Yesterday I had myself a good ol’ laugh while strolling down memory lane. Before I even tell you why, let me say that in itself is a miracle! I’ve taken myself way too seriously throughout the years and that included being hyper sensitive to criticism and to anything I thought would be considered embarrassing. I still deal with both of these things but I can definitely see my growth.
I decided to take a look at some of the piles of stuff in my garage to get an idea of what should be kept and what needed to be hauled away. I came across some of my writings dating back as far as 1992. I found one binder that contained an “application” that I created to give to young guys who were interested in me as a teenager.
Needless to say, the questions were beyond FOOLISHNESS!! Don’t believe me? Try this one, posed to a 16 year old boy: Question #16 “In 20 words of less, give me a reason why I should be interested in you”.
SERIOUSLY MELISSA?! I almost passed out from shock and horror! Clearly at the time I thought this type of “application” was appropriate to give to a 16 year old boy. Now I know so much better! I was 17 years old at the time of this. Why was I interviewing teenage boys as if I was looking for a man and a HUSBAND?! Sheesh. Prime example of how good intentions can veer off into a ditch. My parents meant well but failed to meet in the middle ground when it came to explaining relationships with boys to me. But hey, this isn’t an indictment on my parents but rather a realization of where this folly foolishness originated and how it can be redirected.
As I read and shared this “application” with my facebook friends, I came to some pretty remarkable realizations that I wanted to share here. First, it was fun reminiscing with my sister, who I still fault for doing little to NOTHING to stop her overly zealous little sister. lol! But seriously, she couldn’t have stopped me if she tried. As hard as this may be to fathom considering my over-the-top religious behavior, these years were when my sister and I became the closest. Also, for all of my insanity, I still managed to have some very meaningful and loving friendships with people in high school that I still communicate with to this day.
What does it all mean to me?
Well, it tells me that no matter where I am, how wrong I am, how mixed up in the head I might be and how off the beaten path I may roll, I am always and at all times worthy of love. I am amazed and humbled by the people who put up with me and loved me through my immaturity and judgmental years. Even though I was critical and judgmental, it’s because of their open mindedness and unconditional love that I made it to this point in life and enjoyed their friendship. Maybe I was a good friend to them then. Maybe I wasn’t. But yesterday I realized that despite of my behavior, learning how to love people beyond what they say and do plants a seed within them that will eventually produce an abundant harvest.
So to all of my high school classmates, college classmates, and most of all, my beloved sister who shared a room with the mini prophetess (*snigglin*) I say THANK YOU and dedicate this blog entry to each of you. Thank you for loving the real me and not the me I tried to be. Thank you for seeing past the religious part of me and realizing that beneath all of the fiery sermons on the Mount was a girl that was worthy of your love and friendship. I may not have been the best at showing you that it was valuable to me then, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with acknowledging it now.
I also want to encourage all who may read this to remember that no matter where you are in life, you are worthy of love. You are worthy of acceptance. You are worthy of respect. Unfortunately, not everyone can reciprocate these gifts when you give them, but they never fall to the ground in waste. It’s a seed that grows over time. He who is forgiven of much, loves much.
I’m still a fiery preacher. LOL! I’m glad you all had a chance to see that I didn’t just wake up one morning and start preaching on facebook. I’ve been doing this a long time. But I wasn’t doing it in love then. Now, everything that I post, I do my best to remember that those who are reading need to feel loved and accepted, even if they’re being corrected with the truth of God’s Word. Isn’t that the wonderful thing about God? He can be absolutely right, you can stand before Him absolutely wrong and leave absolutely forgiven and justified by His love and grace!
So thanks to those of you who endured the young and zealous me.
And thank you for those who continue to love and support the real me.