What I learned from the girl that I was

Yesterday I was scrolling Facebook and one of my friends had posted an article about a college aged girl who had died of a drug overdose. She’d been using drugs with her boyfriend and when she started to overdose he was too scared to get help, and he let her die. I paused at my computer, my hands hovering my keyboard, physically unable to scroll past the horrific article. And the truth hit me like a sucker punch.

I was that girl.

And that could have been my fate.

My mind flew back twenty years to the drug addicted young adult I once was. It traveled back to the night I overdosed. I can still see the terrified eyes of my ex-boyfriend, still remember the dread I felt, knowing that he was too scared to get help for me. My mind also relived countless other nights. Nights I shouldn’t have lived through. Nights filled with hopelessness and fear.

But for some reason night always turned to morning, and I was still here.

I learned later that in all those situations my dad was across town on his knees, fervently praying for me.

I write romances. I read romances. Love is something that we all crave. That we all need. But the truth is that the greatest love story ever is one I didn’t write. However, I’ve lived it. And yesterday, I was reminded of this in a tangible way.

As my mind skated over the unsavory memories something new popped up. There was someone in these memories I’d never seen before.

I wasn’t alone.

I was never alone.

Even when I felt I was.

When I overdosed, my hand wasn’t empty. It was being held by my savior. When I stood in the middle of a desolate field with a stranger and a knife, Jesus stood in front of me, shielding me.

And it didn’t end there.

Recently, in moments not quite as dramatic Jesus revealed to me visions of his presence. Like the first time my son didn’t give me a kiss when he exited the car to go to school. While I sat in my car, crying over the fact that my baby was growing up, He draped an arm over my shoulder, pulling me close. When I lost my house to foreclosure and walked through each empty room, tears streaming my face, He held my hand. Walked each room with me. He didn’t leave my side. Didn’t leave me to face it alone. And He helped me gather myself, helped to lift my head, so I could be strong when my kids saw me.

When I had surgery, He stood by my bedside, watching over me. And when I was so scared I could barely lift my head, he stroked my hair and held me.

Many of you know that during the past three years, fear had me bound. So bound, that shame and guilt choked me. So much so that it was hard to see Him through it all. But now I have. I’ve seen that He was with me in those moments. Not judging or angry. But whispering that he loved me over and over again.

There’s a song that I’ve been obsessed with lately. It’s called “Love You More” by Nichole Nordeman and some of the lyrics are:

“You’ve been loving me since time began, You’re behind my every second chance”

I will never be able to write a romance as amazing as the one I’ve experienced. It’s impossible. But I can share it. And the amazing thing about my love story, is that it’s yours too.

He’s with you even when you don’t feel it. Even when you don’t know it. And when your reach is too short, his is long enough. So reach as far as you can and trust him to bridge the gap.

I promise it will be worth it.

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