It was about 22 years ago and I was in my first year of college. It was quite amazing that I was actually attending a college. My grades in high school had always been good and I was involved in several extra-curricular activities. But really, I had no real direction in my life. My home life was tumultuous and discord was the norm. It wasn’t weird to live under the same roof day in and out, and ignore the very existence of my family. Even in looking back, I don’t remember much positive interaction. Nope, not too much love in my home. Daily living was trying to figure out how to peaceably survive the day without any major altercations and verbal assassinations. Much better to stay quiet, distant, and numb. Avoid conflict at all costs. It is too ugly. It is too scary. It is too angry. It is NOT safe.
This turmoil took place between my parents, between my parents and myself, between my parents and my brother, between my brother and myself, and myself and my father. I don’t really remember my youngest brother as he grew up. I did my best to stay out of the house as much as possible.
The last year my father lived at home, before he and my mother got divorced, we did not speak. We continued this for the next 8 years or so. Ugh! What do you do when your own father is a stranger in your life? You grin and bear it and place the heavy weight of VICTIM around your neck. You see everything through a distorted filter. You trust others with no questions and continue to get hurt again and again and again. You perpetuate the scenario time and again with hope of a different ending. You don’t get one. The outcome is the same, if not worse.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:1-3
So here I am, a young woman in her first year of college with no direction, clinging very tightly to her high school sweetheart. He is still in high school and I am not. He is changing and I do not like it. A young man who used to pride himself in being ‘straight-edge’ is now smoking and drinking. He is no longer interested in spending all his time with me. He wants to hang out with his friends and I am not included. I am lied to and I am cheated on and I just want to die. Another stranger!!
Many times I wished I could have ended it all. Suicidal thoughts come and go these days. I take painkillers left over from dental procedures to numb the pain, wishing it would all just go away. Self-respect and self-esteem were in the gutter. I was a complete mess on the inside. On the outside, I guess it all looked okay.
I manage to work part-time and go to school, yet I never gave my all to anything worthwhile. My only direction was to find a way to get someone to love me, not that I realized what I was doing. I had a tendency to feel inferior, inadequate, and ugly. I did not really know how to relate with others socially. Not really. I overdid it. I clung too tightly. I got hurt too fast. My development was arrested. Relationships were a stumbling block. I had become a shell of a person. It didn’t look bad on the outside. The inside was in shambles and I honestly didn’t even realize how bad it was. It was all I knew. It was me up against the world and my future looked bleak.
My, my, my how things have changed. Thank you to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You are the lover of my soul.
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:4-5