20 years ago I died. I said goodbye. I was done with it all.

20 years ago I was a brand new 18 year old. Not taking on the world, but blending in with it. I was just another cookie cutter production of society. Not a big deal, just another step in life. Another brick in the wall.

I was going to college and dating a good man. But that man broke my heart. He returned from a trip he was on to end our 5 month relationship. I was devastated. What did I do to deserve this? Why am I not good enough? Where did I go wrong?

I went to work only to be sent home because I was so distraught. Crying hysterically and heaving. I just couldn’t bring myself to go home, I drove to my college and knocked on my friend’s dorm room door. Thank God she was there. This was before cell phones. I stepped in and weeped. I told her everything. I can’t imagine what she must have been thinking. She looked at me and asked…”Have you thought about talking to God about this?”

What are you even talking about? Why would I do that? What do you mean ‘talk to God?’ That’s a thing? You can do that?

She didn’t get like scary or use words I didn’t understand. She handed me a book called “The Upper Room.” I don’t know how it happened and I don’t know all the details. All I know is that at that moment the door to those first 18 years slammed shut! It was done. I was embarking on an entirely new life. I went down to the dorm basement to email my ex and tell him “it’s ok, you can go.” Because honestly, I was fine with him leaving me. I was beyond ready to shake the etch-a-sketch and start over. I didn’t want to hold onto anything heavy. I put a piece a scripture in the email (I can’t remember what it was) and clicked “Send.”

If you’re a believer, you’ll understand this, I was ready to do whatever God wanted me to do. You guys, I didn’t even own a Bible. I didn’t know I needed one. I didn’t own one until six months later when I was gifted one. I will never forget when I told my neighbor I was now a “christian.” She said, “um, most believers don’t talk like that.” Ok, so lesson number one ‘Clean up my language.’ Remember, no Bible, I didn’t know. And yes, I still struggle.

Remember that guy who broke up with me? I couldn’t thank him enough for destroying my life. I needed that life to be put to death. You need to know that it’s in the struggle when you grow. It’s never in the comfort.

Those first 18 years I lived for others. Meaning, I lived a life that others approved of. I wasn’t who I was created to be. I promise you now that I live for Christ and I try so hard not to live for myself. That is a moment by moment muscle that is still being strengthened.

I love seeing how God moves in our lives when we’re willing to let Him. When I handed over the reins and said “it’s all yours” that’s when the bud burst open and beauty poured forth. Colors and joys I had never experienced! 20 years and I have been entrusted with 7 beautiful blessings that I know I don’t deserve. I thank my husband often for breaking up with me. We are perfectly imperfect together.

We just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. He realized the error of his ways and we got back together days after our break up. Clearly knowing that God can use our foolishness to make something beautiful.