It took 47 years to figure out but at last I know my identity. In the aftermath of the flood in 2011, I ended up in therapy. Yet another search, for what you ask? My smile. I could not get happy. After numerous sessions, sitting on the sofa in her office, she inquired about the last time I remembered being happy to which I replied, I was ten. She said,” that is aswesome, can I use it in my book?” I said, “sure”, that was the end of therapy.
I wandered back to my life and am always searching for my truth but yesterday, an ordinary day, turned out to be a window to the past. I studied it, I saw answers, I found healing, lost girl, found. For so long I feel like I have been putting together a puzzle, I got so lost in this illness and could not find the pieces. Waiting on God’s timing has been the hardest part, I wanted the answers but was I ready for them. As he rolls out the tapestry of life I see more of the missing pieces fall into place, as my trust in Him deepens my faith grows stronger. Many of the pieces are people and events, we walk in and out of the doors of each others hearts, left behind are footprints and memories.
Yesterday footsteps came back into my heart and brought a looking glass, I had the beautiful gift of seeing my mother through another families eyes.
I was about 10 in this picture, and my life was about to change. We moved 3 times, I changed schools 3 times, but the time I walked into public school in 5 th grade my self confidence was dampened once I understood what popularity was. I got very lost in the race to be somebody. I tried so hard, too hard but realize now that is not a bad thing, I just give 100% to everything I do. I just happened to be in all the wrong situations. How I got there into those situations is nothing but a blame game and I won’t camp there. Three years of being sick and trying to lie my way out of admitting the truth about myself, took me places you cannot dwell in and be happy in. I had to seek forgiveness but I did not have any strength left in me to do anything, this disease had cleaned me out. The grace of God covered me and by reading God’s word and praying I found the whos, the whys and the what’s don’t matter. It is the assignment given to me, my motive and my intention that matter.
In my search to find me, I found God, who suprises me so much. The God I have been praying to since sin began to separate me in my teen years, is not the same God I knew as a child. What did I know then, or rather what didn’t I know, I had no pre-defined image of God. My understanding was acceptable before everything began to challenge what I knew and believed.
I was told God created the world-each tiny detail. My mother was a “Dorothea Lange type”, you didn’t just look at the tiny flower, you “saw” the flower, she gave me eyes that looked for the supernatural, the essence of the mystery of God and the created world. I was born a seeker, I looked in every door, in every corner, I turned every stone. I found so much, things I wish I could forget, things I should have run from but the pressure to fit in, to be accepted and included always trumped my sense of ought.
I had my first beer not long after this photo was taken, I was 13. The ease of personality it gave to me was a trap, I know this now, a hard, painful lesson. Social graces, they are learned, coveted, even sung about, I quickly learned how to fit in but was never my authetic self. There were high highs and low lows and I kept my mask evolving, the one that hid my deep pain, confusion and a fountain of tears. I built an empire, a castle around my life and in my tower of pain I sat. People have always told me I am strong but I am not. I am an excellent actress. I am a stuffer of feelings that spews when she gets too much. In my stuffing I have stuffed my pain and pain from things I have observed, I had a front row seat to my mothers life, her pain, her joy. Some may say in her life she gave too much but the doors to her heart and our house were always open. I saw that crystal clear yesterday.
She is a lover, a caretaker, a mother, a nurturer. She worked for the same family for 22 years, as teen I knew she was a housekeeper but yesterday I saw she was so much more. I saw the faces, the smiles and the tears, I heard the stories she is woven into and realized she was so much more.
In these realizations there are memories that answer questions, there is forgiveness for time lost, there is clarity for the journey ahead. It is so apparent we all belong involved in each others life, in the age of texting and tweeting don’t ever discount the value of your presence. The most wonderful thing I learned the best of her of her is woven into me. I thought for so long that when she had to go to work she left me only to realize how selfish that idea was, these are doubts that I had due to my lack of faith. When you are looking for someone to blame for all of your problems, when you are so the victim and life is standing on your throat, it is shocking what you can remember about who and what hurt you. I had to let it all go but I prayed and prayed for understanding, I got it and it is all tied up in love, that is cool with me.
Today I am Marla, not too far off from the girl above, I am happy, I am open perhaps naive at times, I still love to sing and dance, I am a nerd and a bookworm, I love nature, animals and pictures, I study life and like to make people happy. I am on an adventure and have found my “other human”, we balance one another. I know where I came from, a source of pure love, God’s design for humans, I know where I am headed, back to that source of pure love. I simply aspire to be better tomorrow than I was today.
I am happy to make your aquaintance, I no longer hide. I am not afraid, that is the best part. That confidence is not in me, it is in the one who cast the stars into the glaxy and created the endless oceans. I no longer worry, I know who goes before me.
I am Marla, custodian of the created world, I live my life a servant to others, I no longer look to be served but to serve, Standing in the shoes of peace with a crown of forgiveness on my head, I am daughter, sister, friend. I strive to live kingdom, thy will be done.
Blessings to you,God bless you,