If you know me, you know that Music, TV and Film have played huge roles in my growing up, and truthfully they have taught me a lot. Obviously I have not blindly followed what the media tells me, but I have paid close attention to the way the world works and thinks, and I have made choices for and against these ideologies. I had a particular interest in stories of oppression, which I found in the lyrics of Eminem, Kanye West and Jay-Z, in films like “The Help” and scattered across the pages of my two favourite man-made works, “Les Miserables” and “Harry Potter”. Secretly, I would have moments when I would be annoyed that I had such a cushy life, living in Clarkston, going to an amazing school, having loyal and kind friends, being part of a strong and functional family and knowing an all-powerful God who would forgive me at every turn. I wanted to have “life experience”, wanted to be down in the gutter and work my way up, prove to myself and everyone around me that I didn’t need a leg-up in life, that I could do it all on my own.
I was an idiot. I realise this now. At the ripe old age of 20, I have been put out of a house. If you want to know details, feel free to ask me but that’s not my point here. Due to miscommunication and, to be perfectly honest, a lack of effort on my part, I finally know what it feels like to live uncomfortably. And yet, I still find myself with some semblance of money in the bank, with good friends who I know will be praying for me, with a family who are a better support system than I deserve, and with a roof over my head. Us poshies don’t have the faintest idea what it’s like to be truly oppressed. We cry when we’re not allowed on the Xbox because we didn’t eat enough of the hot dinner that was made and placed in front of us. We lash out when our parents don’t let us go on the £900 ski trip with the school because they need the money to feed and clothe us, or when they do let us go but we have to buy our own equipment with the pocket money they have given us which, while we’re at it, we never think is enough for a young person to live off. I don’t mean to offend and these are definitely not situations I have witnessed, but what I’m saying is we, living in first world countries, can at times forget to be thankful for everything.
I know this is not a new way of thinking, but I realise now more than ever how good I’ve had it, and how much I failed at times to appreciate that. It’s funny the way that works, recently a friend posted a quote that sums it up: "Character can not be developed in ease and quiet; only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened."
There have been few times in my life that I have realised this and when I think back they have all been times that I have been metaphorically chucked out of the Casa de Cushy Life. The death of my Aunt, Kairos Summer Households 2012 when we talked and prayed with a woman who had been suicidal for several years, and when my boss at TK Maxx said I couldn’t have time off to visit my friends in Dublin. Obviously, these times have varied in gravity, but the same effect came from them as has come from the situation I find myself in now.
Paul wrote in a letter to the Philippians “11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
I understand him now. My contentment comes from Christ, and only Christ. In that ultimate sacrifice, He showed me that He can overcome anything thrown my way, and this knowledge is what I live by. And this is why I am sitting here smiling. I could write a lot more but I’ll be surprised if you’re all still reading by this point. I hope you’ve found some joy/assurance through what I’ve written.
So today, be thankful for something you’ve taken for granted. Thank God, a parent, a teacher, a friend for giving you something that has improved your life in any way. God is Love, Rev Run. Lol.
1. People keep talking to me and being like "you're the Scottish girl teaching at the school?" and I'm like famous basically guys xo.
2. I went on my first adventure ramble (I walked in one direction until I wanted to turn back) and it was amazing, photos will be on FaceyB.
3. For the first time in my life, school is fun. I actually look forward to my classes and the kids are awesome.
4. I made friends!!! One of the classes I help is full of people my age and they seem to have accepted me cos they invited me to a party so wooooo.
5. I am still overwhelmed by God's protection and I have to thank you all again for your thoughts and prayers and general greatness.
Dios te bendiga,