I am reading a book right now called the Bait of Satan by John Bevere and regardless of your faith, I think all should check it out….anywho:)
It made me start thinking of all the times I would get offended by what others would say, think or do to me. Being a mut (mixed breed), which I called myself often when I was younger, meant that I was not a pure breed or of one race. It meant I was different, it meant I was never going to fit into any, one, group. I was always going to have to either explain why my hair is curly and that I don’t need fake hair.
This point always made the people of certain races dislike me and I was never invited to the African American club in school. I was told I was “not black enough.”
“Why do you not talk like a black person?” The question I would get from the Caucasian people around me and therefore, I was not white enough and was not invited to the clubs where mostly white people would gather. They were a little more subtle about telling me, “you are not white enough”, but if you are mixed, you know the looks you get.
“Your last name is Rivera, but you don’t speak Spanish, why?” This question I got from the Hispanics around me and was never invited to the Chicano clubs because I would be told, in so many words, and usually in Spanish, which I did not understand, you are not Hispanic enough.
Therefore, I was on the outs through school. Now I tell you this to give context as to why people who are mixed, must learn to adapt and must learn to love themselves so deeply, because we never fit into any mold, ever. There was no mixed people club (thinking back I should of started one, lol). There were no groupings of just mixed people at school. I was lucky enough to be good at sports and therefore, I didn’t have to worry about fitting in. If you play sports in school, you are in no matter what, but does that make it easier to walk around school or the world? Sometimes, yes and sometimes, no.
When someone tried to pull my hair once and ask me if I had a weave on, I just turned around and said, “nope!” And then walked away. They were looking for a fight and I didn’t and don’t fight with my hands. My mother always told me,”when someone is being mean to you, simply turn to them and say “thank you.” I then added a little to it and would tell them…
“Thank you for giving me so much attention! I guess I must mean a lot to you because you really want to talk to me, so thank you for making me feel important!” In that moment, I would usually get weird looks and they would just say, ” Michelle is weird!” So that turned into me knowing I was unique, special and not like anyone else! That made me feel powerful!
In school I had and still have great friends who loved me for me and never told me I am not enough of something to belong. I just chose to stay away from people who were negative and didn’t see the awesomeness that was inside of me.
Today, I know who I am and I know whose I am. I am never alone. During the hard times and the great times, my Lord is beside me. If I didn’t go through all the hard times (some came later in life), I would never have leaned on the Lord the way I have. If I would have never leaned on the Lord, I would never have known the strength He provides, through the Holy Spirit, in my weak moments.
So, today I do not let the offense get under my skin and bury itself within my spirit. The Bible tells us that there is no way to avoid offense, but it is how we react to that offense that is given. Therefore, I am proud to be of a mixed race and I am thankful for when offense comes, it gives me the opportunity to test my faith:)