“Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.”
-Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
When I was 12 and feeling vulnerable, awkward and unattractive I remember wanting to wear flip-flops to church and from my mothers reaction you would have thought I wanted to plant a pole on the altar and do a naughty dance. We would always have big fights about little, stupid stuff. My parents did not believe in slumber parties, or Hanson concerts. I remember being able to have a slumber party but I could never go to one and stay the night. Maybe she was aware of possible overnight childhood traumas I wasn’t aware of at the time.
The biggest slumber party of the 4th grade was going down and I couldn’t t stay the night. It was always so humiliating to have to leave in the middle of the Alex Mac marathon to go back home to my safe, controlled environment. I told my mom I hated her that day. I told her right before I got in the shower as she walked out the door to work. I told her I hated her and that I hated being a part of this family and I wanted to be adopted into a new one. I was a fierce 9 year old. I knew which dagger to use on which heart and I made her cry. My dad yelled into the bathroom that I had really hurt her feelings and that I ought to think about my words and apologize.
I know now that my mom and dad didn't withold Hanson concerts or slumber parties out of hateful, spite. They loved me the best they knew how. They gave me rules and dress codes because that was the most amazing parenting they could conjure up at the time. I never hated them or sincerly wished to be adopted into a new family... out of frustration I threw whatever stone I could get a hold of. I am constantly throwing these stones at the ones I love the most. I am agonizingly human.
I'm actually very grateful for the loving boundaries set on me as a kid. I am reminded by earthly boundaries that I have a loving parent called God that sets all sorts of boundaries up in my life to love and protect me. This gives me hope. Even moreso because I know that my loving God has a loving sense of humor as well.
Yesterday I was in the grocery store parking lot and I just so happened to shoot up a prayer to the good Lord in all Her splendor for a date, or boyfriend, or kiss... or just something romantic. I walked into the grocery store and shopped around for a bout a half hour... then a somewhat creepy meat man with fuzzy hair, peircing blue eyes and a ghastly hickie on his neck repeatedly hunted me dow to make conversation with me and even requested I come back in more often because there just aren't enough sweet, pretty ladies like myself coming through the Point Loma Vons. He even made sure I found the frozen berries. He met me in aisle 3. Whoever gave him that hickie on his neck must be a lucky girl. I laughed to myself on the wayback to the car with my boosted ego and frozen berries... "Lord... not that kinda romance!"
These two funny stories are just lint in the joy pockets of my life. I get hope from these little lints of joy. Hope that makes me smile and hope that reminds me that I am loved. I am loved by my parents, the good God on high, the people who are probably reading this silly blog, and the meat man at the Point Loma Vons. What more could a girl ask for?
I leave you with this benediction! :)
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I'll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He's my God.
- God, The Bible-: The Original Thought on Faith