September 17, 2012.  I turned 37 years old today and believe that I did in fact celebrate the most amazing year of my life.  I believe that this birthday served as the official start to a new chapter in my life.  My life has forever been changed by a series of circumstances that unless you are me, you will never understand. 
On September 18, 2009, I received a letter in the mail that changed my life forever.  It caused me to doubt my faith, to question God, give up on my marriage and turn inward.  I became depressed and withdrawn because everything I ever knew to be true changed in an instant. 
Fast forward to September 17, 2010.  I had made it through one of the darkest years of my life.  There were days that I truly believed that I would never see the sun again.  Then, I found Journey.  This is the church that saved me and turned my world upside down.  This church introduced me to a God I had never known. I finally found hope.  I understood who Christ was in my life.  I finally realized that I mattered.  I had begun a part time job in which after twelve years of being a stay at home mom full time, I received my first paycheck and knew, I CAN do this.  To celebrate my 35th birthday, I took my children to The Cheesecake Factory.  Things were still hard but I had found hope in Christ.  The healing had begun.
Move ahead now to September 17, 2011 in which I was now at place where I was free from my past and moving toward my future.  God was healing my heart and restoring all that had been broken.  I had finally found a place to live where someone was willing to give me a chance even though my credit had been destroyed.  God was working.  He was moving.  There was hope all around.  I celebrated my 36th birthday with my children at home.  It was not drama free but it was good.  I had hope.
And here we are on September 17,  2012. The celebration today was not one I would have ever thought possible.  It was truly the most incredible birthday ever.  There were no extravagant presents. No fusses made but instead genuine love shown from people who truly love me and know me.  People who have watched me go through incredible heartache and come out on the other side stronger.   This past year has been amazing.  I became a part of a church plant just when I needed it the most.  God brought someone back into my life. He has given us something special that words cannot describe. It has been a truly remarkable year.  It is one I will never forget.  This day was perfect.
I do not know what tomorrow holds but I do know this…God truly gives us the desires of our heart when we seek and trust Him.  He heals the brokenhearted!  He gives beauty for ashes!  He is beyond faithful and has blessed me more than I deserve.  Thank you God for giving me another year of life and for more than making up for the many years lost.  YOU ARE GOOD!

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