When I was young I longed for a home, family, a simple life; like the neighbors and my classmates.
I was in primary school when I realized I am different. Root, branch and leaf, my family tree is complicated.
It would years before I remotely understood the astounding gene pool from whence I came. Rather than portraits of nice, normal-looking people in their Sunday best with handsome smiles, our foyer was more like the one in Disney’s Haunted Mansion in Anaheim.
After my second high school reunion I felt like a failure.
Thinking about it, okay after agonizing over the event I noticed a few things:
At the reunion chatting with some of my classmates, the affluent especially seemed to have their lives prepared for them. Many divorced because of boredom. Some lived on alimony or careers laid out for them with “Daddy’s organizations.” There were some whose sole contribution to society was their fashion sense. Some boasted of homes in the better neighborhoods, clothes, handbags, shoes, etc. Those were nice, but didn’t say much to me about the characters, the individuals that owned them.
After my first tour of the room I had a great time with the group in the corner that shuffled shamelessly through photos of their kids and danced like nobody was looking.
I began to understand I had set myself up for years of bitter disappointment. I had wanted what the former set of my classmates had.
About that time I met Jesus and discovered the wisdom of the Bible. One verse above others stuck with me in those early weeks,
“…I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away.” Job 1:21 (NLT)
That was my turning point. I began to realize when I was young the elements that felt like they would crush me, my hardships actually made me strong and independent.
Sure, my life actually was hard, tougher than most people I know. Anything I inherited isn’t noteworthy, but God gave me strength, grit, determination and ultimately taught me to respect and love myself.
I pray I never stop forgiving, appreciating every aspect of my life and never stop working to be a better human. Amen!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
The House With Picket Fence image courtesy Pixabay
*Disney Haunted Mansion Images Courtesy Pinterest