You’ve heard that phrase used, and know that it refers to your life. The unique events that have formed you, blessed you, scarred you, or in any other way have contributed to who you are and how you view the world.
Someone asked a question as to how you put actions to “reading someone’s story.” That’s a really good question. When someone tells you about the events of their life, good, bad, or indifferent, they are telling you more. There is more left unsaid, often much more. But some of it can be inferred between the lines if you reflect a bit, if you are a student of people, and slow down to really look at them and listen. I don’t think it’s really very hard, but it is an investment. If you love them, and care for them, then you’ll want to know what makes them tick. What are the great disappointments, the great hurts, the great challenges and triumphs that they’ve experienced along the way? These things tell us more about a person than we first realize, if we listen. They tell a story of their glory, their dreams, disillusionment’s, and of the unique way that God has been speaking into them. How and what He’s been quietly saying to them all of these years.
That’s one thing I’ve really discovered. That no matter how messed up, lost, dark, or distant someone is, God is still speaking to them, calling to their heart. Think of the story of the Prodigal, or perhaps your own story. And you’ll realize that it is true. He never stops seeking the lost.
Looking back, I can see some of how the events of my life have made me; wounded me, motivated me, changed me, and gifted me.
I’m reading Truefaced, and it’s touching on some areas where I feel I need to step up, and drop any pretenses about who I am. Or what I think I should be. That’s a biggie. Because for the longest time I felt overlooked, insignificant, and that fed into some of what I did. For recognition. At one point along the way I learned that I had a love /hate relationship with recognition. I liked the attention, being noticed. But I also feared it. I wanted to be seen, but was afraid of being really seen. Deep down inside of us, there is a place that yearns to be seen, to be fully known and accepted as we are. But it’s afraid to come out of the shadows and into the sunlight. Fear, sense of worthiness, and shame. What a cocktail.
And while we may have a sense of what God wants to do in our lives, I’m not sure that we ever see more than a fleeting glimpse of who He really made us to be. Others may see it more clearly. I have struggled to see myself, although the picture is getting clearer.
So, what things about my life are important to know, so you’ll know when I’m veering too close to the edge? Or which events might give you a window into my soul?
Up until age 9, my life was rather uneventful, your typical midwestern childhood, I guess. It was unique in a small way, having grown up in a very ethnic community (German), but other than that nothing out of the ordinary.
At age 9, I had an unwanted interaction with a much older boy. Yeah. That brought a great deal of shame, and confusion, into my life. And as those events are prone to do, it complicated my teen years. No SS attraction, or anything like that, but it made what should be a normal maturation process more lengthy. And when I was 49, 40 years after the fact, God spoke very clearly regarding how He felt about it. He didn’t feel toward me the way I had believed. That’s what fear and shame do to you. They cause you to isolate, believe the lie, and miss the truth. For forty years.
At age 10, my Mom nearly died from the Hong Kong Flu. After suffering from a 105 degree fever for more than a week, she spent the next 12 years in and out of mental institutions. The Doctors did the best that they knew how at that time to care for what they now call Bi-Polar Disorder. All we knew is that after the Flu, Mom was still sick, and couldn’t help it.
So, I entered adolescence a little more reserved, and unmothered, than the average kid. I don’t understand all of the implications, but I do know it’s part of my story. I have no idea what it may tell you, maybe it will allow you to read between the lines a bit. Sometimes I wish I was someone else, that I was more socially adept, more visible. Less complicated. But who I am, what I am, was made for a reason. I think of Jacob’s son Joseph, his story speaks to me. Lost and wasted years can be used to reveal brilliant light. That’s not to say that I’m content to rest here. There is more deliverance, more healing, more beauty, more love and growth in my future to be experienced and shared. I absolutely believe that. And whatever things may be in the past have been used for good, will be used for good. More than I can realize, or see.
And now, at 52 years of age, I find myself divorced, and once again following the lyrical song of the Spirit. Getting to this point took a while, and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process. I own less now than I ever have in my entire life, but the future is also now more full of possibility than ever before. Seems like there ought to be some scriptures or a parable somewhere to support that whole thing. It’s got to be a natural law of some sort.
Looking back, God has always been there, very near, even when things looked to be at their most bleak. And more often than not I didn’t fully recognized Him when He was so close. But my nearsightedness didn’t offend Him, He stayed right there. I could still hear His voice…
There. A little more of my True Face is showing.
Hmmm. The sunlight feels nice.