I married at 19. Had a baby at 20. Another at 23, and another at 25, and I was sure my path, my life's course was set in stone. A good baptist girl who mostly followed the rules. I did not see myself being one of "those" women who crash and burn. But I did. My marriage ended after 12 years, and I found myself confused, ashamed of my choices, and broken. I felt hopeless... Like I had thrown away (by choice) my chance at a happy and peaceful life.
That is exactly where I found Jesus. I thought I knew him.... But I did not really know Him until He met me in that place. That place that everyone else seemed to think would be the end of me. He came there. And He stayed.
The labels were hard... Divorced, home-wrecker, adulterer, mistress... I thought those were the names I would carry the rest of my life. And maybe in the minds of some, I still wear them... But not in my own heart.
After the brokenness came healing. After the labels came restoration. After the painful consequences came redemption. And I can't despise a past that brought me those things. I am thankful I am not who I was. And I am thankful to belong to the God of the "after".