Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ain't Gonna Take it No More

I bumped into and old friend a few days ago. We knew each other in another lifetime...the one before kids. I envied her because she was happily married. I was single with one dismal failed relationship after another. I loved her and laughing with her. I sure did want to be her and not me.
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

When she decided to leave her career to return to school, I admired her to pieces. The inner fraidy cat in me could never tackle that challenge. Over the years we'd catch up via mail or maybe even email. She was a teacher. A MATH teacher of all things. That degree she left her job for had served her well. She had become a mom and was still married to the same man. Looked like she was batting 1,000.

Most recently when our paths crossed, she alluded to all the laughs we used to share. Then, she told me she had been reading my blog and had a 'true confession' to share. All those years ago in that other life, I had been HER inspiration. Do WHAT? Her life has taken some tough turns. The kind that leave me wincing in emotional pain to think about. Yet, she said she couldn't believe what a tough life I had ended up living. And, she graciously allowed that I continue to be her inspiration. Do WHAT? I needed to take a powder!

I have to chew on that one still tonight, you know? Last year this time, I could barely get out of a fetal position to do a chore. If I was moving physically, my emotional self remained curled into as tight a ball as I could manage.

This year, I am on the mend. Yet, I get up every morning and move real slowly when I do. I gingerly check myself out to see if anything feels broken. And yes, you can take that as both a metaphor and a statement of literal fact. The xray might say my leg is healed, but I don't trust it anymore than I do my heart!

I'm going to have to tell you, when the idea for this blog came to me in such a flash, I thought I had lost anything I had left of my mind. But, it was one of those “If you build it, they will come” kind of moments. I had one other moment like that in my life.

That earlier inspiration spurred me to organize a half day retreat for homeschool moms. The thought, “If you organize it, they will come,” kept ringing in my brain. I know that is hokey to admit, but it is true. I knew the event had to be cheap enough that single income families could afford the registration fee. I also knew it had to be short enough that moms could attend without freaking out about all they weren't at home to take care of. I took the risk and totally booked my venue of choice. I was open mouthed with amazement. I still am when I think of it.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
So, when the blog idea popped into my brain, from out of I don't know where, I checked to see if I'd had a stroke. I went to that writer's conference a total imposter who felt like a freak in the midst of a bunch of Jesus freaks. I had completely abandoned the idea of being 'the cheerleader'. In fact, when alone in my room, I licked my wounds reminding myself I didn't have a single thing to cheer about and no God interested in employing me on his team.

That voice of inspiration wouldn't leave me alone tho'. It kept nudging me with, “If you write it, they will come.” I'd wake up thinking it! When I did, I'd roll my eyes, shift around under the covers, punch the pillow, and remind God that he had spit me out about as hard as that big fish had spit out Jonah.

About the only thing I wanted to write was a country song detailing how unfair all that was given how I had clung to my hope of who God was thru thick, thin, and thinner. I was really sorry the title Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life had already been snagged! The thought wouldn’t leave me nor would my memory of the success of that retreat.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
In listening to the chats that went on during conference meals and during the keynotes, I realized that a lot of folks are as broken on the inside as I thought I was. I figured if I did what I wanted to do, however, I'd just confirm to those same kinds of folks that I was a total whack job. They'd think I was crazy for letting my guard down and spilling my literary guts as it were. Who was going to want to read a word written by a loser like me?

I woke up one morning and decided. Decisively. I was fed up. I just wasn't going to take it anymore. I woke up really, really weary of mask wearers and secret keepers. I am especially weary of them if the masks they wear keep them from finding emotional healing or helping others to find the same. Don't even get me STARTED on how I feel about secret keepers who arrange their lives in such a way that the secrets they keep deny them or someone else the chance to be whole. I'm not talking about violating appropriate boundaries, understand that. I'm talking about clinging to darkness when the light can heal.

So, here we are. I'm writing, and you're reading. I'm hoping to find my good God in the mist of this Lemony Snickett-like tale. You've caught up with my story now. I'll keep updating you as we go. I'll let you know about the progress and setbacks. If I see God peeping out at me, you'll be the 1st to know!

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Now, tho', it's time for me to ask for your help! I'm ready to start doing what I wanted to do in the first place. I want to write about how OTHER people conquered their fears, decided not to wear their masks anymore, or persevered in the midst of great trial.

If you know of someone whom you FIERCELY admire because they have been an inspiration to you, kindly email me with their contact info. BEFORE you do so, PLEASE ask them for permission for me to contact them. Stories can't be told till the owner is ready, and their story is ripe for the pickin'. Some folks are ready sooner than others. The story doesn't have to be dramatic like Jane's. Lots of folks are courageous in the midst of ordinary, mundane lives. While I'm waiting on your ideas, I'll be working on a few of my own. Ok..you've got your homework. Get to stomping!

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Yikes! VONDA! In my sleep deprived, hurry and get out the door state, I deleted your comment! And, I can't figure out how to undelete it!! SO SORRY! I will hop over to Christian Writer's Den and scope out the territory re potential individuals to interview! Thanks for the head's up. Now..if you find me or my head wandering around today, keep me there till I catch up with me!!