My Faith Walk- Part 7

by | Dec 12, 2022 | 4 comments

Like most of the world, 2020 marked a turning point for me.

Although our business had a record year, by the end of 2020 I felt like I was living in the Twilight Zone. When mid-January 2021 rolled around, I found myself in a very dark place.

What happened to our country?

What was happening to our world?!? Was this all real?!?

I thought to myself…

“All those years I prayed for children, only to bring them into THIS world? A world filled with such evil…and an Enemy bound and determined to dismantle all of God’s creation? How can I protect them?!?”

I felt hopeless. I was scared for our children and the world they were growing up in.

Was this what it was like in Sodom and Gommorah?!?

With Evil was running rampant in the world, as a Type A personality, I felt completely helpless. What could I do to make a difference?

I felt the Holy Spirit’s presence, as the Lord gently encouraged me:

“Trust Me. There’s no plan the Enemy can design that’s too big for Me. I’m still in control.”

With that, I felt a huge weight lifted off of me. Then the Lord invited me to lay my worries and fears at His feet and come to know Him through his Word.

From that moment on, I have had an unquenchable thirst to know everything about Him. Unfortunately, at the time I was a Church orphan.

We had gone to a large Methodist Church a few times before the world shut down, but we still didn’t have a Church home.

So I just watched a lot of sermons online from a variety of pastors. One of the pastors ended each sermon by encouraging us to find a Bible-based church… I didn’t know where to even start.

The Methodist Church was on the verge of a divorce… and I hated church politics. I just wanted a group of people who love Jesus, and would be willing to help me get to know him more and mature in my spiritual walk.

A few months later I was in our neighborhood coffee shop studying my Bible. I looked up and saw a man across the coffee shop with a computer and a Bible opened. The Holy Sprit pressed on me to go talk to the man because “he has something for you.”

Those of y’all that know me know that I’m not one to be shy…

So for a few minutes I tried to formulate something “nonchalant” that I could say to him, as I was walking out the door….

Maybe, I’ll say something like….

“Hey! What does the Good Book have for me today?”

or perhaps…

“This sounds weird, but the Lord said you have something for me today….so what do you have for me?”

I determined that both statements would make me look like a total weirdo, and while I would normally obey a prompting of the Holy Spirit…this time, my fear of looking like a moron to a stranger and likely neighbor got the best of me…

I walked out of the coffee shop curious what the guy had for me.

A couple of days later, I ran into Natasha at a soccer game. Our daughters had become friends that summer. (How cool is that?!? A fellow Natasha!)

We never had an occasion to really chat before, but as we did, I realized that we were in sync in our worldviews along with another mama, Cortney, who was also on our wavelength. It felt SO good to be around like-minded women.

I casually mentioned how I had been praying for like-minded friends. Natasha, realizing that I was a Christian asked what church we I went to.

I sheepishly responded that after 3 years we hadn’t found a church home…we really needed to start looking, but we hadn’t yet. She told me about her church–5 Stones– in downtown Franklin.

It was a small, welcoming church family, and the pastor and his wife lived in our neighborhood.

I was thrilled for the recommendation! The following day my sister-in-law and I walked through the doors of the church.

The pastor took the stage, and my jaw dropped to the floor.

It was the man from the coffee shop!

I couldn’t make this up, if I tried, y’all!

The music and the church service were amazing. Every single person I met was so warm and welcoming. The second week, I was shocked that many of the people I met the previous week came up to welcome me back…they knew me! That had never happened before at other churches. Even the pastor and his precious wife went out of their way to welcome me back.

I knew I had found my church home.

A couple of weeks later, the Church offered an opportunity to be baptized. Although I had been baptized as an infant and confirmed in the Catholic Church, I knew in my heart, that this was my next step–a public proclamation of my faith and a re-dedication of my life to Jesus Christ.

For most of my life, I was a BELIEVER, but not a FOLLOWER. I discovered, there are lots of Believers… Christians who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. But fewer are the people who are actually Followers. That is people who choose to lay down their life and their ways to follow God and put Him first. No matter the cost.

I was ready to put the Lord first in my life, so on December 12, 2021 I stood before my family and the congregation and made my public declaration of Faith. This is what I shared:

I asked Jesus into my heart when I was in the 7th grade. As I started reflecting on it, it was more of a “Jesus on Call” relationship…whenever I wanted to thank Him or whenever I needed something for myself or someone else.

The beginning of this year was really tough with all of the news, all of the events of the year it started getting me into a really down place which is really rough because I’m an inspirational speaker!” (the crowd laughed with me)

Finally, the Holy Spirit came to me and said ‘You have to get into the Word. And so I did. I started looking UP, and when I started looking up and walking that road with Christ making Him “All the Time” instead of just when I wanted to thank Him or needed something from Him, my life totally changed.

I knew this was the right moment for me…”

It was a Holy Spirit filled moment, that I will never forget.

My life irrevocably changed that day.

One year ago today.

Little did I know that the Enemy isn’t a fan of such events, and challenges were unleashed on my precious family like someone had kicked a hornet’s nest.

7 days later my son had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. He was discharged within 24 hours thank God.

3 days after that, I had to make an emergency trip to care for a family member who was extremely sick…

A couple of months later, one of the twins had to be rushed to the hospital in the ambulance again, this time we were admitted overnight.

I was shocked and beyond touched to hear that some of the women from our new church had heard about our son and rushed over with food so Richard and the other kids were taken care of. Not once in our previous church had anyone done something so kind for us.

That was the first of more trips to the hospital, emergency room and rides in ambulances than I had experienced in all of my 42 years.

In fact, I spent my 43rd birthday in a hospital bed with my son. He was hooked up to a monitor for a week–a squirmy 3 year old. It was heartbreaking.

The whole time, our new Church family supported us by providing meals and even sent a couple of precious women to come visit me, pray with me and brought us gifts to brighten up our hospital stay.

These women embody what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ.

I wrote several posts on Facebook about this season, if you want to read some of the journey and how the Lord walked with me…

Post 1 Post 2 Post 3 Post 4 Post 5 Post 6 Post 7

Post 8 Post 9 Post 10 Post 11 Post 12 Post 13 Post 14

{Side Note: I’ve barely scratched the surface of what was going on in our life…suffice it to say I felt like a hurricane had come in and shaken up every single facet of my life}

I want to tell you that while many would look at what our family went through and deem it evidence that God doesn’t care or doesn’t exist or isn’t really good all of the time…

I want to share my perspective…

While I felt many times that I was living in some sort of nightmare…God DID care. God very much exists and WAS present as the hurricane winds of adversity raged in my life.

God is all knowing so He set me up in advance with the support I needed. After decades of never feeling like I had a church home… a month before things started coming at me- He connected me to a precious, loving church family.

A month or so before that, I connected with Melanie, a new friend and spiritual mentor and an intercessory prayer team.

That was all God.

He even made sure that although we lost our nanny in this season, Melinda, our first baby nurse– and the only woman I would trust besides family to stay with our kids– was available to support us part-time.

Not only that…Melinda’s daughter had symptoms similar to our son- so she told us about the medicine that “cured” her child over a decade earlier. That recommendation for an older medicine ended up being our son’s exact cure and an end to 9 weeks of absolute hell for our family. (Side note: the doctor’s weren’t planning on using this medicine, but at my inquiry, the team agreed it was worth a shot.)

Others with our son’s diagnosis are not as lucky…in fact that odds were totally stacked against us. They normally go through 10+ meds over a course of years…many never being cured. But like I told you, when it comes to our Almighty Father in heaven, statistics and odds are irrelevant.

Our son’s rapid turnaround is literally miracle- a testament to the work of the Great Physician. As long as I have breath in my lungs, I will share this story from the mountain tops.

God was with me in the darkest storms of my life. He provided everything we needed. He’ll do the same for you too.

Looking back, navigating this dark season was SO different from past ones because this time, I was ALL IN. A Follower not just a “believer”.

I leaned 100% on the Lord and His strength because I had none. The stormy season had taken everything out of me. I grew closer to the Lord and He changed me. I experienced the Phillipians 4:7 peace: “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.”

I had countless women come to me and ask me “how could I possibly be as calm and at peace as I was given the circumstances?”

Was it my awesome family support system?

My years of study in personal development?

Meditation?

My positive mindset?

No, it wasn’t… my answer is simple:

Jesus.

Jesus is the reason. My relationship with Him is what held me up. I have a stronger relationship with Him now because of this season (which I’m still navigating by the way…the challenges haven’t slowed down, they’ve only changed!)

I now have a far better understanding of and can testify to the truth and wisdom of James 1: 2-4, which says:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

James 1:2-4 (ESV)

This verse became my theme of this season. I do count it all Joy. If I have to walk through fire- but the result is that I am closer to the Lord and I am able to help inspire others to walk with Him too…then I say, bring on the heat. I’m ready to go.

Are you?

I have to say that of all of the things I’ve written, including my best-selling book… it’s been THIS series that has brought me the most joy.

I LOVE having the opportunity to unapologetically give all glory and honor to the One who made me and who brought me to where I am today…. and to my Savior, that paid the ultimate price so that I could live with the Holy Spirit within me, and have a personal relationship with God-my Heavenly Father!

This super long post wraps up My Faith Walk series!

I’m excited to continue this journey and share with you what I’ve been learning and things placed on my heart to share with you.

Did you miss the Other Posts in this Series?
Read Part 1

Read Part 2

Read Part 3

Read Part 4

Read Part 5

Read Part 6

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4 Comments

  1. Ruth Smith

    Lump in my throat … tears in my eyes. You are beautiful, Natasha, and the way you share is touching and inspiring! I am so appreciative that you follow the Lord’s nudges and model that for us to do the same. Psalm 59:10 “My faithful God will come to meet me; God will let me look down on my adversaries.” (CSB) He is with us through it all! His love is a forever love. His strength is sufficient for every circumstance.

    Reply
    • Karen Mahan

      Great faith walk, my sweet friend. Natasha~Reading your words brings JoY to my sOuL. Jesus is truly EVERYTHING to Me. I am a walking medical miracle. Healed of leukemia when I was 15 months old! I had a praying daddy. He ask The Lord if He would heal me….then daddy would give up his cigarettes! Guess what? Jesus our healer heard my daddy’s prayer. I’m here today…..aLiVe & WeLL. Short form of My sToRy! 🥰. Bless The Lord our God….My Great Physician! Amen. Much LoVe 💕 ,hugs and prayers. In His LoVe, Karen Mahan
      Merry Christmas 🎄 to you and your precious family!

      Reply
  2. Misha Brooks

    James 1:2-4 the verse I quoted in my first UI talk. Who in their right mind would and could consider it all joy? The world can’t understand this. It’s Impossible without HIM. Praise Jesus we can through HIS peace wisdom strength and courage. Thank you Father

    Reply
  3. oneisis frias

    This series was amazing. I’m looking forward to reading more of your writings. It’s as if it is divinely being placed when it’smost needed. I’ve said it before, I don’t believe in coincodences because they are GODincidences I’m continually in awe of everything the Lord does. How he intricately places things in our path right when we feel we are at the brink of giving up. Thank you for this and all you do. You truly are an amazing soul placed to shine a light for us. You are a vessel of God paving the path for others to see His work.

    Reply

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