Today is August 4, 2016. I wore red today. Nothing really special about the date, and no special reason for wearing the red. I just thought I'd mention it (smile).
As I arrived at work early (as I always do), I spent some quiet time with the Lord (as I always do too). I pray each morning before I leave home, but when I meditate on God in the early minutes of my arrival at the office, it sets the tone for my entire workday.
Getting situated in my cubical before anyone else in my department begins filtering in is something that I do on a near-daily basis. It's highly unusual for any others to arrive ahead of me. Getting here at this time allows me to not only enjoy a little quiet time before the hustle and bustle begins, but it provides me with a few precious moments of solitude to pray and meditate on the goodness of the Lord. And today as I did that, I found myself reflecting on my life; both the challenges and the triumphs that have made me the strong woman that I am today.
Time passes so quickly, and life is fleeting. As I did my own personal review this morning, I thought of so many things; so many times that God came to the rescue. Like the time my family and I were in a deadly head-on collision back in 1973 that took the life of the drunk driver who smashed his truck into our car and seriously injured almost every member of my family who was riding inside. The shattered bone in my left leg was one of the less severe injuries, but as a seven-year-old, the entire experience was a traumatic one for me. But thank God we all survived. I also reminisced on the moment I became a young blushing bride at the age of twenty-one and the painful, yet joyous experiences of giving birth to our daughters. I can so clearly recall when Brittney and Crystal were newborns and holding them in my arms singing "Jesus Loves Me" as I rocked them to sleep. That seems like just a few years ago, but in reality those are fond distant memories. Now they're both married with families of their own. And then, in a not-so-fond memory, I faced the heartbreaking, life-changing moment of burying their biological father--my first husband. That seems like only a handful of years ago, but it actually happened in 1995 and nearly twenty-two years have passed since then. "Time waits for no man" is not a biblical quote as I've heard so many wrongfully state, but it's a true saying just the same.
I've endured and experienced many tribulations in my past, but I thank my heavenly Father that my latter days have been so much greater. It all worked together for my good (Romans 8:28). By far, my life (neither past or present) isn't perfect, but God has made it beautiful despite the scars. In more recent years, I've been abundantly blessed to meet and marry the man of my dreams. Michael introduced me to a new level of love, and with him I daily experience the joy of working together in corporate America and in ministry with the one God kept for me...until it was time. In my reflecting time this morning, I thought of just how blessed I am in spite of the enemy's attempts to destroy me. So many who know me, don't know all the details of my story; therefore they don't understand the depth of my praise. In just a few months, I'll be celebrating another birthday. It's a milestone I was never supposed to reach. I'm calling it my "Chapter 50" -- such a fitting theme for the 50th birthday of a writer; don't you agree?
Daily, I'm surrounded by beautiful women of varied races and ethnic backgrounds. At work. At church. At literary functions. At the grocery store. Wherever I go, I see them. And it seems that I'm older than most of them. In my daily interactions, I often hear women claiming to be ages far younger than they really are. On any given day, it's not uncommon for me to hear females complaining about getting older. I hear them voicing their longing to return to their more youthful years. Yet I'm not moved by it. I absolutely love me and I love my age! I'm about to be 50 years blessed! Every single year marks a blessing that so many others didn't live to see, yet I'm not only alive, but I'm healthy, happy, and whole. It didn't have to be this way. As a matter of fact, according to modern medicine, it wasn't supposed to be this way. BUT GOD!!! I continuously thank the Lord for His grace and mercy, realizing that had it not been for Him, I would have been dead a long time ago.
Medical science still can't comprehend why I wasn't infected with the virus that causes AIDS as a young bride married to an awesome man . . . but a sick man. One who had no clue that he was HIV positive when he married me. Medical science can't explain away why I didn't contract the deadly virus in 4 1/2 years of consistent unprotected sex, or how on earth I, in turn, didn't pass the virus I should have had along to the daughters I birthed. Medical science says I never should have made it to Chapter 30 of my life, let alone Chapter 50 . . . and you think I'm going to complain about the blessing of living to see another year? Are you kidding me??? I dare not lie about my age because my lie could have been my truth. No, I'm NOT turning 25! It is with joy that I embrace my two gray hairs. I was never supposed to live long enough to see them! So what if I got a little winded this morning when I decide to take the stairs up to my third-floor office space rather than ride the elevator? Every heavy breath that resulted from the climb was a breath that I was never supposed to live to inhale or exhale. So excuse me if I'm one of the"weird women" who actually thinks that aging is a gift and not a curse.
So YES!!! I am excited about my countdown to Chapter 50. I'm elated that there are only about nineteen weeks separating me from celebrating a half century of life. I'm going to look forward with great expectation to every single day that leads up to that moment.
December 17th is going to be a day that I give God the glory as I celebrate a life that only He could give and the incredible love that God alone has allowed me to be surrounded with in this chapter of my existence. Nope . . . I don't long for the past because my present is far too blessed and my future will be even greater than I can imagine.
I'm ready to turn the page and see what's next in this amazing story titled Kendra that only God's pen could author. No edits. No re-writes. In every sentence written and in every scene created, it's been just what He purposed and designed for me. And at this very moment, I decree and declare that Chapter 50 will be my best one yet!