On my 12th birthday, my mom threw me a party . . . only one person showed up. On my 13th birthday, we thought we would try again; this time quite a few friends came. However, one of my best friends flirted endlessly with the boy I liked. I was heartbroken. I was that kid who was awkward, never got picked for any team and was generally on the outside looking in. I talked too much, was picked on and I was a lot lonelier than my peers realized.
As I got older, I saw the value of those experiences. I learned to be a friend to make a friend. I recognized others’ pain easily and so I reached out to those on the fringe. I didn’t rely on popularity, but rather on a depth of experiences, while working at developing skills, virtues and a relationship with Christ. I started to know my own worth as defined by God and not others, but I couldn’t erase the hidden part of me that is still 12 and feeling left out.
Social media exploits my weakness. I see posts of friends attending things I wasn’t invited to; my vulnerable self is left open to the lies of the enemy. He whispers to me that they left me out on purpose. They don’t really like me; they only tolerate me. They don’t want me around because I talk too much and I’m not interesting at all. So why do I allow these old tapes filled with lies to override the truth that I am a child of God? I am human.
My priest reminded me in confession, that anger, doubt, pain and fear are as much a part of our humanity as love, joy, or hope. We should acknowledge those elements, correct behavior that is motivated by these negative parts of our human nature, but we do not have to feed them or let them define us. They are part of humanity, but then Jesus chose to also join us in our humanity. He understands the struggle.
Imagine that!! With all the feelings that come along with our human nature and how hard the struggles can be, we have a God who would choose to leave the beauty of heaven to join us in our humanity. How He must love us, understand us and walk with us when we are feeling left out or invisible. So, in my weak moments, I will ponder the two natures of Christ. He is fully human and fully God and as such, he can understand me and heal me.
Copyright 2017 Mary Lou Rosien