So Begins {what I consider} The Hard Stuff

*A note before you read this. After doing an audit of my blog in 2022, I have decided to leave content that speaks to the Christian I was at the time this was written. I no longer identify as Christian (and haven’t for a very long time.) I chose to leave these posts because it is who I was then and it is important to me to be honest and true with every iteration and evolution of self that I experience. I may decide to add comments to the end of posts like this as well

Some would say, “It has been brought to my attention…”

Me, though? I’d say I was called out.

This is where most of the problem begins, I think.   I’m pretty rough around the edges. Blunt. Bold. And what other people do or say rarely affects me.   Unless the person is in my inner circle or someone I admire and trust and respect. If you’re one of those people in my life, you know it takes a lot for me to respect and admire anyone. My general opinion is we’re all human, we’re all faulty, I’m not star-struck, I don’t collect autographs, we put our pants on one leg at a time…you get it.  But if you’re my husband and you tell me that I might have dropped the f-bomb one too many times in dealing with that person or if you’re my pastor and you ask that I be more responsible with what I post about on social media outlets and if you’re my son and you’re tickled that mom got in trouble

then I listen

But I also get a rock in my stomach because I struggle with the idea of legalism.  Shhhhh. Let me finish.

IMG_3900When you’re hurt deeply by people who hold you back, tell you what you can or cannot be, belittle your dreams, shut down your emotions, you don’t take kindly to authority of any kind.  And I know (know.know.know.) that my husband, son, and pastor are not out to hurt me, even unintentionally. I know this.

But knowing doesn’t stop the coping mechanism inside from bubbling to the surface and threatening to explode. Knowing does.not.stop.it.

There was an atheist residing in the mind, this body that rejected God in every way fathomable.  And the God Who Sees knelt down to her and promised His forearms would wrap around her and protect her.  I did not believe Him. I pushed Him over and (with much bad attitude) told Him all the reasons I couldn’t possibly believe.  Until one day, I can’t even name the day, but one day I believed what He said.

No sordid history on the men of my childhood and early adulthood who destroyed me.  I’m not going there, it’s ugly.  When I met Phil, I was certain there wasn’t a man on the planet that could be trusted. I pushed Phil around (uhm, figuratively and literally. once. in a Noah-sized flood) and emotionally shut him down. And I danced around trusting him for so long.  But then I did trust him. And I do trust him.

And a pastor, two, three. more. All of them.  Yes, all of the pastors I’ve encountered have devastated me. From telling me I’m going to hell for asking questions, to telling me I’d be an adultress forever, to lying very publicly about me and spreading vicious rumors–I have been trampled, my faith has been drug through the mud, by men of the cloth.  Except one pastor, who wasn’t my pastor, he was teaching leadership workshops when Phil and I met him.  He gave excellent advice and we could tell he truly lived out his faith. Now, years later, we attend the church he shepherds.

(do you see the pattern yet?)

(I had to come here to write this to begin to understand this.)

I see that first God restored my relationship with Him, He drew me close, even though I fought it.  I see that He gave me a husband I could trust, one who always loves and sacrifices for me. Then a son, a “little Holy Spirit” to put me in my place when I need it, and to comfort me when I can’t be consoled.  Now a pastor I can trust. (and I haven’t hit on the girl issues at all in this post.)

And recently…they’ve all brought the same basic issue up to me.

(in my own interpretation: I have a foul mouth and I run it without shame)

None of them said anything like this at all, they have all been very gentle with me. But when I swish it around the blender brain of mine…it boils down to choice of language, and my mind chooses this interpretation.

My first instinct is to shut them out.  Because I don’t need to change who I am or what I do or what I say or how I say it.

but that’s not true, is it?

As a child of God, a wife, a mother, a leader in our church…I do need to (first) be aware and (second) change if needed.

There are just some changes I am not good at.

So begins the hard stuff.

11 thoughts on “So Begins {what I consider} The Hard Stuff”

  1. Wow! You’re one amazing lady! Can’t wait to know you better. I’d say we are ALOT alike, & look forward to telling you how 🙂

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  2. While it may not be easy, you have everything you need to make the change – namely, the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. When He prompts a change in your life – HE is all you need for it.

    Funny, because I was just considering this (not related to words), but the way that God provides for us. When He asked Adam to name the animals, He had already given him the creativity to do so. In the Garden, He provided it all, but when Adam and Eve sinned, He STILL loved them and provided for them (much better than they did!). He provides to the nth degree and then some. I never cease to marvel at His provision in my life. Yeah, I know, I’m getting off-track here, but not really. I have things in my life with which I struggle that I think I will never be able to get past. I doom myself to failure before I begin. Poor, unhealthy, unholy habits and choices.

    But here’s the thing – God is very adept at putting me in the position of encouraging other people with words that apply to ME also. Because I’m sort of thick in the head sometimes (must be all the hair!) and somehow my words come right back to me, as I recognize that He’s speaking not only to this other person, but also to me. I love His creativity in dealing with me.

    See, now I have to apply what I just told you to myself. Sigh. I’ve got some things that need to be addressed. Thank you for being God’s tool to get my attention. 🙂

    “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 19:14

    Reply
    • Ok. First…I LOVE beyond measure how you get me all wrapped up in what you’re saying, then I bust out laughing. Big hair.

      Second. You are so right. Just spot on. all these chances God gives, and if we only listen…and how hard is it (really?) to just do what He says? Don’t we witness it time and time again in our kids? And yet, here we are, acting just like them (pretending we’re not!!)

      Third: The verse? Perfect.

      I am so grateful to have you in my life.

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  3. Love you, Mich. I appreciate your authenticity. When it comes to facing our faults or those things people see in us – it’s never fun. And it’s not easy. But I have no doubt that in facing the hard stuff, our rough edges are smoothed out by Him. I have many rough edges – just not the same ones as you.

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  4. Change is never easy, no matter what the change. And it’s not always fun. But it usually good change. And God will help us when we ask. I know you know this. Oh, and what was your word for 2012? 😉
    Love ya, and many hugs. = )

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  5. This? Just one of the many reasons I love you. Your honesty, your ability to be completely and unabashedly real and open…

    You know what you need to do, and you will do it. You’ll just do it in your fashion, and really, God woulnd’t have it any other way. I truly believe that. We all have our own way of dealing with our faults and our struggles. We all respond differently when we are, as you put it “called out”, but the initial reaction isn’t the most important thing, it is how we then deal with that reaction…

    I’m always amazed by you…and I can’t see where this journey takes you next…because I KNOW it’ll be good.

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