I’m coming to the end of my three years at Indian River, I’ll be getting my Associates. The rest of my life is in front of me, the canvas is clean and I’ve got some choices to make, anything is possible!! And I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little intimidated.  I thought I knew what I wanted to be, for years I swore I was gonna be a talk show host (like Oprah), that was until last year at the Hillsong conference, when I decided to let go of my plans and embrace God’s. And it seems my desires have changed.

So here I am…and all I know is what I feel in my heart. I know that whatever I do in life, it’s not going to be anything ordinary. I’m not going to be a nurse or a flight attendant or even a talk show host…while these are all great jobs, I just feel that God has something BIGGER for me. I also have this HUGE need in my soul to travel. The thought of traveling the world, seeing everything, meeting everyone & just experiencing this wonderful world my father created encompasses my thoughts day in and day out! I love people, meeting new people, experiencing different culture.  Many people think I should wait to travel, to establish my career first…but I literally can not wait. I feel like my heart is going to explode out of my chest if I wait. Like a bird in a cage, I just want to spread my wings. Cheesy I know, but its what I feel. I want to leave Fort Pierce, this life I’ve always known and step into what God has for me.

I was thinking about doing a study abroad program in January next year, to Australia.  I really feel the need to be there. But it is pricey, and its money my family definitely doesn’t have…I’d have to get loans which is something I’d rather not do. But I’m saving up as much as I can for my travels anyway, nothing is impossible with God.

When I went to Kansas in December these random guys from the House of Prayer prophesied over me that I was like Jeremiah…I never read Jeremiah until after that, do you know who Jeremiah was? He was a young guy, who ended up speaking to the nations for God. And for years ever since I was young, my mom has told me that God spoke to her and told her that I was going to speak to the nations. If this is what God has for me…what do I do next?

Dear God,

You know my worries and my feelings. I’m handing my situation over to You, I believe You put these desires in my heart for a reason and I pray that whatever I do in life, it glorifies You. Amen.

As you can see, I haven’t posted on here for a while.  These past few weeks have been rough, to say the least. To kind of give you an idea of whats goin on with me:

As of right now, the only person I have a good relationship with in my family is my mom. My youngest sister hates me. My parents aren’t talking and their marriage is on the rocks, again.  My dad is never home and doesn’t even know what class I’m taking (much less anything else about me right now.) I haven’t seen my mom this sad in a long time. Oh, and to top it off my dad says we’re moving. We’ve been living here for about nine years, have the best neighbors in the world (who are more family than friends) and it is gonna be the hardest thing knowing I can’t call them when I need aluminum foil or take a short walk to their house when I’m in need of a good laugh.

This is just some of the stuff that’s going on in my life right now. And it sucks. But I didn’t tell you this stuff for you to feel bad for me, I’m not looking for pity. I’m putting my personal life out there for you to see my scars, my brokenness. Because even though I am a Christian, life still happens. Jesus didn’t promise a perfect life once you except him in your heart. But he did promise joy amongst the sorrow and victory through the battle.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. – Romans 8:35-37

Everybody has battles throughout life and everyone has scars. Everyone has been broken. And there are millions of people that are going through bigger battles than I am. But this is my battle, and its hard. Sometimes I get tired and I don’t understand. But I’m not God. I don’t know why God is letting my family go through this, no body knows His reasoning. I DO however know that God works ALL THINGS out for the good, for those who love Him!

Despite my families brokenness right now, Jesus promised that we already have overwhelming victory. God has truly comforted me through his word and given me the strength to trust Him. My family will be unified one day!

So I hope my story can be of help to you in your broken times too, because we all go through it. But just know God can comfort you and make you completely victorious through whatever battle it is your facing.

Oh Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.  –Isaiah 40:27-31.

So I had an interview at West Marine today & I got the job! I’m stoked! This will be my second job, I already have a job at the PGA Learning Center working two days a week (which I LOVE!) God is SO good! In an economy where it’s so tough to find a job, God provided me with two! THANK YOU JESUS! I think I’m really going to like it! 🙂 Also I decided last night that I’m going to learn to play the drums! I’ve always wanted to, then my friend Ashlie encouraged me to learn so I can play on the worship team at my church! (Ashlie sings on the worship team and is the Pastor sons wife.)  So basically everything is going pretty good right now in my life! And even when life  isn’t going good I ALWAYS have a reason to be happy!! Jesus loves me and I have a place in heaven, nothing and nobody can take that away from me! I probably sound like a nine year old school girl right now but I don’t care!  Some people might say I’m pretty independent, but I’m not. I am very dependent on God and he never fails! God is faithful and provides for His children! Hope you all have a glorious day!

butterfly_hstLife is mind blowing.  As Walt Whitman once said in his poem Miracles “Why! Who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles!” This is the essence of my thoughts. Everything is a miracle.

Every time I see a sunset, it takes my breath away.  How is it that a big ball of fire and gas 93 million miles away can paint our skies in an array of colors? I can sit in amazement gazing at the stars all night. Space is so vast and full of wonders, we are continually learning something new. How babies are created in the womb, how our bodies function, and how everyone is so different, how is this not a miracle? We are faced with these miracles everyday and yet man continues to entertain the question of  “creator or coincidence?”

We have a bone in our throat called the hyoid bone. It is the only bone in the human skeleton not connected to any other bone. It is held in place by thyroid ligaments. This bone basically holds our mouth together. Is this the work of a creator or just coincidence?

The Earth is in the perfect position for sustaining life.  If it were even a couple Kilometers closer or farther from the sun we wouldn’t survive. Is this the work of a creator or just coincidence?

From a standing start a Cheetah can reach 45 mph in two seconds and can reach up to 70 mph. Creator or coincidence?

This isn’t even a question in my mind. God has his signature on everything that is good. There is no way this beautiful existence just happened. And the great thing about it is, that God has something even better in store for us. No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind can imagine the things God has prepared for those who love him 1 Corinthians 2:9. But thats for a different post. For today, lets thank our Creator for all his wonderful works!

afamily! I have a pretty big family.  There’s my mom, my dad and I have 3 little sisters. My mom and dad had me before they were married. They’ve always believed in Jesus but didn’t know how to live a Christian life. But somebody came into their lives when I was around one and told them the way they were living wasn’t right, so they got married. Well going into the relationship, my mom was an alcoholic because of some serious pain she had experienced in her past, and my dad was a verbal abuser. They started to go to church in hope of bettering themselves but let me tell you, it got worse before it got better. So one by one my sisters came about  Kianna, Anna and Deborah. We lived in Fort Lauderdale until I was about eight, and in those years I remember, when my parents were together, there was a lot of fighting. Bad fighting. On many occasions the cops would have to make a trip to my house because of the fighting between my parents. But when I was about four my mom wanted to try to get rid of this disease. So she stepped out of her comfort zone and went away to Christian rehabs. One was for 6 months and one was for 8 months. She was also in and out of detox about five times. So needless to say, she was gone a lot. We had nannies for long periods of time and although I didn’t know exactly what was going on, I had the gist of it. I knew she was going away to get better, and I knew it was for us. She never gave up, and I was always so thankful for that. I don’t have a whole lot of Ft Lauderdale memories as a child but I do remember the fights and missing my mommy.

When I was about eight, we moved to good ole’ Fort Pierce. But when we moved, our problems moved with us. Even though my mom went to rehab and all that, the drinking problem continued, along with my dads abuse. But you see, the house we moved into which my dad was renting, was the house of a Christian family also consisting of four girls. God had set us in their paths for a reason. So the Richwines told my dad he could rent from them on one condition: that our family go with them to their church, Common Ground. It’s been our church ever since. But church doesn’t make problems go away, Jesus does. The fighting continued, and my mom kept drinking. I remember my dad would find her beer hidden in the closet or under the bed, and he would be yelling and dumping it in the sink.  The smell of that beer would make me gag, not only the smell but what the smell brought with it. The fighting, name calling and hitting. It was a very hard time for me and my sisters, but Jesus was our comforter.

When I was about nine my mom went to her first conference and had a God encounter. She learned that instead of running to the bottle to ease her pain, she was to run to God. She was freed of her disease and hasn’t picked up a drink since. My mom and dads relationship got increasingly better because they learned (and are still learning) to keep Jesus the center of their relationship. My mom is now a reverend and my dad is a pastor at our church and on occasion my parents preach together (which is VERY entertaining, I love it). My mom is also a leader for a recovery program they have for alcoholics and drug addicts at Common Ground. God did an amazing work in my family, and although we’re still not perfect, we have a rock and solid foundation to stand on.

amom

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along…Many will see what he has done and will be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.  Psalm 40:1-3

“What do you want to accomplish before you die?” I was asked this question today while I was working, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. This is a pretty serious question and it will definitely get you thinking about your life and the purpose of living. Some people might find fear, worry or confusion when faced with this question, but I find pure excitement. When I was asked this question this is the first thing that came out of my mouth: to please God.

Now, If you would’ve asked me this question 3 weeks ago, my response probably would have been something along the lines of: Before I die, I want to become a famous talk show host, like Oprah. I want to make lots of money and become friends with Jack Johnson. But since then, and I’ll explain in later posts, I’ve really had a life changing encounter with the love of God. And I’ve decided I no longer want to live for my own self happiness, but to make God happy. And in making this decision and really seeking God, I’ve NEVER been more joyful!!

So how am I going to live a life that is pleasing to God? Well I’m following in the footsteps of Jesus and how he lived his life. I’m going to boldly spread the word of God all over the world! I want to see lives changed by the love of Jesus. I want to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and love the unlovable. I want to pray over people and see needs met in the name of Jesus. I want to step out of my comfort zone and be radical for God! I don’t want to live this life saying “what if?” and feel unsatisfied. I want to live this life full of integrity fueled by Gods love (1 Chronicles 29:17) . I want to lay down my my life and my plans before Jesus, and say “have your way with me!” because I know his way is the only way I’m going to be truly happy! Jesus said in Matthew 10:39 “If you cling to your life you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.”

The fact that I, little ole Kayla from a small town in Florida, can make the God of the Universe happy blows my mind! It gives me a purpose and zeal for life! I want to live my life in such a way that that the day I finally get to meet my loving creator he will greet me with open arms and say “Well done my good and faithful servant, well done!”

This past weekend I had a life changing experience in Miami. You see, Hillsong United, my favorite Christian band held a conference at the Bank United Center August 28th and 29th. My aunt lives 20 min from the BUC, so the Thursday night before the conference I made a last minute decision to pack my bag and head down to Miami all by myself to go to this conference. I had no one to go with, but I knew I was supposed to because that Thursday when my mom called my aunt to tell her I might be coming down my aunt told my mom that she was going through some family problems. It was then that I knew God wanted me to go down there to just love on her.

So Friday I went to the conference. It was amazing. Hillsong United played praise and worship songs and Phil Dooley taught a message on “Tearing down walls.” I really felt the presence of God. So on my way back to my aunts I was feeling good! When I got back to her house she was just getting in from dinner. So we sat on the couch and began talking about different things, and then she started bringing up her beliefs. You see, my aunt isn’t a Christian. Nor does she believe in Jesus. But she is one of the best people I know and I love her! So anyway, in the middle of this conversation on what she believes, my cousin called her in tears. His friend of about 14 years, Daniel, got into a motorcycle accident. Apparently, he had no experience  and that night just decided to jump on a motorcycle and take it around the block. Well, at a red light instead of pressing the break, he pressed the gas and got T boned by a car. Him and the bike were  thrown and the bike landed on top of his face. My cousin went on to say that Daniels brain was leaking fluids and hemorrhaging, his face was hanging off his head, and many bones in his body were broken. I didn’t understand any of the technical talk, but my aunt did, she is a nurse. We both knew it wasn’t good. She automatically said, “well if his brain is hemorrhaging it isn’t a good sign and most likely he’s not gonna live.” When Daniel got to the hospital they made Daniels dad sign “papers” basically saying he’s probably not going to make it.

After my aunt got off the phone with my cousin she was in disbelief, as was I. But I had a heavy feeling on my heart to pray. So I asked her to pray with me. She agreed. I took her hand and said a little prayer. And in the midst of what looked like a hopeless situation, God gave me hope. I knew that Daniel was going to be alright. My aunt and my cousins didn’t think so. They believed what the doctors told them, but I encouraged them to pray. I continued to pray for Daniel the whole weekend, and I am still praying for him now.

On Monday, I was home and on my way to young adults group at my church when I received a text message from my aunt saying “Hi Kayla…Daniel is improving…must be the power of prayer…and the best docs around of course! thanks for yours, love you. ” HOPE!

In many peoples eyes, Daniels situation was an impossible one. BUT Jesus said in Mark 10:27 “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

The doctors also said that if he did live he is going to be a vegetable. But let me tell you my friends, I don’t believe it for one minute. Because I have a better doctors report that says “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:7) I truly believe that not only will Daniel be completely healed, but he will be better than he was before the accident! Because my God is bigger than death, and EVERYTHING is possible with God!

In the face of despair and impossibilities, Jesus is my hope. He is the hope in a hopeless world.

In todays world, the word “religion” can make people cringe. When I think of the word religion these words immediately follow : condemnation, judgment, offense, defense and hate. I see religion as a wall that separates people, that leaves many feeling guilty, angry and bitter.

“When talking with someone, there’s two topics I never bring up: politics and religion.”  This is a saying I have heard from several people. It has become sort of a guideline to conversation for many people now a days. This is because people feel so strongly about religion, everyone has a opinion and when brought up, many get defensive and feel offended. So I don’t claim a religion. What I have is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m a Christian and the definition of Christian means to be “Christ like”. But Christianity has gotten somewhat thrown in the category with religion. And with good reason, I’m sure. Although, being a follower of Christ is not about religion at all! It’s about love! In fact, the Bible only mentions the word religion five times! And God never says “make me your religion!” Not even close. The Bible, my guide for living,  is all about having a  relationship, not a religion, with God and Jesus Christ! And the great thing about this relationship is that you can have one too! No one is excluded from the love of Jesus. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been. This relationship has allowed me to live a guilt free life full of love! Jesus is the name, love is the game! Except its not a game…but it is fun!

So you may ask, “Kayla, whats your religion?” my response would be “I don’t have one. The question is, do I have a fulfilling, loving, personal relationship with Jesus Christ that makes me happy to be alive? Well, yes. Yes I do, thanks for asking!”

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