I often wonder what my 16 year old self would have to say to my present self. It is no secret that as a teenager I was lost, living with no direction. I had no big plans for the future but I had so many judgments on how others lived its almost embarrassing. I fantasized about getting married and having children, daydreaming about what they would look like, my family. That's it. That's as deep as I went. I was living each moment clinging to my youth without a clue as to what was missing. I dove into drama. I had to rescue others from persecution when all the while I was merely including myself into the chaos. I was a teenager. I had issues just as everyone else on the planet did. I could blame many factors on my upbringing but its meaningless to do so. I was a teenager and I knew everything... about nothing.
Today I know nothing about everything...or so it seems. My hunger for knowledge is my addiction and truthfully in this day and age quiet the challenge. It seems everywhere you turn you can find 1,000 different opinions and little to no actual facts. Not to mention, the million or so distractions that require your attention prior to your literary infatuation. So the knowledge thing is a meaningless pursuit without a foundation on which to base it.
So I got to thinking. What is my foundation? What makes me tick and thrive? What is it that makes my life worth living? (Here is where my 16 year old self would have judged my present self as a bible thumper and continued to tune out while smiling and nodding and screaming of boredom inside.)This one is a no brainer.
(Yes, I know second post in a row in which I become a bible thumping maniac. ps. Someone should really make a rap song out of that) But the words are beating their way out of my fingers and can't be stopped. Ok, truth be told I have no intention of stopping them . People that knew me back then, my 16 year old self included, would laugh in sheer amusement about the words that are about to come from ME.
God is the sole reason I am a somewhat normal, functioning, human being at this point and really every point in my life, even without my knowledge of it. I have had trials. Shocker right? My point is that I shiver at the thought of my 16 year old, love for Jesus-less-ness, self going through the trials I have. My guess is that without him I would still be that 16 year old who knew everything about nothing version of my self finding other addictions to fill the void in my life as so many others around me have done.
This year is nearly over and I have to say this has been a big year...or more realistically few months worth of growth for me. I have, through this amazing "transformeter challenge" study at my church, found this incredible way to connect and communicate with God. It has unleashed a new found passion in me. Actually a few but who is counting. Primarily my passion for knowledge. I love to read. I love words and wouldn't you know...the bible is FULL of them. Good ones too! Hence the foundation aspect. I love to learn and in a world where the truth is hard to decipher it is monumental to have the foundation and truth of God and the bible to stand on. It has allowed me to find my voice even with the knowledge that at times people may not want to hear it, others it may be too quiet or even be too loud, and it may come with the tears of being a shattered person with many broken pieces I, or more accurately God, is still gluing back together.
If I could talk to that 16 year old it would go something like this.
Undisclosed age me:
You wonder about your future self and here I am ! We are married to D. Yes, D! Marriage is hard. It is not a fairy tale. It is better but it is a challenge. We have 3 beautiful kids. 2 living. 2 beautiful girls breathing and healthy, precious gifts from the Lord. Parenting is another one of those not a fairy tale, challenging, but wondrous things. And an amazing relationship with Jesus!
16 year old me:
Wait? We had a child die? How are you still alive speaking to me?! The world had to have ended right?! and did you just say Jesus?
Undisclosed age me:
Yes, we had a handsome baby boy who was meant for heaven. He was one of the best gifts we have ever received from...yes, God. We have an amazing, ever growing relationship with Jesus and that IS the best gift we have ever received.
16 year old me:
Great so you are telling me that I lose a son and turn into one of those know it all, better than you Christians that think they are all high and mighty. That's just great...I am thrilled. (accompanied by extreme amounts of sarcasm.) How in the world (ok, being honest...at 16 probably wouldn't have used the word "world.") did that happened?
Undisclosed age me:
No, I am telling you that you have an amazing husband, 2 wonderful, smart, beautiful girls, a son who has taught you more than you could have ever hoped to learn about life, love and God. A relationship the Lord unlike anything words know to describe. A relationship that has shown you a love you don't even know how to wish for and taught you that you are in fact better than NO one and broken and shattered like everyone else but that is okay because you in fact ARE loved now and even then by a forgiving, gracious God who just wants you to love yourself like he loves you, so that you can love others they way he does. Not to mention the many other perks that come from loving him and embracing his love.
I am telling you that you have more than you even know to dream of and you have more love you never knew existed.
So there it is. My conversation with myself...ok maybe I should rethink this post. Oh well, its out so its happening.
(yes, I have a point after all!)
This year has had its ups and downs, trials and celebrations and a whole heck of a lot has changed but I honestly think that the biggest thing that has changed has been my perspective. I had God in my life before but now I am trying to see my life through God's eyes and live accordingly. I have judged myself and my relationship with God based on where I believe others are in their relationship with God. So basically I was judging myself based on where I judged others to be. Tell me why I am JUST now seeing something wrong with that picture? Just as you can not judge your relationship with other people based on their relationships with others, you can not judge your relationship with God based on others relationships with him. (Confused yet?) My problem was that I wasn't aware I was judging. I was looking in awe at their seemingly perfect relationship with God. Without a clue of how to get what they had. Without a clue that I was neglecting my own relationship with him. Once I gave that burden of judging back to the Lord our relationship soared. As did my passion to know him and know of him and to share his undying love with others.
I am Christian. I am human. I make mistakes. I sin. I sometimes judge when its not my place or swear when I get too easily frustrated. I have not always been the greatest example of what a person with good morals looks like. My life is not perfect. It is a beautiful mess but my foundation is firm so I can stand strong in the Lord and know that my mistakes do NOT define me. How I accept and show His love DOES.
We're pretty tight, me and God. We both laugh at my illogical ways of
thinking sometimes but I am human and he is cool with that and I am learning to be too.