Very recently, someone wrote a really scathing blog posting about me. This person is not only a Christian, but an ordained Pastor’s wife. Everything she said about me was true. As I read the blog posting, it was all I could do to sit upright and not fall over as if in deep, deep pain. What she wrote exposed me. It exposed the ugliest side of me. I’ve moved on and I’m no longer that woman, but in her eyes, I still was. She never saw past that. It hurt so deeply. It still hurts, being compared to Jenny from Forrest Gump, but…that’s who I was for a season in my life. I was a mess. A terrible, ugly, ragged mess.
I smiled anyway. I laughed anyway. I danced in the rain and I shot arrows at the moon, hoping to catch a star anyway.
Unlike Jenny from Forrest Gump, I was smart enough to marry the right guy. I was smart enough to find God before I sat in the Judgement seat. I was smart enough to look in the mirror.
But I wasn’t smart enough not to hurt people.
I understand completely why she wrote what she did, and I sincerely hope it edified other’s faith. I’m glad she learned something from our exchange. I’m glad I learned something! Something I’ve been learning to do lately is to find things about myself that I really like and then focus on developing those areas. I like that I have a teachable spirit, and I like that I’m strong and willing to challenge myself and reach out beyond my comfort zone. I’m learning Hmong (slowly) which is incredibly difficult and scary for me, but I’m doing it! (Check out my YouTube video here of my first words!) I’m doing it because my Pastor and his family are Hmong and I’m learning that there is a huge population here in Southern Oregon and California that are Hmong and are losing a bit of their culture, as they’re expected to (or perhaps even desire to) adapt to North American ways. They’re my Brothers and Sisters. I want to meet them where they are, not expect them to come to where I am.
Something else that I am learning is that it is very difficult to be a Christian. As time passes and I meet new people, have new experiences, I begin to understand the importance of Jesus’ telling us to love our neighbors as ourselves. It’s so easy to love ourselves more – to do things that benefit ourselves, rather than reach outside of our comfort zone. It’s easier to take care of four or five people, than to reach out and lend a hand to someone outside of our family. Reaching out may cause us to become burned. I’ve already been there, why would I subject myself to that again? Because we’re all birds, being raised up in the same nest, so to speak. We may sing a different song, but we are all from the same Father. He feeds us variations of the same food, but we are all fed each day without fail. We simply have to choose whether or not we will allow ourselves to be fed. I’ve found that it’s more fun to eat with friends than to eat alone. God help me, I never want to go back to eating alone again.
I’m not Jenny anymore. I don’t wear the same tattered dress, but make no mistake – I carry many scars. Scars I am proud of and will boast in Christ about. He sewed them up! He held me and carried me and changed me. He gave me Life, showed me the Truth, and lit the Way. He sent His people to scar me, to speak His Word, to hold me, to dine with me, to dance with me, to celebrate with me, and to cry with me. Each little bird He’s sent has sung a different tune, but they’re all beautiful and I’m glad to be in the same nest with them.