Jesus lover | Zach’s wife | dog-mom to Riley & Millie
youth pastor | creative | food enthusiast | blogger/writer
These are the words and phrases that come to mind when describing my life and who I am.
I grew up in a wonderful family who has always pointed me to Jesus. My daddy is a pastor and my mom is the strongest prayer warrior I know. They raised me to not just know my Savior, but to be in LOVE with my Savior.
I am the only child and my parents and I are so close. I had such a fun life growing up. From family vacations, holiday traditions, and shopping on Sundays after church – my parents gave me the best life I could have asked for.
But there’s a piece of my story that, on the outside, you may miss. I cover it well, but it isn’t something that can be ignored and it isn’t something I’m ashamed of.
I have cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that creates a salt and water imbalance throughout the body causing the body’s mucus to become thick and sticky. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria, blocks airways in the lungs, and blocks the pancreas from not secreting enzymes and insulin; and without enzymes and insulin, the body can’t digest food or break down sugar, resulting in low nutrients to the body and abnormal blood sugars.
Although I look like and have always carried myself as “normal”, not every day is sunshine and good vibes.
On a daily basis, I have to do a series of treatments and medication that helps my lungs and body stay the healthiest they possibly can. I
take anywhere from 25-35 enzymes to help break down my food to digest and gain the nutrients from it. I do 4-6 breathing treatments a day…some to keep my lungs moist, some to thin the mucus, and some are antibiotics that I inhale to keep infections from brewing. I take 8-12 vitamins and supplements a day to help with bone strength; keep liver enzymes down in order to prevent liver disease; insulin through a pump for diabetes; probiotics to keep the good bacteria in my body in check, and several others for various issues.
It’s never an easy battle to face. I have had several hospitalizations where I would be on IV antibiotics to combat harsh infections, and sometimes even come home with the IVs and be on them for up to 8 weeks (3-4 per day). My hospitalizations and at-home IV therapies have gotten in the way of ministry, school, work, and everyday life. I have had to cancel plans last minute and stay indoors to prevent infections.
But the medications are not the only part of managing cystic fibrosis. It can and will take a toll on my mental health. BUT JESUS.
This is where my Lord becomes my Lord AND Savior. If it weren’t for Jesus, my life would be dramatically different. I wouldn’t have a firm foundation and the truths to stand on when I’m at my weakest. Don’t get me wrong, I miss it sometimes (more often than not) and in my weakness the enemy tries to have a field day with my mind. But if you do not read any further into my story, I stress this the most JESUS IS THE STRENGTH THAT YOU NEED TO STAND ON. Even when you feel like you have nothing left, hold on to Him.
While CF is a large part of my life, it’s not the whole story. And it has truly been a blessing in a lot of ways. So many doors have been opened through this disease. Doors to share my story and to share my experience in fighting so hard each day. Doors to share the name of Jesus with people and how through Him, I’m still going. Doors to new experiences and to travel and speak on platforms and to encourage people. I’m a true believer in Romans 8:28 where the apostle Paul writes, “And we know that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”
And what a beautiful, purposeful life it’s been so far!
In 2010, I met the man I would marry 8 years later.
Zach and I met through a local youth group and became friends rather quickly. We dated for several years with a few hiccups here and there while navigating high school and college. Then in 2018, Zach asked me to be his wife and here we are, three years later, happily married and serving Jesus together each and every day.
Ministry has been a foundational part of our relationship. Through college, we served as worship interns and worked with students. During our engagement, Zach & I worked as youth pastors and worship leaders. In our first year of marriage, we transitioned to North Georgia to be full-time youth pastors and it has been nothing short of amazing.
Zach and I are dog-parents to the sweetest two pups in the whole world. Riley came home to us in January of 2020 and Millie followed 10 months later. They are the best of friends and our lives are so much more full with them in it! We have another little one named Prissy who now lives with her grandparents, but she has been my little side-kick since 2011!
My story is one that has so many moving parts. It’s hard to sum it all up in one post, so I hope you can read through my blog and find things that relate to you! I’ve always told people, I’m an open book with my story because I know the impact on my life from hearing others’ stories throughout my life. So let’s get to know each other!
Thanks for checking out my blog.