I like bubbles– those little carefree, floating orbs of magic. They sparkle and shine down upon the world as if they know something we don’t.
I think I may have been flying around in a bubble lately.
You know, looking down on my life, analyzing it, and secretly thinking I have moved past my mistakes. It’s all rainbows and glittery stuff in the bubble. Those old wounds are healed and gone. I’ve, of course, learned from my mistakes. My struggles are hidden away, and the pit I lived in is covered up.
I fancied that when people looked into my life they didn’t see my secrets, they saw someone strong and hopeful, but today I was blessed with a candid observation from an acquaintance that popped my little world.
We were talking about first impressions, and she asked me if I wanted to know her first impression of me. I said sure, cause obviously, this observation would be good, right? I mean this person has been extremely complimentary of me. Naturally, she would say something nice.
My first clue should have been that she didn’t want to say it out loud, but instead asked for a piece of paper. As I thumbed through my handy notebook for a clean sheet, I couldn’t help but wonder why saying “Awesome” loud and clear wasn’t something she wanted to do.
Imagine my shock when I read her one-word first impression of me—“Abused”.
That’s not the picture I want people to see when they look at me. But I have no control over the thoughts or impressions of other people.
What I do have control over is to not let a label define me.
We are more than those things that have beaten us down.
Some of us are abused, broken, addicted, alone, but do we let those labels define us? Do those things we’ve been through leave their mark forever on our hearts and in our smiles? Or do we have some say in the matter?
Do we let them serve as a placard on the picture of our lives? Or do we stand up, rip the picture off the wall, and tell the world to keep looking cause we’re not finished yet.
Part of the healing comes in the label. I can see that, but surely God never intended for that to be our stopping place. Those scars can become part of something beautiful.
But it’s not easy. It’s a fight.
Learning who to trust, standing up for ourselves, and letting love refuse to let us go—
This stuff doesn’t come easily, but I, for one, am willing for the fight.
So overall, I think it was good to see that word written in red on my little notebook page. That one word said a lot to me and woke me up a little.
Maybe I’ve been looking at it all the wrong way. Maybe it’s not about the bubble getting burst, but maybe it’s about being free. Maybe who we can be is trapped inside that fanciful little prison, and it’s through the soapy spray we find our way to reality and to freedom.
I am not afraid of the truth. I am not the sum of my experiences or mistakes. I’m not even the sum of my accomplishments.
I am a child of God.
So let the truth set me free. Let it set you free.
“….and that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11
Wow. Great image, lesson and encouragement. Good you could look at it that way and not get all feisty and defensive.
I was really worried I might have come across feisty and . . .thanks for your comment!
Mary Beth, thank you for taking the risk to share such a sensitive story with grace. I appreciate you speaking truth in a hope-filled way.
Thanks David. Sometimes I wonder if I share too much. . .