Revelations

There are times when I read a devotional or other book that I receive a completely new revelation about a story in the Bible that I have always known. I'm reminded at how evolving the living word is (Hebrews 4:12). There is no situation in life that the answer cannot be found in the word. This morning, I read a devotional from 5 Minutes with Jesus by Sheila Walsh that completely made me see another perspective of the story of Judas.

Here is a part of that devotional:

When Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. "I have sinned," he said, "For I have betrayed innocent blood.

"What is that to us?" They replied. "That's your responsibility." So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. (Matthew 27:3–5 NIV)

Oh, Judas, if only you could have waited for three more days! Yes, you would have been in agony on Friday, but on Sunday morning you would have seen Hope rise from the dead!

I don't know what you face right now, friend, but I do know that while we may lose a few battles on this earth, we will–because of Jesus–win the war. Don't despair!

Although I knew the story of Judas, I never realized how close he was to redemption and salvation. Had he held on just a couple of more days, he would have know that not all hope was lost. Sometimes, we just have to keep pushing forward, even when we don't see an end in sight. It is in those dark places that we find God, even in our darkest moments, and He helps lead us on.

So no matter what situation you are facing, hold on, because help is coming!

Love & Blessings,
C.C. Hasty Andrews

Negative Feedback 

I knew The Roadway to Heaven would receive negative feedback. Last night was my first real experience in just how hateful those comments could be. My response was quick: defend my family. It wasn’t the right response. Hear me out…

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people use scripture as a weapon to judge others or point out someone’s supposedly sin. They pick and choose which scriptures justify their point but refuse to use the scripture in it’s entirely. Which is another reason I was quick to go on the defensive. However, for me to give in to this type of negativity by trying to prove them wrong only adds fuel to the fire and brings me down to their level. 

God reminded me this morning that I am not to call these people out who make negative and hateful comments.  He doesn’t need me to defend Him. Only He can change people’s minds and hearts. Since the beginning of our journey God asked me only to share our story, which I have done. He will take care of the rest. 

I’ve since learned that this person has suffered great tragedy in his life. Knowing that gives me a little more understanding as to why this person reacted the way he did. It was another reminder for me to not always judge people by their actions: good or bad. Everyone has a story. Events in their lives that have caused the beliefs and reactions they have. By debating with this person and trying to change his negative opinion, I was actually judging this person by his actions while not knowing the entirety of his story. I can’t act out of love and compassion when I am arguing to get my point across. I am not justifying his actions, only explaining why mine wasn’t the right one. 

And honestly, nothing good ever comes out of a place of anger, which is exactly where I was. 

I believe life is about lessons. God is constantly teaching us. Putting us in situations that will allow us to grow in our spiritual walk. I am definitely a work in progress. I’ve learned a valuable lesson in all of this.  I will no longer acknowledge other people’s negative responses about our journey as a family or in relation to The Roadway to Heaven. To do so takes away from my life and that of my family. It allows the devil to come in by causing anger and hostility. I refuse to let the devil win. 

And seriously, God doesn’t need little ole me taking up battles that He never equipped me to be in in the first place! 

Today I had one person tell me that our journey helped restore her faith, and another who said that my book has given her confidence to share her own testimony. To hear these comments lets me know that I am doing what God has called me to do and no amount of negative feedback can take that joy from me. 

Love & Blessings, 

C.C. Hasty Andrews 

Full Circle

Yesterday was the first book signing for The Roadway to Heaven. As I anxiously waited for people to arrive, I thought about how I had come full circle. 

This time last year I had just closed my store Vintage Charm Decor at the very same location as my book signing. My heart was broken, understandably so when we give up our dream, but I knew that God wanted me with my family more. The decision was easy to make. My family will always come first above all else. And even though the decision came easy, the loss of what I had worked so hard to build was still almost unbearable. 

God often calls us to do what something that will cause us pain. We don’t understand it at the time. We rant and cry out to God, begging Him to open up a door that leads us in the direction we want to go. Sometimes He does, but it only takes us longer to end up where He wanted us all along. I’m guilty of trying to take my own paths. Carve my own way through obstacles. Pushing forward, knowing there is a gigantic wall in my way. Never thinking to ask God if that wall is there for a reason. Asking Him if my path has been closed off because I’m supposed to be taking a detour on another one. 

I am reminded again of the Joanna Gaines story. She had to give up her dream to also stay home with her children. God promised her that He was leading her on to a better dream, and although it didn’t seem like it at the time, He did. 100 times over. Not only did she reopen that little shop she had to close to stay home with her children, He gave her a multimillion dollar business. 

Yesterday, I sat in front of that store that God too had urged me to let go, signing a book that would have never been written had I not listened to Him. God had led me down an alternate path, to end up exactly back to where that path had ended one year before. I don’t know if The Roadway to Heaven will someday be on the New York Bestseller List. But what I do know is that it has already encouraged the hundreds of people who have read it, and I couldn’t ask for anything better than that. 

Love & Blessings, 

C.C. Hasty Andrews 

Holy Cow, I Did It!

I received the official paperback copy of my book today. I had seen the digital proof before approving it, of course. But I had not actually held the book in my hands until today.

As I opened the package, I couldn’t breathe. My hands shook, and when I pulled my book out of the cardboard package, I wasn’t prepared when the water works began.

I knew the book was officially published, so that wasn’t it. I also knew that I had put myself and my family out there for the world to see. I had shared private moments of our family that until now, no one ever knew. I had poured my heart and soul into this book and was as raw and honest as a person could absolutely be. And now, everyone who read it would know my deepest secrets. I had already had a “come to Jesus” (literally) about sharing myself with perfect strangers, yet decided to risk it all and trust in God. I was no longer afraid for people to learn the real me, so that wasn’t it either.

It was the countless nights of staying up late writing. The hundreds of hours spent laboriously typing word after word. All of the second guessing I did. Prayer after prayer, trying to convince God that I wasn’t the right person for this job, all the while Him assuring me that I was. The emotions came from all of the battles I had to face to finally hold this book, my book, in my hands. I had done it. Despite everything, I had actually made it to the finish line, just like God said I would.

Love & blessings,

C.C. Hasty Andrews

Stay In the Fight

June 9, 2015 (Facebook Post)

On Sunday as we hiked to Machine Falls, this guy helped us along the way. When we finally arrived at the falls, I noticed him reading a book. But it wasn’t just any book, it was the Bible. He hiked all the way there by himself to have fellowship with God. The very next day, my son Alex and I had a conversation about how important it is to have a relationship with the Lord, and going to church every Sunday is not a requirement to do so. I have always taught my boys that church is everywhere and anywhere you are. Even if you don’t go to church on Sunday’s, you can still love worship God. A girl told my son in school recently that he would go to hell if he didn’t go to church on Sunday’s. She really believes this. Don’t get me wrong, a church with fellow believers is an awesome thing to be a part of, but don’t let the devil make you believe this lie. Talk to God, wherever you are and whenever you want, because that is the most important relationship you will ever have!

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I wrote this post on Facebook just 2 months before the accident that would forever change our lives. As I read that post on my Facebook memories, two things stood out to me.

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First, that summer was one of the best summers our family had ever had. We did so much that summer that involved physical activity and being together. Hiking was just one of the things our family had recently learned that we loved. That summer we went to Universal Studios, visited the beach, and anything that involved being active. I believe God was preparing us for what was to come. I will never forget helping Jackson climb up a very steep hill while hiking and glaring at his father the entire time because I was afraid Jackson would fall. I will always have the memory of writing mine and Jackson’s names in the sand with our toes. Seeing him jumping in the waves at the beach with his brothers. And carrying his shoes in my hands because he got blisters on his little feet at Universal Studios. I believe God gave us these memories to carry in our hearts. Not to remind us of what Jackson lost, but to give us sweet memories and the hope that someday we would see Jackson do those things again.

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This post made so long ago also reminded me that although I don’t believe you have to go to church to believe in God or to be saved, having a church family is also a wonderful thing to be a part of. Our family had recently found a church that we all loved that summer before the accident. Until then, my husband and I could never agree on a church home for our family. We had also recently started nightly devotions with the boys. They loved that time together as a family and would listen to every word of the devotion. They wouldn’t let me forget the nightly devotion because every night they would remind me that it was devotion time! This too I believe is not a coincidence. The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. The devil decided that our family was a threat and decided to test our faith in the most absolute way possible. You see, we were finally doing everything right.

If things seem hard in your life right now and you feel as if everything that could go wrong has, it may just be that you are actually doing everything right too. God doesn’t promise us that life will be without trials. In fact, the opposite is true. He tells us that there will be trials to face, but He assures us that we won’t be alone. And from the moment I received the call at 4:09 pm that our boys were trapped in a car and all were critical injuried, He never left my side. I can tell you without any hesitation that God will always be there for you too. Press forward. Push on. When all seems hopeless and lost, remember that you are going to win the fight, because God is there fighting this battle with you.

Marriage and All That Crap

Today is our five year anniversary, as my husband decided to remind me this morning while I was sitting on the toilet. True love is when your man kisses you goodbye on the crapper! In all seriousness, that is the reality of marriage. It isn’t all flowers and days full of sunshine. 

Speaking of crap, we have been through more than out share of it. We’ve raised my two sons and his three. That in itself is a hurdle to cross. We opened two business pursuing our dreams, only to lose them after the accident. And let’s not forget the accident that flipped our world upside down. I’ve had to become a stay-at-home mom, which was something I never wanted to do. I love my boys and I rock this new position, but it definitely wasn’t in my plans for my life. We’ve lost both of our grandmothers, my husbands grandfather, my uncle and 18 year old cousin. I’ve lost several people that I called friends. And all of that was in the last five years. 

I’m sure it sounds like I’m whining. And to some degree, I am. That’s a lot of crap to deal with in five years. But at the end of the day, we choose to marry someone that is going to stick around, even during all of life’s crap. I would love to say our marriage has been full of nothing but love and weekend trips and roses and petals. But that isn’t the reality of marriage and statistics tell us that’s not anyone else’s reality either, no matter how much people try to convince you it is on social media. 

I am thankful that I have a husband who sticks by me, even when I am acting like a crazy menopausal lunitc. I’m thankful that when he had his mini breakdown after the accident, I didn’t kill him and was able to love him through it (pretty sure he’s thankful about too). And I am thankful that through all of the crappy times, we’ve been able to stay together and love each other through them. 

What more could a girl ask for than that? 

Love & blessings, 

C.C. Andrews 

Final, a New Beginning

via Daily Prompt: Final

The word final can seem so absolute and concrete. An ending. Over. Finished. Done.

But I tend to think of it as new beginnings. An ending paving the way for new things to come.

After the car accident, I felt like our lives would never be the same. And it wasn’t. It was a final chapter in our lives. Our son Jackson, only 6-years-old, would never walk again. It was an ending in the most absolute of ways.

Yet, it was also a beginning in so many others. A chance for our family to learn the true value of our blessings. To be thankful for all that we did have and to cherish the time we had together. We think of our lives in two stages. BW (Before the Wreck) and AW (After the Wreck). It is a time marker set in our family’s history forever.

But, we have a choice: to mourn all that our family lost and dwell on the fact that Jackson will never walk again, or… we can choose to live life the same way Jackson does, full of joy and happiness, cherishing every day as a new beginning.