Sunday, April 21, 2013

Who Said You Were Qualified for This?

The other day I found myself asking what makes me qualified to blog or speak or write in a community of believers.  I think this is a valid question. I felt compelled to explore.

In my Bio I explain a little about my life, and when I read over it I am struck by how ‘Pollyanna’ it sounds.  As my Google status states - I’m “spoiled rotten.”  My brothers always called me the princess, even though that’s not really how I’ve ever seen myself.  But on the other hand, I do like to get my way.  Don’t we all? ;)

Turns out, while I have been ridiculously blessed, I’m pretty normal.  I grew up in a fairly functional family. But I’ve watched loved ones struggle with addiction, depression, and infertility.  My grandparents were married until my mom was a newlywed.  Then they got divorced.  Then they married again.  Oh for goodness sakes, then they got divorced again.  And trust me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  

Grandpa was killed in a tragic accident when I was in 2nd grade and my mom and her 8 siblings were all broken.  They had a lot of family relationships to mend and it has taken years to heal as much as they have.  But looking back, in the midst of all their suffering, I learned so much about forgiveness and love.  They’ve taught me perspective.

I struggled to find my way into adulthood.  I was so successful in high school, but college hit me like a ton of bricks.  Looking back, it’s clear I struggled with depression my freshman year.  My high-school sweetheart and I rode those waves, and got married when I was still in college = whole other set of challenges.  

We’ve been married for going-on-14-years, which means we’ve been together almost 19.  Crazy to think that now Brad has known me for more than half my life!  We’ve had our share of pain and heartache, disappointment and anger.  These last few years have definitely been the hardest and the closest we’ve ever been to jumping ship.  But the growth that has come out of it has also brought us light-years further than we’ve ever been.  I know our problems aren’t over, but I know we are better now than ever.

I’ve got 3 beautiful healthy children... who have minds of their own as all children do.  I’ve been lucky enough to have healthy pregnancies and babies.  But I’ve cried with too many friends who have had to walk a much darker path, and prayed desperately to God for their healing.  They have taught me so much.
When I was taking one of my first classes on becoming a teacher, my very wise professor often proclaimed - “A reflective teacher is an effective teacher.”  Having been a journaler for years, I loved this saying and still apply it to every part of my life.  A reflective parent.. wife... friend... citizen... believer.  

The things that I share on my blog are truths I feel I have learned along the way.  Often they are based on scripture that I have studied or lessons that have been shared with me.  You shouldn’t take what I write as absolute Truth, but I do hope you reflect upon it for a minute and consider whether it can be useful to you.  We are all qualified to be part of the community of believers who offer up a new perspective, a helpful word, or a hand of comfort to one another.  It is my prayer that I can be that for someone today.  

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