I don’t know how many of you are like me, but I love to know peoples’ stories! I go straight to instagram bios and hope that it tells me a little bit about who you are, where you are from, and what you value. It makes me feel like I really you. But if I really had my way I’d get to see what your past life experiences were and the road you have traveled. So I figured I’d share my story with you or atleast the last year or so and I will continue to share more and more. :) So here is an excerpt from the devotional where I share how I decided to write Wholeheartedly and what came next!
“Has anyone’s life ever been changed by a monopoly game??? Mine did.
On our family beach trip, we decided to play monopoly one night. Or I should say my mom decided that we would play. We are not 5 minutes into the game and my twin sister Val is killing it. She is buying up everything and with every roll she is either hitting a double or the lottery, atleast it seemed like that to me. On top of that she is the worst winner ever. She starts singing and dancing and basically tries to annoy you. But I digress.
I do not know what came over me, but all of a sudden I became overcome with jealousy. She has a wonderful husband, and the most perfect child you have ever met, and they had all just moved into the cutest little bungalow in our families neighbor development . She’s known her purpose for years and is thriving with Val Marie Paper, and just that day had been asked to contribute to a published book with lots of prestigious women. AND NOW SHES WINNING AT MONOPOLY TOO?!?!?
I don’t have those moments too often, but this time it came with avengence. In my mind, Val beating me at monopoly just reiterated the fact that she was beating me at life. Then came the pouting… if she was the worst winner, then I was definitely being the worst loser. I walked off for a minute to go to the bathroom(aka pout in private) and when I came back I had a stack of money and a few properties sitting in front of me. Turns out, my risk taking brother-in-law lost it all to me on the one property I owned… a railroad. I couldn’t believe it. I was still in this thing! I decided right then not to give up and I made a plan to buy up all the railroads. (I’m pretty sure I had to guilt my brother into trading me his with “Valerie has everything, just like real life!” and a tear. He hated her dancing even more than I do though so he quickly abliged.) I purchased all the railroads and a few other properties and would you believe it, it was down to the 2 of us and I actually won!
To go from such a hopeless beginning and turning it all around to win, I just couldn’t believe it. And honestly it gave me way more confidence than winning any game should, but it actually taught me something. I had felt before that I was behind the curve in life, like some of you may feel. Having a twin sister has sometimes felt like a barometer for life. She has had the same amount of time, same upbringing, and a lot of the same experiences, so how is she so much further along? But the truth is he is going to take people at different paces to different places so there is no use comparing.
Let’s jump to the next morning. I’m sitting on the pool chair and Val comes down and with excitement in her voice she says “I know what you’re supposed to do!” (A little back story, I have been praying for YEARS for God to show me His purpose for my life. I’ve had a desire to be used by Him in a big way and seemed like I had been searching for his call forever). So she says “You need to write a devotional for singles!” and I just said “I need to write a devotional for singles.” Immediately, just like that, I knew that God was calling me to do this.
About 2 weeks later, I was headed out of town for a fun single girl’s night with a close friend of mine. On my drive over I was praying and listening to some worship music when I really felt the Lord speak to me. He had already spoken to me at the retreat “You are praying for a husband, but the I needs a prophet,” like he had spoken to Hannah about her prayers for a Son. I didn’t know if he meant that my future husband was going to be special in some way or what, I knew without aa doubt that he had given that word. This time (while listening to my anthem “Overwhelmed”) , he told me but “You are praying for a husband, but I need a prophet… YOU are my prophet.” He needed me to be prophet in the sense of speaking his words to his people through this devotional.
That night I met a guy. Sparks flew. We had the best first date ever and started dating very soon after. We were in love! I very quickly became distracted and put this little devotional idea aside. Until a few months later when I felt the Lord telling me… “I asked you to do something, You have prayed for years to know what it was you were called to do for my kingdom and I told you something I needed. You haven’t done it yet. Take a break from this relationship, so that you can complete this. And trust me.“ Of course it didn’t sound that clear at first. It was more like weeks of me questioning how I could possibly want to take a step back from the most “perfect for me” guy I have ever met. And causing fights, because I was so confused. I started to feel like there was something wrong with me… why was I sabotaging this?!?
That’s when I stopped and remembered what he had proven true all along. He would guide me – all I needed was to stay close to Him. He gave me complete confidence that I could trust him with this relationship, and he still does. The Lord was giving me another opportunity to surrender my relationship status to him for the benefit of His kingdom. He showed me through a pretty obvious way, that He was in control and that if we are to be married one day, that this little step back would not only not split us, but actually make us stronger. So did I get my happily ever after?? I can’t tell you how that story ends, because I don’t know yet! It’s still being unfolded. All I know is that I will have a happily ever after, because I know who holds it. Regardless of my relationship status, the Lord has proven to me that He is here and that He is worthy of my whole heart. “
And for even more check out “The Road to Wholeheartedly”.