This is not me saying that I have the answers to life.
Or any answers really.
This is just me coming to several realizations due to some conversations that I’ve had recently. Some amazing, important realizations.
I have never actually said any of them out loud. They may not even matter to anyone else, as they are really just to do with me. But here they are anyways.
I know how people saw me as I grew up. I was always that cute, happy little girl.
We didn’t have any of the “cool” new toys, but instead always had to settle for hand me downs. I got my first Barbie when I was 12. I couldn’t even fathom what I was supposed to do with it. Side note: I am SOOO not a girly girly. I also grew up the only girl in a neighbourhood filled with boys, with a forest as my play fort.
First, all those things I just said…thats how others looked at me. And some of those people who knew me when I was little probably still do.
But that doesn’t mean that I looked at myself that way.
Until I learned to own who I was. Not who my parents were, or my uncles, or aunts, or friends.
I am me. And I too make mistakes. I am a “christian”. I say it that way because I absolutely do not think I am better than someone else because I sin differently than they do.
I am a hoarder of craft supplies. I am a wife, mother, daughter sister and friend. I have a carbonated-caffiene addiction. I am an introvert. I am opinionated. That’s okay. But the only decisions I have to own up to are my own.
And all those people in my life, my family and friends growing up. Those people that always had a beer in their hand, or told amazingly long stories. I wouldn’t trade a single one of them in for all the money in the world. I have lost many of them, but still think of them with a smile on my face. Those wonderful people who are such an integral part of who I am today.
These aren’t the only things people saw when they chose to look at those around me, rather than at me. But that isn’t the moral of this story.
I was talking to some people this week that are quite concerned that the ones they love are associating themselves with people who are not “like them”. People who have made decisions that are not “approved” of. The very people that Jesus himself came for.
And I realized something really important.
This diverse, challenging childhood I had – it was the best thing my parents could have done for me. I’m not condoning the alcohol or anyone else’s life choices. That’s not my place. Those are their decisions, and that is all a part of what makes them who they are. They are a result of the path that they have walked and the decisions they have made along the way. And since I haven’t walked their path, I don’t get to have a say in any of the decisions they’ve made.