Just a Blog.

“Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” – Psalm 96: 2-3

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When I began this blog, that is all I ever expected it to be. Just a blog.

Though, it is not just a blog. Forth As Gold has been the vessel through which I have been able to share my faith, and allowed others to share in that as well. It has changed people. It has changed me. It has strengthened bonds, and broken some. It has been so much more than I ever planned it to be.

 

Because God has taken every piece of me and put it into words to share the story of His endless love for all of us.

 

Forth As Gold was created to share my profound love for a God who literally came to me on a highway to prove His existence and deep love for me.

 

It would mean I would have to be totally transparent. I would have to be honest. I would have to be open and vulnerable. I would have to tell it all. To open my closet of hidden sins to the world.

 

It has been so damn hard.

 

I cannot begin to explain the negativity and cruelty I have received about this over the year since Forth was created. >>>>>>>

 

I cannot begin to explain the joy and thankfulness I have received about this over the year since Forth was created. <<<<<<<

 

It’s a constant seesaw of emotions and sometimes it hurts. It hurts when people use your sins to make you feel unworthy of God’s love. It also hurts so good when you get to watch others get a taste of who Jesus is because of your boldness to speak.

 

When it becomes hard to speak out, I have to remind myself of the whole reason I do this to begin with.

 

22 year old me was on a path of destruction. She was angry, hurt, and lost. She didn’t think she had the strength to finish college. She couldn’t make it through the night without screaming into her pillow and sobbing until she was too weak to stay awake. She was depressed and broken.

 

The only thing that kept her alive was a tiny voice that she had never heard before. But during this time, it visited her often. It repeatedly said “it’s going to be okay” and sent whooshes of relief down her whole being. She didn’t know what it was but welcomed the moments of calm.

 

She found out whose voice that was on the day that Jesus Christ literally lit up her car driving down I95 and that tiny voice became a big one that said “I’ve always been here for you and I always will be.” It was Him. It’s always been Him. Life was never the same after that.

 

Ever since then, all I have wanted to do is share my incredible story of amazing love that overcomes all. Because you see, it’s not just my story. It is all of ours. He died on a cross to save ALL of us, and for that I am eternally grateful.

 

Thank you God that you believed in me even when I couldn’t believe in myself. Thank you for loving me even when I am hard to love. & thank you for turning Forth As Gold into something more than I ever could imagine.

 

Happy first birthday, Forth.

 

-Kristin

The Devil’s Doing.

” ‘For I know the plans I have for YOU,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’ ” -Jeremiah 29:11

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Being told that you are a piece of crap really can make you feel like a piece of crap, you know?

I remember being with someone who told me that he did not like that I did not pray aloud.  That I did not serve in the church. That I did not run around like a chicken with my head cut off doing Bible studies and volunteering for the church. He was disappointed that I did not openly share and show my faith.

& it killed me. What killed me even more was knowing that later on, I had done the same thing to others.

When you are new into loving Jesus and learning about Him, you usually do not jump right into praying over people. Serving in church is awesome, but it is not required. It also certainly is not necessary to keep yourself busy running/attending a bunch of different Bible studies.

So to be told that you are not good enough as soon as you are interested in just who Jesus is and His abounding love for us, well it just plan sucks. It makes you feel crappy and unworthy.

Which is so incredibly far from the truth of Christ is. We are unworthy, yet He loves us so much despite it all.

To Him, we are so, so, so worthy.

It took me some time to realize that the person’s words were not God’s words. God allowed me to grow in my own time. He showed me how to love deeper and be brave.

Words that say you are not enough are not words from God.

Whether you are brand new, and not really sure what is going on (been there) or are deep into your relationship with Christ but just have kind of lost yourself and your purpose for a while (definitely been there), remember that you are not expected to have it all together. It is okay.

God does not rush us to do things we are not ready for. If anything, it is honestly the devil’s doing if we feel we are being pushed too much, too soon. He knows we will rush into something for God, not be ready, hate it, and resent Him.

Follow your heart. Even if others cannot understand and try to make you feel awful.  Our journeys may be different but He loves us all the same no matter where we may be in our faith. ❤

-Kristin

 

2 AM.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”-Isaiah 40:31


I wish I could tell you that I’m great with relationships.

But that would be a lie.

I have chosen to put myself in some horrific situations. Situations I would never wish anyone to be in. I did this all because I desperately sought out love (and I still do).

I remember laying in a bed at 2 am with a person laying beside me who I had come to despise. 

& all I could think is how could this be it? How has my life become this? Why have I chosen to let this relationship ruin my life? 

So the next morning I ended it. I was free. It hurt and felt amazing all at the same time.

I’d also like to tell you that it was the last time I put myself in a bad situation…

But that’d be a lie.

Most of my life has been that way. Broken relationship after broken relationship. Relationships that I chose. 

I did not find the man of my dreams in high school. I did not find him in college. I didn’t find him right out college. I didn’t find him at church. I didn’t find him organically. 

I have not settled down and gotten married and had kids yet. 

I chose a different (dare I say, more crazy) route.

& THAT IS OKAY. 

Because Jesus.

He loves me despite my horrible choices. He picks me up and dusts me off every time I falter. He reminds me that the only relationship that will ever define me is the one I have with Him.

For someone who once laid awake in that bed at 2 am, this statement changes everything. 

The past has no control over me, because I am too busy thinking about my future. 

The Healer of all has chosen to have a relationship with me. One that will never leave me heartbroken. 

Thank you God for loving this incredible mess of a person I am and giving me more chances than I deserve.

-Kristin-

I Left.

“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.” -Proverbs 29:25

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I have a nasty habit that I am trying to work on.

I desperately desire the approval of others.

What a truly disappointing and dangerous ^ situation to be in.

We will NEVER be able to make everyone happy. It is literally impossible.  So why do I still want that to happen when I know it never will?

I held back so much for so long due to this. I watched where I stepped. I tried to watch what I said. I put off living in order to try and make others happy.

But the thing was, it was never enough.  & it will never be enough.

So.

I left.

I left the people who did not make me feel like the person God made me to be.

I left the situations I knew I would never grow from.

I left the fear of wondering what others would think of me.

I left behind the life I had been putting on hold to make others approve of me.

It’s been the craziest thing, y’all.

I have had people come straight out of the woodwork to tell me they read my blog posts and think I am a hypocrite.

I have had people cut me off because I do not live the life they believe I should live.

I have had someone tell me that they can’t believe I have the audacity to call myself a Christian.

& I have never felt so free. Or happy. Or incredible.

You see, it does not matter what they say.

Because Jesus.

He calls me…

HIS BELOVED.

CHERISHED.

CALLED.

BRAVE.

EQUIPPED.

LOVED BEYOND MEASURE.

I am His.

In my leaving, I found Him even more.

I remembered His goodness and His ever exquisite love for me no matter where life takes me or what others think of me.

The haters will come and go, but His love for me is here to stay.

-Kristin

 

 

 

 

Not Our Fight.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6:12

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I am a fighter. With every inch of my being I am a fighter. I have fought for every single thing I ever thought I could lose. Every relationship, friendship, possession. I fight.

But as I grow older, I realize how not everything is worth fighting for.

How spending time, effort, and energy on something or someone that is no good for you can kill you slowly.

It is becoming the hardest/best decision I have made yet. & one that has involved the most growing pains. It isn’t easy to change yourself. To change everything you’ve ever stood for.

But God did not make me to be a weary soul. Worn out by fighting for things I have no business being involved with. He did not make me to be angry and hurt by trying to make things work that just weren’t meant to.

He made me to be a fighter. But for the things worth fighting for.

The things I can feel in my heart that are worth it. The people that I know need my love. That which brings me joy and/or makes myself or others better.

Sometimes we (or maybe just me) imprison ourselves with the belief that if we don’t fight, we are bad people. Good people fight for everything, especially others, right?

But that belief could not be further from the truth.

Fight for what you know is right. But don’t push yourself to do those things that you know are not. No matter what others say or think. Don’t waste your time on that which was not meant for you!

Focus on where God is leading you, and you will never be led astray.

P.S. I am still learning to do this myself. ❤ ^

-Kristin-

 

 

 

 

 

Puppy Love.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”-Lamentations 3:21-23

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I wrote a blog post a few months ago about how nervous I was about getting another dog since having my dog, Beck, pass away suddenly last year. I was afraid I would feel weird about getting another dog as if feeling like I was replacing him, and from the comments people wrote to me, many others have been in the same situation.  It is hard to explain if you’re not an animal lover. Our pets are so much more than just pets!

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Beck as a puppy

But then, the puppy came home and it has changed my life forever.

Maverick Beck came home on June 2nd. He was a little black fuzz ball that ran around nibbled on my toes, and tried to eat everything in sight.

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I called out his full name so many times, because you know how puppies are naughty, and every time I would have to say “Beck” and it was a reminder of my pup.

Beck may have left this world, but he never left my heart or memory.

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I spent a lot of time wondering why Beck went home so early and in such a painful way. I don’t think I will ever understand why on this side of Heaven, but I accept that there must have been a reason and a good one at that.

But Beck was able to give me the most beautiful gift through all of this. I was able to see how deeply love can exist. It can survive any storm, any battle, even death.

I think I can deeply, deeply love Maverick now because I experienced such love with my Beck. I appreciate Maverick even when he bites my feet. I have patience with him even when he screams to go outside at 5 am because I am aware of how extraordinarily lucky I am to have him in my life. I remember not to take him for granted because our four legged friends are only here with us for so long.

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Maverick brings me joy, happiness, and has taught me so much more about myself (already) than I thought possible. He’s my boy!

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I am incredibly thankful that God has allowed me the chance to love and learn from my two sweet pups.  Heaven is for real and I know one day I will see my Beck again, and I know He is looking over my Mav. ❤

-Kristin

Skeletons.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”-Ephesians 2:8-10

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We all have skeletons hiding in our closets.

Affairs. Addictions. Cruelty. Pain. Lies. Jealousy.

You name it, we all have some (maybe even all) of those things stuffed in our closets. All we can do is hope that no one will open the closet doors.

It reminds me of when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree from the Garden of Eden and tried to hide from God when He came looking for them (Genesis 3).

We hide, like them, because we know it is not right. We hide because we are ashamed and embarrassed. We hide because we believe it is easier to shove those things that bother us in a closet than to just let them out.

But it is not easier.

In fact, it only seems to make life harder.

It makes us anxious and always having to make sure that closet door is shut.

But truly with God…we don’t need to keep checking to make sure our skeletons aren’t showing. Just as with Adam and Eve, He KNOWS every single thing we have done. All the good and all the bad.

Here’s the thing. HE LOVES US ANYWAY.

His Grace exceeds all that we do.

So whether your skeleton is something that you can change, or something you cannot: take heart and rest in knowing that you are loved and accepted despite the skeletons you try to hide.

-Kristin

My Neighbors.

“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”-Matthew 22:37-40


I have lived in my home for almost three months now and has been the greatest blessing.

I’ve found my home finally and I’m so thankful!!

This house is great but I honestly think the best part about it is my neighborhood. It is quiet and peaceful here. People don’t make loud noises all night and I don’t wake up to the cops raiding someone’s house nearby. It’s been incredible!

My neighbors (the ones closest to the house) are all older and they’re the best people ever. They invite us over all the time just to hang out and let us (even the dog) use their pool whenever. 

Seriously the nicest most welcoming people ever. 

& I want to be like that. 

I want to love people just because they exist. No reasons, no selfish motives, no anything. Just straight up treating my neighbors (aka everyone) with love and respect. 

I want to love because I am so very loved myself by the Big Man Upstairs. I want to show His love through me. 

I want to love those different from me. Those who disagree with my lifestyle. Those who have hurt me. Those who I have never taken time to know.

Let’s set the world on fire and love our neighbors (even the crazy ones) just because.

-Kristin-

Bulletproof.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.“-Isaiah 43:2

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Photography Credit: Sarah Schrader, SJ Photography

Comeback stories are very popular and are often picked up to be recreated into books or movies. We as a society love to watch these comebacks.

I think it serves as a reminder that no matter how far we stray from the path we always have thought we’d be on we can always find our way back, or even better find a much better path.

I am my own favorite comeback story.

When I tell others my testimony, I think many times they believe I must be exaggerating because the story is ridiculous. Unfortunately, yet fortunately, it is so true.

I do not come from a bad background. I cannot say I had a bad childhood. I honestly had a great one where I lived in a nice house and my dad worked and mother stayed home with my sister and I. My parents attended my school and after school functions and made me know I was loved.

That amazing lifestyle changed though when I was 21. My family was literally ripped apart before my eyes. An affair happened that would change my life forever. At the same time, I was experiencing the toughest break up I have ever gone through. I was also driving long distances to go to my internship experiences and my final college classes and it was wearing me down. I literally had no idea what I was going to do for the time being and for my future. I came very close to quitting school entirely because I felt like I was drowning.

& no one knew.

I remember screaming every day. In the car, into my pillow, driving to the beach at midnight to just scream without anyone knowing.

I used to drive to the worst parts of town at night almost in a sick way hoping something would happen to me (it makes me cry to even think about this now).

I remember just wanting to die to end a deep pain I never knew could exist.

I could not handle accepting what others had done to me that I had no control over.

I did not understand how I could live with the serious mistakes I had made in life.

I hated myself for continuing to make decisions that I knew were destructive.

I had hit rock bottom and it was so deep I could not see any kind of light. Any kind of hope. Any kind of anything.

But Jesus, y’all.

The one I did not believe existed. The one who I thought was a fairy tale.

He saved me.

He came into my heart in an absolute literal way and told me that He loved me. That He has always been there for me. During every good and bad time, especially the tough time I had been through recently. The greatest peace I had ever felt came over me, and I finally saw light from the depths of the rocky bottom I was in.

People say we shouldn’t define ourselves by the past…but my past does define me.

It shows that even the worst of sinners, even the non-believing, angry, lost, hopeless ones, are so incredibly loved and cherished by God.

He gave me the comeback story of a lifetime. I wouldn’t be who I am without those terrible times. I wouldn’t be who I am if He had not chosen to intercede at JUST the right time.

He has strengthened me beyond my wildest dreams. He has made me bulletproof.’

I am the comeback story that proves that no matter how deep we fall, His love for us prevails every single time.

No matter what.

-Kristin-

Not All Who Wander.

“With joy, you will draw waters from the wells of salvation.”-Isaiah 12:3

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One of my favorite quotes is “Not all those who wander are lost” by JRR Tolkien.

I believe it’s a quick reminder that just because we are not where everyone (ourselves included) expects us to be by a certain time in our lives.

I am a wanderer. I have not found myself entirely yet. All I know this that Jesus is my home no matter where I may be, but I cannot say I am fully where I felt like I would be.

Ever feel that way?

I do not fit to the standards I feel I am supposed to as a Christian women.

I am unmarried, currently church hopping, and finding more about God in the most nontraditional ways possible.

I am wandering. & I am learning to be okay with that.

God is good and loving even when we aren’t where we think we are supposed to be. I am grateful that He loves me deeply in the clean and messy times of life. I am thankful that He calls me His child no matter where I may be and who I am.

If you are wandering like this girl is, know that you are not alone…and you are definitely not lost. 🙂

-Kristin-