What a doorman & a maniac taught me about a fiercely protective God

He was wearing a snow suit on an 84 degree summer day, that was the first sign he wasn’t mentally sound. The second, was the eerily slow pace in which he walked.

Come on, pee faster… my inner dialogue begged of my 65 lb boxer. Watching, out of the corner of my eye as the strange man crossed closer to my side of the street. Taking note also, of how nearly every inch of his body was covered in layers upon layers of clothing.

I hurried into the safety of my apartment building, stopping briefly at the entrance to say my usual hello’s with Carlos the doorman. Asking, as I always do, if anything noteworthy happened for the day ( P.s. NYC doorman have the best stories, and Carlos’ exuberance to tell them and to exaggerate every detail and make subtle jabs at Trump, make them all the more fun to listen to.)

But that’s when I heard it… a booming voice behind me. I knew instantly it was the man I had been watching. He was yelling in my direction.

I never did make out the words he was barking, but it was clear he was angry. More than that, he was unstable.

Looking back, there was so much to be afraid of in that moment, so many reasons to cower down and recoil in fear. Yet interestingly, at the moment, the maniac wasn’t the one I was taking note of the most… it was Carlos the doorman.

Continue reading What a doorman & a maniac taught me about a fiercely protective God

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Whatever you’ve given up on, pick it back up & march on.

I remember the first time I heard honest, unguarded words.

Growing up as a pastor’s kid in a conservative Baptist church, I heard (a lot) of words over the course of my life. Lots of good, well-behaved, and in their ‘Sunday’s best’ kinds of words. But the first time I was on the receiving end of vulnerable and honest words? It stunned me.

The first time I heard someone bare their soul and share their raw, most painfully human truths, let me tell you… it was almost a spiritual experience.

Honesty awakened something in me that I didn’t even know existed.

And the only thing that has roused me more?

Dishonest words… 

Continue reading Whatever you’ve given up on, pick it back up & march on.

If you feel like God is ignoring you, you’re probably right.

 

I know, I know… God’s timing is perfect and He will give us the desires of our hearts. I’m both familiar with these truths and believe they hold true.

But that being said, REALLLLLY, tho… God is ignoring me.

…and the two pregnancy tests in my hand are proof.

Continue reading If you feel like God is ignoring you, you’re probably right.

In the face of everything that is threatening to tear you down — keep standing

I’ve spent 29 years of my life asking God why I was put on this earth, and the last few, telling Him all the reasons why I couldn’t possibly do it.

I’ve contemplated making a run from God’s call on my life, too many times to count. Much like all the times I hid in the bathroom to escape gym class in Elementary School.

I just couldn’t do it. I missed kickball tournaments, field days, and square dancing. All because I was too afraid of what my peers would say, of how athletically incompetent I might prove myself to be, when inevitably, some sphere of death would be hurled unmercifully in my direction. (I’m also, legit, afraid of balls. But that’s another story for another time.)

So there I stayed, in the bathroom, nearly every day, studying the barely legible choice words that were littering the lavatory walls I had locked myself in, while the shouts of my classmates echoed from the gym.

Though I rarely hide in bathroom stalls anymore (praise!) I realized this week, the reason I most often feel like running from what God is asking me to do, is still the same as it was while cowering on the commode all those years ago:

I was, and still am, debilitating afraid of the critic.

 

 

Continue reading In the face of everything that is threatening to tear you down — keep standing

The one word that should scare you ( IF )

There are two types of people in this world: those who believe there is greatness to be unlocked in them and that there is significant purpose as to why they have been put on this earth. And those, who don’t.

Both, have had the same God who breathed the stars, breathe life into their lunges for an incredible, if not astounding reason, but only one set of people believe it. Worse, only one set of people will ever step into it.

By default, I fall into the latter category, and because of it, I don’t know if I will ever find the courage to step into what I am put on this earth to do (the jury’s still out on that one.)

But the harsh truth is, you might not either.

…And God’s hoping that will scare us, today. (And He will attempt to do so, with just one word — IF.)

Continue reading The one word that should scare you ( IF )

For: the person whose heart is breaking right now…

Last week, I wrote a bold and unapologetic post to the man or woman who wants their perfectly restored marriage handed to them. And for the record, I stand by what I said, and I’m (still) not the least bit sorry about it.

But today, oh weary one, these words of compassion are for you.

You are not entitled like the person described last week, you are shattered. You’re not waiting on perfection, you’re waking up every morning, staring at the same spot on the wall, and begging God for a miracle. (You can’t hold on much longer if it doesn’t happen soon.)

For those of you whose heart is breaking today, I know if there was a base you could run to where you’d finally be safe, where you could escape for just a moment to catch your breath from the waves of heartache that keep you up all night, you’d run there no matter the distance.

For those – still waiting – on a spouse to get their act together, I know from experience if you could tie them to a chair and spoon feed them the-right-thing-to-do, you would. (but unfortunately, it isn’t logistical, or legal for that matter.)

But God told me to tell you something, heartbroken one: Your pain is seen, heard, and understood by a God who knows what He’s doing.

And you do not cry alone, today.

Continue reading For: the person whose heart is breaking right now…

JOIN US on Facebook Live tomorrow night!

True Story: I loathe the sound of my voice and the way my nose looks on camera so I can’t believe we are really doing this, but… TOMORROW NIGHT (Tuesday, 6/27) at 8:30pm EST, my husband and I will be on Facebook Live, and we’d love for you to join us!

We will be talking about “What do you do when life doesn’t go as planned?” and will go from 8:30-9:15pm and it’ll be a mix of talking, sharing our life experiences & lessons, and fielding some Q&A.

Find me on Facebook either by searching for Krista Ortiz (or by clicking here)

I look forward to meeting you!

(To note: My husband will be the handsome one with all the right answers. I’ll be the one rocking back and forth in fetal position and trying not to have a panic attack. #RealTalk)

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I’m sorry, but your perfectly restored marriage will never be handed to you.

Those are the words I spoke to a woman, whose marriage was rapidly deteriorating.

I watched as my words landed. Observing her eyes widen, and her mouth open as if to protest, but nothing came out. She looked shell-shocked at my brashness. Confused, how a woman like myself, that is such proof of God’s miraculous restoration, could say such a thing to her. It’s not at all how she expected me to respond.

But for the record, I’m not the least bit sorry about it.

Continue reading I’m sorry, but your perfectly restored marriage will never be handed to you.

You don’t have to run from your feelings in the name of faith, anymore.

Last week, I found myself gasping for breath as I wept. Deep and heavy and messy mourning, like something died. Like something died a long time ago, but I didn’t grieve… Like, I never allowed myself to grieve. 

Never, in a million years, did I expect the tears to come.

I’m alright, I thought. I just need a little fresh air, a nap, maybe a podcast or something, I said, thinking that would lift my spirits after a series of off-days last week.

But as I sat listening to the downpour outside my window that day, I realized for the first time in a long time, it was so much deeper than that. It’s as if I had been running so hard and so fast from something, for so long, and on that dark and rainy day, it – finally – all caught up with me.

You could hear my cries down the hallway.

Continue reading You don’t have to run from your feelings in the name of faith, anymore.