Post Thanksgiving Ruminations…

Check the huge red glasses and the white shoes...such a geek...My grandma, who is now deceased, and my aunt in the background...

Hello World,

I know that according to Wal-Mart and other chain super retailers, we are now officially in the Christmas season…but for me, the Christian season doesn’t actually begin until Dec. 1.

So what’s to do in those days that follow Thanksgiving leading up til the big day? Well, I decided to clean my refrigerator…I’m ashamed to say I found various sauces, condiments, salt fish, chicken etc. that probably have been there since 2008…As I type, I know my ability-to-be-a-wife quotient is probably lessening with each word…And let me add for emphasis, the reason that I finally decided to clean out my fridge is that I started to smell the fumes of something that even the nearly air tight doors could no longer keep in…(If my mom, who is super neat, read this post, she would not be happy…oh well)

So back to my gross fridge, as I was emptying the contents of my fridge into several trash bags, I decided to watch a movie…I happened upon the movie “Little Miss Sunshine.” I’ve seen it before, but it’s worth watching again…Of all of the funny yet poignant things that happened in the movie, this quote stands out…indulge me and read it…I swear I’m going somewhere…

Dwayne: I wish I could just sleep until I was eighteen and skip all this crap-high school and everything-just skip it.
Frank: Do you know who Marcel Proust is?
Dwayne: He’s the guy you teach.
Frank: Yeah. French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he’s also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he uh… he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, ’cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn’t learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you’re 18… Ah, think of the suffering you’re gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don’t get better suffering than that.

This is a conversation between the angst-ridden high schooler who discovers he’s color blind thereby obliterating his dream to go to flight school and his gay uncle who survived a suicide attempt. By the way, Steve Carrell plays the uncle…he is perhaps the funniest white guy ever…next to Jim Carrey…

So my question for this post is: What has suffering taught you? What are some things that pain taught you that may have not learned otherwise?  I know, I know, somewhat of a morose post after eating yummy food, reconnecting with the fam and thanking God from whom all blessings flow and what not…

Since high school suffering was mentioned in the movie, I gotta say most of the people that were hella popular in high school probably should have suffered just a little bit…it would have given them something to aim for…as it stands now, a majority of the people that seemed to be on top then don’t seem to be too interesting now…and some of them look practically ancient…guess if you start clubbin’, boozin’ and wilin’ out at 15, you’re bound to look old in your mid ’30s. 

High school Jackie went through some suffering…She couldn’t go to parties…She wore big red classes that covered more than half of her face…She could date when she was 16, but wasn’t asked out until she was 17…She was not asked to be in any of the cliques…She frequently spent time an inch away from the mirror analyzing her eyebrows…She was accused of smelling like fish because she had a penchant for eating salmon croquettes before football games…and on and on…

(Yes, I was referring to myself in the third person…) Truthfully, I was in the low B maybe High C crowd…definitely not an A lister. Well, what did it all teach me? Well for one, I wasn’t drinkin’ and clubbin’.  I’m sure that my youthful glow is due, in part, to my delayed entry into the club scene…Also, I was forced to develop friendships with people based on personality rather than popularity…And as result, some of those people are still my friends today…And it made me yearn for something better…i.e. college…I was convinced I was going to be The Truth just beyond the “insipidia” (made up word) commonly referred to as high school… Sidebar: I must say though many of the rappers that hail from the A or their wives graced the halls of Benjamin E. Banneker High School, and many of them were kinda popular even back then…oh well…but I do believe they are the exception rather than the rule…

Since I decided to become a Christian, I have suffered through trials due to my stance on certain issues…It has not been pretty. As people say, Jesus won’t bear the cross by Himself. If you believe in Him, at some point, you have to suffer…no I have not been persecuted like what is described in the Bible, but I have been ridiculed by people for my beliefs…I wrote an article on “The Prayer of Jabez” frenzy…remember that…So I met the author of the book, Bruce Wilkinson, at a rally, and I wrote about him and the rally…So my editor had to read the article before it was published…Below is a snippet of the conversation that took place during the editing process…

Ogre boss reclines in her easy chair. Her office door is ajar so she can conveniently bark orders at random to cringing staff in the newsroom.

Ogre boss: Hey Jackie!

Jackie: (Holding her arms around herself to somehow visibly shield herself from the verbal assault sure to ignite…) Yes…

Ogre boss: When you pray “The Prayer of Jabez,” do you pray for a new boss?

She cackles and snorts similar to the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz.”

I say nothing…what was there to say…I know what I felt like saying…I won’t say because some of y’all think it’s not appropriate for Christians to curse…(Good thing, you’re not with me 24/7.)

Six months later, she fired me…Good riddance I say….And I moved on to a better situation in every way…suffering taught me that God can protect me – even from people who don’t like me because I’m a Christian, cuter, younger and even more talented – bitter, you say?…naw…really though, it’s all good…

And the truth is, the best writers have suffered through some thing…. How else can you write something that moves people? I could go on, but eh, I don’t feel like it…

So what has suffering taught you? Marinate on that…AND post comments on that..please…

I will add this…my absolute fave verse in the Bible…

All things (GOOD & BAD things that happen) work together for GOOD for THOSE who love Him and are called according to HIS purpose. Romans 8:28

God can bring good out of suffering…

P.S. I’m sure that Nelson Mandela suffered terribly while he was in jail for 27 years, but I’m sure that the same internal fortitude he developed in jail as a result led him to being the first elected president of South Africa…Yes, I plan to see the new movie “Invictus.”

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~ by jackieholness on November 29, 2009.

7 Responses to “Post Thanksgiving Ruminations…”

  1. Of course I suffered as a child–I’m a redhead. As I have said many times, “It was worse than being dim-witted or having a father in prison.” Gotta laugh to ward off the tears. Seriously, though, I agree God uses suffering to refine his children. Everything that happens to us is sifted through His loving hands. Not so easy to remember in the midst of a trial, but true nonetheless. And it may be that our rewards won’t even arrive in this life, on this earth, as was true with some folks in the Bible. Which sounds depressing, but in a strange way it comforts me. We do get last dance with God, after all.

    • You know Katy, I’ve always thought having red hair made you cool..which is why I’ve died my hair red…I guess beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder… 🙂

  2. I know that suffering makes for stronger character that’s for sure but I would of course prefer to receive character building a less painful way of course. However looking back the good that came out of it is that I no longer engage in some of the self destructive practices I had and there are some things that I no longer will put up with. I have stronger boundaries and I am no longer afraid to walk away from relationships that do not contribute to my greater good. So if suffering was the price I had to pay for this so be it.

    PS: Oh why can’t Steve Harvey write the book who better? If I want to learn how to lose weight I am going to go to someone who has experience in losing weight not from someone who who read how to lose it or heard about how to lose excess pounds. Steve is talking from experience which we all KNOW is the best teacher.

  3. Loved Little Miss Sunshine, too. And how many of us have had the endless family road trip that inevitably involves some complete family fiasco?! Gotta love the true show of family support in the end of the movie. Great when it goes that way in real life, too. As for suffering, I’m working to learn all I can from others’ examples so I don’t have to bear too much pain myself 🙂

    • Aww, yes, the endless family road trip…hmm, haven’t written on that topic yet…and you’re right, I don’t need to learn about the dangers of indulging in crack by doing it myself..as the great philosopher Whitney Houston said, “Crack is wack!” Sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂

  4. When I was 7, I fell and skinned my forehead up. The mark was huge, and lasted for years. The scar was the first thing people ever saw. And they always asked about it. Living with that scar, made me shy away from people. Kept me a recluse. I wasn’t quick to open up to people.
    By the time I was 12, the scar was just a dark blemish on my forehead. But it was shaped like a #1. So people would mock me with “#1” references.
    Well, the scar went away. And I had forgotten all about it. But it made me who I am.

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