The second one is a little more involved on how I came to it... Let me start with this morning. Around 9:30, I made a CD to play while my mom, AnnaBeth and I cleaned the house for Community Group tomorrow. As an incentive, Mommy and Daddy were going to take us to the State Fair, because they had a Military discount thing in honor of President's Day. Well, my dad went to look up the policy online and discovered that actually, the whole free admission thing didn't start until 4 PM, and that in fact, it wasn't for Military personnel at all, but for everybody. That left me out of the picture because I had a dentist appointment at 1, and my mom didn't really want to be out that late anyways. So, we decided to watch Mamma Mia! instead. Anyways, so I went to my dentist appointment... It's only reinforcing my disdain for those people that stick metal and lasers in my mouth. Not cool. And come to find out, you have to get numbed for a filling. I had forgotten about that, because fortunately, I don't make a habit of getting cavities. So, that brings me to where I am right now: sitting on the couch, feeling like half of my face is either falling off or the size of a tennis ball (I can't decide which), listening to all the Abba music that is currently stuck in my head, drinking a milkshake (and wondering if maybe I should go get a bib), and contemplating my discussion with my parents last night.
Well, after 4 hours, this is what I think I look like:
And this is the song that has been playing on repeat in my head for those 4 hours:
The circumstances which initiated the conversation were not so great. They involved me losing my wallet somewhere in St. Petersburg, and me quitting my job three weeks ago and neglecting to tell them. I wouldn't recommend either. Well. Through this little chat, we discovered that these two mishaps, among several others within the past couple of weeks, are rooted in character-based problems that I struggled with and supposedly conquered years ago. In 2008-2009, I was doing many things the wrong way, one of them being not talking to my parents about really anything. It didn't matter if I needed advice, if something was bothering me, if I needed encouragement, a hug, forgiveness... I just didn't want them to be involved in my life like that. I think it's a typical thing that many teenagers go through: wanting to be independent. The sadly un-typical part of my situation was how involved and persistent my parents were (and still are). After over a year of being shut out, they never gave up on trying to get me to open up. They never threw up their hands and said, "okay, I'm done." They never passively waited for me to "come around:" they actively waited. And, I eventually did. So, when I decided to quit my job, I had very good reasons and had thought it through well, but I had made the decision on my own, because I knew they probably wouldn't like it (which is what drove almost all of my withdrawn behaviors 3 years ago). So I was sitting there and talking with the three people that love me the most, and it struck me as concerning that I seem to be regressing in a way. "I can't bear to see the man I've been rising up in me again."[a] I was reminded of a prayer I prayed a few days ago... not the conscious, on-your-knees kind... more of like a passing thought. It's encouraging that God hears those too. I was thinking about how I only have a few more months before life as I know it is going to be completely transformed (more on that later,) and how there is so much I would have done differently if I could have. Then, I realized, even though I can't change the past, it's not too late to start anew. Actually, it's a perfect time to start anew. I asked God if he would reveal things about myself to me that I had maybe forgotten about, or was ignoring, or were just unnoticed. Well He answered that one, alright. It's like He took a giant highlighter and just started marking up my life right and left. These signs of the "old me" are God's way of weeding out the qualities that I have in me that are not of Him. I thought I had fixed these things, but maybe I only thought I did. Maybe I just got better at covering them up. He's showing me how well He knows me, and He's helping me to change, just like I asked. These next five months are going to be messy, I know that for sure... but I have no doubt that they will be rewarding. God is shaping me into the woman that He wants me to be, and therefore that I want to be.
[a] "East to West," Casting Crowns.