The good, the bad, and the “Abi”

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s been forever and a day again. My excuse this time is that I was sick for, literally, a whole month. I also went to Puerto Lempira, which is where the natives lives in Honduras, as well as the US of A. Also had a run-in with parasites. So, yes, this is long overdue, but at least I’ve got some kind of excuse other than pure laziness, right (AKA -bugs crawling around in my digestive system)? Ok, I’ll stop complaining about this and start complaining about something else now.

More specifically, the idea of “good” lives and “bad” lives. This topic has more humorously come to life with my Honduran friends and my best gringa friend, Abi. Abi is what I’d like to call your stereotypical homeschooled American. She’s got a great family that’s extremely, and I mean extremely, close. She’s also very, very sheltered. Both of those things are very good things for her in her life. In our friend group, we think of Abi as the innocent little cutie. The angel of the group. If we hear someone swear in a movie or do something inappropriate, everyone will immediately turn to her and jokingly throw their hands over her ears or eyes.

Abi, in our friend group, is the “good” gringa. Because I act/know/have experienced nearly the exact opposite life of sweet, little Abi, I’m sort of known as the “bad” gringa. Let me repeat that this is and inside joke, I’m like 90% sure they don’t actually think I’m a terrible person. However, this joke within my friends is a very real thing that happens in our world today. A lot of the time in the church, as well as with the Christians, we see a line between the good and the bad. Not so much as in thinking people are unredeemable or not good enough for Jesus, I think we’ve fixed those views. However, I see it in the way people are pitied.

Christians will look at people who’ve lived hard lives, who’ve done terrible things, and will think “needs to be pitied.” Likewise, they’ll look at sweet, little Abi and think “needs to be protected.” It’s like there’s this ideal image of a Christian burned into our minds, and we can’t help but try to turn every person into it. I’ve always had a really hard time with watching people pity those who’ve gone through hard things. Such as an alcoholic* who got help and became clean (*not a real life example of someone I know, stop guessing you jerk). The Christian would look at him and think:

I’m so sorry you went through that.

Alcohol addictions were never a part of God’s plan.

This is all Satan’s doing.

Thank God you’re “good” now.

Life would have been so much better for you if you were given a life like sweet, little Abi.

Those thoughts aren’t terrible thoughts, but I don’t think they’re right either. Especially that last thought. That last thought drives me mad. If only you were given a good, little life. If only you weren’t given that temptation. If only you never had a sip of alcohol. If only you had followed God’s plan.

What would you do if I said I was proud of that alcoholic? That I was proud of the fact that he was put through that temptation? The fact that he did take that sip of alcohol and faced that long, hard time? That all of what happened to him is absolutely, positively God’s plan? What if I told you I’d be so upset for him to be given a life over and claim the life of an “Abi?”?

Don’t get too mad at me yet, let me explain.

There’s sin the world, right?

There’s a lot of bad in the world, right?

There’s people suffering with all kinds of different addictions and problems, right?

There’s a huge amount of alcoholics, right?

Look at the alcoholic again. Yes, he struggled for a very long time. It will forever scar him. However, he now holds a power that no Abi will ever hold – a power to change the lives and relate to other alcoholics. Not only will he have the power to change those lives, but he will also be more likely to have a passion for helping alcoholics than the average human being. You see where I’m going here?

No matter how “bad” my life was, no matter how many things there are that I wish and pray I could take back, no matter how hard it is to swallow my shame and live with myself everyday, no matter how easy it would be to restart my life and be an “Abi”, I would never take it.

Because I’m proud of my “bad.”

Because I’m proud to say that I’ve been through more than the average person can even think of going through.

Because I know every single twisted, cruel part of my life was a part of God’s plan.

Because I know he chose me and crafted me to make beauty out of the darkness.

And because I know that he’s doing that in millions of other lives as we speak.

It’s because I so whole-heartedly believe that God puts his strongest into the dark and resurrects them with new, impassioned understanding to aid the world.

Otherwise, where would we be? We would have the Abi’s and the non-Abi’s. Those in the dark could stay in the dark, those in the light can stay in the light. How could that be useful in any way? The “bad” wasn’t always meant to exist, but since it’s come into existence, it’s been used to God’s advantage. He uses the “bad”, he embraces the “bad”, to change the world. So, I’m sorry to the Christians that believe that all of us are meant to be a certain type of “Abi” and anyone who isn’t an “Abi” has experienced misfortunes, but you’re so not right about us non-Abi’s. There’s no need for pity, there’s need for acknowledgment and encouragement.

I like to apply the same theory to any kid in Honduras who’s had struggles. There’s countless of children who have gone through the most grueling of things but have come out victors, influencing everyone like them to lead better lives. They’re so, SO incredibly amazing. So before you go and “pity” those kids who lived through abuse or were a part of a gang, think about appreciating them instead.

But let’s not forgot about how amazing the “Abi’s” are, either. The point of this was not to put down the “Abi’s” of the world. I’m so proud to call Abi my friend, and so proud to say she is the way she is. She has so much influence to bring to the world as well, and so much potential in different areas that I could probably never reach. My point is not to say we should all be stereotypically “bad” people, because I believe we’re all put through different situations in order to gain different passions. I just don’t think that more “good” is needed than “bad,” or that more “bad” is needed than “good.”

Whatever life God designed for you was not a mistake, it was not a lapse in judgment, it wasn’t a test that you failed. It was a perfect design for you and you only, a task that only you can carry out. No matter how perfect or terrible someone’s life may seem, their life was a perfect mold for them, completely separate from your equally-perfect mold. God creates masterpieces of all colors, and none of those colors are called “good” or “bad.”