….or so I thought.

**originally written in 2012**

Heading out for my first outdoor run of the season.  I have everything I need.  Running shoes, Under Armor gear, bandana to keep my hair back sunglasses to help minimize the fine lines and wrinkles from squinting, iPod filled with music from Shinedown, Eminem, Casting Crowns, Adel, Kutless, Hinder. (Eclectic, I know 🙂  )  Everything and anything you can imagine.  Now comes the decision on what to choose.  It’s a beautiful day.  The sun is gorgeous.  The wind is just right and the sky is without a single cloud.  God’s creation is screaming at me to appreciate and enjoy her.   So praise and worship radio on Pandora it is!  1.5 miles in and I feel awesome.  I’m in control of my breathing, my pace, my overall comfort.  I’M IN CONTROL!!! ….or so I thought.

Then out of the blue there are tears streaming down my face and I’m overwhelmed by the music in my ears.  The sun is beating down on me and the warmth of God’s arms around me.  He’s letting me know I’m not in control.  He still is.  That He who created all that’s around me cares about ME!  Cares if I don’t feel like dragging myself out of bed in the morning.  Cares if I’m in the middle of a crowded room yet still feel alone.  Cares that because I choose to give so much of myself emotionally to others, I’m left feeling empty.  I’m just one of billions and He still loves and cares about me.

How do I forget this sometimes?

I think I’m a pretty smart gal… most of the time.  Yet I can be so incredibly stupid at times.  We all can.  Intelligence comes from learning and I’ve learned a ton every my years of life.  It’s not been easy.  I’ve had a lot of life lessons and I’m still learning.  I’ve been the fatherless child, the sexually abused child, the people pleaser, the “perfect” daughter turned black sheep of the family.  I’ve dealt with the loss of a child, the loss of a marriage, the loss of people I’ve considered to be my rocks.  I’ve gone from the praise and worship leader on stage to not having a church I feel comfortable in.  I’ve disappointed many yet I’ve encourage and loved many.  Some who others would say are unlovable.  I’ve been deeply depressed to the point of suicidal.  I’ve lived the high life of party animal and non-stop fun.  During the darkest time of my life I abandoned my children and became selfish and near sighted.  I have lived a million lifetimes in my 34 years but…

I am redeemed.

I am loved and have learned to love myself again.  I have been blessed with second chances and forgiveness.  God sends me reminders daily.  In my children, family, and friendships.  Especially on days like today when it’s not a word or and action but the still small voice of His creation screaming at me to listen.  To appreciate.  To focus on HIM.

I know I am nothing special in most areas but to Him, I’m special in all areas. Because of the things I’ve been through I am better able to relate to those around me that are hurting or lost or just looking for something to fill the void.  I can use my experiences to bring others to Him.  That His grace covers all we may feel isn’t worthy of His love.  We don’t have to be ‘good enough’, just open and willing.  We don’t have to be perfect, but we can be perfectly loved.  I am His.  I will continue to make mistakes and I will continue to struggle with some things until all the lessons are learned, but in all the areas I’m sure to continue….above all….I will continue to praise Him and allow Him to use me any way He chooses even if it’s not in my control.

Even if it causes tears to run down my face and stops me in a perfectly great run.

So as you go about your day…have a God moment.  Take a minute to shut up and listen.  It’s life changing and as real as it gets!

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