Monthly Archives: June 2016

It’s Hard for Me to Say

It’s hard for me to say that I am pretty, even though I’ve been told that I am by people who I trust and love.

It’s hard for me to say that I am a fierce warrior, even though I know my story and know I’ve overcome.

It’s hard for me to say that I am a strong leader, even though the power reflected in my employees would clearly point in that direction.

It’s hard for me to say that I am a good wife, even though my husband constantly reminds me that I am.

It’s hard for me to say that I am a good mother, even though if you met my son’s you would see how awesome they are.

It is also hard for me to say that I am an addict, a liar, a thief, a cheat, a prostitute, a crackhead, a sexually abused child, even though if I am being honest about my past those words are there.

It’s becoming increasingly hard for me to say I’m a Christian, even though my love for Jesus and my faith in God grow substantially with each passing day.

These things, these words, these labels are what society has chosen for me and some of these, I have made for myself.  I cannot deny the hard truth that I almost killed myself and everyone I love with my addiction. I cannot deny it, because it happened and to deny it would mean to deny that I am not only a survivor, I am also redeemed in the eyes of my creator. I am saved, loved, forgiven.

So, although these things may be hard for me to say, I can look you in the eyes today and own these things, all of them, the good and the bad.  I can say that I am a beautiful woman of God, who has sold her body and soul for crack. I can say that I am a good mother who left her child alone or in the care of others to go get high. I can say that I have excelled at the art of marriage, even though I once failed miserably at it.

I am new, and that, is not hard for me to say.

The First Boy I Ever Loved

In February of 1998 I met him. He was the picture of perfection. Beautiful blonde hair, a perfectly shaped head, deep blue eyes, pinky toes that curled up around the toe next to it, the softest skin I had ever felt and the sweetest smell.  He was intoxicating, so I called him Moon Shine.  I was absolutely, incomprehensibly, unmistakably destroyed that first moment I laid eyes on my baby boy.

From that time on he has shaken me to my core. He has been the cause of sleepless nights, of broken hearts, of tears of shame at the lack of my own parenting skills. He has introduced me to the part of myself that I thought was lost and he has loved me like no one else. I’ll never be able to describe in words the level of pride I feel when I am with him, yet the profound knowledge that it has so little to do with me. He is the first boy I ever loved and he owns the kings share of my heart.

He was unexpected, to say the least and I was in no position to raise him. I was still a child myself. Pregnant at 18, I hardly had a handle on reality or keeping myself alive, much less the duty of rearing another human. I was scared and unsure, but I knew from very early in my pregnancy that I was smitten. I sat many a night, alone in my room at my parents house, rocking in the chair my mother had rocked me in, holding my belly, weeping, promising this tiny, little man, that I would always love him.  I have always held fast to that promise.

I haven’t been the best mom, he has seen things that most kids don’t. He grew up fast and has learned to smile, even when times are hard. He has seen me roll in and out of recovery and has watched the devastating falls of an addict.  Through it all, he has always been loyal, always kept his chin up and always shone like the brightest star in the sky. He is, as I have called him for years, my tug boat, pulling the mother ship into the safe harbor from choppy, wild waters.

Tomorrow I watch him walk across the first in a series of stages, this one, at his high school. I cannot even begin to tell you the gamut of emotions I feel.  They are something like, but far beyond, pride, love, joy, admiration and relief. I feel all caught up in this moment and wanted, no, needed to burst forth in shouting from the mountain tops, “This is my boy! This is my champion! This is my hero!”

Congratulations my precious little boy. You are forever my main squeeze, the apple of my eye and my very first love!

Jesus with a Cheeseburger

Often enough I find myself in the weirdest of situations. Situations most people don’t or would never dare find themselves in, doing odd things, in tastless places with the “dregs” of society.

Dregs; what even does that mean? It’s a term used to incite fear, coined by a high priced attorney to describe the criminal who victimized her client. A term used to motivate progress away and apart from these types. A word, never used in a positive way, to describe “those people.”A category I fall into.

I was once, and not that long ago, a torn up, worn down, useless, hopeless, drug addict. Full of hate and fear and pain. I sold myself, my possesions and my soul for the next high. I was unconcerned with the people I was hurting and was begging for death each day. To say I was the “dregs of society” would be a gross understatement. I was beyond dregs. I was beyond society.

I don’t tell you this to bring pity or pride. I tell you this because I know that I went through this darkest of times to become uniquely qualified to serve others who are currently drowning in the mire of their situation.

There is somehow and unspoken code that is communicated through this service. One that says, “You are loved so completely by your creator!” whilst handing over a cheeseburger. Or “You are wholly seen by The Lord and he is rejoicing in You!” on the car ride to the bail bondsman. “My daughter, my Love, my precious child, I am holding you next to me.” during the hard conversation being had through the visitation glass at county. “I am waiting for you, anxiously!” as she steps out of my car and disappears into the night. “I am covering you.” standing eye to eye with a mostly naked woman in the dressing room of a strip club.

I find myself here and there often, sharing the love of Christ with a cheeseburger, a car ride, a conversation or a hug. Sometimes that love is shared simply with eye contact because we all know, that is regularly avoided.

I challenge you to find a way, albeit, uncofortable, unsavory, unlikey. Nothing like the text book style of ministry, I challenge you to find the well and go there. Find the stonethrowers and stop them. Buy a meal and share it. Just be Jesus with a cheeseburger.