I am so honored to be the recipient of the Being Real Inspiration Award! My dear friend Angelika blessed me with this honor. Please visit her personal blog (click here) and glean from her wisdom and experiences. As an added blessing, track her ministry blog as well (click here). I feel like I received an Emmy! Thank you dear Geli. I love you!

Well, in keeping with the theme of this award, I’ll share some of the thoughts running through this busy little mind of mine. For Christmas, my SIL gave me the novel Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I can count on one hand how many fictional books I have read as an adult. As a young woman, I was in a fight for my sanity (here is a bit of my testimony) and was immediately drawn to books about spiritual warfare and my authority as a believer. That set the standard for my reading tastes. :o) However, in the past couple of years I have been given a few fiction books: Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard (I highly recommend), The Shack by William P. Young (I LOVED this book and if you haven’t read it — grab a box of tissues), and now this lovely novel, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (I couldn’t put it down! You will love it!).

I never like giving away too much information concerning the contents of a story, so you won’t hear it from me (ha) — and I never read the jacket covers (because they DO give away too much), but I will share what this moved in my heart. Sorry to be so wordy without sharing yet … lol.

While reading this novel, I couldn’t help but think of my own life. A baby, not particularly wanted in the womb — a little girl who never felt good enough — a young child who knew way too much about adult things — a young girl looking for love and acceptance — a young woman who married young to feel neglected, never special enough, a seasoned wife who felt punished by God because she was unable to bear a child … the list could go on. But the underlying theme was A SOUL WANTING TO BE LOVED — a daughter needing the complete love of her Father. God’s love just has a way of washing all of the other junk away. Have you ever noticed that? I can look back now and for the first time in my life — really feel a sense of satisfaction in this area. As as a 41 year old woman, I have received healing in so many of these areas and I can see WHY I felt the way I did and how others have had their own demons and wounds to overcome.

I get so involved with the characters of a book. Part of this gift of mercy that I carry almost places me in the shoes of others. I can feel their pain — even if it is a fictional character (God help me – ha). I think most women can identify with the main character of this novel, Sarah. We all want to be cherished and loved.

I saw first hand what happens when we don’t feel the love we need: We went to visit my MIL last night and while our daughter played with toys at Grandma’s house, my husband and I snooped through piles of old pictures. I was amazed at all of the different faces I have had over the years. Honestly, you wouldn’t recognize me from some of these photos. My husband kept saying, “That doesn’t even look like you.” I knew what was going on though! I was a young woman who thought that I would marry my prince charming and it would be me and him against the world. Boy did reality smack me in the head after we said “I do!” My precious husband was a wounded little boy himself when we married and he had no intention of leaving his parents and cleaving to me. It wasn’t “intentional,” but that is what happened. That in turn fed my own rejection and self-loathing and COMFORT FOOD became my false god. My current weight loss is more than a physical thing, but it is tied in with a healthy happy marriage and a woman who has received great spiritual healing. It is all tied in together. But the pictures … back to my many faces, sigh … the pain behind the smiles. I am so glad those days are behind me.

I pray YOU can look back and feel the satisfaction of overcoming adversities in your life. I am so grateful that I can feel this way. I am loved by Father God (and He loves you more than you could ever imagine). I receive His love. I am loved by my parents. They love me the best they can while dealing with their own hurts and pain. My sweet husband loves me and we are now one (he is always honoring me). I have a precious child who adores me and friends who stick close by my side. I am such a blessed woman.

So back to the original reason for this post — MY AWARD. Perhaps I am too real sometimes, too confessional, but I have learned over the years that our testimonies, our stories, are always a lifeline to SOMEONE.

Thanks again for the award dear Geli, and thanks everyone for reading my ramblings.