sunlight buring at midnight.

Sometimes I sit and think about the way my life was, I don’t know, 2 years ago. Boy, was I in a mess. The things I did back then were a result of years and years of being beaten down by one person and/or circumstance after another until I felt worthy of only men who would lie to me and use me. I hated me. I was always tanning and wearing more make up and dressing immodestly, trying to improve my physical appearance, so that maybe people wouldn’t see what was on the inside. I had bursts of happiness, but no real joy. When my daughter was with her dad, I drank heavily in bars and clubs, and smoked cigarettes when I was at school so no one would know. Anything I could do to numb myself from the reality of my situation. I was searching constantly for something, anything to make me feel alive and after 22 years of finding nothing but things that left me emotionally bankrupt, I just needed something to fill the emptiness.

And then there’s me now. Jesus entered my life almost exactly one and a half years ago to the day and I haven’t been the same since. He’s been setting my life on fire and I’ve finally begun to see the Author and the Creator’s fingerprints on everything. I’m ALIVE, I’m on FIRE, I have PEACE, and He brought me something better than happiness – He brought me JOY. I enjoy my beautiful life, even when it’s not so beautiful.

I think about it, and even when things get rough for me to handle – be it my insecurities, my family, my finances, my relationship, etc etc – while I don’t just sit around and do nothing, I don’t stress the small stuff or the big stuff for more than a couple of minutes (it’s a process, I’m not perfect) before I remember that God has my life in His hands. I gave it to Him on October 17, 2011 and I can trust that He has everything under control and for my best interests. And beyond that, I know finally what I’m worth: I’m worth the pure and perfect and spotless blood of Jesus Christ.

Every time I hear the song “Beautiful, Beautiful” by Francesca Battistelli (lyrics below), it just reminds me so much that just having Him alone in my life changes so much. Knowing that everything I have is a gift from Him who loves me changes my outlook on everything. I did nothing to deserve it, either. You know, God hasn’t just blessed me because I did something oh-so-amazing that qualified me for blessings. He blesses us all, it’s just seeing them that makes the difference.
When you see your gifts and blessings as a gift from God, you start to see Him in all of them; and as you see Him, you begin to see His beauty in them all. Even the hardships; even in the dead of midnight, He provides the beautiful rising sun.
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Thanks be to God! I will praise Him all the days of my life, not just for making me, but for making me whole. Without Him, I would still be just an empty and destructive shell.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Beautiful, Beautiful by Francesca Battestelli
Don’t know how it is You looked at me
And saw the person that I could be
Awakening my heart
Breaking through the dark
Suddenly Your grace

Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful

Now there’s a joy inside I can’t contain
But even perfect days can end in rain
And though it’s pouring down
I see You through the clouds
Shining on my face

Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful

I have come undone
But I have just begun
Changing by Your grace

Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so beautiful

Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear God, I thank You so much for the way You have changed my life, just simply by changing the way I see it. You’ve blessed me beyond measure and I vow to never stop praising Your Holy name or telling others of Your great and miraculous works. Father, I also pray for those who walk beside me in this world that may not know You or have not found Your peace yet, God. I pray that You would reveal Yourself to them in such a way they cannot ignore and that they would have softened hearts to hear You and see You, and know that without You, this life is nothing. God, You are worthy of our trust and faith and I pray that I would never forget that and that my life would be a testimony to it. I pray that all who read this will be comforted by You and Your Word alone – not by anything I have said, only what You have done for me and are capable of doing for them if only they would just believe; that they would begin to see just how much You have blessed them, Father, and how beautifully crafted their lives are because of You. God again, I just thank You for yet another day to share You with this world.
All the things I pray, I pray in Jesus’ Holy name, Lord.
Amen.

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