11.27.2016

God’s love from the mountains and back

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I caught myself saying one day “If the seasons didn’t change..I don’t think I would change.” Sometimes words just come out of my mouth, but I stopped to think about this for a second. One thing about me…is that I don’t take small steps…I just jump. I like it when one day I wake up and can smell the cold snow and I know the day is going to be very different. I’ll have to take different walks, eat different food, pray different prayers, have different conversations, and so on.

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So far it only snowed one day here in Colorado and then it melted a few days later. I guess it snows more in the mountains, but here in Boulder the sun gets pretty warm during the day. As the weeks go by I am finding myself discouraged that the snow will not stay like I am used to. So much has changed since I moved here and sometimes I hold onto consistency and routine, past what is necessary. The priest at my church kindly warned us that if our routine will not eventually lead us to heaven, then it is a dangerous routine.

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I remember the day God spoke to my heart and told me it is going to be ok but things had to change. He reminded me that I got through the first “storm” of my life which was recovering from a neurological health condition back in Minnesota. But there is a new season in my life I will not know anything about until I truly open up and start living it. I have to let go of  fear of not knowing if I want to fully receive the gifts God has in store for me here. I did not end up in Colorado by accident. Only time will show what I am doing here 🙂

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I typically don’t look forward to surprises (I’m getting better at it though!), but I knew God was going to uphold me through any new storm. I’ll never forget the relief I found the weekend my mom and I went on a trip to the mountains. God knew I needed new faces, new scenery, new smiles and most importantly a renewed  trust in Him and peace in my heat. The amazing mountains were a sign of God’s greatness, and with Him nothing is impossible. I did not realize my peace was slipping away and my routine I had set up in Boulder was not bearing fruit. It was a hard reality to accept, but that is why breaks are necessary in life- to refocus our life so we can get on the right track

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After this mountain trip, it was time to meet my dad at the airport and show my parents the little area of my town that I have started to call “home”. I am seeing how change can bring so much happiness to a family. Space away hurts, but it is also allowing me to grow into the person I am supposed to be. It is taking 1,000 miles away from everything familiar to mold me and shape me into what God wants.

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But still, moving across the country and leaving everything I ever knew, was taking a toll even if I did not want to face this reality. It really hit me after family left and I realized that connection is priceless. Getting to share the beauty of the mountains with my mom as we drove up the steep slopes are something I will never forget. There are few people where I can look into their eyes and just simply be myself and be happy. It’s the kind of love we hold onto and will always lean back on when things don’t go right. But for me it was not tangible/reachable anymore, it was only a voice on the phone or a text before bed.

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I realized I had this hole in my heart I could not even face to acknowledge…loneliness. It cut me so deep I had a day my hands and head felt numb and all I longed for was a hug, from anyone. My family was 1,000 miles away. The people and places I knew since I was 5 were not reachable. I had taken a jump out here to Colorado because I truly (and still do) feel like God called me here. I had the courage to follow this voice and I never looked back until the loneness became so real. God knows this hurt very well, but He did not want me to seek out a human hug. He wanted me to search for the love that only God can give when our heart has this giant hole. Yeah a hug will still help fill this hole, but everyday through continuous prayer, surrender to Gods will, listening to those who have no-one, and trying to be the light of God in my community is showing me the gift God has given me. He has given me courage to do His will and following God is worth the loneness I am feeling. So now I have hope.

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The storm of change started when I was not expecting it to. I thought I had a good plan set up that consisted of nannying, colon hydrotherapy school, and moving into a good location of town . I was biking distance from the colonic school. A bus ride to work. A walk around the road to a good grocery store, coffee shop, bus stop, my chiropractor, a pretty park. It all seemed good.

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I remember one day I was lying in my bed in my new room. There was a feeling of comfort, of consistency and of safety beneath my head. God had provided so much and I was thankful for this but something inside told me that the “plan” I had was not His. I instantly got unsettled and asked God to show me, if this was not His plan, then what is? I was battling letting go of my plan and it was a tug-a-war with what I wanted and what God wanted.

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I knew my stubbornness was strong and decided to start adding daily prayer in to my routine. I am not sure why I got out of it, but what matters is the now and that I’m trying again. The day I surrendered and asked God for guidance to follow His Will is when it all changed. One thing after another started unwinding, until the whole train of my plans actually fell through. I knew it was time to start a Novena. I scanned several saints and eventually ended up picking the Novena to out Lady Undoer of Knots. I knew I had knots in my life that only prayer could undo…so I started it. During this time I found that my struggles were only going to be fixed with the help of God and I had to listen to his Will. I took many leaps of faith and found that I had to try things and let go of a lot of pain I was holding onto. I learned to trust in Gods safety.

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I first got a bad infection that put me in bed for days (still on the weaker side but starting to come back to normal with the help of medicine). Then the family I was nannying decided they don’t need me anymore and I finished my last day with the 2 little girls I absolutely adore. Lastly, after some thought and prayer I decided to change my course of schooling. Something was not looking right about the colon hydrotherapy training and I felt God was intending me to put my effort somewhere else. So yep! My life hit a stand still. Now what? I moved all the way from Minnesota to Colorado to just not know what to do next.

This is where God can work best in our lives.

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The one place I go to when nothing makes sense is church. I still don’t have many close friends here but I do sure know the priests at my church and they know a lot about me too. I got a feeling of relief when I stepped inside the church, I always do :). I told them my plans had changed and I needed guidance. The prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference” was literally staring me in the face when I came home and I knew God directed my eyes to this.

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So things started to change for the better. My doctor told me my infection needs a month of antibiotics and I started it with no questions. Instead of being very upset and the nanny job ending, I took it as a sign that God has another family in mind for me to care for. It took me longer to get over the change of plans for the colon hydrotherapy school, but I got over the hump. Because of several circumstances, the program was not a good fit anymore. It was not easy to accept that the future I had all lined up was now gone.

Looking back I am thankful God drastically changed my plans, because I am starting to see what He has in store for me instead.  Slowly but surly God is shedding light and giving me wisdom to make new plans according to His will.

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Through all of this, I found that my true passion is kids and babies. Everything about being a nanny feels right and it’s where God is clearly leading me. I have decided to start a few extra classes to help with getting certified and informed about babies. CPR, first aid, infant massage, and also classes to becoming a Doula! I have thought about being a Doula for years but never considered it until this open door of what felt like “stand still” and “nothingness” opened. Sometimes its in the “nothingness” that God speaks to our hearts.

1 Kings 19:11-12

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

 

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I used to have my whole stack of nutrition books for moms and babies, because ever since high school I found whole foods and nutrition for growing babies and kids to be fascinating. I decided to spend a weekend afternoon at the bookstore looking though the section I once was glued at. It’s funny how life happens and our passions that we once had a young age get buried under everything. For me, I think that having several health conditions stopped me from allowing this dream to be real.

I was a baby that was born at home and grew up with a mom who told stories of my natural childbirth. We shared a love for babies, getting to know pregnant moms, nutrition for kids, and everything in-between. Before I moved out here, I had lined up several meetings with midwives to see if that was something I was interested in. But for some reason, God allowed me to go through this trial to understand that to follow His will, I have to let go of alot inside.

So now I am excited to announce that I am officially training to be a doula! I am still nannying on the side but my focus has changed a bit. I have finally gotten to the point of retaking driving classes (fun times!) because I truly believe I will drive in the near future. Yes my autonomic neuropathy may have caused me to have several health challenges, but I am not longer letting my disease take control of my life. Only God is in control of my life!

Oh, so back to that Novena. On the last day of the Novena (err.. took little longer then 9 days..but thats ok) I remembered God gave me so much hope. Hope of open doors. Confidence that knowing the plans I have in front of me are His plans. Trust in the unknown, the things I can’t grasp or expect will still be good–not only good, but amazing. I am one to be afraid of making wrong mistakes but if I never try, I will never know what lies ahead.

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Even though it still has not snowed, I’m ok with it. The new season came today- Advent. I don’t feel that chill in the air, but I do feel a great love from God. After mass there was a visiting priest I went to go meet. He asked if I was a student and I told him my plans about being a doula and that I am a nanny. He had this huge smile and said “You would be a great missionary-we need people like you-people who love babies and kids.” I still don’t know what to think about this, but he went on to say how abundant Gods love is during advent and its a time of change. It is a time to open our hearts and prepare.

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I feel like whatever God is shaping me into…He is setting the foundation right now. He is using this time in Boulder to allow me to grow in my faith, gain confidence that I can do anything with Gods strength, and find the gifts He has given me and allow them to bear fruit.

He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. ~John 15:2

 

caroline

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Comments

  1. David Lopez says:

    Hi Caroline. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story and being so honest about how you’ve dealt with suffering and illness in your life. I started following you story/blog about 3 1/2 years ago when I became deathly ill and was looking for answers on how to heal naturally. Anyway, I’m much better now (Glory to God) but reading your blogs hit so close to home and in times when nothing made sense and I could not even explain what I was feeling, it seemed you did and that was such a help.

    I’m so glad you’re moving along and finding Gods voice in this new stage of your life.

    Grace and Peace,
    David

  2. Donna Ploof says:

    Caroline you inspire me. If you are interested, I know someone who is the Granddaughter of Dick Knapp. He and Georgie were parishioners who had 13 children. Anyway, their granddaughter is a Doula. I could get in touch with her and do an email introduction if you want.

    But I have to say I am intrigued by the Priest who thought you would make a great missionary!! God bless you always! Donna

    • Hi Donna, thanks! Yes I would love that connection- Yes I know the Knapp family. Yes I totally am intrigued by the Priests comment too. I’ll let you know as my life gets more adventurous 🙂

  3. Christina Lunger says:

    Very proud of you, Daughter! I love you! ~mom xox

  4. Caroline! What a beautiful post!

    You have had to walk through struggles that are far beyond what many people have at your age, yet it is so apparent how God has used those things to draw you close to Him! I am so excited for you to venture into being a doula. I think that’s a great fit for you … especially if that is where God is calling you to! Blessings to you dear friend!

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