Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Choices - by Amanda Fleming

Wow where do I start with my amazing friend Amanda.  We have only known each other for about 6mths now and really getting to know each other deeper for the last three. Amanda Fleming has quickly become a really good friend of mine showing such an willingness to connect and embrace others!!! She is constantly opening up her home and loving on my little girlies and I.

Her story here is one that grieves my spirit thinking of such a young girl enduring that type of emotional pain. But it's so important remembering that God is with us even during the darkest of moments, ready to redeem us from all the heartache. Amanda choosing to open up and allow healing in her life is so inspiring. God has made a beautiful love story out of Amanda's life, taken all the pain and regret and created a beautiful woman and beautiful family.

Amanda dear friend. I am so blessed by you and have enjoyed every moment getting to know you. It excites me so much being able to create a new bond and friendship that will last a life time. Blessings on you and your family. May your beautiful children be a constant reminder of God's desire for us, and may Cory be such a example of God's love to you!!!

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Choices
By Amanda Fleming
Life is full of daily choices that need to be made. From what we eat, to what we wear, to how we behave. I have lived a life filled of some pretty poor choices. I can remember even as a young lady I chose less appealing friends, less appealing situations. But what I have come to learn is that the choices we regret and the circumstances in which those choices lead us to do not need to define us, nor do the choices others make that impact us.  



I began my “road of poor choices” in the mid 90’s when life seemed too overwhelming and opting out seemed better.  This would start me down a winding path that was heartbreaking, selfish and incredibly painful. After a few failed suicide attempts I was hospitalized, I was institutionalised and finally was placed in back to back foster homes. Life seemed to be so incredibly unfair. I watched my mother in these times and her strength was enough to ignite a fire from heaven.  She was strong for me and for my brother, who was facing his own demons that were far worse than mine.



The dust settled by the time I was in grade 8, happily back with my mom. Life had made me bitter at the whopping age of 12!  I looked to the things of the world to make me happy.  I was 12 the first time my mother walked me into a clinic for a pregnancy test. WOW!  Poor choices.  This continued into my high school years. All while I attended Friday night youth and Sunday morning church and never truly believed that someone like me could be capable of a different life.  I was from a divorced family, with a drug dealing brother and more self hate than one person should ever live with.



Life would get worse before it got better, sadly.  In my last year of high school, my mom and I moved from Windsor to Kitchener.  My mom moved first and I stayed with a friend and waited until closer to the end of school.  I rebelled by skipping school, jeopardizing my education and giving my heart and body to a person I knew was not meant for me. Two weeks before we moved, I was told by a friend of this boy, that they share everything and like it or not that included me.  A dark night and a dark period to overcome.  Moving away was freeing and a chance for a fresh start.



After being here, in Kitchener, for my last year of school I poured myself out to God time and time again.  I grew, learning all about choices. The ones I made, the ones others made that impacted me and how that would not be a cop out.  When I was 18 I meet the most ridiculously awesome man, Corey.  He loved God and loved people.  He not only took me and ALL my baggage (and there is so much more) but he helped me better myself. He walked with me, encouraged me and grew with me.  I graduated from Emmanuel Bible College in 2007 and married Corey a few weeks later.  

  



I share all this to express that life itself is a choice.  Choose to live it, live it meaningfully and intentionally, despite what brought you to where you are. God doesn’t use those who get their baggage organized and all together before they can be used.  Quite the opposite. God says: Come to me all messed up, covered in filth and let me beautify you and make you all that you were created to be, and more!

This is a verse that has become my rock for daily living,



But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;

Isaiah 43:1-4








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