Stephanie Lloyd. . . I am His and He is Mine

The stone of my testimony.

An amazing thought. . . I am here because He thought of me. He planned my life and intricately knit me together in my mother’s womb. Each and every part of me was carefully crafted by our Creator and He has given me an irreplaceable part to play in His big story. He is my Father and I am His forever child created to bring glory and honor to His great name.

I had the blessing and rich heritage of being a daughter of believing parents. My parent’s greatest desire was that my brother and I would know the love of the God they serve. I walked through several years of rebellion yet in my early 20’s surrendered my life to the Lordship of Christ.

This began the incredible journey of my Christian walk. My greatest desire since I became a believer has been to know God and intimately walk with Him. I am very much like the character Much Afraid in the classic allegory Hinds Feet on High Places. I desperately want to go to the mountain top or High Places but I am too weak and afraid to make the journey alone. I need the Father, my Good Shepherd to lead and guide me there.

I envisioned a life of mountain peak views with a story script of comfort, ease, and abundance. My naïve heart wanted the mountain peak views without the cost of the climb upward. I wanted the ski-lift approach. . . to get to the top and to experience the view without the effort or cost of the climb. But God wants our independence. God wants to stretch and grow my faith so that I can develop spiritual muscles. . . so that I can know the power of the Resurrection. . . so that I can know the depth of His character. There is no way to the mountain top except by way of steep climbs, deep valleys, and seemingly never-ending wildernesses.

God’s Word says in 2 Corinthians 4:7, But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed, always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

When I was in college, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and I have struggled with it ever since. I have gone through periods of intense darkness and fight through the fog often. Thus far, God has not healed me of this chemical imbalance. Instead, He has strengthened me and enabled me to endure the climb to the mountaintop while carrying this extra weight. He has provided enough light to make the journey and I am grateful and thankful for the days of the brightest light. My Abba Father is the lifter of my head and He has revealed to me the brightness of His glory. He shines His perfect into my darkness .

I had planned out my story and my script flowed smoothly with no periods of waiting, silence, or uncertainty. I had it mapped out and I knew how many miles it would be before each turn and which direction to turn when it was time. My map through my twenties failed me because the road through singleness was much farther than I had anticipated. God waited several years before He brought my dear Mark. God, in His wisdom, used those years in the wilderness of singleness to bless me with deep intimacy with Him and rich fellowship with believers. It was during those years that He gave me the gift of life-long friendships, friends that are still my best friends today. His plans are good and His timing is perfect.

After marriage, I was ready for the turn up the mountain to parenting but my Good Shepherd lead me the opposite way to the valley of the shadow of death and sorrow. I lost three babies through miscarriage and went through three and a half years of infertiflity treatments. These were some of the most painful and lonely years for us and especially for me. I had to die to the dream of having my own child when the infertility specialist told me that he had exhausted all treatments and that we should pursue adoption. I was a drug representative at the time and I would walk in hospitals and see pregnant women all around. I would think, God, this is an easy thing for you to do. . . why won’t you hear my cry? I had to die to the dream of having my own child. Mark and I decided after much prayer that our way out of the valley of barrenness would be adoption. We began the process and finished our home-study and at the point that we were waiting to be matched with a birth mother, we discovered a miracle. I was pregnant. God gave us FOUR children in FOUR years. Gods’ word says in Ephesians 3:20, Now unto Him who is able to do far more than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. We are still amazed and thankful for His immeasurable gifts.


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