I hated her. With a vengeance. My literary brain already made her the villain of countless imagined stories. She’d already been turned into a zombie that just wouldn’t die no matter how many times I went Michonne on her and swung at her with a badass katana. She was the wicked witch, the slithering serpent, the irredeemable Maleficent. The soulless sorceress in the blundering fairy tale of my life.
Yes. She’s an actual person.
But she is nowhere near the notoriety I connected her with. She didn’t deserve to be considered my ultimate nemesis. She was just another broken person, who used her brokenness as a sword to inflict her wounds on others. On me. She was undeserving of my wrath. She was just as I was.
Still, having that knowledge in my head didn’t make it easy to see her as a broken person whom I could relate to. I was hurting too much from wounds she inflicted on me – some valid, some perceived. If there’s one thing I learned from my experience with she-who-shall-not-be-named, it is this:
I am capable of such hatred towards a person. Of so much bitterness. So much resentment. I wanted to think of myself as someone who is essentially good, someone who is capable of taking the higher road. I realized – through her – that I wasn’t as good as I hoped I was. Her cutting words mirrored who I was. I hated her, because she showed me things I hated about myself. She made me self-aware.
But in a strange way, she also showed me the road to my destiny. How?
One of my favorite songs in the world is Tenth Avenue North’s Stars in the Night. Their lead singer, Mike Donehey, created a video journal talking about the song:
He talks about the “midnight of the soul” – reminding us that “we’re still in this world, trembling at the wake of the fall”. Her actions pushed me toward the midnight of my soul – a time when I found myself in the pit of despair, asking God – as Job did – why I was even born.
She triggered my transition from a servant of God to a daughter of God. It was through her that I found out that God would always be with me, no matter what. She undid the shackles that kept me chained down by the fear of man. I am where I am – on a road to freedom – because of her. And I know now what Joseph felt when he looked at the brothers who sold him to slavery and told them that God was behind all of it, and that God meant it for good.
God has a way of turning things around. He is capable of making beautiful what is broken. I have to be honest that I am still in a place of brokenness, but I’m okay with that. I’ve made my peace with that person, and I’ve made my peace with my brokenness.
Because God can make the broken – me and her – beautiful.
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