from my journal:

Last night (yesterday in general) was tough. Not the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but difficult. Some people (ok, a lot of people) from last year remember my bad attitude. That stings. Even though I was completely honest and wouldn’t have lied or covered it up–but to know the impression I left was so not appealing? yuck.

 

I so sorry I showed you my ugly. Thank you for showing me a reflection of Christ and his love instead of a reflection of my nasty heart.

Large groups of women frighten me, but Christian women especially give me pause. The squeeing especially. The girliness. The make up and hair and fashionistas. And I judge you. I think you’re going to be like all those other Christian women who have hurt me–some knowingly. You look the same, you speak the same language of being washed in the blood and you say “oh my word” and “bless your heart” and you drink tea and homeschool your children and you don’t allow all that secular trash into your home and  you have no clue how much that turns me off. I do not know how to be like you.

Oh yes, I’m an introvert who knows how to access a brief extrovert, but I’d always rather be home or away from masses and being with the people does not energize me, it exhausts me.

After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.

Jesus. My Number One Introvert.

And yet, even though I’d always choose being alone to being in a sea of people, there was a time when I yearned for a spiritual mentor, a woman with whom I could share. Prayers sent up often, falling on seemingly deaf ears. But then He answered.

(from my journal, from the writing prompt “memory” at a Relevant session)

2005. Lifeway Women’s Leadership Conference.

Travis Cottrell takes the stage. I’m reading my program deciding where God would have me go. ha. I’m deciding. right.

The music starts. Thousands of women rise to their feet in praise of our Savior. I can see them in front of me. Looking to my left, though, the pew is empty. To the right. Emptiness again. Behind me, women overflowing every pew in the sanctuary.

Except the one I’m in.

Alone.

And I pray again, “Lord really? Can I not have a woman come beside me? Why am I not blessed with a spiritual mentor?”

and He said,

“Am I not enough for you?”

* * *

Like David admitting to Nathan, “I am that man,” I understood. And He led me through the valley, the dark, and I got hurt. He picked me up, pushed me along. Forced me to rely upon Him.

but then

he forced me to depend on you. you women who have broke my heart and trashed my love. you who have accused me of the nastiest of nasty. you who have cast stones. you who have betrayed my trust. he forced me to depend on you.

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In my mind, there is a deep separation between me and this mass of women. As you cannot detect one molecule of H2O in the ocean, so I cannot detect the individual in a crowd. You are water to me. I can dip my toes in. Get used to the temperature and wade in slowly, eventually neck deep. But as you envelop me, breathing is labored and I might drown, so I back out.

But a glass of water–controlled by the barriers formed by my cup, a cup I can hold in my hand. A cup from which I can sip…this is where I can meet with you and not drown.

and maybe

maybe I am not supposed to be like you

maybe (really?) maybe I am just me.

rough

empty

hard and cracked

dried out and knowing that God will break me

and it will be painful

and maybe He allowed a few of you, just enough of you, to quench my thirst.  To be added to the hard, cracked, dry clay of my heart

just enough water to make me pliable.

maybe

Relevant11