It’s so NICE to meet you! A little about me…
First off, I love Jesus. I try to honor Him and obey Abba in all I do and say. I’m not perfect, my past is stained by mistakes, bad decisions, and sin- but moreso with the blood of Jesus woven throughout the years covering over all the wounds (both self-inflicted and not). For those memories and that testimony I am exceedingly grateful and try to impart those hard-won lessons to others. Be it lessons in my marriage, my sexual life, my abused past, having kids, serving in ministry, having a disabled child, or just learning about falling in love with Jesus- I’m game to chat!
I am a <thirty-something> mom of 3 beautiful kids, 2 little boys and a baby daughter with some designer genes. I love Jesus, my husband, and my family with all my heart. I am a nurse by day, an author and blogger by night, and a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend during the in-between times. Our family lives in southwest Missouri where we homeschool our oldest. We spend our summers at Camp Barnabas (a Christian camp for mentally and physically disabled children) where I get to serve as the medical director. We have a pretty amazing church family that we adore and who bless our socks off regularly. I have been a nurse for 10 years now in all kinds of ERs and ICUs (I’m a bit of an adrenaline junky!) I’ve seen and done just a bit of everything in the nursing field, and am known to mix a lot of those experiences into my speaking and writing. Actually, I like to pull everything from my life into this ministry- you never know when I’ll take an anecdote and throw it into something a bit more ‘public’. My friends just love it when I do that!
I still don’t know what exactly I want to be when I grow up. More than anything I yearn to glorify God in whatever He has for me and in what He asks of me.
My mission in life is by showing my scars and teaching the lessons I’ve been taught, I can enable and empower Believers everywhere to Live Intentionally, Fearlessly, and Truthfully in their daily lives. I pray we seek for GodStuff in everything and that my vulnerability will encourage others to live more fully under His wings.
Bethany has her inaugural book coming out Spring 2017 about Helicopter Parenting and fear. She’s already busy with ideas for her second book as well. Helicopter Mom will be available in paperback and on e-readers in May.
In addition to her personal blog, Bethany is a co-contributor to numerous other sites. She guest posts frequently for other bloggers as she is able. For guest post requests, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Testimony- It’s a whopper!
If you are curious, I wanted to give you amazing story of my journey with Jesus. It’s amazing not because of me in particular, in fact I’m pretty much the least interesting part of it. Rather it is amazing because of what Christ has done in my life.
I am a sinner… holy moly have I got a corner on the market on sinning! I’m (unfortunately) extremely good at it and I’ve (also unfortunately) had a ton of practice at it. I’m a adulteress (twice over! The first time with a woman and the second time with a married man), I’ve dabbled in drugs, considered stripping for awhile to make money, I went through a time of pathological lying, of demonic warfare, of being within 2 days of divorce proceedings with my husband. During the really rough stuff, I was diagnosed with multiple personalities (which was, in my opinion, some for reals demonic oppression). I was sexually abused by my uncle for many years as a child, I spend years of my high school and college years, and even my early marriage just <kind of> seeking God. I was so lost and had so much baggage. So many hurts haunted me wherever I went- both thrust upon me and many that I inflicted on myself.
I was so utterly lost.
I grew up in a middle America home with a loving and Christian family. My parents were (and still are!) wonderful, God-fearing and God-following people. I was raised in strong churches and with overall great relationships with friends and family. But this wasn’t enough to protect me from evil, both inside and outside of myself.
But God has changed me!
The minute my husband, Gabe, served me with divorce papers in 2003 I had a major decision to make…. To finally and fully commit myself to God… or shake the dice and continue to do life by my own rules. I was knee-deep in the middle of a lesbian relationship at the time. Gabe and I had been separated for many months at this point. I was a shell of the person I could be- lonely, defiant, stressed, depressed, prideful, angry, hurt… you name it. I was a mess.
I made the decision to seek God mostly out of fear of losing my marriage… but it was made with anger and insolence. I was not happy with life! I was so angry- I remember telling God, “You’d better make this decision worth it… because I know what I’m giving up (what I thought was the love of my life…) and I’m not sure You can beat it!” (Looking back, I’m so glad that fire and brimstone didn’t rain down on me that very second! I certainly would’ve deserved it five times over!)
I went into intensive counseling with an amazing older gentleman and someone who came to be a father-figure, mentor, and friend to me and Gabe both. It was years in process. During this time I started remembering abuse I’d had in the past, issues that I had with trust in men, and overall the utter brokenness that was so manifest in my life. I had been a Christian all my life, I’d given Jesus my heart at an early age… and yet my life had slowly slithered down into the abyss. Through the guidance of my counselor, a lot of love and support from my husband and family, I slowly trudged out of the gates of Hell.
And what a journey it was! The demonic warfare that raged around me was intense! The devil wasn’t giving me up without a fight… but I had the Overcomer in my corner and ultimately rode in victory to the healthy, happy, and whole woman that I am today!
Praise God for His everlasting and far-reaching mercies and grace!
But the story doesn’t end there back in those days. Even coming out of the affair and fixing my marriage, I faced a lot of judgment and black-balling from the church, from people who should have been praying and encouraging me. Gabe got much support, I however did not. He was embraced, I was not. It was an unexpected development during those hard times. I was surprised and deeply wounded by those who I turned to in my need. Both Gabe and I spent several years healing from the wounds inflicted on us during that season.
As if that wasn’t enough, as if I hadn’t learned the lesson fully (which clearly by my behavior I had not), in 2007 I had another affair, this time with a married man. I knew it was wrong, and thank God is was not as ‘physical’ as my previous one, however it exposed much additional healing that I obviously needed- both in myself and in my marriage. The affair ended on its own without Gabe finding out about it. I had never planned on telling him, figuring he would leave me for good this time, until one fateful afternoon many many years later…during a time that we were actually thriving in our relationship, in our personal lives, with a great church, and with God.
One sunny afternoon in 2012, Gabe had a confession for me… he had hidden a porn addiction from me- for literally our entire marriage. I was stunned. He had lied to me about it dozens and dozens of times, and I had believed him. I felt my world turn upside down, I felt betrayed, humiliated, a fool. It was an impossible pill to swallow. And yet I had to, because I was convicted that afternoon to finally tell him about my second affair. Whew… you can just imagine how that conversation went- on both our sides! There was a lot of crying, confession, repentance, forgiveness, and renewal. It took time for both of us, but God (once again) walked us through it.
God is so good! He is the great physician, the great healer, the great Prince of Peace. And He has brought real peace, real truth, real confession, real repentance, and real transformation to our house! Without Him I would be lost (still and forever!)
Today I want to encourage you dear one- as I can personally attest, there is NOTHING that you’ve done or gone through that God cannot fix completely. In fact, I’ll go a step further and proclaim that what your issues are, God will not only fix… He will make better! That unholy vow I told Him during my first affair He has answered me in spades. I work at it, I practice walking with my Savior, I have to commit to being intentional and on guard in this journey called life. I refuse to let those years of hard work not be proclaimed from the mountain tops- because in my weaknesses God is made great! He is the ultimate savior and redeemer! My life now is more blessed, more fulfilling, more peaceful, more complete than anything I could have possibly imagined. It is not perfect, and I am still a sinner (I always will be, though I try not to!) BUT (and that’s a BIG BUT!) I am a living, breathing testament what the blood of Jesus can do in a life.
Please do not ever think that you are beyond redemption!
I believe that Christ literally descended into the bowels of Darkness to retrieve me out of its depths-
He only asked me to take the steps with Him.
And if I can do that… You can too!
If those steps need to be taken today, I beg you to take them. Walk with Him, step by step, He’ll carry you if needed for while (He definitely did that for me), but you have to LET HIM.