As someone who grew up in church and was required to take 4 semesters of bible classes in college (FOUR!), I have a lot of bible stored up in this noggin. And as someone who met Jesus for the first time 15 years ago in a room full of addicts, I also have a heart full of awe and gratitude for the ridiculous, scandalous love of God. (I’m tearing up just typing that. It still wrecks me every. single. time.) But even with all that, I was excited to jump in and really have a chance to see or learn something new.
It’s 10:41am on Jan 1, 2019 and I am already struck with how much I hate change. I tend to be a bit like a duck on water when it comes to moments or seasons of transition. All may look cool and calm on the exterior but my insides are paddling like mad to get back to some place safe. As I sit here drinking my coffee and perusing over the new cookbook I got for Christmas, I feel an impending sense of dread.
I found myself on the floor, face in the carpet, feeling nothing but numb. Life had been so hard for so long that I just gave up as I hit the dining room and collapsed into a heap. I laid there in the quiet of that little apartment for a while, not saying a word. Husband had gone to work and the boo was at preschool so I knew I would not be disturbed. I had nothing left. My marriage was hanging on by a thread. We were so broke, we couldn’t pay attention. Being a mom was a heavy load to carry. I was done.
Now that you’ve unraveled, here is where everything gets topsy-turvy. All that time and energy focused on yourself flips and you now realize that it wasn’t all about you to begin with. It’s about you, but it’s also about them. The ones you love and the ones that love you. It’s about the future; it’s about legacy. You found freedom so you could take others there! #purpose
“But did you die?” I know that last leg of the journey of unraveling wasn’t the most fun thing you’ve ever done, but did you die? #nope
You just did a really big thing and not only has it opened the door for healing, it has set you up for success in what comes next.
Still breathing? Good! Now that you have owned up to the mess, it’s time to take the next step in the process of unraveling. It’s time to get to work.
“But HOW?” she asked over chicken fingers and ranch. We had been discussing my most recent blog about the unraveling and what that meant in her life. What my dear friend was really asking was “what will get me outta here?!?!” My answer was simple. “It’s a process.”
The room was cold, the lights were fluorescent, and the coffee was strong. I don’t remember much else about that night. It’s almost like I was so aware of myself I didn’t have the bandwidth to be aware of anything else. Person after person paraded across the front of the room as they muttered something along the lines of “Hi, my name is BlahBlah, I am a following of Jesus Christ finding freedom from suchandsuch.” This was, for me, the beginning of the unraveling.
I LOVE a good list. The unhealthy kind of love. I make lists of all the lists I have so I can be sure to keep track of everything that needs tracking. Also, I am now 40 and I forget crap all the time. Not only do I love lists, I love checking things off my list. If I do something that I forgot to write down, I will add it to the list JUST SO I can check it off. I think you are starting to understand why I spent so many years in therapy.
“May I see your ID?” the cashier asked. YES!!! YES YOU CAN, kind sir. And THANK YOU for asking!!! As someone who passed 40 a few years ago, I was almost giddy with excitement that the clerk wanted to see my identification to prove my age. He needed to see that little plastic card I carry around in my wallet to confirm who I am and how many years I have been on this planet. And while it did give that cutie patootie behind the register some pertinent fact about me, it doesn’t tell the whole story. That isn’t really who I am.
On a road trip this summer with my family, we stopped at Panda Express for lunch because, well, the Lord speaks to me thru Chinese food. Ok, so maybe that’s not WHY we stopped but it doesn’t make it any less true. We parked, walked in just in front of the lunch crowd and waited. And waited. And waited. It was close to 10 minutes before a sweet young girl rushed over from the drive thru line and took our order. Someone had obviously not shown up for work. Now they were short-staffed for a typical lunch rush, and both staff and customers felt the absence. As I stood in line with a cranky toddler and a whiny 6 year old, I heard the Lord whisper “show up” and I was reminded once again that showing up matters.
One Saturday over Thai food (because obviously) an old friend and I were talking about life and death and God and pain. Ya know, typical Saturday lunch talk. Our convo centered mostly on the church and our experience with who the church, in general, tells us God is. I asked my friend to describe Jesus in one word. While she thought on it, I offered mine: scandalous
At bible study the other morning, we were all discussing the chapter of the week and what we had learned from it. I noticed a short sentence I had underlined the night before that I didn’t actually recall reading. It simply said “Sometimes God is doing a new thing in a new way.” Basic, right? Except as I reread that line, the Lord whispered to my heart, “But you want Me to do a new thing in the same old ways.” Dangit. I hate it when He’s right.
Balance. It is such a buzz word thrown about the daily chatter and cyberspace of our lives.
Everyone has an idea of what balance looks like and for most, it feels like the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Husband and I were sitting on the front porch tonight drinking a glass of awesome and watching the kids play. As I admired how lush and green our grass looked, he commented on the yard and praised my hard work. Since we moved into new construction and builders don’t seem concerned with the quality of sod they put down, our weed-infested crap grass woke up with the spring sunshine and proceeded to take over the whole yard. Lucky for me, a landscaping friend gave me some solid wisdom to get things under control quick which would set me up for success for years to come.
So we meet again, blank page. Just an abyss of white yet so full of possibility. But for now, you are nothing but space.
A blank page was about the only place in my life that felt like I had space. I was in a very full season of life.
I walked briskly to the car. I was running behind to get my daughter from my mother-in-law after church. It was only the sunlight bouncing off the quarter that caught my attention so I scooped it up from the sidewalk and jumped in my car. At church, I spotted the $1 coffee bar and decided to help myself, but sadly only found $.75 in my wallet. As I was contemplating committing a sin in church, I remembered the quarter in my pocket from earlier.
It’s 10:17pm and I’m sitting on the floor of my pantry, eating bbq potato chips. Why, you ask? Because we are out of salt and vinegar chips, obviously. But what I’m really doing here is thinking. Thinking about running. Not actually running b/c that would be dumb, but emotionally running. Running away is kinda my jam.
I didn't meet Husband until I was 30 years old, so I had a lot of good quality girl time in my years after college graduation. My friends and I would pack a bag, drive up into the Ozark Mountains and camp out all weekend at one of the girl's parent’s lake house. We would lie around all day (doesn’t that sound glorious???) in our jammies and watch entire seasons of Law and Order while eating Doritos and brownies. A full day and night of sugar, carbs, drama and murder. Sounds healthy, right?