Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A love letter

These last few months have been CRAZY but I don't mean crazy in the sense of chaos or being super busy and hectic. I mean crazy as in totally uncomfortable and different than what I have ever experienced. You have to understand where I am coming from....

For the past 10 years I have been completely covered in love by people around me and drenched in encouragement and fellowship. In High school it was West Hill Baptist church and all of the amazing people and mentors God put in my life as I grew into the young lady God desired for me to be. People like the Hamiltons, The Price Family, the Craycraft Family, the Carpenter Family, the Davenport family, the Miller family, the Chambers, the Livingstons, the Heinys.......seriously I wish I could name you all. I didn't even mention the friends that walked with me daily through my struggles and the newness of what being a Christ Follower meant. Friends like Rachel Chambers, Ashley Cherilla, Cody Davenport, Josh Saefkow, Stephanie King....and the list continues ;) God only knows how your love helped carry me through some very hard times in my life. No matter what was going on I always felt loved and I had encouragement coming out of my ears. So thank you for all of you who loved me beyond measure.

Then I went from Wooster Ohio to a place called Lynchburg VA to attend Liberty University to become a "champion for Christ" and one of "Jerrys kids" (That term now puts a smile on my face.) WOW I had no idea what I was getting myself into. College was such an amazing experience. God taught me so much about life and love and what it meant to walk with Christ. I learned so much about His word and how to replicate it in my life. Not only was God teaching me about living through his word but he blessed me with so many amazing brothers and sisters in Christ that I was able to watch implement Christ daily in their lives. What an honor and privilege that was. I would love to list you all and give you the credit you deserve...not to give you glory of course but to honor you for being open to being used by the Lord. Liberty was such a great time in my life. God showed me things that I would never dream of. He showed me a life I would never think possible for myself. He gave me visions and dreams that I never thought possible.
College was simply amazing and I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING...debt and all! (well, I would give up the debt but would also pay it again if I had to)

After College......same goes. The Lord kept people in my life and gave me great new friends and community as well. I lived with some awesome girls in a house outside of Lynchburg. I love you Athena, Heather, Josie, Amber and last but not least Patches. This was interesting:) Oh how I miss you guys!! We had some amazing times. This was a new stage in my life spiritually. God began to shed light on some very dark areas of my life. Past hurts that I never realized were even effecting my daily life. He gave me an awesome friend to share all of this in.....Patches. Wow, how the enemy tried to break us apart for God would be glorified had we remained friends. But with all Glory to God we stood strong and God rocked our world BIG TIME!!!!!
We both found healing through faith in Jesus. Healing that would forever change us. I was freed from bondage that was holding me down. It all started by obeying the Spirit of the Lord telling me to walk into an office of a man I didn't know named Alistair McPherson. This is the phase in my life when I learned what it truly meant to fight against the "rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms"

I had learned so much in the previous years as I grew in the Lord but somewhere the realness of the daily spiritual battle we fight got lost. I thank God for this very difficult time in my life where he let me look a demon in the eye and say FLEE FROM HERE!!! I was FOREVER CHANGED. The world was different to me after that. I could see a different type of beauty in life. <3 A big thank you to all of those who allowed God to be glorified in this. In all these years mentioned God also allowed me to travel to different countries and taught me so much through that as well. He showed me what my future could look like. He gave me a glimpse of what He desired for my life. Nothing mundane or way. He desired something RADICAL, something that would change the World and I would like to say that I said "Here I am send me" especially after seeing God in all his Glory. Eventually I did GO.....I went to the Middle East and God continued once again to prune me.....and it hurt. I like to call this phase of my life "DETOX OF SELF" You know.....I just mentioned it.....God showing you himself in all of His fullness.....and then you realizing " "

"Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

It was that kind of season for me....I felt like that nearly every day. But lets not forget that the Lord doesn't leave us like that.......

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Isaiah 6:6-7

THANK YOU LORD FOR THAT!!!! What an awesome time for me.I met amazing people from all over the world and made lifetime friends. So much love and so much encouragement was given during this time. What more can one ask for?!?! During this time words were also spoken over me time and again. One being that I would meet my husband <3 WOW, who would have thought?!?!?!? I am now Mrs. Tompkins so Glory to God for that!!!!

Then a brief time in Ohio Thank you Nussbaum family as well as all my family in Ohio.
Then a year in Virginia with the Baileys, the Frasers, Patches Fuller, Melissa Arcand, the Arthurs, the Gregorys, the Crosiers, the Q family, the Mcphersons, All Souls and One Community. Such a short time with great friends.I love you and miss you all SO MUCH!!!

Then our 1 month road trip on the way to AZ=AWESOMENESS

Now to my point. ARIZONA: My new home. Living with the in-laws, buying a house, Greg is going to culinary school and LOVING IT!!! I know we are where we are suppose to be for now but it is so STINKING HARD!!!!!! As you have seen in the history of the past 11 years of my life I have been flooded with amazing people at all times........Now, not so much...and that is what I mean when I say it has been uncomfortable and "crazy" It has been so different than what I have known for soooo long.

The Walmart run that should have only taken 15 minutes but ended up being 2 hours is now very much missed. Welcomed interruptions while reading at a local coffee shop.....those don't happen anymore. Familiar faces as you walk through town or honks from friends while running down Rivermont AVE. These are now just sweet memories. All of this is so incredibly sad for me. I miss community, long talks, coffee with friends,bible studies, dinner with friends and game nights.
All of this change has been difficult for me. It is now time to make new friends and find new community.

This has all made me think about the things we take for granted. And I assure you that your friendships mean the world to me and I am ever so grateful.

Arizona is wonderful and I have one friend who enjoys my company (I think) Thank you Kelly Ray.

And thank you to my wonderful husband who would do anything to make me happy. I feel that I don't deserve him at times. I am so happy that he is fulfilling a desire and dream to become an amazing Chef for the soul purpose of loving God and sharing Gods love to others in a very real and practical way. Of course my in-laws have also been amazing and opened there home to us for a time in order to continue to save for our house. We are indeed blessed.

I am totally outside my comfort zone. I at one time thought that I could be anywhere and be comfortable. I am now proven wrong. Now another lesson to learn: Being completely content with Christ...and no one else. I am pretty sure I have learned this before! But here I am again. You would think that I would have kept that hidden in my heart the first time right?!?!? Prayers would be appreciated.

Blessings and Love to you all
and a Big Thanks for you have ALL made my life so wonderful and have taken part in shaping the person I am today.