Posts tagged real stories
The Miracle that Changed Everything: A Car Wreck Survival Story

“I distinctly remember my hands turning the wheel to the right and my car was resisting and still going straight. Next thing I knew, my car was over a cliff and the last thing I saw was a stream of water below me before I tightly closed my eyes.” Have you ever lived through an experience you cannot find the words to explain? Born and raised Montana girl, Chaeney Latimer survived this deadly car wreck of 2010 completely unscathed — a miracle merely unexplainable. Despite the ways this accident defied all laws of gravity and science, one thing remains true: Chaeney’s life was not destined to end that day. After finishing her sophomore year of college, Chaeney packed all of her belongings into her red Toyota Cobalt and set her sights on home.

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Peace in the Eye of the Storm

I used to think I was a pretty peaceful person who took the chaos of other people’s lack of peace as it came at me. But, in this current season of life, I have been very unsettled by things happening in the lives of those closest to my heart — as well as within myself. All sorts of feelings have been stirred up that have resulted in an overwhelming sensation of anxiousness. I cry even more than I normally do, which was already nearly every day. I scream at the top of my lungs at God when I am driving. I cannot even sit through a full day of ministry school without abruptly leaving to go battle out my frustrations elsewhere. I don’t want to specify exactly what trials are hitting against the walls of my heart, but I will say they have caused me to question my Heavenly Father.

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5 Steps to Lowering the Volume in Your Life

Silence is deafening to me. In fact, it’s one of my biggest fears. I find it terrifying because, to me, it means something is being forgotten: maybe it’s an errand, maybe it’s plans I made weeks ago and forgot to write down…maybe it’s me. The thing is, silence could—and for most, does—mean peace of mind. It could mean it’s time to relax or stand for fulfillment, or be the gateway to the best sleep I’ll ever have. For now, that kind of silence is unfamiliar. Whether it comes to work, side projects or even bettering myself personally, it’s undeniable that I’m a busy bee. There is so much buzzing that my silence could very well not be silence at all, so I’m taking steps to lower the volume—and, in case you’re like me, or on your way to be—I wanted to share exactly what those steps are.

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The Day I Traded Peace for Panic, and How I Got it Back

My heart was racing. I couldn’t catch my breath. What was happening? Was I having a heart attack? I’m in my thirties, and I’m a runner —certainly my heart is fine. But why can’t I breathe? I took my phone into the closet and frantically searched Google for the signs of a heart attack. What I found made me feel better and worse all at the same time. Thankfully, I was not having a heart attack! Unfortunately, I was having a panic attack. I had never experienced this before. I laid on the floor and focused on breathing in deep, trying to get this horrible feeling to pass.  Life was so out of control. We had just made our second big move in three years. Starting over again. New friends. New jobs. New places. I was just beginning to feel settled in our last town, and now I needed to start all over.

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How Can You Love What's Been Lost?

I’m at a loss. I really am. When I sat down to write this, I didn’t think there would be an issue. Self-love? That’s simple. There are hundreds of step-by-step articles on how to love the person you are. But, the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t love me at all. This is my fourth attempt at writing something, and it’s a struggle. Respect, admiration even, is felt, but I do not love the woman I see in the mirror. Everything about me has changed since becoming a wife and mother, and I’m not sure who I am. I’m not sure what I look like without my husband and son. I feel as lost as I did the first time I went blonde in middle school. My hair was mustard, and I was blindly searching for identity. I have wandered so deep into my roles at home I’m almost certain I’ve given myself away.

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The Great Pursuit

In the last few years, there has been a spiritual war on peace within my household. My husband and I both struggle with finding peace and contentment in the midst of his work and raising a child that needs a little more care than the average kiddo. The days have been full of triumphs, but we are constantly fighting the spirits of fear, frustration, and even FOMO. That's what the kids call the “fear of missing out.” Our life is much more restricted than the lives of our friends, and it's hard to ignore the isolation. Since this struggle with peace has gone on so long, it has begun to feel hopeless. I start to think if it hasn't changed by now, we will always live in this chaotic bubble of loneliness and frustration. It was not until the last couple of weeks that I've been focusing my prayers on what I can do.

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Series Introduction: Peace

Experiencing solitude among nature, or creating a space for personal relaxation are my go-to solutions for feeling at rest. In a world where anxiety and immediacy rule, it’s often difficult to find true, long-lasting, genuine peace. Thankfully, I don’t tend to carry much worry or anxiety with me. But, in high-stress situations, I usually let peace fall to the wayside. Here, my circumstances steal my composure and I’m led by an anxious space of my soul known for not seeing things clearly. Stress clouds our judgment and hinders our ability to see a situation for what it truly is. Often times, we dig ourselves into a worry pit that was never initially there. Yet, we continue to grab the shovel and allow the littlest of things to take us deeper into the dirt. 

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Anchored in Love: My Healing Journey

Then, years later, the crash came. I’d managed for so long, but in the fall of 2016, my weary body started firing symptoms like sirens. I reluctantly put myself back into the hands of a doctor, and after running another panel of tests, she found the mysterious bacteria that had been oppressing my body for almost a decade. We were shocked and relieved, and I immediately entered into the necessary but brutal treatment. Love carried me through those months. The love of my husband who wrapped me in blankets every day just to get me into fresh air. The love of my friends who met me where I was at — in my bed. The love of my family who helped care for me. And mostly, the love of my Creator, who planted a peace in my heart not even the tears could wash away.

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Why Applause Doesn’t Make You Somebody

In a recent episode of America’s Got Talent, Paul Potts, the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent, talked about the impact winning had on his life. He said, “I walked onto that stage a nobody and left it as somebody.”  The crowd erupted in applause, and the judges nodded in agreement — but my heart broke. I wanted to reach through the screen and tell Mr. Potts he was a somebody long before he walked on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent. Perhaps, he was not well known. Maybe he wasn’t asked to sing for the queen or to perform all over the world. Likely, only a handful of people knew he could sing and appreciated the gift he had been given. But, he was not a nobody.

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Learn to Say ‘No’ and Put Yourself First

This year, I have made one resolution: put myself first more often. Sometimes self-love is easier said than done. I would love to get a biweekly mani/pedi or read more books but finding the time to do these things can be hard when you have commitments to your loved ones and your job. This last year, I found myself more stressed than I had ever been before due to the fact that I wasn’t taking enough time to decompress and enjoy my time off. We’re almost a month into the new year and although it’s been difficult to change my ways, I’m learning to take more time to gather my thoughts and do the things I love.

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I Am All He Says I Am

If I were to treat others the way I treat myself, I wouldn’t be the nicest person. I am so hard on myself as I am sure most people can relate to. I don’t take compliments from others well and I am even more so challenged in the area of complimenting myself. It is so much harder for me to look inward than it is for me to look into the hearts of others. I love telling people how wonderfully made they are. I’d even say I have more recently developed a sixth sense of seeing people through God’s eyes. To look at people and ask God to show me who they are growing into is one of my favorite pastimes.

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I Love Myself, That's What Matters

Self-love is something I've struggled with. I struggle with comparison. I'm always comparing myself to others. I think that's brought me down a lot of times, and it's made me feel insecure. Another big thing for me is feeling judged — it's never fun to feel like you're constantly being judged by others. In these situations, it has really helped me to remember God loves me.

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4 Success Tips for Dream Chasing

I would say I have always been a highly determined gal — except for those lost teen years where all I cared about were boys and how my hair looked. Sure, motivation could very well be an innate trait the good Lord blessed me with, but as far as ambition is concerned, I developed that. After a rough breakup at the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I slowly began the search for myself and my identity — as I had lost it all in him and the joke that was our relationship. It felt as if a forgotten switch was finally turned on, never to be turned off again — not for anyone or anything. Let me tell you, girl... I never felt more alive or more me than the moment I realized I was better on my own. 

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Why Ambition is Stealing My Joy

It felt as if all of my ambition fell down the stairs with me that night, never to walk again. Well, nothing’s broken… so, I’ll walk again but you know what I mean. The much longed for solitude in which I create the best was destroyed in the careless slip of a step. Since falling almost two weeks ago, I’ve had to rely on my incredible loved ones and support system. Gosh, am I a lucky girl to have them. But, oh my goodness do I miss being me. I miss my get-up-and-go-ambition. I miss the strength of a well-abled body. Despite the breakdowns and moments of weakness, I’ve had the feeling the Lord is using this injury to teach me something.

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Messy Bun Ambition

We live in a sweatpants and messy bun generation, and I don’t exactly dislike it. We search for comfort and the cozy feeling of the hygge lifestyle. I’ve been known to brag about how many sherpa-lined socks and cute animal pajama pants I have. These days, embracing and striving for comfort is just as much a sign of a successful life as getting the dream job. It seems if you can afford the luxury of doing absolutely nothing, you’ve made it somehow. My super soft, sloth PJ pants are a prized possession, but I’ve seen the dark side of comfort. The desire to spend a few hours doing nothing is a powerful one, and that desire will always win unless you fight it.

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The Fine Line Between Ambition and Obsession

Ambition is a word that has been tripping me up quite a bit lately. Standing at a complicated crossroads of sorts, I have had a lot of time to think about my own ambitions, the things that are important to me and the kind of woman I am still striving to become. Caught between others’ expectations of me, pressures from my job, and the need to finally strike out on my own, these thoughts have found a home in my brain over the past year. How does ambition shape our lives and how do differing interests and motivations affect the way we go after our dreams?

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Does Ambition Lead to Success?

I grew up believing ambition led to success. In school, if I studied and did the work, I would get an A. In sports, if I practiced hard, I was rewarded with more playing time. When I worked my first job, hard work equaled higher pay, more hours, and the admiration of my boss and coworkers. My achiever personality thrives in that environment! I can finish a project in record speed. When I set a goal, I don’t stop until that goal is completed. I love making lists and checking things off. (I’m one of those crazy people who writes something I just did on the list, just so I can cross it off…don’t laugh, I’m know I’m not the only one!)

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Passionately Ambitious With No Regrets

After a variety of internships at a magazine, two television shows, a radio show and a stint at the university TV station, I  was ready to back up my journalism work experience academically with a master's degree.  What followed was an accelerated year and a half strenuous program that allowed me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to report at the London Olympic Games, and I've never looked back on my career choice since. That doesn't mean there weren't stumbles along the way. A year after graduate school, my radio news job wasn't able to offer me more than a part-time schedule and I simply needed to be able to pay my bills, so I made the difficult decision to leave and accept a full-time position with a marketing start-up.

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Intentional Joy Leaves No Room for Grief

Loss and grief is a painful season life brings. Enduring those tear-filled, heart-shattering moments when reality sets in can absolutely alter anyone’s spirit. Although when 31-year-old Sarah Sligar lost her mother to metastatic lung cancer in 2011, her hurt led to unsurpassable amounts of joy. Like most precious mother-daughter relationships, Sarah and her mom, Nancy were incredibly close — best friends even. Whether it was having a conversation two or three times a day or hitting the mall for a bit of shopping, every moment together was undoubtedly cherished. So, when Nancy’s two-and-a-half-year-long battle with cancer was laid to rest, Sarah couldn’t help but feel devastated, lost and a bit angry.

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Leaving Apathy Behind

Getting caught up on the stress of life produces a wide range of terrible emotions. I get scared I'll never catch up. I get sad that I might never feel like I'm enough. But I think the worst thing I often feel in those moments is nothing. Apathy is a frequent opponent of joy. It's also one of my favorite modes of survival. Just a few days ago, I noticed I get frustrated a lot less than I used to. I used to cry when my son woke me up at 3 a.m. for the third night in a row. I used to contemplate the meaning of my life and get a little snippy with God. At face value, the level of calm I've managed to reach seems like a positive change. However, after a few minutes of thought, I realized I hadn't matured in my ability to process.

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