I pause here to say, ministry can sometimes be a lonely place. I remember that night, asking God for a new life. "Please God," I pleaded. But I promise you, He spoke to my spirit instantly, "This is the only life I have for you, my daughter. Your life is perfectly shaped for your purpose." That night I lay in bed, cuddled between the pillows and wept for the Rae that should’ve been but never was. Not even at birth. I have come to accept that my life is what it is. Sometimes I feel as if God took my pain and designed a pair of shoes especially for me. He knew I loved shoes, so He crafted a pair that I could wear through thick and thin and still maintain a core of my dignity, even as a child enduring the holidays at my house.
Memories of my Mama dominate my life on holidays. Now that she's gone with no other family, I often spend them alone, torn between the loneliness I feel and the pain I felt when she was living. I'm not sure how long it’s going to take to reconcile my relationship with Mama and how I feel on holidays. What I Know For Sure, is that God proved Mama wrong. I may not be all that I could’ve been, but my life has been perfectly shaped in spite of Mama's prediction, “that I was never gonna be shit.” Even in my pain, I understand that Easter has so much meaning for me. Not only did Christ die for the forgiveness of my sins, but God reshaped my imperfect life for a perfect mission at the perfect time in our history. Now that's love!
Fourth Presbyterian Church, I would stop and stare at the yearly April display in front of the church on Chicago's Mag Mile. I remember the first time I saw those trees with a sea of blue ribbons. “How pretty,” I mumbled as I made my way to the sign. I stood there paralyzed in front of those trees for a long time. People would come and go but I stood there with tears streaming down as I read the number of children abused in Illinois and Cook Country. That day, I cried for all those abused children. But I also cried for the children that were never counted, me included.