Plus, more people would know who I was and for the most part that made me feel like I was being opened up to a level of scrutiny that I just wasn't comfortable with.
But there seems to always come a time when what God wants you to do becomes unbearable to not do. If that makes any sense.
So I jumped.
I led, I shared my contact information, opened my house and allowed my heart to be pried open a little bit at a time.
I found myself accidentally revealing more of myself then I ever intended just by having seemingly casual conversations about leading.
It got pretty dangerous.
Dangerous because I couldn't just leave. I couldn't just cut and run and pretend it never happened. I couldn't just stop going to church because there were people there that counted on me and people there that knew where I lived and multiple ways to get in touch with me.
Apparently, this is called community.
So I settled in. I stretched and grew and then snapped back into place and stretched and grew some more. All sorts of self esteem and self worth issues were churned up and mixed around. Many times I was forced to recover because it was required of me to be able to move forward in any way as a leader (required internally, not by the community).
I started to recognize this flight instinct that would rise up like a banshee in my throat.
I started to notice that during perfectly benign conversations with people that I loved and knew loved me I would begin to make excuses to have to remove myself from the conversation because it was to much.
It was to intimate.
It was to close.
Then I stopped feeling safe.
Then I panicked.
I was trapped. I was straining to pull away from any and all relationships and the biggest relationship was the one as a leader I had with my community.
I was known. People knew when I was acting weird, I couldn't just come and go and disappear for awhile. I couldn't pull back and become invisible again because I was seen by this community of people.
So I did the only thing I could think of to do.
Not the details, not the gory dramatic reenactments.
But I shared my heart.
I shared how scared I was, I shared how I wasn't sure I trusted anyone anymore and I was scared that I couldn't trust God anymore.
A little here, a little there and I was waiting. Bags packed. For rejection. For mocking. For disbelief and judgement. So I had packed my bags and started making a map of my escape just in case.
I was happily surprised. I was surprised that this community of people helped take the baggage off, and set it down so they could hold me better.
I don't know why I was surprised, they're pretty awesome.
I still have such a hard time trusting people and unfortunately the most trustworthy people in my life sometimes pay for the sins of my and others past.
But I'm working on it. So sometimes I may still pack my things...just in case. I may still plot my escape routes so I can run away from you because being vulnerable and loving people that can hurt me so much scares me. The fear tells me I cannot trust these voices. That I don't have any prospects for peace. But the everyday breathing of those in my community of people where they show me more often than not that they are here. That I don't have to run away.
Just in case, I will leave my things packed
So I can run away
I cannot trust these voices I don't have a line of prospects that can give some kind of peace
There is nothing left to cling to that can bring me sweet release
I have no fear of drowning
It's the breathing that's taking all this work
-Jars of Clay