I am uniquely me… passionate about truth… highly social… brutally honest… and I blog because my life is full and my heart is fuller. But it wasn’t always that way….
My life has been shaped by the pain and traumatic experience of my first 18 years on this planet, but it is not now, nor will it ever be, defined by what life was or who I was. I am one of those people that many love, a few hate and some admire. I suppose that’s good, though the latter frightens me more than the others. My fear is not that being admired will make me arrogant; it’s hard to remember who I once was and be proud of what I have become. I am, simply put, a work of grace in progress. I am not afraid of making mistakes–I anticipate those because I know how human I am. No, my greatest fear is that someone will look up to me, admire me and be let down because they perceived me to be something more than I am. Something more than anyone is capable of being.
Those who know me well understand me and know these things about me: You see what you get. You love me or leave me. (And I am okay either way because my identity lies in my first love–Jesus) You see me as strong and un-swaying in my beliefs or you see me as determined and passionate about pursuing my destiny—that deep inner purpose—at all costs.
I prefer forthright communication, not side-stepping the issues or softening the blow. Give it to me straight and let me process it. Because I am passionate and yet analytical I need time to process it if you tell me that I am off track. It may take time for me to see that I am wrong, but when I do, I am quick to acknowledge it.
I believe in intelligent design, intelligent choice, and the free will of all mankind in every situation. I strongly advocate for truth because it is the only weapon that fights lies. Pointing a finger at the liar and declaring him or her to be so has never convinced anyone of truth. However, disregarding the lies and the liar, while speaking unadulterated truth, gives the truth power and potential. In other words, I fight ‘against’ that which I am opposed to by fighting ‘for’ what I believe in.
I am a Joan of Arc and it gets me in trouble. A friend once said, “You march right in where angels fear to tread” and I suppose there is some truth in what she was trying to say. I’m not sure it was intended as a compliment at the time—I certainly didn’t take it as such—but in hindsight I see that it is a positive. This ‘courage’ surfaces when I see victimization, particularly in children, and I find myself compelled to help. I love Justice and Mercy and passionately despise manipulation, injustice, untruth and people taking advantage of the vulnerable.
I am also Mother Theresa, but with a husband and 5 kids of my own, and would give the shirt off my back to help someone. I have heard hundreds, probably thousands, of stories shared by wounded people and I hold them in my heart but never carry them in my spirit. I forgive quickly when I have been wounded, trust to a fault and have learned that you believe the best in people no matter what, and always extend grace.
Having said that, I believe there are times to ’draw a line in the sand’, so to speak, and create boundaries in relationships. I make no apology for saying ‘no’ to negative, manipulative or otherwise destructive relationships. I’ll give a relationship everything I can, but will walk away without any sense of obligation if the relationship becomes openly and unapologetically destructive.
One of my greatest mentors ever, Margaret K, taught me the importance of these boundaries in my early thirties. Her wisdom changed my future and I am eternally grateful to her for that. Putting in my own words what I got out of her advice, she communicated this to me: Surround yourself with people who believe in you and help you become what God has called you to be. Don’t eliminate the others from your life but bring the encouragers closer in relationship and there will automatically be distance between you and negative people who hold you back. She also taught me that negative people are not bad people. They are trying to protect their world because they have been wounded. They control because they have been controlled. They are easily offended because they are insecure.
Understanding this and seeing people through the eyes of grace makes negative experiences about something bigger than me, while helping me see that God never intended that we invite negative influence into our life or accept it as normal.
I am what I am because of the kindness of God in my life; a kindness usually revealed through spiritual mentors, good friends and my wonderful family.
Who am I? I am me. What is my passion? God, people, truth, justice and mercy. Why do I blog? Because we all learn from life experience–our own and what people share. I blog because I want to encourage you, challenge you and inspire you. That’s why I read, that’s why I write.