Lord, I have felt your merciful protection over me since I was too young to even have words to describe it. I knew you when I was an abused little 4 year old girl who didn’t really even have a bond with any human. I felt you even when I was in rebellion as a 13 year old girl, wishing I could hurry up and be an adult, and move OUT of my abusive household. I knew you even deeper when I became a mother at the age of 17, and even deeper still as I had 3 more children over the next 8 years. I fell in love with you while I struggled through the loneliness of my first marriage, and I learned even more about love when I got to return to my “real deal” — my soul mate whom I had met when I was 12. He has taught me so very much about real love, real commitment, real risk and vulnerability. And I have so much yet to learn!! I thank you for this journey called Life, and I thank you for being my Real Husband like in Isaiah 54 — the One who has always been there, the One who gives me Breath, the One who makes this lifetime worth the living of it. Father, I feel change and it scares me. Yet I know that no matter what happens, you will continue to protect me, to nurture me like a valuable plant in your beautiful garden. I never do anything to deserve such merciful and faithful care. All I can do is thank you with my life — and thank you for the Life you have given to those who choose to follow you. Lead on, faithful Shepherd!