New Year: Thrive 2018 (Day Thirteen)

a-new-year-thriveFor I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

I was a church kid. Although my parents had strayed as adults, my mom decided to take me to church when I was born. Dad started going back when I started asking him why he didn’t go with us. He’s never been able to tell me no!

Our attendance blossomed over the years into very active involvement. If the doors were open, we were there.

About the middle of high school I hit a rough patch. I started to feel frustrated with the perceived expectation that my family would always be involved. I was tired and didn’t want to be at everything all the time. My irritation grew into resentment. Some leaders in our church made a couple of decisions that I deemed hypocritical and I was done. I didn’t want any more of church and wasn’t interested to hear any arguments otherwise. So began the next two years of what I like to call “temporary insanity.”

I walked away and made some very poor choices. I was angry. I was angry at God. I was angry at people. Deep down I was angry at myself. I partied. A lot. I was in a toxic relationship. He was not very nice to me. I took it because I felt like that’s what I deserved. I was lost. So very lost.

One day I took a long hard look in the mirror. Not the hypothetical kind. I literally stood in the bathroom at my parent’s house and stared at myself in the mirror.

“Who was that?” “What was she thinking?” “How did she get here?”

I didn’t like any of the answers that tumbled around in my head. I decided something had to change. I didn’t know what but I knew something wasn’t right. I didn’t like who I had become and I was terrified of the direction I was headed.

Over the next couple of months I made some very difficult decisions.

First, I broke up with my boyfriend. I thought it was going to be painful but was really more of a sigh of relief. I also stopped drinking so much. It was never an addiction but more of something to do.

I felt like I was headed in the right direction but still wasn’t quite sure how to get “there.”

About 3 months after my mirror stare down I met my husband. One of the first questions I asked,

“Will you go to church with me?”

I kept feeling this tug back to church but felt out of place going alone. He immediately said yes and the rest is history.

We are now actively involved and our best friends are Christians. While many view church as a building with people, I know it to be home with family. One of the sweetest things in life is having Christian friends who will support you and love you.

I believe God places these people in our lives for a reason. I have had many trials since my time of “temporary insanity,” but I always trust God to be there and know His plan is perfect.

Jennifer Henager

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