Forty years ago today, broken, empty, and a single mom without hope for the future, someone told me that Jesus loved me more than I could ever imagine, not when I got myself cleaned up and put back together, but right in the middle of the mess I called my life.
I’m sure I’d heard it before – I had believed in God for as long as I could remember. But this time, lost and alone, I actually heard it…..not just with my ears, but deep down, in the core of my being…and though it seemed preposterous that He would want anything to do with a screw up like me…..I believed.
Without Him, I would not be who I am today. I would not be where I am today. I would not have the life I have today, the family I have today….in fact, I’m not sure I’d even be alive.
Oh it hasn’t all been easy, in fact, it’s been damn hard some days!! I’ve had days where I have been overwhelmed with life circumstances, before my feet ever hit the floor! Pain, sorrow, grief, loss, disappointment, fear, dread…..these are very real and very present some days. Combined with my own shortcomings, failures, and flaws…..and dear God, how could I even imagine that there was any point in going on?
I had someone tell me once that I underestimated my own strength, and that I could have probably survived just fine without God through all of life’s challenges, and he was probably right. I could maybe have stood strong and toughed it through, but I NEVER would have experienced that peace that fell on me like a blanket in one of the most painful moments of my life, or the hope that kept me moving forward, knowing that no matter how terrible things looked and felt, there was someone bigger than me making a way in the wilderness, a way where there seemed to be no way, a path of hope, peace, and trembling trust that led, not around the mountain in front of me, but right straight through it.
I still fail….maybe even more in some ways. I swear more than I used to, I may enjoy one glass of wine too many, every now and then, and I still don’t understand why some things happen the way they do, especially to the people they happen to. There are many questions I have that will never be answered this side of eternity and if I could do things over again, there are many things I would do much differently.
But for all the things I don’t know, I know this…..it’s His grace and His love that pick up and go the distance when my weaknesses and failures have left me like dust, when un-welcome, unforeseen, blind-siding life circumstances that I never would have wished for, intrude so suddenly, or when I just have a crap day and don’t even live up to my own expectations.
I am still His, He is still mine, and there is still hope – even for me. <3