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Archive for January, 2014

I was one of those December babies that parents worry about sending to early to school. My parents took the leap, and sent me in as the youngest in the class. I ended up repeating first grade, not only because I was so young, but I also had a few learning disability’s that needed to be attended to. My first day of school of my second year of first grade my teacher told me something that would be held in my heart a life time: “You can be anything you want to be Aimee”. A message I would use as my armor later on when so many others would try to tell me differently.

My second year of first grade is when I went to Heaven. When I came back and returned to school, I was given a stack of homemade get well cards, and a LOT of Michael Jackson paraphernalia. I could tell the school community had worried about me. That me, surviving this, was not the norm. However, there I stood unscathed on the outside, forever changed on the in.

Years later I was dedicating all of my time to making a difference in the community. God’s words of “What have you done for your fellow man” etched into my heart. I was a high school student lit with the passion of helping others. I was also a high school student still trying to make sense of my experience, while also going through the rage of changes.

I sought out the school social worker to help me through some things I was going through. She seemed supportive when a classmate died, and trustworthy when I was on my teen emotional roller coaster. She never really recognized the amount of activism I was doing within the school and community. When I asked her to write me a recommendation letter for college she told me, “You aren’t cut out to be a social worker, you will never make it”.

Words that stung.

Soon after I was called into my guidance counselors office to discuss the future. He had only met me a hand full of times in the four years I had been on his caseload. He looked over my C average and told me I was not college material. In fact his exact words were: “You have two choices- community college with the hopes you will pass, or a job at McDonalds– I would pursue the latter if I were you”.

Broken.

Had he not looked at where I came from? As my education was unique– I went from special ed to regular ed. Sure a C average was my best–however, I also had a great deal of community outreach behind me. Heck I passed a drunk driving law at 16–who does that? I was an extradonary teen that easily could’ve listened to both of these “professionals” and deemed myself unworthy of my dreams.

Luckily my spirit within wouldn’t have it.

I not only got into one college, I got into three!

While in college I was banging out a 3.9 grade point average because I was taking classes that spoke to my heart. I was learning about the history of activism and the economy. I was gearing for a career to make real change happen. I was armed with “You can be whatever you want Aimee” to disarm so many hurtful “you can’ts”.

Then came day a racist professor took me aside and told me that the only reason I made it to college was because I was “White and cute”. She said I was lucky to have made it this far, and since she was sure I had a “lot of money”, that I should invest in having someone transcribe my papers for now on.

This might have disheartened others into giving up. To me, I was filled with rage, and the determination to prove her wrong. Suddenly, I was working with a friend of hers in an internship for the Mayor of a very large city. The feedback she was getting was that I was unique in my abilities and that I would save a lot of lives in my career.

Then I went on to not only getting one master’s degree’s but two! The second being a specialized program that thousands apply to and only a handful of hundreds make it in. I was one of those handful, not because I was the smartest, but because I had the inner strength and determination to make my dreams exist.

There will always be the person in the world that will tell you “no”. The person that will do whatever it takes to discount you, or make you less then who you truly are. Recently, in my job as a school social worker, I shared this story with my middle school students in crisis. When asked how I made all of those hurtful, negative words turn into dreams–my answer was simple….faith. Being in public schools I obviously didn’t go to deep on what exactly that meant. However the truth of the matter is the only person I needed to depend on to open the doors to lead the path I am meant to, was God (and still is!).

The words we so easily speak, especially the ugly ones to others, may seem so small in our lives, while others lives literally hang on them. I do not dislike the old social worker, the school guidance counselor, or even the professor. They made assumptions and judgements with what they had, and with their own misguided thoughts of who I am or would be. What they failed to do is dig a little deeper and see me for who I truly am.

I am forever thankful to that first grade teacher that spoke the words I carried in my heart. I told her so this Christmas in a Christmas card. I am sure, even those kind words, were forgotten in her memory because it came natural to her. However in my life, I clung to them for dear life.

When someone tell’s you that you are not enough and you can’t, I challenge you to trust in God that with Him and in Him all things are possible. That whatever you are told you can not do, can be changed to I “will do”.

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Born Again

What I know for sure now is that my life will never be the same as it once was.

I waited to write here. I wanted to make sure that my words matter when we are speaking G.O.D. I want it to be me real, and tangible. I want to share the truth-from all sides-no matter how hard it may be.

A year ago I would’ve shuttered at being called a “born again”. I would have rather been called a pleather of other unpleasant names other than that one. I had this idea, like most up in New England do, that “born again” were those extremist in the subways with signs I was going to burn in hell, or those millionaire preachers that roll in Mercedes, host tv shows, while greed and sin eat them alive. Those “crazy” southern churches. That made up religion of evangelism that only focuses on the new testament. I even, at one point, questioned it being cult like. It is completely rare in New England that these churches exist. Therefore, by being a product of the environment, anything that did not contain creaky pews, old hymns, and a priest that wasn’t able to marry, seemed completely absurd and for lack of better words-crazy.

Now. Guess what? I want to be called “born again” first and foremost. Why? because for all I have accomplished in my 37 years of life, it is by far the number one best decision I have ever made. YES it surpasses my excellent choice of a husband, and the choice of having kids, because above all-God is first.

When you die and come back to life, little to no other human beings  alive on this earth get that. Imagine living so many years trying to make sense of what I experienced with no basis to what exactly I saw/felt/loved. I was alone in it. I thought it meant I was meant to be alone in it. What I always knew was a God that loved and adored me. A God that believed I was meant to do great things on this earth. A God that made me unique with a different experience to fuel me in a different way then the norm. What I didn’t know was the WHY!

I read about 50 books on near death experiences, at least a dozen psychic books, probably another dozen on miracles, and piles and piles of spiritual self-help books. However, before this year I never once opened up the most important thing that would make sense of what I experienced…. the Bible. In fact I literally would roll my eyes at those people who loved to quote scripture and say the name “Jesus” in every other sentence. Little did I know, this scripture would literally free me to never feel alone in it again. Not ever. I now have answers– my experience there, has met my life here.

Organized religion in general always made me shudder. I always thought people were in it for the wrong reasons, and quite frankly I still do. I think religion happens to be a safe place for ugly, dark souls to hide in order for them to believe they aren’t that bad if they show up to church. However, what I failed to realize is most are there for the greater good of God. That I , nor anyone else, is meant to praise by themselves every single day. That regardless of the church you choose, there is a seat for you. A place that meets you on the journey you came here from, the journey you are on. You just need to find the right place.

I RUN to church now. I am never present because I feel like I “have” to be. I am present because I “want” to be.

And that isn’t even the best part of my story. The best part is the day I gave my life to Jesus, and asked his forgiveness for the heavy baggage I have carried over the years. Heavy baggage that I would’ve told you I had forgotten, or that I paid my dues for. Guess what–for as much as my mind let it go–the heart of soul hadn’t! That day when I gave it to Him it fell off of me. Parts of who I am, and thought I always would be, GONE. Not just for the day–but forever.

In all ways, Christ has made me a better person since last May. I am a better Mom, a harder worker, a stronger person–all because I asked to have a better relationship with Him. All because I had a dear friend that cared enough to sit by me for a few years, silently guiding me in this direction.All because He cared enough to send others to confirm this change I was about to make. All because I wasn’t meant to be alone, or to walk my journey wondering why I died and came back to life.

Moving forward my writing isn’t meant to be knock on your door, Bible in  your face words. It is words of my life, my truth, my Savior. The only reason I live. My first and foremost.

In 2014 I plan to write more with very careful consideration on what I put out into the world. In 2014 I plan to learn more of the why, and to make great use of it. My hope and prayer is that you will not judge me for the title in which I proudly wear now (BORN AGAIN), and take what works for you along the ride, and leave the rest for God to take care of.

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