i told my life story yesterday at our new church. some of you know that i turn into a blubbering fool when i tell my story. some things never change, my friends.
we're supposed to give a brief 15 minute overview of our life--where we've come from/where we're going, etc. i knew that time limit would be challenging for me. i can do the 2 minute bio, or i can do the hour long extended version, and that's about it. but i thought oh well, i'll give it a try. i took my watch off and set it beside me when i started talking in an effort to be especially cognizant of the time, and when i looked down at my watch, 40 minutes had gone by! how, i ask, did that happen?
also, there was the blubbering. when i talk about how i lived for most of my 35 years--trapped in the small, dark, fearful false self--and how God has been rescuing, redeeming, healing me, i can't help but cry. i turn into a tearful, ugly-cry-face, inarticulate mess of a woman. some people cry along with me (which i love of course), and some people look at me like i've just landed on earth from the planet zorgon.
i've told my story many times, and after every time i tell it, the shame descends like a dark cloud. i feel so raw and vulnerable. did i say too much? did i not say enough? did i make any sense at all? did i come off looking like a total whacko? round and round and round i go with these questions and more until i'm dizzy and confused and totally worn out. this shame cycle used to be completely debilitating, but with each year that passes, i accept who i am a little bit more, and the lies don't stick quite as much.
the buzzards were circling again last night and this morning, and i have HAD it. first of all, did i move to charlottesville, virginia, just to pretend that i have it all together? hell no. is my goal in life to be as palatable as possible so everyone will like me? hell no. my heart is alive (ALIVE!), and that means i am going to be raw and emotional and messy and broken and yes, a little kooky. so what?
second, even though this is my story, i am neither the author nor the hero of it. so why am i making this all about me?
For the love.