Those older boys took advantage of me and I was the one who felt guilty, like I had somehow invited their inappropriate actions. I was eight the first time and ten the next. Both my parents have been married three times each. I didn't see my dad for seven years so my grandpa walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. I don't need to elaborate for you to imagine all the confusion, anger, sadness, and sometimes happiness that wraps around a kid going through years of those changes. I moved twenty-one times. I attended eight different schools. I have watched more pets die in tragic ways than I can count. I have been a passenger in six car accidents--one that left me hospitalized with a broken pelvis, a broken bone in my back, and stitches in my head at the age of sixteen. I've lost a couple of friends to vehicle crashes. I've experienced miscarriage. I broke my foot on my honeymoon. I've watched family suffer with terrible diseases and die. I've experienced a deeply difficult time in my marriage that scared me ferociously. Why am I writing all of this? Certainly not to draw attention to negative events in my life, or to elicit pity from my dear reader. I desire to proclaim that prayer has set me free from the chains that could easily have burdened me for the rest of my life.
I am not the only one who has a story. Millions of people have lived through even more devastating loss and trauma than me. However, I will always take the opportunity to give God the praise for seeing that little girl forty-three years ago, holding her through the pain and twirling her around in a beautiful dance in the joyful moments. I always knew Jesus was there, that He loved me and that prayer shifted me from sorrow to joy, bad circumstances to good. Whether it was the prayers of my mom, grandma, a neighbour, the church family, a stranger, or me calling out to Him from my bunk bed, quivering under my Holly Hobbie quilt, those desperate, faithful pleas moved the heart of God.
Most of my thirty or thirty-one day blog series are intended to keep me accountable and for me to learn as I write rather than stand on my soapbox and teach like an expert. I hope you'll join me as I grow in prayer over the month of November. I've already seen miracles from "knee time", but I pray these next 30 days will cause an exponential impact on any eyes that fall on these posts or any person who is a recipient of all of our prayers together.