On February 6, 2017 I anxiously posted an announcement onto a social media page inviting the world to check out my blog. I was scared to death! I had registered my blog with WordPress on January 21st, just a few short weeks before. In those weeks I had been writing and learning like a whirlwind. The blog consisted of an “About Me” page, and a three-part series detailing “Our Story.” I also had two additional posts mostly ready to go. Nonetheless, I had no idea what I was doing. Little did I know what God had in store for the year to come!
My life was in shambles, and in the midst of the chaos, God had whispered to me, “Start a blog. Write anonymously. I’m going to use this for My glory.” To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure it was Him at first, because the very idea seemed absurd. Why would anyone want to read what a depressed, broken, failure of a wife had to say about anything? But He was persistent, and I had promised Him I would always do my best to obey – no matter what He asked me to do. And so, Esther Hosea was reluctantly born.
2017 in Review – A Year of God’s Faithfulness
February – April
It didn’t take long for God to confirm to me that I was on the right path. I was overwhelmed with validation those first two months as numerous women contacted me, either to tell me how important what I was doing was, or to confide in me that they were on a similar path, and that God had used my writing to greatly encourage them. I was humbled. Never would I have guessed that He would so quickly use my pain for good. I was still neck deep in the mire of that pain, barely keeping my head above the murky depths, barely finding the energy to take my next breath. I was overwhelmed by His goodness and unmerited favor.
As I pressed on over the following months, transparently sharing our journey, God’s faithfulness continued as He helped me find my voice. In the real world, my love and I were working our way through a 90-day therapeutic separation. That meant lots of time alone, and I used that time to study the Bible and write. I discovered that my love for the Word of God coupled nicely with my style of writing. I discovered that God had blessed me with a gift to address the topics surrounding betrayal trauma, using the Bible to dissect these issues and find truth.
What was awesome, is that as I delved into Scripture looking for answers to the questions He laid upon my heart, the answers I found seemed to be more for me than for the world. God used this precious time, and my new blog to heal ME! Sure, there were other women out there who contacted me through that time to let me know God was using it in their lives too… but I really believe God’s primary purpose in having me write this blog those first three months was for my own healing. Isn’t He spectacular?
May – October
As my love and I came back together after the 90-day separation, life hit whirlwind speed real fast. For starters, God led us around the world to Africa, and I felt compelled to take a month away from the blog to fully experience all that He had for us in that life-changing opportunity. I am notoriously bad at following through on things. I start a lot of big projects, but rarely finish any. So, there was a little fear that I would step away from the blog and never come back.
Praise God, that didn’t happen. Instead, I came home even more passionate to continue following God where I knew He had called me. Summer went into full swing with the kids home from school, baseball season underway, and family vacations on the calendar. In the midst of the chaos, our little family had to find a totally new rhythm because everything had changed.
Blogging is a full-time job. There is so much more to it than just writing. In fact, I would say writing takes up only about 10% of the time I invest into this blog! For 16 years, Mom had been my full-time job. Everyone had to adjust, and it wasn’t easy. On top of that, my love was now working from home too. Of even greater impact, though, was the fact that he was a totally different person. More or less, the entire family dynamic had to change and summer 2017 was spent figuring out that new dynamic.
I could write for days and never exhaust the words I have to express how proud I am of our little family! My love, and our kids have been overwhelmingly supportive as I’ve followed God down this new road. They’ve had to pick up a lot of slack. And they’ve done it without complaint. (Okay, without MUCH complaint. We’re all still human after-all.) But beyond that, I’ve watched our kids’ faith grow beyond my wildest dreams. Through this new and difficult season each one of them poured themselves into the Word of God. They also leaned deeply upon each other this past year. As a result, they’ve become best friends. (They were always close, but there is a bond now that goes SO deep!)
God’s promise that He is able to do infinitely more than we could ask or imagine has proven so true as I’ve watched Him faithfully take what the enemy intended for evil and use it for the great good of every single member of this family! I am overwhelmed with gratitude!God's promise that He is able to do infinitely more than we could ask or imagine has proven so true as I've watched Him faithfully take what the enemy intended for evil and use it for the great good of every single member of this… Click To Tweet
November – Present (Feb. 2018)
November was a scary month for me. For all of us. It marked the beginning of a season of terrible anniversaries. Though we had experienced significant healing up to that point, we were acutely aware that the triggers inevitably headed our way had the potential to ruin it all. We determined to get ahead of it, and as a family, invite God to redeem the brokenness of the coming holiday season. Boy oh boy, did He ever come through! WOW is about all I can say.
Once again, through the topics God laid upon my heart to write about, He quieted my fears and restored my wonder for a season that I believed had been ruined. I can honestly say that I can’t remember EVER having had such a wonderful holiday season. That was ALL God! His faithfulness is ridiculous. His grace unimaginable!
Beyond the personal blessings to myself and our family, though, God started to do something new during these months. He brought a handful of people into my life through the ministry of this blog. People He wanted me, and in a few cases my love, and in one case, our whole family to minister to. Suddenly, He asked us to go beyond the writing and meet real people, where they were, in order to allow Him to use our story to restore hope in crisis. He used us to remind some dear people of who HE is, and what HE does. What a humbling experience it has been!He used us to remind some dear people of who HE is, and what HE does. What a humbling experience it has been! Click To Tweet
Counting my Greatest Blessings
What a year y’all! I am so thankful that God led me to become His Dearly Loved Daughter!! This has truly been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Here are just a few of my favorite things that came out of year one as Esther Hosea:
- A deeper, more intimate relationship with my Lord than I ever would have believed was possible! God’s faithfulness to me this past year has been mind-blowing! I wouldn’t trade what I’ve gained as a result of this pain for anything!
- The magnificent healing God brought to my own heart as He revealed Himself to me through a year of intense writing and study.
- The amazing friends God has brought into my life as a result of this blog. Not only are there the beautiful women who walk the road of healing from betrayal along with me, there are also the wonderful ladies from the blogging community who have linked arms with me in genuine friendship. These precious sisters are treasures to me! They encourage me. They challenge me in the best possible way. They serve as constant reminders of the greatness of my God. They are sweet gifts from the Lord God Almighty and I am SO thankful! I love them dearly! (A special shout out to Beka and Dawn – my heart is full! Your friendship brings me so much joy, and I love you so much! Thanks for being such a special part of my first year as a blogger!)
- The more healthy dynamic of our little family. We’re still figuring this out, and I have a lot to learn still when it comes to balance. But God is faithful, and I know He’ll come through (hopefully in this next year) for us as He always does.
- The opportunity to see God turn the ashes of our life into something beautiful! WOW!!!!
Looking Toward Tomorrow
As I head into year two as Esther Hosea, I have no idea what God’s going to ask of me next. I’ve certainly felt some urging to lower the mask a bit and let go of the anonymity to a certain degree. I know He still wants me to write as Esther. But, I’ve begun to post real pictures and videos here and there.
Perhaps speaking will be on the agenda at some point? I don’t know.
I’m certainly hopeful that a book will be on my resume by the end of 2018. (I think Hope for Today would make a great book!)
I hope God will continue to grow our relationships with the dear friends He’s brought into our lives, and perhaps even open doors for new ones. I’m beginning to learn a hard lesson that comes along with this aspect of ministry though, and that is that not everyone will choose to heal, and some won’t choose to heal YET. As we fall in love with these precious people, that’s a hard pill to swallow! In fact, it breaks my heart. God is going to have to toughen me up a bit if He wants me to continue doing this! I have shed too many tears already.
The possibilities seem endless, but in the meantime, I will continue to write what God leads me to write. I will continue to seek and follow Him. I will continue to share my passion for the Word of God, and for my unwavering belief that true healing will come ONLY through Him!
Thanks to all the dearly loved daughters (and a few precious sons too) who have joined me along this journey. You all made my first year as a blogger such a pleasure! I very much want to offer relevant content that my audience wants, so please let me know how I can better accomplish that. If there is a specific topic you’d like me to cover, let me know! If there is something you wish I’d write less about, let me know! (Though, I’m not going to write less about God and how awesome He is, so don’t bother suggesting that one. 🙂 )
I hope you’ll all continue to join me in the weeks, months, and years to come! To God be the glory!
*How about you? Has God ever called you to something you felt unequipped to handle? How did He show up and quiet all your fears?