In rural, southern Ohio somewhere there is a band of stuffed animals and baby dolls who were once taught the word of God. When I was a little girl, I was convinced that I would be a preacher and a singer. I would play church with my stuffed animals in the backyard. I would lead worship, then read my bible aloud to them, then expound and teach them everything a teddy bear and bunny could need to know about the kingdom of God. At the end, I’d have an altar call and pray for them and for everyone else I know.

I was at a Women of Faith conference last week and Brenda Warner said when she was five years old she stood up in front of her church and announced that when she grew up she wanted to be either a preacher or a stripper. I guess it’s not who we think we’ll be but who we end up being that matters.

There are moments, when I can’t help but look back over my life and see the good and the bad. I’ve made so many mistakes and I’ve wasted so much time. There were times, I was so far from that little girl with dreams of changing the world, one teddy bear at a time.

Still, here I stand, determined that today will mean more than yesterday. Tomorrow will be a new beginning with new mercies and new opportunities. We have a choice to look back and mourn for what could have been or to pick up and do what we can with today.

I know there are those who look back and think that the past somehow disqualifies them from doing something in the present. I used to be one of them. The truth is that the past molds us into the person we are now and we are the ones chosen to accomplish that which God put in us to do. Through the grace of God, I see things differently than others might because of my experiences. I can use that vision to propel me toward the goals and dreams God put in me.

One of the greatest tools of our enemy is the ability to convince us that we are too messed up to accomplish our dreams or that it’s too late or that we aren’t good enough. As I listen to the stories of others I realize more and more that I am not the only one whose overcome great odds to become something beautiful.

God enables the willing. He isn’t constrained by our ideas of what it means to be “good enough”. He not only loves us in spite of the rubble. He is a master craftsmen who builds us into His image using the pieces we thought were irreparable. He simply waits for us to present ourselves to Him. Now is our greatest opportunity.

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