Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

What defines you?  What defines me?  Who am I?  I know I am mother to four crazy cool children, wife to a very sweet husband, daughter to my fabulous parents, and sister to my witty and charming sibling...but beyond that?  Is there something that is just mine?  Just me?  Here is what I know about myself.

The Good:  I can type fast and accurately.  I can be very organized, I love when things are straight and in alphabetical order.  I love to write.  I love to read.  I can laugh long and hard and have even found myself at times thinking I just may pass out and die from a case of the giggles!  I love people.  I feel like I can find the good in almost anyone.  I am quite chatty, but I do feel I can be a good listener.  I have a quick mind, I am good in a crunch.  I have always known that I do just about everything in life at a very fast pace.  I love to work out once I get going.  I have recently completely accepted the Christian life and LOVE it!

The Bad:  I bite my nails.  I chew my lip and cheek.  I smoked for about 10 years (sort of off and on).  I love to drink to excess when I have no responsbilities (yeah, it's been a while).  I can get angry pretty easily.  I like to yell.  Frustration causes me to throw things.  I can be flippant or aloof about things sometimes when others are seriously feeling stressed.  I am forgetful - way more now than ever before!  I can be lazy.  I gossip.  I judge people rather quickly.  I can hold a grudge...ooh, boy, can I hold a grudge! 

The Ugly:  I have slept with friends' boyfriends.  I have cheated on my own boyfriends.  I have been raped.  I have had an abortion.  I have driven drunk many, many times.  One of those times resulted in the death of a homeless (also drunk) man.  I completed 28 days in rehab, and 127 days in a correctional facility.  I have driven drunk even after that incident.  *I do have to say not many times and definitely not AS drunk.  Still doesn't make it right, but I feel like I have to defend myself a little?*

This is my list.  Maybe not all-inclusive, but it's what has come to mind this evening.  I feel like God has put me through all of these experiences - from The Good, Bad, AND Ugly - for a reason.  Maybe even for lots of reasons.  I have most recently begun praying for Him to guide me to a person or persons whom I could help.  Maybe someone out there thinks they will never be able to have a "normal" life?  Maybe there is a woman who just feels like she will never find someone to love her with all of her "flaws"?  Maybe it's someone I don't even think I could help in any way?  All of the above, even? 

I still don't feel like any of these things is what defines the REAL Audrey.  I know I could make an amazing difference and I could glorify God and truly show the world (or one person) how amazing His grace is and how wonderful life can be no matter what you have experienced or done in the past.  The past is past.  The future is unknown, but what you make of the present is what, I believe, defines you.

What am I doing today?

Today I am a mother to four beautiful, silly, wild children.  Three boys with the endurance of an entire track team and the energy of a rugby team; One little girl who has stolen my heart and melts me every time she smiles.  I am the wife of a wonderful husband who has his flaws, of course, but is still the sexiest man I know.  He is handy around the house, can fix (or rig) anything, and puts up with my every mood and whim.  I am friend to some of the most amazing women I have ever known.  Women who I haven't known long, but have watched me grow in my faith over the past year and truly seen me mature in ways nobody else has ever witnessed.  I am daughter to my parents who are still together after almost 32 years of marriage, still frustrated over each others faults, and still in awe of each other's strengths.  I am sister to the funniest, most outgoing girl I have ever met.  She loves to learn, loves to laugh, and loves to be silly.  There is a man out there who will be blessed enough one day to call her his wife and I cannot wait to meet him.

These are my "positions" on a daily basis, but I still struggle quite regularly with the burning question of WHO. AM. I?  Without any of these people in my life...would I still love to cook if I wasn't preparing food for my family?  Would I still love to talk if I didn't have great friends there listening?  Would I still love to rearrange furniture and watch movies if it wasn't in my Home with my sweet kids and husband?  OR  Would I be going out every night drinking at the bar?  Would I be super career driven and working long, long hours?  Would I still be traveling every 6 weeks to a new city, making new "disposable" friends every month?

I prefer my life now.  There is no doubt about that.  I am happy to be who I am to my friends a family, I just feel like God wants more from me.  I feel like I missing the boat somewhere that I could be out there shouting from the rooftops how good He is!  I feel like there are opportunities left and right I am allowing to pass me by!  I have all sorts of excuses, but I hear God loud and clear that it is time to drop the excuses and dive in.  What's the worst that can happen?  I worry that I will break down crying if I have to tell my whole story.  I worry that someone will take something the wrong way and stop listening.  I worry that I will offend someone, or be asked a question about the gospel or Bible that I can't answer! 

Shut up, right?  Just do it.  God will catch me if I fall and everything will work out JUST the way it is supposed to...