I’m a freak. Always have been. Close friends and immediately family already know this. And if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably figured that out as well.
I was born in Fredricksburg, Virginia over 40 years ago. My father was (is) white, and my mother was (is) from Japan. Times have changed. People are more accepting of children from mixed race couples. But back then, I was an oddity. Being Asian in rural Virginia back then would have been enough to set me apart from the rest of my classmates; being a little bit white and a little bit Asian was a double threat. This is not to say I didn’t have friends. I did. The wonderful thing about young kids is that they are not inherently prejudiced; it’s a learned skill. The older I got, the more I came to understand I wasn’t like everyone else, and the more that I began to understand I just wasn’t going to be accepted in certain circles. Not that I didn’t try. I watched my mother skillfully change people’s attitudes towards her by going above and beyond what was expected. She treated my father’s family and our neighbors with kindness and generosity. She went out of her way to endear herself to them. It was amazing.
But I didn’t have those kind of skills. I thought that by pretending I was just like everyone else, people would simply play along. That didn’t work out so well. Not only was I a freak physically, I was also ADD. I would not be diagnosed until I was 22 years old, so for all those years, I was just annoying. I have always had a handful of close, wonderful friends. For their own reasons, they were social outcasts as well. But as a kid, your ultimate goal was to be among the ranks of the popular, the beautiful. To add insult to injury, during my junior high and early high school years, I also struggled with my weight and my complexion. Oh, and did I mention that my parents divorced when I was in the sixth grade? For a brief period in high school, I was on the fringe of the popular crowd for the simple reason that I looked older than I was and was able to get into the hottest club in town. Something highly desirable to the popular crowd but not attainable without me. I held the golden ticket. I also no longer struggled with my weight, thanks to a friend’s brother who turned me on to bodybuilding, coupled with the fact that cocaine was the drug of choice for the night club crowd. I was partially accepted into the inner circle, but only long enough to get them into a club. I had a total of one date with someone from my school. My other dates involved men I met at nightclubs who thought I was older than I actually was. Nice.
This is not meant to be my life story, so let me just briefly sum up my life in my late teens and twenties: Lots of binge drinking, a fairly decent amount of drug experimentation, and basically looking for love in all the wrong places. (Sorry, bad song analogy.)
I met my husband when I was 28. I had been in several bad relationships, the latest of which had recently ended after 7 years. I was all partied out. It just wasn’t fun anymore. And while our lives together hasn’t always been a barrel of monkeys, I now realize that God reached down and put him in my life because He saw two broken people who, when bound together through the amazing love of Jesus Christ, were more complete. My husband grew up in the church, but had had his fair share of a life apart from God. After the birth of our first child, I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown and he decided it was time to get back to church. I was out of options, so I agreed.
I’m not here to tell you that going to church saved my life. Acknowledging my brokenness and laying it at the cross did that. But that’s for another post…« « Previous Post: Bragging Rights | Next Post: Finally Full » »