After I got the kids in bed, I decided to take advantage of Jason's absence (having a Guy's X-Box Night) to continue prepping our guest room to be painted. Yesterday, I had managed to clear out all the furniture, but the largish closet (which we use for storage) still needed to be emptied, and 12 semi-ancient Canada Flag stickers needed to be removed from the walls. This is the part I was dreading.
With a combination of soapy water, a sponge, and a plastic drywall knife, I managed to painstakingly remove three--the ones lowest down, where I had the most leverage. The remaining nine are on the small vertical edge of a section of dropped ceiling, and after several unfruitful attempts, perched atop a low stool, I decided to buy some wallpaper remover tomorrow and give it another go. But! I figured I may as well keep prepping the other parts of the room.
A few minutes later and the baseboard was laying haphazardly scattered on the carpet in spiky strips, like a giant game of Pick-Up-Sticks gone awry. I laid it (mostly) out of the way, then set to work on the closet. Jason organized our storage room yesterday (HALLELUJAH!), so there was now room in there for the temporary storage of even more junk! (We have so much storage space in this house, it scares me--what are we going to put into a storage area and then just forget about? Until we have to pack it up and move it, that is.)
I would like to tell you that, other than the impossible-to-remove stickers, the room is ready for paint, or at least putty, to be applied. But that would be less than honest. Truthfully, I got the closet about half-way emptied, and then came across a box full of Memory Lane. Dangerous.
Never mind that it was already quarter to midnight. Never mind that I was standing on the cold cement floor in the absolute coldest room in the house (which in this drafty old beast is saying something), I was soon flipping through books, binders, and artwork. I decided that my thirteen-year-old self was a much better artist than my twenty-nine-year-old self. I can't even believe I drew some of that stuff!
And then I came to the journals. The first two journals I ever kept, starting at the age of fifteen. That was the year my parents split. I entered high school. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I changed schools. I changed churches. I changed the parent I was living with. There was a lot of change that year. In many ways, that year defined me, and the way my life would unfold.
Before long, as I read through those journals, I had sunk to the cold, painted cement floor in the dimly-lit storage room, reliving the joys, sorrows, confusion, and drama of a fifteen-year-old boy-crazy girl. The name of the Object of My Affection changed almost weekly, yet I had recognized how hormone-driven it all was. The book included all kinds of lists, poems and songs, (some original, some copied). My handwriting went through innumerable incarnations. And as I re-experienced the emotions poured on those pages by a hurting-but-healing fifteen-year-old girl, I cried out loud several times.
It was an interesting look back at the person that was, and it made me stop and think: What would I say to her now?
That dating policy you have about only dating people who love God as much as you? That's a good one. Keep to that, and you'll avoid a lot of future pain.
That dream house you wrote about? I just designed it--and most of those things you wrote about are in there. I think you'd like it.
Do not judge people who have made mistakes so harshly--someday someone else may be judging you the same way.
Hold on to your idealistic purism, but do it in love.
Hold on to your dreams, too. Dreams really do come true.
Keep seeking for the Truth you long for.
Tough love is tough to give sometimes. True friends give it--and receive it. Tough love shows you who your true friends are.
God designed woman to desire men, not to pursue them, so let go and don't run so hard after male attention. It is only after you become confident in the woman He made you to be that you will attract the kind of attention you truly want, anyway.
That list you wrote about what you really want in a man? You'll get to marry him someday. Don't collect baggage with the runners-up in the meantime.
Time really does heal--if not all, then many--wounds. Knowing that doesn't make it much easier to go through the dark times, but sometimes it helps to know that it won't always hurt this bad.
Hang on to your hope. Your life holds so much in store for you--go out and live it!
Then Jabin started fussing in the room over my head. I dried my eyes, forced my frozen carcass to rise from the floor, and went to rock my precious baby--such a vivid reminder of all that is good in my life, fourteen years later--to sleep.