Monday, September 7, 2009

On Turning 45...

On September 5th, 2009, I turned 45. Statistcally speaking, my life is half over. That is kind of shocking to me.

I will be saved for 9 years, married to a loving husband for 8 years, and we have 3 wonderful boys. We live in the house that my husband grew up in, and my father-in-law lives with us. We have been renovating this house for the past four years, and we still are not finished.

If you asked me the question, "Where do you see yourself in 15 years?" when I was 30 years old, it certainly would not have been here.

Back when I was thirty, I was already married and divorced once, had moved back home to live with my parents once, and had gone back to school at least twice to further my education. I was stuck in an unhealthy relationship, and was about to embark on a new career as a traveling PT Assistant. Not much of a life, but it was my life.

As the next three years passed, I found myself traveling to several different states, my boyfriend in tow, wondering if this was what I truly wanted out of life. Then, something dreadful happened.

I was raped. I was raped by a man I thought I could trust. A friend of my boyfriend, whom visited often but never showed any interest. A person who I thought had good morals and would not harm a fly. My ability of discernment was lacking back then. From that rape came a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage. You cannot imagine the emotions I went through. Or perhaps you can.

The turning point for me was when I found out that I was pregnant. I had mixed emotions. Should I keep the baby? If I did, could I look into the baby's eyes and see the rapist? Could I love this baby? Should I abort? Could I abort? If I did, could I live with that decision the rest of my life?

My boyfriend said to have an abortion. Period. No thought. No discussion. This really upset me, and not for the reasons you might think. You see, my boyfriend thought that the baby was his. I didn't tell him, or anyone, about the rape and resulting pregnancy until after three long years of depression and recovery.

To think that this baby was his and he still wanted me to have an abortion was just so unthinkable to me. However, it showed me his true character, which eventually led to our break-up.

I did go as far as to set up the abortion with planned parenthood. They made me wait 48 hours. It's a good thing, too. I just couldn't go through with it. Even though I was not saved at the time, and I didn't know that abortion was a sin, I felt something for that life growing inside of me. It changed me. I knew I could love that baby, no matter how it came to be. Once again, God was teaching me a lesson, and I didn't figure it out until years later.

Through my depression, no matter how I tried to hide it, I hurt. I could not understand or describe the hurt I was feeling. It was the end of my life as I knew it. And I wanted to end that life--literally. As I contemplated suicide, I didn't know that God was just breaking me; preparing me for what was to come, and the plans He had made for me.

I began to slowly take back my life. I started therapy at the local rape crisis center. I started a new job at a Christian based nursing home as a PT Assistant. A job I loved. I finally ended that unhealthy, eight-year relationship. That was the summer of 2000. After that long, emotionally draining summer, I decided to take a well-deserved, and much needed, vacation around my birthday. I flew out to Colorado to visit my sister Rose. She lives in Colorado Springs. I thought that would be the perfect spot to re-connect with nature and re-fill my soul. Little did I know that God had plans for me there.

I had a great time! I loved Colorado ever since I went to school out there at the U of D back in the 80's. I always wanted to live there someday. I contemplated moving there at that time, to start fresh. I loved the connection with nature, the fun conversations I had with my sister, the fresh air, and the visits to my sister's church. The people there were so kind and welcoming. They didn't know me from anyone, but yet showed me the courtesies of a long lost friend. The pastor and his wife invited me into their home, made meals for me, and even surprised me with a birthday cake! I was so truly amazed at all of this! What could they possibly gain from treating me like this? I wasn't anyone important! How could I ever repay them? I wanted to be like that!

They equipped me with a Bible, a way I could accept and enjoy my life that was given to me, a way to the salvation of my soul, to accept Jesus into my heart. And that is exactly what I did on September 7th, 2000.

Since then, my life has changed dramatically. I cannot say it's always been easy, but I can say that I love my life now. As long as I have Jesus, no one or thing can hurt me the way I had been hurt in the past! I was free!

So this brings me to this year, the year of my 45th birthday. 45 years! I cannot imagine what God has planned for me next! Whatever it is, I will welcome it with open arms, an open mind, and an open heart. I thank God for each and every one of the last 45 years, and for every future year he alots me here on this earth!

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for opening up and sharing, Mare! That is a great testimony of how God was taking care of you long before you ever knew. God is good!

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  2. Oh Mare! I'm crying as I read your words...what an amazing testimony. Yes, God is good...and He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Happy Birthday and Happy Salvation Anniversary! ((Hugs))

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  3. AMEN MM!! Great Post Mare! I just wanna give you a hug. Praise God for all that he brought you through. I am so glad to know you!

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  4. Thank you for telling your powerful story.

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  5. That's just awesome! I can see why it was hard to write, but thank you for sharing it with us. God Rocks:-) It's been a busy 9 years for you!!

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  6. This testimony comes at just the right time. I do know how you felt. Although, I was much younger than you. If only time would erase the memory. I am still glad I lived it so I can be a rock for other women, and help educate women at risk. God has made my life beautiful as well. He is mighty to save, mighty to save.

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  7. Mare, thank you for sharing this. Want to give you a big fat hug right now :) I love how you love Jesus and I'm so very glad our paths have crossed.

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  8. Love you sis, I remember that day as if it was yesterday. The look on your face when you came up stairs and told me "I did it Rose, I asked JESUS into my heart". As I think about that moment in time I have tears in my eyes. Yes! God did and does have a plan for you. I thank him every day for that gift he so freely gave you, and I also thank him for allowing me to be a part of that gift. I thank him for letting you see how much he had changed my life and for you acknowleding how real he was & is. God Bless you & Hank & of course the boys. Love you forever <3

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  9. You are beautiful and strong, and you glorify God by sharing your story. Thanks for being real!

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