My blog, Survivor's Road, was given this title as a tribute to the last 40+ years of my life AND as a reminder of the path I will follow going forward - The Narrow Path.
Did you ever go through circumstances in your life, as a child ~ or an adult wondering how you would possibly ever make it through them? You may be like me and have had your fair (or not so fair) share of these crushing circumstances. But we make it.....
I grew up as a child in your average family, nice house in a suburban neighborhood. I had two brothers, dogs, pool in the back yard, and even got to watch the Buffalo Bills as they had open practices! (Loving especially to watch The Juice, OJ Simpson #32 and being proud he was part of the Bills)....little did I know about what the future held - for OJ, or me!
It seemed to start slowly....I laid in my purple room (with my picture of Jesus hanging above the headboard) and listened night after night at my parents arguing. Unfortunately it progressed to my father being brought home missing a tooth and bleeding after an accident caused by HIS own Driving Under the Influence. Eventually it led to his clothes being boxed up and left outside for him and the traumatic end of a 19 year marriage. The painful end to the dream of a normal all American family. It's impossible to describe every incident for you, there's not a Blog big enough, but I'm sure you get the picture - my childhood was not average afterall.
On May 1, 1978 we moved out of our long time family home into an apartment with our mother. My Rock. The ultimate single mother that worked 2 jobs to take care of her children, that made sure we had what we needed, that nurtured and loved and provided for us - well making up for the empty chair at the kitchen table that was once my dad's. I was the Queen Bee (as my brothers called me), the only daughter - us girls have to stick together ya know! My mother had a brand new start to life - new place to live, new furniture, clean slate. Wow, was she happy! and us kids were adjusting. Life was good - and getting better!!!
30 days later, June 1, 1978, I was asleep and awoke to the phone in the kitchen ringing. (this was back when phones hung in the kitchen with long cords so you could cook and talk!) The call I was about to take would change my life forever; you see, I was only 12. I heard the officer say to me, "Is your mother home"? , "Sure", I said "I know she's sleeping in her bed". He asked me to get her and instead of finding tossled covers and my mother's highly teased black hair on her pillow - I found a perfectly made bed. Where was my mother and why was a police officer calling in the middle of the night looking for her?
You see, my mother died that night as she crossed center line coming home after a girl's night out.
So, where does survival come into play you say? Where doesn't it?
I was raised Catholic - can recite mass, confession, the Rosary - but I didn't have a relationship with Jesus Christ; however, today I know that I was carried (like the footprints in the sand) throughout every day of my life. In my story, the trauma didn't stop with the death of my beautiful mother - it continued for years and years - one incident after another - but I survived and in some cases have flourished.
I could not have survived without my Heavenly Father, see the verses below for confirmation. Today I know there will always only be one set of footprints in the sand. My Jesus carries me!
In Psalm 18:31-36 it says:
For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?—the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
Wow, Wow, Wow! Who could ask for any more than that!? "You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip" ~Amazing! I didn't survive alone - Jesus shielded me, created a wide place for my very full steps - he kept me from slipping!
In 2nd Timothy 4:17 it says, But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth ~ It's a message that must be heard! I survived in order to prepare others!
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
There is NOTHING we cannot do, nothing we cannot survive - our afflictions are preparing us for the eternal weight of glory...... there is a plan, His plan. We are not alone!
Psalm 23.4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
My Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for carrying me. Thank you for providing for me in every time of need, whether I knew the need was there or not. Thank you for being my life boat. Thank you for teaching me and guiding me so I can now pass the message of you on to others....to others that feel they are in survival mode but don't yet understand you are truly carrying them. I pray that you will continue to give me the words I need to continue carrying the message of you, to others, throughout the rest of my life. Amen.