I remember the day I came to Florida. It feels as though I moved here only 2 or 3 years ago. I was 19, so it was more like 5 years ago. Just kidding, but seriously, I was 19. I came down on a series of bus rides while in withdrawal. I will never forget the view from the bus window as my Mom waved and blew kisses non-stop and my Dad was standing behind her half hugging her waving good-bye. Little did I know, they would be moving down a year and a half later. And I probably wouldn’t be alive if they didn’t. I was waiting to meet Jeff at the bus stop, but he wasn’t there. Jeff’s the biological father that wasn’t ready to be a dad or wife when he helped create me or my brother. I had never met him as an adult, so I was a little nervous. But he wasn’t there. About an hour later he showed up at the bus station to meet me for the first time.
I began my leg of the journey in Daytona Beach. It was hard to build a nice little life in that city with no one there who actually cared about me or for me. I can’t place blame on a city though, so I have to own up to the fact that I used drugs because I chose to. I used them because it was easier than living a normal life without them. I didn’t have to feel pain over anything because I was too wrapped up in making the money quick and fast, and keeping myself barely out of withdrawal. It was better than having to feel all the feelings I needed to feel in order to get better. It was better than being alive enough to know that I actually hated myself. Using drugs is like being in limbo. Real life stops and who I am is a drug addict instead of me.
So when my Mom told me they were moving to Florida shortly after I turned 21, I got clean in the apartment of an acquaintance. This person kept me away from the drugs, answered calls from dealers and told them to screw off, and took me to the hospital when I had mini seizures, twice. I walked out of that experience about 2 weeks later just as my family was moving down. And I moved in with them immediately.
So here I am, 11 years after that, a wife, a mother of three little boys, a homeschooler, an education consultant who is passionate about my family and helping others in homeschooling theirs. I no longer doubt who I am. I no longer let my past hold me back from what I love and what I am qualified to do. My family can be proud to say that I am their sister and daughter. My younger brother, who’s always acted like an older brother, said a long time ago that “dope heads don’t get clean and he wished the best for me, but I was a heroin addict and I would probably go back to it”. Now he calls me for advice, rarely, but it does happen. And he’s referred to me as “mother earth.”
So why the seemingly narcissistic blog entry about my life in Florida? Well, I woke up thinking about the move and noticed that everything has happened in my life in order that Christ may be revealed in my story. It was His love and His words that I began to hide in my heart like little morsels when I first moved in with my parents all those years ago. I leaned on him when I felt like I needed to be numb. I realized that His Life was keeping me alive and I was terrified of ever losing it again. There were a few years between now and then in which I visited the bar scene, but Christ was better, so it wasn’t very long. There were so many times I needed Him and I didn’t understand why all of the horrible experiences I lived through had to happen. The truth that I am sitting here today typing about my life, in which Christ has lifted up above the filth and dirt and mire has me teared up. I was in such a low, low, place. I was in so much pain and had no idea that as humans none of us are worthy of being given chance after chance. I wasn’t given a “second chance” at having a nice life so that I could help others, which is what I used to think. I am not given another chance at all. The life is over, the life in which I have no value, the life in which I am damaged goods and have low self-esteem, is over. The life that I gave to Christ was nailed to the cross. I am not living a turned around life, but an entirely new one. One in which Jesus Christ is the strength and the gladness. The life I live today is the life raised in Him.
And while Jesus doesn’t promote worldly success, I think He’s happy that He’s got me in Him and that I know I can do anything while in Him. We move in just a couple of days and I am so sad to be leaving my family. They loved me when no one else did. They protected me when I needed protecting. There is Christ in that whether they know it or not.
When we move to the new town I’ll be the book lady and hopefully help many children learn to love reading. I’ll be busy decorating a home that I’ll raise my children in and hopefully grow old in. I’ll homeschool and we’ll have family dinners together, finally. We’ll be a family in Christ no matter who we hang out with or have dinners with. We’ll express Him because we can’t not express Him as we live inside of Him.
Thank you Jesus Christ. Thank you for taking my shame and making a home in my heart. Thank you for taking me out of where I was and putting me into You. Thank you Lord for allowing me to write this and let it out that meeting You and falling in love with You have been the only thing that… well, the only thing. You are the only thing and will forever be the only thing. Thank you for this new life. Thank you for taking the broken person and allowing me to live in You for all eternity. And thank you for not making me have to wait. Thank you for bringing eternity to me.
I love you Lord and I love you readers.
This will be my last Monday blog from Florida, so Have a great week and Happy Monday!