Shame

“…I couldn’t imagine confessing the anxiety which whispered white noise in my ears. What would fellow Christians think about the black dog of depression often barking louder than the voice of God?…” ~ Steve Austin

I’m floundering. I don’t fit in anywhere. Too “holy” (haha!) for the world. Not “saintly” enough for the church. In God’s providence (yes, I still believe…) I came across Steve Austin on Twitter. No, no magical story, he “just” turned up on my feed. I’m not completely familiar with all that he proclaims, just this quote just hit me raw.

So, we don’t have a “home church”. Since we came to faith we have always “belonged” somewhere. Crazy how that high school mentality of belonging continues even as adults. Yeah, we don’t belong to the popular crowd…anymore. We are outsiders. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of people that would love for me to be in their “group”. I’d be an amazing token to show off what God can do! Sexually abused as a child, raped, domestic violence, alcohol abuser AND now, the cherry on top, the death of her daughter to cancer. Can you read the BOLD letters on the billboard? But no, I’m just a used up, discarded “saint” that has disappointed the masses. No victory story here.

Just this Sunday we visited a church. It’s a small crowd of smiling welcoming people. Maybe this one? I thought. After service they were having lunch together. We were invited. I panicked. We rushed out. Once in the car, I felt “safe”. Where they mean and snotty? No! Far from that. But my brain went to all kinds of scenarios. Some, real and others, well, made up…I guess.

Back in my “corner” with thoughts of how messed up I am and wondering how in the world I got here. And, thinking this is how it’s going to be…sigh😔

Daddy-Issues

Another holiday in the books! Social media in tip top shape with all its Kodak moments. The endless flow of post card perfection. With all them filters who can go wrong, right? What lurks behind the scenes? What if we could peel off every “filter” and were allowed into the rawness of life?

I read a blog post which was originally posted on June 6, 2018 entitled “Gravity and Stars: A Father’s Day Reflection for the Fatherless” by Sammy Rhodes. Within his post Rhodes quotes Michael Chabon:

…fatherhood is “an obligation that was more than your money, your body, or your time, a presence neither physical nor measurable by clocks: open-ended, eternal, and invisible, like the commitment of gravity to the stars.”

“Obligation” and “commitment”, words packed with a punch. Words that enter the recesses of my mind and turn up with an “ERROR-MESSAGE“. Rhodes says, “There are a lot of ways to lose a father, each with unique pains.” and “…[his father] haunts the land of the living with the presence of their absence…his absent presence…” — Wow, this hits hard! (emphasis mine).

Thoughts of my own father “missing” yet there. Remember Dad? Yeah, The Runaway has deep “daddy-issues”.

Memories of my Dad are few. From that trickle flow, one looms the size of Gibraltar. His “presence” was painfully absent when his little girl needed the protection of her Daddy. In a sense handing over the preciousness of a soul to abuse. With his “absent presence” came others that would step into his abandoned role. However, this proved to be disastrous. One said that “he loved me as his daughter”, only to cowardly bury the truth. The other said, “I love you like a daughter”, as he denied his thwarted attempts to violate her body.

In the mystery of this life journey there are turns in the crooked road that bring you to ponds of fresh water. Waters that quench and satisfy a thirsty soul. I have been given eyes to “see” A Father. The only one and perfect Dad. I am so grateful! And, by the grace of God, my husband has been that Dad that has been and continues to be always “present” for our children.

~~~Gratitude in the midst of pain~~~

A Fretful Day

Another horrid night. Enthralled in the unraveling of a life…watching…waiting. The ground ebbing away. The gut stuck to the spine. A pressure cooker waiting to explode. She sat at the table staring at papers that “seemingly” held life and death in it’s lines. The words “DO NOT RESUSCITATE” glaring at her; daunting her. It’s meaning incomprehensible, yet it’s reality could not be escaped.

How did she go from signing a birth certificate to signing papers that would mark her daughter’s demise? She sat numb, frozen…staring into nothingness. A frigid chill enveloped her from within; from without. Was she even breathing? Finally, as in a trance, hand to paper as ink flowed. “Ready pen” was not ready for this.

Her daughter’s screams, “Help me Mom!” Her whisper, “No more appointments, Mom.” That tender and loving stare speaking without a word, “are you going to be ok?” My audible words, “Angie, it’s ok to go. I give you permission. I’m going to be ok. I will miss YOU so, so much, but it’s ok to go.” Her surrender, “ok”.

Tumbling, tumbling in her brain…words, gestures. All ending at this table, making decisions that could never be changed.

Two years have passed since this fretful day, yet its memory is as palpable as today.

“only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” ~ Pema Chödrön

Encouraging the Writer

The holiday buzz behind us, with the crazy schedules or no schedules at all. Routine is welcomed. Getting back to my scheduled reading and writing. In reading Natalie Goldberg’s book, “Writing Down the Bones”, I was encouraged to write everyday, even if it’s gibberish. She also encourages timed writing. I like the feel of pen and paper and letting my thoughts flow freely without the thought of “writing for someone”. It’s so invigorating.

Here’s some quotes to encourage the writer within:

“If you wish to be a writer, write.” – unknown

“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.” – unknown

 

Scars

“A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after an injury. Scars result from the biological process of wound repair in the skin, as well as in other organs and tissues of the body. Thus, scarring is a natural part of the healing process” – Wikipedia

normal – injury – wound – repair – natural – healing

Some scars are seen, some unseen. Some are the result of playfulness, while others can be traumatic.

My husband has a scar on his chin, the result of a fall he had while in boot camp.

My son has scars on his face, the result of childhood antics. He imagined himself Superman and jumped off stairs. And, not just once.

My daughter had a scar on her back, which went from the curve of her neck to her tailbone. It was the result of mayor surgery. She had scoliosis (severe curvature of the spine).

Some scars are embarrassing and cause us to hide. While others are worn, almost as a badge of honor. Some cause people to flinch, while others draw their undivided attention.

There is a story behind every scar. Are we willing to share it? I’d say, share away.  It makes for very interesting conversations.

~ ~ ~ scars are part of LIVING ~ ~ ~

Word for 2019

As I said, Goodbye 2018, I wondered if I’d pick a “word” for 2019.

Reading, “it” came! Now, I wonder, in the mystery of it all, if The Word is the one that picks me? I wasn’t looking. I wasn’t trying. I was simply reading, and POW, there it was.

♥ ♥ ♥ Beloved ♥ ♥ ♥

I am loved by God⇐

I am loved by my Family⇐

No earning. No striving. Nothing to do. Nothing to prove. Simply accepting being LOVED.

“Wisdom is realizing [that] allowing someone to help us can be a much bigger task than actually helping someone else. Accepting help means releasing the judgement we’ve imposed on ourselves.” – Melki JK Russell

Surreal

Have you ever been in a place that seemed like you were experiencing an out of body experience? Like you are in the audience watching “you”? Yesterday, I was doing my usual grocery shopping, when all of the sudden I became aware of a “whistle”. WHAT?! ME?! WAIT?! NO?!

Today, I came across this:

AND, so in the little things; in the seemingly unrelated things; in the messages that seem to be separate yet are so entangled…I will ENJOY the sound of the whistle 🙂