Or, how about, “You were made an original, so don’t die a copy.”
Then there’s the message in its simplest form: “Be You.”
Everyone always said stuff like that to me when I was younger, but I never believed in it quite as strongly as people thought I did. I think that, deep down inside, I was a really insecure person. Maybe that’s normal for nine and ten and eleven year old kids, and a few years past those ages, too. I don’t really know for sure.
I do have a point. I promise. I won’t lie though I have a lot to say so it might take me a while to get there. Ready? Brace yourself.
People tell you to “do you, boo,” but as soon as “you” turns out to be something or someone they don’t like, they try their hardest to mold you back into the safe and comfortable person they had you pegged for in the first place.
Maybe I’m being harsh. Maybe I’m angry; I think I’ve been angry for a long time, and I’m really only just now starting to figure out why.
I met with my Pastor and his wife Wednesday night. That’s not why I’m angry, that’s just part of the story. I don’t think I could ever be angry at my Pastor. He’s a really good man, and his wife is one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever known. I love them both dearly.
We met on Wednesday to talk about one thing and ended up talking about a completely different subject: Healing. Healing from bullying, healing from being judged unfairly, healing from conflicts . . .
I don’t remember conversations well, so I can’t tell you exactly what he said. But the thing that impacted me? He didn’t belittle my emotions. I didn’t go into detail, but my Pastor is aware of the fact that I have been hurt, deeply. And it could’ve been so much worse; the things that I am hurting from could be infinitely more painful. But, that considered, he didn’t tell me that I was overreacting or that I was wrong for hurting or that I was being selfish or . . . Not many people do that.
There’s a Bible study I go to on Sundays, with one of my closest friends. It’s a small college-aged group led by a young married couple, and one of the kindest souls I think I have ever met. She was giving some advice to my friend last night and one thing she said caught my attention.
We have to find our fulfillment in Christ. It can’t come from anywhere else.
I know that is a really obvious fact, but I’d forgotten about it. I’ve been throwing myself into everything I can, into school and teaching and tutoring and waitressing and this Bible study and another Bible study on Monday and AWANAs leadership and helping out with children’s church and studying, and I keep piling more and more and more because right now I need to be as busy as I can be.
I never thought it would make me feel better, but I thought that maybe it would keep me distracted so I wouldn’t dwell on the bad stuff going on, the stuff that I need to face in order to heal from it.
I came to a conclusion. I am exceptionally good at falling apart, but I’m not so great at pulling myself back together. I wallow in pain; I dwell on it until I’m physically sick. It isn’t because I enjoy it. I just don’t know how to heal from it. I don’t know how to let go (don’t sing) and move on.
Are you curious what all has happened yet? I’m not just talking about hurts from my Now, from recent weeks and months. I’m talking about hurts from years ago, from my Then, that haven’t healed because I am too cowardly to face them.
I’m going to be vulnerable. I am going to be brave. I am going to tell my story as best I can, because this is how I heal. I don’t talk it out.