Archive | April 2013

Truth Be Told

Truth be told I spend a lot of time feeling really insecure, so I don’t like to do things I don’t already know I’m good at, especially if you’re watching me.  I don’t like to admit that because I’m even insecure about how you’ll take it.

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I like to be happy but sometimes I’m just not and, truth be told, I don’t always have a good excuse.

Letting people in has always been a tough one for me and I like to think I’m working on it.  Truth be told though, I’m really not.  I like the safety that comes from keeping you out.

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I tend to know exactly how I feel about everything, but I don’t always say what I’m thinking.  (Even if you ask me because, truth be told, I’m afraid of being wrong or looking stupid.)

I can’t be transparent because then you’ll see the mess that I really am and I like to think that you see me as having it all together.  Truth be told, I don’t really have anything together and I’m dying to be known.  Really known.  Not just the version that’s expected of me.  I’m finding that I am incredibly tired these days.  Tired of feeling closed in and not good enough to play the part for which I’ve been cast in this thing called life.  Tired of these feelings of insecurity and tired of feeling under attack.  I find myself wanting to just retreat, curl up on the couch, and stay in for a while.

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I just don’t know that I’m up for the fight against the Enemy that I feel like I’m always in and, truth be told, I’m exhausted from the questioning that seems to come from me when I try…

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Choosing to See A Few Questions

I called the next name on the list and the one squirming in her seat caught my eye.  I called the name again and she looked up at me.  I smiled at her and asked if that was her name.  She stood up nervously and walked towards me with fear in her eyes.  I’ve never considered myself to be intimidating and all I had done was smile at her.  We walked into my office and I asked her what I could do to help her.  The tears started rolling.  This time, they did not belong to me. 

She talked about wanting a new start and needing to redefine her life.  “I’m in the middle of ending my marriage of thirty years.  I’m done wondering if I’ll still be alive in the morning or if he’ll really pull the trigger next time.”  I don’t know what kind of look I had, but she continued.  “I was in an abusive relationship with a horrible drunk and I’m just trying to figure out how to stand on my own two feet again.  I am done living in a house where my children are scared of their own father.  I know God has brought us through this, but I don’t know how to find myself and I’m here for your help.”  How on earth was I going to offer anything to this woman?   I help find majors, do I really help find people??  I opted to softly smile at her and remind her that she is one tough woman.  Strong for walking away and strong for showing her children a better life.  I reminded her that she was right, God did bring her out of this and that it was really cool she was choosing to see that.  And then I told her that we could help her find her way and hoped that I had not just written a check that we can’t cash.  She walked out of my office, trying to smile.  Seeming almost, maybe just a glimpse, empowered.  

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I picked up the phone and called Will to say thank you for the fact that I will never have that story.  I then spent my lunch break writing a note to my dad to thank him for teaching me what good husbands and dads look like, for setting a standard in my life for the man that I will marry.  To thank him for leading our home towards Jesus that best way he knew how.  My dad has always been an incredible example of Christ in my life; it always looked easy for him to me.  In a house-full of crazy girls though, it probably wasn’t.

I have never been laying in my own bed, wondering if I was going to make it through the night.  I have never walked into our home to find my dad beating on my mom.  Neither one of them drinks so I’ve never had to wonder if I would come home to drunk parents who could not control themselves.  Fear does not go to bed with me at night; for me, home is the place where everything feels safe.  I’ve always believed that home is supposed to be the place that catches you when you fall, not the place where you get pushed.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not naive enough to believe that evil does not exist and that no one goes home to stories like this lady’s every single day.  I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around it, because of my own story.

Tonight, as that lady’s face still (two days later) plays vividly in mind, I am reminded of an old Clay Walker song.  I do sometimes wonder why God chooses the mediums that He does to show Himself to us, but I am choosing to see Him tonight.  I am choosing to see the way that He is leading this woman into new life and she knows that.  I am choosing to see the Godly man that meets the standard my Daddy set and that I will never live in a home where my children are scared of their own Dad and I lay fearful for my life at night.  I am choosing to see that all of the “bad idea” stories I see day in and day out are burdening my heart for the brokenhearted and how I’m placed here right now for times just like that moment. 

I Was Watching

“When you’re Moma asked me to marry her…”

“He loves to tell it that way.”  Moma smiles with a twinkle in her eye, as Daddy tell his parody of their proposal story again.

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 “Your dad was on a Worship Team in college that came to our church…”

I love watching Moma tell the story.  She always smiles as she remembers it all, as if it was just that morning.

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“How did you know Moma was the one for you?”

I already knew the answer, but I ask him again because I like to hear the story.  Especially when he gets serious and tells it like it really happened.  There’s just something about listening to him talk about wanting to pursue her.

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For as long as I can remember, my mom was the “Kool Aid Mom”.  All of the kids of on our road would end up playing in our back yard and having glass after glass of Kool-Aid from her kitchen in the summer.  Hers was the driveway that other kids got off of the school bus at and the home where many girls’ sleepovers was had.  My mom has also taught me how to have faith in the Lord, regardless of the circumstances.  She knows and believes in the power of prayer and has taught me the same.

My dad was the one to help churn butter for my First Grade Thanksgiving Feast.  He and Megan’s dad would typically be the ones running the grill during our End of the Year picnics and I never had a problem he couldn’t help solve.  I never broke anything that he couldn’t fix.  I grew up believing that my dad’s Superman.  He is also one of the Godliest people I know.  He has shown me how to pour out grace on people that I wanted to throw my hands up at and he is nice to people that I know secretly drive him crazy.

Coming through school, I spent some time in the homes of my friends.  I experienced a lot “bad idea” ways of doing family so I gained a huge appreciation for the home my parents built, early.  Needless to say, their home has always had a swinging back door; kids swinging it wide open as they ran in and out together.  Even as we’ve gotten older our friends have still gathered at the home of my parents.  Whether it’s for card nights in the summer, late night talks in the living room with them, or breakfast on Thanksgiving morning—my parents have always created and offered a safe place for all of us, my sisters and our friends, to grow.

My parents.  Today they celebrate 33 years of marriage and I can’t help but get giddy over and over again as I sit picturing the two of them telling their story to us girls (and our friends) countless times.  I’m also finding myself thinking about the ways they have demonstrated what marriage is really about.  They are truly partners in ministry and they do all of this thing called life—together.  I’m not going to pretend that growing up in our house was all sunshine and ice cream (though we’ve eaten our fair share together), but I do know one thing for sure.  I am honored to have been born their second daughter and as I learn how to do life and marriage in my future, I will forever be grateful for all of the times that I was watching them.

Uncharted Tears

Tears.  Lots of tears.  Some days, it feels like all I’m doing is crying.  Sometimes I’m only inwardly sobbing, lately they’ve been overflowing outwardly.  I have never been the sensitive sister; I’ve been known not to cry when people expected me to.  For example, I didn’t even cry at my grandmother’s funeral.  I’m just not a crier.

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 You wouldn’t think that to be true if you were hanging out with me these days.  I feel incredibly fragile and can’t seem to share what’s on my mind and heart without the tears welling up.

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 My heart is swimming in uncharted water.  Like any other adventure, it’s mostly exciting but a little scary.  In an effort to stick to my challenge of choosing to see God in the midst of the hard stuff, I am finding myself thankful that I’m at least to a point of being this honest with each other about how I feel and where I’m at in this thing called life.