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So Far From Normal.

I’ve been living and breathing and getting into shenanigans for going on nineteen years now.  Growing up I did normal kid things and played normal kid games.  But in many ways, I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum.  While most girls wanted to be a ballerina or a princess, I wanted to be a fire fighter and a crime scene investigator.  I had a girl baby doll named Carrie Jacob. In high school I sported a pixie cut and dramatic eye make up. While it always seemed like I was so different from everyone else, I was tragically normal.  I wanted a common normal thing and strived after a common normal goal:

attention.     recognition.      acceptance.

I just wanted to be normal.

Over the past two months in Thailand, I’ve come to realize something, and it’s quite contrary to that common normal goal I once ached for so badly.

I’m not normal.

You know where I had this realization?

Riding on an elephants head through the jungle of Thailand.

Growing up, I found my life rooted in rejection. I was rejected by a relative, rejected by my best friend who abandoned me, rejected by a group of Christian teenagers, and rejected by the church I had turned to when the one I had grown up in fell apart.

Then I found someone who loves me with a crazy unconditional love, someone I thought I had known all of my life, but it turns I had been showing Him the same rejection I had been shown by the people around me.

After I met really Him, things started to get a little crazy.
I spent a month living with gypsies and eight other misfit Christ followers in Romania and shared the gospel in a village that had never even heard the name of Jesus before.

I started college, made some pretty stupid choices, and faced a lot of obstacles.

But once again, He came to me with that crazy unconditional love and I realized once again I was giving Him the treatment I learned my whole life: rejection.

Then Thailand happened. He dragged me here kicking and screaming, telling Him I’m not adequate and to get someone else; there was no way He wanted me here.
But boy let me tell you, He definitely wanted me here.

Over the past two months, I’ve seen girls not much older than myself selling their bodies just to provide food for their children.  I’ve kissed a prostitute on the cheek and told her she was worth so much more.  I’ve seen one of those girls walk into freedom and out of the bars.  I’ve watched these lost girls be taken advantage of by even farther lost men.  I’ve been to the pit of hell and back, singing praises to my Creator the entire way and fighting the battle Christ has already won.

It’s funny how He can heal me and restore me through healing and restoring other people.
During my time in Thailand, I’ve faced the root of the rejection in my life and let it go.  I’ve forgiven the people who let me down or never gave me a chance to rely on them.  I forgave the people who abused me and destroyed me emotionally, and have allowed God to begin the healing process over those all too recent wounds.  I’ve discovered what it means to have true sisterhood with genuine Christian girls, and learned how to not only live, but to thrive in community.  I’ve learned not only to love the broken and the rejected, but to love myself.

Because maybe all along I was never willing to accept that the biggest rejection in my life was coming from myself.

I’m done striving after the common normal goal. I’m no longer rejection, broken, abused, and abandoned. I’m restored and renewed, loved and accepted. But along with all of that, there is one thing I definitely am not, and that is normal.

And if this life isn’t normal, then normal is the last thing I’d ever want to be.

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