Me on my special day (wearing clothes
bought with my birthday money)!

Today is a special day to me. It’s my birthday. I’ve not always considered this a special day. Once I even threatened my husband that if he did anything for me for my birthday, I’d be so mad at him. I didn’t want to be older. Back then, I didn’t like the fact that I was entering my 30’s. I wanted to stay in my 20’s forever! Over the years I have dealt with so many bouts of depression (usually from hormonal changes that sometimes come with having a baby). I thought I hated myself and my life. I’ve also had to deal with anxiety, just as recently as this past March. But you know what? I’ve had enough! After this last battle with anxiety (and it really is a battle because you have to fight with every tool that God gives you) I vowed that this year would be my greatest year yet! I even wrote down a countdown to this day and started marking the days off, looking forward to it with great expectation. I will no longer allow those demons of depression and anxiety to have control over my life. I created a summer bucket list to make sure that my family is spending fun, quality time together. No more wasteful summers! I have also started taking steps to ensure a healthier future for myself. The biggest thing I’ve done is give up pop. I haven’t had any pop since March and I know that has helped me lose weight and I have way fewer headaches than I use to. I also walk almost every night that I get the chance. I’ll do my part and let God handle the rest. 

Some unfortunate events in my life have led me to a new perspective on life. Sometimes that’s what it takes to wake us up and snap us out of our pitiful life so we can see the beauty of life that God created for us.

My mom’s story is one of those things that was a true game changer for me. She has been through so much this past year. It has broken my heart to know the pain that she’s had to endure. She had unexplained, debilitating pain in her body for months. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. She was also repeating herself quite frequently. I was wondering if she had Alzheimer’s or something. I’d listen to her tell me an entire story and then five minutes later, repeat it just as she did at the beginning of our conversation. Then one day, she went to the bathroom and she couldn’t stand back up. She just lost the functionality of her legs. She had also fallen prior to this, but I guess no one realized how big of a deal it was. When my dad took her to the hospital, they found a mass in her head. Eventually she had the mass removed and we found out that it was the size of a tennis ball. Can you imagine? Every time I see my kids playing with a tennis ball now, I think about what my mom came through. Thankfully, it wasn’t cancer. But even so, this was enough to jerk me out of my pity party and realize that life is a gift. We don’t know what tomorrow holds.My mom’s surgery went great, but since then, she’s been dealing with blood clots. I know she’s going to get through this! She’s a woman of strength and she’s setting such a good example for me and my kids. 

My grandmother, Dad, Me, and my mom
(and my brother and my youngest son in the background)
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Another way that God has used my mom, is in my dad’s life. Years ago, I was prophesied to by a man that I respect and I believe the words he’s spoken over me and my family. He told me that my entire family will be healed and they will be saved, but I must leave it to God. I cannot save them. Wow, turns out that he was right! The night before my mom’s surgery, my dad took my mom and my grandmother to revival at my grandma’s church, and that night, my dad gave his life to the Lord. When I got this wonderful news, I was beyond amazed and excited over what God had done. I felt like this was a huge gift from God to me. Because honestly, if my dad had died before this night, I wasn’t sure what would happen to his soul. Now I thank God almost daily for saving my dad because I can live with absolute peace that he will spend eternity with Jesus! 

About a week ago, my grandmother fell and broke her hip. She’s had a rough road since the surgery, but I also have peace about this because God told me that it’s not her time to go yet. She’s going to come through this. I had the privilege to speak with her today and tell her all that God shared with me. Through her pain, God is using her as a witness to bring the rest of her family to Christ. I reminded her that they are still watching her and she needs to stay strong and continue fighting the good fight.

Another thing that I just can’t ignore is what is going on in America and in our world. Again today, there were more deliberate police officer shootings. I want to cower back in fear, stay home, and keep my kids safe. But I know that isn’t the answer. I know that just allows Satan to have victory. What I will do instead is to pray for peace and for God to have mercy on all of us. I will pray for the victims and their families. I will pray for the people who have caused the tragedies, and their families too. And I will go out, and I will live my life to the fullest. Because in the end, God already knows when my final day will be. Nothing I do will change that. But until then, I will chose joy, forgiveness, and love. I will chose to be thankful for this life that I’ve been so blessed to have. And I will continue sharing my stories, hoping that at least one person will be encouraged. Keep fighting the good fight my friends. You never know how your fight or your simple acts of kindness will change someone else’s life. It might just impact their life beyond their walk on this earth!

Be blessed my friends!

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