The preacher told those of us who were sitting in the audience to turn to the people next to us and tell them, "I don't know where I'd be without the Lord." I joined in with the crowd and did as he instructed, but the truth is I do know where I'd be without the Lord. I'd be dead! If it wasn't for God I would have been dead before I became a teenager.
We were packing up our garage to move, and my husband found the diary I had kept from my pre-teen years. He opened it to read it, then asked, "Do you remember any of this?" I knew to what he was referring without even seeing it. Of course I remembered; I couldn't forget. He was reading the suicide notes I had written myself as an 11-year old girl. I had written them because I didn't know how to resolve some things I had experienced.
The good news is I'm not dead. Instead of dying I kept on living. And I overcame and grew through my struggles, not because of my own strength, but because of God who strengthened me. Amazingly, though I'm now almost 49 years old, I'm still living in His strength today. I've been living here all of my life, even when I didn't know I was doing so. Here's what I've done with my living.
I wanted to be a teacher, but, after 3 years of college working towards that end, I walked away from learning to teach to marry my husband, birth and raise two children, and dedicate my life to the ministry of serving the body of Christ. And, as of today, almost 25 years of my life has been invested into that purpose.
We are still raising our kids and working together to serve God's kingdom, and, today, I'm also a teacher. In 2006 the door opened for me to finish earning my Bachelor's degree. While completing my college courses I worked as a special education teacher's assistant with children who had mild to moderate learning disabilities. In 2009 I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, obtained my teacher's license, and began teaching in the same special education department in which I had previously assisted. At that time the door continued to remain open for me to work towards earning my Master's degree. I graduated in 2011 with a Master of Arts in Teaching, and I continued teaching special education until 2014. I quit my teaching position in May of 2014 and moved to Texas, but I recently returned to the classroom this past August. I currently teach middle school for Katy Christian Academy at The Pentecostals of Katy in Katy, Texas.
None of the above was written to seek any vain glory. I shared it to show you the miracle of God's work in my life. I could be dead, but I am here. I am who I am and where I am because of God's grace and mercy to me. He's helped me make it here, and it's been an extraordinary journey.
God has helped me accomplish a lot in my lifetime. But to me the most important success He has led me to achieve is living and then bearing the fruit of the labor He has invested in me. I could say it's in spite of the trouble, but it's really because of the trouble. He used my struggles to draw me to His opened arms, and I ran there and let Him save me from myself.
I learned very early on whom to lean. Though my parents were unaware of my hurts, they knew what and how to teach me. They did teach, and I applied what they taught. I still have struggles, I'm still learning, I'm still applying the truths I'm learning about God, and I'm still leaning on Him.
When you look at me maybe you see an ordinary almost 49 year old woman who doesn't seem to quite measure up. But if you'll look behind me you'll see a lifetime of victory. And looking over my shoulder at you is the face of my glorious Savior who has always had my back.