"Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I've ever been." ~ Iain Thomas
If my life were a book it would start something like this...There once was a little girl. She was kind, and good. She loved Jesus and her Mama. She was her daddy's little girl and had his grit to boot too. This little girl loved to sing and dance, to laugh, to play and to jump on beds. She was a bit of an oddball, wearing tiaras and capes, always full of spirit and adventures running wild through her own imagination. She loved silly thingys, nonesensey dodads, fantasy thingamajigs and make-believe whatchamacalits. She liked to read, write and create. And she loved to quote the great Dr. Seuss in such ways as this,"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities." Birthdays, parties, cakes and gifts came and went. And just like her mind, and age too, her life expanded as well. She learned to embrace the good with the bad and to celebrate the love and personal magic living inside her heart. And yes, her love for life, a bit of mischief and Jesus grew too in spite of the difficulties and hardships that seemed to follow her to and fro.
Time and time again, even as her body failed from an early age, this little girl saw life for what it really is, a gift you see, a masterpiece all of her own, and a life she fully embraced. You see this little girl discovered something awfully big, an idea and a way of thinking and of looking at life without regret. She didn't have to convince herself life was beautiful, because it just was, even if her scares were in plain sight. And you know why, well because she understood the idea of "walking with God through pain and suffering" isn't about questioning God but trusting Him. Timothy Keller explains this beautifully, "There is purpose to suffering and if faced rightly it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine." Her suffering was not ever in vain and she knew this very well. The hardships, distress and adversities wasn't to cause her pain, but to open her eyes to what a meaningful, full life really is. The calamity and misadventures only enforced the certainty of her core values and the authenticity of her candor. She didn't need to be rich, or popular. She didn't need a high dollar education or a title added to the beginning or end of her name. She didn't need to be perfect or stressed out, in a hurry or manufacture any sort of self-created chaos. All this little girl really needed was to be real, to be humble and never try too hard to be anything other than herself.
As she grew into a woman, this little girl found herself. She no longer let the drama of life hold her down. In letting go of the worries and woes life tried to offer along the way this little girl became the woman she is this very day. She became dangerous, but only because she wasn't afraid to be herself. She didn't have to come to the end of her dreams, just the end of herself and in doing this she stopped putting commas and question marks in her life where God was putting periods. In the process she came fully into herself, and into her own measure, completely realizing she was not the kind of girl who needed saving, but the kind of woman who knows her worth. Just as R.H. Sin conveys, "She was dangerous, independent and strong. the sound of her heels against the marble floor shook the devil up." And in being this kind of woman, this once little girl became stronger than she ever realized possible. In the face of diabetes and breast cancer, a stroke and multiple auto-immune diseases she became capable of handling anything by God's grace. Jeremiah 1:5 says this, “I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb." And the truth is God, my Father, knew me long before He breathed life into my spirit. He knew everything I would become and go through, good and bad. He set my life apart even before I was ever an apple in my parents eyes. What I know is this: He loves me, even with my stubborn attributes and all. Long before the pages of my life were even thought out or fully planned and before pen was put to ink and ink put to paper He began drafting the pages of my life. In doing this, my Heavenly Father began coloring in my life with both brilliant and dark hues. He knew to write in "the light bringers, the magic makers, the world shifters and the game shakers." He knew they would "challenge me, break me open, uplift and expand me. They wouldn't let me play small with my life." And He knew,"these heartbeats would be my people and my tribe." My Father, He knew just the presence of their lives within my own would shape me into the woman I'd eventually become.
Life Lesson #129 ~ The Pages of My Life is a simple story of a little girl who grew up to understand, "in the end, we all become stories." (Margaret Atwood) And that is what I am, a story, one of millions He's written. The pages of my life tell my story from the moment I was born to the birth of my children. These sometimes messy pages reveal who I was and who I have become. Every detail of my life is recorded and inscribed. There are pages and chapters worth retelling and others I'd like to forget. There are victories scrawled across the vast pages of my life from the days of battling breast cancer to becoming the survivor I am today. If I have learned anything in this life it's this, the pages of your life can be beautifully out of place and so can you. It's your life, your story and your pages. So live your life authentically, never give up on yourself and simply be who you really are, weird and all.
"I don't know how my life will end, but nowhere in my text will it ever read...I gave up."