There was a commercial on TV several weeks ago with the Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, she’s very popular, won something like four gold medals at the 2012 Olympics. I’m pretty sure the commercial was based on an actual event and she allowed it to be made into a commercial, God bless her. In the commercial she tearfully read a letter she wrote thanking her family for helping her become the woman she is, for all they had done for her – it was very touching. Something began to boil up inside me and I suddenly had an instinct to want to yell at the television saying “well your parents weren’t my parents!” I caught myself before allowing a really loud and distasteful sound come out my mouth which would have only served to scare my dogs – I wasn’t going to let that SOB (my “pet” name for Satan) get his way in my head.
And that’s exactly what that SOB wants to do – get in your head and twist your heart. It’s easy to want to blame someone else for your situation, your problems, the turn your life has taken. When you give that kind of power to someone else, you’ve also taken away from yourself the power to do anything about it. So there you are, feeling sorry for yourself – the only things you have is to blame for your life are other people, the church, maybe the government, maybe even God. And since it’s something or someone else’s fault there is nothing you can do but be a victim and say “woe is me”, “poor me” or maybe “why me?”
And yes, that SOB would LOVE to see me get angry and filled with hate over my family disowning me when I transitioned all those years ago. He would then love to see me take it even farther and blame God for the fact that I am transgender, without my family and withdraw myself out of Christ’s community in an attempt to “get back” at God. Yep, that’s just what he would love to see happen. And THAT is exactly why it’s so important that we KNOW who we are in Christ.
Just because we’re in Christ doesn’t mean that SOB will leave us alone and move on. No, he will do everything possible to make us as ineffective as Christians as possible. He doesn’t want us in church, he doesn’t want us reading God’s Word and he doesn’t want us showing Christ’s love to each other and to the world. If he does a really good job he’ll even have us blaming other Christians for our problems. This is why we need to remember that God made us the way we are for a reason, and whatever our situation is at a given point in time is just that, a point in time. Our journey isn’t ending at this moment, it’s just the most recent moment we have at our disposal. Tomorrow, this moment will be a day old. In 30 days this moment will be a month old. Whatever your situation, whatever is going on in your life RIGHT NOW, you will have a much better perspective of it in a day, a month or maybe a year. There is a long list of things that I didn’t understand WHY they were happening to me WHILE they were happening to me. But the list of things that I can now look back on and know WHY they happened is just about as long. Time gives us perspective, and God is the God of time – we need to trust Him that as His children He knows we have good stuff coming because He loves us, we just don’t have His perspective.
Romans 9:20 says “…Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?”” (New Living Translation.) We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, we need to remember that. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (NIV). That “all circumstances” part sure can be inconvenient. It’s easy to give thanks for the good stuff. It’s easy to give thanks when we’re about to eat a delicious meal, it’s easy to give thanks when that bonus check arrives. It’s REALLY easy to give thanks when the kids go off for the first day of school each year. It’s a little harder when people turn their back on you because you’re “different”, or some government clerk is slow to help you because of a personal problem they have with the way you live your life. What we have to be is thankful. Thankful for the air we breath, thankful for EVERY person who comes into our lives, thankful for the opportunity to learn how to take our experiences and help someone in the future who will encounter the same thing – when they have “their moment”.
Look, life has kicked everyone in the teeth a time or two (or more.) Even those who seem to “have it all” have their issues too, even if we don’t see it. We just all have our own unique ways in which we’ve been kicked and by whom. Good news, you’re human and a part of this awesome blessing given to us called LIFE! I LOVE my family. I haven’t seen them in 25 years, yes I miss them but I love them and am thankful for them. They in part have shaped who I am today, and I’m thankful for who I am through it all. If you surround yourself with people who can only blame others for their situation, you’ll be like them – most likely bitter and miserable. Surround yourself with people who know how to be thankful and watch your life get better. Then be that light to others who are bitter and miserable and teach them how to trust God and be thankful.