I love being me! I don’t have to pretend, lie or manipulate anyone to be me. I’m just me… I enjoy my life and the love that it brings. I keep it simple. Being hard is complicated and being complicated is hard! How you see yourself is how others will see you. I’m free to be me! What you see is what you get. I’m not cut out to be a fake!
At four years my Sunday school teacher (Marlene Elliott) told the class that we all were made in the image of God! That concept boggled my mind. I began to investigate the idea that every human being was like the image of God. How could that be? Maybe if I could see everyone I could get a glimpse of God. This got me in trouble a lot! I begin to speak to strangers, ‘hi.. hi..’ I just could not allow anyone to pass by without me acknowledging his or her presence or actually the Presence of God’s Image. They were one in the same to me… God’s Image (HIs people) and God.
Genesis 1:26, King James Version (KJV)
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
I was seriously reprimanded for speaking to strangers. My parents didn’t understand. I don’t really think anyone could have understood the revelation of God through the mind and thoughts of a four-year old. That very thought marked me for the rest of my life. I WAS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD and I loved God! I could not treat people the same way anymore. They took on a new value in my life… Respect! I also took on a new value in life… I begin to sing and skip to love songs about God that I had made up. I didn’t know then, but I do know now how the love of God fueled my joy. This made my childhood happier and I loved life and everybody including myself.
My mother never told me that I was pretty. Now, she did say that I had a pretty nose and pretty feet. She also told me that beauty is only skin deep and ugly was to the bone. So, I learned that my character determined my appearance. I sought to be good, kind and loving. These endurable traits caused me to love others and in turn see my reflection in how I treated people.
People became came my reflection. If I smiled then they returned that smile. If I was cross with someone then… there was a fight and anger.
Galatians 6:7, The Voice (VOICE)
Make no mistake: God can’t be mocked. What you give is what you get. What you sow, you harvest.
It made me sick; yes, physically sick being angry or sad. Love and kindness came easy to me as a child. I loved being happy. It was difficult for my parents to punish me as a child. In the middle of a spanking I would break out in laughter… I really wasn’t being obstinate. Spankings didn’t make me feel good; they made me sad. I hated being sad so I would imagine being happy or recount something funny in my mind and erupt in laughter. But, an angry voice would bring me back to my senses saying, ‘So, it’s funny huh…’ I would think, ‘oh, no… I did it again… I forgot not to laugh while being spanked.’
Philippians 4:8-9, King James Version (KJV)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Sometimes, I was sent to the corner for punishment. I didn’t mind because I liked counting especially pass a hundred. I would count the bumps on the ceiling or maybe the lines on the wall paper. Or maybe I made a friend with an ant or spider and I begin to laugh out loud and I could hear the frustration in my mother’s voice, ‘you’re not suppose to be playing in that corner! You are being punished! Get out of the corner.’ I would holler back, ‘sorry… I just forgot. Would you like to see what the ant can do?’
I just knew that life was good and filled with adventure. It didn’t matter if it was good or bad. Life was/is an adventure and I had the power within to make it good. I learned that I alone could control how I felt just by choosing it. Thereby I was never really under anyone’s control to be happy. I believe I was granted the gift of joy because my life would change and misadventures would await me and I had a secret hiding place that I could always visit.
Psalm 27:5, The Voice
His house is my shelter and secret retreat. It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil. Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God. He will set me on a rock, high above the fray.
John 16:33, King James Version (KJV)
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
I learned that it was up to me to decide my fate. God had empowered me with a free will. I could choose anything I wanted and I chose God!!