Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Four Months from "Chapter 50"

Today is Wednesday, August 17, 2016, and I am exactly four months from "Chapter 50." Thank you, Lord for life, health, and strength. And not just a mediocre existence, but a JOYOUS life, EXCELLENT health, and MORE physical, spiritual and emotional strength than ever. God is good!

The reality of being less than eighteen weeks from reaching my life's half-century mark has really sparked inside of me a new appreciation for ME -- for who I am and Whose I am. The trials of my life have been many. It seems that from the moment I reached adulthood, God began permitting challenges in my life that during the time seemed almost unreasonable and certainly undeserving. But it all worked for my good. Even in the midst of my personal storms, I can truly say that I've always loved life . . . even when I hated what I was going through, I loved life. I smiled through difficulty, laughed in times of hardships, and even found the words to encourage others in the moments when I needed to be encouraged the most. When I look back on it now, I have to admit that I'm sometimes in awe of the strength I exuded. How did I do it? How did I get through that? Why didn't it kill me? Why didn't I lose my mind? They are all questions to which I full well know the answer. It was GOD and GOD alone! He equipped me with the endurance. I am a blessed woman. I'm a walking miracle. I don't look like what I've been through!

Elated is perhaps the best word to describe the way I feel about my swiftly approaching "Chapter 50." The thought of getting older doesn't sadden me; it gives me joy because it means I'm blessed to be among the living. And there isn't a smidgen of doubt in my mind that turning 50 will also turn the page to even greater blessings and more amazing opportunities in my life. This isn't the end; it's the beginning.

So much has happened already in this year of 2016 in the months leading up to the my milestone; perhaps the most life-changing one being the ecclesiastical elevation and appointment of my husband and I as lead co-pastors of Deliverance Revival Church in Macon, GA. Neither of us saw that coming, yet somehow we were well-prepared. We weren't seeking it, and becoming pastors was neither of our aspiration, but God called and equipped us, and we answered the charge. 

Another thrilling event that will mark this year for me is the birth of my first biological grandchild. I was blessed to inherit the title of "G-ma" when my husband, Michael and I got married. Between my marriage to him and my baby daughter's marriage 15 months ago (her husband already had a son from a previous relationship), I'm already the proud grandmother of four. But in just a few weeks, with a due date of September 20th, my baby girl and her husband will be having their first child together . . . a daughter . . . Melody Michelle (I've already given her the nickname "MeMi"). She'll have my middle name and she'll be my first biological grandbaby. It is with great anticipation that I look forward to that day!

December 17, 2016 is just four months away. Time passes quickly, and it will be here before I know it. The sooner it arrives, the sooner the manifestations of God's continued grace in my life and the life of my family. When I turned forty, I gave myself a birthday celebration to remember. That was nearly a decade ago, but I can recall it like it was yesterday. My life was in shambles back then, but nobody knew; not even my children, parents, or siblings, because I worshiped and smiled through it all. My worship was real. My smile . . . not so much. 

I gave the theme of that birthday celebration "A Few of My Favorite Things" and from the live band that performed to the people I invited to the colors that decorated the building, I saturated it with favorites. I needed so desperately to focus on only those things that brought me happiness. I needed to block out everything else except the pieces of my life that made me smile. For that day, I refused to allow negativity to outshine the good. I made the day glorious in spite of the circumstances.

This year, what will make my celebration best of all is that there will be no mask on my face. I have an amazing marriage, I love my job, my children are doing awesome, I'm about to release my 22nd book, and I'm walking in divine purpose. What more could I ask for? My joy will be authentic and the smile I'll wear on my face will be a direct reflection of the one that is in my heart. I am living the happiest time of my life. My latter is so much grater than my former. I have more love, joy, and peace than I've had during any other era of my life. Everything isn't perfect, but everything is beautiful! For anniversary celebrations, the fiftieth year is represented by "gold" and I'm living my life like it's golden. Thanks be to God!

So I have absolutely no reason to complain about this new chapter in my life. Why should I? It's my season. Greater increase is coming in my "Chapter 50." I've already decreed and declared it, and God has already given the assurance! Increased blessings. Increased anointing. Increased finances. Increased FAVOR! 

Four months from "Chapter 50" and feeling FABULOUS! Thank you Jesus!!

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