Friday, November 26, 2010

Thank You

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I am sitting in bed nursing a cold and about to prepare to head out for the day. I decided to take a moment and reflect on this incredible year and all the things that I am grateful for. Yeah, its cliche' but that's what happens around the holidays. My life has gone from one extreme to the next over the past year and there is so much to truly be thankful for because of God's amazing grace and mercy on my life.

1. I am thankful for the amazing gift of salvation. Above all else, just knowing that my personal commitment to follow Jesus has saved me from a life of condemnation has changed my life completely. I was absolutely consumed my sin, guilt and shame until coming back to Christ and now I can't imagine my life without His presence.

2. I am thankful for my boys. I have been a mom for so long, I really don't know what life is like to be kid free but I don't think I would change a thing. Gavin is growing up to be such an amazing kid and warrior for God that it blows my mind. We've had our run ins due to growing pains and both of us trying to figure out this thing called life, but I believe calmer days are ahead. He is finding his way in life, making mistakes in the process, but is growing and flourishing with the guidance of the Spirit and I couldn't be more proud. Aiden is my fearless side-kick. He is a child with his own mind and own way of doing things. He can be stubborn like his mom but at the end of the day, he requires extra attention and affirmation just like his dad. He reminds me that even in the hustle and bustle of the day, that coming home and watching Transformers with him for the millionth time is better than any night out. These kids have saved my life in more ways than I could ever express.

3. I am thankful for my family. I come from a rather dysfunctional family full of emotional scars, mistakes, regrets, and a host of other things. But they are my family and I love them dearly. I hold nothing but crazy good time memories of growing up in a house that seemed to be on the go 24/7. From setting picnic tables on fires, countless ER visits, jalapeno pepper pies, to us all gathering to bury my great grandmother Elizabeth, they are my family. My brothers are my protectors and my sister is the little rebel that truly wants to be free to do life her way.

4. I am thankful for Victory World Church, Fusion and my community. I often blog about how much I love my community so of course they would make the countdown. Coming to Victory LITERALLY saved my life. I think if I had continued down the path that I was on, I would be lost forever. Finding myself in that hotel room in Kansas City, MO was the turning point that I needed to make a change but I needed some major support to keep me off the path of destruction. It took a minute to work the kinks out and my final encounter with Maurice the married man sealed the deal. It was on that day that I knew I needed to be serious about turning my life around and thank goodness for free will. God allowed me to hit rock bottom so that I could truly come to Him humble and broken.

5. I am thankful for my mistakes. I have made more mistakes than anyone in life should. Stupid mistakes that have lead to pregnancies outside of wedlock, a couple of abortions, sexual assault at the hands of someone I thought could trust, broke hearts, debt, damaged friendships, suicidal thoughts, depression and near catastrophic meltdowns. I look back at all that and laugh because my past is dead. I have been made new because He calls me His beloved. I am a TOTALLY different person than I was a year and a half ago and I mean the transformation has been miraculous. I am a reformed sex addict, porn addict, liar, broken hearted, emotional basket case who has found her worth and value. I am no longer bound by sexual sin, a spirit that ruled my life since childhood. I no longer seek the approval of men to determine my value. I laugh with no restraint, I dream beyond the natural, and my potential is endless all because I let Christ mend my broken pieces. I am free.

I could go on and on about all that I am thankful for but I think you get the point. I am loving the place of freedom that I am in and wouldn't change a thing. I am learning how to do life the right way. I have learned to guard my heart and value my relationship with my creator. I have learned to embrace people, all people, broken and whole, and love them all the same. I have learned to share my story with others to show of God's amazing redeeming power. I have learned to love those who curse me and watch God totally change their hearts. I have learned the value of community and accountability, the value of true friendships, and the value of being patient when it comes to desires of the heart. He knows me, flaws and all, and yet He still sees fit to create a new day just for me to enjoy. Life is good.

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