I got my first underage drinking at 15 years old. I got my next one at 16….then another at 18….and another at I don’t remember what age. I almost got another one at 20 but I used my best friends ID (she looks very similar to me) and it worked. I didn’t get my fifth one. THEN, I got an Operating While Intoxicated at 21 years old. You could say I might have had some underlying issues….just maybe….a little.

I spent time in front of the local judge, I got some community service hours, I had to attend AA Meetings, I got my license revoked, and I took some AODA classes. I would like to add that after my OWI, I learned a big lesson. One I should have learned at 17 years old when my older sister was involved in a drinking and driving car accident.

Anyways, all of the time I spent in court during my teenage years for drinking and doing community service hours and the times I skipped school to smoke cigarettes with my friends, I now work with kids who do these things. The funny thing is, I never wanted to do this. I never even tried to do this job. I wanted to work with hardcore criminals in the Prison System. I have always been drawn to working with youth though. And now, here I am working at a county job with youth. When I go sit in court on hearings, I can’t help but be drawn to it even more. And I can’t help but think, I can’t believe this is me now when this was me then. I am on the other side.

I even go into schools now to work with youth. Seriously, I am constantly baffled by the irony of it. Because again, I never wanted to do this. I never even tried to do this line of work. The day I interviewed for a county job, I did it on a whim for a part time job. I never thought I would actually get hired though….because again, this is the same county I got my underage’s in, why would they hire me….yet here I am now full time.

My friends, God has the last laugh.

I said before that my older sister was involved in a drinking and driving car accident when I was 17…..my friends, the man that was driving that vehicle, that hit a telephone pole that sent my sister flying from the backend of the truck where she landed on her neck wrong causing her immediate paralyzation from the chest down, that I absolutely hated for many years to come after this for the pain and suffering I blamed on him for causing our family-this same exact man, is the man I fell in love with 9 years later after I forgave him for what was truly just an accident AND is now the man I am married to. You guys, I could have NEVER planned that one. Again, I never even tried to plan that one.

My friends, God has the last laugh.

He takes our “nevers” and USES them….somehow in His perfect way. He takes the worst part, the very worst pieces of our lives, and USES them. He USES them. Who even does that??

Shitty things happen to good people. Shitty things happen to bad people. The thing about the shitty is…..God takes our shit and USES it…..IF we let Him. IF we allow Him. IF we let Him in to do it. He is like a toilet bowl, he will flush the shit right out of us…..IF, ONLY IF, we let Him.

My friends, give God your shit. We plan and He laughs anyways.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

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