I’m thinking back 10 years ago right at this time of June. I had just graduated highschool and performed my senior piano recital, representing life-long work and dreams sitting on a piano bench. That good old piano bench was on top of the world, and I only saw possibilities and opportunities waiting for me to conquer them.
I had way more friends than I do now, I was in better health than I am now, I didn’t have as many shards of broken dreams dashed against a shredded heart.
I didn’t know that tendonitis would make me cancel my collegiate senior piano recital… Twice. I didn’t know that I would have identity crisis after identity crisis. I didn’t know I would find names for things I’d experienced that would give me a valley of shame to claw myself out of. I didn’t know I’d experience more crushing grief, self-destructive behaviors, abandonment, and confusion than I thought I could ever bear.
Back then I was also missing out on some of the most important pieces of who I would become. I wasn’t humble, I had no names for the inexplicable struggles I’d dealt with my entire life, I didn’t know how to advocate for myself, I didn’t have even a third of the empathy I have now.
When you’re on top of the world, it feels awesome, but I wasn’t in a place to make as much of a difference as I can now, among the weeds and scary shadows.
Down here, there are people who need my help. And I can help them because I understand. Down here, I learn skills to fight my battles everyday… Because the only other choice is to be eaten by the carnivorous plants. Down here, there are always questions, and I’ve also found answers that light up my path.
I see why Jesus had to become human and be lowly when he was born and as he grew up. He wasn’t afraid to get messy with people who needed Him.
And He’s still not afraid to get messy with people who need Him, especially me.
I don’t understand why I fell so far and why the past 10 years have been so excruciatingly hard, and I do have some issues in my relationship with God. But my comfort is that Jesus never leaves me and always forgives me.
It’s funny how, when I have less, I appreciate what I have more. I’m so thankful for my pets, friends, family, a roof over my head, services to help me survive, a great therapist, rides, empathy, tears, crafts, gifts…. I’m just so thankful. And I also hope that the next 10 years won’t be quite as hard!