The day I turned 17: nobody I invited showed up to celebrate. After it became apparent I had been stood up, on my birthday, by people who claimed to be my friends: I cried pretty hard. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would do such a terrible thing to someone they claimed was a friend. When I was done crying dad said, “Go fix yourself up and we’ll go to the mall anyway. You can shop with your mom and we’ll have dinner like we planned just without those people claiming to be your friends.” We did exactly what he said. It was a cruddy, but ultimately, pretty good birthday. By the next morning (Sunday) I had decided to not let those who hurt me know they had. I would see one of them at worship. Mama said pretty much the same thing to me. “Hold your head high and know who you are and that this will pass, my girl. It won’t be important after you go to college. High School is brutal for, almost, everybody.” Mama was right and I did just what she said. I did the same thing at school on Monday. However, I wasn’t friends with those individuals, after that; because it was apparent they weren’t really my friends.
A few years later, I was at the same mall where my birthday party didn’t happen. I passed a young girl, in a wheelchair, who was sobbing and being comforted by her mom and sister. I felt led to go over and see if I could help. I introduced myself and that little eight-year old told me it was her birthday and no one showed up to her party at build-a-bear. I told her all about having a similar experience. She asked me what I did about it. I had fun anyway realizing those people weren’t friends to begin with. Her mom explained build-a bear offered to have the party anyway for her family including out of town family. I convinced the little girl to have a build-a bear party anyway. Before we parted ways: I held up my cell phone. See this? She nodded. One day you’ll have real friends who love and support you. I do, now, and they’re all right in here. I promise it gets better. “Do they know about your chair?” My friends….now? She nodded. Yes, it’s never a big deal to them. “Wow, really?” Yes, I promise. You’ll find your own tribe and they won’t care about your chair either. You go build a soft, amazing, friend, and give it big hugs. Go celebrate with the people who really love you for you. Happy, happy, birthday! Her mom thanked me profusely for helping her daughter. No need to thank me. It was my pleasure. I’m glad I was here.
As I continued down the mall: I said, “Thank you, Father, for using my painful experience to help somebody else. You really are working all things for my good.” This blog is more proof of my Father using all experiences for good. Not just my good, but everybody who visits my blog proper or the Facebook page. Some posts are quite painful and/or emotional to write, but I do so knowing it may give somebody encouragement, or a literal lifeline to keep going. This blog is part of my purpose, and its purpose is to help others. Even on the days I wonder if I’m doing any good through this blog: I keep writing and posting because I know that’s just the enemy trying to sow doubt in me. When I keep working to make this blog grow and I see it is: it makes me happy and work harder to help people here. There’s lots of ways to minister and this is one of mine.