Two weeks before my birthday, I was rudely jolted out of my reverie that my life was moving on to a better state.

The past year brought so many great opportunities for me as I ventured out on my freelance writing career. Other than the fact that I was hired “permanently” to write for two companies, I met so many great employers who were very patient in helping me hone my writing skills. In the process, I was able to gain the confidence I needed and came to realize what I was capable of. Work for me was continuous and vast. For the first time in my life, I was earning an amount beyond what I expected. However, more works meant more sacrifices and responsibilities. I had to give up playing tennis. I was missing much on my son’s education as I cannot spend time reviewing him on his lessons. I felt fat and unhealthy. But hey! No one’s complaining since all these were consequences of wanting to earn much for the family.

The emotional struggles were not as difficult as it was before. Although I haven’t totally mustered on how to program my mind and heart not to dwell on the past, at least I have stopped having nightmares. My heart doesn’t twitch in pain every time something would remind me of the past. All I needed was to work on gaining back myself worth and let go of my being a worry wart. One important lesson I have learned in life is that I do not have any control of time, circumstances and other people–only myself.

Yes, God has been good to me the past year. The day I turned 41, I was on my knees praying and thanking HIM for all the blessings received. Family, friends and even boss went out of their way to make the day extra special. I had lots of birthday greetings on my Facebook account. I had a great time playing tennis with my tennis buddies. Roy, Josh and I spent the day peacefully and met up with a good friend who is the wife of Roy’s cousin living in Chicago. We had pizza, chicken and birthday cake too! I was happy and at peace on my birthday.

It all depends on how you look at things or circumstances that come your way.

Two weeks before my birthday, I lost two jobs. 2/3 of my income suddenly vanished into thin air. Reasons? One said his company wasn’t doing well so he’s giving up while the other one cannot afford to continue to pay me. Instead, he hired cheap writers who charge $1/article. To be honest, this unfortunate event happened at the worst time and being typically me, I was huddled in a corner crying. Was it my fault? Maybe I should have put in more effort? I was working more than 12 hours a day yet, maybe it wasn’t enough. Maybe I was just not good enough. Doubts, insecurities and frustrations kept swamping me. After a day of whiling away, I was back to my old self.

Charlene is a fighter.

For the past 41 years, I have survived an annulment, fought to see and communicate with my children, overcame mountains of payable, uproot to a different place, survived the worst in a relationship and much, much more. Losing two important jobs simply means better ones are coming.  So I started applying for jobs again and God has always blessed me with so much.  Although there would be days I would still cry my heart out but then this is ME. After all the tears and berating, I would get up and continue on. I know with HIM at my side, I can do anything. I don’t call myself a fighter for nothing.

So what now?

I look forward with anticipation at what God has in stored for me this year. Knowing His love for me…great things will/do happen.