I was going through a box full of memories and came across this photo. I don’t remember how old I was but I felt feelings of sadness as I looked. You may ask, why?
When I look at this photo I see a girl who lived life fiercely. I wish I had been kinder to her growing up. I wish I had known that it was okay to not be perfect. As you can tell in this photo one sleeve is puffy while the other is not. This is most likely due to me playing too rough in a dress. I wish I could’ve told her that it was okay to be all girly and school the boys on the playground… That the rips and tears of the lace and ruffles was only a sign of joy and freedom. You can be a girl and still be strong and fierce and even a bit muddy and sweaty.
I wish I could’ve told her that it was okay for people to see her cry… It was okay that she didn’t know how to protect herself but that she had a great, big God that looked out for her and saved her from unimaginable horrors unknown at the time. I wish I could tell her that she had every power and authority given to her over fear and that the night had no hold on her.
But this all is looking back. I have had to walk a path of forgiveness unknown to many and the most healing act was forgiving myself… Loving the girl I was and the woman I have become.
God has done mighty things within me. He has helped me break free from fear, sorrow and chains intended to shut me up and keep me down.
What do you need to break free from?
Church service had ended and I was talking with a sweet couple. Soon I went to move and found myself surrounded by a circle of people. I made a joke and hugged some of these precious people. I could have just waved it off but I realized that these people in some sense surround me often with prayer.
As I was reflecting on my past and seeing the extreme difference in my present it made me smile. It was just a circle of people surrounding me but it was more than that. It was an example of what is & what will be.
God goes before you and he stands behind you. He places people in your life to surround you and go on the front lines in prayer on your behalf. You are never alone. You are loved.
I love the people in the circle. They are a reflection of God’s heart for me.
My heart is full of gratefulness.
Is there a word that better describes grateful, thankful, or blessed? Joy?
The past month has renewed hope within me for the impossible. I cannot describe it. I could not tell you when it happened. One day I woke up & all of a sudden what seemed impossible no longer looked or felt impossible. Childlike faith & joy was restored. It was not like I lost it but the pain that God delivered me from has now enabled joy to invade every part that was ever damaged.
Words are not adequate. Giving my life will never convey how grateful I am for all that God has done for me and my family.
Just this past week alone I have found myself wanting to shout praises to God! Simple things like being greeted from our cat at home have made me say “thank you”. Or the time she fell out of our window this past week & bounced off the side table onto the floor because she fell asleep there (she didn’t get hurt and I laughed a lot).
What really gets me is when I see my daughter smile at me & tell me unsolicited, “I really love you Kara”. I love hugs from my husband & waking up knowing he is excited that I’m the first person he sees.
I am grateful for voxers & phone calls with friends who have lasted the test of time & distance. I love that others have adopted me & love me without an expectation of what my response may be. Love has literally consumed my heart that it often feels as if it will burst.
Grateful? Thankful? Those words do not cut it. Those words merely express a tiny piece of what is in my soul.
I am living in freedom!
Joy is life.
Now I know what it means to laugh my way through trials. Do you want to know why?
There comes a time when you look back and you realize how different life is from a year ago.
New breath. Refreshment. Life. Growing dreams. Hope. Excitement for what is ahead.
There are times where I miss Mom and the way family used to be so much that it takes my breath away for a second. But God does not want any of us to live in the past or the future (Pastor Callie hit it on the head this weekend)! He has been helping me enjoy the moment. He has been helping me to let go of the pain so that I can hold onto him. Each time that I do this I am able to see how he views me, those close to me, and those I have yet to meet.
The love in my heart for my sweet comforter has taken on a new form. It is something that is very hard to explain. What I thought I had lost forever he has given back to me. I am living my dream right now. It has already begun. I am surrounded by so much love.
My heart overflows with gratefulness! I sit in awe and wonder at his love and goodness. I pray that I will always choose him and always choose love. I pray that I will always remain humble and faithful even as success comes and dreams come true. He deserves every part of me. He deserves all of the glory.
He is the one who has done all the great work in me!