On Sunday, I was fortunate to be able to witness a Rites of Passage ceremony at church. My first. It truly was humbling to watch the fresh hopeful faces of those six beautiful young ladies. I couldn’t help feeling proud of, hopeful and scared for them. I remember praying that, with the help of the mentors that stood for each, they get to actualize all their tender hearts can now dream of… and because we can dream so much bigger than they, a whole hell of a lot more.
Today’s post is dedicated to those young girls and the young ladies and women inside of them. To the others I have never met. And to the young girls still inside us all. Love.
It seems from the moment we are born, someone, somewhere has expectations of us. And, not simply expectations of who they think we should be and what in their great esteem we should achieve; but some go so far as to have expectations of what we should think of ourselves. And, oftentimes their opinions lack any true insight into who we truly are; instead, burdening us with their issues – their dashed dreams, failed relationships, delusions of grandeur.
It seems from the moment we are born, someone, somewhere is shirking their responsibility for the legacy they will invariably leave in and on our lives; stomping their way through our soul – wringing, writhing and writing our insides with their messes. Someone, somewhere calling us our name today, his name tomorrow, their name the next, bitch and bastard after that. Indelibly searing filth onto our souls… yet still expecting much. Then, there’re those that expect nothing… and tell us so. They yell their frustrations into our realities attempting to convince us we are the failed reflections of themselves they see in the mirror.
But listen. I know from the moment we are born, someone, somewhere, Jesus is walking behind that parent, that sibling, aunt, uncle, that supposed care-giver with the biggest eraser and Sharpie ever. The one – to erase the pencil-strokes of destruction with which they sought to create precedence. The other, to permanently re-write the history, to take those lines that seemed pointed in one direction toward failure, despondence, destruction and hopelessness, curving them just so.
There is a quote that says, “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present…” It’s the truth. The reality of the value in an opposite cannot be denied. Listen for many of us, it seems from the moment we are born, someone, somewhere introduced us to both God… and the devil. We live in a world where there is constant dialogue about white and black. Straight or gay. Rich or poor. Republican or Democrat (but, I repeat myself). But here is what I need you to always remember – the God we serve, is only interested in right or wrong.
“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present…” Perspective. Just like the color of our skin, “darkness” has always carried a negative connotation. But, I encourage you to look beyond the obvious, look past what they would like you to see and with God’s help, re-write the manuscript. In darkness, some of the best dreams are hatched. Relationships are formed and promises made. Some of most beautiful art and music erupt from some who live in perpetual darkness… but have more insight than those of us with vision. Secrets are shared. Love is made. Babies are created. Roads are built. Jesus is sought out and honored.
It seems from the moment we are born, someone, somewhere has expectations of us. And, He should. His name is Jesus. He is the one, the only one who knows our true name… and never calls us by anything else. He has one plan for us… it is greatness. One wish… happiness. One command… obedience. He not only walks behind us erasing others’ messes and our mistakes, but through his magnanimous gift of free will, He allows us to self-correct, continue or start over. Knowing Him and speaking His name, Jesus, can drown out the voices of all who seek to stand in your way or block your greatness.
A man tried to kill me. His weapon, once his words failed was his hands. He closed them around my neck and ordered me to say “Goodbye” to my life. At first I struggled – for air, for life. Then, I understood. God said, “Not yet” so I closed my eyes, stopped my fight and relaxed my body. I left my body in my abuser’s hands, but placed my life in God’s. God won. “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present…”
It seems from the moment we are born… so is God.