Baptism, Divorce and why you don’t have to go to church!

I truly believe that I’m in church every day. I spend time with God every morning and I talk to someone about Jesus far more than once a day. I stand firm in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” God is always with me. I am in constant “church” with people and spend many nights in fellowship with my friends each week. So daily church happens outside four walls of a building all the time.

But my church! My church feeds me. I crave the building and the people in it. I’m addicted to praising in the big room filled with my brothers and sisters. There’s nothing like standing with my people, arms raised high, my husband’s arm around my back and belting out praise to Jesus, no matter how off-key I am. I love to watch everyone scoot to the edge of their seats, preparing to soak up the message our pastor is about to deliver. Oh how I wish you could hear him deliver the Good News. It’s amazing!

You don’t have to go to church.
You can love God from where ever you are.
You can praise Jesus in your car, your home and even the shower.
You can gather with your friends and be the church in your back yard.

However, there can be great beauty in finding a church that you love and that loves you back. If you’re in San Antonio then meet me at Castle Hills Church, hold my hand and love on Jesus and others with me.Come meet my people. If you’re not then find a church that loves you. There can be so much that fills you up when you surround yourself with followers of Jesus. Wherever you church, do it big. Do it with abandonment. Do it with love. Just do it.

Here’s a little about how my church helped save my marriage and ultimately saved our lives. We almost surrendered ourselves to ending everything we had wished for, then God stepped in. He is the God of redemption and He is good.

Check it our here.

Candice Curry and Life Stories. 

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Cast Your Fears

casts

I’m broken

When I was about 13 I broke my arm. My friends and I were literally getting in the car for our 8th grade trip to Port Aransas for Spring Break and my mom thought it was a good idea for me to show my friends the back handspring that I just learned a few days before.

Needless to say it was a fail and we spent the next hour in the med clinic. Since I had the beach in my near future I asked not to have a cast put on, it just wouldn’t work well in the ocean.

I’m not sure why my mom agreed to that but off we went with just a splint. I toughed it out but slept sitting up in a chair to avoid my friends accidentally hitting my arm during the night. I also swam in the ocean with my arm held high in the air.

A cast was put on right when we got home and I milked it for everything I could.

I chose to really play it up and use it as an excuse to avoid as much cleaning and school work as I could.

It worked.

15 years later  I was in Mexico for my best friends wedding. The same best friend who was on the trip to the coast when I broke my arm.

The first night that we were there her brother threw me in the pool  not knowing that there was a dance platform in the deep end that was only 6 inches deep.

I broke both my arms at the same time.

This time was very different from the last. I was a single mother to a 3 year old, had a full time job plus a house and bills. Milking it was not an option.

I once again refused to have casts put on my arms. There was no way that I could care for my daughter and work with casts on. I went with the splints again.

He fixed me

It’s funny how the same situation can force you to make two different decisions depending on the season of your life. When I didn’t have God in my life my decisions were very selfish. I would take and trial or test and make it my crutch.

I would use it to my benefit and to get what I wanted. I would use it as an excuse for my actions.

When my life changed and was fully focused on God I began using my test as motivation.

Now that God is in my life it is my responsibility to Him to use the tests that He gives me as my testimony to minister to others and keep my eyes fully focus on Him.

Much like I had to “man up” when I came home from Mexico with two broken arms, a child and a full time job, I now have to “man up” when I am tested spiritually and use it for Gods purpose.

God puts these test in our lives to help us grow. It might not always feel that way but Gods plan is always good and He wants the most wonderful things for you.

If being a christian was easy, everyone would be doing it.

It’s a full time job and we owe it to our CEO to honor and respect His plan. There’s a reason He is in charge.

Lets Pray

“God give me the knowledge and strength to recognize your tests and trials and show me how to use them for good. I know that you are always with me. Thank you for not only the blessings that you give but the trials that you give to help us grow. Help us learn how to turn our tests into testimonies and our mess into our message. In your unmatchable name, amen”.

I have some advice to give. First, if you are an amateur gymnast, do not try to show off your “skills” for your friends right before a fun trip. It ruins the party. Second, if you are the only person standing at your best friends side while she marries, do not play the fake out “I’m going to throw you in the pool” game. It ruins the wedding. My sweet best friend smiled the entire wedding while I stood next to her in my fancy dress adorned with two ugly arm splints.

I Ran A Marathon Yesterday And Ate Nothing But Health Food.

You know what I’m tired of? Faking it! What would happen if we decided to post nothing but the truth on Facebook? YIKERS! What would happen if the words that came out of our mouths were only the truth and we had no control over it. Ever seen the movie Liar Liar! I’m not calling us liars but I think that we tend to pad the truth. God forbid we actually admit that there are dirty dishes piled in the sink or that we want to punch our husbands in the mouth sometimes. Why do we do that. Why are we so concerned with everyone thinking that our lives are all roses instead of getting honest, getting deep and getting real. It’s not going to make people walk away from us and if it does then those people weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. I’ve listed some of my confessions before on here but let me give you a few more. When my kids scream my name, I sometimes pretend that I cant hear them. When my boss asks if I stopped by a certain account I sometimes lie and say that I did, yep read it and weep boss, its the truth. I hope I don’t find my “pink slip” on my desk tomorrow. I don’t necessarily iron my clothes, it’s more of a hard shake and if I have time then they spend about 10 minutes in the dryer. Dinner sometimes consisted of frozen waffles, cooked of course but not really cut up with syrup, we call them circle waffles and it makes them sound fun. Instead of emptying out the blow up pool and putting fresh water in, I put a cup of bleach in at night and consider it to be a chlorinated pool. I do not run every morning and I certainly don’t track it on an app and post it so that everyone can see how ambitious I am. In all honesty my running tracker would track me to the refrigerator and back and that’s about it. I eat cookie dough straight out of the tub but I wait until my kids go to bed so that I don’t have to share. There is about 5 pounds of crumbs, hair bands, spoons and cheerios underneath my couch cushions. Now deeper and more honest. I’m obsessed with my fathers suicide. I pretend that I’m not but I am. That hotel that I said I stop going to, that might not necessarily be the whole truth. I drove by it today and saw that the maid was in there cleaning it with the door open. If I didn’t have another person in the car with me I would have stopped and peaked in. My marriage was two minutes away from divorce. Okay I lied it was about one minute away from divorce and I didn’t care. One night when my two month old daughter was up ALL NIGHT LONG with pneumonia, my husband had been out of town for 9 days and I had not slept at all, I turned to her sweet face and told her “You have got to shut the F&$@ up before I freak out.” And that is a direct quote. I can almost hear child protective service pulling in to my driveway . I sometimes hate parents that will never have to deal with an autistic child. I’m jealous of people who have money to burn. I suck at my job. Sometimes I suck at being a mom and even more than that I suck at being a wife. I get mad at God. Are you ready to click the X in the right hand corner of your screen and get out of this post yet? I am, but I think that I’m just now starting to get fired up so hold on! I got an email from a friend two nights ago and it started just like this “Ok…so I’m fixing to be REAL honest! I’m angry! I’m angry that I was abused and abandoned as a kid. I’m angry that I was told I was a fat, b$#$@ that was stupid and ugly! ” Thank you God that I am not the only one! What a blessing to get a message like that. Thank you to my sweet sister in Christ for sending me a message that was real. I am not alone. You are not alone. Not only am I confident that God is always with us but I am confident that every single one of us has a cross to carry. Jesus carried the heaviest cross that there ever was and He was without sin so who do we think that we are to think that we are entitled to anything, especially a burden free life. I would love to sit here and pump you up and tell you that everything is going to be sunshine and butterflies but lets be honest, it wont. God gives us test so that we will have a testimony. Without a testimony how do we lead others to His kingdom. How can we listen and council to friends if we cant relate. I am thankful that God took my marriage to the edge and threaten to push it off if we didn’t get our act together, get right with Him and get right and real with each other. I am even more thankful that he took my marriage to the edge when I get an email from a friend in need of support because hers or his marriage is being tested, thank you God for giving me the tools to relate. I have gotten to the point that I welcome and almost beg for God to give me trials so that I can grow, learn, heal, reveal, relate and testify because without any of that nothing about this life would make any sense. In the email from my friend she also wrote “I am and I do , but inside I just am screaming will someone please validate and reassure me that I am worthy to be loved and God has a Huge Plan for me and my kids!!!! Ugh! Pretty pitiful eh?!?!?” Pitiful? Not a chance. Brave, absolutely. To my friend: You are worthy. God loves you and not because of how amazing you are, how much you give, what a wonderful mother you are, how brave you are, how faithful you are or how unwavering in your love for Christ you are. He loves you because you are flawed, because you are honest, because you cry out to Him and because now matter what test He put in your life you remain loyal to Him and Him only. Ahhh what an amazing daughter He must think that you are. He must call the angels over and have them watch you throughout the day. He must turn to them and tell them all that He has put in front of you and how you have stood strong in your faith and continued to cry out to Him. I bet He brags about all of the people that you testify to. It is music to His ears. Rest now sweet sister, He is carrying you. Lets pray “Merciful Father, bring peace to our heart when you give us tests and help us to stand tall in Your word so that we can be an example to those whos faith is wavering. Give us trials that we can turn into testimonies so that we can help fill your kingdom with more an more angels. In Jesus name, amen” . One last confession. My inspection sticker AND my registration on my car are expired! I’m living on the edge!!

Sister In Christ

Some of my friends from highschool got together this weekend to do a vendor event. There was about 7 of us and we all set up our little booths with whatever it is each of us was selling. We had jewelry, makeup, tutus, wickless candles, bags, jeans and crosses. My generous friend opened her beautiful home to all of us and set up a yummy spread of food. We also had some wine and some mocktail. The best part of the night didn’t have anything to do with any of that. The best part was that we got to hang out, share stories about our families, laugh and share our faith. This group of women is amazing. On Friday we were standing around the food, chit chatting and waiting for our guest to arrive one of our friends from school came in. I haven’t seen her in years and didn’t think that she would remember me or even know who I was. She came in and said hi to a few of the girls and then saw me standing there. I have not had a greeting like hers in a very long time. She acted like we hung out everyday. She wrapped her arms around me and gave me a genuine hug, I seriously had to make myself not tear up. I was happy and shocked at the same time. In my eyes, I was just some girl that went to her school at some point, I never thought that she would put her arms around me. We sat down together and gave each other several of our testimonies. I could have told her anything and everything that I have done or been through in my life. I know that without a doubt God sent her to me that night. I have women in my life that are my sisters in Christ, women that I am with all the time and that eventually we started referring to each other as sister. I had an instant connection with each of those women. This is the first time in a long time that the second I saw someone I wanted to tell them that I love them. Maybe it sounds like a little much or a little mushy or a little weird, that’s okay, it was God doing His work. God has perfect plans. I spent the majority of my life rebelling against Him. When I finally gave my life to Him, He started putting these amazing women in my life. I cant believe that I have know this woman for so many years and really knew nothing about her. I could tell you her eye color, hair color, height and that she is hilarious but until this weekend I had no idea of her struggles or where her heart is. Why do we do that? Why do we hide so many things in our life out of fear. When we are brave enough to open up and share, it is amazing how other people will relate, comfort and encourage us. When my friend and I were talking about this very thing she said we all seem to put our game face on and basically enter battle. But we don’t have to. We all have struggles, we all have highs and lows and we have all fallen short of Gods glory. None of us will ever measure up to Jesus and none of us will ever be without sin. So why don’t we stand together and for each other. Why don’t we share our testimonies so that we can help each other and possibly save each other. Its our responsibility to tell people what they can have with God and we cant do that without opening up and reveling that, in spite of the dirt that is on us, God still loves us and washes us clean as snow. Its true. I promise!. If I had not given my life to Christ years ago, my friend and I would have sat there and talked about how I have kids in bulk like I’m shopping at Costco or how she has to deal with a wild herd of teenagers every day but we would have never embraced each other at the end of the night and told each other how much we love each other. I want that with everyone. I want to call each and every one of you my brother or sister in Christ. If you have given your life to Christ then reach out to your brothers and sisters and share yourself, share yourself with anyone that will listen because you never know who you are going to touch. If you haven’t given your life to Christ them call me, write me a letter, email me, send up smoke signals, I don’t care how you reach me just do it so that I can tell you how amazing it is to be His daughter and to have an endless amount of brothers and sisters. If you don’t want to talk to me, talk to someone who knows God personally. I have tons of sisters and brothers waiting to be with you,waiting to love on you, waiting to stand up for you, waiting to tell you how much they love you. Whew, I think I’m breaking a sweat here! Lets pray “Heavenly Father thank you for the sweet surprises that You put in to our lives when we least expect it. I am in awe of how amazing You are and amazed at the gifts that You have waiting for us to accept. Help me to be a role model and example to anyone that sees me or hears me. Teach me how to talk to people who don’t know You or haven’t given themselves to You. In sweet sweet Jesus name, amen”. My mind is still racing today over what my dear friend shared with me this weekend. I feel privileged, blessed, and lucky that she would take that time to talk to me and be trusting enough to tell me her stories. All my life I have always felt like someone that people wouldn’t necessarily open up to and trust. My friend proved me wrong and will probably never know what this weekend meant to my faith. God is good. This is something that I know for sure. My friend and I just became friends on facebook last night. I went to look at her wall and much to my surprise she had reposted almost all of the posts from this W3 site. I had no idea that she was reading or sharing what I was writing. It has been one of the most humbling experience of my life. I told her that I was definitely going to be writing about her but I promised not to use her name. You know who you are sweet sister. I love you