Painfully Honest

Do you remember the days of elementary-school life? Prayer time became an opportunity for kids to one-up the others with stories of family catastrophes. It was a game–whose prayer request is the most disgustingly urgent.

And I thought that someone being dramatic enough to say that her world was turned upside-down was the biggest bunch of bologna.

And then my world turned upside-down. Sin does that. Maybe you don’t believe in sin. Okay. The “mistakes” of people effect others. The choices people make–good or bad–have changed me. My own choices have changed me.

And I was naive enough to think that once your world is turned upside-down, it can’t happen again. But I didn’t realize that after my faith in a good, loving God was shaken the first time, that the world of protection I created for myself could (and probably should) fall apart.

And so here I am trying to be rebuild another world after a second destruction. I’ve done things I never thought I would do. I got a tattoo. Yeah. I felt like I needed to brand myself. I started going to a church where I knew no one. I was sick of the Christianity I had grown up with. I began looking for friends as unlike me as they could possibly get. I went to London and Paris to escape from the world I knew. I asked if I could be in counseling. Yeah. I did that too. And don’t act shocked because everyone needs counseling. The truth is I can’t handle my emotional struggles alone.

My greatest friends are broken people. I am a broken person. And I break all over again every single day. I break for myself, and I break for them. But there is joy in all this sorrow. If you had asked me a year ago where I would be, where my family would be, I never would have guessed here. A year ago, I thought my family would never be together again. Today, my family is together. A year ago, I ended the most important relationship in my life and was trying to compartmentalize the guilt and shame. Today, I am investing in a friendship that has taught me more about myself than any other I’ve had. It is difficult to love people deeply when they are hurting themselves, when they are hurting you. I don’t know how to love people as well as I should, but I am determined to keep loving them because God loves them. He is not ashamed of them or me.

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