The day of my 20th (or was it my 21st? who knows) Birthday will be forever etched in my mind and heart. It is truly a lesson in humility and ...well I don't want to spoil it, I will tell you what I truly learned at the end :)
I was asked by my cousin Alecia if I would like to go to mall with her for my Birthday. I was happy to go and had on a pair of warm ups and a tee...no make-up...just practically crawled out of bed. Alecia suggested I put something cute on and maybe wear some make-up...I got defensive and said something to the effect of I didn't care what anyone at the mall thought of me. We probably headed to Beans and Brews for a frozen latte', and off to the mall we headed.
Shopping was fun then we decided to head home. Alecia needed to stop by her house for something, so we drove there first (she lived about 3 minutes from my house). I was getting irritated and wanted to go home. There was a guy that I liked and I wanted to know if he had called (this was before cell phones were glued to fingers). As we pull into her driveway, I saw my sister in MY NEW CAR pull up right after us. I was LIVID. Who did she think she was driving MY CAR? She had her own! I told her off and asked her what she was doing with my car, she just looked at me....sad...and didn't give me an answer, or at least one I bought. She was picking up Alecia's two other sisters and we were all headed back to our house to hang out. My cousins just stared at me...I was going off to them about how she had no right to take my car.
As we are driving down the road, Alecia decides to stop and get a pack of gum...seriously? I was agitated and she could tell. It was getting late and I wanted to go out that night and see if that guy called!! How irritating! She drives up my road at a literal snails pace....I think she is deliberately trying to fuel my already boiling blood. We walk in the door and my dogs start barking and I say something loud and smart to them...my Mom gives me a strange look...I am defensive again. I asked if anyone had called and she said no. I run down the stairs to hang out with my cousins and I hear "SURPRISE!!!!!"
The entire basement was full of my friends. The guy I liked was there too....and I stand there...no make-up on....warm ups and a tee...embarrassed. Not only had my sister and cousin invited my friends, they called people they didn't even know and asked them to come. Friends that really meant alot to me at that time in my life. I scanned all the faces and felt such shame. THAT is why Alecia was stalling....THAT is why she suggested I pretty up before we go, NO WONDER my sister looked so sad when I yelled at her....oh the humility. I realized the lengths they took for my birthday. My Mom was even upstairs getting food ready for us to eat. I ran in my room and got ready....I am truly surprised Jamie and Alecia didn't disown me that night.
I have learned many lessons in my life....but one that always seems to come back is that perception is not always reality. What I perceived was happening...wasn't. What we perceive about people's characters is not always the case. We need to be careful with how our perceptions of people are...we need to exhibit the fruits of the spirit..love,joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, self control..things that I clearly did not exhibit this particular day. :(
So let this be a lesson to you!! Hopefully through my folly, we can all learn something :)