Growing up in a divorced home, where week days were spent on the farm with Mom and weekends automatically shifted to subdivision neighbor friends playing basket ball with Dad, was normal. It was also difficult. Now, don’t get me wrong, having divorced parents definitely had its advantages; two Christmas’, two birthday parties, if one parent said no you could finagle your other parent to say yes. Life was trucking right along as it should. Until that one momentous happening happened. Have you ever had that? Everything is great and you catch yourself looking around your life scenery smiling because your world is special to you. Your parents are your protectors and the world is only as big as your front yard and imagination. And then the plates of the planet shift, and your innocence turns into defeat. The impenetrable force field that once surrounded you is chipped and then crash! down falls the wall of Jericho and in trumps the terrorists!
My momentous happening happened when I was sixteen. I had just started high school and as a girl, I was in desperate need of a mothers assistance! However, mine had moved away to Timbuctoo. Granted, I was invited to “tag” along, but I didn’t. So, as I entered into the misty jungle that is high school, I also entered the spare bedroom of my Dad’s house with packed bags in hand. Life changed. I easily became an angry person. I put up a new fence around my heart. No one entered and no one left. There for, I was okay. I only cared for me and the opinion of others. Paradise? Not even close, my friend. Twas a dark and lonely pit that only sucked away happy memories of childhood giggles. My days consisted of soggy-eyed phone conversations with Mom on the way to school and night-time rants with Dad and Step-Mom.
On one particular morning commute to school, my mom and I hung up on each other. We were both ferociously consumed with rage, as if our brains were merely and anthill of fire ants. As I pulled into my usual parking space at school, I decided, very rashly, that I was not going to school that day. In fact the only time I was ever going to see that place again was in my rear view mirror as I drove away. I went home, packed a bag, ten dollars, a road map (before GPS), and my dog. I hit the interstate and made it about 100 miles South before running out of gas literally and emotionally. I was exhausted and speechless.
After an hour of drenching my dog in tears, I called my dad and he came racing to the rescue. He wasn’t angry or upset. He was terrified. I had never seen him like that. Dad was supposed to be a strong statue of hard-work and perfection. But now he was a tangible fleshy human completely mortified that his baby girl had run away from her safe place, home. I think, that was the true turning point for me. I knew I had to do so something different. I couldn’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. I didn’t have the tools to upkeep the fence I had built around my heart. I couldn’t keep pushing away the people who were strategically placed along my journey. I had to change. I had to give up the fight that wasn’t even mine to fight in the first place!
Over the course of the years, I started each day passionately pursuing my God and finding Him throughout even the busiest days. I fell In love with the way He did life with me. I fell in love with His people. And most of all I fell in love with how wholly and fully God gave His heart to me. He is teaching me what love is. It’s not this random spark between two star-crossed lovers destined to bump into eachother. It’s so much more than a worship song that sets one on a mountain called Sunday. Jesus is constant and consistant; the same yesterday, today and forever. He makes things different. He has changed me. And He forever will be.
My story continues, except this time the pen isn’t in my hand. Oddly enough, I’m completely okay with not knowing what tomorrow holds. I do know one thing is for sure. I know that this is not my home, and tomorrow I have a purpose. To love God and His people.