faith, freedom, food

Tag: #relationship

05. Healing

05. Healing

This is the fifth instalment of six in my series telling my love story with my fiance Johnny. Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here, Part 2, “Dating,” here, Part 3, “Distance,” here, and Part 4, “Letters,” here. Following the grandly miraculous healing that Jesus reigned in over my life […]

04. Letters

04. Letters

Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here, Part 2, “Dating,” here, and Part 3, “Distance,” here. It was our second New Year’s Eve together, over our first reunion during long distance dating, that Johnny told me there was something really important he needed to talk to me about. Now, […]

02. Dating

02. Dating

All photos by the best wedding/engagement photographer on planet earth, Liam Good.

Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here.

That first coffee date made Johnny’s intentions even more clear. We spent it talking about what God had done in our lives, and to give Him glory for those things. While the first few months were slow, they were spent getting to know each other in the important and deep ways, and talking about Jesus.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ROMANS 8:38-39

Things could separate OUR love, we acknowledged. We would fail each other sometimes. Jesus, together or apart, was the purpose of our lives, and so we needed to be better for HIM together than apart.

And I had an inkling very early into those days of dating that we were.

I have found the one whom my soul loves. SONG OF SOLOMON 3:4

Dating early on was full of butterflies and excitement and looking through baby photos and learning about each other’s sixth grade teachers and food loves and food hates and TV shows and music. Watching the entire Harry Potter series together was a must for me; listening to every Bon Iver song, as well as many other artists’, was a must for him.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. PHILIPPIANS 2:3


But the path didn’t always seem perfectly straight. I will say with much truthfulness that God has, by His grace, made much of our relationship simple, lighthearted, and just full of all the love stuff. We are incredibly blessed.

Still, a few months into our relationship, we had a momentary period of serious questioning. Had we moved too quickly? Had we REALLY heard God speak into our relationship? Johnny and I went for a walk, to Waterloo Park, in fact, where many of these engagement photos were taken, to talk about these things.

God used what felt like a setback to CONFRONT US with the truth that He had called us to be together, and from that conversation on, we have walked in that truth.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. JAMES 1:2-4

We were able, through God, to count the struggle as JOY, because we knew that the testing of our faith would produce steadfastness. This was a small preparation for the testing of our faith regarding what would come soon after in our relationship.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. ROMANS 8:28

But I will say that the next eight months of our relationship were gloriously fun and full of learning; of overcoming fears together and understanding each other’s pasts. Of clinging tighter to each other each day because we were growing closer to the Lord and He was helping us to love each other better; giving His very lifeblood to do it.

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. MATTHEW 16:25

So when Johnny knew that God was calling him out of Laurier, the university we attended together in Waterloo, to a soccer program and business school in Winnipeg, the status of our relationship wasn’t a question. This was a trial we would endure, trusting it would produce steadfastness for the sake of what had already been established as our life’s purpose: the glorification of Jesus Christ.

And so Johnny left for Winnipeg at the end of our summer of romance, driving away, both of us tear-filled and with no indication of what long distance dating would be like. Still, only expectant of our ever-present God to be exactly who He says He is.

01. Meeting

01. Meeting

All photos by the best wedding/engagement photographer on planet earth, Liam Good. I didn’t think the incredibly handsome man with the super humble but intelligent thoughts and shy smile whose name I knew to be Johnny Fulford would ever talk to me. I assumed that, […]

For My Sister on Your Birthday

For My Sister on Your Birthday

My Sweet, special sister, 18 never looked so beautiful. My sweet pea, you have such a fiercely loving heart. You have always had this beautiful compassion for people that translates to the way you interact with people. I have watched you feel so deeply and […]

A Morning with my Best Friend

A Morning with my Best Friend

Morning. Not stupid early, but not late morning, it’s 8:30am and your eyelids open after a solid, undisturbed 8 hour sleep. You smile to yourself, feeling that euphoric, passionate, life-is-good-because-God-is-good emotion that translates to excitement to spend time with Jesus. You know He’s going to meet you where you are– which happens to be your little student bedroom in Waterloo, warm under the perfect duvet, that perfect warm that is practically impossible to crawl out of.
You roll over just far enough to grab your Bible, and open it to where you left off. Psalms.
Psalm 41. 

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;

the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.

You spend enough time with Jesus to know that you are certainly not perfect at “regarding the weak,” but also to know that He has already forgiven you for it. He instructs you, though, and He makes you better. That simple time calling on His name and seeing His face, His very body, sitting on your bed, nowhere else to be but with you because that’s how much He loves you– whaaat— He tells you to lift your weary head and stop dwelling. He makes you aware of a coping mechanism that you go to when you’d be much better off turning to Him.

But that’s just it.
In the valleys He reminds you of His faithfulness.
If it weren’t for the coping mechanisms and failures and misgivings and faults, you wouldn’t know how much you need Him. That’s not to give any credit to the faults. No, it’s to weaken them, because it’s kind of sad to know that humans need them sometimes in order to know Him. 
But oh, there is grace. Oh, there is so much love. Oh, He is forever and always forgiving and unbudging. Oh, how this God Jesus just wants to befriend you, be above everything else in your life because He knows it’s what’s best for you.
He is, after all, your Father.
 

21st Birthday Reflections

21st Birthday Reflections

On Wednesday, I turned 21 years old. I am officially in the 20s. And, while it doesn’t feel weird– I’m mostly surrounded by people in their mid-20s, and I feel I’m mature for my age– the milestone led me to a lot of reflecting. Put honestly, […]

A Friend Like Brooke

A Friend Like Brooke

I’ve done a couple posts like this before, in which I write about why “everyone deserves a friend like___.” Today, I’m talking about a friend like Brooke. Brooke is one of my co-workers at Pure JBK, and has quickly become a close friend. From the […]

Discovering Sufficiency

Discovering Sufficiency

He is said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Is it?
Do I live as though I believe this? Do I believe this?
Today Jesus blessed me by confronting me with this grace that I certainly believe in, this Truth that is too good to be true– Jesus’ grace is all I need— and giving me tangible tools to heal from layers of lies that have sought to teach me that grace isn’t sufficient.
All in His timing.
Jesus, You are so so good.
Waking early this morning, I made pumpkin spice pancakes and coffee and spent time in His Word before heading out the door to meet two of my pastors and friends.
What the next hour in their company brought was healing I couldn’t imagine.
Offering me leadership accountability and counselling, this dynamic duo, through the Holy Spirit, equipped me with tools as I met them with my biggest conviction of the past several years: My lifestyle is too busy.
I don’t live as though I believe His grace is sufficient. Because when I’m not doing something, I think I need to be. I fill up all my time so that I don’t have to think or rest. A phenomenon that has led to my hyper-processing, and a low ability to focus on one thing at a time. Stressed to the max, I haven’t known how to say no.
After meeting with this beautiful family, I took all my notes and everything they had said, and prayed. I sat still in Jesus’ presence and allowed myself to be there. And I heard Him speak:
There are still areas of law in your life, Cassie. I call you to freedom. 
Having feared, in the past, letting go of many of the stringent routines I’ve adhered to for a long time, Jesus made very clear to me some of the tangible things in these routines that didn’t need to be there, and that were stumbling blocks rather than helpful. Things I actually didn’t care about, but was just so used to doing.
I did the necessary things, after praying, to remove these stumbling blocks from my life.
Lay it down. He picks it up. Thank-you Jesus.
And today, I was more present than ever with my homework.
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I had a killer workout without thinking about/stressing about other things.
I was present with my beautiful friend, Brooke, who really needed a listening ear.
And I’m not afraid to rest tonight and watch MasterChef, read a book I’m loving, eat some snacks. These simple things would usually give me anxiety that I have not previously been aware of, but, as I sit here and write, I feel a calm in every part of my being that I haven’t felt in a long time. I have established priorities that my Lord has anointed, and they’re for His sake, and rest/fun is a part of that.
His grace is sufficient for me, period. His grace is all this life is about. And I will boast in my weaknesses in order that His strength might be known– because the more weaknesses Cassie has, the more His strength is made manifest in my short time on this earth.
 

Trusting in the "Delay"

Trusting in the "Delay"

Much of today’s musings are inspired by a wonderful message preached by Pastor Mike Rutledge   at Risen City church yesterday, where Jesus met me in my own worries, stress, and anxieties and revealed newness to me as His Spirit does, starting when I so loudly […]