I ran into my friend’s house yesterday. Not like I was driving around and I saw my friend’s house and people were home so I popped in. I took a corner too close and scraped our van all the way down the passenger side, wheel well to wheel well on the side of my friend’s house. I managed to take a piece of white trim off the side of the house too. It fell out of the crack between doors and onto my driveway when I went to get the Peanut out of the van.
To make matters worse, (because hitting your friend’s house with your car is not bad enough) when her husband came out to check on everything, because you know I HIT THEIR HOUSE, he was totally awesome and assured me that if I had to hit their house, I certainly took it at a good angle, and I proceeded to act like an idiot and tell him to “just let me know how much it was” like he was a stranger and I was used to throwing money at my problems and I hit houses all the time. Then I peeled out of the driveway because, apparently, even though I am almost thirty, I would still rather act like an ass than cry in front of a middle school gym teacher.
I wish I could tell you that this is the first time I have run into something that does not move. I have a long and storied history of poor spacial awareness. I regularly have bruises on my legs because I cannot gauge how far away from the student desks my body is as I wander about the classroom. My dad had to pray over me repeatedly as I learned to drive. I had a lot of trouble figuring out where the gas and the break were in relationship to my foot and used to hit the wrong one. Until I had children I was responsible for schlepping into the store, I just played it safe and parked in the back away from everyone.
When I emotionally vomited about this on twitter and pleaded for someone to make me feel better, my high school friend came through.
— Laura (@darthsnuggles) March 5, 2013
and I laughed. How can you not? Mostly though, it made me feel better because it reminded me that I am not alone. It reminded me that when I was getting my license and crying in the back of the band room because “I would never get my license. It was just too hard, and it made me feel so, so stupid.” I remember this girl, who was so smart no one else even bothered trying to be valedictorian in her class, I remember her saying, “Me too. Abby, I struggle with that too. And it makes me feel stupid too.” Maybe I wasn’t sure that I was not an idiot but I was sure this girl wasn’t and that “me too” left me a little less alone.
Lately, I have been confronted with all the ways I am screwing it up. But mostly, I have been confronted with all the ways I do not pour those screw ups on the altar of my God, and trust that He loves me enough to want those too. That He is big enough to redeem even my inability gauge how close I am to the things around me.
Here is a secret about me in my classroom. I get the learning disabled kids. I understand them. I know what it feels like to stare at the words in front of a page and have no idea what they are saying as everyone around you interprets them flawlessly. I know this, not because words have ever been a challenge for me, but because the exact same thing happens to me when you put a map in front of my face. I know what it feels like to have someone talk to you like you are stupid just because your brain cannot interpret certain symbols in certain ways. I know how hard your brain has to churn for a work around, and when my students find one, I am so glad. I am so proud. I celebrate with them and for them because I know what it took. I know what it means, because really, me too.
So you feel like you aren’t good enough, me too. You are unable to ever put the laundry away and wade through the pile in the laundry room and decide that your two-year-old’s socks don’t need to match anyway, me too. Twitter makes you feel like the awkward girl in the cafeteria who occasionally gets a seat at the cool table, but only if someone is absent that day, me too. You are sure that God cannot use all of you because all of you occasionally take turns too close and run into structures that never move, me too.
That last one is a lie, friend. He wants to use all of you. He wants to use all of me too.
Want to see this occasional disaster play out in real time? Look to the right and in the sidebar, like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. It would make me feel better. Thanks!