Finding Peace in the Storm

Psalm 121:1-2  I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.

Just four years ago, my life looked very different, things were not perfect, but “I” could manage it. I was doing my own thing, training for my 3rd triathlon it was April 2017. I loved the feeling of strengthening my body, pushing it to its limits. Training was something I did 6 days a week no matter what, or no matter where. And in that was much pride. Yes, I loved the Lord, I spent time with Him. But, He knew there could be more, He could see what I could not.

One spring morning, I woke up with a case of poison ivy. This was nothing unusual, I have had it every year since I was a child. But, as much as I remember, I had never had it on my neck. But this day I was looking in the mirror at this red streak of bumps across my throat, itching like crazy. So, I got out my tubes of itch relievers, and began to rub it on my neck. As I was rubbing, I felt a small knot in my neck beneath the skin. Just a passing observation, no big deal. After several days of this it seemed the knot was growing. A couple of weeks later I made a doctors appointment.

By the time I saw him, you could see the lump in my throat. He sent me straight to get a cat scan. Two days later wanted to see me, that got my attention. He wanted me to see a surgeon and have this removed immediately. From then until I saw the surgeon, it tripled in size, now the size of a golf ball. But, after seeing a thyroid surgeon and radiologist that specialized in this, they determined it was benign, and decided to not do surgery. I saw another doctor who used iodine to shrink it to a third it’s size. But, in the meantime, my thyroid quit functioning. I was very weak, tired, didn’t have the strength to run or workout at all. After a year, I finally got back to exercising again slowly trying to get back to where I had been, but every time I did something happened to set me back.

In July 2019, I was getting in my car to go to church, as I sat down, pain shot from my hip, to my foot. I had never experienced anything like it. I ended up laying flat in the floor all day. From there it was chiropractors, doctors, injections, treatments, massage, anything to get relief, but it never lasted. I had numbness in my leg and foot. Months at a time I would rest my back. My husband had to do all the vacuuming and mopping, I couldn’t lift anything. After one last treatment, we all realized it wasn’t working. At the end of the 10 week of rest, I and my husband got Covid. 

My husband has heart and kidney issues, I was very afraid for him. One night, as I was giving him a breathing treatment, I was praying for wisdom, fearing for his life. I cried out for mercy, and strength to take care of him. The next day, he began to take a turn for the better. 

At the same time, I had been in a crisis with my Daddy. He had a heart attack last January, followed by a fall in June. He ended up in the hospital, then to rehab. While in rehab he got Covid. Back to the hospital, then home with hospice. He was bedridden, we had to use a lift to get him out of bed. We were able to care for him at his home for 3 months, I’m so thankful for that time with him. I was praying God would do a miracle and heal him, but he wasn’t healed. While I was at home with Covid, we had to have him moved to a nursing home. It broke my heart.
This was the end of October.

On November 9th, our oldest son, his wife and 3 children moved to Bozeman, Montana, 1852.1 miles away, a 27 hour drive. Never since our grandchildren came into the world, had we been away from them more than two weeks. I thought that was the way it would always be. I was wrong. I grieved the loss. No more birthdays, ballgames, piano recitals, I wouldn’t be there for grandparents day at school. I grieved it all, for days at a time I cried. I fell into the trap of self-pity, and the enemy loved it! He fed every self-pity thought, and I went deeper into despair.  

I went to the Lord,  asking why? I had loved Him, served Him, followed Him. Why did He allow all this. I was stripped of my health, my husband’s health, my Daddy, my family. We had major problems at work. It was all caving in. I felt completely vulnerable, afraid of what would come next. All the things I had put my hope and trust in were gone.

I was now facing back surgery.

On February 1, 2021, I got up and ran to My Father, My Heavenly Father. I cried for answers. I needed hope, I need help, I need direction, I needed Him!

“Call upon me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things you know not!” Jeremiah 33:3. And He answered me. Psalm 139:6-7 Angelia, I have beset you in behind and before, and laid My hand upon you. Where could I go from His Spirit? Where could I flee from His presence? He was with me. He always was. He saw every tear. He knew every pain. He felt it too. Because I am His child!

The Holy Spirit comforted me, strengthened me, and gave me perfect peace that day. No one else could ever have given me that! The next day, as I went to sleep before they operated on me, my last thought was, Angelia, I’m going to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than you could ever ask for or imagine. And He has. I’m able to walk again, and stand without pain, still healing, but so much better.

Through the stripping away, I’ve found what only God can give: peace in the storm. No matter what I face, He has been there. But it only came when I surrendered it all to Him. I said, “Lord all of this is Yours. I’m so blessed, what You choose to remove is for my good. I live for You, beneath Your wings I take refuge, until the disaster has passed!” (Psalm 57:1)

I have heard, when God is all you have, He is all you need. And it is true. In every storm lift up your eyes, He is there!


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

These verses have taken on a new meaning for me lately. I have developed a cataract in my right eye, this is the eye I use to see distances , my contacts are adjusted for this purpose. Since developing this cataract , I’ve had some difficulties; I see double, and lights at night blind me. When I am driving, a car approaching me from a distance looks like two cars, one in my lane. As it gets closer, I can tell it’s only one, but it can be frightening. My brain has to override what my eye is telling me.

It’s the same way sometimes with trusting God. I have been praying for something very tender to my heart. The more I have prayed, the worse the circumstances seemed. One day God brought this verse and my eye problems together for me. Sometimes what I see with my physical eyes looks so wrong, but My Father is using it all for good. I have to override those things I see in the physical, and trust My Heavenly Father is working on my behalf. I cannot trust what I see, I can only trust Him, He is going to do even more than I can imagine.

I have been memorizing Psalm 84, God always uses what I am memorizing and meditating on, to speak to me.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory ; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You! Psalm 84:11-12 

He is good, and He can be trusted, no matter what it ” looks like” right now.


God Gave Me Back My Daddy: A Story of Healing and Hope

Editor’s note: As Father’s Day approaches we share this story of restoration to offer hope. Jesus changes things, even when it seems impossible to the human mind.


And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten. Joel 2:25a 

In my childhood, all I remember about my Daddy is him leaving for work. He was a bread delivery man. He left between 3 and 4 a.m. and got home around 8 p.m. On his off day he worked in his Father’s produce company. On Sunday he usually got a call from someone to bring bread because they had run out. He worked very hard to provide for our family; I am so grateful for that. It taught me to work hard. But, I missed out on getting to know my Father.

Daddy was an athlete in high school, so I wanted to be an athlete to get his approval. I wasn’t athletic, at least not until high school. I started playing softball in the fifth grade, Daddy never saw me play until I was married and had my own children. We never got to share that experience.

Daddy wasn’t an affectionate person while I was growing up. He didn’t say “I love you,” even though he did. He didn’t hug us. I began, sometime in childhood to believe he didn’t love me. This thought grew and festered until it became an unshakable belief. I did not believe my Daddy loved me until one day in college.

My mother and father were separated at the time. We were having issues with our septic tank, it was leaking in the yard. I called Daddy and told him to come look at it. I remember being very angry at him, even though he had done nothing wrong. This anger sprang from a bitter root I had against him. I began telling him all he needed to do; my words were harsh and critical. I made it clear, I didn’t much like him! Then it happened, tears began to roll down his face. I was shocked. I had never seen him cry, ever! I really believed he wasn’t capable of showing emotion. Then he said something that forever changed our lives. “Angelia, I love you. I need you to love me.” He loved me!? Until that moment I could not believe that. God broke through my hard heart and softened it toward him. I knew things would never be the same.

img_7186Sometime later Daddy came back home for a while. I began nursing school. I was still learning to trust him, and was on very uncertain ground. Just before I graduated, one morning I was leaving for the hospital. Taped to the doorknob on the front door, was a note. It was from Daddy, it said, I am so proud of how hard you have worked in school. You set your mind on a goal, and you have accomplished it. This will bring success in your life. I love you, Daddy. I still have that little note, tucked away in a drawer in my jewelry box, it is a treasure to me!

Not long after, I married and moved away. Our relationship never had time to grow. I remember coming home to visit, as I would leave, Daddy would be standing at the top of the hill crying. I cried too, would I ever know him?

Then tragedy struck. Daddy had to have open heart surgery. After surgery, he suffered a stroke. He was weak on one side and could not talk; his short-term memory was gone. He and my mother had divorced by this time. He was alone. He had no one to care for him. He came to live with us. His speech began to come back, and he began to get better. But he was different. We spent every day together, we would take walks to build his strength, and we would talk and talk. At night, as I helped him get ready for bed, he would hug me, and say I love you. He would thank me for taking care of him. I would go to bed and tell my husband this is so strange, but so good! Our relationship began to bud and blossom. A few months later he went home.

Daddy had met a sweet lady, and one day I got a call from him saying, “Guess what I’m doing?” I had no idea.

“I’m singing in a choir!”

“What, you can sing?!”

They had joined a choir of senior citizens; he loved it. Then someone invited them to visit their church. They began attending, regularly, every time the doors opened. God began a work in him, something I had been praying for years. Occasionally he would mention to me he wasn’t sure of his salvation; when I questioned him, he would change the subject.

Five years ago tragedy struck again, his precious wife, Julia, died. The light of Daddy’s life was gone. He was lost, depressed and lonely. He was unable to care for himself at this time. He wanted to stay in his home, so we hired a nurse for a year. Then the money ran out. So I began going to his house to clean, fix his meds, and spend time with him. We began a routine of me coming and having dinner together. He has been hospitalized several times and God has protected him in miraculous ways. I began to really know my Daddy. He is funny, loves to tell jokes, (I’ve heard them all!) loves to talk, loves history, and his family. He has so many stories to tell about his family, and I love hearing them.

Two years ago, after mentioning again his doubts about his salvation, we sat down and went through the Bible. That night with angels circling around us, Daddy settled this once and for all! What a blessing to be there with him and share that moment. He has never mentioned it again.

We have come to a place of complete healing and restoration in our relationship. Through a series of events, ordained by God, I was given back my lost years with my father. Some might have seen this as an inconvenience, but I saw it as a divine appointment.

The Daddy I never knew, the Daddy I thought didn’t love me, loves me deeply.

Yes, God restored what the locust had eaten. He gave me a gift, wrapped in tragedy, to bring me something I could never have imagined. I don’t regret one single minute, and never will!

And I and my Daddy, will spend eternity in heaven!




Three Little Miracles

Yes, God still works miracles! A few years ago, I was blessed to be a part of one! There is no other explanation of how all these people and circumstances could “just fall together”!

It all began on a fall Saturday morning. I was in Montgomery at His Vessel Ministries attending a meeting. After the meeting, I ran into an old friend. We’d met through a Discipleship class at the Ministry. As we were talking she shared that she and her husband had decided to adopt a child through the foster care system. They had been married 24 years and unable to have children. They now wanted desperately to adopt a child. She asked me to pray for them because the foster system was so overwhelmed with placing children in foster homes there wasn’t much time to find them a child to adopt. Immediately someone came to my mind. “I might know of a child.” Her face lit up like a Christmas tree! I didn’t want to get her hopes up, but I was already getting excited myself!

On my way home to Cullman, I called my friend. She and her husband have been foster parents for several years. I knew they had a baby that would be up for adoption soon.

When I told her the story, she said, “We have decided to adopt the baby. But, the three girls we have now are getting closer to being ready for adoption!”

Wow! Three girls! She only said they wanted one! I better check. She might not be ready for 3 little girls. Well, not only was she interested, they would have taken them at that very moment if possible! I reminded her, “This is not final yet!” But already a seed of love had been planted in her heart.

I invited her to come up and visit us the following Sunday. They went to church with us and my friends with the girls then ate lunch with us. I know you’ve heard “love at first sight,” but it was! The girls and this couple fell in love! One of the girls climbed up in the woman’s lap, looked her in the eyes, and said, “Can you be my mommy?” Yes, we cried!!! And the other two were glued to the husband.

They of course, didn’t want to leave, but they had to go back to Montgomery. The seeds of love were growing! In my heart I was praying that they wouldn’t be disappointed. But I was also praying that God would join these girls and this couple.

Another amazing detail, the women had met before. My friend in Cullman had been to a meeting at the Montgomery friend’s house with me. I had forgotten that. So, they were already connected which helped the process of adoption.

The couple applied for respite care, and 2 months later they were taking the girls for weekends. All of us were praying that somehow God would put this all together. But, actually God was the originator of it all! Through court dates, and appeals, wondering and waiting, God continued to bring it all together.

Of course there were challenges, these girls had been through the trauma of being taken from their home, living in foster homes, and not understanding all of this. Yes, they had behavior issues. But the two mothers were able to help each other through this.

A year later, the husband made a call to their lawyer telling him they were finally ready for a court date. Usually this takes months; they didn’t have months. His father had some serious health issues, they needed to go to Texas to take care of him. And he, being in the military, had been transferred to Mississippi.

That night he got a call from the lawyer. “Can you be here in the morning.”  ?!

The next morning, three little girls became “their little miracles”!

All glory be to God from whom all blessings flow!

Yes, I believe in miracles! A husband and wife married 25 years decide to adopt a foster child.

Three little girls half a state away needed parents. And God had a plan!

He always does!