Wednesday, February 18, 2015

He Knows Your Name

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The sharp stare.

The brisk and blatant walk in the opposite direction.

The refusal to make conversation.

A short answer with a jabbing comment.

The "un-friending."

The only one without an invitation.

The plan that fell through, again.

Being written off.

The status you were left out of.

These things happen to me. By different people, for different reasons, but it hurts none-the-less.


-----

My daughter was at a birthday party a few years ago. This would be her first one. She was so excited to be invited she didn't even care who it was. However, what made her the most excited was that it was her very best friend of her class. She picked out a gift and by herself decided that she didn't want to buy a card. She wanted to make a card. On top of it, she wanted to spell, all by herself because they learned how to spell names that week in her class.

When she showed me her card, in her 4-k coloring talent, it was clear she had spelled her friend's name wrong. It was a long name, with two of some of the letters. She missed those, and added some, and other letters were written backwards. I was about to correct her, but the sparkle in her eyes was so immense. She was so proud of herself so I grinned at the cuteness, felt proud that she tried, and kept silent.



The party went well in the beginning. She played with her friends and was having lots of fun. The party went on and we gradually worked our way in to eat and do gifts. When we got to gift opening, it was very apparent that there were three girls who were going to "control the situation." My mom mode clicked on after a while of them pushing girls back, controlling the gifts, and mean attitudes, and I finally told the girls they were the ones who needed to move back and leave the kids alone. Her gift came up and she was so excited. There isn't a font that could describe her glee for her friend to get her gift and card. The girl opened the card and she smiled wide. She said, "Thanks Gracie!" Then it happened.

By it, I mean them. By them I mean, the three mean girls happened.

"That's not coloring. It's just scribbles."
*Gracie's face fell.*
"Yeah, you didn't even spell her name right."
*Gracie looked at her friends card, sadly.*
"Why did you draw the nose so big?"
*Gracie's excitement faded as she took her card and slid it away in the trash pile.*
Her friend chimed in, "Well, I don't care, I like it."
*Gracie smiled, a little.*

My heart... oh, my mommy heart. There was a sob stuck in my throat. It felt like when you swallow bread and it gets lodged halfway down and your milk is gone. My anger was rage. My face was red and eyes were salty. But my heart was broken for her.

As I sat chewing on my angry words and her friend opened the gift (and she loved it, by the way), I watched Gracie. She bounded back with joy. She laughed with glee for her friend. She was making plans for playdates, talking about school, and let the whole incident slide. Needless to say, however, we left shortly thereafter.

We got in the car and my tears came. I had so many things that I wanted to say. It consisted of:

"I am so stinking proud of you for not lashing back. I wouldn't have been upset if you punched their throats."

No,

"Honey, you handled that so well. I pick you. I always pick you. You can spell my name wrong, you can scribble my pictures with noses too big and colors too bold. You can pick out my gift and I will love it. I don't care what it is you are mine and you are my magnificent creation from my womb. I love you. More than my own breath. I'm sorry life is mean. I am sorry that people are mean. I am so sorry that mean people were mean to you. I won't be. You can trust your mom. I love you so much that I would die for you."

Yes. Surely my toddler would understand that.

Instead, when she asked what was wrong, I took a big breath and said, "I am just so stinkin' proud of you."

-----

Fast forward two years later. My daughter still comes home from school with stories about being left out because of her "brown skin, eyes, or hair." She tells me of all the ways she gets left out, or lied to, or made fun of. Then she waits, she stares at me waiting for an answer. She wants me to tell her not to worry. That when she "gets big" like mom then that stuff won't happen anymore.

One thing I cherish with my children is honesty. And I always tell the truth. "Yes, your shot will hurt, but it will make you big and strong. I won't leave you, I will be right here and I will hold you tight." "Yes, you will be scared, but you will overcome it. I will help you." And the one time she asked why she couldn't play with some of her friends anymore I told her. "Their mom doesn't want to be my friend anymore. So, that means making play dates will be extremely difficult and I am sorry for that. But I promise, in life, you will make new friends."

When she looks to me in honesty to ask if people will stop being mean, or leaving her out, or not being nice, I cannot honestly tell her that will ever end. Not until Jesus comes back.

I share with her about how a girl didn't shake my hand in church. On purpose.

About how I was avoided at the store. Like, see me and turn and run. Or the "I will just pretend I don't see her. Maybe she will go past."

How I was not invited to an event that every other mom with young kids was invited to.

How people promise to "hang out sometime," but you know you will never get the call.

The Facebook statuses you never get tagged in. Or the vague one they won't privately email you about, instead making everyone comment on how to deal with "someone of whom you won't name names."

The conversation I was a part of, as a subject, not a converser.

What I cannot be is her standard of perfection. I cannot be her healing. I cannot lie and tell her that people will change when they "get big." But what I can do is point her to the perfector. I can tell her he is the healer. I can tell her the truth that he does heal the "big people with broken hearts."

We all have bullies in our lives. For different reasons. There is one truth I can say. Is that God is the redeemer. He can redeem me, who feels the wounds of others' actions. He can heal others' who have dealt with wounds from me. He can redeem the person who bullies.

Despite our messes, God calls us friend. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friend." (Emphasis mine.) Jesus died for us, not only is He our true love, but He calls us friend. And not one is left out.

He calls us "child." John 1:12 says that if we receive Him, He adopts us as His children. Can you see the beautiful parody of an "unwanted" child becoming chosen and included by adoption into God's family as His child?

He calls us beloved, he calls us His bride, his chosen people...

You see, with God, no one is left out.


I began to get in this trap of thinking that maybe if I was different THEN people would want to include me. I began to think if I got famous and my writing would get published, people would be nice to me. I would be validated. Successful. People would know my name, not just my story.

And the truth is, yes, yes they would. But for all the wrong reasons.

But the beauty in all of it, is that God doesn't just know me by the lies I identify with sometimes. .

Sinner.

Left out.

Written off.

Ignored.

Not good enough.

He knows me by "beloved." Child. Bride. Forgiven. Chosen one.

I am Kirsten. He knows my  name.

He doesn't wait for me to be his standard before he reaches out, he loves me now. People are not perfect. We all have stories. And you know what, God loves our enemies too. He calls us to love them on top of it. They have stories, hurts, and insecurities and it comes out in how they treat people. I will get published one day, but now I want it to be so everyone knows His name.

So hold your head high, sister, because God knows your name too. Look to him for your comfort and you will surely find it there, in Him.




1 comment :

Kim said...

Kirsten, I love that song! Great to connect with you on Twitter and see your beautiful space here - see you on the Compel training today :)
Kim Stewart
www.kimstewartinspired.com

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