My Brave Story- Kylie Shivers

I've known Kylie for quite a few years now since both of our husband's rode bulls, to having kids come along, and witnessing the injuries that both of our cowboy's sustained due to their line of work.  I always admired Kylie's reserved nature and quiet strength. I've never heard her say a bad word about anyone and I'm sure no one could come up with a bad word about her.  She's a great example of 1 Peter 3:4, "rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." I'm so proud of her for sharing her testimony and her trials with her life and marriage. God's love is so good through it all but it takes us to call on Him and He is always faithful to be right there when we need Him, Kylie's Brave Story proves that.

Candace

 Brand, Chris, Kylie and Blayne Shivers

Brand, Chris, Kylie and Blayne Shivers

Standing on the shore...

I was fortunate enough to be taught about the Lord from as far back as I can recall. I was raised in a Christian home and had some pretty amazing examples of Christian women set before me to look up to from my mama to aunts and so forth. I've always said that my hero/role model was my Grandma Jack. She was a warrior for Christ and made such an impact on not just my life but hundreds of others. I can only hope that my life will touch half the lives she did through her acts of kindness, prayers, and loving heart that was on fire for Jesus. I wish that I could say that after I became a Christian I have always put God first but that would be a false statement. It's very easy to get caught up in our crazy, hectic lives and take our full focus off of God. Worldly things, dreams, and desires can take over and before you know it that is all coming before your relationship with Christ. When you are out of the will of God you are putting yourself in a very dangerous and vulnerable situation which is exactly what I had done. You see, you can have everything going for you in the eyes of the world but if you aren't walking in the will of God you will never be truly happy or satisfied. I have always been a "fixer." If I see somebody having a problem or bad day, I want to fix the problem and make it better. I can't count the times I have lost sleep trying to think of resolutions to problems. I would try to do the same in my life. I tried to fix/mend things that were broken or just needed fixing. We can not take on life on our own. Life is too hard and times are too tough. We NEED Jesus. He doesn't want us to do things or go through hard times alone. He wants us to trust Him and rely on Him fully. That is where I was the night God opened my eyes to how far I had gotten away from Him and how close I was to letting Satan destroy what was most important to me. That is the night I stepped out on faith fully and let Him have complete control.

He calls my name...

Looking back there have been several times God tried to bring me back to Him. I guess after a few gentle nudges through the years He decided I needed a good shaking. I remember the night He got hold of me, shook me, and then held me, consoled me, and encouraged me to fight back against Satan's plan. After years of putting worldly things and people before Him and letting these same things/people take over our home, family, marriage, etc. I felt like my life, marriage, and myself were spiraling out of control at a rapid pace. Our lives were so chaotic. Anxiety, fear, and sadness had taken over my body. I felt as though I was suffering alone but I wasn't. He was there with me the whole time. 

Stepping out into the waves...

I remember getting on my hands and knees on my front porch crying and praying for help and guidance. I stayed there for a good while praying and asking God to mend what was broken in my marriage, home, and life. Though Satan is no match for God, he is powerful and dangerous and tries to destroy marriages, homes and lives every day. He brings destruction and division in families and was heavily at work on us. But from that night on my porch I declared he wasn't going to win this battle. There were days I felt defeated-that's when I would pray for strength and God would make me strong through His name. I was fully relying on Him to fix and mend the brokenness. I realized through that trial that I can't and don't want to not have God as my pilot in life. For so long I put myself as the pilot and Him as the co-pilot. That isn't how it is supposed to be and when you take on the role as your own pilot you are headed down a road to destruction. 

Don't look back...

I honestly can't think of any fears I had when I finally decided to commit fully to Christ. If anything I had relief and peace. I remember when our lives were so chaotic and out of touch with God and I longed for peace. I craved it. I would see this one certain lady at church and every time I saw her I would think to myself, "I want that peace and love that radiates off of her so bad!" I've learned that the only way to have TRUE peace is through Jesus Christ. You can only have that when you put your complete trust and faith in Him. Your peace depends on what you allow Christ to do in your life and heart. We have to deny ourselves and take up our cross DAILY.

Reaching for His hand...

As I am sitting here typing this out, I am in tears. Reflecting on where we have been in life (sparing LOTS of details! Ha!) and how far we have come. I wasn't sure what I was going to even share when I sat down to type this. I prayed that the Lord would just take over my hands and mind. I was hesitant to share some things but then I saw this in my news feed on Facebook-"Never be ashamed of your story or what you have been through. Your story may be the hope, strength and courage that speaks to the heart and inspires someone else's life."

Then my aunt sent me a text of encouragement and said, "Use your experiences. Everything we do and say is part of our testimony." God has restored and renewed what I thought was broken and unfixable. I'm thankful for a patient and loving Heavenly Father who helped us overcome what Satan was trying to cast down even after all of those years of us living in our own will, not His. He has turned my life around, my husband's life around, and our marriage/home around. Are we perfect now? Absolutely not! Is our marriage perfect now? Heck no! We still fuss and get on each other's nerves just like any other couple but we have come a long way and I give God all of the glory. Truth is we all have problems-marital, financial, health, coping with grief, the list goes on and on- but it is reassuring to know that broken things can become blessed and beautiful things if we let God do the mending. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Take hold...

If you don't have a personal relationship with Christ, I encourage you to pursue it. Perhaps like me, Satan has tried to destroy your life or fruitfulness. God specializes in raising dead things to life and making impossible things possible. I've seen His works firsthand done within the walls of my own home. Without our faith in Christ, we are NOTHING. I have lived life doing things my own way and I have lived life doing things God's way and take my word for it, He is the one and only way!