I was born many, many years ago. Then I was born again. Yes, I’m talking about Christianity. I’m talking about the laying-of-hands, dancing-in-the-spirit, speaking-in-tongues kind of born again Christianity.
That’s not who I am now. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe anything I believed when I was growing up in that spirit-filled faith. It just means that I don’t fit neatly into that box anymore. While there are lots of people that fit that description, oddly enough in the blogging world, I’m not that person.
And while growing up in what many saw as a somewhat radical/unusual/holy roller way of worship was never easy, there are pieces of it that I carry with me. There are memories and experiences and there are songs. The songs are what have stayed in my mind.
Yeah, I was a popular kid in middle school. While everyone was listening to “The Eye of the Tiger,” I was listening to “Bibleland.” When my friends were all going to the Def Leppard concert, I was going with my mom to see The Bill Gaither Trio. I did secretly listen to rock music in my room late at night on my clock radio with the volume so low I had to put my ear right on the speaker to hear it.
Most weekends, though, I would wake to my mom opening the windows (she’s never liked air conditioning) and blasting her Christian music. And besides the obvious theme, the songs were always about joy. They were songs of worship. Songs that I could never entirely relate to. Hold on, my child, joy comes in the morning.
Then I grew up. I went on my own spiritual journey, quite unintentionally. I tried on Jewish. I tried on Catholic. I looked at Mormon. I read books. I visited psychics. Somehow, on this journey, I figured out the meaning of life.
No, I’m serious. I did.
I’d love to share it with you but my meaning is different than yours. However, having a sense of purpose reshaped the way I approached almost every aspect of my life. I knew why we were here. I understood why things happened, whether we like them or not. I fully understood the consequences of the choices we make in our lives. And more importantly, I learned to embrace life in a new way. I felt joy.
I still hate getting up early in the morning. I still haven’t quite figured out why we have gigantic spiders in this world. The fact that airplanes can fly still totally baffles me (even though I understand the physics behind it). I don’t understand the popularity of the Kardashians. And I can’t explain why anyone ever bought a Pontiac Aztek.
But when I wake up in the morning and know that I’m surrounded by a family I helped create, or when my second chance doggie excitedly learns to play after years of abuse, or I walk outside to see a bevvy of birds, butterflies, and dragonflies surrounding my flowers, I feel joy to know that I am alive. And even when I’m exhausted as a wife, as a mom, as a woman, I know that joy truly does come in the morning. Every morning.