Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Project 365 - February 15

Today is my birthday. I am now a young woman of 23 years. I know what you're thinking: I hardly look a day over 44. :)

I'll never forget what happened that day in 1986. I was driving north on Hwy 29, heading towards Danville, VA, where I would turn onto Hwy 58 and drive 200 miles to my parents' home in Portsmouth. My son Brad, 2 years old at the time, was visiting with them and I was on my way to pick him up. The car radio was broken and I was in such emotional turmoil and mental anguish, the idea of spending 10 hours in the car with nothing to listen to but my own thoughts was enough to drive me to distraction. I was desperate so I took along a set of tapes my Mom had loaned me a year earlier (which she was eager for me to listen to), congratulating myself on my cleverness...I would entertain myself with them and get my mom off my back at the same time. :) I had no idea what I was in for.

I popped the first tape in the player and started listening to a woman teaching about what it means to be a Christian woman. Having grown up in a Christian home, I didn't expect to learn anything new, and maybe I didn't, but God used this teaching to do something incredible: He showed me, kindly, gently and firmly, what His standard was, and then He did something even kinder: rather than standing over me telling me how wretched I was, He let me see for myself just how far I had missed the mark of His standard. I wasn't even 30 minutes into my drive, not even to the VA border, before I was beside myself with regret and crying out to God to forgive me for sins too numerous to recount.

I had no idea at the time what had just happened, but I knew something had, because immediately a weight lifted off me and peace flooded my heart and mind. I returned to my same old home the next day, but it was the only thing that was the same...I was a new creature with a new life. Now, 23 years later, I am still praising God for choosing the likes of me to shower His mercy upon, hurrying on to endless pain as I was. I am truly a trophy of His grace if ever the world saw one.

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