Friday, September 23, 2011

Remembering "Sweet" Sixteen...

This post is part of a community effort called What We're Worth, which is very much worth your time to check out.

My birthday was this past Wednesday (leave it to me to be late with my own birthday post).  As I watched it getting closer and closer, I found myself thinking a lot about other birthdays I can remember, some great, some awful.  Here is one that is particularly memorable, from 15 years ago.

September 21, 1996: I started the day drinking Old Crow whiskey and getting majorly high with my mom's boyfriend's wife (no, seriously, let that sink in for a sec).  Mom and the boyfriend were fighting; I came home around 10 am to find them gone (to the hospital, I later found out, for stitches in the hand that he'd used to break a light fixture in our trailer, presumably during some good, old fashioned yelling-and-screaming; there was a lot of that in those days).

I don't remember the main part of the day.  A week earlier, I had wrecked the old '69 Kaiser Jeep I'd been driving, and I had a broken collar bone, a broken finger, and some pretty serious gashes.  I believe that the boyfriend and I got high again when he got home, because we always did, at least 3 times a day.  All the THC combined with the pain pills and it's no wonder I don't remember much.

I do remember that I ended the day crying in the driveway after a 3-hour conversation in which my mother said she wanted me out of the house and openly contemplated suicide.  I'm not blaming her or scapegoating here; she was in a dark, terrible place, from which she has never really recovered.  She disappeared soon after that, tossing my teddy bear I'd tried to send with her out the window and peeling out of the driveway, throwing gravel back at me.  I didn't see her for weeks.  I thought she was done with me, that she didn't want me anymore.

That was probably my worst birthday.  I felt rejected and alone.  Worthless.  Hopeless.  I had no idea of the awful chain of events set into motion that day (Mom's disappearance and return, my dropping out of school, and a winter spent in a downward spiral of meth, paranoia, and ever-escalating violence), nor did I suspect the miraculous turnaround my life would take just 5 months later... I have written about that before on this blog.   

It's true that I have experienced a lot of darkness in my life.  But it's also true that God, in his mercy, has contradicted every person, every event, every moment that told me I was worthless.  In his eyes, broken and bumbling as I am, I am lovely and loved.  As are we all.  And that is certainly good news.


  1. Thank you for sharing this moment of stunning honesty.

  2. Lisa, I'm so glad I came by here! I love what God is speaking to you through all of this, even though it saddens me that you've had to go through any of it. You came to my post and invited me here... and though I never do this, I'm going to invite you back to a post that I really think you'll identify with.

    It talks about brokenness and survival. And you, my Sister, are a survivor! Be blessed!

  3. I'm so grateful God rescued you and gave you the strength to glorify Him with your story.

  4. I love seeing God work in ways like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I've been reading as many of these link-ups from Tamara's post as possible and I'm finding myself already at a loss for words and not even halfway through. I'll echo Tamara's sentiments, though. I'd rather do that than not comment at all. I believe we could all use the encouragement that a comment usually offers.