Hi there! Let me introduce myself. Officially, I’m April H. West. You can call me April. My name means “to open,” as in the flowers budding on a tree will do in the Spring. To me, the name April means “beginning” and “awakening of life,” both of which are symbolic for me in this very moment. There is an “awakening of life” as I start this journey of beautiful words with you. There is a “beginning” as I accept the call and destiny placed on my life from the foundation of the world.
So who am I?
I am a Daughter of the King of the Universe. I am a wife to a precious and precocious husband and mother to two precious and precocious boys. I am a biology and chemistry junkie. I am a high school teacher who relished her time in the public school system; it was my mission field for 12 years. I am a creator of words, music, and art. I find fun in making spreadsheets, lists, and successful formulas (aka recipes). My favorite earrings are beautiful silver (and structurally accurate) DNA double helix dangles. I reside in the space where science and art converge to render beautiful chaos into magnificent order.
I love theology, deep study of the Word, and challenging the status quo for the good of growth. (After all, no one ever grows in their comfort zone, do they?) I love prayer, meditation, prophecy, and intercession. I find beauty in the details and purpose in the vision. His Presence is what I long for above all else.
I grew up in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama called Leeds. I loved my small town but I also longed to leave. I knew the Lord was calling me somewhere else. I attended college at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee where I obtained my B.S. in Biology and a M.Ed. in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction. This is also where I met and married my best friend, Brittain. He is a wonderful partner in all aspects of life who reminds me it is good to slow down and smile at the little things. He makes me laugh and encourages me to pursue God’s plan for my life, even when it seems crazy.
After college, we moved to my husband’s hometown of Paducah, Kentucky and made a life there for 12 years. I taught Biology and became a mother to our two boys, Caleb and Joshua. I longed to be a good mother to my boys, but it also terrified me.
My inadequacies, perfectionism, and unhealed pain threatened to overwhelm me. I survived by the same workaholic patterns which had sustained me through childhood. If I never stopped, the depression didn’t have time to catch up with me. If I never took time to think, the pain would be numbed to an ache I could ignore. If I never reflected on the dry bones buried deep in my heart, they couldn’t haunt me. The problem is simple… eventually I ran out of room to bury those bones and they started peeking out, clamoring for recognition. I had to change. To survive, change was required.
I loved God with all of my heart. I longed for more of Him, to know Him better. I sometimes thought I heard Him in my head, but wrote it off as being crazy… everyone I knew said He doesn’t speak that way today. One day, God put a group of people in my path that heard God the way I did. It was freeing in a way I still can’t fully describe. Learning to discern the voice of God brought my world out of the black-and-white television screen of life into full technicolor in all of its glory. I experienced His glory and I began searching the scriptures I so dearly love.
When you experience the impossible, you have two choices. Either you ignore it, call the experience a fluke, and continue your life as before. Or you can take the more difficult option, the one that requires courage and faith and sacrifice. You can choose to change. You can choose to embrace what was impossible mere moments before and pioneer a path into the wilderness.
What if your promised land is on the other side of that wilderness? Would you choose change or going back to what you knew? Would you be like the Israelites as they fled Egypt? You know the ones… those who forgot what God had just done for them and begged to go back to the torment of slavery. Or would you choose to climb the mountain as Moses did and see the Glory of Jehovah God?
I invite you to partner with me on this journey of faith, healing, and joy. I am not sure where our destination lies; I leave the navigation up to the Holy Spirit. This is His blog. I am only a vessel through which He can speak to touch hearts, minds, and souls.
I chose to climb the mountain. I hope you will choose to climb with me.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
May you be blessed in all of your journeys. I hope we will continue to scale the mountain together. It might be hard, but the view from the top is worth it.
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