I’m Farrel, I’m 40 years old, and I live with my husband, Zack, and our 2-year-old Shih Tzu, Aslan, in East Texas. What you would never know by simply seeing either of us is that we were born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic and life-threatening illness that primarily destroys the lungs and digestive system over time, and one that our parents were told would take my life by age 8 and Zack’s by 18. To date, the average life expectancy of CF patients is 56 years old, and there is no cure. We met randomly in a Facebook CF forum in October of 2014; Met for the first time in July of 2015; And were married in July of 2016, on our one-year anniversary, on Anna Maria Island in Florida, where we lived for two years before returning to my hometown in Texas. Together, we advocate for living the abundant life with faith, food, fitness, and LOVE… And it’s our goal, God-willing, to spend as many years as He gives us defying the odds, and proving that love really is the cure for everything.

As an aspiring author, I am slowly but surely meandering my way through writing my memoir, my God-given story of sacrificial love, grace, and redemption from a life almost lost that I hope will encourage those whose path it crosses. He has gifted me with an unquenchable passion for writing and for communication that I enjoy using to share who He is to me with others. My why is simple: To introduce a bruised and broken world to the One whose amazing grace saved a wretch like me. And it’s my hope that my story of ongoing forgiveness and healing will uplift those around me, spread love in a darkening world, and most importantly, glorify His holy Name.

Aside from writing, I absolutely love to travel and experience life the way others do. I was bitten by the traveling bug at age 8 when I began visiting my granddad’s vacation home in Arizona with my family, and since then, I’ve been to most of the contiguous states, Alaska, and Hawaii; and outside of the country to Australia, England, Canada, and Mexico. I can’t think of a single place I would refuse to go, but mine and Zack’s current number one Bucket List destination is Israel. To walk, talk, and celebrate where our Savior did would be so surreal. Hopefully one day! I also enjoy reading, studying Scripture with a cup of hot tea and the brightest pens and highlighters I can find in hand, playing piano, cooking, and orchestrating dinner and game nights with new and old friends alike.

I grew up in a Christian household, was raised Southern Baptist, and became a member of my parents’ church in small town East Texas before I could crawl. I was “saved” at a young age, and over the years, was baptized twice, once as a baby and once at age 22 as a Christmas gift to my mother. However, for a number of reasons, Christianity was not something I willingly embraced. There were the fellow youth group attendees who were less than welcoming. There were, what I saw as a young adult, restrictions that seemed like nothing more than buzzkills. And most of all, there was a fear deep in the pit of my stomach that a big man sat in the clouds above me holding a clipboard, gleefully waiting to cast me into hell if I didn’t do exactly what he said, when and how he said it. And it was primarily out of that desire to avoid hell that labeling myself “a Christian” was born.

It wasn’t until Friday, April 25, 2014, on a living room floor in south Texas, that I truly gave my life to Christ for Him to straighten into something worth living, and to use for His purpose instead of my own. I laid down years of heartbreak – Cystic Fibrosis. Lifelong abuse. Losing my father tragically as a teenager. Divorce at age 21. Alcohol and drug dependence. Romantic relationships and friendships mirroring the very worst of what “love” had to offer – And began to clothe myself instead with His gifts of purity, dignity, humility, redemption, and grace. I opened the door to allowing Him to use the chaos of where I came from to relate and minister to others. And because of that, I can say with all honesty that I’m not ashamed of my past any more… Even the poor decisions I made that hurt myself and hurt others. I trusted Him that day, and I will imperfectly trust Him until my last, to keep His promise that His grace is sufficient for my learning and that He will perfect His power in my weaknesses. And that no matter what life throws my way, there will come a day when He will rid this world of every tear, sickness, disease, and death that currently remains, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord with Him forever.

If you’re in that place now, please don’t give up. Please don’t give in. And please don’t hesitate to reach out. It would be my absolute joy to introduce you to the One who makes all things new ♥♥♥

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