It could have been anyone...

>> Saturday, August 6, 2011

It isn't normal for a twelve year old girl to decorate her room with pictures from the Holocaust that she tore out of TIME Magazine. The images of emaciated corpses piled upon one another are still burned in my mind. It's not as if I enjoyed those images or got some sick pleasure from them. In hindsight, I can see that I was trying to deal with death.

I was now occupying my newly deceased brother's room. I would dream about him and wake up with the stench of death still in my nose. My youth ended with the abrupt death of my brother. I would no longer do things that kids do. From that point on, my life would be filled with skipping school, drugs, alcohol and unfortunate encounters with growing boys and groping hands that didn't have the decency to ask permission. For the record, I would have said no.

I could read fluently at a very young age. I was reading Stephen King, Clive Barker and books about true crime and the Son of Sam with graphic pictures at the age of six. These were the kinds of books that were in my house, so this is what I read. I smoked pot for the first time when I was seven. My friend's dad smoked a lot of weed and would always have ash trays filled with roaches. We decided to smoke them one day. I just remember being tired and hungry.

I was exposed to death and evil and all forms of ugliness when other little kids were still playing GI-Joe and Barbie. What this did was provide a familiarity with brokenness and depravity. That is what I knew best. I knew it and lived it, but desired for better. Even though I knew that the world was not what it should be, I still gravitated towards the broken things. They had a magnetic pull that I could not resist.

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself because of the horrific things I encountered. Things that even those closest to me have no idea about. I feel sorry that I never fit and never felt as if I belonged, and yet those are the very things that God used to draw me to Himself.

Some people are surprised by their own sin. They know that horrible crimes are committed by other people, but they never seem to be able to grasp that they have sinned as well. Maybe had my life played out a little differently, I would have been surprised, too, but God has always brought me back to my own brokenness and need for Him.

This doesn't mean that I am always aware. I suffer from a horrible form of spiritual amnesia...but for some reason, I have been redeemed. I don't quite understand it, either. I was always the underdog, always the weirdo, always the misfit. I never did anything right. In the midst of all of my sin, folly and aimless wandering, He found me. For this, I am thankful. According to the world, I am the least likely candidate for redemption. I certainly didn't earn it or deserve it, but I needed it and recognized my need for Him. The amazing thing is that this is the only requirement.


Burkulater August 7, 2011 at 10:14 AM  

Praise God you found your saving grace. I'm so glad you were pulled out, and that I got to know you for a short time. God is using you, girl.

OneBigHappy August 8, 2011 at 6:37 AM  

It sounds like you and I have quite a bit in common. I'm impressed by how you can speak so openly of the past and stay in the present. This seems to be true of you, which is a good thing. But it's not true of everyone. The problem I have with speaking too much of the past, especially the painful things, is that the past tries to keep me there. And that's not where I want to live.

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