When I started this blog two and a half years ago, I did it to share my story in hopes that it would encourage others to be who God created them to be. I was battling depression and loneliness and never want anyone else to feel alone in any of their struggles. Hence the birth of The Cold Coffee & Cotton Stems Blog.
When I share my story I don't share it to talk about myself or promote myself.
I share to make others feel less alone.
I share to show others where God has brought me from.
I share to glorify God.
I share to make others feel less suffocated in their struggles.
I share to promote gratitude.
I share to encourage you to live your life to the fullest and be who God created you to be.
That is why I share my story.
As an enneagram type 2, I constantly feel the need to explain myself and I am working on changing that thought pattern. That is who I am and why I am here sharing my messy, beautiful, and unique story.
I have a story to tell you today that hopefully will encourage you to keep sharing your story.
I received a message the other day from someone who has followed me for a little bit. They found me through a mutual friend and have been reading my posts specifically about my husband and his cancer diagnosis.
Before I ever saw the notification pop-up on my screen I was taking a shower and getting ready for bed. Just moments prior to reading the message I was not only showering but berating myself for not being enough. As the soap suds swirlled down the drain so did my positive attitude and spiraling thoughts.
"I am sorry I didn't spend any time with you today, Lord."
"I am a terrible mother."
"My patience has been so thin with everyone and it just isn't their fault I am stressed."
"Why on earth would you use someone like me, Lord? I fail so much."
On and on the thoughts and prayers rolled until I felt really low.
I got myself ready for bed and finally plopped down to go to sleep feeling useless. I grabbed my phone to set my alarm (that I would notoriously sleep through) and saw that I had received a lengthy message from someone. I opened Instagram to read it and it shook me to my core.
Shook. Me. To. My. Core.
The message detailed how the person was ready to end their marriage but my story saved their marriage. Saved their marriage? What? How? I don't give out marriage advice because I don't know what the heck I am doing. I've been married 5.5 years and still don't understand what being a wife means at times.
The first line alone nearly caused my heart to stop beating.
The person went on to write that they were at their wit's end and were ready to call it quits with their spouse. The issues had piled up and they didn't think their relationship was salvageable. Until they started watching me take care of my husband during his cancer treatment. The person said that watching me love on my husband and care for him (along with the prayers of many of their friends) caused their heart to soften towards their spouse.
I nearly fainted. I am not being dramatic. I nearly fainted because I was just doing what I knew best. I was just trying to love my spouse like I am called, as a wife, to do. I don't put on a show to project the image that we are a perfect couple. We have our share of issues a mile long and don't always see eye to eye. I was just doing my best to try and love him. For the first few years of our marriage, I tried to be the perfect wife (whatever that means) and tried to follow all of the books written on marriage. I finally gave up one day after exhausting myself and decided I would simply love my spouse as God has instructed all wives to do.
So I just love my husband the best I can. It is messy and oftentimes I fall short of scriptural love but I do my best. That is all. I certainly am no prime example of marriage... or anything for that matter.
The person ended their message with a thank you to me for sharing my story because they thought I needed to know that. They requested prayer as the road ahead is long but they were willing to walk it together.
Ten minutes prior to reading this I was assuring God I was a lost cause. He can't use me. I can't even get it together for five-seconds let alone be used of Him. I croak oftentimes in the shadow of Goliath's in my life. I may appear to be handling my husband's diagnosis with ease but just because I trust that God is going to get us through doesn't mean I don't have a breakdown every few hours. Or have days where my faith is weak.
Then he sent someone my way to encourage me and they had no idea what I was telling myself in the shower that evening. He sent someone to remind me that He uses us even in our weakness. He uses us and wants us to share our story to help others.
When I face a trial, and when you face a trial, may we turn towards Jesus and trust that one day He will put someone in our path that needs to hear what we've been through. It may very well be the exact trial they are asking God to deliver them from.