Hello, again. Even though, I found a nifty tool to import my Blogger blog to this WordPress one, I know that my last post wasn’t of the usual introductory kind (my last post having been pre-import) so, here goes. For starters, my name is Monique, and, as I said in my last post, I have a lot of nicknames. The one I go by most frequently is “Mo”. As of next Saturday (February 23) I will have been married to my best friend for ten years (YAY US!). I like to celebrate that fact, because I think marriage is a rarity anymore – at least lasting marriage. Between Hollywood and The Bachelor, I don’t think it’s an institution many take seriously anymore. That, however, is not something I plan on getting into today.
My husband, Lee, and I have four kids – two boys and two girls. They are beautiful, smart, funny, sweet, sensitive amazing kids (you’d think I was a little biased, no?) and we are completely blessed to have them. Our oldest, Kameron, was diagnosed with autism when he was 4. People still offer their sympathies when I say that. The thing is, Kameron is cuddly, ferociously funny, deeply feeling and empathetic and technologically brilliant. YOU may be sorry, but I certainly am not. God gave me my son just the way he is and I wouldn’t change him for anything.
God…yeah…that’s probably the most important thing to know about me (as if it wasn’t obvious from my last post). I love God. Not in that Sunday morning, Christmas, Easter kinda way, but in that, “this is the air I breathe” kinda way. Specifically, I am a Bible-believing Christian who does her very best to be a little bit more loving like Jesus every day. Some days, I’m not so good at it. For a long time, I’d let my many imperfections get the best of me. For a Bible-believing Christian who can quote Scripture pretty well, sometimes it’s easy for me to forget one of the most important verses I need to remember.
Romans 8:1-2 “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
For years, I struggled with fear of abandonment. There are those who don’t like it when I talk about this, because they think it comes from a place of un-forgiveness. I was raised by my mom following my parents’ divorce when I was a baby. I didn’t see my dad again until I was 14. The fact that I’m past that doesn’t change the fact that it affected me. What I “learned” from that experience is that I was expendable. I “learned” that in other ways, too. People I thought loved me would walk in and out of my life at their leisure. So, I became terrified of vulnerability and relationships. For a long time, it was hard not to see God through that same fear.
I tried to be “good”, even though the Bible tells us in Romans 3:10, “As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one.” That should have been freeing, but it only made me feel worse. No matter how hard I tried, I could never be good enough (Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God).
Here’s the thing I have figured out since then – I was right. No, in my own strength, I will never be good enough. No matter how well I sing on Sunday, how many inspirational blogs I post or books I write or songs I (hope to eventually) record, I will never be good enough. If I could be I wouldn’t need a Savior.
And, I do.
I’ve also learned (ok, well, figured out I have to remember) that as long as I wake up each morning and continue to breathe, there is still time. It’s funny that so many of the verses I memorized as a child – and really didn’t take hold then – mean so much to me now. For example:
Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
I’m. Not. Done. Yet.
Remember the movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights? One of my favorite parts of that movie is when Robin misses in the archery contest and then flips through the script to proclaim, “Wait a minute! I get another shot!” Well, so do I. I’ve missed the mark. We all have. But, through the grace of our loving God, we get another shot. My goal is to spend every day making it the best shot yet.
And, that, in a (very long) nutshell, is me.