A Life in Progress – Crystal

1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “But, as it is written, ‘what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.’”

My plan was to stay at Keswick forever and never leave this beautiful, wonderful, safe place, but boy, did God have other plans for me.  He puts us in places where we once felt so weak and fearful to show how strong we really are with Him fighting for us to grow our faith to trust in Him more!

I was so afraid to leave Keswick and my bubble and the godly people that surrounded me.  What I know now is that my Father’s love is with me everywhere I go.  It does not stay in one place because He does not stay in one place.  He is with me, and His love is with me all the time!

Going to Texas after leaving Barbara’s Place was exciting and scary.  It was scary because I was leaving my safe place, but exciting because I got to go back to Texas, where I’m from, and I got to spend three months with my dad and stepmom on their ranch.  I was able to work and earn some money, pay off tickets, and get my license back – and my dad gave me a car!

My son, Marley, got to spend two of those months with me, and we had so much fun together.   He cooked me breakfast every morning, and I cooked him dinner every night.  We went on nightly four-wheeler rides, went fishing and on walks, and watched ‘Storage Wars’ at night.

That summer, my dad and stepmom rented a place in Louisiana for a week so that we could spend time with my daughter, whom I hadn’t seen or spoken to in over four years.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that moment when I saw my daughter for the first time in so long.  Our little family was becoming whole again.  I have had a taste of being with my kids over that summer and how God is restoring my family.

1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

I have had many challenges since I left Keswick with my family, my kids, and life things.  I have sought the Lord through it all and have asked for His guidance and wisdom to help me through each obstacle, and He has given me peace and joy even through the storms!

At the end of the summer, I brought my son back to Alabama.  He did not want me to go back to Texas and be so far away from him.  So, I decided to look into a couple of faith-based transitional housing options close to where my son lives.  I found one not too far from him, and it’s where I call home.  I live in the cutest little green cottage-looking apartment.  I absolutely love the owner and have become very close with her.  I have a job that I love and a town full of people who support me, love me, and are there for me.

I stay in touch with my family at Keswick, and I also have a Christian counselor that I see every two weeks where I live.

God promises He will finish what He starts, and I believe that firmly with all my heart.  He has brought me out of some dark places and back to life.  A life that I never in a million years thought I’d be living – getting to see my kids, hanging out with my family, working, and driving legally.  I am ok with being alone (because I’m never really alone), and there are so many things to thank God for.

James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

I wear a crown of life every day because of His love for me!