There are a few of you who will read the title of this post and grin - those who have known me for more than 20 years have a holistic view of who I am, where I was and what an amazing shift there has been in my life. There are others who have only known me for 20 years or less....and therefore have only met the me who knows the Risen Lord - for you this post may be a little more traumatic. Either way - it's on my heart to share today.
This month is the 20 year anniversary of having my eyes opened to the truth of the Bible. Not by man - but by God's own Word. If you preferred the person I was before -there is no one to blame but God himself. He did it - if you don't agree it's an improvement - talk to him about it -he will listen. I promise.
20 years ago I was a walking Heroine from a Harlequin Romance. Oh yeah...stylish, sexy, manicured, perfectly fit, recently divorced and well on my way up the corporate ladder. Through my parents amazing sacrifice (THANKS MOM!) I had just completed my MBA and was headed off to law school in the fall.
In the eyes of all things yuppie (I was truly a child of the 80's) I had it all together.
I certainly wasn't pining after my husband moved out -- no way --he made a choice which didn't include me and I was fine with that. After all, I quickly had a waiting list of powerful men who wanted to not only take me out - but claim me as theirs. I drove a hot little sports car, shopped at Nordstrom, leaned toward a convertible Mercedes and had my eye on the cutest diamond Rolex I seen at a downtown jewelers. I was IT - or at least I thought I was.......
That was a paragraph of truth which should have all of you either nodding your heads in agreement or shaking them in sad disbelief by now.
Because I truly was a Harlequin Heroine. All hot and bothered - walking on the wild side and loving the danger as well as the hunt.
But at 25 I realized something that the writers were getting wrong.
In every Harlequin I ever read - the last page didn't include the main characters going their separate ways. Nooooo...the key to the heart of the books was that with all the drama/sex/disaster/fighting the main characters ALWAYS got married and stayed together.
Which explains why I always hated that movie....Message in a Bottle. Please. It's all fine until they finally figure out that they really love each other and then he goes and drowns. That was NOT a Harlequin ending Nicholas Sparks - you so missed out on my loyalty with that one. In fact - my husband will testify I refuse to remember that part of the movie because it is just so tragic.
Which leads me back to the place where I thought the writers were getting it wrong. It was the endings. I could live that Harlequin lifestyle - I was perfectly capable of moving up and into the next realm of wealth and influence. Power and experience. I could have moved all the way into that life that most people only read about....where it is always first class and never beans with rice. That was my ideal.
But I could see something wasn't quite right.
The beautiful men I was dating.....
Were all divorced three or four times.
The piles of money
wasn't bringing them happiness or freedom
it came with apathy
and the lifestyle that promised so much
rang hollow and empty
in the reality that it was wholly self-centered.
I was interesting to them because I was 'fresh'
and they were close to the walking dead.
Always looking for something more
something big enough
something exciting enough
to shake them out of their
patterns and make them feel alive again.
Which creeped me out.
Because I could see myself
in ten years
at the same place.
Hollow - empty - lost
With everything I wanted
but with nothing.
Not the Harlequin Heroine....
but a lost one
aging sadly and
drinking too much
because the ending wasn't written quite right.
Not the place of happily ever after -
shoot - no one seemed to end up there.
More like happily in the moment -
grabbing what they could
in the this breath
because they knew it wouldn't last
and never did.
More like scrambling
for something solid
Something longer than a 200 page paperback
with a predictable ending
Something beyond what they could see.
20 years ago I realized
what was missing
Even though I didn't want to know God
without him I was empty.
I fought it
Of course I did!
But in God's amazing goodness
He relentlessly pursued my heart.
Until I turned
And took that step away from all of the glitter
and false promises
that my world had to offer
and found my feet leading me
to living water -
straight to his Word.
20 years ago I did not know God.
The reality of my life was that it could be easily confined
within the pages of pulp romance
easily forgotten and forever lost
but no longer.....
today I am a Daughter of the King
my story written in his ageless book.
The plot designed and implemented to bring Him glory.
Able to live with total confidence
that the ending is written exactly right.
How about you?
(Giggle...typo made all the heroine's into heroin....which is a little too close to the truth for me to actually put out here!)