I’m reading Positive: A Memoir by Paige Rawl (Read it. That’s all I can say. Read it.), a girl born with HIV virus and who was bullied for it by her best friend in middle school. Her story is inspiring–it made me cry–it’s gut-wrenching, it’s heart-breaking and heart-warming and hope-lifting. But that’s not the reason it’s on my mind tonight. There’s a question it stirs in me, an uncomfortable one: What about me?
It sounds selfish, put like that. And maybe it is. In fact, it’s surprisingly close to a feeling of envy, as I read about her rollercoaster experience, because, because of it, she’s been able to, in a way, change the world.
And I mean, I can relate to the feelings she describes. Yeah, I don’t know exactly what it was like for her, and I’m not meaning to downplay her experiences. It took incredible strength to go through what she did and come out of it on the other side. But, I’ve had my battles too. In a way, I’ve been there, that same dark pit of hopelessness and aloneness. But even while I’ve been in these dark places, I haven’t had the same external, circumstantial manifestation of it that she had. I don’t have the same surprising, unique story she does.
It makes me wonder hopelessly: What story do I have to tell?
I feel like I’m wasting my time here. High school. Mundane teenage years when I could be doing something amazing. The years speed by in a blur. Time passes, and I go with it.
The days are long gone when I believed I had the power to change the world.
I wish I could.
I want to so desperately I can taste it. I want to be like Paige. I want to make a difference.
Paul’s words come to mind:
Three times I prayed…But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Oh, God. I am so weak. I know that. And oh, God. Your grace is sufficient. It’s so sweet, so poignant, so beautiful, washing over me like the sweetest rain and sweeping me away. You have a path for me, and it’s specifically mine, no one else’s. God, I will go, I will go where you lead. I am yours, use me, in my weakness.
Remind me of what’s really important. Help me not to seek to be great by the world’s standards, but by yours. Show me what that really looks like. Stay by my side.