She was timid, fearful, overwhelmed and unprepared for the challenges life would cruelly thrust her way. She tried to find solace in friendship, music, religion, relationships, even a husband and children. While these things filled her heart, her mind was still a vacuum of unrivaled emotion and desire for fulfilment.

She daily wondered the path of more resistance to satisfy her intrinsic desire. The two wolves always at odds and fighting with no means to an end. Which would she feed today?

Never did it occur to her that the strife, destruction, rejection and disappointment coupled with the joy, excitement, unexpected and desired would catapult her into a life she dared to imagine existed. A life where her passion became so infused in her innermost being it was difficult to tell where the passion began and ended within her distinct personality.

She waffled between the comfortable life she knew and the life she dared to explore, offering such adventure and possibility, yet also a gamble, should she not succeed.

She daily attempted to be everything to everyone. A devoted and loyal wife, a loving and energetic mother, a devout, helpful daughter, a kind and attentive friend. Until one day, it all crumbled unexpectedly to the floor. Shattering the years of practiced theatrics to shards of broken pieces lining the perfect home she created. Her life lay in shambles on the floor. Her soul exposed for all the world to see. Her spirit crushed, broken and very near to death.

Psalm 34: 17-18:

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;

he delivers them from all their troubles. (17)

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (18)

Having exhausted all other options and with nowhere else to turn, she humbly, desperately, broken-heartedly fell to her knees. With salty tears pouring down her face, she cried out to the Lord she had pushed aside for years, trying to figure things out on her own. With barely any strength left in the worn shell of her body, she begged her Heavenly Father for mercy. She pled her case and prayed for strength to rise from the ashes of the destruction that lay surrounding her at every turn. She longed to feel the peace only her Jesus could provide.

And provide He did. He simply surrounded her with His very spirit. He touched her with an invisible hand of comfort. He dried the tears and wiped the tracks of pain fresh from her face. He renewed her spirit and gave her a sense of peace coupled with an inner strength from which she knew not where it came. Yet it sustained her very soul. He allowed her to rise like the phoenix and face the brokenness surrounding her. Little by little, piece by piece, he lovingly stitched her back together. Stronger, braver, more faithful than ever before.

He did not fix her every situation. Rather, he provided her with an inner knowledge that all would be well, in time. He allowed her to function and step out of the pit in which she was drowning only hours before. She woke up from the nightmare to face the sun shining brightly upon her tear-streaked face.

She went on to fight many battles, but never alone.

She would never be alone again. She never really was alone. The difference was in knowing, needing, reaching and yearning for the One she knew could lead her to safety and deliver her from the pit of despair.

She became one with the woman God created her to be. She knows the boundaries of darkness are ever-present. Yet the strength enfolding her is capable of any battle that threatens to wage war within her world.

She has hurt, she has bled, she has suffered.

She has healed, she has grown, she has overcome.

She is me.

I am her.

Her past, our present, the future yet to see.

The dreams we shared, the tragedies overcome, the fears we dispelled, the hopes we have yet to realize.

I blame her for my happiness. It took nearly losing it all to realize it was never really hers to begin with.

She learned a very valuable lesson about life and happiness. The choice belongs to her. No matter the situation; how deep the hurt, how fresh the pain, the way in which she greets life’s difficulties defines the inner strength she has found.

She is me.

I am her.

Her happiness lies not in earthly situations, but rather in heavenly promises and leaning on the understanding of her Lord. He will deliver her. He will give her rest. He will provide. He will shelter her with comfort, peace and healing. He will faithfully cover her head with joy.

She is me.

I am her.

Amannda Maphies has always gone by Manndi; and yes, it has two n’s. It is actually a perfect moniker for her as she’sa bit (more than a bit) zany, wacky, crazy and loves nothing more than to laugh at herself and share that laughter with others. Manndi works fulltime at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, has two boys, William (10) and Waylan (8). She loves to write so she recently started posting on Facebook about her daily adventures about everything from being a single mom of two wild and crazy boys to dating after divorce, to more serious topics such as the loss of a loved one and suicide awareness. She trie to infuse humor, relatability and a touch of inspiration into each of her pieces. One day, she will compile them for a memoir of her life. Manndi’s life motto is ‘live a life you would want to read about’ and she strives everyday to reach others with her words. She feels that you are only as happy as you choose to be and she CHOOSES happiness over all other emotions. She is honored to be featured in a publication named ‘Positively Positive’ because that is truly how she strives to live life.

Image courtesy of Garon Piceli.