29 years ago, today, I kissed a boy. And I am thankful for that moment. Though there were trials and ultimately a divorce, I am thankful. For sweet moments and growing up together. For learning to be in relationship. For experiencing iron sharpening iron and a lot of chiseling of the too hard parts of me. For the excitement of first career kind of jobs, for the joy of dreams realized. But most for the four greatest loves of my life.
Without that one kiss, there would be no CJ, no Ryan, no Amanda, and no Gemma. I would not trade one moment of our 18 years together for them. They are my best thing. They are my heart walking around on the outside of my body.
I can be thankful because God is in the business of redeeming. God didn’t check out of my life the day my husband walked out. God didn’t sign off on my story because I got divorced. God showed up every day. He began a beautiful healing work in me. He worked a miracle of healing into my party of five.
Today we are a testimony of what God can do through the prayers of an army of friends. Today we are a testimony of God taking our worst moments and using them to bring hope to others. Today we are a testimony of what God can do with the tears and prayers of a broken heart. Today we are a testimony that our endings are not the end- that God brings life even where there has been death of a relationship. Today we are a testimony to new beginnings. Today we are a testimony that God’s grace is BIGGER. Today we are testimony that God is faithful.
So, to my 17-year-old self- who was head over heels in love…thank you. You gave yourself to loving fully for what seemed like a whole lifetime. To my 35-year-old broken self- thank you for holding on. You cried yourself to sleep for a year but you clung to Jesus. To my 38-year-old self who was brave enough to get swept off her feet by the humblest, kind, loving and generous man- thank you for risking your heart.
To my four precious kids…you are still my best thing. You are on my heart every day, all day. You are in my prayers every day. I love who you are and are becoming.
I love the two boys that did secret chemistry experiments in the backyard, chased lizards and ate Oreos with their single Mom at midnight. I love the two men that are chasing hard after God.
I love the two girls who dressed up kittens, played Romeo and Juliet a hundred times, and danced along with the Groovy Mom Dance to the J/K Wedding Entrance Dance with their single Mom. I love the woman and teen who are seeking to know Jesus more each day.
And that guy I kissed 29 years ago- I pray he will come to recognize that God doesn’t ever walk away. He pursues us every second. He loves without condition. He wants our BEST.
And to Dan who loves me with that kind of God-love, I am in awe everyday that God gave me you. You are His BEST and I’m thankful.