When I imagine people from my past talking about me, it usually goes something like this: “Remember that girl in school, the one who__________(fill in the blank)?” “Yeah. I hated her.” “Remember J…? You know, the one that….” “Oh yeah, she was stuck-up!” “That girl who… You know, the one who was always….?” “No. I don’t remember her at all.”
Of course, when I remember me, I’m pretty much my worst critic. So much so, that I hate even remembering who I was. I always struggled to fit in, to be accepted or to just be liked. I know the things people most often remember about others are what they hated about them, or the mistakes they made.
I have made some bad choices in my lifetime. I mean REALLY bad. Awful. I had so many mixed messages from all sorts of influences, and not enough healthy interactions with the adults who were supposed to help direct me. I was just so very lost. And, no matter what I did, I felt like a tremendous failure.
I learned to guard and value the friendships I made, because they were pretty sparse. I had the social skills of a bull in a china shop (someone actually made that reference to me about me, to my face, and I have to admit, it’s pretty darn accurate.) When a misunderstanding happened, or someone I valued got upset with me, it felt like the end of my world.
The one thing that got me through the awkwardness that has always been me, was just knowing God loved me. Every time I saw a rainbow, I remembered that God kept His promises. There were times when I was miserable and sad, then all of a sudden a cloud with rainbow colors would pass overhead, or a rainbow would peek out at me from behind some dark clouds.
When I met my husband, I confessed every stupid, horrible thing I have ever done or have been wrongly accused of having done. And he listened. He stuck by me. He called me back. You know, he was one of very few to ever return my calls. And, that was after he got to know the real me – the bull in the china shop.
I still can’t figure out what he sees in me.
I still can’t figure out what God has seen in me.
But I am so thankful they have stood by me, even in my most awkward and stupid moments.