Hi there! If you are stopping in for the Write 31 Days you are in the right place! I will add daily links on my 31 Days page so you can always pop over there to catch up 😉
I had an amazing friend over last night. You know the kind-you can talk for hours on end about everything from theology to potty training and never miss a beat. And laugh? We can work ourselves into fits over the smallest thing because our timing and responses play off of each other perfectly. A couple hours with her and I feel filled and sustained until we see each other again. Another thing about a friend like this is that she clears a path for honesty and directness.
Jo is currently working at an internship to complete her studies in psychology (three cheers for grannies who continue to reinvent themselves!) and our conversation took a natural turn into the area she wants to work in as well as what she doesn’t want to pursue and why. I weighed in and, without meaning to, began to pick at a scab. And it hurt.
Before I go deeper I need to say that so much of this happened before I even knew there was a God out there that cared for me deeply, whose plan for my life would unfold in ways I never anticipated. I take that back. I knew God was out there but he was someone to be feared. He was used as a convenient tool to scare me into good behavior-which frequently worked-but for some reason I felt a deeper and wordless knowing that kept me from being truly afraid of him. I also need to say that our particular form of dysfunction was somewhere on the spectrum and it swings neither into the worst case nor into the slightest case-it lies in the just enough to mess with you but not enough that the neighbors suspect anything. Well, most of the neighbors.
Back to Jo. She had mentioned not wanting to work with younger kids-that it was murky territory. Scab. And now I sit here looking at the screen, staring at that word and realizing that yup, it stiiiillll hurts.
I was going to meet someone and we were going to play some games. There were puppets and a doll house and everything was my size and there was a big window that looked outside and a great big mirror on the other side of the room. It felt weird. My parents had brought me and it was kind of like a doctors office but not really. And whoever this person was they asked a lot of questions and wanted me to ‘play’. I remember liking the hand puppets but felt strange about where I was. I also knew that my mom wanted me there.
I have always been strong willed-still am and always will be. When a strong willed child is faced with a parent determined to break them the power struggle is long and arduous. So, when my mother couldn’t beat me into submission she determined that I was deeply flawed and needed counselling. Even before this she had determined I was deeply flawed-it seemed that nothing was right with me beginning with the fact that I was adopted. I wasn’t her biological child. A point she made frequently and publicly. It was like her martyrs badge or a card she could play for sympathy-“Oh, this is my adopted daughter”. In this phrase she was absolved from any association with how I looked, how I behaved, with anything related to being me because she really had nothing to do with it. And, it would usually get a variety of responses but one of my favorites was “You are a saint, I could never take in someone elses child. I think it is so wonderful that you did that!” Like it was a girl scout badge or some other accomplishment that deserved a little gold cup with her name engraved on it.
No matter what the the problem may have been it usually ended up with her screaming at me or potentially spanking/slapping me. Then there was the soundtrack. You know what I am talking about, right? Those words or phrases that replay over and over again when you least expect it or maintain a steady drone to keep you subdued and inhibited. Yeah-those. “You don’t deserve __________”, “You are rotten to the core”, “You have a lousy disposition”(love this one because when I was really young I asked what a disposition was and it turns out she described it as almost everything about how I acted/behaved=translated…me.) Then there are the too words- too fat, too tall, your nose is too big, you read too much (like, who says that?). The list can go on but that would be jumping too far ahead for this post. Ultimately, and I understand this now, nothing was her fault so it simply had to be mine. Hence the therapy that left me feeling weird and my mother frustrated because they didn’t (or couldn’t) find anything wrong with me. Of course, they were all quacks in her opinion anyway.
So, yeah. When is the best time to pick at a scab? I really couldn’t tell you other than it usually isn’t a planned occasion. I had a totally different post planned for today but this one happened instead. The only thing that keeps me from not hitting post is the peace that comes with the recall.
It still hurts-how could it not? But what I know to be true is that my value lies not in what happened in my past but in knowing I am a child of the living God. I may have been birthed by someone and raised by someone else but I am claimed, and loved, by One that doesn’t measure my value against any standard other than the sacrifice of Christ. I am beautiful and whole and created to glorify Him-not in spite of my past-but because of it. He chose me. I didn’t have a shiny perfect upbringing-I was raised broken and fully believed (and frequently still believe) undeserving of anything. Maybe that is why the full gift of God is something I cling to? I know what it is like to feel unworthy, undeserving, unloved and unlovely so when something unseen calls out to you offering a gift that requires only that you surrender-that there is no one worthy, deserving or capable-you feel less alone. When you have an understanding of the undeserving, the beauty of the love of Christ shines so much brighter.
Until next time.