Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TMI: My Baggage



Sorry if this a little long... it was on my mind and I just had to get it out =)


I know most bloggers censor themselves somewhat, especially Christians; most blogs I read are happy and funny or very spiritual, and you don’t learn too much of the dirt in someone’s life…

Which I am not saying is a bad thing; I mean who wants all their baggage out on the internet for the world to judge?

Well, I am going to share something about myself and I hope you won't judge me for it =)


===============================================

My post from yesterday
(flasher girl in particular) got me thinking about my past.

I didn’t get a great look at her
(thankfully) but I would guess she was about 16.

She was in a car full of people, she was obviously drunk trying to impress them and get attention. I started wondering what was going on in her home life, what issues was she dealing with that made her act out like that.

Maybe she was just hyper and goofing off… but maybe there was a deeper issue… maybe that girl’s life was out of control.

Like mine was at her age.






I started thinking about all the ridiculously, stupid things I did as a teen... and I am not talking about the fun, irresponsible stuff you do when you don’t have a care in the world.


I am talking about the stuff you do when you grow up in a broken home with a single mother who can’t keep tabs on you because she is just trying to keep food on the table and the electricity turned on.


When you are the “poor” kid who is disrespectful and completely hard-headed… who doesn’t want anyone feeling sorry for her or telling her what to do… The kid who drops out of school; who moves in with friends
(or whoever will take her) and lives each day for the next temporary high.


I am not going to go into all the details… but I am thankful to be alive, to not be in jail, an alcoholic/drug addict or worse.


I am so thankful that me and my older brother and sister eventually realized the life we were leading was not who we wanted to be.


That God had bigger and better plans for us…


And I share this with you not for sympathy, but because sometimes life puts us in a bubble and we don't realize just how much we are blessed…


Right now, I am living life abundantly. I have a husband, beautiful children, a happy home that I never in a million years thought I would have. My mom and siblings are my best friends, and my whole family means the world to me. Even with all that has happened in the past year, I still feel like I have so much more than I deserve.


If you met any of us now, you would never believe who we were back then.


And although I have struggled with regrets, I realize that my past isn’t to be ashamed of
or proud of. It is there, it will always be there, but I am forgiven.


That is what I focus on.


I am FORGIVEN. I am free.


But there are still millions of broken families in this country, with kids who are wallowing in self-pity and self-doubt like I was… kids that feel like no one really cares if they succeed... so they make decisions that could be completely detrimental to their lives…


and these kids are not always who you think they are.


We didn’t “look” like bad kids.







(My brother and I)




I know that the reason my siblings and I were able to turn our lives around is because of Jesus
(and my granny praying for us every single day)… We spent a lot of time in church growing up, and even though that wasn’t enough to counter-balance the problems at home, it was enough for us to know He was there…

and that if we returned to Him, we would be changed.


And we were.


Completely.


I hope that God will give me the opportunity to work with troubled youth... because I believe there is hope for every one of them.


...and because I don’t want to get to the point where I start thinking that I am “better” than a loud girl who decides to flash a woman in front of an elementary school... or those grungy kids walking by, smelling like smoke with bloodshot eyes and a potty mouth... or the homeless man who reeks of alcohol sitting on the side of the road...


Because the
only difference between me and them...


is that I accepted my Savior’s sweet grace and forgiveness and asked Him to change me.


...and He did.