Category Archives: It’s Just Me

Moving Past Tragedy

Our life is made up of our experiences. Some of them are somewhat inconsequential, but we are affected by all of them to some extent. Many times we are responsible for creating them, but there are those circumstances that were created for us that are completely out of our control. This would be the case when a great tragedy engulfed our family with flames that would change our lives forever—one we never saw coming and one that would change the course of time forever.

It was June 4, 1983. I was 19 years old and the world was at my feet. It was a Friday, like any other Friday. I was working at the gas station and business was booming with people excitedly getting prepared to relax for a weekend retreat of fun at the lake or just to stay around the house. You know, the normal last day of the work week scenario.

About 10:00 that night, a storm rolled in. It was a very strong storm with torrential rains and high winds. Amidst the storm were sirens, both warning of impending tornadic danger and the emergency vehicles scrambling to help those in need. I had already moved out of my parent’s home and was living in town with roommates. I went to bed thinking how thankful I was we did not lose power, as so many homes were without electricity by that time.

At 4:00 a.m. there was a knock on the door. A single, solitary police officer knocking at your door at 4:00 in the morning is not a good sign. “Is Katrina Stanley here?” He asked. My roommate got me up and I went to the door. “I’m sorry to inform you but your dad was killed in an accident and I need you to come with me.”

Time stood still. I can remember my roommate asking the officer if there wasn’t any other way to have told me. I couldn’t breathe. Every step was in slow motion. I remember going to my room and looking for socks. I couldn’t find any socks. I couldn’t move. I was in shock.

My dad worked at a local college in the maintenance department and my uncle (his brother) was his supervisor. My uncle was able to get dad hired after he finished vocational training upon retiring from 20 years of military service. There was to be a large Girl’s State event at the college the next morning. On the night of the storm, my dad, uncle and the maintenance crew were called out at about 1:00 a.m. to repair a fallen computer wire, the wire that powered all the computers on campus. I was told a call was made to the local power company to turn off the power to the main high voltage powerline so these men could repair the computer line for the next morning when the Girl’s State event took place. The power company said no, there were hundreds of homes without power and they took priority.

Only God knows what transpired next, but directives were given and these men proceeded to repair the snapped computer wire. At some point, the wind picked up the high voltage power line and it hit my dad in his right temple and electrocuted him. Paramedics were called and I was told they were actually able to resuscitate him a few times but ultimately, their attempts failed and my father was pronounced dead at the scene. He was only 45 years old.

So many unanswered questions. Why was it so important to repair that line in the middle of the night? Why wasn’t Girl’s State canceled until a later date when repairs could be made safely? Why was my dad working in these conditions without proper gloves and boots to be properly grounded? What didn’t help matters is everyone was put on a gag order for five years. The hardest blow came when my mother refused to sue for negligence and wrongful death. Through tears she simply said, “Your dad didn’t believe in suing anyone. It will not bring him back.” But, I wanted to. My brother and I both wanted to. We were grieved and vexed beyond anything that ever existed in our framework to conceive. But, we would not dishonor our mother. To make matters worse, my uncle was working that night, side by side with my dad. In time, he finally confessed he would have been severely reprimanded if he had spoken about the details of that night before the five years had passed. In later years, he spoke of nightmares that plagued him night after night which lasted for months. This man became like a dad to me. His heart broke for us. It took me a long time to realize that in the accident, not only did my dad die, this was his brother. And, they had become very close after my dad retired from the military. Only God knows how deep the grief cuts into a person’s soul when the light of a life that brings life to their soul is snuffed out, especially when it happens suddenly, without any warning or preparation. We would be forever changed.

It had only been the week before I talked on the phone with my dad and for the first time in my life that I could remember, I told him I loved him. He said, “I love you too.” That would be the last time I talked to my dad. I never got a chance to tell him how sorry I was that I moved out the way I did, so suddenly—I just wanted my independence. I wanted to pursue my dream of singing. It was difficult for him to handle, as I was through and through a daddy’s girl. But at least I was able to tell him I loved him before he left.

Memories flooded my soul, like when I had an opportunity to join the group called “Up With People,” which was a group of youth that traveled the world singing upbeat music with upbeat, positive lyrics, but my dad said no. That was a lot to ask a man whose daughter just recently graduated from high school. But I never forgot it. My dad was a dad indeed and very protective at that. He wanted me to go to college and he worked at a job that would allow me free tuition. Otherwise, there would be no hope of me going. He became very upset when I wanted to drop out after only two years. I wasn’t adjusting well there. I thought transferring to the college across the ravine would make the difference. Not. He was not happy where he was working but stayed so I could get a college education. This would be a decision I would regret for years to come. Soon thereafter, he began the process of trying to change jobs when he died. It seemed it was simply one day to late. If only….

Then there was the time I had been chosen to go to Japan to study as an exchange student. I received a scholarship that would pay for tuition but not room and board. I would have to work teaching English to pay my way. My parents didn’t like the idea of me going to Japan for a year without having the money to support me in advance, as there were simply too many variables. What ultimately caused me to stay at home was my parents were unable to get a loan to support me while I studied abroad. At their insistence, I stayed home. Yes, my dad was very cautious indeed. After the accident, of course, I was so glad my parents insisted I not go to Japan. Otherwise, I would have missed out on spending the last year of his life with him.

All I knew was I felt empty. I remember thinking, “How am I going to help my mother?” I couldn’t imagine what she was going through. Truthfully, I wasn’t old enough to understand the soul connection she had with the man she married when she was only 18. My brother was in the Navy, so he had to ship back out to his post. Our first Christmas was spent on a cruise ship in the frigid cold winter (even in Florida it was freezing cold that year) to get out of the house. My life would never be the same. Truth is, I’m not sure you ever get over it. Not completely. He was my dad. He was my encouragement. He was my rock. He was my stability. He was my daddy.

As the years have gone by, the Lord has taught me many lessons about accepting God as our Father. I had a good dad. A really good dad who worked and made sacrifices for his family so we could have a decent life. Lesson after lesson paralleled the unconditional love of my heavenly father as provider, healer and friend and as I lovingly call him, Baba.”

Why do bad things happen to good people? There is a book written with this title. My answer is, sometimes there’s just no good answer. No reasonable explanation. It is just what it is…part of the cycle of life that we all have to live through at one time or another. It is easy to blame. Sometimes that blame is truly warranted. It is much harder to live with knowing you are just left with an empty space to fill. But God…

If we will allow him, God has a way of gently loving us into wholeness again. I can’t say what it will look like for anyone else, but I know he did this for us. It was a long, hard journey, but God has never left our side. Without his strength carrying me and sustaining me, I would have never made it through. Although we never forget, we must forgive and release to find peace, otherwise a root of bitterness will take root thus defiling every choice we make and every relationship.

I still miss my dad. Sometimes, I feel as if he’s watching over me and encouraging me. My uncle (who was my dad’s younger brother) who took on a father role in my life graduated into heaven in May of 2015. My uncle who was working alongside my dad that night, who took over being my dad, died only a few weeks ago at the time of this writing. I know I am not alone, but I can honestly say I’ve never felt more alone than I do right now.

As hard as saying goodbye is, there is still life to be found. If I have nothing else within me to give, I will always say, “Never give up. As long as there is life in your body, there is always hope. There is still life to be found.” Know where you will spend eternity. And yes, you can know for sure where you will spend eternity. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and when these days on earth are done, we will spend an eternity in heaven with the Lord.

©2018 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

Life….And Then There’s Two–Part One

Promises, promises. I held on to them for dear life. They were my hope. They were my anchor. I hung on to them for dear life and I wasn’t going to let anyone take them from me. I held them close to my heart. In fact, for many of them, only me and God knew. That’s how I liked it. That’s how I wanted it. I never uttered a peep. That’s how I knew they were safe. Just between me and God.

As my daughter and I continued to live and grow, the Lord continued to show himself faithful. We had our valleys no doubt, but all in all, I could finally see God’s hand of favor on our lives and he constantly reaffirmed his promise to me for good and not harm, a future and a hope, and that is what kept me going through each valley. I felt a shift in our circumstances in that I saw my daughter smile when we were together. In fact, we finally started connecting in the simplicity of living day to day. Yet, there was still that “thing” inside me that wished I had made better choices. I wished I had never taken the wrong turn. I wished I had trusted God more to finish what he started in me so long ago. I wished so much…I wished with so much regret I wondered if I would ever realize the fullness of what I knew God called me to do.

Then it happened. That meeting. That encounter with God that changed me forever. It was a Tuesday night in October. The Fall air was beginning to set in but it was still plenty warm outside. Me and a friend was invited back to my “hometown church” where I served after my father was killed in the accident. It was one of those old fashioned tent revivals. A place where you could lift you hands to praise and shout “Halleluiah! Amen!” I got to see so many friends in a church where I once worshiped. It was a great night. I felt like I was walking on air.

I came home and the next night, I resumed service at my current church, which was also in revival. It was a Wednesday night. The service was powerful. The Holy Spirit was strong and the message was well-received. I found myself in tears and could not even speak to anyone at the end of service. I went home and could not make sense of the sudden shift in my emotions. I woke up the next morning (Thursday morning), still in a fog—still such a heaviness in my spirit. I knew I had to go to work. I prayed and prayed but could not find relief. Why were my emotions on such a roller coaster? Why had I gone from such a “high” to such a “low” in a matter of hours? It made no sense.

Finally, I pounded my fist on the kitchen table and said to God, “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on!” Like a movie playing in my mind, the Lord took me through memories of when I was at my hometown church after my dad died. I was one of the church pianists. God showed me how I had served as fill-in to a community church when they had no pianist and how God had used me to bring the music to my then pastor’s revival circuit. He reminded me of the connections he made for me through local quartets and the encouragement they gave me regarding the music ministry God had given me. Then the Lord showed me where I was at the present time. He showed me how even through the bad marriage we were in, the Lord gave me strength to step out and attend the current church I was currently attending as a “safe place,” and so they could start praying for us. He showed me how if it had not been for the prayers of the people at my current church, the Satan would have caused my ex-husband to be consumed with paranoia and we would have been killed. The Lord showed me how even though I took a wrong turn, he never left me and he caused me to be delivered and placed me at a church where once again, I was serving through the gift of music he gave me. The Lord then asked me, “Can’t you see? I’ve restored you.” I was stunned. Yes, once again, with a tear-soaked face, all I could do was worship my savior.

The Lord then spoke to me and said, “Many of my people are hurting. Tell my people that I love them and I want them to come to me so I can heal them. Time is running out and I need my people working. I will use your life to bring me glory.”

I was speechless. How could God love me so much that He would still choose to use someone like me after all I had done? I was so in love with my savior I could scarcely find the words to utter my praise to him. The Lord began to tell me some of the things he was preparing for me—really great things that I held deep in my heart and well within God’s keeping power. The date was October 19, 1996. God had already anointed me to write and earlier that year, I asked God to give me a song that I could give back to him, to bring him glory. The song, “You Love Even Me” would become prophetic for even me, as this year ended and the next year began to unfold.

I stayed on that “mountain top” for a long time. Our lives were becoming more settled and my direction clearer. Then it happened. In my normal course of daily living, I had another encounter—of the unholy kind. I had for most of my life walked with compassion in my heart for others—since I was a little girl. That’s how God made me. After God’s deliverance and healing in my life from certain destruction, I held deep reverence for God and for the commissioned call he had on my life. What I did not clearly understand was the enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. What I didn’t clearly understand was when God opens our ears to hear, we must learn to discern. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived while we walk in compassion for others. What I had not been fully prepared for was as much as I loved my savior, there was still work that needed to be done in me. I needed understanding that goes with knowledge. I needed wisdom that goes along with that new level of faith and upward movement from glory to glory. I needed to take God at his word and never waver from his truth. I needed to crucify my flesh and above all, I needed to guard my heart.

With my own life, I already knew how God’s grace was able to save a soul and change a life. My life was far from perfect, so for God to reach down and lift me out of a pit and set me on a firm foundation only confirmed to me that he could do it for anyone.

And the story continues…

©2017 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

Life…..And Then There’s Two–Part Two

It was a day like any other day. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was changing out the pump signs with our new specials and making sure our gassing stations were clean and tidy. I had committed to the Lord to use my business as a lighthouse in the community for his glory, which we did every day. People began to seek out our convenience store for a place to shop, noting that the scrolling sign on the pump telling them that “Jesus Loves You” brought them great encouragement. I offered customers hope through a smile, word of encouragement and a gospel tract anyone could pick up free of charge. I also offered local ministries and churches the opportunity to make extra money by having a car wash on my lot. I was cautioned against doing this due to the cost, since we were already experiencing financial difficulties, but I knew the cost was low compared to the change in the atmosphere of our community that was bearing the existence of two active gangs. I knew I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing and for as long as God allowed me to be there, I would continue forward.

One of the men in a local ministry I was helping came up to me and asked me a question. It was as if he had been painted on from head to toe. I mean, the man loved tattoos. But who was I to judge. Then the man added, “When God saved me, I looked in the mirror and I had doubts.” He went on to say, “God told me he saw my heart and change would start there.” I knew what he meant. God’s grace. Then I heard it. “The Voice.” You know—that soft voice. That whisper. It said, “Will you consider him?” In my heart, I knew what it meant. God already told me he was preparing to bring me a husband and together we would spread the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. At first, I didn’t think much of it. But it was persistent.

As the days and weeks went on, me and this man would have more conversations. Before you know it, we began to pray for one another. Even though there were obvious differences, I knew what God was able to do—after all, I knew what God did for me. I was cautioned by those who knew me. I was cautioned by those who knew him. This is what is called being surrounded by Godly counsel, as God says there is safety in the counsel of many. Here’s where a person is supposed to “heed to Godly counsel.” I might add, this is not a time for the righteousness of God to become prideful. After all, I knew it was God’s voice I heard. Right?? Time went on and we eventually became engaged to be married. The rings were bought. The date was set. Now, here’s where many people may have their own opinions, but I’ve learned, there is a reason God sets certain boundaries for us to follow—not so we can have a boring life, but for our own good, safety and well being.

What happened next shook me to the core on the foundation God had so painstakingly built for me to be planted on. A person’s true character is seen not when things are good or events are running smoothly. A person’s true character is seen when the fire is the hottest, and the fire that was set ablaze against us was burning hotter and hotter. It was only weeks before we were to be married. Plans were being made and it seemed things were coming together as planned. I had not been feeling well but was at a loss to understand why—probably just because I was making another one of the biggest life-changing decisions of my life. Then the final straw was placed on what became known as the pile of sinking sand. I found out I was pregnant.

In an instant, I felt myself spiral into a place of utter aloneness. One could best describe it as a place of complete darkness. Thoughts of myself as the minister God called me to be were suddenly thrown into a heap of “you failed” and “you’re worthless” all over again. To add fuel to the fire, I remembered him growing anxious because I kept putting off the wedding. I had that “stinging feeling within me” and I voiced my concerns to him. I said, “What’s wrong with waiting? If its meant to be, it will be.” He reluctantly agreed, so we waited—a little while longer. My mind began racing from thoughts of his voicing his restlessness for waiting to get married to “what is everyone going to think.” I didn’t have the feelings of security of “Well, we’re almost married. It’s going to be all right.” There was nothing all right about what I was going through, what I was feeling and what I was thinking. My barometer of grace seemed to be sucked dry and I was at a loss to process it all.

Truth came in a matter of days. I met with him and told him I was pregnant. Quite frankly, his reaction came of no complete surprise to me. However, I was hopeful this was all just a bad dream and deep inside, I hoped we would get married and everything would be okay. Not. He became angry and threw the papers in his hand and said, “This is just great. How far along are you?” The conversation ended with, “I need to be alone for a while.” We met only a few more times after that. I finally accepted the fact he simply was not ready to be married, nor was he ready to be a father. He became quite relieved to hear me admit to it and with that, he left. He tucked himself away in the company of those who provided for all his needs. A place for him to become a stronger man to deal with his life.

As for me, I was left alone to handle everything. I had been down the road of taking responsibility before. I took responsibility for myself and my daughter after the abusive marriage. I would take responsibility for this too—even though it was certainly not all of my own doing. I was silent for a time. My secret was still my own for a while. I tried to sit down to the piano and find solace. It didn’t work. I tried to read God’s word. I couldn’t take it in. I tried to pray. I felt as if I was talking to the walls. Thoughts of losing all God promised me once again plagued my thoughts. My heart was broken. My soul was vexed. All I could hear was “you’re no good.” I finally stormed through the house crying and yelling at the top of my lungs, “Is this it? Have it done it now? Have I gone too far this time? Have I exhausted my grace account?” After what seems like forever, the Lord spoke, “It’s just going to be harder.”

The next day, I was standing at my kitchen sink looking into the front yard. I heard it again. The Voice. That whisper. “You know how to take care of this problem. It doesn’t have to be a problem for you.” Instantly, I felt the power of God come upon me and I said out loud, “Satan! You’re a liar! And you’re defeated by the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony! I will have this baby!”

I was finally able to gather the courage to speak to the pastor of the church who had supported us until the time I became engaged. As difficult as all of this had been to process, he said something that set me free, at least enough to see it with a little clearer perspective. He said, “Having a baby out of wedlock is not the sin. It’s what you did to get pregnant that’s the sin.” We had a good conversation. In a stately manner, he said “You know abortion is out of the question.” I was then able to tell him “the rest of the story” about that morning he read from Jeremiah—that morning God chose to meet with me by divine intervention and face having had two abortions while I was previously married. It was also in that conversation with him I was able to tell him how Satan had tried to tempt me to do just that—abort another precious gift from God—the child I was pregnant with. No. Satan would not win this time. Not again.

I made a vow to God that day. I told God I wanted his best for my life and if I needed to stay single in order to get it, that was okay with me—and I meant it. The years ahead would prove to be very challenging to say the least. Some of our greatest challenges can become some of our greatest losses. Sometimes, those losses can bring some of our greatest blessings. The Lord prepared me though. He knows I remind him often enough that he tells us he will not keep us in the dark. He told me to prepare to go back to school and that if I would pursue a career in medical transcription, I would be able to work and provide for my kids all while being able to stay at home with them and not have to depend on someone else to care for them. This is something I longed for. God knows the desires of our hearts and whatever those may be, he will work things together to get us where we need to be to receive them. He certainly did for me.

God also knows the plans he has for us and in that he will also work all things together for our own good. I knew my business was struggling financially but I always reminded God that his word said I should owe no one anything but to walk in his love, so I expected a miracle. I was not opposed to leaving the business—I just didn’t want to leave it while being in debt. Sometimes, the Lord’s grace will deliver us so we do not have to walk through the fire. Sometimes, the Lord’s grace will carry us so we are not overtaken by the floods. Sometimes, God’s grace will rise within us and make us stronger than we could ever imagine, enough to walk through the fire and the flood. I knew God was faithful and I knew he had always been good to me. So, I knew he would see me and my two children through the yet another devastating season when I would be forced to close my business (by reason of inability to become financially soluble).

I started at the business as manager with low sales and increased a small kiosk business to more zeros per year than I had ever seen with my own eyes in my life. It was my livelihood. It was my baby. It was my identity. I felt lost and the rejection I encountered was more than I could bear. I had been trying to sell my home so I could downgrade, but time would prove it was not on my side. I lost everything. I withdrew. I couldn’t fathom what was next for us. Unknowns. Uncertainties. But all eyes were on me to provide and “fix it.”

But God… and Only God… His plan is perfect. His timing is perfect. When I finally conceded to that, I was finally able to breath. Through my family’s suggestion, I found my way into school. Amazingly, I remembered the word God spoke to me a year earlier. Indeed, this school had a medical transcription course. My heart was overjoyed! My daughter was eight years old and my son was four months old. Talk about a new beginning. It would take three years, but I did it. I made it through school—not with just one, but with two degrees. And, I made it through with honors, a 4.0 GPA. I achieved the highest honor as the overall outstanding student and was the keynote speaker of my class. I saw the glory of the Lord pierce through the darkness of every negative word I had ever heard about myself. God never ceases to amaze me with what he can do with willingness and effort. Amazing Grace—God’s love for us.

I’ve known for quite some time that my life is not my own. God has called me to something greater than I can fathom and through it all, he has never changed his mind with what that will be.

We all meet at the crossroads of “life” and “convenience,” “trust and obey” and “do it my own way.” Each choice brings its own set of circumstances, ups and downs, goods and bads. No, life is not a crapshoot. God has a plan. He has a perfect plan, a perfect will. God also gives us a choice. God tells us to choose life. Not because he a “stick in the mud” with a bunch of rules and regulations to make our lives boring, and deem our lives insignificant. And, no. God does not sit on his throne with a scepter in his hand ready and waiting to knock us over the head when we make a mistake. God loves us. All of us. Is life hard? Yes. Is life fair? No. But even so, God is good and He wants his best for us.

A friend of mine told me once, “God will pull you through if you can stand the pull.” She was right, of course. I was eventually able to forgive him for walking out on us. Just like I was able to forgive my ex-husband for all he did to us. I also came to forgive myself for what I had done. Because of God’s grace. Choose life. Choose his way. Choose his plan. His way is not always the easiest, but it is always the best. He wants us to have his best along the way. Seek him and you will find him. And, wherever life may find you today, just know, God loves you even when you make mistakes. I know his love is what keeps me going. Yes, Lord, I know “You Love Even Me.”

©2017 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

It’s Just Me

It’s just me, Lord, I’ve confessed more times than I an remember.  I love that about my relationship with God. I know he sees me as his daughter, beautifully arrayed in his robes of grace, but in the realness of my relationship with him, I know I can come to him just the way I am, whatever way that may be.  His love is real, pure and makes me complete.  I want the world to know this kind of relationship with God too.  I want each person to know his love and allow his love to make them complete.

©2017 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

Where to Begin

So…..where shall I begin?  There was a day when I wondered if I would ever fulfill my dreams in life.  I started out with a good, solid plan, being raised by hard-working, sound-minded parents who believed in setting goals and working towards them. AND, quitting was not an option.  Nevertheless, life has a way of interfering and if one is not steadfast in the pursuit of their dreams, one can get side-tracked and dreams can get derailed.

This is what happened to me.  Much in life comes at a price–sometimes the price is much more than you would ever imagine it would cost.  I’ve never regretted the family God blessed me to raise, but I’ve always had deep within my soul the desire and longing to fulfill what I always believed I was put on this earth to achieve.  Then that day came…

It was earlier in the year of 2010 that God woke me up early one morning and as if scenes of a movie were playing in my mind, he reminded me of the events that had transpired over my life and how he had established every moment in time to bring me to this place at this precise time.

He showed me how he had ordained the season I moved with my children to care for my mother during a season she struggled with her health, but that I would only be there for a “few years” and he would move us again–this time to Oklahoma.  Wow! God gave me two promises in that word.  Not only would he fulfill his plan for my life, he would give me my hopes and dreams, he would also heal my mother, which he did.

Once again, God showed me he’s got it all worked out.  We just have to be willing to see it like he does.  Ha!  Most of the time, much easier said than done.  I’ve lived through many challenging things in my life, such as the death of my dad when I was 19–it turned my world upside down; overcoming an abusive marriage; learning to forgive myself after having two abortions; and raising two children as a single parent, with my son being born with Asperger’s disorder.  So, I learned how to tighten up the boot straps, take a deep breath and ride out the storm.  I was also learning how to obey without delay, and this move was going to be different than any other move I’d made before.

God, in all his sovereignty and (I might add) without asking me what I thought, asked me to move me and my son not only to a different state, but to a town over five times bigger than what we were used to.  I’ve never gotten so turned around in traffic before in my life! What was supposed to be east and west, to me was north and south. Whew! Honestly, with the way the cars move in and out of their lanes, if this were Mayberry, Barney Fife’s eyes would pop out from blowing his whistle non-stop!

But we adapted–finally.  What came as even more of a surprise, rather should I say, more humbling than I had ever found myself be before God was realizing he not only called me to become a credentialed minister, he called me to be a voice for his words and message through dreams and visions. I’ve known since I was 9 years old God gave me a voice to sing and would use the gift of music in my life.  In fact, my life-long dream had been to sing, and I’m not talking about just singing in the shower.  Deep within myself, I knew God had great things for me and he put within me the desire to dream bigger than I could imagine. This would be a huge dream for me. I was always painfully shy and quite content to be behind the scenes helping others. But God has a way of putting a fire in you that will not be quenched until your destiny is fulfilled. Even so, my life choices would put those dreams on the shelf.  Not that I stopped singing.  I never stopped completely. But the motivation and direction changed, and I found myself in a holding pattern for many years. I then embarked on the journey of allowing and trusting God to do in me what was necessary for me to do what he put me on this earth to do. This journey would require me to allow him to cleanse and heal my soul. Not a journey for the faint of heart. Not a journey He asks us to do on our own either.

Even through all the ups and downs, God told me he had not changed his mind and I would sing, but he had actually called me to do much more than just sing.  God told me to speak the words he would give me to speak at his choosing and to whom he chose to send me. The thought of this was surreal. Some say the times of the prophets passed long ago, like back in the days of the Old Testament long ago. Others embrace the fact that God is still very present with us today and speaks to us through his word, his creation–and his prophets. When did I become a prophet? According to God, before I was born. Looking back, I guess I’ve always been one, for as long as I can remember. Not that I clearly understood it you understand. Nope. Too much would come about to pull me away from the knowledge of that truth for quite a while. I would say my life finally started making sense to me when I finally came to terms with “The Call.” What I do know is God chooses such as that. We do not. As God started rolling the footage of the movie of my life and putting the pieces together, I once again realized it really wasn’t about me at all.  It never had been.  My life had been about him positioning me, preparing me, restoring and establishing me for such a time as this to be a voice to the nations, and this he planned long before we moved to Oklahoma.

So where was I?? I’ve heard myself say many times, “I’m waiting on God.”  In truth, he was waiting on me. Like so many of us, I was taking care of my family and working to do my best to bring light into this world of darkness in my area of influence. At the same time, missing it like a shot in the dark. Learning can be hard. Growing through transition can be harder and even lonely. We all need guidance. We all need understanding. We all need teaching. It behooves us all to pray for one another and not criticize. We are one step ahead of the game when we allow God to take us where he wants us to be in order to receive the instruction, teaching, counsel and encouragement we need to fulfill our destiny. What I do know for sure–God is faithful to never leave us or turn away from us.

This is why I named this blog Every New Beginning.  Because, with each new day, we have a new beginning. Some dramatic, some not so much. But with each one, we face the challenge of choosing to rise up in newness of life or be pulled down into complacency and defeat.  So, on this blog, there will be more about me, my story, what I think and more importantly, what God wants us to know in this season. So…regardless of what your thoughts on these matters may be, I hope this is your take-away: This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior, all the day long. Hope you enjoy.


©2017 Katrina Stanley
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