As the fourth of five siblings, it was the perfect family placement. Many find disadvantages in being the oldest, the youngest, or the middle child. I am none of these. Therefore, I have no complaints. Four out of five ain’t bad.
My three older sibs were all born within a three-and-a-half-year span. I came along a full seven years later. My younger sister was six and a half years after me.
My early years were largely spent following my teen brothers and sister around, wanting to be like them. I’m sure to them I was often a nuisance. They were smart, athletic, popular, and successful. They were great role models.
It would be easy to fall into the “I never measured up” trap, because in many ways I didn’t, at least not scholastically or athletically. I could have used it as an excuse, as I got myself into ample trouble in school and with the law, an issue with which none of them struggled.
For a long time, I did use this excuse.
The many decades since have produced an element of clarity. Nothing happened “to” me. We all have disadvantages. Some are real, some are perceived. I had choices. I had loving parents and family. I was well fed. I had freedoms in education, social activities, and church.
It was (and is) a dream life.
There’s still plenty to complain about, if I choose to do so. However, I’m learning that very little good comes from it, other than a temporary release of angst. Afterwards, the situation remains unchanged.
Maybe you’ve got a list of woes. You can’t deny your past, but you don’t have to live there anymore. Choose to believe what God says about you. You are beautifully and wonderfully made!
Many mistakes and lessons later, here’s the takeaway: Appreciate what you have. You’ll feel better, and others will notice the difference! It’s amazing! Your problems may still be there, but it doesn’t affect you like it used to!
Grandma Irene used to say, “Count your blessings.” Sound familiar? But before you’re tempted to pass it off as cliche, don’t.
Because Granny don’t lie.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. – Psalm 139:14
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