"The joy of discovery illustrates the proper relationship between thought and feeling."
That's what I am thinking about right now. I dunno if some super famous smart person said it first, or if it just sounds right b/c it is?
Recently, I have gotten to meet up with someone who prior to the last week, was just an anonymous writer, across the cyber-street. I've met people before, after chatting a bit with them online, as you know. The first several were anti-climactic, and so they probably didn't rate much fanfare on here. This one is different. A gentleman, even. To say that this friendship is special to me is to say that children are a positive thing to have in your life. Or that chocolate is perhaps something that I would consider eating. Once. Or that Europe is a beautiful place to live. Or....ok. You got the idea. So, with that being said, I will probably not write much more about it. I can tell you this, and you may (or may not)connect the dots:
I pretty much always knew I was different. When I was a little girl, we were the only family in our tiny Indiana town that had a tv. (GASP!) Yes, it's true. Then, when Mom and Dad divorced, I attended 4 different schools in one year: this set me apart, for sure. I was constantly having to prove myself, and felt woefully inadequate for this task. I was the "new kid", not privy to the local mores, not a member of the cliques, and not one of the "privileged", to be sure. Not that I'm complaining, mind you! I know now that the Lord used those things to bring me to where I am now, so it all worked out.
As I grew up, I was gawky and awkward, (ironically, I see pics of models and they were very much the same way at that age---how did *I* miss that one!?! lol) and the subject of harassment and the usual kid-torment. I think I acquired some degree of scoliosis as a result of trying to shrink into the background. I did not want to stand out, but I was unable to successfully avoid the emotional wounds meted out by my peers. Now I understand that they were hurting, too.
When I got to be around 14 or so, I began to have such conflicts with my Mom that I eventually went to stay with Dad and his wife. At about age 16, during one of the prolonged stays with them, they enrolled me in a Christian school in Lakeland, FL., which was a part of the church they'd been attending.
I went to that school for a good part of my Senior year, as best I recall. I was blessed to make a couple of good friends, yet there was still the underlying feeling of not quite blending in.
The only thing I'd found until then that took away the self-consciousness, the fear, the feelings of being a side-show freak, was to get high. I began using at the age of 15, and I truly felt "OK", for the first time I could recall, after a few sips of liquor or hits off a joint. Somehow, the chemicals were able to let me find the place where I was everything I'd never been able to believe about myself.
So, in summary: I was born different. I felt it, and others' words and actions toward me reinforced that idea.
Then one day there was a concert at church. "Silverwind" was going to be there, and I was actually going to be allowed to attend. (Part of the terms of living with Dad, a then-undiagnosed alkie/druggie --and I don't need to tell you about the CONTROL issues-- was that I had NO life outside of school and church. Period.)That was a day that I can never forget. Years later, when I was unable to drink or use "enough", this day was one that I could not get out of my head.
The concert was good, the music was, well, the only word probably that is accurate and true is "anointed". (I have the cd still, and I don't know of anything else from that period of my life that I still own.)
Anyway, after the music was over, there was the standard "call for prayer", and this time there was a certain young man who had been drumming at church for as long as I'd been there, who was praying for people to receive the Baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Now, I'm not really certain if they were praying for the Baptism, to be "filled" with the Holy Spirit, or what. What I do know, is that THAT defined for me, why I never fit in.
The Bible speaks of followers of Christ being "set apart", being "not OF the world", and the King James Bible puts it so succinctly: a Peculiar People.
Here's a definition that I got from the Thesaurus online, of "Peculiar", which IS pretty much what I believed to be true about me for so long:
Main Entry: peculiar
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: bizarre, odd
abnormal, bent, creepy, curious, eccentric, exceptional, extraordinary, flaky, freakish, freaky, funny, idiosyncratic, kinky, kooky, oddball, off-the-wall, offbeat, outlandish, quaint, queer, singular, strange, uncommon, unconventional, uncustomary, unusual, wacky, way-out, weird, wonderful
normal, ordinary, regular, standard, usual
Sadly, I only HEARD that less-than flattering parts of that definition. (I finally did come to embrace and proudly wear the moniker of Abbie "Normal")
Here is a more positive definition, that also came from www.Thesaurus.reference.com :
Main Entry: peculiar
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: characteristic, distinguishing
appropriate, diacritic, diagnostic, distinct, distinctive, endemic, exclusive, idiosyncratic, individual, intrinsic, local, particular, personal, private, proper, restricted, special, specific, typical, unique
I know now that the enemy of my soul was logging in hours, even back in my childhood, to make sure I never got the WHOLE picture. If God's CHOSEN are called to be a PECULIAR people, then *I* have actually been unknowingly wearing the mark, in a sense, for my whole life. If I had a penny for every time I've been called weird, I would have a fat piggy bank.
Isn't it amazing how stepping back and looking over a lifetime, you can see that there was a CLEAR path, that things were truly adding up to a REAL number, and that there are absolutely no coincidences?
So, are you wondering what all this has to do with the first part of this post? Hang on, I'm getting there.
That night, after the Silverwind concert, I felt the Spirit of the Creator touch me. There are no words to describe it, fully, but from what I've heard, it seems to be similar to the feeling of being electrocuted, except w/o the pain. It's like a mighty, rushing wind, and a warm, roaring ocean wave flowed through me. I don't think there was any kind of physical evidence; no shaking or flopping on the floor, no barking, etc.... ;)
But Dad did tell me on the way home that my face was shining. I know that I felt like I had been given a gift that I would BURST if I didn't try to share it at EVERY opportunity. The gift of pure love. Raw, unadulterated L O V E. No agendas, no personal motives. Just good old fashioned love. The Bible says that God is love.
I knew at that time, that I HAVE been set apart. I have unequivocally NOT been the same since that moment when I had an encounter with the Living God. I AM "unusual, unique, special", and sometimes, even "wonderful." There is something called a "Remnant", and I belong there.
I found out at every turn, that I didn't fit in among any group of people on this planet. I don't. And finding others who are this kind of distinct, exclusive, unconventional, and eccentric---well, I can't tell you how exciting it can be. Connecting with another human being on a level where together, you are touching the heart of God...wow.
So, the connection between the first part of this post and the end, is that I have found a fellow traveler on the road that leads to eternity with the Lover of my soul. My friend is also "trudging the road to happy destiny", via the cross, and I am humbled to be called his friend.