That episode was immediately followed by another that had me falling apart. It was about a female law enforcement officer, possibly an assistant DA, who is brought face to face with the boy she dated when she was 17. She ran away with him and was shocked to learn that he was a violent criminal. And for some reason, seeing him again brought back all of the pain of her first love, and ultimately proved to her that the choices we make, even as teens, shape our entire lives. How being with the wrong guy can potentially ruin the rest of your life. I cried through this one, too, since it hit very close to home. I had a pretty rotten childhood, and I, like may teens, rebelled. I ended up dating and running away with a guy when I was a teen. When I was younger, I had the bad habit of trying to help people who had things worse than I did, and I tended to overlook the obvious, or I convinced myself that I could show them enough love to make them change. Yeah. I was really that naiive. So anyway, I was dating this guy who had it pretty rough. His mother never wanted him and he was in and out of the system all the time growing up. Somehow, I was able to see the good in him, as yes, we do all have a good side, and I thought I could help him. He ended up getting into some kind of trouble and was running from the police, (which I had NO clue about) and he convinced me to run away with him. So I did. For a month or so. And them my parents drove to another state and brought me home. I remember I was SO angry with them for that. But now, 15 years later, I realize that may have saved my life. The guy I was seeing was dangerous, although I was blind to that fact. He was trouble. And he always told me I was "never getting rid of him." And where is this guy now? In prison. For LIFE. For murder. Yes, really. I read this in the paper some years after I left him. I was lucky to have gotten away from him! Who knows what he could have ended up doing to me? How scary is that?!
I have never known anyone who was capable of taking another human life outside of military duties....So that episode made me weep. Not because I have any feelings left for this man, because I certainly don't. I was crying because I realized how differently my life could have ended up had I not gotten away from him. None of my children would exist. I would not be married to the wonderful man I am married to now, who subsequently is not capable of hurting a fly, unless he absolutely HAD to. I could have ended up dead. But I'm not. I had my own angels watching out for me during that time. I am convinced of this. What a humbling realization.....
So I watched a few more episodes. I cried some more. And I realized just how incredibly lucky and blessed I am. I am not overly religious. I believe in God, and I have faith, but I do not subscribe to one organized religion. I usually check the box that says: "Christian, Other." We don't go to church. I DO read my Bible, though, and I do pray. My husband is an athiest turned agnostic, (hey, at least that's a tiny step in the right direction) and I don't know when or if he will ever have any real faith. It's funny, because he was raised in a very Christian family, and even has an uncle who is a very talented minister, who has been televised and has written books. So when he came home and saw what I was watching, he rolled his eyes and said "Come on, really?!" I told him that it was nice to finally be able to watch a TV show with a positive message, and that having a little faith in something bigger than himself might do him some good,lol.
I came to the realization that maybe God DOES have a hand in everything that happens...Maybe I was meant to go through some of the difficult things I had to go through when I was younger. Maybe those experiences were meant to teach me, and to get me ready spiritually and emotionally to be where I am now. A wife to a loving , kind man, and the mother of 3 beautiful children. Maybe there are angels that keep up from straying too far down the wrong road in life. I think of the person I used to be, and I look at my children now, and I realize that things could be very, very different. I thank God every day for my "angels." Miracles do exist. One is sleeping right beside me, and another is destroying my bedroom as I write this. And to think....If God didn't intervene and put me back on track years ago, even if I didn't recognize it at the time, my miracles wouldn't exist. What a humbling thought.
Do you believe in angels? In God? Have you had any similar experiences where God was helping and you didn't even realize it? I would love to hear your stories! The world is so full of ugliness at times, I think we should all take some time to reflect on the many blessings and miracles in our lives.
Okay. Sermon over. Thanks for listening!