26 years ago, God saw fit to have me be born in a suburb in Texas,  to a Mom and a Dad who had a 2.5 year old boy with blonde hair and blue eyes. My blonde hair and blue eyes entered the world May 4, 1993. 7:10 am. Even though I had a heart murmur that affected my health in my early years, I won the absolutely lottery to have had 26 years of great health. To be born in a country, in a home where my needs were met, where I could be educated and free to worship, vote and participate in many activities. These are all gifts from God.

I am thankful that God would see fit to have me on this Earth for 26 years. I can count on two hands the number of people I know who didn’t make it to 26. Every day is a gift.

As soon as I feel old, I run into a few friends who are in their mid to late 30’s and they say “Oh, girl, you are so so young.” I remind myself to be patient. I love growth, I love looking back and seeing a difference between who I was then and who I am now. This is all the Lord’s doing of course. Which is a humble reminder that He has begun a work and will be faithful to complete it.  I can’t change myself. God can.

The most tangible act of God’s restoration in my life is my parent’s marriage. On March 23, 2019  they remarried! Here’s my facebook post about that:

3/21/2014 some papers were signed that declared the marriage over. Last night those papers were burned in a fire. 5 years. Wow. God was writing this story from the beginning and it was beautiful. Hard. Painful. Lot of grief. God restores. God redeems. God takes the pain, the grief, and uses it for our good and His glory. Thanks everyone for the prayers over the years. Your prayers have been answered.

Lamentations 3:21-23 has been my life verse since a close friend died March 22 (3/22/2007).

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope, because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for his mercies are made new every morning, great is your faithfulness.

55540625_10156180084923317_1133456244669939712_n And here’s a picture of us on the wedding day.

I’ve only cried like 124 times since that day. tears of joy, tears of celebration, tears of awe of God’s goodness and power. To not only restore my parent’s marriage, but use every ounce of pain, anger, doubt, and fear to bring me closer to Him. My parent’s remarriage is just the icing of a cake because I have a new restored relationship with Christ as well.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from Hosea.
Come, let us return to he Lord. For He has torn us, and he will heal us. He has wounded us, and he will bind up our wounds. He will revive us after two days and on the third day he will raise us up so we can live in his presence. Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain; like teh spring showers that waer the land. Hosea 6:1-3

Death. Suicide. Loss. Divorce. Abuse. Shame. Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Works-based religion.  All Wounds. God has been faithful to heal, restore and redeem. I am free to love God and be loved by God. I trust that this Earth is not my home and nothing aside from Christ can satisfy. I know that anxiety is a liar, and i can trust the truth of God’s word and wise cousnelf from others. God can use my story to bring others to Him here in Dallas, and across the globe in Albania as He has been faithful to do the last 4 years. And He will be faithful forevermore. I can trust His timing, His power and His plan. I have been here for 26 years. He is the eternal, everlasting God. I can trust His wisdom, for it is far greater than my own. I have found peace sitting quietly in prayer, journaling or reading His word. A peace I searched for in all the wrong places.

I am thankful for 26 years here.
I am thankful for each day, month and year that God gives me.
I am thankful for every person God has put in my life to encourage, challenge, and enjoy life with.
My favorite christian cliche to rest in is:
“I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow.”

Rest, abide, dwell with the Lord. Nothing on this earth can fill that hole like Jesus can.

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