In an effort to become more authentic in the blog, I’ve started doing something new, and joined Joy, a new writer I’ve come to know, in sharing about life: unmasked. I’m grateful for Joy’s allowing me to participate in this blog meme, and look forward to sharing some of my struggles, questions, and failures. And this blog has to be the most naked I’ve written in quite some time.
There was a time I couldn’t laugh…at anything. When I was 12 and my parents divorced. When I was 16 and feeling alone at school because I went to church, and at church because I was in J.R.O.T.C. and planned to join the military. And alone at home because my brothers were annoying (sorry, it’s true…and yes, I know I was equally annoying) and I didn’t feel like I could trust my parents because they’d done the one thing I knew no mom and dad should do: divorce. The time from when I was 12 to 20 was beyond difficult – I was cold and dead inside, only wanting it to end. There was no laughter.
Growing up in a non-denominational, “Spirit-filled” church my entire life, I was quite surprised at something that happened in my early twenties – God breathed life into my soul at a First Baptist Church of all places. This would be the first of many ironies that make up my life’s story. I can’t comment to whether I was “saved” when I was a child saying a prayer with my dad, or the countless times I begged God to save me as a teen, but I do know that something very different happened when I was at that Baptist church: I felt alive. Something I hadn’t felt in so very, very long.
I know it wasn’t immediate, but I noticed that after I experienced God’s overwhelming, violent, fearsome grace in my life, I started to laugh again. I still needed much healing, and some of that healing didn’t even happen until this past year when I was 27, fifteen years after these seemingly fatal wounds were unwittingly inflicted. But there was laughter.
Now, I’m able to laugh at anything, especially myself. I laugh at funny things, ironic things, awkward silences, and even at serious situations when I feel the mood needs to be lightened. A good, very dear friend of mine recently told me that I laugh too much. She said it makes me seem immature, like a 12-year old. Maybe she’s right. My step-dad has often told me that when children suffer deep emotional trauma (like their parents’ divorce) they stop growing emotionally until there is healing, and usually counseling. So, maybe the fact that I laugh at so much is a mark of immaturity, I don’t know. One thing I do know is that my ability to laugh is nothing less than a sign of Christ’s love for me, the Father’s adopting me, and the Spirit’s breath flowing inside my soul which was once so very cold and dead.
So, yes, I laugh a lot. Maybe that makes me immature. I don’t want to offend people and turn them away from me by immaturity, but on this point I will adamantly praise Christ for my ability to laugh at all things and gladly embrace what some deem to be immature, as it is a sign of His redemption in my life.
Maranatha, Lord Jesus. Maranatha.