I went through my old diaries while I had the house to myself last weekend. Each entry I scanned left me more and more incredulous. How did a perfect God ever put up with me? I mean, I know I have my faults even now but back then I was just completely lost and out of my mind! On one side of a journal page would be all my processing from various dramas dealing with boys, friends, and drugs and on the other side would be a prayer to God to help me find my way through the mess I'd made. I will spare you the inevitable sharing of all of the black blotches that my past boasts. Look for a series of teen fiction books in the far future or perhaps after my death I will become a cult sensation like "Go Ask Alice" if the wrong people get a hold of my writings.
I am not proud of what I once was. There was a good day or two that I seriously considered burning the entire tote full of incriminating information. It is at least ten journals totally full and a foot and a half tall stack of lined paper that was taken out of spiral notebooks. Volumes of teenage and young adult feelings and questions and speculations. It's a place I wouldn't want anyone to visit before it's edited and put into proper context. What a project that will be!
Despite the black darkness it threatens to put me back into, I cannot part with it. It's hard for me to imagine that I would have written all of this stuff for no reason but to burn it in the end. One thought that kept reoccurring as I read was, "I love this girl, but she's clueless!" besides complete disbelief that it was once ME. I've undergone so much transformation just in the last year that has taken me galaxies from where I was even five years ago. I've begun to rapidly grow in faith and love for God and others just since I've been a mother, but mostly in the last year.
As I read some of the most transparent and depressing stuff, I started to realize why I don't care for the company of teenagers. It's not that I have anything against them as people, it's just that I don't respond well to the micro-solar system that revolves around them. I do not want to be a satellite or a meteor just passing through unacknowledged or as an afterthought to their existence. I'd rather enter as a significant presence to the people I associate with. I don't have time to prove my worthiness to anyone. Teenagers are always assessing and testing people while thinking that they are already adults and they have everything figured out. Ok, maybe I'm a little prejudiced and hard on them. Mostly it's because I am scared of going back there. I don't want to relate to you, teen, because that would take me back to a place I barely survived. That could explain why I exhausted myself mentally after reading journals and letters and stories from my past for four hours straight. I was the center of my solar system and all of those precious souls around me were merely expendable planets. What a selfish, pitiful, and empty existence! It is insane to me that I was allowed to continue here on God's green Earth with that mentality. Now that I know the truth about who I really am...
Mercy. God is great in mercy and "great" is the understatement of the century. Perfection has so much to put up with and yet He willingly does. He guided me like a rat through a maze with His subtle ways and pulled me out of so many traps and dead ends. Patiently He drew me out of selfishness by letting me see little bits of His big picture at a time and only when I was ready to receive them. Each puzzle piece was strategically given at just the right moment and He let me place it where it belonged. He humored my attempts at manipulating Him, but only when it suited His purposes. The times when I cried out to Him in the depths of my depravity, He heard me even though I didn't think He had. I thought that I had done something to sanctify myself but now I see that it is only His mercy that brings me through. In hindsight I see that I was oblivious to His hand in my life. Even now I sense He is moving but I don't know what He is doing exactly. Instead of railing about unanswered questions and unfulfilled desires, I breathe in the comfort of His grace and mercy and do what Christians should do best: wait.
I will be holding onto the journal entries but not for my own satisfaction. Maybe God will use them one day to tell the story of one of His lost and broken sheep that He rescued. When I'm ready to go back to the places where I was trapped and terrified, my Shepherd and I will go there together. He will take the filth of my past and make it glorify His beautiful name.