Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chapter 1: Trying To Be Good Enough

As usual I am a day late in posting! Here it is Wednesday and I am posting to the "Yes to God Tuesday" study. Oh well, I'm trying .... maybe next week =)

Anything in Red is a quote from the book

The false perception was rooted in this one flawed thought: You Lysa, are not acceptable the way you are.

The first time I recall ever thinking that I was not good enough was in the seventh grade. Up until then I had lived on an Air Force Base near Fairbanks Alaska.
The thing about military kids is this: most of them know what it's like to be the new kid. So, they tend to be more compassionate and accepting of new faces in school. New kids were always welcomed easily where I was from.

Well in the seventh grade I found myself at a new school in Texas. One that was far away from the base my dad worked at. That meant there were few to no military brats there. These were kids that had grown up together. Cliques were already long established. Unless you were beautiful, exceptionally athletic or obviously wealthy they really could have cared less.
I was none of those things.

One crisp spring day my bus driver decided to treat me to front door service. He usually let me off at the end of my street. "Today Tina you get front door service" he said with a smile. I was in a good mood. My mom had taken the day off. I knew she had undoubtedly finished all my chores for me. Yes, it was a good day! I remember noticing that the windows were all open as the bus pulled up in front of my house. I thanked the bus driver for the special treatment and bounced off the bus with a skip in my step.


A mean boy shouted that me as I skipped up to my front door. A boy I never even talked to. It is the only thing he ever said to me.

"sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you"

Oh yes they can.

Oh my gosh, did mom hear that?

I ran into the house and straight into the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror. Until then I had not given my appearance a whole lot of thought.

All of a sudden I no longer saw myself as I used to. I didn't see that spunky little gal who laughed easily, who stood up for the underdogs of the world. Who put on skits to entertain her family.

I saw a painfully skinny girl with crooked teeth, poker straight hair and glasses.

and she obviously wasn't good enough.

The thought that I wasn't good enough was more than just a feeling. It had become the filter through which I processed life

That was me! I spent or rather wasted enormous amounts of time and emotional energy trying to be pretty, to be acceptable. Makeup, hair, clothes. Braces, new more fashionable glasses and a bit of weight helped some too.
I did make a few friends along the way who seemed to like me as I was. Eventually a bit of the old spunky little gal reappeared. She was back but she was wounded, changed.

In the first chapter of the book Lysa also talks about how she found religion but recounts how it failed her with the death of her beloved little sister.

Life's unfairness strained against my religious perceptions and the dam of my soul burst wide open.

 I went looking for religion one evening, it was "bring a friend night" at a girlfriend's church. I went expecting to learn about "church".  I met Jesus there. I was so excited at my new life in Christ. I remember sharing with my family to the point that my brother was more than annoyed. Sadly though, the people at the "bring a friend" church weren't so much on follow up. I also remember reading my bible, the only one I had was a King James version. The language was difficult to understand.

So in a way, like Lysa, religion failed me also. Hers with anger and a lack of understanding.
  My flawed ideas of God would only let me love him when He did good things. I couldn't compute how He could have let Haley die.
With me it was the organized church, not one youth worker called, visited or even sent a note to invite me back. I would have come, I was eager to learn but being fourteen not quite bold enough to do it on my own.

So I went back to my life looking for ways to fit in. Trying to be beautiful, acceptable. It would be many years until I finally listened to the still quiet voice of God in my life and turned to Him.