Sunday, September 29, 2013

He knit me together...

Posted on a friend's blog:
"I KNOW that God created me for more than this and I refuse to let fear, false identity and regret stand in my way of becoming the woman He saw when He knit me together."

When I read that
it brought out tears.
I was pretty sure
I didn't have any left
after this weekend.

Yes, I know God knit me together...
I know that.
But I never thought about what was going on
while He was doing this.
My creation was a deliberate act by a God who had a vision and a purpose for my life.
What a thought.
Those are the things... that vision and purpose... those are what He was thinking about when He created me. This wasn't a haphazard "let's see what happens if I put this here and change this one thing..." He didn't just smoosh some cells together and say, "Oh yeah, this one will be fun to watch..." There was nothing random about what He did in those moments of my creation...
He was focusing on the amazing plan He has for me...
not the mistakes
He already knew
I was going to make...
not the stupid ways
I was going to try
to derail myself...
He was INTENTIONALLY knitting ME together.
He did this knowing every detail of my life,
giving me everything I needed
to get through
the pain 
the heartache
the junk
so that I could get to
His intended purpose for me
so that I could do what
He wants me to do.
This weekend I told Him that I wanted HIS will for my life to be the only thing that mattered to me... something I have come close to saying before... but never quite this way... never meaning it quite like this. I want to be so in love with Jesus that my desires are HIS desires... not my own.
It's a scary thought... to give up that control... to attempt to change the way I think... but if He is for me, then chasing His desires won't hurt me the way chasing my own desires has. Even fighting my own desires when I'm trying to do what's right causes so much pain, especially when I'm unsuccessful. But if I can replace mine with His... then there won't be this internal fight... and it means that He truly will give me the desires of my heart... because they will match His own.
Sometimes I wonder how dumb the devil really has to be... every time he tries to capture my attention, even when he is fleetingly successful, I end up at back at the feet of Jesus with more longing and a stronger resolve.

And God knew it was going to happen all along... and He has just been waiting.


God's Daughter

Being a child of God is not a new concept.
We are all children of God.
I've always known that.

Being told that I am His daughter
makes me cringe a little.
Maybe not cringe...
but it isn't a feeling
that I enjoy.
He must know I can't stand hearing it
because people keep saying it to me randomly
and it is something I don't really
remember hearing before.
I've said this other times,
but it's worth repeating...
God doesn't believe in "random."

Yesterday morning
while I was volunteering
someone came up to
another volunteer and I
and started going into detail
about what it means
to be God's daughter.
I smiled and nodded
and politely said
thank you
when he went away.

As a girl who very much
wants to believe she
doesn't have those
daddy issues
that so many people
talk about
this is probably a concept
I need to explore
a bit more.

But as soon as I started writing
about this
my head started to throb
just enough
to make me rethink blogging
about it today.

Gathering laundry
Going for a run
Picking up kids
Going to the laundromat

Wow... exercise and laundry? I must really be wanting to avoid this... lol

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Feeling really emotional today about everything... but it is all about perspective... right?

     I'm tired of being unorganized.
I'm tired of chaos in my mind
     and my life...
 I'm tired of being single.
          I'm tired of thinking like the old me
               and then having to get that thought or image out of my mind...
               all while keeping a poker face... (I'm terrible at poker!)
I'm tired of being honest all the time... but not too tired of it to say...
     I'm tired of not having sex.
I'm tired of this disgusting apartment.
     I seriously considered renting a hotel room one night this weekend
          just so I can take a bubble bath.
               I can't rent a hotel room. It would make a mistake so much easier...
               and it makes me mad that I can't even trust myself to do that...
               but why invite temptation?
I'm tired of knowing that in some areas I am not trustworthy.
I'm tired of wondering who in the world will ever be able to accept all of this... mess.
I'm tired of feeling inept and needing little victories to get me by.

But I'm not tired of the consequences of making good decisions.
I'm not tired of having so much good going on that organization is a necessity.
I'm not tired of learning new ways to function.
I'm not tired of having a little self-respect.
I'm not tired of no longer having to hope this one will treat me the way I deserve to be treated.
I'm not tired of no longer wishing that I figure out how to make that one love me.
I'm not tired of having a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in.
I'm not tired of having a working shower in my house instead of half a block away.
I'm not tired of victories... just wishing they were always bigger...
I'm not tired of Jesus. He amazes me more and more every day.
I'm not tired of knowing that I have captured His attention...
     and that in spite of His awesomeness 
          He still understands what it means to be tired and frustrated and angry
               with all of these everyday battles... and He isn't tired of loving me anyway.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm still fighting...

God and I have spent months picking apart pieces of my life and getting rid of them. Really, some pieces of my life God and I have been fighting over for years. This year has been the hardest... and the best so far.

So many things are different these days... changes in my friends, dealing with addictions, kicking habits, and kicking other general craziness to the curb. Obviously it's not ALL gone, but most days I feel like I can breathe... which hasn't always been the case.

I know God has so many plans for me, even though much of it seems to be just outside of my reach at the moment. If I keep pressing forward, these things will be mine in His timing. I have to keep growing... I know these things are out of my reach because He knows I'm not ready yet... even if I think I am.

Maybe it's because of this determination that the temptation to fail is stronger than it has ever been. And I say temptation because, I would have to willingly jump off this path to find the ones I used to run. I would have to call people I'd already cut out of my life. I would have to go to places that I don't hang out any more. I would have to search for stuff that I have gotten rid of.

But I still hear it... if you fail, you'll be forgiven. Nobody is perfect. Maybe you've taken this too far... and you should just live a little. It's always there in the back of my mind. Some days I feel so weak that I don't think I'll win... but I can't just walk away again.

In my heart I know better.

So I purposely fill my time with the good friends I have made, and the business God has given me, and my kids who know very little, if anything, about what my life was like... even though they were living it... as well as good habits like running... and learning... and praying... as well as writing, in faith that God will turn this mess into something beautiful that will change somebody else's life someday.

Today I am feeling strong... a few days ago... not so much. But I just have to remember Isaiah 43:2:
"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you."

I just have to keep fighting through. There were moments this last week when I didn't know how I was going to do it... but here I am. Feeling fantastically hopeful on a Monday evening with a great week ahead... still headed in the right direction... because He isn't going to let me drown.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Seeing God's Protection...

One thing that amazes me about the whole plan that He has for me... is that while God let me go through things and let me make mistakes and bad choices that will ultimately work for the good... He saw the times when I was just on the very edge of something truly life-altering and stopped it from happening.

I will probably write more on these someday, but right now, every day, I go through, "What if they knew..." and then eventually I tell someone some piece of the story and their reaction isn't nearly as bad as I expected... and I'm relieved.

I know that the person who did these things has been fading away for awhile. She tries to come back, but God is just too good to let that happen... and when she does He uses it to teach me a lesson. I am too determined to find my purpose in Him to let that happen anyway. So instead of adding these things to the story of my spiral downwards, I add them to the list of times where, in hindsight, I can clearly see God's protection... and often when I go into some of the details of the story... His call to come back to Him.

There is the time I was convinced to try cocaine... and saying that doesn't even begin to do the actual picture of what happened justice... I was in a seedy bar bathroom, snorting coke through a rolled up dollar bill. I did not care one bit about what could happen... just that this guy who told me he loved me wanted me to do this. He was just "a friend," not even a relationship... The drugs turned out to be fake.

One time I pulled out of a bar parking lot, way too intoxicated to drive the three blocks I needed to go... and was followed by a state cop for those three blocks... and he just kept going after I pulled into the driveway.

What about when I decided it wouldn't be such a bad idea to start selling myself? I figured I might as well get paid for what I was doing for free since it was all anyone wanted from me anyway. I already had some contacts and I was flat broke... Nobody except the contacts I had knew about any of this... but someone I barely knew just gave me money out of nowhere... $1000... for no reason except to help me... and with nothing expected in return.

Before I moved, a good friend confessed she had feelings for me and I just had to say no. I didn't want to say no... and I probably would have caved before long. I had secretly dated women before. But very soon after that, I met the guy who I moved away for... and she and I didn't have much contact for a long time... until God did some work on both of us.

There was a guy who wanted to take me to Vegas to check out the swingers clubs... and see whatever other kinds of trouble we could get into. His timing was bad... a week earlier I would have been able to make it work. But his vacation schedule was set.

Most of these things were more recent than I'd like to admit... but some stuff happened before I met J. I remember when I told him some of the things I did before I met him... and he cried because I wasn't the person he thought I was... and I felt awful. I hated myself for the things I couldn't change. Then, when he came back and said he wanted to be with me anyway, I thought I was lucky to have found someone so forgiving. It turns out, he was just saving it all up to throw back at me later...

That is part of my fear. I don't want people to use these things in the future to hurt me. Especially considering that these are the times I was protected... but I got into these situations because I was living a life that was so far from where I should have been.

I also know I can't continue to live in fear of who I was when WHO I AM is trying so hard to break free from all of it. I read today that you can't grow as a person if you live your life in fear of failure... that is the other part of my fear. I kept so much of my life a secret for a very long time... if I fail in some way... and people know who I used to be... it's going to be a lot harder to hide it.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure if that is good or bad...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

This one is going to take awhile (Part 1)

I don't know if this is a good idea or a bad one. I don't know if this serves a purpose or not. I know it took me two years to get over J and all of the sudden I can't stop thinking about him. It was just during prayer before... and I have prayed so many times for his salvation... even if I never see him again, I still want him to love Jesus. But I also know that him loving Jesus, and knowing that I am a different person now would probably fix just about every issue we had.

Last week I accidently drove past where he works... I was looking at a rental house nearby and couldn't find it. Honestly, I didn't know he still worked there. But I saw his car in the parking lot at CAT and almost wrecked.

I thought asking God what to do would help, but I don't know the right questions. Should I continue to pray for his salvation? Duh... It is God's will that everyone be saved... so praying for something that is in His will is always a good thing. Should I pray that we get back together? That would be one huge frickin' miracle... and I don't know if us getting back together is God's will or not. I could continue to ask... but asking to know the future never quite works out. I don't think He wants me to know.

So here I am, stuck... but it can't hurt to get this all out... I feel the need to write and all I can think about is this...

So anyway, here goes nothing...


He lived just a few blocks away from me in high school.
We rode the same bus.
We had at least one class together.
He was in my car in driver's ed.
But we never spoke to each other.

Nearly ten years after graduation, January 13, 2007, when a mutual friend introduced us after dragging me out to karaoke, we hit it off right away. He added me on messenger and we would talk all night via the computer. It didn't take long for me to have a huge crush on him. I knew it wouldn't work out. There was no way he would ever like me... I even flirted with other guys online because I knew J was just a one-sided thing. He'd be bored and move on soon. But he didn't.

He volunteered to fix the radio in my van and to thank him I cooked dinner. Afterwards we sat on the couch and watched TV together with the kids running around everywhere. One child climbed up on my lap and threw her head back... and then that precious, adorable 3 year old said, "Wow, you have big boobs." I don't know who was more embarrassed.

Another day he was fixing the bathroom door that was falling off the hinges and had his tools laid out next to him. My five year old son was inspecting his work and showed J his own tools... "Look, I have a wrench too." J smiled, "Wow, do you fix things with that?" My son gave him a strange look and said, "No. It's just plastic."

Welcome to my life, J.

I wrote a song once about the night things turned from friendship into something else. It would make a fun country song... We had both been drinking and having a great time when he leaned in so nobody else could hear to ask what I wanted to do after the bar closed, "Can I take you home, or can I take you home?" I looked at him, obviously puzzled. He said, "Those are two completely different options. Think about it." There was a lot of liquid courage that night because that was not something he would normally say or do... and even when we got back to his apartment, if I hadn't kissed him first... nothing would have happened.

The next day he felt guilty. He was scared. A single mom of four... he had never dated a woman with kids before. It took a week and some prodding from friends to get him to admit that he did really like me and it wasn't a mistake. In fact, he came over one night, I am pretty sure to tell me that he just couldn't do it... there were tears on both sides... and then we kissed again and it was all over... or rather, it really began.

My youngest had already been diagnosed with a rare disease and was in need of a transplant when we first met in January. Scheduled to leave town for six months in April, He and I were pretty inseparable for the next six weeks after he decided he really did want to pursue a relationship. I couldn't believe any of it was happening. In the midst of this terrible diagnosis and scary treatment for my baby, I was finding happiness.

I had held some fundraisers to help cover expenses while the baby was in transplant. The morning I left town, J handed me an envelope with $500 in it to help. I knew he was a good guy. He had always been kind and respectful and thoughtful... but his continuing to be selfless when it came to the kids and I just told me for sure that God had put us together for a reason. This guy was the one.

I had no idea about the struggles we would go through and the things we would do to hurt each other over the next four years.

I know some of the things he did were wrong... especially towards the end. There are things that, if we saw each other again I would have a hard time forgiving... He had a conversation with my oldest about which room in his house would be hers... right before he dumped me and never spoke to the kids again... not a single word, hug, goodbye, nothing... after 4 years. He told my mom all of my secrets when he was angry at me one time... all of them. Things I haven't even put in this blog yet... my mom knows. He told me the rape that happened after we broke up was my own fault... that one I am still dealing with.

But I'm no saint... I spent so much time acting out of fear that he would leave me if he knew me. I lied. A lot... It was all little stuff. "So what are you doing today?" "Cleaning the house." I was laying on the couch covered by a blanket of depression I didn't know how to pull off of myself... or playing mind-numbing games online so I didn't have to think about life.  "Who was that text from?" "Just a friend." It was an ex-boyfriend who I rationalized trying to stay friends with. "What were you going to tell me?" "I lost five pounds!" I didn't. I lost 2... and the truth was, he didn't really care... but I was afraid he did.

My mind was a mess. My priorities were a mess. My life was a mess. And I was trying to tell HIM that his life would be better if he had Jesus.

Is it any wonder that he didn't believe me?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

He Waited...

Talking to a friend
who is waiting for his marriage to be restored
and even coming to believe in his vision
has been eye-opening for me.

It took a lot of heartache to get past
the version of love we see in movies
read in books
or hear in country songs.

Heck, I can barely listen to country music
at all anymore...
because it still all reminds me of one person...
the could-have-been fairy tale romance that crashed and burned.
     More on that another day, I'm sure.

I've tried every 'version'
of love there is...
except that one that is
patient and not demanding and not self-seeking
     (Not that I knew that then... but hindsight is 1080p)

The thought of someone continuing to wait
after months or years
is crazy right?
It doesn't happen.
When it does
it's a "Notebook"-worthy love story...
(that's high praise... seriously)

I've said it many times now...
I've never known someone
who would wait for me
for two weeks,
let alone months or years.

I was driving this weekend
thinking about that...
and said as much to God.

And that's when I realized...
He was waiting for me for almost 34 years.

What a thought. God created me with a purpose... a purpose I can only find in Him. Unfortunately for me, I have never really grasped that concept before this year. I can't say that I have really completely tried before this season of my life. But that didn't matter to Him. He has been watching and waiting... with more patience than I can wrap my mind around.

I have heard Him calling only to turn around and walk the other way, run to Him and been comforted in the hardest times...only to see life improve and go back to living the way I wanted to live.

He was with me all through this...
knowing that this time would come
when what He has done for me would finally mean something
and I would fully devote myself
to His purpose and His plans
no matter what that means for the hopes and dreams I have created for my life up to this point.

It's crazy how the message of the cross can be repeated over and over until those of us who think we understand it begin to take it for granted... and God has to use other things to get to us.

Waiting... in this age where everyone wants everything "now" ... even me ...

I know how hard waiting in so many different areas has been for me for even the last 8 months... and now He reminds me that he patiently waited for 34 years... for me.

And this isn't an infatuation... a crush on some girl he doesn't quite know yet... someone who is going to show her true self eventually and scare him away...
He created me... so I am pretty sure He already knows me.
Every flaw.
Every thought.
Every feeling.
Every cell of my body
     including the number of hairs on my head...

And He still waited.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Search and destroy or let it go?

So as I wrote through the last several posts,
it began to bother me that the stories and poems I used to write
are still out there for people to read.

It's funny how difficult it is to call it what it is...
but I know I have to take a hard line with this.
I know that if I let the lines get blurred
then things that are not okay will become "okay" again...
If not for me, then for someone else...

So once again... Porn. I'm talking about porn.

It doesn't have to be a video. There doesn't have to be a picture. No audio is necessary.
It can be 100% written words, but it is what it is...
   glorification of lust, degradation, abuse, lack of self worth, rape, disrespect, and so much more... all written in a way that suddenly makes it "acceptable" to the reader. Even those romance novels that my grandma used to keep in the back closet that ended with "true love" but were full of those other things...

     It is still porn.

As for the stuff I wrote...
There is nothing out there even remotely connected to my name.
Nobody will ever know any of it was mine
     except for one person who knew about one story...
          but seeing as he was the guy I wrote about in Trashcan,
I doubt it will ever come up again.

Still, I thought that maybe I should go and have the stories taken down. Then I could delete them and never think about them again...

Problem... In an attempt to find the stories I wanted deleted forever... I came face to face with a lot... A LOT... of stuff I work hard to avoid these days.

So I think I'm going to give up on that.
I'm going to pray nobody I know ever reads the
things I came to think were 'normal' and 'fun'...
     maybe they can be super-naturally deleted from cyberspace.

Praying for a lot of grace over these... not sure what else to do.

Thinking about how these were part of "the process" that I need to forgive...
but I don't know yet if I can...
this part of me might be too broken...
I can be sorry for things I know are wrong, and attempt to erase them... but the truth is, if I hadn't forced myself to stop reading and writing this kind of stuff... if I didn't know it isn't pleasing to God... I would still enjoy it very much... and what does that say about my character?

It can't be good.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Forgiving the Process...

So one of the things I was struggling with in all of everything, is why God let certain things happen. There were things that I didn't feel like I needed to go through to get to where I am today... but there are things that I went through that will eventually help others. So my question this weekend was this, "I know that God loves my soul more than he loves my earthly life... but does he love other peoples' souls more than MY earthly life?"

A friend of mine asked me, "Well is it all about you? Or is it all about Him?"

And he was right, if it is going to bring more people to Jesus then I can't say it isn't worth it in the end. Still it was a lot to think about.

Last night I finished Sheryl's book and towards the end she starts talking about all the hard stuff and the whys... some of the stuff that I have been thinking about. She even repeated some of the things that my friend had said in conversation. Which is funny, because if I had read and THEN he said it, I would have assumed I had inadvertently steered the conversation that direction... but to have him say things and THEN read them in the book... awesome.

So anyway, back to Sheryl... So then she said something that explained it all...  while she knew she didn't have to forgive God because he does all things well... she had to come to terms with forgiving the process... understanding that each thing had to happen for the whole plan to work... Forgiving the process and the people who were part of it.

While I've struggled with a lot of things, forgiveness isn't the biggest struggle for me. I love people. I am more likely to forgive too easily than to hold on to something for a long time. But I as I sat with that concept for a bit and reread it again... that section about forgiving the process and the people who were part of it... I was reminded of something. I was part of the process.

All the whys that I have been dealing with weren't REALLY about why God let me run into the person who steered me the wrong direction. They weren't REALLY about why this person did this or that that caused me to react the wrong way...

They were about me forgiving myself for making the mistakes in the first place.

Because while the decisions were stupid, while I am still struggling with some of the repercussions of them, and while I am still scarred by a lot of them... God knew they were going to happen and decided that, instead of being angry with me or turning away from me or smiting me on the spot, He would let grace cover them and He would weave them into His awesome chess game...

So, while I was proud of what happened with that sweetheart in a previous post, when I looked back at the "conversation" Gmail made of all our emails from over a year ago, I was pretty overwhelmed with the stupidity and lack of self-worth I saw in those emails. How had I ever thought that it was okay to talk/behave like that?

But if I choose to believe that it had to be part of the process, then it's not that I'm taking away any of my own responsibility for it... it's just that I'm forgiving myself for the mistakes, understanding that God will turn them into something beautiful.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Don't Let Me Call You Sweetheart...

Unless you are a child, you do not want me to call you sweetheart.

Sweetheart is my nice girl way of calling you a dumbass. 'Cause I'm too nice of a girl to call you a dumbass to your face. Dumbass. Oh, sorry, I was on a roll there...

There are some exceptions... I was giving a friend of mine a ride home from church one day and she was walking and talking and started to get into a van that was similar to mine, but wasn't. I said, "Um, sweetheart? My van is over there..." Oops!... and we went on our way. About 15 minutes later she said, "Hey... I just realized you called me a dumbass back there..." and we both laughed hysterically. There are just some friends you can do that with...

Today I got an email from someone I haven't heard from in over a year...

We emailed back and forth a few times, but it was clear what he as looking for. And he kept asking me for a picture... like he possibly couldn't remember who I was... isn't that lovely a thought?

I finally replied... after he didn't get it the first time I told him I wasn't interested and then ignored him for awhile and got two more emails asking me where I went... sometimes you have to spell things out for the younger ones apparently. (BTW, under 30 is too young... under 25... what was I thinking!?!)

Anyway, I sent him this:

"Sweetheart, we both know you are only interested in one thing... and you're not getting it from me."

It was easy.
I was proud of myself.
I can do this!

I wish it was that easy every time.
It's not.


Because she has lived through so many my mistakes... I told my oldest daughter about it. No details... just "A guy I haven't heard from in forever emailed me" and some of the things he said that were "red flags." Then I told her the response I sent him above.

She smiled and put her hand out for a high-five.
I hope she learns from my mistakes and doesn't repeat them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Used To Be

This isn't just a story I wrote. It really happened. All of it. I titled it "Used to Be" because the man in this story put so much value in what he used to be... to this day he still does. Until recently our daughter would proudly tell perfect strangers, "My daddy used to be a cop." because he had said it to her and in front of her so many times. For his sake and for hers I pray that he someday does something he can be proud of so that he no longer has to tell people what he used to be.

Used To Be

“I know what I'm talkin' about. I used to be a police officer.” he says as I mop the floor of the gas station. “I'll never work with this town's department. It's too political. I'll find a cop job somewhere though.” I nod and smile genuinely, sure that he will. I don't answer audibly, but he's the kind of guy who really doesn't need an answer to continue with a story.

“I was good you know. I graduated top of my class. You know that guy who was in here earlier? Harry. He graduated like, eighth. They like him here though because he does what they tell him to. Never mind that he's a bad cop and he beats his wife.” I pause for a moment and look at him, expecting more of an explanation as to how he knows this, but I don't get one. He just continues, “Cops know how to do it and not get caught ya' know...” he stops talking for a moment to concentrate on what he is doing.

I've finished mopping the front of the store except for the path where we walk out and he's counting the money from the cash register so I move on and inventory the cigarettes. I carefully use the step-stool to reach the packs that are stored particularly high so I don't fall gracelessly in my short denim skirt and pink sweater. My heeled sandals aren't meant for cleaning a gas station so those are already kicked off and waiting for us near the door. I count each cigarette pack and case, writing totals lightly in pencil so he can re-do the page his own handwriting.

He writes a number down on his register tape and continues “Did you know the top of your head doesn't bruise?” He pauses and I realize he actually wants an answer.

“Really?” I say incredulously.

“Well, if it does nobody can see it under all the hair. Between your fingers doesn't either.”

“Oh, I didn't know that.”

“Yep. You learn a lot of things like that as a police officer.”

He finally declares himself finished and punches out on the time-clock as we head towards a late movie in the next town over. I make a joke about how I worked harder to close down the store than he did and I didn't even work there. He takes it as a compliment, “Well, I guess you just couldn't wait to get some time alone with me.” I just giggle in response.

Seven months later, I remember that conversation with chills. I lay in bed and wrap my arms around my growing belly that holds our daughter. My head aches, inside and out as I sob, remembering how he used my hair to drag me from the bed just the day before. Replaying every moment in my mind, I see myself running to get away from him, his every step in pursuit pounding in my ears. Eventually, I give up. He holds me down on the couch with his knee and screams viciousness at me. I cower and curl into the fetal position, arms and legs pulled up and wrapped around to protect the only part of me that has any innocence left.

There were no bruises to convince the judge, but there was fear, and that must have been enough. Now I grip these papers that a judge handed me this morning and wonder if they will be enough to keep him away.  What is a piece of paper to a maniac? What is a piece of paper to a man who argued with the judge, “I shouldn't have to give up my guns. I know what I'm talkin' about. I used to be a police officer.”

I know who I used to be. I am reminded daily in a million different ways. I still fight daily to tell remind myself that that girl doesn't exist anymore. But I am fighting. I'm not giving up.

I am so thankful that God doesn't care who I used to be. He doesn't look at the things I'm doing today and tell me, "You know what stupid choices you've made... you should probably not try to succeed at anything new either." He doesn't tell me I'm worthless. He doesn't tell me I'll never be anything more than I used to be.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Thank you Lord for using me... my stumbles, my falls, my triumphs and my stories... for Your glory. My life is yours. Help me remember that every single day.
I don't ever again want to be what I used to be.