"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, 'oh crap, she's up'" - on Being A Strong Woman Of Faith. For I am a warrior and I belong to God. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!
Your journey has molded you for your greater god, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.
"Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy." - Robert A. Heinlein My parents made sure that I could take care of my own, stuff wasn't handed to me. I see kids today, and worry not only for their future but for mine as well.