Lessons Learned at 42

FullSizeRenderI am blessed to say I turned forty-two a couple of days ago.  Interestingly, a few days before my birthday, Facebook placed  “Flashback posts” from my 40th birthday celebration on my news feed.  Some of the pictures were are hard to look at for more than a few seconds.  Soooo much has changed since then.  The big FOUR OH (40) was easy, breezy, beautiful cover girl.

Turing forty-two came with battle scars and big life lessons yet more authentic love than I could ever have imagined.

I battled the war of divorce and I took a lot of body shots…disappointment, anger, rage, and embarrassment. I raised my sword to the death of my dream for my family and my life then pulled out my white towel in defeat.   I drew my firearm but choked at pulling the trigger on having to offer forgiveness for being SEVERELY hurt and the fear of being alone forever.  Even as a woman of faith, I can totally understand Mike Tyson when he said the prophetic words:  “Everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face”.

One major lesson I had to learn……

1. We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.(Ephesians 6:12 CEV)

Boxer with cutman

Once I FINALLY realized the REAL fight happens between my two ears and in my heart, moving on became easier.  However, let me keep it real, my boxing ringside cutman went through a whole lotta vaseline for my gash…it was huge and is still healing.

I heal just a little bit more each day I choose to put down my weapons and surrender to what is (where I am in life…career, singleness, finances) through prayer.  Do I get it right every day?  I WISH! Y’all I have days sometimes several days in a row where I slide back into old behaviors and fearful thoughts.  Yet because of my journey and my healing gash, I now see people and situations through the lens of empathy.

Very recently, Andy Stanley said something that summed up my second life lesson:(I added the words in parenthesis):

2.  “You cannot consume, acquire, exercise {or run far enough away}into happiness….”

I can’t tell you how many times I have said:  “When I get ________ THEN I will be happy”, “When I stop feeling _______ THEN I will be happy”.

While I waited on the perfect circumstances for happiness to occur, God sent amazing men and women into my life who came alongside me and prayed, cooked meals, completed home projects, ran errands, you name it.

I had all the ingredients for the “happiness recipe” in my cabinet but I kept going to Wal-Mart…aimlessly walking up and down the aisles without a shopping list.

As I looked around the table at the beautiful faces at my birthday dinner and reflected on the posts, texts, gifts, and well wishes I received throughout the day, I couldn’t help but think about a quote someone emailed to me months ago:

3.  “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.”– Mandy Hale

Family picture 2015

“Forget about what’s happened;  don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.  It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? Isaiah 43:19 (MSG)