So, apparently these “A-to-Z” blog posts are only supposed to be 100-300 words. I didn’t realize that… so, I apologize for the length of this one. The following is a post I began on December 29th, and I decided to complete it to start the April A-to-Z challenge off.
*Just a brief preface. I’m posting this because I was inspired by my church service (yes, my Disney World church, see this post if you have no idea what I’m talking about), because of people being baptized. I realized that hey! I post online and talk about God/Jesus/Christianity all the time and no one knows my story. So I figured I’d write it out.*
This is the testimony of God’s work in my life. Through my weakness and humanness God has shown his strength and his provision. This is the work of God, not anything of my own. “He must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30)
Throughout the centuries, different cultures have identified moments in time when children become adults. Some say it’s when they turn 13, some say 18, some say when a 16 year old gets their drivers license, etc. Throughout history, society has attempted to put a line on the transition from a child to an adult. I am very inclined to believe that none of these are true. But sometimes in our own culture, we force children to become adults when they aren’t actually adults, and sometimes children become adults even though we still treat them like children.
I think that the development of adulthood is actually the deeper and deeper realization of the world and it’s true state, and my own being and my own true state. My first true understanding of the world came when I was in 7th grade. I started attending an all girls school and I was enjoying it. But I also got a taste of the world. I trusted people freely and I shouldn’t have. As a result, I got hurt. I gave my heart away and I got it back in pieces. I couldn’t handle it and I couldn’t handle myself and what had happened. Self-mutilation was where I turned and suicidal thoughts filled my mind.
Cutting was a release I hadn’t ever felt before. It took me to another world where I didn’t feel; I was numb to the incisions in my body and it made me forget about the pain I was actually feeling. That’s when I first realized it. The world is dark, heavy, burdening, and painful. When I cut, there was no light, no hope, no joy in the world around me. When I cut, it was like the world began spinning around me. Time stopped where I was but the world kept spinning, and it didn’t care about my single life. I remember describing my life at that time as me being in a dark, damp corner with concrete walls surrounding me. I was at a party, with a group of faceless people. Those people were all around me dancing and having fun with loud music blaring. There were lights shining on them, but they didn’t shine on me at all. None of them noticed me in the corner. I buried my head into my knees and couldn’t get the strength to cry. I remember feeling dirty in this corner, unworthy of the attention of the dancing people around me. But most of all, I felt alone. I felt alone with a crowd full of people.
The darkness I felt from the world was real. I realized that the world is dark and self seeking. It doesn’t care about me or about who I am. I came to the realization of the world and it’s true state. It’s true state of darkness, brokenness, and most of all, its humanness. This realization was painful because I realized my place in the world as well, which was no where. I was nothing. The world continued to move on without me. It didn’t need me. I felt as though I could’ve dissipated from the face of the earth and the world would continue to turn as it had been, not feeling the loss of my presence. This is when I believe I became an adult.
I grew up quickly after I looked at my life and felt no flame inside of me to continue going. I looked at the world and longed for more. I longed for a restart of my life. It was my 7th grade year, and I ended up getting kicked out of the all girls school. I watched my life shatter (in my feeble 13 year old mind) before my eyes. I didn’t understand what was happening. I was confused and most of all hurting. My heart cried out for more from the world. I longed to see restoration, growth, and light in my life. I knew there had to be more to the world around me than what I saw in my dark corner, but I was too weak to search any further.
From my dark corner, I looked up. I was blinded so intensely I couldn’t open my eyes. The light I saw from the party of happy dancers and loud music was dim compared to the light I saw in front of me. I attempted to shield my eyes, but I couldn’t. I saw a hand reach out to me and call me by name. I felt the dirt on my body, the guilt, and the pain more deeply than I ever had before. The light I saw was pure, so pure, I could actually feel my flesh behind the dirt on my arms and body. He lifted me up, because he knew I didn’t have the strength to, and he began to show me who I really was. He was the first person who didn’t care what I looked like, how dirty I was, or how long I had been sitting in my damp, dark corner. His love for me was radiant, overflowing, and consuming. I didn’t know who he was, but all I knew is I wanted to get that dirt off of me.
“Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise; Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light” Micah 7:8
In His presence, I became new. His light out shown my dirtiness. His light burned the dirt and shame I felt off of me. That moment, when I saw Him, I knew I was His. He captured my heart, I didn’t ask him to come into my heart, he was already there, he just didn’t make himself known to me. In that moment, I was complete. I felt wholeness, forgiveness, and I was accepted. I was accepted with all my dirt on my body, for who I was, the sin, the dirt and shame. I was accepted not because I am human, dirty, selfish, sinful, and broken, but because of that light. I was accepted because I no longer was that person who longed to be dancing at the party. I longed for so much more than what the world could ever give me. I realized that I am no longer of this world, I had been bought at a high price, and was adopted into the community of Christ followers I call the Church.
I so began my journey of adulthood, not because I chose to, or because of my own doing, but rather, because of God’s grace in my life. I am being formed more and more into the person that God wants me to be and that is thrilling. Our God is a God of restoration and renewal, and I am so thankful for that. I can do nothing and I am nothing without him and his presence in my life.
Soli Deo Gloria.