Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Now Rejoice: Tiffany's Story

Today I am so excited for you to meet Tiffany and hear her story because without a doubt I know that you will be blessed. When I first thought about Now Rejoice, she was one of the first people God put on my heart to have share her story. The two of us attended the same church/youth group as teenagers and I've been so blessed watching as God moves in her life over the last several years. God has been so faithful in their lives. Today Tiffany and her husband are worship artist & beautiful song writers in Texas. Be sure to check them out because you will be blessed!

Hi ladies! I'm so excited to be apart of this blog series. God has brought me through A LOT and I'm very excited to get to share it with you! 
     At the age of 18, I met a guy named Matthew and fell hard for him. I knew the minute I saw him he was the one I would marry one day. He was beginning his senior year of high school so while I waited for him to grow up ;) God had laid him so heavy on mine and my moms heart to pray for him and his future. In the meantime, I was just seeking God for direction and then I received an offer to record my first record. I was so excited!  I was praying about how to do this record when I couldn't even write music without an instrument. I had lyrics but it needed music. After much prayer of "how" I was to do this, I felt I should ask Matt though I didn't completely understand why. 

       So it began. There were countless late nights at the church writing. We spent many late nights at the studio which was 3 hours from home which often left me on the road alone in the middle of nowhere late at night. It was dangerous and hard so I began to stay the night at his house because I knew nothing could ever happen! We had become best friends but not even close to anything more. We figured it was safe! Neither one of us even had thoughts of doing anything...or at least I know I didn't. I've learned a little more about men and the way they think since then. ;) 
      For 3 months, this went on. Any day we had writing sessions or go to the studio, I stayed the night. After we finished writing and recording, we had come to enjoy each others company so much that we missed each other. We watched "our" shows, wrestled during commercials, had pillow fights, etc,. We took a trip to Whataburger every night for burgers and taquitos at 3am. We had developed a worship ministry together and we did worship for different places every Sunday and spent a lot of time together. 

      As you can guess, it was only a matter of time before flesh took over and those countless nights of wrestling led to one thing, then another and then more. We knew it was wrong and it had to stop! Eventually, I confessed my love for him only to be told he didn't feel the same. I was broken and crushed and managed to keep my distance for a couple months in an attempt to protect my heart from further damage. 

      We missed each other. I was hurt but I wanted him. We got together and talked things out which ended in us being right where we didn't need to be. Our "make up and be friends again talk" ended up too intimate but this time was different. Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. I cried as fear took over my thoughts. I was going to be a single mom, and our worship team would be done. God would never use me for ministry again. How would I tell my family? How was I going to tell Matt? Life as we knew it was gone. Our dreams were shattered. 

      A couple weeks before we found out we were pregnant, we had started doing worship at a revival not far from us. When we told the pastor of that church we were pregnant, we got an answer we did not expect. His words were, "if every pastor and leader was removed from the platform when they made a mistake, there would be no pastors or leaders." We were in shock. He allowed us to continue doing worship for this revival that went on for three months. Through that, we began to find healing and I was finding forgiveness for Matt from all the hurt he had caused me. I still didn't trust him fully but we were doing our best to work things out. I couldn't get over the guilt of breaking my commitment of purity to God and I was more broken than I had ever been. There was a lot of inner work that needed to be done and it would take time.

      When I was four months pregnant, we decided to "try" a relationship. We were still doing worship and still finding healing and seeing Gods merciful hand in our situation. It was hard and all I could do was pray every single night that somehow, God would work this out.

     Seven months into the pregnancy, there was a HUGE turning point in our lives. Matt went to Nigeria with a team to do a worship crusade for 21 days. That was the longest we had ever been apart. So about 10 days after being gone, he sent an email and apologized for the past few months. He said God had changed his heart completely and he was so in love with me and things were going to change. Needless to say, I cried and thanked God. There was hope after all! When he returned, things were different but we still had such a long way to go. I continued praying that God would fully restore everything.
      At 35 weeks, I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl named Kayelyn. She is our world and such a beautiful blessing. By the time she was 5 months old, God had done a miracle. We decided to get married! There was no sweet romantic proposal and our relationship still needed a lot of work but we were best friends and we loved each other more than anything. We were willing to cross whatever barriers we had to. After a 2 week engagement, we had a beautiful wedding and God had truly blessed our decision to get married. We had one blessing after another. We got our venue, wedding cake, and reception dinner as gifts. God even gave us a gift that day. An hour before the wedding, a cool front blew in and the sunset was gorgeous. It was simply amazing.
      Our first year was very hard. We had a lot of growing up to do and I spent a lot of time crying, frustrated, and wondering how we would make forever. I could go on and on about the first year or so but what's important to know is that I had no doubt God had placed us together and had an amazing future for us. Divorce was never an option and we were going to strive to have an awesome marriage, centered around God, and learn together. 
       We have been married 4 1/2 wonderful years. We are so happy and more in love than I ever imagined we could be.  We have seen Gods favor on our lives in numerous ways. The enemy has tried to take us out several times over the years with near death experiences, attacks, and heartbreaks but it just makes us fight harder. In the process we have become closer and love each other more! We've written, recorded, and released 3 records. God still trusts us enough to allow us to make a living by leading people into his presence and getting children sponsored around the world through One Child Matters.  We now have another little girl named Keelie. We are blessed, and it's only because we fought through our mistakes, depended on God, and because for whatever reason I will never understand, God loved us enough to restore us, heal us, and give us another chance. I am forever grateful and I will forever live my life giving all I am and all I have to him. Our story is nothing short of a true miracle. 

Tiffany

7 comments:

  1. So cute! And I love the pictures! Found you from the blog hop! You have such a cute blog! (:
    http://www.alyssadawsonblog.com/

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  2. I just found your adorable blog through the hop, I am excited to be your newest follower! I would love for you to stop by and follow along if you'd like :)

    sjdmiller.blogspot.com

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  3. hi. i'm following the GFC blog hop. i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it.

    http://www.blackinkpaperie.blogspot.com

    thanks
    new follower bev

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  4. I love you Tiffany! If it wasn't for you and your family, my understanding and gratefulness to God might not be as strong as it is today. We all make mistakes in life...sometimes they turn out to be blessings in disguise but our faith in God is what allows us to deal with life as it's being thrown our way. Kudos to you and Matt for all that you do and you have a beautiful family!

    Candi Shea Gorden

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  5. Tiffany - I was told all my life, "God doesn't make mistakes! He makes Humans!" But being brought up as the youngest child in a very strict Baptist (very southern baptist I might add!) household has it's challenges, especially as a teenager / young adult. It's sooo hard sometimes to live up to all that your parents, pastor etc expect you to be. Fortunately by the time I was a young adult I figured it out. The Word is timeless, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow but somtimes the minds of the ones interpreting the Word is not. I realized that I was a good girl and did not have to be afraid of being chastized if I questioned an interpretation and, once I found my voice, I did. That was a weird time and that's all I'm going to say about that - ha! I raised my daughters to believe that in their soul they have only to answer to our Heavenly Father and his Son and - themselves. That if they can look in the mirror and like who is looking back, they are ok. They knew though that they could not just go and do wrong then pray for forgiveness then go do it again - but if they were sincere in their apology and acknowledgment, they would know that He would not turn from them. Now in the real world, they have a lot of people to answer to and please if they want to stay employed and out of trouble! Not much we can do about that. You've gone down a few bumpy roads to get to the highway you're now on and I have no doubts it's the right road He had in store for you and your family.
    Love, Mel
    Melinda Strange
    Huntsville, TX

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  6. Wonderful testimony! So proud of you Tiffany. I know that your story will minister to many girls out there who feel like they have to be "perfect." You're amazing and I am blessed to know you!

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  7. This really touched me. I can relate to a few parts of this story, and I'm so thankful for God's faithfulness and forgiveness. You have a beautiful family, Tiffany!

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