So, I’ve really been struggling lately with how to relate to people and how to really connect with people on a level that is deeper than, “Hi, hope you’re doing okay.” There are a lot of reasons for that. Some of it, I think stems from the fact that I grew up very differently than a lot of the other 20 somethings in our circles. I just want to maybe take a minute to explain some of that and share what that means and how really I’m just the same as the rest of you.
First of all, I have been very very VERY blessed to have grown up in a home with both parents who loved God, loved each other, and loved me and my brother. My family was never hit by the tragedy of divorce or separation. My parents strove to break family cycles and do their very best to show my brother and I what a godly family can look like. They weren’t perfect, but I always knew that they loved God, each other, and me. Secondly, I also was never educated in the public education system. From pre-school till the 10th grade I attended a very conservative, private, Christian school. When my family moved my Junior and Senior year, I was home-schooled through an online Christian home-school program. Third, I have a lot of health issues. In short, my body hates me and tries to self destruct on a regular basis. Not many 20-somethings can relate to taking 8 or more prescription drugs daily and still feeling like you got hit by a semi, then backed over by a bus. On the plus side, you get to be friends with the pharmacist. 😉
So I guess when people find out about pieces of my story they tend to get really defensive and standoffish when I try to talk to them about hard things and try to share my struggles or help them with their struggles. It’s almost as if I don’t have a right to struggle with any thing because compared to them, my life has been “easy” or “if their life was like mine, they would be perfect”. But, you see, just because the foundation and the background that God gave me is a little different, doesn’t mean that I never had the choice to have a bad attitude or walk away. They have been lots of moments where I stood at a cross road in my mind and had this conversation. “Danae’, this is so hard right now, and it would a lot easier to just give up and walk away, and to just quit trying to do right and live right and respond right. It would be so much easier to get angry. It would be so much easier to throw a fit and pout. I would love to just lash out on those who I feel have wronged me. It would be so much more exciting to fit in for once.” There are a lot 20 somethings who I brushed shoulders with for years who chose to give up. They chose the easy way out. Now, some of them struggle with pain and addiction. Some of them don’t even know how they got where they are. But those kids had an almost identical upbringing as I did. Just because God blesses with godly influences and Christian parents, doesn’t mean that the devil gives you a free pass on choosing to walk away. He doesn’t look at me and say, “Oh, she grew up in a Christian home, guess I won’t try to attack her today.” No, he attacks me too. He attacks with attitudes, and depression, and discouragement, and lies, and fears. He attacks my marriage and tries to pull my husband and I apart. Believe me, the devil is alive and well, and he knows my address too.
At the core, I’m just the same as rest of the Christian 20 somethings out there. Sure, my background might be a little different. God has given that to me as a tremendous blessing. That blessing also means that God requires a lot from me too. He’s given me a tremendous amount of help and encouragement and resources from a lot of very godly wonderful spiritual giants, and that doesn’t just give me a free pass. It says in Luke, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” Luke 12:48b That’s a daunting thought right there.
But, I’m still presented with the same temptations as everyone else I’m not any better than anyone, or exempt from struggles or sin. I’m still very much human. I still have a choice every day. Somedays I choose right, and otherdays…well…lets just say I’m glad that His mercies are new every morning.
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, and His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23