Well, this is my 100th blog. A hundred blogs ago a friend encouraged me to start a blog. I knew only one other person that blogged and most of my friends and family asked, "What in the heck is a blog?". But now all the people on the front row of my life know what a blog is and some have even created their very own. I thought blogging would be a great escape from my day to day routine of being a stay at home Mommy. It has. I thought it would be a fun way to channel my creativity and it has. I really felt like all of the things God speaks to me could be shared with the world, it has. And while I took a long break from ministry work within the four walls of a church, I thought maybe God could use me to minister to others through writing and He has. But never in a million years did I think that creating this blog would also be an amazing healing balm in my own life. Well, it has! This blog has challenged me, enlightened me and really shown me 100 things that I always need to be working on in my own life.
For the past 100 blogs, I have grown like I never thought was possible. There has been a common theme in my life since April of last year, change. I never knew last April 2nd when I turned 29 years old that the year ahead would hold so many changes. Everything in my life that was my "normal", changed. My normal became a noun in life and God changed my normal completely on the inside and out. So the past 100 blogs has been me getting used to my new "normal". My new address, my new church, my new friends, my new attitude. There have been many "God stops" along the way, as Beth Moore describes it, and it hasn't always been fun ones to take. But God has answered so many of my prayers. Prayers have been answered that I thought never would be. You know the prayers you feel like you pray at least 100 times? With each new blog, came something new that God had in store for me. Sometimes it was a new friend, a new idea, a new opportunity, a new way of thinking or something else that brought a smile to my face. Other times, it was saying goodbye to a friendship, forgiving someone who hurt me or dying to myself for the 100th time.
It's almost here, I will be thirty years old in two weeks and I am finally beginning to like Amanda. I don't use my maiden name but I have struggled over the past year with liking myself and even liking who I once was. Regardless of my wretched childhood, my ugly past or ugly people that have come and gone in my life, I feel proud to be the girl, the woman, the wife, the mom, the daughter, the friend, that I am today. Regardless of the lies I have believed, regardless of what you or anyone else thinks about me, I now have a glimpse of what Jesus has created me to be. It's only a glimpse! For I know that there are more than 100 other things that I still have to learn. Turning thirty will be another end to a chapter as I say goodbye to my twenties. Maybe people will respect me just a little more, trust me a little more, believe in me a little more and like me a little more. But if they don't, I'm gonna be just fine because I respect, trust, believe and like myself just a little more than I did. But, I'm sure the next 100 blogs will be a brand new journey.
Do I have it all together? NO. Will people hurt me again? YES. Will I hurt others? I'm sure I will. That's the journey! I will still look to my Mom and ask for her Godly counsel. I will strive to have a teachable spirit and learn from those older women that I so badly need. And ten years from now I am quite sure I will look back at Amanda at thirty and laugh. But, as least I'm getting somewhere. There is still so much to learn but hey, I've got a lot under my belt. And turning 30 years old is a reminder of what a strong woman I KNOW I am.
Here's to 100 more blogs!