The Mighty Hand.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”-1 Peter 5:6-7

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Forth As Gold is based in south Florida.

As one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Atlantic heads straight for our state, I cannot help but think back to 2004 when two other major hurricanes hit us dead on.  Hurricane Frances rocked our world and then as we were still trying to recover, Hurricane Jeanne did a loopty-loop out in the ocean and came straight for us again.

I remember so much about that time.  I remember coming home (we stayed at a friend’s house in town during the first storm) and seeing our house look like a tornado had hit it.  I remember my mother groaning as she walked into the house and we could smell and feel the water that had flooded in.  I remember how hot and sticky it was because we were out of power for two weeks (which I am pretty sure is a small inkling of how hell would be).  I remember having to shower with the hose and when we got a generator finally and almost cried tears of joy. I remember eating MRE’s and being on a city curfew.  I remember being out of school for almost a month and just feeling like I had lost a part of who I was.  I remember living on concrete floors until Christmas Eve that year and feeling having blue tarps on our roof until I don’t even remember when. I remember my parents saying how lucky we were that we were alive and still had a shell of a home to live in.

I remember, more than anything, the sound a hurricane makes when it comes through. The best way to describe it is a train going at full speed right in front of your face and it does not slow down for a very long time.

So, when I think about yet another hurricane coming, especially this one , I would be lying if I said I was not afraid.  Thinking back to 2004 gives me chills. This current storm is 2 times stronger and bigger than those and at this point it has been moving so much between the west and east coasts of Florida that they still cannot truly nail down a landfall point yet and that is scary. Even if it does not hit where we are, someone else will and it will be catastrophic.  Even those who do not get the straight on him will feel it immensely and that is scary too.

The Caribbean Islands have been destroyed by this monster already and have left many homeless and the others dead.

So where is God in all of this. 

Where was he is 2004? Where was he in Houston this year? Where is he now?

He’s here.

There is sin in this world. The wicked one is constantly trying to make us believe that God does not love us and does not care for us, but that is about as far from the truth as one could imagine. He loves us and He is here even when it seems like He isn’t.

When I feel overwhelmed (like right now), I watch this video on repeat and it encourages me and reminds me that God is sovereign even on the worst days.

I pray that wherever you are, if you are in Florida or the Caribbean or Texas or Mexico or anywhere in the world that you will never forget that ever-present, never-changing love that God has for you even in the most horrific of circumstances.

The mighty hand of God and His love for us is stronger than anything else in the universe.

-Kristin

Atheist.

“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.”-Hebrews 4:2


I am a former atheist. 

I have it written on my Instagram bio and many people have asked me about it.

I think they ask because it’s weird to have someone who does not believe in anything to suddenly believe in God and live for Him like crazy. It’s even weirder because I have faked being a believer most of my life. 

My parents baptized me a young age in the Christian faith. They taught me to pray before I ate and before I went to bed at night. I went to youth groups and sang worship songs to try and fit in.

But that was all a lie. I didn’t believe in any of it. Praying to God I didn’t believe existed…silly right?

I didn’t believe anything existed beyond this world. I knew that if there was anything out there who loved me like people said that God did then the world wouldn’t be this bad. I wouldn’t feel such huge pain. 

But.

I. Was. Wrong.

There is a God. A true, one, Living God of the universe who loves me more than words can say. 

I was wrong, but I don’t feel annoyance toward those who haven’t seen what I have seen and still feel the way I did before. 

I think atheists get a bad rap. That they’re mean people who have negative outlooks on life and live sad, empty lives. But that’s not true either.

Atheists (and Christians too) come in all shapes, sizes, and have different opinions. 

More importantly, God loves atheists as much as He loves those who love Him back. 

& if we are thinking any differently…we need to get some prayer time in. 

Love God, love others. The end.

Former Atheist,

-Kristin-

George.

“This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”-Psalm 18:30

Photo by SJ Photography


My mom is obsessed with this old movie from the 40s called “Its A Wonderful Life.” She watches it a lot during the month of December and cries.  

The main character falls on really hard times and gets to a point where he is ready to end his life. 

Until his guardian angel steps in. The man says everyone would be better off without him. So his guardian angel takes him back through his life and shows him the huge negative impact there would have been if he had never been born. 

In the end, he chooses life and realizes that even though we will have troubles, it is still truly a wonderful life.

Sometimes, it is hard to remember that life is beautiful.

We get tangled in a web of lies that tell us we are unworthy. That remind us of the problems we cause. That make us feel that life isn’t worth living.

But it is yall.

Life is beautiful and wild and crazy and worth it.

God put us here for an incredible reason even when it doesn’t feel like it.

When you feel like George Bailey, remind yourself of to whom you belong. God makes no mistakes!

-Kristin-

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