"We ought to obey God, rather than men. Even when He hands us the crucifix and bids us Come.
And so we come, and die."
I hate myself. I am a jerk. Mom acts as though I hate the kids. I am such a rotten person. Mom told me how I have lost all my patience with the kids, that I am not patient anymore. I try so hard. What will it take? I try and pray and instead of improving, get told I have gotten worse! I’m so discouraged. I hate being impatient with them. I know I am sometimes. But it must be all the time, because mom says what she said. I’ll never become better. It’s so frustrating and it hurts. I wish I was so gentle and sweet and mom never had a reason to say anything like that. I hope God can use me. Use me, this clump of imperfection! This mess of impatience! This blob of sin!As a perfectionist first born, my perceived failures as a sister and daughter, as “Happy Helping Hillary” fueled intense depression. Name-calling was not allowed, of course, yet subtle labels stung worse than petty words. Bossy. Impatient. Frivolous. Worldly. Dreamy. Impractical. All were bad. “You aren’t good enough,” messages sneered. The harder I tried to measure up, the louder they shrilled.
When we discovered a steep, long hill perfect for flying down on bikes, we rose at dawn and fought dewy webs of spiders who wove all through the night a mystical corridor, which caught our faces as we rode through. And after we dashed back to the frantic calls of parents who woke to find us vanished, the spiders sighed and shook their heads in despair, rolled up their sleeves, and set to work again.
Years and years we dwelt there, a sanctuary with shadows.
I turned and returned to that safe place; I lay on soft, velvety needles while catching twinkles of sapphire sky. It winked at me and gently teased, spurring jealousy—for that great blue expanse did not know her fortune, to live next to God.
On this day, wind blew softly, warmly. My elbows bore tell-tale crisscross from leaning on the ground when I rolled to my stomach and picked up my journal. My eyes drifted “up there” while I scribbled. God, why did I have to be born? I just want to die . . .
. . . to be continued.