2018 was a packed year. My traveling schedule was the fullest it has ever been. My family grew and changed in what seemed like overnight. My love for people and God’s bride, the church, grew in ways I never thought possible. Yet, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, the precious and quiet moments with my husband and family will be treasured most.
There are so many memories to choose from, so many stories in between, that twelve photos hardly does this year justice. Regardless, enjoy a trip down memory lane with me.
I still have battles, bouts with crippling depression. I typically don't have a problem sharing them publicly...after I've come out the other side. But the truth is, even then, I tend to not share them.
Today, I have NOT come out the otherside. I must be close though, because, I have the strength to at least open my laptop and type. And for some reason, I think someone else may be where I'm at and needs to be reminded to fight.
For the past four days, I have been emotionally mute, physically frozen, but spiritually alive. How does that work?
The Word of God has sustained me, even though I have not been able to communicate with those close to me. His Word has reminded me of Truth even though my mind has gone in crazy directions while my physical strength has been depleted and my motivation to move has stalled.
Depression still hits me, and freezes me. Depression still sits on my chest and tells me not to move...and then I hear my friend Shannon's voice, a trumpet for the Lord, saying "GET UP!" (she is so bossy.) Depression is dark, But God is light.
So on day three, I moved my mouth and I spoke. I shared my hurts, the trigger for this battle...irrational as they may have seemed. Did it make my pain go away, did it make all the darkness disappear? NO, but it broke open the clouds and let the light hit me on my face and it pushed me out... not all the way, but enough for the day.
So today, while I sit up with my heart heavy, I pray that you too, if you are where I am or where I have been, I pray that you would open His Word, cry out to Him, move and let someone know that you are hurting.
It may not make it go away, but your words, your prayers and breaking the silence chips away at the darkness creating holes for the light to come through. So keep picking away. You are not alone.
I love you in the Lord.
ps. As my friend, Robin, just reminded me “God is in the dark when we are there. He isn't the dark...but He is nearer than ever.”
I travel the country full time from the west coast to the east coast and everything in-between. I visit small towns, big cities, thriving churches and some congregations that are just barely hanging on.
I see joy.
I meet women and hear their stories. I see bits of their pain, their brokenness, their hurts and their longings.
I see joy.
I hear a woman tell me she wants something new and is leaving her husband. And then I turn and see another women broken because her husband is leaving her for something new.
I see joy.
I see a 50yr old grown women who was locked up and tortured as a child just now learning how to breath. I see her broken and curled up in a ball.
I see joy.
I wipe my face from the tears of a 70 year old women's sobbing because she feels so alone and doesn't know how she is going to pay her rent. I see in her a 5 year old girl just wanting her mommy to hold her.
I see joy.
I see and women, angry at the world and nothing will soothe her, so she hurls insults because that is all that has ever been hurled at her.
I see joy.
Then, I look in the mirror and I see in me a women whose body tires easily, wanting to be home where it is safe and warm in the arms of her husband, but God has different plans and keeps sending her out to hold the hurting, to hear the stories and to be a Herald for His voice. I see a women who carries the pain of others deeply and has to hide away each night and release them to the Lord for Him to carry.
I see joy.
The JOY of the Lord is my strength.
Joy is our ability to see past our circumstances and look into the face of the Son, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, disregarding its shame and now sits victorious in honor at the right hand of God. Jesus is our joy. Jesus is our victory. JESUS. JESUS. JESUS.
This is Joy. And it is my absolute Joy to do it, to see past my own circumstances, help others see past theirs and point people to the face of Christ in the best way that He sees fit.
Today and everyday, May you see the joy in all He has called you to do day in and day out. The joy of the Lord in YOUR strength. Keep pressing in!
Mia Koehne- Here to hear, hold and herald
As a young women, I FELT like a failure, then I began to BELIEVE I was a failure and because of that I started to LIVE as as a failure.
I set out to disappoint. I set out to sabotage the good that was going on in my life because I simply could not grasp that I had any value or worth. That blurred focus in my life caused me to hurt a lot of people who loved and cared for me.
When enough was enough and I surrendered my life to Christ, it didn’t change the fact that people were devastated by what I call “Hurricane Mia.” Turning my life over to Christ didn’t make the effects of my sin and betrayal of those I loved go away, but it did put into the spotlight my great need for forgiveness and my desperate need for healing and restoration.
You see, my life was changed because people chose to FORGIVE me, people I had hurt and lied to, people I cheated on and forsaken; They forgave me.
THIS is why I choose, even in the toughest of situations, to forgive others, even when I, in my flesh, deem them undeserving. I choose to forgive.
FORGIVENESS CHANGED MY LIFE!
My friends, do you want to change someone's life, be the turning point in someones story of redemption, maybe even your own? FORGIVE!
As my husband, Bob, said "Forgive people. Life is difficult if you don't forgive. People walk around angry because they simply cannot forgive"
Brothers and Sisters - Forgiveness not only frees the offender, but it frees the captor as well. Forgive.
I didn't think it was going to be this difficult. I am struggling to separate my emotions... is it the exhaustion, the excitement or the reality of my children becoming independent adults? I'm opting for D: All of the above.
My body swims in waves of dehydration from the tears I've shed this past week; tears of absolute excitement and tears of a joyful sort of mourning at the letting go of my children and the letting go that is still to come.
I have now, in the past 5 months, danced two Mother-Son dances. I have watched my babies grow into amazing God-fearing men who have each chosen a beautiful Christ loving wife. I have gained two amazing daughters that I love as my own.
In just over two months, I will stand by as my husband dances with his baby-girl one last time before she becomes Mrs. Ferreira da Silva. Just writing these words floods my eyes as I now re-group to grasp this next launching.
In it all, I am blessed. My heart is full and my cup runneth over. The tears....I embrace them. They tell a story of the years past, the struggles, the triumphs and the victories. These tears speak of the growing anticipation of all that is still to come. I dance in their waves. I treasure up these moments in my heart as I unclench my fist and release to God what has always been His anyways. I joyfully release my children to their spouses with a confident and full heart.
I embrace the journey. I trust and love the Lord and I am honored to watch His glorious will for all of our lives unfold.
Speaking of Mother Son Dances, my son's both surprised me with their choice of songs. I loved it! We have very few surprises left at major events and these weddings were full of them!
My eldest son chose a rendition of "Wayfaring Stranger" sung by Ed Sheeran! He NAILED it!
My middle son chose a song I had never heard before called "Mamma's Prayers" by JP Cooper & Stormzy and it has instantly become a fav! He NAILED t too!!
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.