Sunday, June 3, 2012

Story-Time Sunday: Lifesong

​      My Lifesong…. I am 32 years old now and look back at all that I have gone through and honestly I do not know how I would get through this life without my Lord, my Savior, my Abba daddy,  my faithful Husband that ravished my heart at 5 years old. I will start my journey at 5 years old. At 5 years old I was introduced to Jesus. He called my name at a Billy Graham Crusade. My mother who was a Christian walked my dad and me down to the Angel’s stadium field for the alter call. She made the decision to stay with my dad while someone prayed with him. A young woman took me a side, not too far from my parents. That day I gave my life to Jesus! I truly made that decision to follow Him on my own. I know it, because I was absolutely crazy about Him. I could not stop talking about him to all my friends. I led one of my best friends to the Lord, while my mom was leading their parents to the Lord at the same time in our apartment! My mom and dad divorced when I was 6 years old. I was an only child and struggled with loneliness. I even thought it was my fault at times.   ​In August of 1989 my mother remarried a man that was crazy about her. They conceived my brother on their honeymoon. I was extremely excited! I actually was praying that would happen! I wanted a sibling soooo bad. God answered my prayer and gave me my brother Steven! During this time, my dad was still involved in my life. My step dad was a wonderful provider for me. He was such a hard worker. He loved my mother so much! I felt very out of place though. My step dad was verbally abusive. He was a very angry man. He took it out on me a lot. My mother tried to protect me as much as possible though. I was so involved with church activities. In fact, I was part of the youth group at ICLV when it was called West Valley! It was there that God began to mess me up! I was involved with the Worship Teams and had a lot of friends. They became family to me. My mother at that time, slipped into a deep depression. It broke my heart so bad.     ​It was June 1996 at Summer Camp, that I met my soon to be husband. The Lord truly put us together. Long story short…he spotted me at a youth convention called March Madness 1996 and spoke with me. He saw me singing in the Choir and was determined to meet me. He came up to me and said, “Do you love Jesus?” I said, “Yes!” He then asked me if I was called into ministry. I told him I was called to be a Youth Evangelist and singer for the Lord! That is what he was called to do as well! I actually do not remember this conversation at all. In fact I do not remember it at all! He said he left that evening and told his mom he met the girl he was going to marry! She actually knew who I was because she met my dad that night. There were around 300 people there!!!! I remember him at Camp 1996! He was singing a worship song He wrote in the talent show! I leaned over to my best friend and told her point blank… “That is the boy I am going to marry.” She questioned it, because I never had met him. So we thought. It was at that camp the Lord had us meet. We did not exchange phone numbers, because we were determined to keep our focus on God and not relationships. I came home and my mom wanted to try out a new church. She and I visited the church he went to. She also was the one to get his phone number. She told him I was looking for a youth group to get involved in. Haha! Thanks mom! I was so embarrassed, but in the end He became my awesome, crazy about Jesus, gentleman that swept me off my feet…..boyfriend!!!! We put Jesus in the center of our relationship and even began leading worship together at 16-17 years old. We were a powerful team for Jesus! Our relationship was not always perfect though.   ​After we graduated in 1998, we both went to Bible School in Dallas, TX. We had dated for 2 years and we were struggling with staying sexually pure. We never went all the way, but it really got our focus off of the Lord and getting to know each other. We decided to break up. We broke up with no intention on getting back together. It definitely would have to be the Lord. After 1 1/2 years of finally getting over him, he began to wrestle with going separate ways. He was asked to be a Worship Pastor in Colorado and could not leave without making things right with me. In fact, he was so determined to marry me. I was over him! He had to win my heart back. It took him a couple months..haha. Little by little I began to fall in love with that boy I met at 16 years old again. He was crazy about me! He went through jumping over many hoops to win my heart back! He asked me to be his girlfriend again in December of 1999, proposed to me so romantically in March of 2000 and we were married in August of 2000! We were given the Worship Pastor position at a growing church in Colorado. We were only 20 & 21 years old.   ​We began in ministry at such a young age. It was such a blessing, but I do have to say that our priorities at times were out of line. Our lives were so wrapped around ministry, that the Lord was at times lost in it all, and our marriage was not nurtured either. It was not like that all the time. I can only see now, as I look back, and after going through a time where we lost our marriage that we needed help and support. I will explain what happened later.   It was about 4 years into our marriage that we were blessed with our 1st child. When we found out we were going to have a baby, we were so excited! It was about 5 weeks into it that I began to have some complications. I was bleeding a lot! My Dr. told me I was most likely going to miscarry. That same evening we went to bed and the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Gina…She will be fine!” “Her name is Faith and one day she will grow to be a mighty woman of faith!” He also said that her life would teach me true faith! I was only 5 weeks pregnant and I knew I was having girl. Well, I struggled with doubting. I still needed to get reassurance. A week later I had an ultrasound. You guessed it…there was my little Faith’s sweet little heart beat pounding! Tears were streaming down my face. I just looked up and said thank you Jesus! Faith was born in May of 2004. Hallelujah!   In November of 2005 we were blessed to become Youth Pastors! We also were blessed to go on a trip to Israel with all the pastors at our church. We were trying to get pregnant at that time again. I brought a pregnancy test with me because I thought it would be cool to find out I was pregnant in Israel. The Lord told me in the middle of the night that I was pregnant. We were at the Sea of Galilee. He told me his name was Jesiah, which means eternal perspective. He also said he would come to know Him at an early age and be a warrior for Him in the end times. Wow!!! I took a pregnancy test and lo and behold I was pregnant! A day later I began to bleed. I was so nervous, but I had a word from the Lord! We went to the Dr. as soon as we got back home. They did and ultrasound and found remains of the pregnancy, but no heart beat. We went back one more time and again no heartbeat. I decided to miscarry this baby on my own instead of doing a DNC. While waiting to miscarry the baby naturally I had many God moments! God revealed his word to me in a vision. It was the word He spoke to me in Israel about this baby. He showed me that this baby boy knows him at a very young age. He knows Him intimately. He then showed me a vision of my son, Jesiah, coming down from heaven. He was riding a big, white horse with a sword in his hand. He was coming down to fight in the end of day’s battle (Armageddon). That vision ministered to me in such a special way. Jesiah means “eternal perspective.” At that moment the Lord revealed to me an even greater purpose we live for. We have a purpose to be fulfilled, not just here on earth, but in eternity as well! This has given so much reassurance and peace to many other women & men that have lost a child. To God be all the glory!   The night I miscarried Jesiah, my husband cried out to God. He asked the Lord for another child. The Lord told him it would only be by his grace that we will have another child. My husband,responded back to the Lord, “ God if You give us another child…we will name her Grace.” In June of 2006 we found out we were having another baby! At 20 weeks pregnant we find out we are having another girl. We witnessed the Lord’s faithfulness right there! He is ALWAYS faithful to His word! Grace was being formed in my womb! This little blessing of God’s grace was born on Feb. 20th, 2007. Oh the grace of God is so good! In between Grace and our current youngest child I had another miscarriage. I did not know a lot about that little one. We were able to see the baby’s heart beat though. I was 17 weeks when I lost him or her. That was still so hard. We were still Youth Pastor’s at the time, but God was moving our hearts to start a church in Las Vegas. We were Worship Pastors at our parent’s church there in 2001 to 2005. We always felt God would bring us back to the LV to start a church. It actually was not just a feeling; it was a mandate from God. He gave us many words and visions for Las Vegas.   My husband, our two daughters, and myself moved to Las Vegas in July of 2008.  We also had a team of 10 come with us from Colorado! We all had a heart to see the city of Las Vegas saved! We went though a lot of spiritual warfare immediately upon arriving to LV. Our marriage was experiencing a huge hit from the enemy. We hardly saw each other. We both had to work full time jobs, and were extremely weak. We still had some pretty amazing times with the Lord though. Our church was growing and people’s lives were truly getting changed!!! In the midst of it all, my husband and I began to get weaker and weaker. I was struggling with feeling alone and hardly seeing each other. I was also tired of working a full time job along with being a mom! I missed my girls and my husband. He became emotionally unattached to us , his family, and no longer wanted to be married. We were just so tired and we handled it so differently. I was no longer his helpmate, and He was no longer the head of our home. We had no accountability and no one had any discernment to see we were not doing well. What started with such an exciting journey ahead of us, became the catalyst to break up our family!   In the midst of this, we found out we were pregnant again. I had no idea what to name this one. We were not at the lowest time in this season. In fact we had just come back form a trip from California where we spent a lot of time talking about what the Lord was doing and about vision! We found out we were having a baby girl! I really did not want to name her Hope, or Love… but God had other plans. One day my husband was listening to some worship and reading the word. The Lord gave him the scripture, “ Weeping endures, for the night, but JOY comes in the morning.” He texted me, “Her name is Joy Marie!” He heard the Lord tell him that we would go though a time of sorrow, but His JOY will fill us! I agreed! I am not going to lie though…I questioned the sorrow part. I was not too fond of that. Joy Marie decided to come 2 months early! Her due date was Valentines Day and she was born December 16th, 2009. This was the beginning of sorrow, yet JOY was in our midst. Everyone thought we named her Joy due to due the holiday season. It was God’s perfect timing. Joy actually endured and was a very strong preemie! It was so hard as a mom to leave her at the hospital. She was in the NICU for one month. I just wanted my baby home, but I praise God that she was getting stronger every day. She actually never had to be put on oxygen! She was perfectly healthy, but just needed time to mature. She came home in Jan. of 2010. I would have to say that 2010 was the year the enemy thought he was going to take us out for good. I mentioned earlier that we were going through the desert, but then things seemed to get better. It was the beginning of this year that the enemy tried to steel, kill, and destroy us. He was out to take my husbands life. He lied to him constantly and my husband just became so lost and hopeless that he gave up his call & passion for God and the city of Las Vegas; he gave his identity away, and gave up on US. He ran away from it all, and I was alone with raising our 3 daughters and now fighting for him as a child of God, and our marriage. We both went though a dark season of depression and were no longer together. The one thing that kept me going is the Lord! He was closer to me than I have ever experienced. My 3 girls were so worth it too. I remember looking at my Joy, and seeing the word of the Lord in flesh. I was holding on to Joy! Joy comes in the morning!   Joy truly has come in the morning! Through all of this, my testimony is so worth it all! I would not trade anything I went though. It all has brought me to a deeper more intimate place with Jesus! He is soooo real to me. When I worship Him now, the words mean so much more. It is not just a song, it’s my LIFESONG! I am here today married to my HS sweetheart. We renewed our vows November 26th, 2011. We were extremely blessed to have a long season out of ministry to rebuild our relationship. Through that time, we were able to see what God has called us to do with a pure heart, completely humbled. We have 3 healthy & beautiful daughters (Faith, Grace, & Joy)! I do have to mention my mother is completely free of depression! She is such an amazing Woman of God. My step dad has just went to be with the Lord, and through him passing I realized what wonderful things He gave me as a father figure that I never saw before. My Dad is still a part if my life. We talk almost every day! I have a pretty awesome brother and amazing in-laws that walked through it all with us! Last but not all, my Husband and I were asked to be the Worship Pastors here at our church in Colorado. We are so humbled to be in this position again and we praise God for restoring it all. God has truly rained down so much grace upon our lives! We are just so in awe of His love for us! His love never fails and never gives up on us! Amen! I am just so much more excited that my husband knows who He is in Christ again. I remember telling him over and over, “You are a Child of God.” This brings more JOY to my soul than anything else! Ministry can come and go! Jesus left all the sheep, to go after the one lost sheep. That is the heart of God. He will never let you go! Lastly, the enemy is defeated! {this is from the beautiful heart of a wonderful woman who is a friend of mine. hope you were able to see God's goodness through every season! If you have a story and want to share, please email me @ travley312@gmail.com} Xoxo

2 comments:

Travis said...

wow. what an amazing story of God's faithfulness. truly inspiring to me, to persevere and never lose hope. Thank you for sharing.

Robyn said...

Well Written... i am proud of you for persevering.