Yesterday was my birthday. I turned.....46. Can't really complain. My mom says consider the alternative. That always helps keep things in perspective. Another thing that eases the "Ouch" of getting older, is when I look back over my life and see how far I have come.
When I was 22, I was a single mom who had only a high school diploma. I was delinquint on many debts such as credit card bills, utility bills, etc. I was a single mom who took a job at a McDonalds in order to get off welfare and food stamps. I was immature, shallow, and on the run from Christ. Thanks to God He kept pursuing me. The biological father of my daughter had left me for another woman. I found out the hard way. I shouldn't need to explain that one. I really shouldn't have been surprised. He had done the same thing to his wife...with me. Yes, I was that woman. I was "the other woman". When he left me, I found myself devastated and sitting on the small porch of my garage apartment I shared with my daughter. It was a cold evening...and late; probably around midnight or so. Before I could stop myself, I said "why me?". No sooner were the words out of my mouth than I was regretting it. Never ask a question you A) already know the answer to, and B) know that God will hold up to you and force you to answer.
I felt a presence next to me so strong I was afraid if I turned my head to the side, I might actually realize I wasn't alone. I heard a voice in my spirit that said as clear as day "Now do you understand why I said not to have affairs with married men "(You know the old thou shalt not commit adultery). You see I had been convinced, contrary to what I had been taught as a child, that God just loved us and all the "don'ts" in the Bible were just a power play by men to control us and keep us down. What I realized in that moment is that, just as a mother would tell her child not to touch a hot stove, or don't play in the street, etc, our Heavenly Father tells us to not do certain things in order to protect us...not to control us. When a child disobeys, they put themselves out of their parents protection and GET HURT. When we disobey our heavenly father, we put ourselves out of our His protection and we get hurt and hurt others. Who did I hurt by my actions? myself obviously, the wife of the man I was involved with, and my daughter for starters. My daughters pain has been an on going one for the past 23 years of her life. It is a cross I bear and will for the rest of my life. I know I am forgiven now, but the consequences of my actions are still there.
I would like to say I turned my life around right then and there. I didn't. I was a stubborn child. It took many years of God guiding me to the place He wanted me; the point where I would give my life back to Him, I can look back and see the places where God closed one door only to open another in order to allow me to move forward in the path He wanted for me.
He brought me to a place where I could get a good job to provide for my daughter. He kept me away from those who would influence me in the wrong way, He brought prayer warriors to my defense in the form of my friend, my mom and my sister. He brought my husband into my life first as a friend/co-worker then as my husband who is still even today my best friend. He brought us children and made us a family. He gave me strength at the times in my life when I thought I would be crushed by the weight of what I was dealing with. He gave me back my life. Life more abundant than I could ever have imagined. I am content. I am at peace. I am loved. I am forgiven. Not just by my Heavenly Father, but also by the woman I betrayed and my daughter. I can never thank Him or praise Him enough.
So you see,while I would looooooove to look like I am 22, I would not be 22 again. So Happy Birth day to ME!