Updated: Feb 28, 2020
As I look back over the last year, I am amazed at where I am. When you think about it, life is a rollercoaster. It comes with twists and turns that are unexpected, and quite honestly, are freaking scary! Yet it's also thrilling, exciting, and fun. And when it's all said and done, and you look back at what you've experienced, you can say, "Man, that was a crazy ride!". But, you survived it, right? And if you're like me, you're in a better place. A place that you could never have imagined possible.
In almost every way, if I could go back and change the events that led up to where I am today, I WOULDN'T. And if you know me, you might think that is irresponsible and crazy to say. Take note, that I said in "almost" every way. There are a couple of things I would definitely rewrite if I could. But for the most part, everything that transpired in my life, both the good and the bad, needed to happen in order to be where I am today. It has shaped me. Made me who I am. Strengthened me. Those events of my past, have sifted out all of the junk that needed to go. And the end product is something beautiful and strong, resilient and tested, tolerant and non-judgmental, driven and passionate, kind and caring, patient and genuine.
A couple of months ago, the "demons" of my past crept their way back into my mind after some disappointment popped up. With tears in my eyes I said to my husband, "I just wish I didn't have that in my past. I wish I was normal. Like everyone else." And he said to me, "I'm glad it happened. I'm glad you made those mistakes. Or else we wouldn't have met. And I wouldn't have you."
Wow. And the Husband of the Year Award goes to.....Michael Stewart. I'll never forget those words. And you know what? He was right. If I hadn't made those mistakes in my past, we wouldn't have met. And I wouldn't be living this life which is full of freedom, love, and hope. I was living a life chained by rules, legalism, and being told by others who I should be and being told how to live, dress and act. I was never given the chance to explore who I really was, my creative talents, my strengths. I was walking the path that I was expected to walk, never being encouraged to dream or have a vision for my future.
I lived plenty of years with guilt and shame of my past. I let it become my identity. I allowed it to hold me back. I'm done with that. I instead have decided to take those mistakes, and to learn from them, and to be BETTER. To be AWESOME. To let them propel me forward into being DRIVEN, PASSIONATE, RELENTLESS, and BOLD. I'm not wiping the slate clean. Because all of those events of my past shouldn't be forgotten. But instead, I choose to use them to better myself, my children, my relationships, and everyone in my path. I use those mistakes to teach my children that even though you may mess up, you don't have to let it ruin your future. There is forgiveness for those who admit their faults and desire restoration. There is always hope. No one is unredeemable.
So I gotta admit, it wasn't supposed to be this way. The way my adult life unfolded was NEVER the original plan. I didn't surrender to the ministry and go to Christian College to eventually become divorced, out of the ministry and sharing my children with my ex-husband. But here I am. Divorced, remarried to an incredibly loving, patient, caring, affectionate, and attentive man, raising two AMAZING teenagers who are respectful, driven, talented, intelligent, caring, and God-loving, owning several businesses and dreaming HUGE and AUDATIOUS dreams as if life is just handing out blessings left and right. This wasn't the plan. But I gotta tell you.....this is pretty dang fantastic and I wouldn't have it any other way.