[guestpost]My wonderful friend, Sherri Wilson Johnson, is posting today. She is amazing and I love her. I know you will, too![/guestpost]
I was a girl of almosts, nearlys and could-haves.
I almost believed the lie that the most important thing about a girl is her looks.
I almost believed that the popularity of the people you sit with at the lunchroom table in high school determines your future success.
I nearly became lost in the crowd and forgot that I was a child of God with a mission.
I almost let my dream of being a published author slip through my fingers because I was afraid of failure.
I almost was raped just because I got in a car with the wrong guy.
I almost married a guy who lied to me about his age, marijuana use and where he spent his time when we weren’t together.
I nearly gave my virginity away to a guy just because he was a preacher’s kid, like me, and because I thought I could change him if I married him.
I could have died in a car accident by allowing my drunk boyfriend to drive me home from a party I didn’t even want to go to.
I almost fell for a guy who was so rude that even after he’d ask if I minded him doing something (like drinking in front of me), he’d do it anyway.
I nearly gave the last unbroken pieces of my heart away to a guy who didn’t care one single bit about me.
[pullquote]I forgot I was a child of God with a mission.[/pullquote]
Then I became a girl of should-haves and if-onlys.
I should have done better in school, gotten a scholarship and gone to college to study journalism. If only I had, I’d be successful.
I should have listened to my heart when God was knocking on its walls telling me I was worth more than the way guys had treated me. If only I had, I wouldn’t be alone.
I should have spent my youth focusing more on leading others to Christ than following boys who at the time didn’t know what it meant to be (or strive to be) a man. If only I had, I could be a missionary or a teacher somewhere with influence.
I should have not allowed my desperateness for my busy daddy’s attention to drive me to be so focused on guys. If only I hadn’t, I wouldn’t resent him for being so busy and I’d have a whole heart.
I should have saved all the pieces of my heart for my husband. If only I had, I’d deserve someone as princely as Cinderella’s prince.
I should have spent more time with my mother learning all I needed to know about becoming a woman because she was gone from me in the blink of an eye. If only I had, I’d know how to get through this life without too many bumps, bruises, and failures.
I should have focused on who God had created me to be instead of who I wanted to be. If only I had, I’d be the leader of the crowd and not a follower.
While there is truth in each of those statements, the if-only part of it is a lie from the enemy. He makes us feel like there’s no going back. Like we can’t undo our pasts. But that’s not true!
Now I am a woman of dids, want-tos, and gonnas!
I did overcome the misperceptions that external beauty is what matters most. Proverbs 31 tells us this truth!
I did experience a completely healed heart and have had a God-blessed marriage for almost twenty-six years with a wonderful prince.
I did get past my “dream detours” and am about to have my third novel published!
I want girls of all ages to know they are more valuable than rubies and silver and that their mark on this world will be about more than just their looks or accomplishments.
I want to share how wonderful Jesus is with everyone I come in contact with. That begins every day whether it’s a trip to the bank, to the store, or a mission trip out of the country.
I’m gonna stand firm on my convictions about purity before, during and after marriage and be a listening ear to anyone who needs to talk about the struggles of daily life in that regard.
I want you to know that prayer and the Word of God will support you and encourage you in this life more than anything or anyone else.
I could be a woman of regret based off my experiences, failures, and mishaps of my teenage and young adult years. But I’m not. Why? Because I serve a risen Savior who makes each day anew for me. And He can make each day anew for you too. If you are living in the almosts, nearlys and could-haves or struggling with the should-haves and if-onlys right now, I encourage you to cast all your burdens on the Lord. He will make you a new person. He has plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11).
He wants you to make the right impression on all the people you come in contact with. He wants to bless you more than you could ever fathom. All it takes is stepping away from the world of regret and bondage and turning your eyes upon Him.
He’ll do the rest!
Sherri Wilson Johnson lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. She loves to dream of romantic places and romance in general–good, clean romance. She is a bird-watcher, loves the ocean, roller coasters, ice cream, her family and her Chihuahua, who faithfully sits by her side every day when she writes.
She is a blogger, virtual assistant, freelance editor and a former homeschooling mom. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More (OakTara), Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara) and To Laugh Once More (ChooseNOW Publishing, Dec 2014), and is a columnist for Habits for a Happy Home and Choose NOW Ministries.