V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #41: polish
We are meant to shine, and that pain that she’s endured – that all of us endure at some point – that is just polish.
From V.J.: This week, let’s focus on the elements of our lives that have helped us shine. Not feeling very shiny? Then tell me (or show me) what kind of polish you need to get you there. I’ve got to believe it’s never too late.
I was very late learning that the less than wonderful aspects of my life were beneficial polish…but now that I’ve “got it”, you can bet I’m grateful.
In previous posts I’ve written about what has scarred me, so I’ll try for brevity in this one. My mother never concealed the fact that, for whatever reason, she didn’t love—or even like—me. Since I was the oldest, and easily bent to their will, my parents made me their Cinderella. It was not a happy childhood, not really a childhood at all.
School was a nightmare…I didn’t have friends; teachers got away with what we now consider bullying; and although intelligent, I wasn’t a good student…because my stress level impacted ability to concentrate and learn. This began in elementary school, and continued through high school and college.
I didn’t have normal sibling relationships—cast in the roll of third parent, I felt excluded from their world, alienated.
After dropping out of college, I married the first guy I dated. Bad choice—he was a perfect combo of my parents–so I leaped from the fire into the frying pan. I lasted three years, hoping the abusive misery would mellow, before I bailed and divorced him.
My work experiences were like school—stress of high-expectations, and I didn’t fit in well with coworkers. As I quit job after job, collecting welfare in between, it was becoming more obvious that I had mental illness. The “helping professions” and associated agencies added detrimental experiences…and increased my feeling of being marginalized.
I wanted to believe God loved and cared for me…and I pursued my faith-walk in various churches. Often, I found that Christians were more adept at wounding people than those with no interest in God.
But in the last seven years, I’ve gained so much—mostly the certainty that God has not been absent, or ignored my suffering. He’s been faithful to bring me through the tough times. I’ve learned that dark seasons reap incredible harvests…wisdom, increased contentment and confidence, joy, hope, and an unbreakable faith in God.
Partnered with Him, I now see that I have something to offer the world—talent, gifts, generosity, caring. My perspective has changed, having learned to search for and mine the gold buried in the darkness. And I’m sincerely thankful…even for all the bleak.
I don’t feel particularly “shiny” everyday…but I’ve discovered my mirror is a liar. God says I’m beautiful, His beloved daughter—and that I’m being transformed by His Holy Spirit, “from glory to glory, as I behold Him”. Essentially, that means He uses the hard times as polishing agent…applied with His soft cloth of grace-love. By the time I’m finished on Earth, I’ll be so bright you’ll need shades to look at me 🙂
©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.