Monday, October 19, 2015

But I Don't Want To Be Normal

My whole life I’ve struggled to be normal, but I’ve come to realize that there is no such thing as normal among people.  What’s considered normal varies between families, cultures and socioeconomic class, but even then no two people are exactly the same. So trying to be normal is like trying to be all things to all people, which is a maddening, useless waste of time, energy and emotion. Instead, I just want to be me; the me who never wants to grow up or grow old; the me who loves with my whole heart, regardless of the risk; the me who has learned to let go of the hurt, forgive and embrace peace; the me who is in fact happily normal based on how God has wired me to be.  Trying to be someone else is exhausting and depressing! 

God didn’t create us as Robot’s, expecting us all to act the same way, He made us to be unique. We are all born with a unique personality. We are all born with a capacity to learn and do great things.  We are all born curious about our world.  But, unfortunately, we aren’t all born into families that embrace and encourage individuality.  Many times, we are expected to behave like everyone else….aka, be normal. This can lead to a lot of guilt and shame. The same is also true in our School Systems, which is why many parents are choosing to homeschool their children.  I applaud these wise parents who understand that children should be free to learn and grow according to their unique personality, and not simply retain facts that will not serve them later in life.    

As  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

If the opposite of normal is abnormal, then let’s all begin to embrace our abnormalities.  Learn to color outside the lines, think outside the box, dance in the rain, march to the beat of your own drum.  Discover what makes you happy, and if it doesn’t harm anyone else, do It!  Maybe other’s won’t think you’re crazy, maybe they will applaud (even if only silently) your free spirit and maybe, just maybe they’ll want to try it too.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Is The Church Really Pro-Life

Facebook rants. Graphs. Statistics. Billboards. People, especially Christians, talk about the high number of abortions being preformed each year, but what are we doing about it?  If you’re Pro-Life, what are you doing about it?  We have no business talking about the high numbers if we’re not willing to help reduce them.  Honestly, I’m sick of hearing judgmental, hard hearted people sitting on their duffs, doing nothing and acting godly and self-righteous.  It’s time we became Pro-Active in preventing abortions and not just Pro-Life.

I am Pro Life and I had an abortion as a teenager! I’ve decided that it’s time to let go of my own guilt and shame so I can help other women do the same.  In my case, the pregnancy wasn’t terminated because the baby wasn’t loved or wasn’t seen as a human, but because the benefits of denying the child’s existence far outweighed the shame of being judged by others, especially in the church. The thought of others talking about her because of her daughter’s condition was more than my mother could bare. (How ironic that it was then perfectly acceptable for me to get married in a white dress a few years later.)  I am not alone, my mother is not alone, there are many women living with the shame and guilt of having had an abortion to save themselves and their families from the cruel gossip and judgement of others.  I would say that, although inadvertently, the church, or rather the attitude of the people in the church, is responsible for a large number of abortions being performed.  While many things, such as pornography, abuse, adultery, alcohol and drug abuse, can be concealed, pregnancy can not.  Why I got pregnant as a teenager is a story for another day, but for today, I’ll just say that it wasn’t from a loving relationship.

For women who have had abortions, it's time for us, the church, to stop judging, and allow them the freedom to acknowledge their unborn child and give them the freedom and a safe place to grieve and to forgive themselves.  For women who become pregnant,  it’s time for us, the church, to love and accept them and their unborn child. An unplanned pregnancy shouldn’t be consider a problem, it should be considered, as every child is, a gift from God to be loved and accepted.