My Brave Story- Stephanie Rasch

In so many ways social media is such a blessing to me. I know many may curse it, but I get to meet some of the most remarkable people because of it and for that, I'm so thankful.  Stephanie Rasch is one of those people and from her posts I've gotten to know her sweet and humorous personality. We both have a lot in common a few of those would be growing up competing in rodeos, marrying bull riders and having 2 kids at very close ages.  Stephanie, her husband, Evan and their babies Wacey Jones, 2, and Hadley Jane, 1, make their home in Furnace, TN.  Evan is a horse trainer and Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom, student and will soon be applying to nursing school.  Even though I've only gotten to meet this special lady through a screen, I count it an honor to call her my friend. Here's Stephanie's Brave Story, I pray that it speaks to those who have lost someone that they're close to.  You have two choices when that happens, you can blame God and turn away from Him, or you can lean on Him for comfort, peace and know that He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Candace

 The Rasch family

The Rasch family

Standing on the shore... 

Growing up I can’t recall a time when I didn’t know the Lord. I can remember always knowing who He was, what He had done for me on the cross, and that He loved us greatly. I have my mother to thank for instilling these important things in me at a young age. I was baptized when I was fifteen, but shortly thereafter I began to stray. During the latter part of my high school and earlier college years I was too worried about having fun, partying, going to rodeos, and quite honestly, doing things that I thought made me happy. At that point in my life I loved so many things more than I loved the Lord. It brings tears to my eyes when I think back on the life I used to live, and how many times I turned my back on Him. I would call out to Him when I needed Him and He was always there, but when He would call on me I would turn the other cheek.

He calls my name...

To say I was a “handful” is an understatement. As a teenager I was ungrateful for all of the things I had, and always wanted more. My mother was a saint, she got the best of me and the worst of me; sometimes all at once. I don’t like to say that she was the perfect mom, because in all honesty, most of us think we all have the perfect mom. But, she was the perfect mom for me. She made mistakes, the main one being that she gave into anything and everything I wanted. When she was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in September of 2010 my world flipped upside down. I know that the only thing that terrified my mother more than the battle she faced, was the thought of me not having her there. I depended on my mom more than anyone, including God. My mom made it a point from day one to prepare me for what was going to happen. There were many times through my mother’s battle that my family fell apart, no one ever thought the other was doing enough for her and we all felt like we knew what was best. It broke her heart, all she wanted was to see us love one another; just like any mother does. Looking back I can easily say those couple of years were some of the most difficult years of my life. When I finally accepted the fact that she wasn’t going to win her battle. I fell on my knees and cried out to God. I knew there was no way I could make it through what I was about to endure without Him. I had to get back on the path of righteousness, and give Him full control of my life.   

Stepping into the waves...

Giving God full control over my life was difficult. It wasn’t something I felt like I could do all at once, and I quickly realized that trying to be in control and relinquish control at the same time was nearly impossible. You either give your life to God or you don’t, there isn’t much of an in-between. Trying to take control over certain things in our life and letting God handle the rest is, blatantly telling God that we don’t fully trust Him. Although it was a difficult step for me to take, when I fully gave my life over to Him, I finally received the gift of contentment I had longed for. The blessings that He would bestow upon me in the years to come were beyond anything I could ever imagine.

Don't look back...

Although I had grown closer to the Lord during my mother’s sickness I worried what would happen once she was gone; I prayed about it every day. Of course I prayed for God to heal her, but I knew that I had to also pray that once she was gone I would remember to lean on Him.   

Looking back I remember being angry shortly after I gave everything over to the Lord. He saw fit to take a lot of people and things out of my life. It was hard for me to understand why. I had given everything over to Him and He felt the need to take away so many things that I thought I loved. I kept my feet rooted in Him, although there were times I wanted to run. I would later learn that all those things He took out of my life were only to make room for the abundant blessings I was about to receive.

I kept my feet rooted in Him, although there were times I wanted to run. I would later learn that all those things He took out of my life were only to make room for the abundant blessings I was about to receive.
— Stephanie Rasch

Reaching for His hand...

At one of the lowest points in my life, when I had hit rock-bottom, God began to bless me in ways I could never imagine. My mother was still alive and was in good spirits. Fate would bring an amazing man into my life; a man that needed me just as much as I needed him. That man would later become my husband. Not to mention the opportunity that I was given to meet new friends, and being led to a new scenery that would allow my faith to grow.

The Lord would call my mother home a year later. I am so thankful that my mom got to witness how the Lord had begun working so diligently in my life. I know how much peace that brought her in her final days. After mom passed away, our family fell apart. I continue to pray that in His time we will all find our way back to one another. It has been hard losing so many that were once so present in my life growing up. But, I am thankful for the stability and unending love that my husband’s family has given to me on a daily bases. Not only did God bless me with a man that was perfect for me, but he allowed me to become part of a family that loves me just like I am their very own. God knew just what I needed.

I miss my mother every single day, and wish that she could have been there at my wedding and as my babies entered this world. There are so many milestones that I had never imagined she would miss. However, I am so lucky to have spent 21 years with her, and I know that there will come a day when we will see each other again and I am sure she will have plenty to say.

Take hold...

At this point in my life I have a loving husband, and two beautiful children. My husband and I are slowly building the place of our dreams all in the good Lord’s timing. Most importantly I have allowed the Holy Spirit to take control of my life and that is the greatest gift anyone could ever accept. At times I wish the person I have become could travel back in time and just give myself a hug and reassure the “old me” that everything was going to be okay. I am not perfect, far from it. I make mistakes every day, and face demons that get the best of me at times, but I have grown in so many ways. All that I am and all that I have I owe to Him! Was it worth it? Absolutely!