Learning about storming and self-awareness in school I've realized that I'm one to run away from conflict. That goes literally sometimes. Examples? Okay, if I must. Take two Saturdays ago. My parents have a had a Bible study going since I was in school probably. It's international, which pretty much means anyone who is interested is welcome to come, so we've had lots of people from such different backgrounds and life history come into our home. I used to take it for granted and I can still be a brat about it now, especially, when I see the toilet seat up in MY bathroom... But I do see the value in it all.
Back to the point. I find that some people who come need fellowship, badly, more so they need someone to hear their story, like their overall life story and where they've come from. And man, have they been places and experienced things in their lives. It amazes me to see where they are from where they've been. This one night a lady was talking to us about her life. I don't know if it's just my fear of love and marriage and broken love and broken marriage, but her story was heart breaking. She spoke of how she was swooped off her feet by some charming boy at the young age of 16. A year later she was still with him and they married as he graduated, while she was too young to and therefore didn't finish her highschool education. In the end he ended up being a cheater, a womanizer and they divorced 20 years later with some children in the mix. She claimed he had stolen her best years, and how her children's view on her were hurt as well which had contributed to her struggle with depression in the past.
She went on about the disfunctions and hurt about her past life. I honestly couldn't take more. It was too real, too heart breaking to hear her tell her story all laid out infront of me by her personally. She wasn't crying because she had accepted it and dealt with it all long ago, but I was about to. I excused myself and went to my room for the rest of the night.
How rude! I know! But call me an idealist, I believe in eventual happy endings. Lately I've been hearing stories that are so sad. Is it wrong to hope for better? Am I just setting myself up for heartbreak? I think not. Their stories aren't done yet. And they have survived so far, I don't believe their past has to define where they're going or affect who they are today unless they let it. But still. So sad.
Another reality check. My dad has is in this ministry where he visits sailors at our city's port and share the Gospel with them. It's pretty amazing, and he can relate since he came out of the Philippines with that job. It's amazing the stuff you learn about your parents if you just ask, or even listen sometimes. But yes.
These guys leave their families and loved ones for weeks on end, sometimes even months, for their jobs. It broke my heart a bit to think that this one guy who was a classmate of my Dad's back in sailor school (?) still does the job to this day leaving his family every time. I'm no seaman or anything, but I'm sure they run into some rough waters. My heart saddened a bit too, seeing these guys in our living room on their huge laptops skyping with their families or on phones, or waiting to use our phone to talk a bit with anyone back home. That's when I know there is some use to technology, besides wasting endless hours with all its various forms. Still, I see this sort of job like a waiting game, but it's constant and all the time. You're either waiting to get back home, or when home essentially waiting till it's time to go back to sea. I don't know if I could stand that as a wife. And here I thought it was pretty tough when my Dad would have shifts that lasted a week or two when he worked the Prince Rupert- Upper Island route. I need to remember to count my many blessings. Or at least start thinking about them when I feel down.
So what's to learn from all this?
1: I don't like conflict including sad stories. I guess it just reminds me that hey, it can happen to anybody, even me.
2: I have to stop using these stories as an excuse to not live life or give people chances. Yes, there are crappy people out there, but there are also amazing people out there. In the end both can affect my life for the better through lessons learned from experiences and relationships gained. The past does not have to define ANYONE.
3: I need to hear, even seek out, people's stories. You never know what sort of life lessons, hardships, horrors, redemption and healing people have gone through unless you ask and listen. Not just to hear that they are saying words, but listen to and understand the meaning that their words hold.
I know this world has lots of suckiness in it. Terrible word. Still, I believe in the end there is hope. And that hope should out-weigh the suckiness in this place called Earth. What do we do? We start living it. So you want to change the world? What are you waiting for? It starts with one voice, one life. Will that be you?