Hi Suzy,

I was feeling the stress of turning 50 when I thought of all “ideals” of what that is to represent; all the parties I had celebrated with others; how my former got the Cabo timeshare and had his brothers/wives and girlfriend celebrate his 50th and how I didn’t want any of that. I just wanted my center to be my freedom that comes from knowing Jesus.

I didn’t know how I would feel when the day actually would arrive, but what ever it was I just wanted it to be genuine and mine. I was housesitting. I had a criminology class that night, a paper to write and am not the type to bring attention to my birthday, let alone some “0” number,  so I just did my day. As I had my coffee and wrote my morning pages, as I do everyday, I kept thinking..50..really? 50? I should be dead! I was at the brink of death 5 years ago and wanted to die.

What happened…? I could never ever, ever imagine my life would be so full. Other people got lives in their 40s & 50s, and other people went back to school and OTHER people were inspirations to the hopeless and unloved and OTHER people had relationships with their adult kids and grandkids…but never did I think it would be a reality for me.

Oh, yes, a dream and desire way deep down inside, but I just thought it was too late, too much damage was done, too much heartache, too many obstacles to get through, and after all I was “screwed” (my nice word) when it came to finances and material losses and a “displaced homemaker” surely destined for governmental dependency or moving in with mom or some form imprisonment, but not freedom.

So, I just knew I wanted 50 candles and to worship the Creator. My idea was to go to a mountain top, however, we have been in sub below freezing temps in AK, so I opted to just get 50 candles and set them on a table and see what would be created…I just followed my heart and prayed and worshiped the one true thing I know.. I am free because it is an internal job that is eternal.  The Great , I AM, is why I am. Not because of what I am doing but because I fight to shut the world out and find quiet, still moments…and just be grateful.

So follow your heart Miss Suzy. If there is something you “hear,” and you feel led to share it with others, by all means do. I am already blessed to share one more day of life with you.

Love, Jennifer

By the way, Jennifer is still in school, active in the Alaskan Prison Ministry as she “walks alongside women in prison teaching positive, practical change.”