You may know my name, but do you know my story? Do you know who I truly am? The woman I have fought hard to become? One chapter simply does not chronicle or detail, illustrate or depict my whole tale. A paragraph is but one raindrop falling from the sky. Words from a single sentence alone are but one moment, one small glimpse into my life, into my story. Without the complete account no one has the ability to discern the outcome.
Let me take a moment and reintroduce myself to you. My name is Christina, Christina Marie to be formal. My family calls me Christie. I’m a 40 something year old wife, mother and educator. I’ve been married to the love of my life for over 20 years and together have raised two practically grown sons. I’m also a writer; I express myself through written narrative. I can be difficult, headstrong and yes very strong –willed. I’m a bit of a wild one, an only child at that and a certified complete sassy mess. I have a soft heart, a kind nature and I’m loyal to a fault. I may be obstinate but I’m typically able to find a compromise in most situations. I’ll fully admit when I’m wrong, humbling myself enough to accept I’m blameworthy. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, maybe more like a shot of whiskey if we’re really being honest here. I’m one of those people you either love or hate. There’s not a lot of in-between. I’m a weird combination of quiet and a live out loud kind of girl. I’ve never stood out because I’m exceptionally beautiful or a rocket scientist type of genius. I have never craved attention; in fact it makes me feel pretty awkward when the spotlight is suddenly turned on me. I’m basically an unassuming person. I really just see myself as a plain Jain and gladly embrace the words nerd and geek as personal victories. I am me, flawed, to the max but absolutely imperfect in every way and yes, that’s my super power. Can anyone imitate my style, the things I like, the way I live, yada, yada, sure they can? But why, I’m a complete mess? The thing about trying to compare ourselves, to be better than someone else is in the process we lose ourselves. The original picture becomes distorted, out of focus, but so does the one we are trying to recreate. Essentially our desire to rise above ends up dragging us under, getting tangled up in bitterness and anger. I see this quote about comparison all over Pintrest , Life lesson #49: “Comparison is a thief!” And when over watered, it can make a complete hot mess out of everything!
The reality is, I’m an absolute sinner. I was born that way, and will die that way. I’m not perfect nor have I ever claimed to be. I hurt, I get mad and yes I slip up all the time. My Irish temper can downright get the best of me on any given day but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God’s grace covers me, His love saves me and His Son lives in me. Sin is sin but God’s grace is STILL GRACE. Whatever spin we’d like to put on it, however we’d like to weld our swords of righteousness, once our past has been forgiven it’s gone. God no longer holds our wrongdoing against us. His Word clearly says in Hebrews 10: 17, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. “ Keeping records of our wrongdoing is not the way of my Father; nope it’s man who throws that power around.
Conflict for the sake of conflict is nothing but self-infliction and self-absorption. As a writer I know conflict is part of the story but it’s not the whole plot. We all deal with adversity, we’ve all had hard times but at some point we have to decide we are NOT defined by the wrongs we feel have been done to us. A writer knows this and will tie all five elements into any story. These parts may be basic but they are equally important. Characters, setting, plot, conflict and most importantly the resolution makes up any good story. The victim in each and every conflict has to find peace in one way or another, to rise above being the victim in order for a story to conclude, to find resolution. If not, the victim becomes a casualty of his or her own un-doing. It’s the same in life, if you want to overcome the victim’s role; you have to be willing to rise from the ashes.
Forgiveness is a gift; it’s something I’ve talked about before. Why, well because it’s a necessary component to healing. This is the question we all must ask ourselves; should we allow anger and rage to entangle our lives, sprouting seeds of bitterness to ultimately strangle us to death or forgive without expectations? Forgiveness isn’t easy, but neither is hate. At my lowest, when I am holding onto hurts done to me, I choose this verse to cling to, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. FORGIVE, and you will be FORGIVEN.” Luke 6:37
I just want to make peace with the past and move forward from this chapter of my life. And hopefully without sounding pompous I can say what I need to without continuing this tango on a sinking ship. All of us have these moments, the kind where we just throw our hands up and say, “Can we just move on?” In these times, in those chapters of our lives after we’ve offered forgiveness, even sought forgiveness ourselves and yet there’s no resolution, we need to understand we can move on without regret. A great quote I love says it this way, “Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.” (Love my LSI) Truthfully we just need to realize those who need to continue with discord, making contention their path, craving turmoil and constant disturbance have no place in ours. My advice, my plea to those folks caught up in this sideways sentiment: please, please go knock on someone else’s door. Bolt the door shut, hammer some nails in it for goodness gracious sake and say adios to needless and pointless drama. It’s simply not healthy for anyone. Look, life is bigger than imitating a lifestyle. Again I want to stress, comparison is a thief and she will rob you of everything good. Your life is unique, go get it, live it and “Just Be You” (January 2015/ The Uniboob Club). Personally speaking I have no desire to play a role in Titanic, The Sequel. You’re the captain of your own ship, the author of your own story. I’m loved by those who count, hated by those who don’t. And you know what; I’m perfectly OK with that. If comparison is truly the road you want to travel, go ahead, the only person you’re truly robbing is yourself. You may try and steal my identity, to imitate my life, even counterfeit my writings as your own but the truth is I KNOW “The HouseBuilt Me” (July 2012/ The Uniboob Club), I genuinely understand my “Family is Everything” (December 2015/ TheUniboob Club) and I’m fully aware just how much “Wonder Woman I Am Not” (November 2008/ The Uniboob Club) is true. I don’t have to rob, swipe, thieve or misappropriate someone else’s life or words as my own to validate the woman I have become. I may be a mess but I’m a strong, independent, educated, very human and a very happy mess. I’m not a puppet; I have no strings on me, as Pinocchio would say. So give it your best shot, throw everything you have at me. I have closed that door, barred it shut. Take scripture out of context, not a problem, MY God is not a God of wrath, He loves, forgives and isn’t sitting with a hammer ready to send me off to hell, fire and brimstone because I screwed up or anyone else for that matter. He isn’t sending my husband to hell or raining down an inferno of burning woes on top on our heads. I’m sorry I just have to disagree. Throw it around, but it doesn’t change what I KNOW! I for one am confident in God’s ability to love UNCONDIONTIONALY. Your threats have no hold on me, I’m a daughter of the King, His grace is sufficient and only He has the ability to judge my life or those I love. As Glinda the Good Witch of the North says in The Wizard of Oz, “You have no power here! Be gone. “