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)


  1. Addie Peddycord says:

    This is beautiful! So well-written. I think that anyone that has had to endure the loss that divorce entails can totally relate to your words. Thank you for sharing your heart! Wishing you continued awareness of the happiness surrounding you!

  2. Lya Williams says:

    Wow. Love the words to happiness. So very true. Great inspiration and know you are never alone. Knowing the enemy is out to seek kill and destroy is enough to always know we are always fighting a spiritual battle. God Bless

    • You are so right…we are in a spiritual battle. It is easy to forget that! Spiritual battles are fought on our knees not with our mouths or fists!

  3. Yulonda Smith says:

    Really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mary Broome says:

    Katina, that was written with love, hurt, doubt, hope
    In other words from a deep place in your heart!
    You are so beautiful and amazing! You have touched
    So many lives, none more than my daughter. When I saw
    You and the girls the other day as I walked away I
    Thought I want to be like Katina. Even through your
    Pain you bring joy and love to so many. You make
    Each one of us feel special . You are beautiful inside
    And out and are raising two amazing young girls!!! Thanks for always being
    Real!! Love you beautiful lady!

  5. Sheila Baskerville says:

    Sorry to hear of this struggle but so encouraged by your courage! The Lord is faithful and surely your life and this post is a testimony to other women who might be going through and need inspiration. Keep marching on girl! Love the family photo. Beautiful.

  6. Kenya Jordan says:

    Beautiful words and awesome testimony! The words hit so close to home. I can never forget you going in prayer with me for my family. Not even knowing me personally. That very act of kindness touched me so much and made such an impact on my life. I have kept you and your girls in my heart and prayed for you over the past year. God is so awesome! Keep being the woman of God that you are because your life itself is a living testimony.

  7. I can TOTALLY relate, cousin. This blessed me. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Alicia Cone says:

    Absolutely beautiful!!! You are an awesome inspiration to women everywhere! I declare that your latter will be greater than your past! Keep encouraging us with your words of wisdom, your beautiful smile and your genuine warmth towards us all! God has mighty plans for you and your little ladies- don’t ever doubt that. He’s turning your misery into your ministry and He’s giving you a platform to reach thousands with words of health, healing & joy. I appreciate you and I miss you sister! Keep shining bright!!!

  9. Beautiful words beautifully written by an internally and externally beautiful woman. All you can do is take it a day at a time. Make each one count. Salute…

  10. Garnetta says:

    Awesome Katina! I count it a blessing to be apart of your everyday and get to enjoy the richness of your heart and mind. You may not see it but you are truly growing by leaps and bounds. He (God) is truly doing a new thing in you. Keep writing!

  11. Alicia Cone says:

    Awesome, WOW!!! Very timely and inspiring! Please allow the Lord to keep using your many gifts to inspire others. I am blessed by your beautiful life!!!

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