Many different things in life inspire me. Daily I ask God that my ears be sensitive to His voice. A few weeks ago I was watching a webisode called “Red Table” led by Jada Pinkett-Smith. She sat with her mother and daughter and discussed various questions that they each placed in the box for each other to answer. The interview was compelling but the part that stuck out most to me was when Jada’s mother asked her if she held any animosity toward her for having not raised her properly while battling drug addiction. It was a powerful question and the one quote in particular that stuck in my head was when Jada said, “I look for the power and beauty in every situation, no matter how bad it is.”
Jada’s mom had been dealing with the guilt of neglecting her for the majority of her childhood. She wasn’t able to understand or believe that Jada held no animosity towards her. It was so powerful to see Jada convince her mom on all the reasons she was at peace with her upbringing. She confessed that of course there were some hurtful days but she used those struggles to build her character and her strength.
(Side Note: Whether she knows it or not, Jada exemplified the love of Christ. Her mom represented many of us who find it hard to believe that after all that we’ve done and all the mistakes we’ve made that God can still love, forgive, and bless us! God is constantly reassuring us in His Word that He is a forgiving God, but we allow our past to block growing in our relationship with Him. We have to let go of the past!!)
At that moment, I realized that I too have that same philosophy on life. I set in my mind early on that I would have no excuses! I haven’t shared this before but for the sake of setting someone else free I will. I’m a product of a broken home. I was raised by a remarkable single mother and for most of my childhood dealt with the neglect of a drug addicted father.
So many people have the same story. Some use it as an excuse as to why they are behind in life while others use it as a driving force to work harder than most and beat the odds. I’m happy to be among the latter. What’s most important is that even as a young girl, I was able to see the beauty in my situation.
People could look at my upbringing and think that I was deprived from not living the traditional family lifestyle. You know, mom, dad, family pet all living in the same home with the white picket fence. I would strongly disagree. I’ve heard stories of children growing up in that picture perfect environment and had the childhood from hell! Everything isn’t always what it seems.
I look at my early life as God placing me in the capable hands of an extraordinary woman who modeled the life of an independent, self-efficient, modern day superwoman who knew how to love, sacrifice, and provide for herself and her offspring. I had a one on one lesson on the importance of having your own and being confident in your ability to stand on your own. I wouldn’t change it for the world!! I was blessed to grow up knowing I was loved unconditionally and abundantly provided for… who needed a picket fence?!!
Despite the lack of presence my dad had in my early years, I always loved him to pieces and still do. I don’t hold a grudge or any ill feelings to the past. What good would it do? Our relationship is far from the traditional one but it’s special all the same. We have our own love language. I know he’s got my back and I’ll always have his. My focus is on building the present instead of allowing the past to tear us down. Take control of your life and define it the way you want, not the way society does.
I truly had no intention to write about this today but I believe someone needed to hear it. Life isn’t always what you expect it to be but it doesn’t make it any less spectacular. No matter what you’ve been through in the past or what you’re going through in the present, find the power that lies within that situation and embrace it. Nothing can set you apart from the things that God has planned for your life but YOU.
Tuesdays with Bianca