Seeking peace in any fashion was never one of my strong suits. Ever.
As a pre-teen, teen, and young adult (translation: I was clearly old enough to know and do better) I was quite the opposite. I picked fights often, was easily frustrated and had a hair trigger temper. I despised authority and did whatever I could to rebel. I would like to say there were a few exceptions, there were not. There were reasons for my behaviors, contributing factors, but I still own the fact that I could have done better and chose not too.
My best friend and I growing up, well our scrapes were constant. Amusing now, as adults but given we are parenting smaller versions of ourselves, we’d have to admit that we would be much less amused if our miniature selves would try the nonsense we did. We were like fire and gasoline, the two of us. Our parents each blamed the other friend, sure that we would be less trouble if we weren’t friends, but their wishes weren’t granted. The funny thing is, our parents are best of friends, even today.
I will relate one story but all parties will remain nameless as social media is big and vast and all parties involved have Facebook.
We were about 17, I think at the time of this story. There were three main characters: me, M, and J. J was, well, not the tomboy that M and I were. I mean sure, we checked boys out and all, but only if their car or truck was worth looking at. We really didn’t care about dating and marriage and settling down. We wanted to have fun. All of the fun we could. M and I both had boys interested in us and we had fun hanging out with them. We never really discussed it, but we both knew the other wasn’t going anywhere. We weren’t ready. Well J was completely opposite. She had a boyfriend and they had both been interested in each other since young teenage years. 18 was official dating age and we all knew they’d be one of those forever couples. Totally fine, but 18 was not our age yet. So we had planned a sleepover and also lots of fun. “Illegal” music (country and pop mix tapes were our JAM!) and junk food, caffeine, and giggles. Well I forget the exact cause of M and I becoming annoyed at J, but we did. She was somewhat ruining our fun and was constantly talking about her “man”. Well M and I planned a fun revenge. We went to the dollar store and bought silly string spray. SO many cans. And that night while she slept peacefully, we sprayed her. I don’t know how she didn’t wake up, but the next morning she woke us with her hurt and frustration. Looking back, I saw her point. At the time, no. It was a beautiful tribute of how much we disliked her attitude toward us and we couldn’t care less. Seeing as she wasn’t getting anywhere, she called her mom. Typically that should have kicked me into being apologetic, if only on the outside but even that did nothing. We begrudgingly cleaned it all up, all her clothes and covering and bedding. I never really associated with J again. Though she and the boyfriend were on the receiving end of many practical jokes from my friends and I in the coming year.
Life has now changed for the three of us. We used to be best friends, but that changed when we silly stringed her. J is happily married and loving her life with her very own happily ever after. M and I are still friends, but life changed for us as well. M is pursuing happiness and I am learning my path in life.
That is one incident. (J, if you read this, I really am sorry!) There were so many rebellious and troubled decisions I made. I would love to say that once my happily ever after came, I immediately grew up and changed. However, that is not true. Marriage has not been a fairy tale of awesome moments. It’s been the opposite. I am learning though to really love Paul and his words in the Bible. He was a man who knew trial and tribulation, to an extent I do not! Chained, shipwrecked, imprisoned, shipwrecked, chained…
“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians 4:11
Ouch. Did that last verse prick your heart too? Are you also reminded that our life here we need not only to choose joy and learn contentment, but to live that if we were to die we would gain? There is freedom here, in these words. There is freedom in laying down our sins, our pride, our rebelliousness, our confusion, our very selves and asking for forgiveness. To stand and accept his gift of grace, knowing we are from that moment declared not guilty.
Okay, now I am just “borrowing” thoughts from Pastor Jerry’s sermon this past Sunday. Bear with me just a moment longer, please.
As I sat under his words, soaking them in, I had to think. Why did I create this blog, the Facebook page? Here it is:
I found a freedom in Christ to be me. A freedom I wish I had discovered years ago. Not because it would have changed things, though it would have. There is an absolute peace that dwells in my heart as I face my moments. Peace about the trauma and pain I had to walk through. Peace as I acknowledge the pain and challenges that come along with being adopted. I have peace as I forgive the ones who have hurt me from the conservative churches in the past, to the angry lady at Dunkin Donuts this past weekend. Peace as I face my boys each day, as I care for them and love them. Peace when I greet my husband, even when we aren’t agreeing.
I still have to apologize and ask forgiveness, I still wrong and offend people. I know who I am in Him though, and that’s a peaceful and secure feeling.
I am loud. I am opinionated and passionate, I am a lover of music and see things differently than most. These are descriptions of me. I am: Saved, Redeemed, Loved, Known by God, Daughter of the King.
The conviction I have to share with you all through my blog and Facebook page is not one I take lightly, it is one I embrace and ask God to guide my thoughts. I hope and pray you see Him in my sharing.
Go forth today and be YOU. God created you, made you in His image. You are not a mistake! You are loved and wanted to serve Him.