25 August, 2011

A story about a girl.

I thanked you all for coming, and thanked a bunch for helping out; I told you that I love you all and that you should eat more food.

If I had thought out a proper speech for my 21st, I might have shared briefly about various life-things, but for what I really would have wanted to say, I'm sure it would have gone on too long, so instead:

Ima tell you a story about a girl who from a young age prided herself on being happy, seeing the best in people, and cheering for the underdog. A girl who loved to create, learn, and explore. A girl who loved God, loved her family, and loved her friends. A girl who loved life.

I don't really quite know how to continue the story. Simple words seem to trivialise it. Nonetheless, I will go on.

Something was stolen from this girl. It wasn't an object or a physical thing, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it was. Maybe it was innocence, or ignorance. Maybe it was childhood. Whatever it was, it's hardly important now, but something was stolen from this girl.
And with it went the girl's love for creating, learning, and exploring. With it went the girl's joy in the life and passions and people around her.
The loss of all of these things left a gaping hole that was filled with numbness, depression, and anxiety. For years.

For years the girl wandered around, going through the motions of her everyday life at school, at home, at work, out with friends, at church, and even into university, and wondered why she couldn't press through this cloud that had stolen all her happiness. She wondered why other people looked like they were enjoying life, why other people seemed to have things together, why other people could talk to God, and she couldn't.

Fear. Then fear set in as well. Fear that she might die. Fear that she might live. Fear that this might be all she would ever know. Fear that whatever it was that had stolen her peacelovejoyhappiness would eventually kill her.

There was no one person that changed things, no cataclysmic event. God was integral of course, as He always is. A bunch of people around the girl played important parts, but it was a gradual thing that the girl's will became resolved, that she realised she had a choice and a chance, that she realised there was something on the other side of the mountain, something good. And depression be damned, she was going to get to that other side!
There were a lot of tears, a lot of battles along the way, each day an internal struggle. Some fights the girl lost, some she won.
If she hadn't been so focussed (or at other times, distracted) she might have stopped to appreciate the view from high atop the mountain. She might have looked down at the dead, shadowy place she'd emerged from, turned her head with a triumphant sort of never-looking-back flick, locked her gaze on the sight of the bright, glorious land in front of her, and started down the mountain, into the sunshine.

Buuuut she was too busy getting amongst it, focussing on the weeds in her path to notice any of that. It was only when she started noticing that her heart hurt that she realised something had changed. If her heart was hurting, that surely meant her heart could feel! Pain wasn't what she wanted though, so, head down, she continued on.

Not too long after this she began to notice different little things... Now, there were fewer tears, and more smiles, mourning had started to turn to dancing, and sometimes when she laughed, it felt real! She went about her activities, and found joy in some things! She stayed around people, and felt the love she knew she had for them! She riled up, she got excited, she even got frustrated and yelled at people because she'd found things again that she was passionate about!

All of a sudden to her it seemed that she was now running down the mountain, into the lush green fields to continue her journey!

It was gone. The darkness, the fear. The black dog that had followed her around, biting at her heels, gone. And it wasn't replaced by happiness, no, happiness is fickle. It was replaced with joy. Replaced with peace. Replaced with a firm identity in the girl's Creator, the One who created her to shine, not shadow.

The girl was free.

And then the girl turned twenty-one. And she had a party and made all of her friends wear ugly jumpers, just for fun. And she wanted to cry. Not because she was sad, but because she was transformed. Because she went from feeling unworthy and hopeless, to being one of the most hopeful and joyful people she knows. Because there was a time she thought she might not make it this far, and if she did then surely it would just be to suffer longer. She wanted to cry because she made it, not only alive and well, but having a strong relationship with her Creator and with armsful of people that loved her, and she loved right back.

She couldn't think of a way, but somehow she wanted to thank these people. For patience, for prayer. For laughs, for listening. There were too many. Even the ones that never knew or understood. She wanted to say sorry as well. For the battles she lost, for the times her destruction affected others. Of course there was a reason, but it is never an excuse.
So she wrote a story, in the hopes that it might shed some light on her life, why she was the way she was, and why she is the way she is. That the people around her might know, even if she never told them, that they helped breathe life into her, that even if they once made her smile, they had made a difference. That even if she barely knew them, she loved them for the life they brought.

She couldn't think of a way to thank her Creator, either. Of course she could never repay what He had given to her life. But I think she's figured out what to do, with her life. Maybe not specifically, but if there's anyone that deserves it, it's Him. And I'm sure that what she's decided is to live her life, filled with joy, for Him. For His purpose. For His glory.

And she's going to try and give away as much of that joy to others as she can. She's going to help other people through the mountain paths, and out into the glorious everlasting sunshine.


18 August, 2011

I am not a house.

People aren't renovator's dreams... People shouldn't be looked at primarily as broken and flawed with potential. Yes, we all are broken and flawed, but we're not houses. We're not projects. What if we never change? What if we can never be fixed?

If the landlord said you couldn't renovate the house, how much would you love it still? Enough to buy it, rent it, live there?

If you aren't willing, you won't make that commitment to the house.

Why commit yourself to people if you aren't willing to love them just as they are? Yes, people can change, yes, people can be motivated, should be motivated. But sometimes, we don't change, we don't get better. If you commit yourself to a person thinking you can change them, thinking they'll be great once the upgrades are done, get ready to be disappointed.

I'm not a house, I can't be renovated by you, or anyone except God, and I'm definitely not for rent... but if I never changed, would you love me just the same?