I’ve been asked to tell my story so many times that it had become just that, a story. I realized, however, that this isn’t just a story, this is my life.
At the start of our church’s service last Sunday, my daughter and I arrived to find empty bags underneath each seat, with a list of items to donate to a family in need this Christmas. Throughout the service, I found myself glancing down at the bag, thinking about the recipient and their situation. With every glance, I felt more anxious anticipation. I was looking forward to the end of the service so that we could immediately drive to the store to pick up items for this family.
It dawned on me that I was once on the receiving end of gifts like these. While sitting in church, anxious to drive to the store, I remembered the times that I did not have a car. I thought about the donations I had received in the past, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the giver was as cheerful as I found myself on that Sunday morning.
As I sat there, I thought back to some of the most challenging times in my life. Standing in line during the winter, waiting for donated coats. Finding out that the food stamps office had lost my paperwork. Realizing that I would be a single mother. Hearing that I had cancer and that I had to have my breasts – what made me a woman - removed. Finding out that a close friend didn’t survive, after all of that praying. And holding it all in because no one would understand. It seemed to be one set back after another during those times, and it hurt.
Beauty Bakerie’s motto is to be ‘better, not bitter’ because of difficult events in my life that could have made me bitter, but instead, continue to make me better each day. Each of these events created an unbreakable character. Each ‘no’ and circumstance outside of my control made me better.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. There is comfort in knowing we’ve all had to endure hardships, but have the ability to overcome.