By: Jana Greene
The first time I heard the term bantered around in an AA meeting, I was personally offended. After all, I was at a meeting because I couldn’t drink like normally like “everyone else” and by attending, I was spotlighting a weakness that had resulted from my unique set of circumstances. And I had stayed sober for weeks by then – in spite of very challenging things: My unhappy home life. My health issues. My negative thought patterns. Of course I am special!
Just like everyone else in the room.
Nowadays, I don’t bristle at the suggestion of feeling terminally unique. It makes me chuckle a bit because I know how terminally unique I am, as are you and each other person whom God has created. For years, I used it as an excuse to keep from getting sober. Easy for her, I would think of someone in recovery. She doesn’t walk in my shoes.
We are all incredibly unique, endowed with a one-of-a-kind skill set of coping, growing, thinking, feeling and choosing….our weirdness, perhaps. Our unique weirdness, combined with life experience, is terminal – there is no chance of being born one soul and dying entirely another.
Even as we are born again in the spirit, that soul still exhibits some quirkiness on occasion.
I used to believe that if I were doing it “right”, being a Christian cause me to have it all together. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself evolving into an entirely different creature: Poised, reverent, polished and wise, the Christian Me would be emotionally available, sane at all times, selfless and serene.
Just like everyone else seems to be!
Except that no-one is all of those lovely things all of the time. Only Jesus could manage to pull that off. God is teaching me that my addictions and behaviors are not weakness born of my terminal uniqueness, but of my humanity. They were born for one unique purpose: to bring his name glory. The weaker times in my life – when I couldn’t cope, grow, think or feel like anyone could pull me out of my troubles, I chose to ask God to help me up. And despite my being so terminally unique, he answered my prayers and advised me to tell others that he can use weirdoes like me. And you.
What about the very unique circumstances that challenged me? My home life, my health issues, my negative thought patterns? Perhaps allowed by God to share hope with those in similar circumstances, walking in similar shoes.
Not the least bit “all together”, terminally unique, and saved by Christ.