I think back over my life at what the world would consider the darts, the darkness, the dangers.
If I came through
- Parents divorcing when I was two
- Being taken from one parent at three
- Being beaten black and blue by an angry step-father
- Being kidnapped from the other parent at four and hidden away
- Living on the run for two years, blue lights always flashing
- Waking up in a different jail every morning
- Being given a fake name my memory has since blocked out
- A car accident that left my skull fused back together with a metal plate
- Abuse by a family member for six years
- Living with far too much freedom for a preteen and paying the price
- My father dying when I was 12
- Being told Daddy's death was my fault because he died of a broken heart
- Being convinced I didn't deserve to live
- An older step-sibling shoving me into drugs and alcohol at 13
- The first guy I dated at 15 thinking no meant yes
- Getting pregnant at 16
- Miscarriage at 11 weeks
- Watching our newborn daughter take her final breaths in my arms
- Losing my brother, then my mother 11 months later
- Half-siblings who just weren't interested in having a little sister
- Betrayal by those I called my best friends
- Church abuse that left me reeling and confused and broken
- Grief-triggered depression that threatened to drown me
How can I not focus on the fact that I came through them all?
Was it not His grace that brought me safe thus far?
And how can I not focus on the beauty that God has brought from these ashes?
- I am healed and whole.
- I do not carry weighty baggage from my past.
- I am married to the most precious man God could ever have dreamed up for me.
- I am a mother--what I always wanted more than anything in the world to be--of five sweet children, and now a grandmother to two.
- I have had an opportunity not every woman gets: the blessing of homeschooling our children for the past 23 years.
- All five of our children walk with God.
- I face each new day knowing I have faced grief and walked through it to the other side.
- I am a daughter of the Most High God.
- I have amazing, genuine friends.
- I have seen brokenness mended and relationships healed and reforged.
- I have a family that loves and supports one another in ways that are difficult to word.
- I am supported and celebrated in who I am and encouraged to do what makes me smile.
- I have experienced a body of Believers who truly "get" what being the Church is really all about.
- I have enjoyed good health for most of my life.
- I have known love that I never knew existed.
Seed: God reminded me through chapter five that I have a strong foundation on which to build the belief that my God is with me always, in times of excruciating pain and mountain-top bliss, and all between.
Water: I am seeking out Scripture that bears out the pervasive Grace of God in every moment of life.
Bloom: I am stronger, calmer, and more complete than ever. I feel His presence with me every moment. I'm noticing more and more the difference these changes are making in how I live, how I speak, how I act, how I approach and respond to life. Like the sunrise comes the dawning that His grace truly is sufficient for me.