Day Four – My favorite childhood memory.
So the challenge topic today is your favorite childhood memory. Who knew that would be so hard???? But when you have countless awesome memories from your childhood, its hard to pick just one…
I have tons of amazing childhood memories. Memories of growing up in Jamaica with six awesome older brothers and sisters. Memories of being the ‘baby’ in a family filled with love. Memories of our childhood home and summer vacations at the beach house in Ocho Rios. My first day of school, the first movie I went to see.
Dancing ballet in the living room to my Dad’s classical records, swinging in the huge banyan tree in the yard at my prep school. Neighborhood friends, playing with the children who came to my birthday parties – the merry go round, “One, Two, Three, Red Light!” and ‘Last Lick’…
Doing ‘bicycle tricks’ while riding down Ridgefield Avenue in Orange Grove. So many great memories. How do you pick a favorite???
I think the one I will choose is from when I was 15 or 16 years old because I learned a big lesson from it. So picture it:
It was the 80’s and I wanted – no, I absolutely had to have that Sheena Easton or Rachel Ward short, super-cute haircut.
I told my parents I wanted to cut my hair, I had my own money to pay for it at the time, but my Dad said absolutely not.
I was like, “What??? What do you mean NO?”
And then, in that spectacular, 7 times a Brat way, I declared, “It’s MY hair! If I want to cut it, it’s my right!”
Now, there’s so much about this memory that makes no sense to me now. How I had the audacity to find my own way to a hairstylist – in the busy business district of New Kingston, at that – on my own and get my hair cut when my Dad had forbidden it, I now truly have no idea. But that, my friends, is exactly what I did.
And I loved the haircut. Everyone at school loved the haircut. It was totally, awesomely rad! I mean, it was FABULOUS!!!
My relationship with my Dad, however ~ not so much…
He literally didn’t speak to me for two months straight. He barely looked at me for two months straight. I mean – he provided for me. He took me to and from school. He gave me lunch money daily.
But he did.not.speak.a.word to me for two months. He was so utterly disappointed in me…
That was one of the longest two months of my life. But it stands out as a ‘favorite’ memory, in a way, because it is the time that I remember first understanding that there are repercussions for our actions.
And not just a ‘slap-on-the-wrist’ type of repercussion. I learned that some decisions we make can really hurt someone we care about. And that hurting people? It really hurts us, as a result. And that we have to pay for those decisions. And that can be hard, painful… Ugly.
Although I loved what I saw in the mirror with that super cool haircut, I couldn’t stand the way I looked in my reflection in my Dad’s eyes. The cool ‘do’ certainly wasn’t worth the pain it caused.
But he did eventually forgive me. And he continued to raise me and love me like no other human being has EVER loved me. He was an amazing Dad… He taught me so many things, the greatest of which was love.
I wish I could say it was the only time I disappointed my parents. That I learned my lesson and walked a straight line after that. But, errm, no. I had several other ‘episodes’ of rebellion. Sadly, I still do. But it was an important lesson that I have taken with me into the rest of my life.
And I realize there are so many times when I hurt my heavenly Father beyond belief… And I realize that each time, incredibly, He forgives me with a grace that I literally cannot comprehend or imagine.
So, the thing I try to focus on now is accepting the fact that I will mess up. I will make mistakes – some big, some small. I will intentionally or unintentionally cause hurt to others sometimes. I will act out of my own selfish desires and motives. That is my humanity…
The thing I am trying to learn and apply is that I need to do my best to learn from these experiences and do my utmost to not repeat the same mistakes. To try to break the cycle of insanity of doing the same thing over and over again in one way or another – and to not hurt my people in those ways ever again. To not hurt my God in those ways ever again. To try to change my behavior as a result of the lesson I learned.
Like everything else – this is still a work in progress for me – but I think recognizing, accepting and owning your mistakes and trying to learn from them is a huge step in the process – and I am grateful to have taken it.
“The law is good, then, and the trouble is not there but with me because I am sold into slavery with Sin as my owner.
I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to—what I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. But I can’t help myself because I’m no longer doing it. It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things.
I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn I can’t make myself do right. I want to but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. Now if I am doing what I don’t want to, it is plain where the trouble is: sin still has me in its evil grasp.
It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.
So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin.”
Romans 7: 14-25 TLB