Hello, stranger

Five months since I’ve last written. That’s a classic move by me. I am GREAT at starting and horrific at finishing. I begin and feel all sorts of motivation and then it gets hard or uncomfortable or isn’t as fun or exciting and I bolt. Who wants to intentionally be this way?? Not me, to be clear, but this is what the data shows to be true. Super lame.

Track record also shows that I come back around eventually. And as you can see, here I am again. I don’t know - maybe it’s the Lord using certain triggers to spark me back into the action He has called me to. Maybe it’s not that at all, but there does seem to be a pattern.

Today I don’t think I’m writing to offer any kind of help or insight or humor. I’m writing because this is how I know to process the tragedy that surrounds.

Just a few months ago I began walking through heavy, ugly marriage stuff with dear friends. Just over a week ago I found out that a boy I babysat one summer died very recently as a result of his battle with drug addiction. He had just turned 20. Just today I talked with a mom of four kids ages 3 - 11, three of which are on the austism spectrum and one of which has a learning delay. She had been kicked out of a Catholic church because of her children (thankfully, she is now connected with a church that not only allows but HONORS her and her children’s needs). The list goes on.

It’s all just too much to take in sometimes and it’s always in these seasons of trial that I’m reminded to wake up. Isn’t it such a tension to live in the “and” of life? There are people who have it worse than me AND I too am struggling. Go too far in one direction and I lose the whole picture. It’s both. Pretending my struggles don’t exist because someone else is struggling more in no way helps that someone else. Telling myself I have no room to complain about motherhood to the woman with more kids than me does nothing to relieve her of her own stress. It creates a false narrative for both of us. And on the other hand when I get so wrapped up in how hard my own circumstances are and forget to love others well and practice gratitude I stay stuck and miserable.

I tend towards all or nothing. I’m all in until I’m not, and then I’m way out. These things that pop up make me want to run straight in one direction - either intervening for someone and fixing all of their problems myself OR sleeping and hoping I forget it all. This is obviously a horrific way to solve problems and it explains A LOT about my life. Oh lordy.

Instead, I think it’s living in the tension. Choosing each day to be my true self. To be vulnerable. To be honest and to be open. To share and to receive. To ask questions and know people. To live in the reality that life is hard and 9 times out of 10 people are hiding in self-protection and hurting and need a safe place to land. And to 100% get over myself when I walk in a room knowing that even though I quickly forget, I’m so often just as quickly reminded that we’ve all got a story unfolding and chances are there’s more than meets the eye.

On a less serious note - go ahead and pray for my husband who is the new pastor of young adults at our church because in times like these I’m a NUT and want to scrap anything and everything that doesn’t involve us getting down to the nitty gritty of what’s REALLY going on with people. How can we possibly have a social gathering when people are silently suffering?? Needless to say he has A LOT of filtering to do of my ideas. I’m owning my issues, people.