As a child I was taught to take the extra time
to crumple crisp mint leaves into a glass of sweet tea.
Taught how to write a genuine “thank you note”
complete with Spencerian penmanship.
They taught me to always make sure I took thought, for the thoughts, of others.
To make sure I didn’t offend.
Taught me to smile no matter what I felt on the inside
–wide as the day–
and be the bright penny of Good Southern Breeding.
My family instructed me in the importance of hospital cornered bedsheets;
and which fork to use.
But somehow, somewhere, mixed in these lessons were the resounding echo’s of:
YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH.
When they spoke of the differences of others with such disdain,
such evident disgust apparent on their faces.
I heard that I was different.
They were all disgusted with me too.
When they whispered the ugly they saw in the ears of friends.
I heard that I was ugly.
Someone was whispering about me too.
And I remember that I stopped eating properly for years,
alternating between starving myself
and running to the bathroom
to make sure I could keep on the path to perfection.
ONE MORE STEP TO LOVE.
Maybe this will make me okay.
Maybe this will fix it.
That broken in me.
Because that is the reasoning.
That I can paint the house that falls down around my ears
and somehow make it structurally sound.
I had my Holy buried somewhere deep inside
underneath all the hurt and
I was pulling away from Heavenly Arms
trying to make the earthly ones hold me.
And they never would.
Not the way I needed.
Hindsight is clear.
After we’ve accepted having been bought with a price;
somehow that unconditional love seeps into our consciousness
and we are never the same.
We see what it is to have A Saviour.
What it is to have an Abba.
I see how my God in His Infinite Mercy was teaching me all through my youth.
The humility learned in suffering.
The quiet spirit learned in forgiving (and forgetting).
The practice of tuning out the voice of the world and hearing only the Holy Spirit.
The clinging to HIM that I had to develop–and wouldn’t have otherwise.
It all comes full circle.
And Still. I’m. Learning.
No matter where we are in life these hard lessons
–that take decades–
are our shaping.
Oh! the joy that comes in the morning,
when we know Him better–see Him clearer.
When we understand we are so lovingly held in the Potter’s Hands.
To be broken and spilled out.
Made over new.