Today I have a sweet friend visiting. Ms. Haelie Heard. I first met haelie through the Max Lucado site and I knew right from the bat we would get along just wonderful. She is one of those girls that seems to light up the day with her smile and encouragement. She also happens to be a nurse, and who doesn't admire nurses? She is filled with grace and has a love for writing. If you haven't visited one of Haelie's blogs you have been missing out. She is a gifted writer, with a passion for sharing Christ with all those she meets. I wanted to have Haelie visit because she just has so much to share. She sees the heart of others and wants to serve God with all she has. Here is our chat. I know you will be just as blessed as this girl was.
(Robin) Haelie, tell me a little about yourself.
(Haelie) As I describe myself on my blog, "I am no different than many of you reading this. Because of what I have witnessed in my life of our Lord's redeeming love & saving grace, I testify that you are never too far gone for our God to love, forgive, & accept you. He truly is faithful even when we are not." Also, I will add that I have been married for six years to a wonderful man with whom I am growing and learning daily. We have a son who just turned five years old...man, time flies! He is, of course, a precious young man, full of life and joy.
(Robin) Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Haelie) Absolutely. Off and on throughout my life in various ways, though the time that was the most distinct was in my mid to late twenties as I was going through nursing school then as I was beginning my professional career and "big girl" life. (Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I am a Registered Nurse.) Anyway, I guess I came to a point in life in which I had been the good girl and Sunday School teacher for so long that I became burnt out on church and even God. Nursing school and nursing in general can also make a person become very cynical and jagged in their thinking as well, especially trauma intensive care nursing. I basically just decided it was my time to do "whatever I wanted to do" and did. Additionally, I began to really question all I had grown up believing about God, having grown up in the church. I began to convince myself that He may not really exist after all, so why pretend like He does? Well, after a few years of this, there came a place in my life where God allowed me to be flat on my back feeling utterly hopeless and helpless. At that time, I was face-to-face with the One True God. I must point out that, having been saved in high school, I know that all along this path I took running from God I never outran Him. In other words, I never became "unsaved" because I was not living right nor fully believing in Him. However, when I was at one of the toughest places in my life, I found myself crying out to Him to BE my Strength and BE my Hope because I alone had nothing left in me. At this point, I came to know my God on a very new, very real level. A raw, honest real relationship I had never truly experienced before began to develop from that time forward. True, I still have days when my faith is weak, but my God is never weak. He is always right there with me. He is my all in all.
(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Haelie) HaHa! I just answered that in the last question. Guess I got a bit carried away. ;-)
(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Haelie) So many come out strong to me. A couple that are in my mind right now and often are: - 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." I even apply this as not only temptation, but also "situation." It has helped me tremendously through the years.- Galatians 6:9 - "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."- Song - "You are still Holy" by Rita Springer (& I especially like the way Kim Hill sings it http://community.maxlucado.com/video/you-are-still-holy )- Song - "Hold me, Jesus" by Rich Mullins ( http://community.maxlucado.com/video/hold-me-jesusrich-mullins )
(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Haelie) I look for sincerity in people. I have a good Reality Radar, and "fake-ness" really turns me off...although it does spur me into praying for that person and their obvious underlying issues with who they are. I do hope others see sincerity in me as well. I may not have it all together, but neither does anyone else, really. We all need to be able to let our guard down and be real, and to have others be just as real with us.
(Robin) What are a few of your favorite books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Haelie) Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (have loaned it out so much I have had a difficult time tracking it back down at times), The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers, Fearless by Max Lucado, Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado, Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, Esther by Chuck Swindoll, Streams in the Desert - Volume 1 by Mrs Charles E Cowman (was my late grandmother's favorite),and many many more!
(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Haelie) Get alone, read my Bible, pray...just STOP doing...just sit and rest in Him.
(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Haelie) My new-found lack of fear. I have learned (often the hard way) that God truly does have everything under control, and even when things negatively surprise me, they are nothing He can't help me handle. I have also become very bold in sharing what is on my heart and mind, specifically about God and His Son and His Spirit - even to the point of carrying on deep conversations with a dear Agnostic friend.
(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Haelie) My husband, my son, and my enormous family. "Things" have dropped off of my love list in the past couple of years. True there are things that I treasure and enjoy, but I have been through some times in which I have learned that things will come and go and break and rust...the people in my life are truly what matters most to me.
(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Haelie) This is a great place to share my mission statement which I just completed about a week ago. My mission is: to be a voice, both written and audible, that unapologetically points to Christ and His sovereignly redemptive love and forgiveness.
(Robin) What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Haelie) One thing that is so cliche' yet so true is "Let go and let God." Also, just the other night in the Max Lucado Community ( http://community.maxlucado.com/ ) Max himself visited and gave several members advice and such. His on-target advice for me during the "full plate" time of my life was "...be patient. At the right time God will slow things down and you can ramp things up." I just loved that!
(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Haelie) My love for the Lord and my passion for being a light for Him to anyone who may be in my path.
(Robin) What are you currently working on?
(Haelie) I work full-time as a Nurse Informaticist (work with computer programs for healthcare). In my spare time (HaHa!), I write for and administer three blogs. They are as follows: To Not Decide...Is To Decide (my own that I write and administer by myself) http://tonotdecideistodecide.blogspot.com/, What If... (the latest one I have helped launch...I write and administer it with one other person) http://whatifdotdotdot.wordpress.com/, and of course Faithful Feet: Walking Together in His Steps on our Journey of Faith (I co-administer and write for this one with 7 other writers - including Robin Prater - from all over the USA and the world.) http://faithfulfeet.byethost3.com/. Also, I am just following the path to getting published. I have just learned how to write a book proposal, so that is my next big project.
(Robin) How do you define success?
(Haelie) Living an obedient life of faith in God even in the way I respond to the many mistakes I make along the way so that I am a light for Him to all who surround me.
Haelie, thank you for being a guest here at the Nest. You have brightened my day and blessed me beyond words. I think we are going to have Francine Rivers come and be a guest since "Redeeming Love" seems to be a favorite book among all of us! I pray the Lord continues to bless your writing and I know He has many great things planned for you. I know I will soon see your name on the cover of a book in my hand for review! You are a sweet friend and I am forever blessed by our friendship. Having a sister in Christ like you makes life that much sweeter.