Their words (and more importantly Gods!) will not fall on unfertile ground! 

My prayer for her whatever may happen in the next coming weeks.. That she would allow Him to change her completely!!! Into His image!! That her heart would be soft. That she would seek him with every being in her! That she would desire Him more than the things this world has to offer!! That her relationship with Him would be sweet. 

I’m not sure what her future holds. But I’m confident God does!! I do know however, that the change that I’ve seen in her heart is the most encouraged I’ve been since we’ve started on this journey!! 

I’ve said it before, to many people, I’ll say it again…. Gods word NEVER returns void!!! Thankful for this truth and the visible evidence of that in her life from the many seeds that were planted during her time there!! 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) 


Having the right perspective about any given situation can completely change a whole host of things. Beginning with your attitude and ending with your choices that result in the path you find yourself on. 

My perspective nearly 2 years ago now, lead me into the arms of someone who was not good for me, while simultaneously leading me away from my family, from my kids, from everyone that meant the world to me. I had been back on the path into their lives, when my feet followed His feet. 

What was my perspective you might be wondering. Well for starters it was rooted in pity! My entire being was completely enveloped in it!  I lost “him”. I lost “them.” I lost “me” Thats what I was consumed with. 

Often, very often actually, people would co-sign my self pity! They would say things like: “awww you’ve been through so much! You poor thing!” These types of comments made it easier for me to play the victim. They made it easier and acceptable to “wallow.” 

I was so self-focused. I was stuck in the “why me!?” 

In the “there’s no coming back from this, not fully anyways!”

 In the “I deserve him. I deserve this!”

 In the “God doesn’t care”…. “God doesn’t want me back,”  

In the…. “they ARE all better off without me” 

Oh the lies Satan told me about myself. They were too many to count. They were what I clung to. What I wallowed in. What I believed with everything in me! They are what laid the ground work for my perspective.  For the path I found myself on. 

I couldn’t see past the “mess” of my life, much of it created by my very own hands! At the same time, unwilling to take responsibility for it. Instead I wanted to wade in those deep waters of self pity, where I was drowning. 

What changed you might be wondering? Well isn’t it obvious? It was my perspective. I am no longer waring from the wrong position!! I no longer stand looking at my life through the lenses of the world. 

It took some time. It took a lot of hard work. Dedication. Understanding. Willingness to admit that perhaps I am “wrong!!”

I am now able to see my life through the telescope of Gods word. 

Through the magnifying glass in my saviors hands. 

I see it with His eyes, and not my own! 

I no longer look at myself as Hopeless. Something the World once told me I was! Over and over!

I no longer see my role in my children’s lives as minimized. Oh how great an influence I can be!! How mighty I can show them that My Jesus is!! The one whom redeemed their mother from the wiles of the enemeys hand!! The one whom sustains her!! Her true source of Joy admits her circumstances!! 

I no longer see myself as “useless.” You see, I AM a daughter of a king. I am made in HIS imagine. I have a great message to share!! One of redemption and hope. 

I am no longer a slave to sin. The evil one can no longer take me captive at “his will!” I am free!!

He has traded me beauty for my ashes, the oil of joy for my mourning, the garment of praise for my spirit of heaviness…. That I might be called a tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that HE might be glorified!! (Isaiah 61:3, paraphrased) 

Thankful today for my position in Christ and the perspective that comes with it!! 

A Pit of Regret

Regret. If I’m not careful, it grips me. When it happens, there is this deep pit in my stomach. A kind of anxiousness washes over me. Because of everything I’ve done. Moments I’ve missed. Everyone I’ve hurt. Those I’ve lost.


It happens when I look at pictures of my children that took place when I was in my addiction, jail, or rehab. Pictures of my sister and her husband, my adorable nephews. Of my amazing parents. A cousins missed wedding. My Kids Christmas performances at school. Dance Recitals. Taekwondo test days for my sons.  It happens when I look at the text messages my mother still has that my husband sent her before he passed away. It happens when I look at our old family pictures when our life was…. beautiful.

Sometimes I think it would just be a good idea to put the pictures away. To not look at the text messages. To ignore any reminder of moments I’ve missed.

Avoidance. I often feel like it would be the “right” choice in this instance.

But then I realize…. No, It wouldn’t. Pretending like those things never happened doesn’t make anything different. It doesn’t make my poor choices go away. They did happen. My life is living proof.

Those reminders, the ones that are so painful, urge me to “keep doing the next right thing.” Because I never want to miss out on another moment. Ever!!

Oh it’s so easy to beat myself for all the wrong I’ve done. For the hurt I’ve caused.

But that does no one any good. Especially not myself.

Often this leads to self pity. Which is a form of pride. It’s ugly. It takes the focus off of others, off of God, and places it on self.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s wrong to mourn over our sin. To have a ‘broken and contrite heart’!!

Originally that’s where it starts for me. But if I wallow in it for too long, like I did tonight, it turns into more. This is when it becomes a problem. Rather a Sin.

I know we all have things in our lives we regret. Perhaps your things haven’t been as life altering as my “things,” or perhaps they have.

What I want to share with you is a truth that I learned from RU recovery ministries. It is principle #10 (out of 10 principles) – God balances guilt with blame. Accept the blame and God will remove the guilt.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The key, once you’ve accepted the blame. Once you can honestly say, I did this. It wasn’t because you had a rough childhood. Or because your mom died. Or your boyfriend made you. You lost your job. Or You had some health issues.  Once you can take ownership of your mistakes, and you’ve laid it at the foot of the cross, You CANNOT keep picking it back up.

If only it was easier said then done. Right!?!

This is something I need to continually take to the feet my of my precious savior. Most of the time, I don’t get stuck in this rut. But there are some moments that Satan uses to get a hold of my heart and turn it from the Lord, towards myself. Towards my situation. When he condemns me and tells me I’m no good because of who I WAS. What I DID.

His goal: To render me useless. To get me all tangled up in a web of emotions. To render me incapable of being used by God!!

That is his goal for all christians. He knows He can no longer have our souls, but if he can get us to wallow in our self pity.. it won’t be long before we are unusable to Christ. Before we are too depressed to share the goodness of God with others. And even if we did share, why on earth would the listener believe a word we are saying!?!

It’s like seeking advice from a morbidly obese nutritionist. A Christian without joy, what does that look like to the world? Why would anyone want what we have if we are miserable? If we are mopey. If there is no joy? If when difficulties come we react the same as the world… With frustration. With anger. With bitterness. With fear.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Don’t live in the past. Bring your past mistakes to the cross, genuinely repent, and leave them there.

There is a reason the windshield is larger than the rearview mirror. The rearview mirror is important to see what’s behind you – But you need to focus on the windshield to make sure you don’t crash!


Learn More About Chrystal Here

Or read some of her other Posts:

Life’s Not Fair

A Deep Hole


Life’s Not Fair

Life’s not fair. I tell that to my children a lot. And perhaps it is good for us that it’s not. For me it has been.

This post was provoked by this Wednesday evening’s church service. The pews were not very full. There was maybe 25 people, including myself and 2 of my children.

Following the hymns and message we broke up into small groups to pray. For our church. Our Country. Our missionaries. Our families. Anything heavy on our hearts.

This night I had the privilege of praying with just 1 woman. This woman has been so kind and welcoming since I started attending this church just a few months ago. I can be a bit shy when I don’t know anyone. I’d describe myself as a introvert/extrovert. If I’m comfortable in my surroundings, if I know people, I’m outgoing. The opposite is also true.

We sat alone in the back of the church. She asked me if I had anything on my heart that I’d like prayer for. I told her about my sister in Rockford. And also my children – that they would desire a relationship with Christ and follow Him.

I then asked her the same question. She went on telling me about her marriage. Her husband. How he has stopped attending church. How he blames God for the way his life is. She made a statement that made my heart ache for him. He believes that since he has become a Christian, his life has been awful. I’m not sure what in particular he has experienced in life that has created this bitterness towards God, but I could definitely relate.

I’ve felt what he’s feeling. I know what bitterness towards God does to someone. I was where he is.


In my life, it was the death of two of my children that were the cause of my bitterness towards Him. I too believed in Him. I loved Him. Until my faith was tried. When I had to watch two of my children slip away into eternity, I stopped believing that the God I once loved, was good.

As has this Man. As do many.

Bitterness towards God breads distrust. Causing an inability to trust him with even the tiniest pieces of your life. It leads to anger – towards God and those around you. It spills out of you into all areas of your life.

Often times, in our finite view of God, we believe that He should remove the ‘difficulties’ that life brings. Those that our fallen world promise. We believe that we should be immune because we ‘love’ him. Because we are called by His name – ‘Christian.’

When I became bitter I knew that the Lord allowed what was happening. To Me. To My babies. To my husband. To my Family. I knew that everything that happened in my life, first passed through HIS hands!

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

What I didn’t realize at that time, was that he allowed it for a very specific purpose. For Good. For My Good!

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 

His purpose – to draw me to himself.

LoveStoryOur ways are not his ways. He knows exactly what we need. He allows things for reasons we may never know on this side of Heaven. There is not one thing that occurs outside his sustaining and intentional will. He blesses and curses. He gives and takes.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.Isaiah 55

I KNOW that I was able to fall so far from Him, because I never truly knew Him. My relationship was so superficial. There was no depth.

I didn’t know that…

He’s not inconsistent. He’s not unreliable. And he’s not removed. HE IS STEADFAST!

He never leaves you. (Mat. 28:20)

He cares about the smallest things in your life. Even the number of times you stand up and sit down (Ps 139:2). He knows the number of the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). He holds all of our tears in a bottle (Ps. 56:8).

The Key: Realizing that God loves you more than you can even begin to fathom. He isn’t up there surprised at what’s going on in your life. He isn’t mean. He isn’t Vengeful. Does He allow things? Yes, but they are always for a purpose, even if we can’t begin to understand what it could be.

Finally, I just wanted to add a little blurb about the paths we find ourselves on and the things that occur in our lives. Often times, we have no control over what happens. Other times, the choices we made brought us to where we are at. It’s called free will.

Our choices sometimes cause us to suffer unnecessarily. I made many of these types of choices over the years.

These choices resulted in a full blown heroin addiction. In the removal of my children from my care. In the death of my husband.

It’s easier to blame God then to take responsibility for our choices. Our Mistakes.

In conclusion – Yes, God is in control.

And He is good. Always.

Ask yourself: If life was all mountain tops with no valleys……. would we ever turn to Him? Would we ever realize our desperate need for him? I am so thankful for my valleys for they are where I’ve experienced His love. They are where I was able to see who He really was. My prayer that this man would truly know Christ, and that He is always good, despite life’s   circumstances.


Learn more about Chrystal Here




Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

I’m rubber your glue, whatever you say to me, bounces off of me and sticks to you.

If only these common childhood sayings were true.


Words. They have great power. They Build Up. They Tear Down. They Hurt. They Heal.  They Hinder. They Help. They Encourage. They Despair.

They are one of the most powerful weapons we have as humans. They are permanent. Spoken words cannot be erased.


What happens when you are the target of negative words. Do you retaliate? What do you do when those insults are true, or at least were true of you at one time. How do you respond?

Today I was faced with a situation much like this. This isn’t the first, and I know it will not be the last. The words cut into me like a knife. My pride welled up. I cried. I do that when I’m upset. Let’s just be real – I do it when I’m hurt, happy, sad, offended, etc. I’m an emotional person. As the saying goes, ‘I wear my heart on my sleeve.’ I hate that about myself.

The words came from one of my children. It was in a situation when I was trying to make her aware of her actions in that moment. She took that opportunity to bring up my past actions. I was trying to parent and she reminded me I had lost that right. She didn’t hold anything back. She only spoke two sentences. It happened in all of 3 seconds. I was vividly and painfully reminded of the mistakes I made that brought us to this very moment.

At first, my pride welled up. Stupid, right? I thought, you can’t do that! That’s so disrespectful! I’m trying so hard! That WAS me. That’s NOT me! I said a few things I wish I hadn’t. I’m sure she did as well.

I went to take a shower. So I could cry. And Pray…. and cry some more. While I was in there, I realized that if it hadn’t been true it wouldn’t hurt so bad. That I was reaping in that moment what I’ve sown in the past.

Most of the time, things are GREAT! But in times like these, I’m reminded how badly I’ve hurt those who I was entrusted to protect. How deeply I’ve wounded them. And now this was her chance to do the same to me. Hurt people, hurt people. Plain and simple.

It might sound odd, but I’m thankful for moments like this. It reminds me that my actions have consequences that are far beyound anything I can see.

It reminds me that my words have power.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof – Prov 18:21

It reminds me that my children are hurting, and need grace.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. – Eph 4:29

It reminds me that I need to be willing to forgive those that have wronged me, because I know how badly I want it from those who I have wronged.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you – Mat. 6:14

Thankful for the truths from the Bible that breath new life into my soul at times like these.

Really, I’m just thankful.

Thankful for my children.

Thankful for the valleys.

Thankful for His forgiveness.

Thankful for deliverance.



Learn more about Chrystal Here

Or read some of her other posts:
A Deep Hole
One Foot in the World