SURPRISE!!! I couldn’t wait until Thursday to get out all that’s flowing in this noggin of mine!
So here I am with my first birthday reflection.
** Reflections on The Past **
With my Christian family upbringing, you would think my past would be filled with tarrying services, overseas missionary trips, and young adult years that looked a little something like The Duggars…. eh,that wasn’t the case.
First things first; my parents are the best parents God could’ve ever gifted me and raised me exactly how they should have! They made sure I grew up to not only LOVE the Lord, but truly desire a relationship with Him. The best part about it was that they didn’t cram ‘church’ down my throat and say “we do this just because, now shut up and sit down, hallelujah.” They would infuse God into my life by playing Christian AM and FM stations Saturday mornings while we sat down for breakfast. They bought me books and cds for kids to make sure I had fun learning about the bible. They explained to (and showed) me the importance of going to church and treating people right.
I had these two amazing examples of how to navigate life, but by the time I’d reached my late teen years, I struggled to get a handle on the one thing that could either propel me to greatness or ruin
— the strength of my own will.
If I wanted to do something, or wanted it done a certain way, I was going to exhaust every possibility and every avenue to attain it. Granted I needed this strong will to fight for my life as a newborn, as well as excel in school; I eventually allowed it to take on a darker purpose. I allowed the strength of my will to overpower my better judgment, which eventually led to me making terrible choices in friends, relationships, and ultimately damaging my witness as a Christian. By the time I had reached my senior year in college, I was a serious social drinker, I partied too much, I was sexually active with whoever I was dating at the time, I was poorly coping with being a survivor of rape, I was dealing with the emotional wreckage of surviving being killed in a car crash, and on top of all that, struggled daily to ignore the call of Christ on my life because “Joceyn’s will” didn’t include living a seemingly boring Christian life before the age of 25.
That’s the ironic thing about the devil and human nature ya know? The very traits God gifts us to strengthen us, are the very tools that are capable of corrupting our true purpose, and derailing us from our best destiny.
It took almost dying (again) and a very bad health scare in 2011 to really get to me open up my eyes and realize that hey, I’m not normal. I never WILL be normal, nor do I DESIRE to be normal – and that’s a great thing! Normal people are followers. Normal people blend in with the crowd. Normal people live their lives always focusing on what they don’t have and never satisfy their thirst for validation.
Jesus already sealed my status as extraordinary when He died and rose for my sins. He took on the weight of my sins (before I even committed them) so I can live life blessed by the earth and people He created. It was never intended for me to live a ‘normal’ life, but to live inspired by others and in turn inspire the world by showing it how precious life is. These past 27 years haven’t been an easy road, but I am learning and growing each day to know that, while I’ve messed up in the past, I need to use the lessons and knowledge God has given me to move forward in greatness as a woman of God, a future godly wife, and a future godly mother/grandmother/etc.