I have always considered myself a "nice" girl. I usually try to say nice things, dress nicely and other "nice girl" standards. Most people would never take me for ever being "rough around the edges"; a "don't judge a book by its cover" moment that I've been the amused receiver of several times in my life.
In fact, several years ago I made the decision to get my nose pierced because A) I thought it would be cute on my nose shape and B) because than maybe people wouldn't assume that I'm not the "piercing and tattoos" goody too-shoes type of gal. It should be noted that I no longer have the nose ring ( which worked out in the long run, due to the fact that my boyfriend does not like nose rings) and I don't have any tattoos simply because I am a wuss. BUT, you get the point.
God is good and faithful, but I must confess that I am quite tired of getting beat down in life. I feel like I've been in a boxing match with life as my opponent. I will be this close to winning a round, when WHAM! Life knocks me on my butt and gives me a concussion. Then I get back on my feet and start strategically swinging my fists at Life, when he comes out of nowhere with a move that hurls me into the rope. But with Gods strength, I'm able to stand on my feet and keep going round after round until the end of the game.
I have lost a total of 3 jobs in the past 3 years, which has produced major financial stress that is never ending. I moved across country and into the south where I met the love of my life, but that wasn't complete without losing a promising job after the first week, due to being sick with strep and mono. It may appear that I'm complaining in this post, and maybe I am...just a little. However, like everything I write, I pray that God will use my life experiences and perspectives that He gives me to bless and encourage others. Removing "me" from the equation and placing Him at the forefront.
I have so very much to be grateful for, and I am grateful for those things, but that is for another post at another time. This is my "not so nice girl" post. I am an honest woman. If you ask me how I am, I'm going to tell you in some way, shape or form the status of my being. I've tried lying and it just doesn't work for me. No poker face possible for this girl, even if a large sum of money or my favorite lip gloss was at stake.
Working as a cashier has its perks, but one of the frustrations that I have ( other than those ridiculous plastic bags that won't open and make me want to swear, as well as people talking on their cell phones while going through my lane) is that I feel like life and pretty items are going right past me.
Let me explain.
I stand behind that counter with my little zapping gun and conveyor belt, smiling and asking how people how they are doing, ring up their items, take their money, give them them their receipt and then they are gone. They all have somewhere else that they need to be going; a birthday party, a dinner date, work, home, school or another errand. I can usually tell what their "status" of life is, though of course one can't be entirely accurate in a little 5-7 minute interaction. I see those women my age with a gorgeous diamond ring and loads of cash in their coach wallets, those stay-at-home moms with mouths to feed, those career women and rich grandpa's and grandmas giving their grand children $100 to spend on whatever toys they want...and I think to myself:
What about me?! When will my moment come? When will I have a fulfilling career, money to spend on a beautiful outfit complete with a matching hand bag, or wine, pizza and a chick flick for a weekend with the girls?! Not to mention, when will I have places to go other than to work and the occasional grocery store or Good Will thrill?
Now, before you get all "high and mighty" on me, I know how blessed I am. I know that there are a lot of other people in this world who are going through much worse boxing matches than what I am. In fact, you may be one of those people. However; perspective, gratitude and a good attitude has its place just as much as honesty of the human condition.
And let's be honest.
Sometimes this life just plain sucks. Jesus Himself said " ....in the world you will have tribulation. but take heart! I have overcome the world."-John 16:33. I know this in my heart and believe it within my soul, but that doesn't mean that I can always stuff away my personal tribulations and stamp a big smiley face on the box. And frankly, I don't think Jesus wants me to.
Jesus wants us to be real. He wants us to be real with Him, ourselves and other people. When we are authentic we shine the light of Christ, for Christ is the definition of authenticity. Tonight at work when I made the effort to answer honestly "how I was", facial expressions changed. A smile and a quick "I know exactly what you mean" laugh came out. I had a real connection with that person in a short amount of time, without even knowing their name.
However, I've decided that I really need friends when I was actually sad that one of my guests left my lane. I wanted so badly to just have a cup of coffee with her, and I will probably never see her again. Weird? Yes. Authentic? You bet.
Take heart fellow boxers in opposition of life. There is purpose and beauty that can be brought forth from even the worst of tragedies and hardships. My "not so nice girl" post should serve as such an example. :)