About the Author

Angela Nazworth is a shame-fighting storyteller who writes mostly about the beauty of grace, faith, friendship, vulnerability and community. She is a wife and a mother of two. Angela's also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl's night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. In the 15 years since she...

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  1. Angela,
    At 52 years young, I have experienced enough fertilizer that the stench would make tears roll down your cheeks. I could name living with OCD (anxiety and depression), a divorce not of my choosing, debilitating and pain and surgery, infertility ,job loss, losing parents and pets…add a plague of locusts and the list might be complete. The GOOD news, however, is that in the painful times of my life God drew me close and cradled me in His loving and comforting arms. In Biblical times, people built altars to mark all the times that God has been faithful. I’ve been building altars all my life. As you said so well… the bad times fertilize the soil of our lives so that the blooms are all the more dazzling. “Many will see and be in awe and put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3)
    Thanks for a wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev,

      You are such a gracious encouragement to so many on this site. Thank you for pouring into the lives of women in tender places. May God continue to show Himself faithful in your life in every area….even those places where it seems like things spin out of control. Peace, love, and joy in the mighty name of Jesus!

      Many Blessings,
      Brandi

    • Bev,

      I echo Brandi’s words. You speak such beauty to so many hearts. Thank you for sharing parts of your story so openly, in a way that brings encouragement to the lives of others.

      • Angela,
        I attended a MOPS conference light years ago when Elisa Morgan (then head of MOPS Intl.) challenged all of us to allow ourselves to be vulnerable in order to build community and bring glory to God. Her words have stuck with me all these years…
        B

  2. This is great…I guess someday God must have some great stuff in store for me, because life has been rough for a long time.

    • Va –I do not know you or your exact experiences, but I -know- “rough.” I understand the gritty pain that accompanies many life situations and I am so sorry that you have been experiencing such a bitter season for so long now … I know also that God will ring beauty from your story. I know that He is with you now and loves you deeply. Praying peace for you today.

  3. This is written so very well. Very powerful story.
    Looking back it’s always so easy to see!! In the midst it calls for faith and trust. Maybe we can share many ‘after’ stories to encourage and be reminded that God will be faithful all the time, in all circumstances. I have several trials going on right now one of them being infertility (how they call it after not conceiving for a year and a half.). It’s hard to see what good God has in this, we are called to faith. To knowing that God is good to us in this and after this. He will have a plan regardless and reading your story was a good reminder of that. Thank you.

    • Hope, thank you for commenting. It blesses my heart to know that God used my words and bits of my story to encourage you. Praying for you today, sister, as you are waiting. ((hugs))

  4. One never thinks of a hurricane as being a blessing but Hurricane Hugo that hit SC in 1989 was just that for us. My oldest son had just started school in Sept of 89. The hurricane hit 9 days into the school year. My husband had recently completed 6 years in the US Navy and was trusting God for a new career path, A few weeks before the hurricane my second son turned a year old and I lost a baby due to miscarriage. The days after the hurricane were surreal. If trying to care for 2 young boys in the heat of the south with no water and no electricity (think 85-90 degrees with no ac and no showers or baths) wasn’t bad enough, I came out of my house to find my oldest swinging on a downed powerline in the back yard. As soon as we could we left and headed north, back home for us. After staying in NJ with my husband’s family for a week then in NY with my family for a week and then back to NJ with his family, SC still had no power. At the suggestion and almost insistance of my father in law, my husband got a job. This job would be the turning point that changed all our problems into blessings. My husband settled into a carreer path that took him to NYC. He has been with this same company for 17 years. My oldest son was diagnosed with severe learning disabilities and through our new church I learned about Homeschooling. Also through our new church I was baptised into Christ where as previously I had only been Christened as a baby, Our third son was born a year and seven months after the hurricane. Soon we bought a house and had a daughter. Through a homeschooling support group we met a man with the idea to start a church. We followed him as our pastor and have been serving with him for the past 17 years. We are now in our second church plant. Through this church I have done missions work in Russia, my husband in India and to come full circle after Hurricane Katrina my middle son spent his spring breaks rebuilding houses in L ouisiana. I wouldn’t wish the fear of living through a hurricane on my worst enemy but I know that if I had to go through it again, there would be blessings waiting on the other side of the weather.

    • Thank you so much, Teresa for sharing that story. I love to look back and see how God connected the dots so to speak and for you and your family, this is a beautiful story of how God took something that was bent on destruction and truly led you on a path that has touched many people. Please continue to share your testimony of God’s faithfulness and see how it will nurture people who are coming through storms.

      Blessings to you and your family and thank you for your faithful service in building or the Kingdom of God!

      Brandi

    • Oh thank you for sharing your story. You are right … it is hard to believe good can come from natural disasters or acts of violence, etc. But it can and I am so thankful that you are sharing a testimony of His love and power. Blessings to you!

    • Teresa,

      What a story! It is awesome to see God at work in our lives. If not for some trial, then none of the other “good stuff” would have happened. Plus during this time He brought you closer to Him!

      You should share this story more often! It is very encouraging!!

      Blessings 🙂

  5. Angela, I lost my dream job a year and a half ago due to a lay-off and then was unemployed for almost exactly a year. God now has me in a town/job/ministry that I’m just beginning to see glimpses of His fertilizer at work. There are still days when I wonder how and why I ended up here and frankly, on those days, I’m not too happy about it. Thanks for your encouragement to see how God uses everything for His purposes.

    • Oh Holly, thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry about the loss of your dream job and yet I am thankful that God is giving you “glimpses of His fertilizer at work.” (Hugs)

  6. {Melinda} Chronic illness is fertilizer in so many ways. I struggle with it. So does my young son. I would never have chosen it for either of us, just like you wouldn’t has chosen to be let go from the bank that day. Some days I appreciate the growth it’s brought to my life more than others. Some days it just stinks. Period. Yet, everyday, I know I have the assurance that I have a God that works for my ultimate good. Even when I don’t see it. Even when I don’t think I can handle the fertilizer. Thank you for the encouragement today.

    • “Yet, everyday, I know I have the assurance that I have a God that works for my ultimate good. Even when I don’t see it. Even when I don’t think I can handle the fertilizer. ” -Amen to this!

  7. Sweet Angela, we could spend a week sharing our stinky stories that infused us with the fragrance of grace and mercy. I relate with the bitter sweet knowledge that brokenness brings. But it is that brokenness that allows the light of Christ shine brightly as a beacon of hope to others who are in darkness. As you well know, looking forward, we cannot see anything but the despair of what we are struggling with. But looking back we can see how the hand of God was guiding and protecting every step of the way. All for our growth and for His glory. What a Savior!!!

  8. We live in the country, rural North Carolina, surrounded by cattle and farms. You know what fertilizer is here? Smells like here? Yup, you guessed it and you know what? There has been a ton load of fodder spread on my life – it has stunk, it has lingered, but after a while – it brings blossoms and new life and new hope……………..
    Loved your post.

    • Susan, I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, so like you, this analogy just struck a chord with me. At first I kept trying to find another analogy because I thought, “will people really choose to read a blog post that has “fertilizer” in the title. 😉

  9. Love the thought of seeing the foul as fertilizer. 🙂

    My husband lost his job several years ago. It was a giant, scary, nightmare, but… it led directly to the position he has now with a different company–that’s an absolute perfect fit.

    And… after we struggled with infertility, and I underwent corrective surgery that resulted in an ectopic that resulted in me losing all my “plumbing,” we ended up adopting two beautiful children who arrived three years apart in spooky God-bump ways. 🙂

    • I seriously want to hug you, Sandra! You exude so much light … so much joy … so much truth in this one little comment! I’m so thankful for the blessings brought to you out of such deep heartache.

  10. Job loss… A theme so many of us are experiencing in this decade, my family included. For all of the unemployed, panicked readers of this blog, you are not alone! Let’s pray for each other, feeling a bond of friendship, compassion, and empathy even though we have never met. I have days where I am nothing short of terrified. And calmer days where I know the truth… That life is and always will be uncertain for all of us… Except for the constancy of God, and the invisible but very real love we find supporting us from family and friends. Peace and prayers to all!

  11. Thank you for this today. We’re in the middle of that right now, the in-between gunk where you can see the past and you can see the future but you’re not in either. We’re moving to a different state in a few months ourselves and although a big part of me knows that God holds something amazing out there for us, it’s hard to let go. Thank you for the encouragement to remember what it’s all there for.

    • Oh how I know that “in-between gunk” of which you write. It is hard. I am so glad you know the truth that helps you through it, but still I know it is hard. ((hugs)).

  12. I especially like the comment Mary wrote. It’s so true… Nothing is sure except the faithfulness of God and trusting Him in our times of uncertainty, no matter what it is.

    Great article. Thanks for the encouragement.

  13. Angela,

    This story and your way of writing it is beautiful. It is such an amazing thing to look back over our lives and see how when moment changes the course of our journey for years to come. God bless you and your family as you flourish in this new place God has planted you! Thank you for sharing God’s faithfulness in your journey, and continue to proclaim the glories of HIS name! Amen.

    Many Blessings,
    Brandi

  14. After 25 years of successful and rewarding work at a job I loved, there was a change in administration. Suddenly, everything I did was questioned. I was asked to do things I was not trained to do, make changes that made no sense to me, and what was once a wonderful place to work became a stressful environment. Things came to a head after 2 years of this, and it became obvious I needed to leave for my own sanity. By God’s grace, I was just a few week’s short of being able to retire with full benefits and was allowed to do that. I never could have imagined what would come next.

    After a rather discouraging start to a job search (I was “only” 60 and felt the need to continue working for a while) I was encouraged to apply for a clerical position at a Christian school. What a blessing this new environment was! After 2 years, I was able to return to my profession (librarian) at this same school and have flourished there ever since. God’s “fertilizer” brought about growth in me and my new school in unexpected ways. As I turn 70, I am now choosing to retire from this position with mixed feelings of excitement for what lies ahead and sadness that I will no longer be among some of the most inspiring people and children I have ever known.

    I will be forever grateful for the difficult circumstances (fertilizer) that drove me to much greener pastures!

    • Oh Anne, thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I can imagine that your job situation was a very frustrating and painful time in your life … I’m so glad God brought you to something better and that you are able to share of His faithfulness. Blessings to you.

  15. Out of the ashes of depression, anorexia, divorce, death and much more, Jesus has brought beauty beyond description. Is everything exactly as I would have it if I were to choose? No…grown children not walking closely to Jesus…2 of them not speaking due to very complex circumstances…1 granddaughter not in her daddy’s life…broken hearts and broken dreams…yet I believe with all my heart that God uses ALL things for His plan and purpose…to give hope and a future. And I will never stop praying and believing. Beauty from ashes. Joy from despair. Following is a poem I wrote about 2 years ago at a time when Jesus absolutely transformed my life and delivered me from so many chains.

    from ashes
    to beauty
    from despair
    to joy
    a heart once broken
    now made new
    fragile but free
    vulnerable but whole
    the wedding celebration
    can now begin
    the bridegroom
    waits for His bride
    with infinite patience
    she has traveled many miles
    through rough terrain
    she dug through guilt
    she climbed through shame
    she waded through grief
    each time she thought
    “surely this must be the place
    where broken hearts are made new’
    she knew the promises
    she even believed the promises
    “He has covered me with clothes of salvation
    and wrapped me with a coat of goodness
    like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
    like a bride dressed in jewels”

    yet she never felt quite good enough…
    quite ready
    “why?” she would ask herself
    “why would He want me?”
    she tried to make herself beautiful
    by trying on different gowns…
    some of lace
    some of linen
    but none fit quite right
    “surely He must becoming impatient with me” she thought
    “I need to hurry….make something fit”

    in time…in His perfect time…
    her eyes were opened to the reason nothing fit quite right…
    the love the bridegroom had for her
    was a love she was convinced would not fit
    “why?” she would ask
    “why would He love me?”
    another heart came alongside her
    walked through the pain of the past with her
    guilt…shame…grief
    the tears…the prayers…the honesty…
    the courage to walk through the pain
    all came together
    she knew something was different

    the bridegroom then wrote her a love letter
    she struggled to accept what He was saying
    finally she looked in the mirror and saw herself
    as HE saw her…
    a beautiful bride
    the love of His life
    she realized that her love for Him
    was just as passionate as His for her
    this heart if now whole
    this heart is now new
    she is ready for the wedding celebration to begin
    to fall into His arms with sweet abandonment

    The years since I wrote this…part of a small book titled “Beyond the Cross” have not been all easy yet have done nothing but draw me closer to His side. He has taught me much about giving up what I think is mine (my youngest son), what I think I deserve and what I think is important. I am learning that He is enough. No matter what. I have written many small devotional books through Shutterfly….all poems and pictures….pouring my love for Him into those words.

    God bless you for your words of encouragement…fertilizer truly stinks at the time, but oh the beauty of the pain and smell far exceeds anything we can even imagine!

    In His incredible love,
    Julie Geertsma

  16. For me one of the toughest adjustments I have had to make was giving up my dream job, the one that looked good on me. And while I did give it up because we were blessed with another baby, it was so hard. It was the one thing I had dreamed of doing since high school and that brought me joy every single day. It was so hard. But out of that, God has been teaching me obedience and trust. And that true joy comes from those very things. I still miss my old job, but I am thankful He has taken the time to make me over and change my heart, things I may have missed out on otherwise. Thanks for sharing your story, Angela. You always encourage me!

    • Thank you, Andrea. Letting go of a dream … whether permanent or temporary is hard. And I agree with you though … obedience and trust come with great reward … great joy.

  17. I have found that God works miracles deep withing the hurt and struggles. He turns tears to joy. Sometimes, it seems to take forever but Romans 8:28 are the hope of all who love Him.
    I battled 15 years of Miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility. Through the loss of 6 tiny souls, I’ve learned that He cares and knows much more than I ever could.
    Your beautifully written, transparent, words are so needed on this platform. Growth in Christ is often about leaning on Him through the struggle. Throughout anger, shame, and hardship there is no other way. His grace is sufficient.
    Beautiful words today!

    • Thank you, Jennifer. The little you’ve shared right here is such proof that God indeed brings beauty from immeasurable sorrow. Hugs and blessings to you!

  18. Hi there Angela!

    Oh how I can relate to your imagery! I trust that in every event of my life that God is working on something great. I cannot always see it or feel it, but I KNOW it. I am looking back on my 40 years lived so far and seeing where God has intervened, and what a cool journey it is becoming. When I think of fertilizer, I always think green, growing stuff- and that’s exactly your story here. Full of love, life and faith amidst the unknown. Thank you for sharing your heart today ♡

    • I love that fertilizer immediately makes you think of luscious growth … that’s how it should be. It is easy to get caught in the stench. Thank you for sharing!

  19. We never know what He is preparing us for when we go through trials. What a wonderful story on perseverance and blessings. So glad things worked out for you.

  20. I love your analogy of all the bad stuff being “sticky, stinky, life-enhancing fertilizer.” Such a comforting thought. Thank you, Angela. Isn’t it wonderful when we can in hindsight see the blessings we would have missed had it not been for the bad stuff?

    I have been through abuse and loss in my life, and I guess I wouldn’t have the empathy for hurting souls if I hadn’t been through them. I’m also dealing with chronic illness. I have to admit that it’s the tough times that teach me the deepest lessons into Christ’s suffering for us.

    • Thank you, Trudy. It is wonderful that God gives us glimpses of how He is at work, and I know there is so much more I will learn too when I leave this side of heaven.

  21. Life is tough and times it’s seething, literally. But seems that I got over the hardest patch of my life within these fourteen years. The beginning of them. The first our or five or …. throughout the ten.
    Perhaps I just had to walk out of the storm smelling like roses ….. cos JESUS is with me ….. big time.
    I do not hold any answers to life at all. I just do not at all. I just know …. it can be good. So very good when you are in the right place with the right people.
    🙂

  22. Thank you for this post today! I am currently struggling through a work situation that seems unfair and unjust. If indeed they are/might be trying to “phase out my position”, I feel I am truly being tested during this “trial”/situation to fully surrender and trust God for His will and His leading, and through it all I’m being refined “through the fire”. Love the analogy you used of the fertilizer, and that God will use this experience to fertilize new and better experiences, as He already has. When I look back, each job, each experience has been a stepping stone to something better. Just gotta keep moving forward, in His ways and His leading.

    • Moving and all the change that comes with it … oh I know that so well, as you know … and you are right … so much beauty. Lately, I’ve been trying to really focus on the beauty that has come from each one of my moves.

  23. My husband and I have been separated nearly a year. Things don’t look hopeful for our restoration. It has been a very difficult year but I am encouraged to read all of your stories and believe God is working this trial in our family for a good purpose, as he has worked trials in your lives for good. Thank you for the encouragement. It was much needed today.

    • Anne Marie, just saw your comment as I was scrolling down and had to comment.. just wanted to pass along some love. I understand, my parents have been separated for 6 years now. It is a tough and confusing situation for sure. When people ask how I’m doing it is very hard to sum it up! Still in the midst of this trial so I’m not at the point where I can look back and clearly see the purpose. But my knowledge that God is good and that He constantly loves and comforts me has been strengthened. Praying that He will comfort you extra today!
      Frances

    • Sweet Anne Marie, I am stopping to pray right now for you. Praying for healing and restoration. Praying with confidence that God will bring beauty from this ugly pit. Much love to you!

  24. Your picture of fertilizer is so good! In my life there has been the ick for sure, but you are right, when your hands get dirty with ick, when you get past the uncomfortable smell – His can use it to grow something so beautiful. And we are doubly blessed when He allows us to see that happiness while still on earth!

  25. I loved this. I am sending it to my husband who is in Army National Guard Basic Training (Reserves) right now. We have 3 small children and two days before he left for training, the school at which he teaches advised him that they are not going to hire him back next year. It may be a blessing, but it is also very scary right now. After almost 7 years of marriage, it has been wrought with too many deaths to count, unemployments, 3 moves, inconsistent income…lots of different things. Yet, the Lord has brought us closer together and closer to Him through it all. So in the end, I have to count it all joy. I am trying hard to trust that the Lord will turn this around….that is a question of faith that I still continue to struggle with, but I am working on it. Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. The question is, when we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, how do we continue to remember to give God glory and praise for who He is and what He does? That is a part of my struggle right now.

    • Oh Melissa, how I want to reach through my screen and hug you. I know with all my heart that God will bring beauty from this mucky, scary pit that you are now in, but I also know the hurt and aches and fear that you describe. Praying beauty and peace for you now.

  26. Very nice article, Angela! I love the analogy. So happy to hear you are enjoying your new career.

  27. I’m pretty sure I’m in the midst of my story right now and I’m still trying to look through the haze to see how God is working in it. I know he is, it’s just that the pain of the moment is still so sensitive that it stings my eyes to think about.

    But I did want to share a verse that my husband shared with me the other day that really hits on how without our bad experiences we won’t see the harvest at the other end.

    “Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. “(Proverbs 14:4 NLT)

    What does an ox do in his stall? [Insert fertilizer here] So basically, you can’t experience a harvest without all the crap. it sounds funny, and kind of gross, but isn’t it so true? Sometimes we have to go through the hard times to really see what God is growing in us.

  28. What a beautiful post, Angela! This one really hits home. I’m seeing the results of many fertilizer moments, and I’m still in the fertilizer in some places. That can happen, can’t it. Funny thing, we moved last summer away from the DC area. It’s where I left a huge piece of my heart. I have the same memories of wine with my girlfriends before I left. Sweet forever memories. Thanks for sharing this. Give ‘ole DC a hug for me.

    • I think we are always in some fertilizer while residing this side of heaven. 🙂 Some stronger than others. I am so thankful that you are experience some sweet moments after the bitter. And I will hug this marvelous city for you. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Thank you for sharing your story! It really resonated with me. I need the encouragement as I am not “on the other side” and not seeing many results of the fertilizer yet! My trials have strengthened and personalized my faith, though, and for that I am thankful. I know God is good and He loves me. Now, to just trust Him and keep trusting!

  30. Unfair job loss, death of a very supportive parent, loss of church family, pain of parenting a child with mental illness, loss of friendships over parenting decisions we made for that child and starting and ending an exhausting business all within a three years definitely smelled like fertilizer to me. Out of those experiences, God taught me to treasure Jesus above all things and recognize His grace-filled sovereignty.

    • Thank you for sharing, Lisa. Definitely a lot of fertilizer there … tough stuff. So thankful you were comforted during those times and are holding blessings today. (hugs)

  31. I absolutely love how you used the analogy of fertilizer! For a span of several years in a row I went through a really rough time–I endured a succession of breakups and was also pretty sick, and eventually diagnosed with a chronic health condition. The last breakup was nothing short of heartbreaking, losing the man I planned to marry. For quite awhile, I really struggled, and I couldn’t pull myself out of a pretty dark pit. Since then, however, God has worked so powerfully in my life, I need about eighty five pages to tell you everything He’s done. But in short, He taught me more about Himself than I could ever imagine, and He revealed the idol of man that had crowded Him off of His rightful throne in my heart–which completely changed my life. Also, in witnessing the healing power of His Word, I finally decided to pursue the longtime dream of a MA in Biblical Counseling (He created a passion in me for women who are hurting); I’ve been able to share my testimony with so many girls; I fell in love with His Word–it completely came alive in way it never had before. I learned patience, joy in trials, waiting on the Lord, prayer, listening to His voice, endurance, and so much more. By His grace, my health has also drastically improved. Since then, my situation itself has not changed dramatically, but He did the most incredible work in my heart–changed pain into joy; He’s used my story in ways I couldn’t imagine; and He’s prompted me to pursue what I believe is my calling through the whole experience. Let me just say, He used a really dark time to cause me to absolutely fall in love with Him–and there has been no greater joy or privilege in my life than that. “I count it all as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Thank you for the encouragement of your story!

  32. I would love to believe this but I can’t anymore. I’ve been waiting for far too long. My hope has finally expired.

    • B. I don’t know your story. Don’t know your sense of loss. Don’t know what long is. But I know hopelessness. Have felt it in my soul. Praying tonight especially for you. Praying God shows His face and uses others to demonstrate His love toward you this very weekend.

      You. Are. Not. Alone…

    • B,
      I read your comment and started to respond. Then I erased everything and started to pray fervently for hope to return to you. I don’t know your story … your hurt … but I know you are a treasure. I know the creator and giver of Hope. And I know you are loved and not alone.
      Much love, Angela

  33. Fertilizer….So much…Yet not nearly what other have had to walk through with the muck stuck to their shoes. Sufferer of ADHD and depression. Mother of a child with SPD. Stay-at-home mom for a while. Working mother who left her 4 month old in the care of another and craves nothing but to be home again. Mother who breastfed successfully the first time and failed miserably the second. So much muck. So much fertilizer. Yet..beauty. Beauty in the tender place of my soul which sprout and plant seed in the lives of others walking through the same gardens.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  34. This post is awesome. I’ve had my own experiences with ‘fertilizer’ like everyone else. Somehow it never seems to end and I want to go kicking and screaming into the night asking God, ‘why me! Isn’t it someone else’s turn?’ And why does it seem that the ‘Bad Guys’ always win!!?? But thankfully God always manages to help me back to my feet. Am I happy? Not usually but sometimes and I never stopped believing that someday it will all make sense. I am just so glad that I have faith in God and hope because I don’t know how people can manage to get through life without them. You are doing good work here, keep it up for all our sakes! Thank you!

  35. I laughed with Ben Duncan. The stench smell and the plague of locusts made me crack. It’s amazing that you got to the other side in two years. Terrific! I’m fighting on paying a debt since 2005. In between, the plague of locusts attacked ferociously. In 2008, my husband suffered an heart opened surgery. In 2012, he died. No income from him. The list then is a heap of stench fertilizer that begins with a car accident, a guardianship with a trial to make any normal person mad. Right now, I’m battling a probate. Sweet, I mean, bittersweet. There are no words to describe the financial mess, however, I’m confident that He will bring me to other side.
    I loved this blog. I needed desperately. I have hope.

  36. B, I’m praying for you. I could have lost all hope after having twice to sell everything from the household. The first time, there were 5 carryover suitcases and handbags rolling through the airports in Brazil and Los Angeles. It seems to much to bear.
    I’m praying for you, B. Do not let go your hope. I love you.

  37. Check out my story of the struggles of a baseball mom at lisanne3015.wordpress. It’s called Proud Mom, Graceful God, Humble Children. God works for us in His time! My son got to pitch last night and won the game for us! Read my blog and you’ll see why the lesson is in the waiting.

  38. When I was 16, I started college and met a sweet boy named David. It didn’t take long to realize he was THE ONE. The day I turned 18 I went into the registrars office and quit school. Within a few months, we were married…I was in love deeply and in heaven! My home life before I met David had been riddled with an alcoholic dad that had died when I was 10…and much chaos after his death with a grieving mom…
    Not long after we were married, I had a nagging almost obsessive fear that all of it was too good to be true…I just couldn’t believe that I could have been so lucky to have such a sweet boy as mine. I worried. I talked to him a lot of my fears that something would happen…you see I was convinced he would die.
    Seven months into our marriage I found out I was pregnant! Most exciting day of my life!
    In less than two months my sweet boy, this wonderful love of mine was dead.
    He had been just hired to work at a local fast food restaurant while he was finishing college and he and four others were abducted and murdered.
    Six months later I gave birth to our son…David II.
    At 18, I had gotten married, was expecting my first child and was now a widow. My white picket fence dream of life was gone.
    Move forward 31 years…
    I have this gorgeous new grandbaby…Grayson…born on Valentines Day…my only son’s only and first baby boy….
    There’s a verse that speaks of how God restores what the locust has eaten…and its my life verse. My Father took what was meant for evil and walked me quietly through it holding my hand the entire way…to the moment our little GB was born…how could we ask for more?

  39. Hi! I have one to tell ya about! After I graduated college with a B.S. in Human Services, I could not find a job anywhere!! Everyone wanted experience or at least a Masters, which I had NO money to get. I had to pay rent, so I went back to a job I had over summers and holidays- a grocery store! Oh man, did I feel like I had no purpose working there. There were teens who didn’t care a thing about being there and here I was, showing up every day, working those long hours, sometimes double shirt to cover for those who didn’t show up. Needless to say, I LOATHED that job. I would sit in the parking lot, in my car, before my shift and just tear up, praying that God would help me make it through that shift. After about 3 LONG years of working there, a very cute, sweet, God fearing man walked up to the salad bar, where I was getting my dinner, taking a break from a long shift, and asked me out to dinner! Well, about 1 1/2 later, we were married and I quit that ol’ job and applied for a bank job which I got and worked for about 3 or so years before I had my 1st child! There WAS a purpose in my working that crazy job-meeting my hubby!!! God is SO faithful and SO good if we will just wait on Him! Waiting is SO hard, but SO worth it. I wish I had been better at waiting during that time. I fretted ALOT, about where my life was headed. I felt many times that I was at a dead end road, but God had a purpose in all that craziness! PTL that I am His child and He loves me enough to care about my little life here on earth! TY SOOO very much for this post. I am humbled by God’s goodness….

  40. Thank you, thank you. I needed this. Right now. You have reminded me and have blessed me. I love getting your posts via email, they feel like little gifts that I can’t wait to open.

    Many Blessings,
    Sheila

  41. Oh, this is so, so true. When my husband was “outsourced” the week we were moving into a home we purchased, I was so angry and defeated.

    I look back and of course – God knew all along – If we hadn’t bought the house, we wouldn’t have stayed in Arizona (stuck). If we hadn’t stayed in Arizona, we would have never met and adopted our Riley. God is good. All the time.

  42. There’s been a lot of stench in my life!! The one that has smelled the most is the one that changed our lives……….forever. My husband, 2 daughters and myself lived a normal life. Had a simple home, went to church, you know the normal stuff. And then it happened! A major stinky interruption into our lives. Raymond was the Assistant General Manager for a tire company. Huge tractor tires all the way to car tires. Anyhow, he was trying to unload a few tires on a trailer when one slipped and pinned his right foot under the tire. It had crushed his toes. After several surgeries and the company trying to get rid of him; he quit his job. The amount of medications and all the different kinds, have been numerous. (There were times that he took 27 pills a day, had suicide thoughts, etc..) MAJOR medications, mind you. Raymond was always the kind who would land on his feet. He knew people who knew people that needed people who could do what he did. To another job he went! I was worried, but felt desperate to keep things the way we were use to. The medications became too much and too strong. After his morning meds, he would get so groggy. He ended up slipping into his truck in the parking lot and take a nap. It became a problem. He was not ready to quit working all together. He was the “man of the house and they provide”! It was such a battle for him. After many tears, Raymond knew it was time to leave the work force. He was scared, and I was terrified! Life as we knew it was over. We went from being able to buy some good groceries to asking our church for help. We couldn’t pay the bills, and the stress of it all was mounting!! I was never happy anymore. It’s amazing how we view what makes us happy. Raymond felt unworthy of anything. We have struggled to get to the place we are now, and it has only been because of God’s grace and His goodness!! God looked at our life as a “stench” to Him. We were simply going through the motions while including Him, but our hearts stunk!! The smelly places in our lives have made beautiful flowers. No, Raymond cannot work anymore, it least not right now. At the age of 45 he had to leave what he loved, permanently – working!! But oh the difference it has made in him! He hungers for God like never before! He desires Him!!! As for me, I took on the burden of being the provider when all I ever knew was being a housewife or working in daycare! Neither pay good!! But God has provided me with a job that I have been at for 12 years. The pay is just enough. I have never desired God like I have through all of this! Praise God, I am not the same person!!! I would have to say that this “stench” has saved our lives……SPIRITUALLY!!! We may not have much, yet we seem to have it all!!!

    • Vonda,

      Prayers for strength to endure this trial! May God give you His supernatural strength to carry on. I pray He provides for your needs and give you some of His love, grace & mercy!

      Blessings 🙂

  43. Angela,

    My fertilizer story goes as thus. I had a good job at a university in the music department and was happy. Suddenly almost a year into the job I was let go. Said I didn’t fit the type person she wanted. Was scared, bitter, upset.

    During that time my mom had quadruple bypass surgery and was in the hospital for a long long time. I was able to move in with my dad and be there at night for him. We gave each other moral support. Eight months later I landed another job at same university. I don’t regret the time off.

    6 years later I went back to school and eventually had to leave that job. I finished my schooling and was off work for a year looking for a good job. God in his infinite wisdom put me back yet again at the same university. I have been at this job 7 years now. There were plenty of times during changes at work that I truly hated/dreaded going to work. Through lots and lots of prayer God has blessed me immensely in so many ways. Now I understand why He has kept me there for this long.

    During some of my time there my mother had another major illness and was bed ridden with dementia and sundowners. I was able to go and help my dad again. God is awesome. He know the plans He has for you. AMEN!

    Blessings 🙂

  44. What a powerful article for me at this particular period of my life that is full of fertilizer. Thank you for taking the time to share your story to encourage us. I desperately needed that. I shall have a very important story to share very soon. God bless you and keep writing.

  45. Yes, God does use these things to make us grow. God has stripped me of so much and has asked me to trust Him with my children. I have homeschooled for 18 years and He has asked me to send all but one child to school. This is NOT what I wanted, but He has something wonderful to teach me. Thank you for your encouragement.

  46. Love how you open our eyes to seeing bad experiences as a bit of fertilizer that we need in our lives, Angela! God has worked through many bad and sad experiences in my life. I can reflect back and see just how those experiences made me grow… in my faith, in my life!

    • Thank you for your sweet comment, my friend! Isn’t it beautiful to look back on our lives and see God’s hand harvesting beautiful things from refuse? I’m so excited to see what He has in store for you next!

  47. My story is. A hard one to write. I have tried so many times but.. I thought I had the perfect life. My husband, a daughter, a son and a beautiful granddaughter. 8 years ago my 53 year old husband was killed in a tragic airplane accident. I just couldn’t understand why The Lord would allow this to happen to my family because we were faithful servants to him. Just as I was learning to live again the unthinkable happened. My 26 year old son was was killed in a tragic airplane accident. I had ever feeling a person could have. My son had a 3 year old little girl and a 6 month old baby boy at the time of his accident. I just couldn’t understand why God would take their daddy and my son. I am slowly learning and accepting that God is in full control. I still ask everyday what good could become of any of this? I learn something new everyday from almighty God. My daughter and her husband who have been married 15 years have choice not to have children. We try to fill every void in their little lives and to teach them God is a good God. Yes I still break down and get close to the edge of the black hole. The Lord always takes my hand and says my child I still have work for you to do. My goal is to fertilize other mothers who have lost a child. I am not the same person I was a few years ago but I am finding a new normal for me. I hope people will look at me and see what The Heavenly Father has carried me through. Thank you for listening to me.

  48. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with 2 cancers, Burkett’s Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and cancer of the uterus. I was given a 3 week death sentence. In addition to this, I got 2 other devastating news, and I thought how much could one woman handle. Between the bills, the pain….but God walked with me through and I will never be the same. I am writing a book about it prayerfully on my recovery time how God is not only with us but can carry us through our pain and turn our pain into a purpose which is not a cliché. I thought I had faith, but faith isn’t real until it has been tested and tried through the fire of life that eventually hits us all. I truly think God is trying to say something to us all – simple is best, rest is good for the spirit, love, forgive, take care of one another – life is short and fleeting. I remember on one of my really bad days and they were many, God spoke, ” Find something to be thankful for.” From that day 3 years ago , I started to look and see and you will be surprised of the beauty of life in the little things when we start to be thankful even in the midst of a trial. I am still recovering and have many issues that God needs to deal with but today, I am thankful that I can encourage someone and walk with someone who may be going through. I have learned to trust and rest, really rest in His Presence, not try to live up to others expectations, let go and not stress over things that really do not matter, oh what lessons! The funny part is that I am still making that list – the best part is that I had to come so close to death so I can learn how to live. I am looking for to the days ahead and how is going to turn this around, for I trust Him.

  49. I have several bad experiences as fertilizer stories, but my most recent one is very similar to yours. After 20 years in ministry ranging from resort missionary to solo artist to speaker to working with children to being part of professional Christian Theater Company, I landed the full-time job of my dreams. I ended up as a faculty member of a Bible College teaching leadership, evangelism and performance as ministry. I didn’t know such a job existed and it was my dream job. I felt like God had spent 20 years preparing me for this job, but three years later, the school decided to get rid of my department (and some others) and it wasn’t pretty.

    I was trapped and heartbroken all at the same time. And to be honest, I still feel a little twinge of sadness when I think about that position. Yet at the same time, it was demanding. 60 to 80 hours a week, my health was suffering and I lost a relationship that may have been something special if I had set aside enough time for him. Then followed five years of unemployment where I applied for over 600 jobs. I also got the chance to “follow my dream”. It was a great experience and opened so many doors for me. It was a HARD five years…and I mean HARD!!!! But that fertilizer experience has made me a much more grateful person and has brought me closed to God.

    Thanks for your words. They meant a lot to me.